Hot Jamz of the Year: The Best Tracks of 2012

40. First Aid Kit: “Emmylou” from The Lion’s Roar
Pop. Metal. Indie-Rock. Folk. Electro. The Swedes have mastered basically every genre ever created. Now we can add Americana to that list, thanks to this beautiful windswept lullaby from this Swedish sisterly duo. I think trap muzik is next.

39. Best Coast: “How They Want Me To Be” (Demo) from The Only Place
Or, how Bethany Cosentino stopped worrying about what people were saying about her on Twitter and just cozied up with her cat and the dude from Wavves.

38. CFCF: “Exercise 5 (September)” from Exercises
The only thing I don’t like about the Montreal-native’s piano-based gem, Exercises, is that he only leant his restrained vocal to this one contemplative track. Hopefully, next time we will get a little more Sylvian to go with his Sakamoto…

37. Goldroom: “Fifteen” (f/ Chela) from Fifteen Single
This is what falling in love feels like when you are fifteen. Floating through the slipstream feels so good (even though I don’t really know what it is).

36. Airbird: “Free Mind” from Romance Layers
When it comes to the Ford & Lopatin/Games debate, I’m firmly in the Joel Ford camp. It might make me superficial/dumb, but while people are listening to Daniel Lopatin twist knobs and collect field recordings, I’d rather rock out to Ford’s impeccable ear for pop music. PS: MARIAHHHHHHHHHHH!

35. Killer Mike: “Big Beast” (f/ Bun B, TI, Trouble) from R.A.P. Music
Something musta been rattling the ATLien’s cage last year, because the cantankerous MC came out swinging on his sixth LP, R.A.P Music. Very few things in 2012 hit harder than this, its opening cut.

34. Mirrorring: “Drowning The Call” from Foreign Body
This delicious lullaby from Liz Harris (Grouper) and Tiny Vipers’ Jesy Fortino sounds like a thousand voices on the end of the line are calling out to you, just too quiet to make out. (NOTE: I have no idea what that means.)

33. Odd Future: “Oldie” from The OF Tape Vol. 2
This is what made me fall in love with the Fairfax Village troublemakers in the first place. Just a bunch of kids hanging out, going in over a beat. Extra points for being Earl Sweatshirt’s triumphant comeback cut.

32. Purity Ring + Danny Brown: “Belispeak II” from Belispeak Single
Though they seem like unlikely bedfellows, the Motor City Madman’s ravenous flow fits in perfectly with the maximalist, heady synth dollops of the Canadian duo. Danny Brown is just sososososo fucking dope.

31. Jessica Pratt: “Bushel Hyde” from Jessica Pratt
In a year packed with impressive folk releases, nobody made more of an impact than this understated San Francisco siren. Like any precious artifact found in the attic, it’s delicate and ornate, with just the right amount of dust on top.

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