Another Top Ten Music Finds – 2012
OK, another year, another reflection as to what I picked up sonically the last twelve months. Looking over the list there wasn’t anything from the old days like the Steelheart find last year. There was a surprise in the form of Van Halen as you’ll see (hear) below. Overall, this list is kinda close to last years, just with different names and a bit more commercial pop thrown in there.
I make no excuses or apologies for what’s here, it’s what caught my ears and what I listen to. So, here’s what I was listing to while coding websites and building the Ork Blasta Bommer this year!
Electric Shock – f(x)
A confession of sorts. I’ve been a fan of the K-pop and J-Pop scene for a while. Wired recently ran an article on the “pop factories” in Korea and Japan where the biggest musical acts are basically “farmed, bred and groomed” in music and production number factories according to proven formulas. Looks like they got it right by me.
I was going to list a few last year but they would have pretty much taken over the list. I decided to include one this year. Oh, there are so many (Girls Generation, BOA, Koda Kumi, CooL, 2NE1, Supreme Team, etc….) but the one I’m including for today is Electric Shock by f(x). This pretty much epitomizes what’s coming out of both Korea and Japan as far as pop stuff. In my book, you’ll be seeing a lot of this kinda stuff coming to the US shores in the near future, much like dub step crept it’s way in from the UK.
Street Fighter – Digital Freq
Here’s my dub step/electronica pick for the year. Tough call between this and Porter Robinson’s Spitfire (the whole album is excellent) and The M Machine’s Black. I picked this one up from a mixed comp disc called Bug Eyed Blast Into 2012. Again, no excuses or apologies.
Icona Pop / Charli XCX- I Love It
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m a sucker for a good, catchy pop tune. Especially one that reminds me of the 80’s. This one’s got it all – Total Cello, Bow Wow Wow, The Flirts, etc. Mixed with a newer-wave techno dance grind and it’s all fun.
Stay Frosty – Van Halen
Yeah, here’s the surprise I talked about earlier. I was very excited to hear DLR was returning to VH (never was a fan of Van Haggar) but had lots of doubt about what they were going to do. Were they going to sound like the good old days and give the people what they want to hear or are they going to “try something new” and do what ever Eddie wanted. Turns out to be both.
Half the album sounds a little lost and “experimental”, like boring “new VH” stuff. The other half sounds like good old fashioned Van fuckin’ Halen. This is the best one on the album. This particular song could have been on any one of three albums done early 80’s. Nice to hear they still got it.
Some Nights – Fun
I know this one ended up getting a ton of airplay but it’s still a great tune in my book. A whole lot of Paul Simon/Graceland vibes going on in this one. Something different that your average pop stuff but what’s nice is they’re not so one note (like Goyte…)
I Fink Your Freaky – Die Antwoord
Speaking of something different. What can I say. I must thank my brother Russ for dropping this one on me. Seems like Die Antwoord has been around a few years but this was my first exposure. God they’re great! Too many ways they’re sooo different and I love the whole rave-techno revival thing they’ve got going on. And their videos are all awesome.
It’s a battle between them and Volbeat (next choice) for my favorite new artist/group this year.
Sad Man’s Tongue/We/Wild Rover of Hell – Volbeat
Sad Man’s Tongue
Wild Rover of Hell
Most people were made aware of this band with their song “A Warriors Call”, the tribute to the Ultimate Fighter types. It’s good song but it’s pretty pedestrian compared to the style they exude on the majority of their other work.
This is my “I have to put two of them here…” selection. But since they’re so diverse and bad ass, I’m doing three. A cross between Glen Danzig, Metallica, Johnny Cash and The Stray Cats. I would suggest almost any song form the four albums they’ve released – all of it is good. Tied with greatest new find with Die Antwoord.
Make me wanna die – The Pretty Reckless
Following in the footsteps of Halestorm, albeit a blond version.
Once Upon Another Time – Sara Bareilles
Every once in a while I come across a voice/song that is just so truly beautiful and pure – and this is one. The last time I felt so enrapt by a song was Imogen Heap’s Hide and Seek (and NOT that rip-off, mix-mash up that made the radio a few years back – horrific). The sound just makes you fall in love with the voice. I can listen to this repeated without getting tired or bored. Beautiful, beautiful music. I liked her last album (well, parts of it) and thought she had a great set of vocal chops that weren’t quite being pushed where they could be. This song proves I was right (in my mind, at least).
Heading Toward the Unknown – Heavy Blanket
Dirty, Fuzzy Funk. No vocals, just heavy Hendrix-esque fuzz. This is my Funkadelic pic for the year. Again, another one where the whole album is great, picking one song was difficult. I love how they sound practically smothers you. All six songs on this album are purely instrumental, something you don’t see often today. This one is great for zoning out while programming or painting, just getting lost in the music while your mind goes elsewhere.