Top 40 Singles of 2012: 30 – 21

Same introduction as yesterday, but the songs are different: We all know that the pop 45 is meant to be experienced as a fleeting moment, an adrenaline rush or an emotional gush. If you love it you buy it. If you really love it you buy the album. A ton of 45′s came out this year, but it seemed like many of them were insanely limited. Downloads and streams have overtaken the popularity and utility of the 45 single for most, but some stubborn folk remain, still out there in the physical world tracking down the physical objects. I hope you had as good a year as I did. These are the top 40 singles that I dug up either in stores or from mail order over the the last 12 months.

21. Chook Race – Medicine (Self-Released)

Chook Race’s first single was a brilliant demonstration of frayed edges, wet behind the ears pop from the Melbourne band. I imagine that this is the sound Lee Mavers had in his head when he conceived the La’s. Chook Race’s Medicine seems to effortlessly jangle its way to perfection.

22. Field Mouse – You Guys Are Gonna Wake Up My Mom (Small Plates)

You might remember Frederick the field mouse who sat around and daydreamed while his buddies collected food for the winter. In the depths of winter Frederick ends up saving the mouse colony with his poetic imagery. Field Mouse dish out two very fine slices of dreampop full of great big soaring guitars and angelic vocals that quite possibly could spirit you through dark times.

23. Pale Lights – Boy Of Your Dreams (Calico Cat)

The Pale Lights have an excellent pedigree: Comet Gain, Crystal Stilts, Ladybug Transistor and the Soft City. Boy of  Your Dreams cascades into your conscious with such ease and confidence you will be wondering why they are not on the tips of everyone’s tongues. Turn up your stereo and let your neighbors know!

24. On the Spot Trio – Suction (Colemine)

Even indiepop kids need some funk every once in a while. This hot little 45 by the On the Spot Trio will heat up any maudlin abode. Put it on and you’re cookin’ with gas!

25. Teacher Teacher – Campamento De Verano (Elefant)

Spanish boy-girl punk rock courtesy of the fine Elefant label. I’m a sucker for sweet and spazzy and tons of rolled R’s.

26. Alpaca Sports – Just For Fun (Dufflecoat)

Sweden’s Alpaca Sports probably have the honor of being the twee-est band on this year’s countdown, but it’s twee done right (at least by me). When Andreas Jonsson sings “I use to kiss her just for fun” it’s so saccharine sweet that you get a cavity every time you hear it.

27. King Tuff – Wild Desire (Suicide Squeeze)

King Tuff put out an album on Sub Pop packed with fractured powerpop nuggets, but this single on Suicide Squeeze was the one that I could not get out of my head for most of the year.

28. Diät – No Accent (Iron Lung)

Apparently Diät came into being when Total Control needed an opening band for their Berlin show. Made up of two Australians and one German, their pummeling debut single put out by Seattle label Iron Lung was packed full of punch. If the shocking cover doesn’t get your attention then  the jet fueled No Accent which takes Devo and Wire influences  into oblivion will.

29. Fear of Men – Mosaic (Too Pure)

To my constant delight there seemed to be a number of bands who were influenced by Dolly Mixture, the Raincoats and the Chills. Fear of Men appeared on the countdown last year and they return with another gem. Look for a compilation of their singles on Kanine early next year.

30. Teledrome – Double Vision (Hozac)

Calgary, Alberta’s Teledrome sound like they could have been handpicked by Daniel Miller for his Mute label. Tight guitar riffs with weird buzzy synths splattered all over the place. It’s been done before, but it’s been a while since I’ve heard it done so well.

One comment

  1. Stephen Frost · January 31, 2013

    “We all know that the pop 45 is meant to be experienced as a fleeting moment, an adrenaline rush or an emotional gush” — actually the most hopeful thing I’ve heard in a while. Means you get it. Been coming to terms with the hugeness of streaming for a few weeks…the Alpaca Sports is how I found you, and you describe it perfectly, I mean–it’s a total single, it feels like one.

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