We can argue all day about what “best” means, so let’s just call these my favorite non-Churchkey songs of 2012.
Spider Bags — “Simona La Ramona”: There have been lots of songs I’ve loved over the course of the year, but this has been my favorite song for the entire year, even before I heard the recorded version. I love dancing to it at live shows. I love dancing to it at my desk. I love dancing to it in the car. It means a lot to me in a way that I can’t elegantly explain. So even though I can’t be bothered to put the rest of the list in any sort of order, this one goes first.
Plateaus — “Beach Coma”: I’m absolutely loving this song right now. Conveniently, it’s the end of the year, so we don’t have to find out if it stands the test of time. It really reminds me of some of the Jay Reatard Matador singles.
The Golden Boys — “We Are Young”: This is probably my favorite sing-along song of the year. Er, make that shout-along song. That Golden Boys show at Kings was one of my favorite shows this year, and I totally lost my voice the day after. Please come back, Golden Boys. And thanks for giving me a ride, Chaz!
Terry Malts — “Tumble Down”: “Up on the hill, I held your hand. Both of us so drunk we couldn’t stand…” It’s a pretty adorable love song, and it gets me bopping up and down without noticing. Everyone in Durham is glad that Dan & Craig introduced us to Terry Malts, right?
Cloud Nothings — “Stay Useless”: What happened to Cloud Nothings? They were on my “must see” list at SXSW this year (they were excellent) and then they pretty much disappeared. Anyway, “Stay Useless” is 90s as fuck, and got a ton of repeats this spring.
Howler — “Beach Sluts”: I listened to America Give Up almost every day this spring and summer on my afternoon walks to the post office. Walking to the post office when the weather’s nice is actually one of my favorite things to do, and the Howler record just sort of became part of the habit. I love that I run into friendly faces all around downtown, and it’s nice to stop and chat or just wave. “Beach Sluts” sparks some of that warmth in me, even when it’s too cold to walk to the post office.
Carly Rae Jepsen — “Call Me Maybe”: It’s not just a hell of a pop song. Every time I hear “Call Me Maybe” it stirs up fond memories of summer nights at the DBAP.
Gross Ghost — “Devious”: I think “Lurker” is probably my favorite song on Brer Rabbit, but since it came out in some form or another in both 2010 and 2011, I’m going with “Devious” here. There’s no wrong choice—Gross Ghost rules. I rang in 2012 just minutes after Gross Ghost finished their set at The Soapbox, and I’m already looking forward to seeing them for the first time in 2013 (Jan. 15th @ The Pinhook.)
Superchunk — “This Summer”: The “This Summer” / “Cruel Summer” single almost singlehandedly got me through a tough road trip in June. It got me some pretty weird looks on 95, too.
Jaill — “Everyone’s a Bitch”: Speaking of driving, I listened to “Everyone’s a Bitch” on repeat the whole drive from Portsmouth, NH to Logan airport. It was kind of a mistake at first, but I just went with it. What? You think I’m a weirdo?