As the Indy's music editor, I write a year-end countdown of what, for me, have proven to be the most intriguing, compelling and enjoyable songs of the previous 12 months.
You can go here to read the complete article from this week's issue.
Meanwhile, I figured it would also be helpful to gather up the videos for each song, and put them all together in one place.
Have a listen and see what you think ...
12. Neil Halstead, “Tied to You” (Mark Van Hoen Remix)
A gorgeous tune that's about as close to a new Nick Drake song as we're likely to get.
11. Ghost, “Secular Haze”
If Ghost breaks big in 2013, many will blame it on shtick. But the real reason will be songs like this one.
10. Knife & Fork, “Tightrope”
Eric Drew Feldman — of Captain Beefheert, Frank Back and Pere Ubu fame — joins with Ovarian Trolley singer Laurie Hall for an oddly compelling mix of ethereal vocals and hypnotic pop instincts.
9. Beach Boys, “That’s Why God Made the Radio”
Reminds us why the Beatles were actually jealous of the Beach Boys, and why indie-rock artists still long to emulate Brian Wilson.
8. Die Antwoord, “I Fink U Freeky”
This feel-odd-hit-of-the-summer proves the South African rave-hop duo's music is as worthy of attention as the over-the-top imagery that accompanies it.
7. Father John Misty, “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings”
An incurably hooky track, with the forever cynical Tillman wringing four notes from a single syllable: "Je-e-e-e-sus Christ, girl / I laid up for hours in a daze / Retracing the expanse of your American back / With Adderall and weed in my veins." Note: Father John Misty will be playing the Black Sheep on Jan. 5.
6. The ReMINDers, “You Can Count on Me”
A moving expression of mutually assured devotion that juxtaposes rap verses and soulful choruses as deftly as anyone this side of Lauryn Hill and the Fugees.
5. Neil Young & Crazy Horse, “Ramada Inn”
Best Neil Young I’ve heard in a very long time. All 17 minutes of it.
4. Y.N.RichKids, “Hot Cheetos and Takis”
Who would have thought that the year's best ensemble rap would be a pre-teen ode to hyper-palatable snack addiction?
3. Chuck Snow, “Whichever Way the Wind Blows”
A profoundly moving ballad written and recorded at the height of the Waldo Canyon Fire. Even if Bruce Springsteen or Steve Earle had devoted a song to this tragedy, I'm not sure they could have done better.
2. Kimbra, “Settle Down”
Showcases a quirky pop sensibility that's a bit less operatic, but no less brilliant, than Kate Bush.
1. The Coup, “Guillotine”
"Anger is an energy," John Lydon once insisted, but I'm fairly sure that nothing in the punk-rock canon can match the intensity of this track from Oakland's premiere hip-hop duo.