Staff List: Top Tracks of 2012

Andrew Patterson’s Picks

Homeshake – “Moon Woman”
Despite the stiff competition, this is actually, factually the greatest song known to our universe. Sorry Motown.
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[audio:http://www.mediafire.com/file/bf6sosjg7a1rpb6/HOMESHAKE_-_NORTHERN_MANS_MOON_WOMANS_-_02_Moon_Woman.mp3]


Sheer Agony – “Everybody Knows”
No one does clever like Sheer Agony and this is the best example of why songwriter Jackson MacIntosh should be getting paid the big bucks by some schmoe to write pop songs for the stars. Or, alternatively, hired to brew a poisonous perfume. Or, alternative to that, we could reinstate the valuing of true artists in western society and crown him some sort of boy-king.
[audio:http://www.mediafire.com/file/nwzd3bw4d752rn4/Sheer_Agony_-_The_Unruly_Sisters_-_04_Everybody_Knows.mp3]


Long Long Long – “George Harrison”
A final statement of sorts from this too-good-to-be-true factory pop outfit, rife with self-reference and examples of everything that made this band one of Canada’s finest for its brief existence. A mere leftover dished up hot thanks to the mighty Khyber Compilation II.
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[audio:http://www.mediafire.com/file/hutfso35kl2zoow/The_Khyber_Comp._-_Khyber_Comp_Volume_II_-_27_George_Harrison.mp3]


Nap Eyes – “Madames Of Fortune”
Probably the least provocative and most digestible song from Nap Eyes’ most recent EP. Having said that, singer Nigel Chapman ain’t gonna sugar coat it for you. He’s too busy being a genius.
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[audio:http://www.mediafire.com/file/y7ch7k7sz7hwzxi/Nap_Eyes_-_Four_More_Songs_By-_-_01_Madames_of_Fortune.mp3]


Freak Heat Waves – “Instructing”
Nearly ten minutes of hypnotic, motorik rock played with deft precision and stone cold conviction. No more and no less.
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[audio:http://www.mediafire.com/file/w399g5eoa9vu0gx/]


Cactus Flower – “China Blue”
A tiny teaser of a demo that surfaced on Bandcamp this year from the woman who holds the Halifax music scene in the palm of her hand. Cactus Flower writes songs. Real songs.
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[audio:http://www.mediafire.com/file/ki5bk1uaioygt5o/cactus_flower_-_china_blue.mp3]


Cousins – “Jules”
On their full-length debut, Cousins come raring out of the gate saddled atop a wicked-strong track one race horse conspicuously named simply Jules.
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[audio:http://www.mediafire.com/file/p3cwzn810apzinm/’01_Jules.mp3]


Each Other – “Ash Mound”
Each Other smother a verse with jovial bass and creak through a chorus conjuring visions of Bob from Twin Peaks. Another sweet and sinister invention from the absurdly talented Montreal three-piece.
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[audio:http://www.mediafire.com/file/s56zkmjaxxwafru/Each_Other_-_Heavily_Spaced_-_01_Ash_Mound.mp3]


Grimes – “Oblivion”
Is anyone reading this seriously not familiar with and totally dazzled by this behemoth?
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[audio:http://www.mediafire.com/file/shbka6slncit1lz/03_-_Oblivion.mp3]


Jay Arner – “Black Horse”
An effortless meditation on the bittersweet process of trying to untangle oneself from the confusions of being young and restless.
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[audio:http://www.mediafire.com/file/wiod7e07nz6eqmg/Jay_Arner_-_Bad_Friend_-_02_Black_Horse.mp3]


Expwy – “Glinting Buckles Harnessed The Moon”
Matt LeGroulx released a whole lot of music this year as Expwy, but nothing topped his first full-length and this is  the apex of that release; a surprisingly affecting, esoteric tune about god knows what.
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[audio:http://www.mediafire.com/file/p4q338wyaxuqrpy/Expwy_-_Bag_of_Waters_-_03_03_-_Glinting_buckles_harnessed_the_moonlight.mp3]


The Cable-Knits – “Eyelash Got You Down”
Buried deep in the mess of The Cable-Knits’ debut, this blabbering gem of stuck-together nonsense and gusto reminds me that sometimes it can be more effective to just get things off your chest, rather than trying to articulate yourself perfectly.
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[audio:http://www.mediafire.com/file/yrh1klj652fd182/The_Cable-knits_-_Twins_-_07_Eyelash_Got_You_Down.mp3]


Needels//Pins – “Drop It”
A rerecording of the single that should have caused Needlemania last year. Pop songwriting at its finest, dusted off and transplanted to an equally addictive full-length.
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[audio:http://www.mediafire.com/file/2gramgevrwrrppq/06_Drop_It_2.mp3]


Mac DeMarco – “Ode To Viceroy”
Why is it that I believe Mac Demarco more when he sings a love song about a cigarette than when he sings one about a person?
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[audio:http://www.mediafire.com/file/9sic79c3xy689f4/05_-_Ode_to_Viceroy.mp3]


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Jordaan Mason’s Picks

Hop Along – “No Good Al Joad”
What is there to even say? You are my favourite because you’re a longshot. This whole record really blew me away.
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[audio:http://www.mediafire.com/file/hj8jvxuo25eyukn/Hop_Along_-_No_Good_Al_Joad.mp3]


Pretty Swans – “Bones”
A song about circling, searching. I had this one on a loop a lot this year; it warrants it.
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[audio:http://www.mediafire.com/file/7aw5sdxt5r84ri5/Bones.mp3]


Cold Specks – “Blank Maps”
She had to leave us to make this record but it was so worth it. Songs like this one really stand out because the band brings a new life to them.
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[audio:http://www.mediafire.com/file/4bdajf091qh8du7/09_Blank_Maps.mp3]


Evening Hymns – “Family Tree”
A song about coping with loss and trying to figure out what you have afterwards. It’s been a year of big changes.
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[audio:http://www.mediafire.com/file/oo8l6d3lfe19w9q/03_Family_Tree.mp3]


Xiu Xiu – “Hi”
Has there been a better opening line to a record than “If you are wasting your life, say ‘Hi'” this year? No, there hasn’t. Hi!
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[audio:http://www.mediafire.com/file/d5ufwec1t811b8t/01_Xiu_Xiu_-_Hi.mp3]


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Jeremy MacCuish’s Picks

Mahogany Frog – “Aqua Love Ice Cream Delivery Service”
In a more reasonable time, this song will be used to explain the beginnings of the universe.
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[audio:http://www.mediafire.com/file/p2l0sh57q3tcab4/Mahogany_Frog_-_SENNA_-_08_Aqua_Love_Ice_Cream_Delivery_Service.mp3]


UBT – “Waste My Time”
Between the guitars and vocals, I count 5 insanely catchy melodies in this song. Some (most?) bands never write one.
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[audio:http://www.mediafire.com/file/qe7p5haex8ac3jz/Uncle_Bad_Touch_-_Takes_Money_To_Drink_Money_EP_-_02_Waste_My_Time.mp3]


Rah Rah – “20s”
This is what touring starts to feel like around day 18. Warrrrrrble.
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[audio:http://www.mediafire.com/file/hbbv6de267vqbuu/04_20s.mp3]


Divine Fits – “Baby Get Worse”
The contrast between the two voices at the modulated chorus kills me. Rock ‘n roll science.
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[audio:http://www.mediafire.com/file/7xmhskak1lldb1j/06_-_Baby_Get_Worse.mp3]


Purity Ring – “Belispeak”
Anatomy is terrifying. This is dangerous music.
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[audio:http://www.mediafire.com/file/pihpqar4ho7f34n/07_Belispeak.mp3]