Best Songs of 2012, Vol. II – The Lumineers, Jack White, Beach House, Edward Sharpe, Japandroids, Here We Go Magic, Zulu Winter
April was a pretty good month for new releases. The first No. 1 track of the month went to perhaps the breakout band of the year, The Lumineers. The single, “Ho Hey,” from their self-titled debut became one of the most popular songs of the year, easily. The second No. 1 song of April went to another breakout band of the year – Alabama Shakes – who just a few weeks earlier were a huge hit at South By Southwest. “Hold On,” the lead track from their debut album, Boys and Girls, was not just a No. 1 track for the week, according to IRC listeners, but an indie hit song of the summer. For the week of April 17th, the relatively unknown indie band Absolute Monarchs’ hot single, “Attack,” rocketed ahead of all the other new album tracks of the week to secure the No. 1 spot. What better way to end the month of April than with a No. 1 song from Jack White‘s debut solo album, Blunderbuss. Interestingly, there were a few of singles from the album that did well, and in this case, the listeners streamed, liked and downloaded the gritty rocker, “Freedom of 21,” with its blazing guitars and aggressive rhythms, the most.
The No. 1 songs for the month of May started with a surprise number one track from Ane Brun, “Do You Remember,” featuring the artist First Aid Kit. It wasn’t a surprise in that it’s not a worthy song – it’s a solidly good track – but compared to the competition for the week, it was interesting how the results came out. To see, and listen to, the complete Top 10 Songs playlists for any No.1 song, just click on the date links. For the second week of May, the popular band Here We Go Magic has built a loyal following over the past few years with their unique, stand out style of infectious indie pop, as demonstrated on the single, “How Do I Know?,” and one of the top tracks on IRC all summer long (for more, see our Summer Mixtapes series). The second week of May delivered a number of anticipated new releases, including a dual between Beach House and Best Coast, but Beach Houses’ amazing single, “Myth,” beat out Best Coast’s “The Only Place” for the No. 1 spot. To wrap up the month, a band that we named a band to watch a couple of years ago, Hallelujah The Hills, took the No. 1 spot for the last week of May with their track, “Get Me in a Room” from the excellent album, No One Knows What Happens Next.
As with the first installment of the Best Songs of 2012, according to IRC listeners, this second volume is kicking some serious ass as well. By the time June rolls around, people are into full-on music mode – making summer playlists, going to concerts, listening to tunes on the beach or out jogging and so on. There was not a lack of great songs for summer mixtapes (the whole site is one gigantic repository of spectacular playlists). The No. 1 song for the first week of June was one of the best songs of the summer – Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros’ “Man On Fire,” which beat out new singles from Regina Spektor, The Walkmen and Sigur Ros for the top new single of the week. For the first full week of June, Vancouver garage rock duo, Japandroids, topped the Top 10 Songs with the No. 1 song, “The House That Heaven Built,” from the fantastic album, Celebration Rock (look out for a full review in the Best Albums of 2012 series that will be published in installments).
The following week, Metric‘s new single, “Youth Without Youth,” easily secured the No. 1 spot (week of June 12th), out of many great singles from Vol. One and Vol. Two of that week’s top albums. Next, the track “We Should Be Swimming” from London break-through band Zulu Winter‘s debut album, Language beat out the competition for the No. 1, according to listeners. Language contains a number of other standout tracks, such as “Silver Tongue” and “Key To My Heart.” The last week of June and the first couple of days of July intertwine in Best New Music Releases (Vol. I and Vol. II) for the week of June 26th, topped by a band hardly anyone has heard of – Seventeen Evergreen – grabbing the No. 1 spot based on what listeners streamed and downloaded the most from the week’s top album singles. Seventeen Evergreen, a San Francisco electronic/psychedelic rock duo, beat out bands like The Henry Clay People, Beachwood Sparks and the Ty Segall Band.