Top 50 Tracks of 2012: 50-41

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surviving the golden age, best of 2012
Animal Collective, Today's Supernatural, centipede hz50. Animal Collective “Today’s Supernatural”
Having been a notorious Animal Collective hater for years now, it is humbling to run into “Today’s Supernatural.” While the pinball-machine-on-the-fritz instrumental is nothing new, Avey Tare’s vocal performance feels like a game changer for Animal Collective. The aggressiveness and ferocity of the vocals make the track sound more like a real rock song than the psychedelic trip that Animal Collective has previously attempted to take the listener on. – Adam Morgan

Apollo Ghosts, Newcastle49. Apollo Ghosts “Newcastle”
Apollo Ghosts first lept to my attention in 2010 with their sophomore album, Mount Benson. Late album track, “Thing You Go Through” made 2010′s tracks of the year because of its fun-loving, jangle pop sound and light-hearted lyrics. The band replicates that same success with this year’s “Newcastle.” The track is buried as the second-to-last on the album but it packs the greatest punch. At only one minute and twenty-two seconds, the track aptly summarizes going back to the town you come from and hating. After the recent holiday, it feels extremely relatable for many of us. – Adam Morgan

torche, kicking48. Torche “Kicking”
Although not the opening track on Harmonicraft, “Kicking” certainly sets the tone for Torche‘s third album. The track opens with driving drums followed by a pick slide down the guitar before the speakers are filled with a wall-of-guitar and Steve Brooks’ atypical hard-rock vocals. The poppy hook solidify the song as the best Foo Fighters‘ song Dave Grohl never wrote. – Adam Morgan

Icona Pop, I Love It47. Icona Pop “I Love It”
The world has gotten used to electropop duos, but Icona Pop have certain sassy boldness uncommon in the usually polite Swedes. As Aino Jawo and Caroline Hjelt yell “I threw your shit into a bag and pushed it down the stairs/I crashed my car into the bridge/I don’t care,” you realize they really don’t care and that’s what makes the song a snotty dance anthem. – Adam Morgan

Sweet Serenades, Can't Get Enough46. The Sweet Serenades “Can’t Get Enough”
Swedish imports The Sweet Serenades wrote a song about sex. Nothing new right? There is something slyly sweet about the lyrics where singer, Martin Nordvall says that he would rather stay at home with his love while collecting unemployment than go to work. Who has not felt that way? But the song feels downright nasty when he sings about “your legs and in-between.” Oh and never discount a deep baritone singing the catchy “can’t get enough” hook (the only time the voice appears on the album, sadly). – Adam Morgan

Hoodie Allen, Eighteen Cool45. Hoodie Allen “Eighteen Cool”
Hoodie Allen‘s appeal has always been his “normal guy” style mixed with his hyper-poppy rap, like a white Black Eyed Peas with smarter lyrics. The apex of this formula seems to be “Eighteen Cool,” a song that shows Hoodie with an ugly duckling syndrome–a high school nerd who has blossomed into a rap star. For everyone who wasn’t a ladies man in high school, “Eighteen Cool” provides the anthemic chorus that’s fun to throw a middle finger up to while singing along at top volume. – Adam Morgan

Avicii, Silhouettes44. Avicii “Silhouettes”
While EDM is still a booming genre, it is not generally critically acclaimed. That is mostly due to the fact that if you have heard one progressive house track, you have pretty much heard them all. Avicii, however, seems to be the one producer who still pushes the boundaries and sets the standards for the genre. While “Silhouettes” may not have been as big of a hit as 2011′s “Le7els,” the track expands on things “Le7els” lacked. Guest, Salem Al Fakir carries vocals through the entire song creating more of an anthemic feel, especially with lyrics like “we’ve come a long way since that day/and we will never look back.” – Adam Morgan

Muse, Madness43. Muse “Madness”
“Madness” is the second song and was the second single from Muse‘s album, The 2nd Law. It seems like the song was destined for greatness. But what makes the song great is not in numerology but rather in its uniqueness in Muse’s catalog. Matthew Bellamy takes the alt-R&B craze of 2012 and turns it into a Queen track. With its muted tones, the song has sleek, sexy vibe that strips out Muse’s normal bombacity. But stripping down the sound does not stop Bellamy from adding in a blazing guitar solo. – Adam Morgan

S-Type, Billboard42. S-Type “Billboard”
Much like progressive house, trap music seems to be a very repetitive form. But for Scottish producer S-Type, trap is just a drum sound and backing vocal style that works as the perfect backbone to his Ratatat-synths meets superhero music track, “Billboard.” If listening to this track does not make you want to do a bunch of pushups or run a mile then you might want to check your pulse. – Adam Morgan

Dirty Projectors, Gun Has No Trigger41. Dirty Projectors “Gun Has No Trigger”
Although much has been made of Dave Longstreth’s sudden embrace of more accessible simplicity post-Bitte Orca, the effort of his work still inhabits each of his songs. “Gun Has No Trigger” holds back for the majority of its length. Yet the painful, almost imperceptible lilt to Longstreth’s voice versus the carefully orchestrated harmonizing that battles his wailing form one of the most intriguing inner-conflicts that any song has showcased this year. – Mark Steinbach

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Died Tragically Rescuing His Family From The Wreckage Of A Destroyed Sinking Battleship.