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|2012 Memories: A Mixtape|
Songs of 2012 that I'll remember.
|1||John K. Samson|
John K. Samson essentially started 2012 for me, with Provincial dropping just as my
initial Weakerthans obsession was starting to wear off. Grace General is an oddball of
sorts. While my main issue with Provincial is that it lacks the trademark Weakerthans
depth, Grace General is completely undefinable in my mind. It wanders seemingly
aimlessly, as if improvised. It brings me closer to my favorite Canadian and his country
perhaps more than any of his other songs.
It's taken me quite some to mentally separate Celebration Rock from Post-Nothing,
but now that enough time has passed I'm able to appreciate one without thinking of
the other. Fire's Highway was never subjected to this hesitation however. As the
school year faded away into June I had time to do whatever I liked and have fun
again, and the massive bridge and shout of "one night to have and to hold / to let live,
but never let go" was the perfect soundtrack.
We Are Young
We Are Young existed, at least initially, in the same realm that Fire's Highway did, a
declaration of youth and screw-it-all naiveté. While its exaggerated popularity has
unfortunately turned it into a parody of itself, I can't help remember its rise to
prominence with affection. Over the summer I found myself cleaning dishes in a camp
kitchen with around 20 friends, and we started singing songs. Someone would belt
something out, and those that knew the words would join in. Eventually one person
shouted "to-naaaayyyyyyyaaaayyyayyyttt!!!" and suddenly the roar was deafening.
My first time listening to Other Side confirmed my hopes that one of my longest-
standing "favorite bands" still had something left in them after the Dark Is The Way? I
was doubtful to say the least that the "electronic influences" would live up to promise,
but my first listen of Vital, and this song in particular, convinced me otherwise. I
suppose there's no story here, but to know that I could think of Anberlin again as I
used to years ago was special enough.
|5||The Tallest Man On Earth|
There's No Leaving Now
Undoubtedly 2012's most beautiful song, I still have to stop and pause whenever
There's No Leaving Now comes on. Listening to it now I can think of several of these
moments, some of them trivial like driving to my girlfriend's house, and some of them
of more weight, like finally being in another continent.
|6||House of Heroes|
My mother and I went to Denver this fall for several days to spend time with my ailing
grandmother and her even-more ailing husband. House of Heroes are a nice band to
listen to in a car with your folks, and The Cop sometimes ended up on repeat as we
drove. Now it has a different meaning, as my step-grandfather has passed, and my
grandmother is even-more ailing. The Cop holds that weekend in a standstill, when
both of them were in different places.
|7||The State Lottery|
On a different note, I ran a half-marathon this year, something I never would have
thought of several years ago. I also finished my last cross-country season, a
bittersweet time. Someone Else was one of my rallying songs, so to speak, for the last
cross-country race. It came on my headphones at a crucial moment of the Half as
well. Also, if they can make a full LP as good as this and Fistfuls of Sand, The State
Lottery will give us a true AOTY.
I was inclined to put Varuo here in this spot, as it is the best song on Valtari, but as I
started to drag it into the playlist I paused and switched to Ekki. If Valtari was not a
success, though I believe it is, Ekki Mukk is still an example of what Sigur Ros wanted
it Valtari to be. It's not an uplifting album like Takk, nor a numb, nervous album like (
), but something in between. It sounds more like an acknowledgment of their
surroundings and existence rather than a commentary, and I suppose this is how Ekki
Mukk has affected me as well.
In March I turned right on red a bit too eagerly and was nearly struck by a U-turning
truck (a cement truck no less) which triggered me to have a momentary panic attack
where I pondered the implications for my family and friends had I died. Every Second
was playing, and it's about death and plane crash and stuff so it worked. Thankfully
it's also an uplifting song, so I was able to get over it quickly enough.
Everyone Everywhere is my favorite active emo band mostly because they don't
sound like everyone else. Sure, there's some echoes of the Promise Ring in there, but
they're smarter than TPR was most of the time. The cavalier attitude of EE masks the
heart wrenching moments. Wild Life is one of the best examples of this, as they
remark in the chorus "I wanna go / I wanna know / and understand the basic concept
of / human completeness" but it doesn't sound like some whiney Wave song, like they
really actually want to know, but instead it sounds like an awareness that they can't
know why things happen or why people do the things they do. And that's a message I
need to hear sometimes.
I was lucky enough to get an advance stream of Ten Stories back in April, and I
celebrated by throwing it on my speakers at full volume one night close to midnight. I
gave it my undivided attention, something I wish I could give albums more often.
Around the 2:35 mark, when the song hits full stride, I jumped up and down savagely
and more or less just yelled. It was really weird but it felt good.
|12||Godspeed You! Black Emperor|
Their Helicopters Sing
This is more or less a placeholder for Alleluia as a whole, though Helicopters is my
favorite of the drone tracks. When Alleluia was "announced" I had tickets to see
Godspeed the next week, so my excitement immediately grew. It was a surreal
concert, unsurprisingly, and my first post-rock show. That night sort of just exists on
its own, ambiguously. Not a bad year I suppose.
|Honorable mention: Sufjan Stevens - Christmas Unicorn|
|we are young is terrible|
|It's a love/hate relationship|
|Nice list, I like how personal it was |