{PART 1} {PART 2} {PART 4} {PART 5}

The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – “Black Mold” {Garage Rock}

The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion were a huge thing back in the day (thanks to tracks like “Bellbottoms,” “She Said” and “Flavor“), but this beast of a song is proof that not all rock bands from the 1990s burned out at the dawn of the millennium. Plus the single comes with an awesome music video, what’s not to like?

Beat Connection – “Saola” {Tropical Pop}

Okay so maybe we’re breaking our own rule by including a band that has already been featured on our Top Albums of 2012 list, but this track is so fucking epic we just had to include it. It’s the kind of song that builds after the second verse, so if you’re a fan of Vampire Weekend and/or listen to the entire track we can guarantee it will bring you from a two to a ten in seconds.

Todd Terje – “Inspector Norse” {Electronic/Disco}

Todd Terje is truly a saviour for the (supposedly) “dying” disco scene that has been rocking the indie music world these past few years. In 2012 alone he remixed everyone from Hot Chip to Bombay Bicycle Club, but it was this hit that eventually won us over to the Norwegian DJ. We must have listened to this track at least a hundred times in the past six months, and it was hands-down one of our “numero uno” favourites of the year.

Cat Power – “Cherokee” {Alternative Rock}

We were a little worried about our beloved Cat Power after hearing about the crapton of problems she’s been dealing with as of late, but after six long years she finally released her new album (Sun) which was inspired by her nasty break-up with actor Giovanni Ribisi. And although it may not be as epic as her previous releases (“He War” – need we say more?), this single, along with “King Rides By,” stood out from the rest this past year.

Beck – “Cities” {Electronic/Instrumental}

In 2012 we saw Beck continue his reputation of being totally random and awesome, as he not only released a book of sheet music (Song Reader) consisting of 20 new songs, he even released not one, but three singles for the brand new Playstation game Sound Shapes. Is there anything Beck can’t do?

Ladyhawke – “Blue Eyes” {Pop/Rock}

There’s been a lot of talk surrounding Ladyhawke’s second album Anxiety; and although the album got mixed reviews in the press, this single helped keep the kiwi songstress in a lot of music headlines this past year. This is the first single off the album, which was also recently remixed by Jacques Renault; (listen to it via Soundcloud here).

Houndmouth – “Penitentiary”{Alt-Country/Classic Rock}

Now that The Civil Wars and Father John Misty have helped make alt-country “hip” again, it’s time to focus our attention on the ton of other similar artists that have been flying under the radar in the music world. Plus any dude that sounds like Bob Dylan deserves a good listen.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra – “Swim and Sleep (Like A Shark)” {Psych Rock}

Just when we were starting to get bummed about not being able to include any UMO tracks in our end-of-year lists, the Portland group goes and posts a brand new single whilst recording their second full-length album; (which will be released on February 5th). If you dig the tune then make sure you feast your eyes and ears on this bad boy.

ONUINU – “Happy Home” {Electropop}

The first time we heard this track we were instantly reminded of the awesomeness that is Neon Indian (AKA the brainchild of Alan Palomo), but since he didn’t release an album this year ONUINU (whose real name is Dorian Duvall) is the perfect substitute for our electro withdrawals.

White Lung – “Bag” {Punk}

Sure the Japandroids are great, but White Lung are proof that there’s a lot more awesome punk music to be discovered in the underground Vancouver music scene. Their previous releases helped them earn nominations from everyone that matters in the Canadian music industry (like Exclaim! and the Canadian Music Week Indie Awards), but maybe, just maybe their new (Sorry) will finally help make them a household name after six years in the biz.

Electric Guest – “This Head I Hold” {Pop/Soul}

Easily one of the most talked about tracks of the year, “This Head I Hold” helped put Electric Guest on the musical map this past year; (oh who are we kidding, we all know it’s because one of the band members is the younger brother of Jorma Taccone from The Lonely Island). But celebrity connections aside this track was easily one of the best to come out of 2012.

Craft Spells – “Burst” {New Wave/Rock}

Craft Spells is one of the many bands that gets overlooked by music critics, but once you give them a shot (and/or if you’re a fan of Joy Division) then you can truly grasp the genius behind the music. This track is off their brand new Gallery EP which was released via Captured Tracks.

Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – “Only In My Dreams” {Psych Pop}

We fell in love with Ariel as soon as we saw his pink mop heard the deliciously cheesy “Round and Round” back in 2010, and although he may not have the best albums he certainly has a ton of solid singles. Their sound may not be for everyone, but with a lot of time, patience and Avant-Garde love, this dude is bound to win you over.

Ami Saraiya & The Outcome – “I’m Pregnant” {Cabaret Pop}

Blame it on the buzz surrounding Fiona Apple’s latest album or the fact that people don’t recognize true talent when they hear it, but Ami Saraiya’s new album Soundproof Box has been left out of a ton of year-end lists, and it’s a damn shame. Saraiya is currently working on a stop-animation music video, and to help make it as epic as the one below we highly recommend that you donate to her fundraiser campaign here.

{PART 1} {PART 2} {PART 4} {PART 5}

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