Songs. Leaked, released, shared, stolen, blogged, bought… There was a lot of them that rattled around our skulls in 2012.
Too many to count, right? WRONG. Out of the hundreds of entries (Little Boots? Really?) these were the tracks that were playing on loop for you.
Disclosure’s “Latch” (feat Sam Smith) came in at first place. Rightly so—it was a huge year for the young London brothers Guy and Howard Lawrence. Hailing from South London, they grew up with the UKG of London’s pirate aerials clearly ringing around their bedrooms. For some their precise, blocky beats and yearning peaktime sensibility—exemplified in the straight 4/4 pop of “Latch”—seemed a little too clean, but their aspirations beyond the underground meant that their songs hit hard. As if house and garage was ever about humorless neckbeards comparing 12-inches anyway…
It was a close one, but Grimes’ “Oblivion” comes in second in your choice of Best Songs. From burrito restaurants, hipster art parties to soundtracking Tumblr p0rn, this song was everywhere in 2012. A modern classic and one of those desperately weird songs that still, somehow, own the label of pop song with quirky-haired aplomb.
When Barcelona producer John Talabot released Fin in early February there was much talk that it could well be turning up in the best albums polls some ten months down the line. Sometimes you just know. “Destiny”, like the rest of the album, the pleasure is in its slow-release grooves, throbbing synths and Balearic sensibility. Music for sunsets or sunrises, wherever limbs are worm and bodies are close and skies are pink.
Burial’s “Kindred” was received with praise that bordered on feverishness back in February (what a month for music!) Finally, the enigmatic hauntologist had refreshed his template and broken out of the motions that had threatened to bury him in ever-diminishing returns. It opens with redemptive synths, crackling static and whisps of some vocal transmission forever undecipherable before plunging into its ceramic, syncopated beats that sound like they’re playing out to an empty warehouse club; the atmosphere amplified by the promise of what will be, or the memory of what was—it’s all the same in Burial’s interior world. Loaded silences, call and response vocals and that swinging, swingeing beat. Eleven minutes later you want, no need to hear it all over again. Burial would have undoubtedly topped this chart if the vote hadn’t been split between all three tracks on the Kindred EP.
“Numb” from Andy Stott‘s excellent Luxury Problems completes our top five. It shows Stott pushing his degraded, corroded house music to the point of disintegration. At points it seems that the only thing holding “Numb” together is the spiritual current implicit in those exquisite murmurs and the traces of loping momentum set in motion who knows when.
Electronic Beats Readers’ Poll 2012 — Best Song:
1. Disclosure feat. Sam Smith – Latch
2. Grimes – Oblivion
3. John Talabot feat. Pional – Destiny
4. Burial – Kindred
5. Andy Stott – Numb
6. Burial – Loner
7. Burial – Ashtray Wasp
8. Pachanga Boys – Time
9. Le1f – Wut
10. Unicorn Kid – I Need You
The second prize—dinner with the EB Staff at their headquarters in Berlin—goes to Mario Krnic, from Zagreb, Croatia.
Your favorite album of 2012 will follow on Monday, December 31st. Find all poll results in here.
Published December 29, 2012. Words by Louise Brailey.