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Thursday, December 6

Vinnie the Intern #31: Top 50 Songs of 2012 (20-11)

20. Grimes - "Oblivion" - Visions 
Similar to Bjork, her voice may be off putting to some, but Grimes is a vocalist that grows on you. An icy synth lead that seems almost broken, with her child-like register of vocal range is either going to be seen as irrefutably catchy or blisteringly annoying. If it is the former rather than the latter, you'll get why this is one of the most unique songs released this year.

19. Squeamish - "Chief Casket" - Hammerhead EP
"Chief Casket" off of Squeamish's Hammerhead EP is a track that has it all: a tinge of math-rock influence to offset the obvious pop-punk aesthetics, three very different vocalists that blend well together, and great lyrics. Their entire Hammerhead EP has been an album I put on quite a bit due to the variety in such a way that you could listen to all three vocalists intently and find something new about each different verse.

18. Death Grips - "I've Seen Footage" - The Money Store
If Salt-N-Peppa had MC Ride in their group, "I've Seen Footage" essential could have been written in 1988.  In line with songs such as "Push It," "I've Seen Footage" is one of the most hip-hop releases that Death Grips have catalogue. Defying any expectations, Death Grips can be more like Public Enemy than they are perceived. "I've seen footage, I stay noided" is one of their most catchy choruses, as well.

17. Cloud Nothings - "Cut You" - Attack on Memory
Since Cloud Nothings debut album, they have slowly been working their way towards a darker sound. The stark preview of great "No Future, No Past" may have been a red herring to how the Albini engineered Attack on Memory would sound. It wasn't too far away though. "Cut You" is lyrically one of the darker tracks on this album with a chorus of "I miss you 'cause I need damage, I need something I can hurt." Dylan Baldi has grown immensely as a songwriter and now that Cloud Nothings are more than just a bedroom pop experiment, the possibilities seem that the are endless.

16. Captain Murphy - "The Prisoner" - Duality
Captain Murphy's Duality was an outstanding debut. This may be due to the fact that Flying Lotus (who is also Captain Murphy) knows how to put together a well done record, but here he showcases his impeccable mic skills. He actually exposed himself as Captain Murphy at the first show during the end of "The Prisoner." Sidenote: Hear that radio interference towards the end? It was scrambled due to it releasing the biggest clue: "Rockin' Until the Quiet Comes," a reference to the new Flying Lotus album.

15. Frank Ocean - "Lost" - Channel Orange
Channel Orange was a monumental occasion for Frank Ocean. This Odd Future affiliate who generally transcends the label, he has grown as a vocalist and songwriter since his mixtape Nostalgia, Ultra. "Lost" is Frank Ocean at his catchiest. The song, presumptuously speaks about selling drugs (but it may even be life, as the track ends with "Life is the substance"), getting lost in the lifestyle and corrupting the ones you love. 

14. Dirty Projectors - Just From Chevron - Swing Lo Magellan
David Longstreth's virtuosity as guitarist is one of the reasons that the twisted pop tunes the Dirty Projectors put out year after year are so successful. With adding hand claps and vocals from Amber Coffman, the sweet sounds blend well into the gruff edges of his vocals. With all of the sweetness in this track, it  does not keep the best moment from being Longstreth's yell/groan right before the chorus. There is so much emotion and you can't help but feel it.

13. WHY? - "Sod in the Seed" - Sod in the Seed - EP
WHY? jumped back from their three year absence in full force with "Let's review some recent facts..." Yoni Wolf triumphantly speaks about his new purchases and his "first world curse" over a repetitive, but great woodblock heavy beat. After a detour with Eskimo Snow, WHY? have returned to familiar territory with an indie-hip-hop track.

12. Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - "Only In My Dreams" - Mature Themes
This shimmery pop tune shows Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti have refined themselves as songwriters. One of their catchiest songs yet in their long activity, the real standout "Only In My Dreams" is Ariel Pink's songwriting and vocal ability. It is moments where Mature Themes actually owns up to its title and this is one of the moment.

11. Benoit & Sergio - "New Ships" - New Ships - EP
Feel like dancing off your ass in a dizzying display? Benoit & Sergio's intoxicating "New Ships" is for you. The Daft Punk indulged beat carries some very dark lyrics, "so many nooses around my neck as I stare at the sea waiting for new ships" which answer very little questions making it a perplexing, dancable "thinker." 

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