Hello friends, and welcome to the official start of Listmas 2012! It’s been a long time and a lot of songs coming, but we’ve finally made it to that crucial end of the year point where we can look back on the music from the last 11 or so months and place the ultimate judgement upon it. Then we’ll forget all about it weeks later when 2013 starts to consume our brains. Some songs stay with you more than others, just as some songs stand out and make you question what you knew or thought you knew about music as a whole. Selecting my Top 50 Songs of 2012 was no easy task; in fact, I find it much harder to do than selecting my Top 50 Albums of the Year. It’s because albums are collections of songs, and judging 40-60 minutes of music is easier than judging 3-4 minutes. Still, I felt very strongly about a number of tracks this year, so much so that I’ve created a list of 50 more “runners up” that I feel are worth listening to if you haven’t already. I didn’t rank the runners up, but simply placed them in alphabetical order. It makes for a remarkably exciting playlist that I hope you’ll listen to. As for my official Top 50 Songs, that starts in the here and now, and each is assigned a number and official rank. We’ll be doing this 10 songs at a time, one set each day through Friday. That said, please enjoy Faronheit’s Top 50 Songs of 2012: #50-41.

50. Of Monsters and Men – Little Talks
This song and this band seemed like they were everywhere in 2012. I can understand the appeal, as they fall into a neo-folk and indie pop revival that’s taken over mainstream culture this year, with Mumford & Sons leading the charge. If you can have a strong, addictive hook and manage to not annoy me after I’ve heard your song a billion times, you must be doing something right.
[Spotify] [Soundcloud] [YouTube]

49. The Lumineers – Ho Hey
The Lumineers deserve to be lumped in with Of Monsters and Men along with Phillip Phillips as “breakout stars” of the year. This song has been in more commercials than I care to count or acknowledge in 2012, and somehow my toe always winds up tapping whenever that familiar tambourine hits. I like this band far more than I’m willing to admit, and perhaps this song as well.
[Spotify] [Soundcloud] [YouTube]

48. The Walkmen – Heaven
This may not be in the Top 5 of all-time greatest Walkmen songs, but it almost definitely ranks in the Top 10. It functions the way most great Walkmen songs do, which is with a distinct air of desperation. There’s a great rhythm and almost upbeat melody to what’s ultimately singer Hamilton Leithauser’s pleading but somewhat insincere cries in an attempt to save a doomed relationship.
[Spotify] [MP3] [Soundcloud] [YouTube]

47. Tanlines – All of Me
Light. Airy. Fun. Summery. Extremely danceable. Synth-tastic. Handclaps and love traps. These are all great descriptors for what this song encapsulates. I’m hesitant to call it brilliant, but it’s such a spectacular distraction when you need something to really push a party to the next level.
[Spotify] [MP3] [Soundcloud] [YouTube]

46. Tennis – Origins
When I first heard this song, I was driving and came into it a few seconds in. I had no idea what band it was, only that I was incredibly compelled to find out. Turns out it was Tennis, and to me this sounded like a great evolution from their previous record Cape Dory. The lush girl-group harmonies and strong hook made it one of my favorite pleasant surprises of 2012.
[Spotify] [MP3] [Soundcloud] [YouTube]

45. Blur – Under the Westway
Speaking of 2012 surprises, I wasn’t sure Blur would ever release another song, let alone do some touring. But they did both in 2012, and this song was one of two they birthed into the world as part of their performance connected to the Olympics. It’s a slower Blur track, but with its melancholy orchestral pop it represents a different side of the band that we haven’t really ever heard before. If they ever do decide to make another record, this would be a fascinating start point.
[Spotify] [Soundcloud] [YouTube]

44. Crystal Castles – Plague
It’s gotten to the point where you pretty much know what to expect from a Crystal Castles song and album, but surprisingly it doesn’t diminish their power as much as you’d think. This song is great proof that this duo does a dark electro rager better than just about anyone else.
[Spotify] [MP3] [Soundcloud] [YouTube]

43. Django Django – Default
This song is barely over three minutes, yet it does more in that time than most songs can do with double that amount. It starts with the stomped percussion, then the glitched and chopped vocals, leading into harmonies and a hook that grabs hold and won’t let go. You could listen to this over a dozen times and still not figure out all the elements that went into it. To me, that’s incentive to hit that play button again.
[Spotify] [Soundcloud] [YouTube]

42. Electric Guest – This Head I Hold
The way the piano and percussion sounds on this song instantly gives me visions of the 1920s for some reason. I imagine men in tuxedos with top hats and flapper women with long necklaces and scarves tied around their hair all getting down on a dance floor. Mainly though, even if it is pretty standard in terms of verse-chorus-verse, they’re all catchy and fun and make you want to dance. Isn’t that essentially what you want in a song?
[Spotify] [Soundcloud] [YouTube]

41. Dirty Projectors – About to Die
This song is so atypical you could call it a typical Dirty Projectors song. Weird yet somehow great percussion (handclaps being a big part of that), the girl group harmonies, Dave Longstreth’s yelp in that dynamic hook of a chorus, not to mention the string section that shows up in the bridge all help make this my favorite song off their record Swing Lo Magellan. It’s prominent placement in Longstreth’s short film Hi Custodian didn’t hurt either.
[Spotify] [YouTube]