Over any year, the songs we download, get sent, obsess over, file into playlists, form the soundtrack to our lives’ distinct chunks. There’s more new music available now then there’s ever been, in torrents, floods. And while that makes for a limitless swim, we’re just as often drowning in it. Even the most open ear is going to miss out on something, get caught in their own sweet spot, not find the time to let catch on slowly. It’s not something we can easily fix, and despite dogged effort, there’s certainly some stuff I missed. But being truly definitive is next to impossible in the face of sheer volume, and of dubious utility anyway. The subjective choices we make as listeners, commenters, hold the only real intrigue.
So here are twenty-five songs that stuck with me this year. The list contains both bolts from the blue I replayed intensely from the first right-click, and those that snuck up on me, piggybacking on a complementary running order until they finally stuck. (I’m avoiding stuff from our best albums list, with a single exception.)
Your experience undoubtably varied, but here’s how 2012 sounded to me.