Monday, 3 December 2012

Top 112 Songs of 2012 - #100 - 91

The Jungle Giants!

#100. Transgender
by Crystal Castles

Nothing can live up to promise...

Crystal Castles are the group I shouldn’t like, but do. In fact, I love everything they do. This might have a lot to do with their general “I don’t give a fuck” attitudes. Do you know what Alice is saying? I don’t. But I don’t give a fuck. (Katie Langley)

If there's one group that continues to play to their strengths, it's Crystal Castles. 'Transgender' is all kinds of dark and unsettling, but it still makes you want to throw on a pair of those ridiculous MC Hammer-ish raver pants and get your dance on. They know what works for them and I hope they never change. They're just too good. (Matt Bond)  

There are thirty nine words in this song, but six of them are some of my favourite Crystal Castles lyrics; “nothing can live up to promise”. Crystal Castles album III defied this lyric and is everything one would come to expect from them. In Transgender, Alice Glass sings every word in a way only Alice Glass can; spooky, dark, brooding and a little bit ominous, with Ethan Kath’s layered and somewhat broken sounding synths and beats keeping the mood nice and eerie, this is Crystal Castles at their intimidating best. (Jo Michelmore)

#99. She's A Riot
by The Jungle Giants (AUS)


When you're with me you won't ever be so lonely.

Brisbane-based indie rockers, The Jungle Giants have a knack for writing catchy tunes that get stuck in your head and refuse to budge. Have you listened to 'She's A Riot'? No? Give it a go and you'll be bopping along to it in your head for days and weeks to come. (Matt Bond)  

This is the opening track from The Jungle Giants EP of the same name and She Look Like A Riot is perfect indie pop. Starting with a simple guitar riff and a hand clap, there’s no way this could go wrong. The hand clapping continues throughout and everyone knows just how much I love a handclap (that would be very, very, very much) so of course I love this track! Not only that, even though its inspiration was an ex-girlfriend of vocalist Sam Hales, it’s happy and bouncy and incredibly catchy. Just to make me like it a little more, they’re from my hometown, which makes me only slightly biased.  (Jo Michelmore)

It passes the dance test. I like it. It’s upbeat. There are fun guitars. Yes, that’s a technical term. (Katie Langley)

#98. Low High
by Ella Hooper (AUS)

Who knows, who knows,
The emptiness I find.

There is nothing more that I would love then for Killing Heidi to get back together and deliver unto me some sweet, sweet post-grunge pop that made me fall in love with them at the end of the 90s. You know what though? An Ella Hooper solo album is well overdue and the new direction she's taken with her sound, as heard on 'Low High,' has completely won me over. If this is the new Ella Hooper, bring on a whole album of songs as good as this! The dreads are long gone (they have been for quite a while) and indie hipster is in. She seems made for the role of indie chanteuse, wacky and loveable dance moves and all. Bringing in Graveyard Train for some call and response is just icing on the red velvet cupcake that is 'Low High.' Jo... can you make some red velvet cupcakes please?  (Matt Bond)

It’s hard to imagine this is the same cute alt-girl who sang all those awesome pop/rock songs with Killing Heidi twelve years ago now. A completely different all grown up Ella Hooper, Low High was just the first fabulous taste of what’s to come on her solo debut In Tongues. I loved this song from the very first listen and still like to throw it on repeat every now and then. It’s a much more reserved Ella than we’re used to, but it shows her ability as an artist to know light and dark, low and high (yep, I just said that). As well as that, the clip is absolutely stunning, one of my faves for the year. (Jo Michelmore)

Before I listened to the song I decided I love it. I mean, who doesn’t have a soft spot for Killing Heidi? Growing up Ella was that super cool rock chick I wished I could be. There’s less of a grunge element to this song which showcases just how beautiful Ella’s voice is. (Katie Langley)

#97. This Isn't Our Parade
by Santigold


I can hear you now, I can hear you calling.

The thing is, this isn’t even my favourite track from Master Of My Make Believe, but whenever the song finishes I’m left with that “and I say hey hey hey hey” for a long while. If this isn’t even my favourite and it’s this good, imagine just how good she gets. Awesome. (Jo Michelmore) 

I’m grooving from the moment this song starts, which only means good things. It also makes me feel like I’m travelling through an African jungle. Really. Is that a xylophone I hear? Yesssssssss. (Katie Langley)

The somber mood that 'This Isn't Our Parade' creates seems so distant from everything Santigold has represented up until now. I love it. There's a point during the chorus just before she sings the title that gets me good and sad each and every time. Who would have though a Santigold song could do that? (Matt Bond) 

#96. Little Talks
Of Monsters and Men


Some days I don't know if I am wrong or right,
Your mind is playing tricks on you my dear.

Of Monsters And Men are a welcome change from the norm that the world has come to expect from Iceland. More Edward Sharpe than Bjork, Little Talks is a rollicking good time, so catchy, so fun AND there’s the classic call and respond sing-along lyrics “don't listen to a word I say, hey! The screams all sound the same, hey!” It’s not possible to not move to this one when you hit play. So looking forward to hearing more and more from Iceland, especially their monsters and their men.  (Jo Michelmore)

One of the first songs I really fell in love with at the start of the year, 'Little Talks' has slowly burned its way into the charts and deservedly so. You can invest in the back and forth verses and the sing and dance-along chorus is what all good pop songs are made of. Stunning video too. Hopefully Iceland's next big thing wont be a flash-in-the-pan act and can follow this up with some more big hits. (Matt Bond)

It starts out like a bit of a sea shanty. And there’s some “oi”-ing in the chorus which helps make it super catchy. Hang on, I think they are actually singing about a ship. Pass me the Rum, matey. (Katie Langley)

#95. No Words We Need
by Ma Polaine's Great Decline

No Words We Need by MaPolainesGreatDecline

One night for a heartbeat,
I hear it gently speak. 

I don't think I have any words either. (Katie Langley)

I remember earlier this year being absolutely astounded when Matt first had me listening to Ma Polaine’s Great Decline. What was this? I felt like I was transported to a western saloon, a 40’s jazz bar or somewhere in the deep south of the USA. I couldn’t comprehend that these were sounds coming from London and I guess that’s the beauty of music. It doesn’t matter where you’re from, if you get something, you get it. Ma Polaine prove how much soul they have and how much music they get in No Words We Need, with Beth Packers vocal just divine and the guitars calling from another world. This is music more people need to hear. This is beauty in song.  (Jo Michelmore)

Beth Packer has one of the most breathtaking voices to emerge this year. Each time I hear her singing on the soulful country ballad 'No Words We Need,' I have to stop, take a moment and enjoy every second of it. Packer's voice allows for no less. (Matt Bond) 

#94. If I Were You
by Timothy Carroll (AUS)

If I were you I'd buy a horse,
The colour of the rain.

If songs could be weather, this song would be a beautiful storm, at night, far in the distance, rolling over an ocean full of waves. It would be lightning and thunder, it would be devastating at its core, with cold pelting rain and it would be a show, nature at its most beautiful best. Love. (Jo Michelmore)

It's not easy for more seasoned artists to create such an engaging atmosphere on a song, but Carroll does it seemingly with ease. You'd think he had been in the industry for decades, not years. 'If I Were You' builds upon itself throughout, drawing you further and further into Carroll's world. I'm looking forward to hearing more from him when second album When The Storms Would Come is released... next year? (Matt Bond)

#93. Six Months In A Cast
by The Trouble With Templeton (AUS)


Didn't want to let you snap so,
Spent six months in a cast oh,
Just to be safe.

Coldplay are pretty good, yeah? (Katie Langley) 

Needs more Bettie. Other than that, there's nothing else to fault with 'Six Months In A Cast.' The video raises some questions though. Like, what did they use for the fake blood? And why did his blood shoot up and not forward through the neck? Oh, and... why didn't you use more Bettie? (Matt Bond) 

#92. Daze of the Dead
by Bankrupt Billionaires (AUS)


Nowhere to hide, scared for my life, losing my mind.

A cute girl rapping + a horn section + a catchy beat + quirky lyrics + zombies (x heaps of fun) = Daze Of The Dead. Bankrupt Billionaires are an equation all of their own, I’m not sure of it all yet, but it involves a lot of dancing, some incredible vocals, a lot of enthusiasm and it equals awesome. Can’t wait to hear more in 2013.  (Jo Michelmore)

They had me at “zombie”. Actually, wait, Matt had me a “zombie” when he rapped the lyrics to me before Bankrupt Billionaires set at Bigsound. It’s a bit cheesy, but there’s no denying that the girl can rap and sing. So can Matt. Maybe K-Tizzle could come on tour some time? (Katie Langley) 

K-Tizzle is right; I am an amazing rapper named Coffee. Keep your eyes out for my debut Christmas themed rap song, 'All I Want For Christmas Is Some Big Bootie Bitches' featuring Matt Long aka Diamonds. It won't be as amazing as 'Daze of the Dead,' but no Australian made hip-hop song was. Kel On Earth led Bankrupt Billionaires through a total winner here. Next year, I want these guys to be showing 360 and friends how it's done at the ARIA Awards. (Matt Bond) 

#91. Holdin On
by Flume (AUS)


I'm a hip shaking lover, I love you.

I freakin’ loved this song. It made me nod and pop and generally flop around like an uncoordinated white woman. It’s got a beat that’s hard not to groove to. My only complaint is that it’s all over with way too quickly. I. Need. More. (Katie Langley) 

Some acts receive a lot of attention quickly for reasons that are hard to identify and then, minutes later, they’re gone. Here’s my prediction that Flume will not be one of those acts. Holdin On is electronic magic, such soulful vocals and fabulous hip hop beats all combined to create one of my fave electro songs of the year.  (Jo Michelmore)

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