Soundbunny's Top Five Singles of 2012 - Articles - Soundblab

Soundbunny's Top Five Singles of 2012

by Rich Morris Rating: Release Date:

OK, you know the drill. You're gonna get loads of these from now till Jan 1 2013. This is mine. It goes in ascending order. Got it? Good. List begins!

The 2 Bears - 'Work' (Be Strong)

Not the greatest track off the debut album by Hot Chip's Joe Goddard and furry cockerney love-bundle Raf Daddy, 'Work' is still pretty damn nifty, which says something about the quality of Be Strong. Built on a meaty 90s house piano riff, this ode to striving recalls New Order as well as retro-house divas Hercules & Love Affair, if they came from Saarf Larrnden and were fond of holding court in greasy spoon cafes and slurping sugary tea.

Half of a split-single with Shrag (more on them below), 'Locusts' by Athens, GA band Tunabunny is a sultry, smoky slice of riot grrrl full of impeccably drawled, echo-slapped vocals and razor-wire guitar. It might sound a little slight the first time you listen but, be warned, it's bloody addictive.

Shrag - 'Devastating Bones' (Canines)

My favourite track from this year's Canines, 'Devastating Bones' is another grower which, once it's got you by the sex-bits, won't let go. With lyrics which are by turns funny, weird, intriguing, disturbing and just a little filthy, this is an uncompromising stomp-along which spotlights the harder edge to Shrag's sound. However, for all its grit and snarl, the word 'romp' feels pretty apt, in the best possible way.

Bear in Heaven - 'The Reflection of You' (I Love You, It's Cool)

A gorgeous, shimmering thing, 'The Reflection of You' showcases Bear in Heaven's soft, sensitive side. The gleaming synths and tumbling drums are perfectly topped by Jon Philpot's fleshless, yearning vocal, like a spectre experiencing lust for the first time. The moment near the end when he pleads "Dance with me" while his voice pitch-shifts down a few octaves is one of the freakiest/sexiest/saddest musical moments of 2012; Prince for heartbroken indie kids.

Pussy Riot - 'Putin Lights Up the Fires'

In any other year, Bear in Heaven might have been number one, and 2012 hasn't been amazing for singles anyway. But in all honesty, there's only one that could be my number one this year, only one that really matters. 'Putin Lights Up the Fires' immediately trumps all the others for a few reasons: the real events which spawned it, which are as disturbing and depressing as they are inspiring and delightful; the fearless women who wrote and performed it, who are nothing less than heroes of our age; the fact that, against all odds, Pussy Riot put punk and riot grrrl back in the international spotlight; that they're making rock music that's energised, intelligent and politically engaged, which, despite the dark times we live in, almost no one else is doing, and those who are doing it aren't doing it while wearing multi-colour balaclavas and tights.

This is no po-faced Thom Yorke-style hand-wringing exercise with lyrics which smugly dance around a subject that effects real people. This is proper, hardcore, insurrectionist, revolutionary music made by people who live what they sing about, who are brave enough to suffer for it. Crucially, you can also whack it up loud and headbang like a motherfucker to it. No, I know I didn't get a proper release, I know it's not on a label. I don't care. In 2012, if you want music that matters as much as life itself, it's Pussy Riot or nothing. Except maybe 'Gangnam Style'.

Comments (4)

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Nice list Rich! Hadn't even heard the 2 Bears track, not usually my kinda thing but it really reminds me of those early New Order tracks (like 'Confusion')....The Shrag track is also awesome!

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Thanks! I really recommend The 2 Bears' album. It's a big blast of sunshine.

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