I now present the top 3 finalists for this year’s “Home” award. Appropriately named after Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros’ hit song of the same name — a song so good, it’s impossible to hate, even when it’s overplayed and overused.
In 3rd place, Of Monsters And Men with their hit “Little Talks”.
Having already conquered their homeland over the last couple of years, 2012 saw this six-piece from Iceland conquer North America and beyond. The band’s debut LP, My Head Is an Animal, was chock-full of infectious indie folk and pop, but no other track took over the airwaves like “Little Talks” did. I caught the tail end of the band’s set at this year’s Outside Lands festival in SF and they sounded great. Can’t wait to hear more these guys and gals.
♩Of Monsters And Men – Little Talks [from My Head Is An Animal]
[bonus] Of Monsters And Men – Little Talks (Passion Pit remix) [via soundcloud]
In 2nd place, Passion Pit’s “Take a Walk”.
Passion Pit’s second studio album, Gossamer, was one of my most anticipated releases of 2012. I’ve heard complaints that Gossamer is “repetitive” and not as “exciting” as Manners. I mostly disagree with the claims of repetitiveness — a big pet peeve of mine is when an artist or band releases the same record over and over again. I love this record and it totally lived up to my expectations. You’ll probably recognize the first single, “Take a Walk”, from a certain Taco Bell commercial. A lot of people bitched about this and I love how lead singer and keyboardist, Michael Angelakos, responded: “It’s not about promoting celebrities or giant corporations or anything like that. It’s just airtime…It’s an amazing opportunity. And, honestly, you take what you can get. I say no to about 90 percent of the offers, but we just want people to hear the music at end of the day.”
p.s. see Passion Pit live if you get a chance. I caught their entire set this year’s Outside Lands festival. So good.
♩Passion Pit – Take a Walk [from Gossamer]
And in 1st place, Kishi Bashi’s “Bright Whites”.
If you’ve been wondering why you want Windows 8, it’s because of Kishi Bashi and this commercial. Kishi Bashi is the solo project of singer, multi-instrumentalist, and songwriter K (Kaoru) Ishibashi. K is also one hell of a violinists and put’s those skills to good use as a touring member of Regina Spektor and of Montreal, as well as throughout this record. As Kishi Bashi, K self-recorded and self-produced his debut full-length, 151a, one of the best records of 2012. I was really torn between “I Am the Antichrist to You” and “Bright Whites”, with the latter barely beating out the former for the top spot. “Bright Whites” is one of those songs that always puts me in a good mood. I can’t help but smile and sing along whenever I hear it (even during the Windows 8 commercials).
♩Kishi Bashi – Bright Whites [from 151a]
[bonus] Check out the video for “Bright Whites”, which features some of Montreal buddies acting out 50+ famous idioms like “break a leg.”