Best of 2012: Music Edition, Part 2

I only have to look at these five songs to know that it’s been a good year for music. From toe-tapping indie rock to straight-up dance music, here are my favorite songs of 2012!

5. The Shins, “40 Mark Strasse”

I was driving home one January night when The Current suddenly made my day. They played “Simple Song,” a new tune by The Shins, and announced that a new album would be released in March. I like many songs on Port Of Morrow, but this tender ballad wins my heart. When it hits the chorus, I just want to hold up my arms and sway along.

4. The Decemberists, “Down By The Water”

The Decemberists will forever remind me of my college friends, in the best way possible. I don’t know why I hadn’t heard “Down By The Water” until this year, but it was probably another discovery on The Current. As is often the case with The Decemberists, I’m not entirely sure of the song’s subject, but it sucks me in all the same. I adore the instrumentation and sing-along vocals.

3. Anais Mitchell, “He Did”

When I agreed to see Anais Mitchell in concert with my old roommate Lisa, she shared some of her music so that I could prepare. Not only was the concert a wonderful experience (detailed here), but I became a bona fide Anais fan myself. Her album Young Man In America is loosely themed around manhood and fatherhood with surprisingly compelling results. While showcasing Anais’s ethereal voice and storytelling power, “He Did” also paints an absorbing portrait of a father figure.

2. Florence + The Machine, “Shake It Out”

“Shake It Out” is quintessential Florence + The Machine:  soaring, pounding, empowering. I bought the entire Ceremonials album, but I always found myself skipping back to this song. It’s an anthem for anyone who’s struggling to move on from hard times. The fact that it was played during a pivotal moment on How I Met Your Mother is just icing on the cake in my world. “It’s hard to dance with a devil on your back / So shake him off” is a simple sentiment, but beautifully true all the same.

1. Morgan Page feat. Tegan and Sara, “Body Work”

I usually try to avoid posting music videos because I don’t want to distract from the song. In the case of “Body Work” though, the video is such a big part of how I experience it. I watched and listened on YouTube over and over again until I finally bought it for myself. It makes me think of getting ready for a night out, hoping to see that special person. I love indie music as much as ever, but I also love dance music with heart. When one of my favorite bands decides to make both, it’s a good year for Courtney.

Tomorrow I will return with my top 5 movies of the year!

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