BILLCS Music Blog’s Top 75 Songs of 2012 – #10 to #1

#10 Carlos Nóbrega “Music Makes You Lose Control”

Portugal’s Carlos Nóbrega is one of my 13 Performers To Watch For ’13 thanks to a steady stream of dance singles which tantalized my ears more with each song, stemming from his appearance on This Beat Is… Poptronik Volume One with “Pitiful”.  This culminated in the late summer release of “Music Makes You Lose Control” (MMYLC), a dance party rave-up that is so worthy of a big, big production number with lots of costumes!  Carlos wants to party but knows how to tease (“Electrify me with that body / You make me sweat like nobody”), and brings diverse influences from the likes of Britney Spears through to Daft Punk to the table.  Simply put, it’s a song that creates a whole lot of fun within its 3 minute timeframe without going over the top.  Look for Carlos’ album to surface in the New Year – I’ll certainly have the scoop when it happens.  MMYLC was #1 for one appearance in early November – post Hallowe’en blast 🙂

#9 Jeronimo “One Kiss”

“One Kiss” is one of those songs that triggers immediate reaction – and sends people to iTunes for purchase.  I’m no exception to that, and the song paved the way for the enjoyable album of the same name from Jeronimo, the young Brazil-born Dutch singer/actor with a super unique voice.  From the songwriting to the vocal to the music, “One Kiss” is a tiny perfect record in so many ways.  It’s a feel good song that makes you smile.  The music has traditional European folk elements, Jeronimo’s vocal is playful without being pleading, and you can learn the lyrics after one listen.  “One Kiss” is a case in point for European songs that don’t get promoted well outside of their countries of origin.  With the right songs, Jeronimo has huge potential to breakout worldwide, and he is someone to root for.  He himself is a charmer, his connection with his fan base is top notch (watch out for his tweet bombs on Twitter 😉 ), and his song “It’s A Fun Thing” is even the Cartoon Network’s signature song in Southeast Asia and Australia/New Zealand.  Watch the video for “One Kiss” below and don’t tell me that by the end you aren’t smiling.

#8 Eric Saade “Backseat”

“Backseat” is the third song and second album track from Saade Volume 2 to grace this list.  Eric Saade is no stranger to the list, as both “Popular” and “Made Of Pop” ranked in my Top 10 of 2011 (“Popular” was #1).  I’m anxious to hear more songs from his upcoming fourth album, but I’m still wrapped up in the last two 😉  “Backseat” is danceable pop with grinding and rocking guitar sounds similar to what we were given a taste of on Volume 1 with the odd but infectious “Killed By A Cop”.  Eric certainly has the ladies wrapped around his finger with the (somewhat unintended?) suggestive lyrics which probably prevented this from being a single.  “Backseat” shows Eric Saade at his most intense and driven, and he continues to display more sides of his talents with each release.

#7 Bright Light Bright Light “Waiting For The Feeling”

Bright Light Bright Light’s album Make Me Believe In Hope is popping up on more year end Best Of album lists than any that I’ve heard this year.  It’s essentially Rod Thomas’ greatest hits of songs that he’s been releasing since 2009.  Also no stranger to this list (“A New Word To Say” and “Love Part II” were in my Top 10 of 2010), Rod has a way of finding moments in time to write and sing about that are sometimes within relationships or even after them.  He seizes romance, where it can be found.  If it can’t be found, he asks why, and sometimes offers his take on it.  It makes for a compelling listen and an experience like no other.  “Waiting For The Feeling” is one of my absolute favourites by BLx2, and it held court for a good part of the Spring at the top of my chart (4 appearances = 8 weeks).  When not performing, Rod keeps busy DJing in London, remixing (“Stupid Mistake” by Darren Hayes was one of his projects), and often offering up mixtapes and thoughtful mashups for free.  Make Me Believe In Hope truly opened up the doors to the world for Bright Light Bright Light in 2012.  I just know the world will embrace his next set of songs in a bigger way when they arrive.

#6 Zedd featuring Matthew Koma “Spectrum”

“Spectrum” kind of came out of nowhere this past summer as a result of teaming German DJ/producer Zedd (Anton Zaslavski) with New York singer-on-the-rise Matthew Koma (one of my 13 Performers To Watch For ’13).  It turned out to be a dream collaboration, with Matthew’s romantic and boyish vocal, heartfelt lyrics (“We’ll run where lights won’t chase us / Hide where love can save us / I will never let you go”), and production awash in layers of sound that all achieve a fine balance like no other song this year.  Add a video with an alien love story with Taryn Manning as the love interest, rave reviews for Zedd’s album Clarity, and a #1 placing for “Spectrum” as Billboard’s Dance Club Play hit of 2012, and lift off was achieved for both talents.  Zedd apparently is working on Lady GaGa’s upcoming ARTPOP release while Matthew’s album Propaganda is due in early 2013.

#5 Eric Saade featuring Dev “Hotter Than Fire”

The only single release from Saade Volume 2 (which was #1 on my chart for three appearances – 6 weeks) finds Eric paired up with American singer/rapper/songwriter Dev, which helped give the Swedish singer some international starpower behind his music.  While there voices are good counterparts to each other, “Hotter Than Fire” itself is a strong enough song that could have been a worldwide hit if there had been more focus on achieving that status.  Eric’s playful and sexy vocal certainly sent enough hearts aflutter, and the singer marketed himself well to the Nordic countries with continuous touring through most of 2012.  So the next step has to be a worldwide profile.  “Hotter Than Fire” also benefitted from having two videos – I’m still kind of partial to the original, which I believe was shot in one take with some decent effects.

#4 River Tiber “Someday”

While “Symmetry” (#11) was the first song that introduced me to River Tiber, it was “Someday” (which was #1 on my chart for three appearances – 6 weeks) that drew me in to their album From Now On.  While River Tiber has many influences in its music which stem from jazz to classical to experimental electronica, the incredible vocal and guitar playing on “Someday” by Tommy Paxton-Beesley just reminded me so much of Jeff Buckley’s work, which continued to prevail throughout the album unlike other performers whose Buckley-esque sound can usually only be heard on one song.  But Tommy and his band prove that they have so much to offer, with new album Synapses out tomorrow.  River Tiber is one of my 13 Performers To Watch For ’13, and probably the one for which I have the highest expectations for whatever Tommy and band can achieve.  “Someday” is one of those songs that has you in its corner from its first note to its last (in this case, it’s a well placed last breath).

#3 Rune RK & DATABOY “Memorize Me”

I was so excited when I first found out “Memorize Me” was seeing an official release (after hearing it in the summer of 2011) that I put it on my chart later that year… but had to remove it when release was delayed (only songs that are officially released in some way can appear on my chart – one of my few rules J ).  But that release date did come, and the song re-entered the chart at #1 for 4 appearances (8 weeks) for the Danish producer/DJ who brought us the original “Calabria” back in 2002, pairing up with outstanding Austin electronica whizzes and vocalists, DATABOY.  “Memorize Me” is a dazzling club track whose music makes you visualize sandy beaches of Ibiza and whose lyrics weave a mesmerizing spell (the song even has kind of a commanding, eerie undertone) thanks to DATABOY’s interpretation.  Shortly after official release came a provocative video for the song where two children were let loose (seemingly on their own) in a city to behave and act only as kids do, even if it meant finding their way through a Pride parade and a concert – we are all kids at heart.

#2 Chris Wallace “Remember When (Push Rewind)”

“Remember When (Push Rewind)” is the purest of pop songs that I heard in 2012.  It sends me back to my Top 40 days in the ‘70’s when classic hits were all about songs to which you could relate in some ways.  It literally came out of nowhere, on an independent record label, by singer/songwriter Chris Wallace, who had some success as the leader of the group The White Tie Affair (which got to open for Lady GaGa on tour among its successes).  You’ve read it enough already in this Top 10 listening, but Chris Wallace has one of those voices that is simply like no other, it is highly recognizable.  He can sing anything and I’m sure must have offers to be a featured vocalist on some songs.  He’s also a talented songwriter as the breadth of his songs on his debut album Push Rewind easily showcases.  That album has a few more hits up its sleeve.  But getting back to “Remember When” – it is THE ‘song that could’ for 2012.  It has already become a Top 30 radio hit in the US and I’m waiting for the day in 2013 when it will arrive on Billboard’s Hot 100.  The song also came packaged with an excellent video that shows off Chris’ on camera personality as well as the song’s story.  “Remember When” was #1 on my chart for 4 appearances (8 weeks) during the summer.

#1  DATABOY “Dreams Are Gold”

 “Dreams Are Gold” is my favourite song of 2012.  It’s the title song from the debut album by the Austin duo which comprises Adam Bailey and Cameron Maxwell.  I had the opportunity to see the duo in a thus far rare concert appearance in New York in April 2011 (but somehow did not get to meet them!).  Since then, their songs have appeared frequently in my chart, with the essential summer song “Just Once” my #4 song of 2011.  Dreams Are Gold is a collection of all of their songs released since 2010, plus several gems that they held back for inclusion such as “Genius”, “Unfriend”, and “Shoplift Your Love” – these guys pick great themes and write sometimes very direct lyrics that might seem abrupt at first, but this is part of what they’re all about.  What I love, love, love most about DATABOY is their ability to articulate situations to which anyone can relate, and set it to music to which you can dance.  And that’s why I adore “Dreams Are Gold”.  The song is about moving on after the end of what seemed to be a good relationship.  The target of the song is accused of being a “dream, dream, stealer, stealer”, but we’re not to dwell on that (“But I’m not gonna lose sleep about it”… “Won’t cry on my pillow”…) because hopes and dreams cannot be crushed or dismissed – they are GOLD, so go out and have a great time.  I totally subscribe to that thinking so “Dreams Are Gold” is WOW in just so many ways for me.  While the song had two appearances (4 weeks) at #1, its entire chart run was spent in my Top 10.

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