I can’t think of any better way to say see ya to 2012 than by looking back to the great music this area has put out this past year. There were so many fantastic tunes that came to life this past year that it was really hard to compile a top ten list. The songs that are on this list are simply my favorite songs from 2012. Songs that I think are some of the best ones out there period. Not just here locally but anywhere you can press a play button. I recommend getting not just all of these songs but any songs, any local artist puts out. Our musical brothers and sisters in the Hampton Roads area have put their blood, sweat and tears into their craft simply to have the honor to play them before you. So the least you can do is to go out and listen to the words and songs of your neighbors and SUPPORT THEM. Now onto my Top Ten Local Songs Of 2012 (Note: These songs are in no particular order)
Over The Ocean – Arguing Philosophies
From the opening bass line, the hairs on your arm stand up and you know you’re in for an intense musical journey. The guys performed the song when they were our LMF guests back in March and I immediately loved this song. Intense and soulful with a dash of catchiness, Arguing is a must for your playlist. You can grab the song in single form on iTunes and it will be including in their new record, “Be Given To The Soil” set for release later this year.
Revery – Make It Right
This tune was my mainstay song for the summer. Lightly toned down from their hard rock sound of their widely successful “Avarice & Absolution” record, Make It Right makes it right for Revery. The irresistible guitar intro from Mike Doyle makes you want to instantly turn up the volume and play this song very loudly. Every component of this song works, from the low end, to the catchy melody to Mike channeling his inner Richie Sambora for the solo, Make It Right could easily be a hit on any radio station, any where. They are currently in the studio working on their second full length record and I’m pretty sure Make It Right will be on it. You can check out the song here.
Cassidy & Tess – Mystery Man
The symphonic intro immediately draws you in then the dueling vocals take you away. A simple, yet beautifully mood setting song, it’s hard to believe that these powerful lyrics and voices come from a pair of teenagers. I see a very bright musical future for Cassidy & Tess. You can pick up their self-titled EP in iTunes.
The Dahus – Urgency
It’s almost like a reflex but your foot starts tapping as soon as this song plays. The duopoly of the year, Larry Frame and Drew Orton always make music magic in their live shows and it shows on record in Urgency. Fast paced, fun and majestic, you can grab your very own copy in iTunes or catch a Dahus show and Larry might even burn you a copy right there. They are also in the studio working on their full length record and it’s definitely a record worth looking out for.
Kishi Bashi – Manchester
I can’t say enough good things about Kishi and the music he makes. His album, 151a, is unlike no other and Manchester is the song that introduced the world to his musical wizardry. ”I haven’t been this alive in a long time” is a lyric that strikes a cord with the entire record and it’s a must have in your collection. The way K plays the violin reminds me of the way Eddie Van Halen plays the guitar. He plays it like no one else has ever played it before and it works. Pick up a digital copy on iTunes or grab a vinyl version at kishibashi.com
Skye Zentz – Fool’s World
Skye’s record, Bird Heart, is one of my favorites records and I knew I had to have a song off of it to make my list. Fool’s World is just a great song off of a great album. It’s a simply sunset song with a throwback beachy feel to it. I recommend grabbing a copy of Bird Heart and listening to it on a summer roadtrip like a did. You’ll easily love it and have a little bit of difficulty in picking out your favorite. Grab it on iTunes.
Broken Mouth Annie – Fixing To Fit
A great song off of their uber great homespun, Americana record “The Frustration King”, everything about Fixing To Fit is fantastic. From the melody, to the fiddle, to Anson’s vocals. Fixing To Fit along with the rest of The Frustration King is a guaranteed to get along with all of you other records in your collection. Grab a CD at one of their shows or get it on iTunes.
D*Nik – Day and Night
I’m not a club going, dance party kind of guy but this tune makes me want to get on the floor. An awesome beat and arraignment composed by Duane Smith along with a sultry vocal from Nikia Madry-Smith, Day and Night is just an example of the musical genius that is the Smith duo. Their accompanying record, “Rockz and Slingshotz” is a equally great and you can grab you copy on iTunes.
Bear Crossing – A Resistance, For You
This trio from Virginia Beach came storming onto the scene in September with their EP, Our Friend, Hope and A Resistance, For You paved the way. A great song with a great vocal from Jason Erue, this song made it’s stamp nationally and showed the country an example of the great music that is coming from this area. Bear Crossing will be our first Live Music Friday featured artist of 2013 Friday, Jan. 4th. So tune it and while you’re at it, grab Our Friend, Hope on iTunes.
The Pawn Shop Lifters – Dirty Sam
A punch-in-the-gut guitar intro leads into the story of Dirty Sam. One of my favorite bands, PSL out did themselves on Seven Songs Of Sam, a fictional tale on the outlaw Dirty Sam. Dirty Sam is provides a great recipe of what makes this song great: One part gritty guitar, one part twangy vocal, one part bang bottom heavy bass, one part bonzotastic drums and two punches in the face. The Pawn Shop Lifters are a must see live act and Seven Songs Of Sam is a must have in your repertoire. Grab it at show or on iTunes.
There you have it. My top ten of 2012. See if compares with yours and if it doesn’t, please share yours. 2013 looks to be an epic year for the local music scene and I’m going to be along for the ride to give you an in-depth look at all of it. It’s been one hell of a ride in 2012 and here’s to even more fun in 2013. Cheers and have a Happy New Year and as always, SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL MUSIC