TJ is a writer living in Portland, OR.

10 songs from 2012

I didn't listen to as much new music this year, I wonder if I just wasn't paying enough attention, not much music grabbed my attention, or I am gripped by nostalgia for older music (i.e. I am getting old). But I could make a list of ten songs that came out this year that I liked so I figured I would post them as a way to sum my year in music:

Houghson BoysY La Bamba

This is song is exactly what you need at the end of a rough day. I’ve heard Y La Bamba play it several times over the last couple years, I’m glad it was finally released on an album.

Thrift ShopMacklemore & Ryan Lewis

Reasons I like this song: I like the saxophone sample, I like Macklemore’s flow, I like that someone wrote a song about a song about thrift stores and rejects the ideas that new designer things as the ideal, and I think it’s fun and clever without crossing over to ‘joke song’ territory.

La GrandeLaura Gibson

The album cover for La Grande is Laura Gibson wrapped in a Pendelton blanket next to a bonfire in the middle of the woods at night. That’s exactly what this song sounds like, wild and haunting.

I Belong In Your ArmsChairlift

An electro-pop declaration of love. I just discovered there is Japanese version of this song, it translates really well.

TelevisionYou Won’t

A mysterious modern hymn.

Tuck the Darkness InBowerbirds

An aching look back at life almost over.

MythBeach House

I tend to think of Bloom as one long continuous piece of music and each song is a movement. The album just washes over me. Myth sets the tone for the album, it builds and builds and builds…

Bright WhitesKishi Bashi

A joyous and surreal love indie-pop love song.

HamboneGospel Claws

A touching message from a parent to a child, ready to bring them into the world.

(no video available but you can listen to it online at NPR's All Songs Considered)

If It’s the End – Willy Mason

Willy Mason has a rugged and sometimes weary voice, but this song is also hopeful: We never reach the end, everything that ends brings a new beginning.

 Same Love – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Macklemore gets two songs on this list because I really love both of these songs. Same Love makes me want to cry a little, which usually only happens when I am heartbroken and listening to sad song about heartbreak because apparently I am an emotional masochist. But this song makes me want to cry on a g ood day. Same Love came out the same year that Washington legalized gay marriage by a popular vote, in fact Macklemore urged people to support Referendum 74, allowing gay marriage. Here is to hoping that Oregon follows soon, we already have an anthem to rally behind.

Giant squid