25. It Ain’t Over by Shad
Because no other hip-hop song was this soulful and redemptive.
24. Let’s Start Over Again by The White Wires
Because women can be anybody’s problem– even garage punk badasses.
23. River by Pangea
Because this is the catchiest rock n’ roll song of 2012.
22. Wildest Moments by Jessie Ware
Because Jessie Ware’s voice has the ability to cure any terminal illness.
21. AWWWKWAARRRDDD by FIDLAR feat. Kate Nash
Because being awkward has never been this cool.
20. Grown Up by Danny Brown
Because Danny Brown gets it.
19. I’m God by Clams Casino
Because no other producer changed the sound of electronic music as drastically as Clams.
18. Sorry by T.I. feat. Andre 3000
Because Andre is still just as crispy as he was in 2003.
17. Higher Ground by TNGHT
Because no other song of 2012 was this loud and obnoxiously addicting.
16. Turn It Around by The Men
Because The Men are never afraid to make their own album.
15. Thinkin Bout You (Ryan Hemsworth Bootleg) by Frank Ocean
Because this song morphed the scruffy barista into a flashy stockbroker. And this is the best remix of 2012.
14. With Just One Glance by Nicolas Jaar feat. Scout LaRue
Because the saxophone is finally cool again.
13. There He Go by Schoolboy Q
Because Schoolboy is arguably one of the thuggest, dirtiest, and hardworking rappers out there.
12. Work It Out by Twerps
Because nostalgic beach noodling is never this confident and beautiful.
11. Heaven by The Walkmen
Because these guys obviously shop at J. Crew. Oh, and they’re responsible for one of the best songs of the year.
10. Fuckin’ Problem by A$AP Rocky feat. 2 Chainz, Drake, and Kendrick Lamar
Because this song is applauded at the hipster bar, the fraternity house, Compton, and suburbia.
9. Make It Known by Foxygen
Because Ray Davies, Lou Reed, and Sgt. Pepper would be proud.
8. Wait by Airhead
Because this is one of the few abstract instrumentals that didn’t fall victim to 2012’s pretentious production.
7. Same Love by Macklemore feat. Mary Lambert
Because gay rights activism has never been so eloquently spoken in music as in “Same Love”.
6. Reagan by Killer Mike
Because no other hip-hop song sounds like a Harvard history professor’s lecture.
5. Song For Zula by Phosphorescent
Because this band has never sounded so eager to change the world.
4. The Fall by Rhye
Because the new xx album was underwhelming.
3. Swimming Pools by Kendrick Lamar
Because party music has never been this good. Ever.
2. High Fantasy by Lace Curtains
Because Austin is the best city in the world.
1. Climax by Usher
Because conception has nearly tripled since this song’s release.