Call me old-fashioned but I like my year-end lists to happen truly at the end of the year. As I think we’re close enough now, I am hereby unveiling the annual Fingertips list of favorite free and legal MP3s of the year. If you’re visiting the site, you can access the entire list through one of the main “tabs.” For those accessing the site via RSS feed or email, I will be spending the last two posts of the year presenting the favorites in two separate lists of 10.

To be considered for the list, songs had first of all to have been featured on Fingertips during the year 2012, and second of all must still be available as free and legal MP3s. You can download any or all of them right here the usual way, or listen via the play button if you happen to be reading this directly on the Fingertips site. If my snappy one-sentence song summaries leave you wanting more, you can read the original reviews by clicking on the date next to each band name, which is the date of the original Fingertips post.

I’ll start, as tradition has it, with the list presenting my numbers 11 through 20 favorites. Next week I’ll be back with the top 10.

11. “Rivers” – Black City Lights  (March 29)
This is all about delayed gratification. If you wait for it, the payoff is stirring.

12. “Bang” – Elin Ruth  (November 30)
I for one never tire of this kind of retro-pop-soul, if artfully done. This is artfully done.

13. “Lord Knows” – Dum Dum Girls  (September 21)
Reverb suffuses this classic-sounding ballad.

14. “Stop This Now” – The Hermit Crabs  (September 6)
Lovely, melancholy music as only those bands from Glasgow know how to create.

15. “Observations” – The Raveonettes  (June 29)
This now-veteran duo still showing us how it’s done.

16. “A Week of Good Health” – Panoramic & True  (September 14)
Inexplicably appealing ensemble pop.

17. “Broke” – Sea of Bees  (March 16)
As sweet and powerful as a simple-sounding song can be. Another great chorus, too.

18. “Farm Kid” – Elim Bolt  (October 12)
Songs with catchy choruses are still being made.

19. “Generals” – The Mynabirds  (March 22)
Protest songs are still being made; this one is particularly stompy and wonderful.

20. “Living in a Country” – Brave Baby  (December 8)
Earnest, incisive rock’n’roll is still possible, and still being made.


Okay, that’s the second ten. If you like surprises, tune in next week for the top 10; if you need it all right now, you can go here, although be warned: you won’t get the incisive one-sentence summaries over on that page. I have to leave something for next week.



  1. Mark Roberts on Friday December 28, 2012

    Thank you so much for including Black City Lights in your end-of-year list!


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