Favorite free & legal MP3s of 2012, part two

Back quickly with part two, before the year went and ended on me. These are some seriously good songs, these top 10 favorites. To the extent that some of these may or may not be widely recognized on other year-end lists shows you either how many really good songs came out this year or how hard it is for really good songs to attract a lot of attention in an age when people would rather spend time watching vaguely amusing dance steps. Or maybe both.

1. “Leave Your Body Behind You” – Richard Hawley   (June 22)
Monumental, moving, inexplicably great piece of neo-psychedelia. Don’t miss it.

2. “Are You Gonna Waste My Time?” – Zeus  (February 16)
How to be retro and of-the-moment at the same time. Not to mention awesome.

3. “Money” – Slowdim  (April 20)
As well-built and uncontrived as a song can be. Not bad for a debut single.

4. “Birds” – Poor Moon  (August 22)
Gorgeous Fleet Foxes side project, with lovely melodies and an uncanny arrangement.

5. “Harps” – The Sea and Cake  (September 21)
Veteran Chicago band offers up a song as vague and noodly as it is arresting and memorable. Not sure how.

6. “Every Other Day” – Jonka  (April 27)
Awesome, layered groove and serious vocal work.

7. “Ruin” – Cat Power  (June 22)
Peppy yet fierce, and it grows on you.

8. “Born To” – Jesca Hoop  (April 27)
Bewitching brew, full of spirit and artful artifice.

9. “When I’m Dead” – The Dead Heads  (November 30)
Sublime combination of the primitive and the sophisticated: garage rock for the 2010s.

10. “The Devil Wears a Suit” – Kate Miller-Heidke  (January 6)
Smart, beautifully crafted, and spine-tingling.

And that’s all, folks. Happy new year; we’ll start this up again next week….

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