5. The Killers – Runaways

The world is falling apart and might implode next week, but the Killers still “can’t wait til’ tomorrow.” Brandon Flowers’ is no longer singing about girlfriends who look like boyfriends or asking if the human race has been infiltrated by mindless dancer(s). He’s a grown man singing about Daddy and husband issues, and the temptations that a city like Las Vegas never fails to provide. Running away could be so easy, but when he sees his wife’s blonde hair blowing in the 2012 summer wind, Flowers remembers why he’s been the unofficial Las Vegas flag bearer for the better part of the past 10 years.

4. Japandroids – The House that Heaven Built

It took screaming at the heavenly gates to finally be noticed, but Japandroids finally broke through this summer with this gripping, uplifting anthem. It’s the modernized version of heaven, where everyone still has Jesus hair and frolics underneath the beating sun, but they skateboard to work and have tattoos painted on their once naked skin. With rock music becoming practically invisible to the mainstream, it was refreshing to hear such a likeable song that didn’t exist because of a prominent, electronic pulse.

3. Best Coast – The Only Place

While many kids eventually grow up and refrain from fantasizing about Disneyland, Best Coast never did. Maybe it’s not necessarily Mickey and Minnie that still get Best Coast wetting their pants with joy, but perhaps the broader landscape that Walt Disney’s gang of critters call home. California is heaven on earth for these surf junkies, who’s west coast marketing pitch is more sincere than anything that the Terminator could ever utter in a 30-second advertisement. Best Coast bleed California love, and with the state’s never-ending summer weather forecasts, maybe it is the only place to celebrate summer 2012.

2. Passion Pit – Take a Walk

Who would have thought Passion Pit would write one of the most reflective and candid songs about the harsh economic times that define the USA of 2012? A band whose prior topics of choice were twinkly stars and exchanging phone numbers, Passion Pit loaded up on growth hormone and in turn deliver a shot of inspiration to the country that matters most to them.  “Take a Walk” could be interpreted as taking a stand against the corruption that has infiltrated the American Dream, but also a recommendation to millions of Yankees to take a walk around the block to avoid having one’s head explode from crippling debt and economic ruin.


1. Calvin Harris – Feel so Close

Dance music has rap music running for the hills as Skrillex, DeadMau5 and Calvin Harris have dethroned the studio gangsters that have ruled the airwaves for the past decade. Rap has bent in dance music’s direction rather than vice versa, while dance music has tracks like “Feel so Close,” that give the whole family something to bob their head and jostle their hips to.
“Feel so Close,” is number one because it has been inescapable. It has infiltrated beer advertisements, is played on repeat at every major dance hall/pub on the weekends and has the ability to be embraced by every age demographic. It has the soaring-elevation of most dance music, but without the obnoxious drop into loud, clanking machinery that represents much heavier dance/electronic music. “Feel so Close” is a breezy, warm evening of short shorts, flip-flops and cannonballs making it a welcome enabler of summer bliss.