Bonface Killah’s Top 100 Songs of 2012

This was a tough list to make.  Last year there was no question what my top song would be.  When I heard The Weeknd’s “Wicked Games” it was like lightning striking.  I spent the rest of 2011 obsessing over that song and everything The Weeknd.  But you know what they say about lightning striking.  There was no life-changing song for me this year but there were some solid and game-changing tracks that I really dig.  Please note, like I said in my “About” section, I love all genres of music including ridiculous pop and dirty hip hop.  I’m not pretentious like some blogs (cough cough, Pitchfork, cough cough.  I would also like to add that I had my top songs put together before I saw Pitchfork’s list.  They actually did ok this year).  With all that said, enjoy the list!

1. Grimes – Genesis

This song is my number one because it’s so damn enchanting and I never seem to get sick of it.  Come on Pitchfork, everyone knows Genesis > Oblivion.

2. Frank Ocean – Pyramids

This song is so epic and not just because of its length.  The second half is where it’s at.  It also makes me somewhat like John Mayer.

Here’s the whole song:

And here’s the official video:

3. Chairlift – Wrong Opinion

I’m pretty sure it’s impossible to become sick of this song.  A musicologist should study this song to unlock the secret.  So good.

4. HAIM – Go Slow

Love at first listen.  Wilson Phillips meets classic rock meets Silverlake meets 2012.

5. First Aid Kit – Emmylou

The harmonies in this song are so ridiculously gorgeous but the steel guitar is what puts me over the edge.  Perfection.  Call it indie, call it folk, I might even call it what country music could have been if it hadn’t been for all the crap they started calling country at some point.

6. Jessie Ware – Wildest Moments

This song is so addicting.  I suggest maybe listening and not watching the video because it creeps me out a little bit.  But anyway, this song rocks.

7. Rhye – The Fall

This song is a beauty.  I actually think the live version is even better.  But sometimes I miss the infectious drum machine and strings.

8. A$AP Rocky – Fuckin Problems

This will certainly put a halt to the relative tranquility of the first seven songs on the list.  This song is SICK.  SICK.  Kendrick’s part (2:41) is the best but a close second is when Drake seemingly loses air during his verse at 1:59.  It just tickles my fancy.  If only everyone’s problems were as simple.

9. Santigold – The Riot’s Gone

Love me some Santigold.  I return to this song as my favorite off the album.  Great lyrics.

10. St. Lucia – We Got It Wrong

Rounding out the top ten is St. Lucia.  Dreamy, tropical, and danceable.  What more could you ask for?  Don’t watch the video if you have a long hair phobia or a Stretch Armstrong phobia.

11. Sleigh Bells – End Of The Line

Listening to an entire Sleigh Bells album can be headache-inducing but this song is absolutely lovely and difficult for me to get sick of.

12. Tanlines – All Of Me

This song is so chipper and catchy.  I get so happy every time the chorus comes in.

13. School Of Seven Bells – The Night

Dreampop gem.

14. Twin Shadow – Five Seconds

Snap your fingers and do your best 80’s move.  This song makes me happy sad and that’s an art.

15. Metric – Breathing Underwater

I have often asked myself “Is this my life?”  Now Metric is asking the same question.  This song is a gorgeous blend of powerful synths and dreamy guitars mixed with Emily Haines’ angelic vocals.  More epic than some of Metric’s other songs.  Good good stuff.

16. Chairlift – I Belong In Your Arms

Whoa!  Another Chairlift song?  They took the number one spot on my top albums list this year and they deserve it.  There isn’t a bad song on the record.

And because they’re awesome, here’s the Japanese version:

17. Kanye West – To The World

I LOVE this song and not just because R. Kelly is on it and not just because Mitt Romney gets dissed.  “Mitt Romney don’t pay no tax, Mitt Romney don’t pay no tax.” (2:32)

18. Rihanna – Diamonds

Dammit Ri Ri you get me every time!  Last year it was “We Found Love” and now it’s “Diamonds.”  She is such a good songwriter! Just kidding you guys.  Actually Sia cowrote this track.  Anywhooo, this song is just plain good and the keys sound like something my Casio from childhood would produce.

19. HAIM – Forever

It’s HAIM time again.  Try to listen to this song and frown at the same time.  Not possible.

20. Purity Ring – Fineshrine

Props to my friend Stephen for making me give Purity Ring a second listen.  Their album is awesome but this song is so crazy good.  Check out Stephen’s blog.  His taste is much more sophisticated than mine.

21. Lana Del Rey – Ride

Calm down LDR haters.  I know when no one is looking you celebrate her entire catalog.  This song is totally haunting and gorgeous.  Accept it.

22. St. Lucia – Closer Than This

St. Lucia round two.  This song had me at the opening synths.

23. Father John Misty – Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings

Any song that opens with the lyric “Jesus Christ girl, what are people gonna think?” is good in my book.  But really this song is awesome on all fronts.  Jangly guitars are cool.

24. Usher – Climax

Usher Usher Usher!  I will always love Usher.  This song is pretty genius because there is no Climax.  Get it?!

25. Kendrick Lamar – Backseat Freestyle

I would like to point out that Pitchfork listed this song as “Backstreet Freestyle” on their top 100 list.  Hehe, dorks.  The beat, people, the beat!  So awesome.  I like to imagine Hit Boy making the beat in a china cabinet.  When Kendrick goes on a run at 2:17…yes yes yes.

26. M.I.A. – Bad Girls (Surkin Remix)

The original “Bad Girls” is awesome by itself but this particular remix makes me lose my mind.  Good looking out, Justin!

27. Sky Ferreira – Everything Is Embarrasing

This song is another one of the awesome 90’s throwbacks that are rampant these days and it is SO good.

28. Stepdad – Show Me Your Blood

Yes, Stepdad is a little Passion Pit-esq but they’re really good.  This is one of my faves. Thanks for the introduction, Danny Blue.

29. Kid Cudi – Just What I Am

Yep yep yep.  This is what I expect from Kid Cudi.  Awesomeness.  Thanks, Scott.

30. Wild Nothing – Paradise

Theme from the John Hughes’ movie of my dreams.

31. Emeli Sande – Heaven

This woman’s voice is KILLER.  Add some DnB and I’m in.

32. Milo Greene – Perfectly Aligned

So sweet and gorgeous.  Someone put this in a movie or something.

33. Kid Cudi – Creepers

An awesome track off of Kanye’s Cruel Summer album.  I was hooked the minute the beat came in.  I was fully gone at this lyric: “If I had one wish it’d be to have more wishes, duh, fuck trying to make it rhyme.”

34. Frank Ocean – Super Rich Kids

Sigh…just love Frank.  This song is groovy to the max.

35. Hot Chip – Don’t Deny Your Heart

The first little guitar riff is so amazingly late 80’s early 90’s. Don’t deny your heart–dance to this song. Do it.

36. Swizz Beatz – Everyday Birthday

This song is completely out of control.  Luda!  It makes me dance like a crazy person and I happen to be a white girl so its like they wrote it for me.

37. Chairlift – Ghost Tonight

Chairlift back again check it to wreck it let’s begin.  When the song kicks in…so so good.

Here’s their Black Cab Session in case you were doubting their awesomeness:

38. Mykki Blanco – Waavy

Yuuup.  This beat is killer.  I’m in love with this song.

39. Twin Shadow – I Don’t Care

I think my friend Alexander Supertramp described this song as “dark and brooding” which I find perfect.  I’m so into this song I vow to cover it.

40. Metric – Clone

Love love.  The instrumental breakdown at 4:03 hurts my heart so good.  That’s when I knew this song would be on my list.

41. Lana Del Rey – National Anthem

I’m sure I will be raked across the coals for this pick.  But whatever.  This song tickles my fancy.  The only problem is the fireworks in the song scare my dog.

Barnaby Face Killah

Barnaby Face Killah

42. St. Lucia – This Old House Is Gone

Yes, another St. Lucia.  They must be good.

43. School Of Seven Bells – Reappear

A lush and gorgeous soundscape.  With that description I know you’re intrigued.

44. Passion Pit – I’ll Be Alright

This is what I expect from Passion Pit.  Crazy ridiculous percussion and vocal twitches.  Muy muy bueno.

45. Santigold – This Isn’t Our Parade

Calypso and magical.  Instrumental breakdown at 2:47 two thumbs up.  And in case you were wondering, this definitely is NOT our parade.

46. Miguel – The Thrill

This was another love at first listen for me.

47. Usher – Scream

Ridiculous pop song enter scene.  I heart this song so much.  Ursher baby!

48. Lana Del Rey – American

This song makes me cry.  A lot.  Not sure why.

49. Best Coast – Up All Night

Ok I have a love-hate relationship with Best Coast.  I mostly find them annoying but this song is totally good.

Kathleen Edwards – Soft Place To Land

This is Justin Vernon’s girlfriend (Bon Iver) just in case you wanted in on the indie scene relationship gossip.  I saw her live and she was incredible.  Her voice was like raspy silk.

51. Tanlines – Nonesuch

OMG people just listen.  Incredible.  This song could easily have come after Lady In Red on the radio rotation of 1986.

Wild Nothing – Through The Grass

“Sailing” by Christopher Cross anyone??  So good.  Same weird nostalgic feeling.

Just for comparison:

Just for fun:

53. Nas – Accident Murderers

Oh how I love this song.

Milo Greene – Don’t You Give Up On Me

Another beauty from Milo Greene.

55. Dave Matthews Band – Sweet

This song actually is the sweetest thing ever.  It’s about his son learning to swim which makes it even sweeter.

56. Muse – Madness

So maybe I’ve been living under a rock but when did Muse start to sound EXACTLY like Queen?  “Madness” is undeniably good though.

57. Chromatics – Into The Black

Chromatics are so damn good at covers.  This Neil Young cover is no exception.

58. Big Boi – CPU

This album just squeaked in under the deadline and I’m so happy it did.  A plethora of great tracks but I’m partial to those involving Phantogram and Little Dragon.  Pardon the poor YouTube quality.

59. Beach House – Myth

Though I couldn’t completely get into this album like the rest of the world I thought this track was pretty exquisite.

60. Bat For Lashes – Laura

Love love love this song. Beautiful and sad.

61. Porcelain Raft – Backwords

This songs is beautiful, haunting, and generally depressing.  Thumbs up.

62. Poolside – Kiss You Forever

Best listened to while driving in this car:

suzuki-vitara-1994-m-manual

63. Band Of Skulls – Close To Nowhere

Sweet Sour didn’t change my life like Baby Darling Doll Face Honey but this track is super gorgeous.

64. No Doubt – Settle Down

Yeah Gwen!  I still love you.  Gwenabie for life.

Bonface Killah circa 2007

Bonface Killah circa 2007

65. Kathleen Edwards – Change The Sheets

Fantastic driving song.  So triumphant.  You go Mrs. Bon Iver.

66. Frank Ocean – Lost

He’s got a buttercream silk shirt on and it’s Versace.

67. Kendrick Lamar – Poetic Justice

More Kendrick.  Janet Jackson sample.  I wonder if Janet wanted Kendrick to take an HIV test before he used her sample.  (Anyone who gets that reference can have $5).

68. Grimes – Nightmusic

Mystical.

69. Latch – Disclosure

Totally sick song with really stalkerish kidnappy lyrics.

70. Mumford & Sons – Whispers In The Dark.

Banjo breakdowns are one of the greatest things in the world.

71. Bat For Lashes – Marilyn

Marches along and shimmers the whole way.

72. MS MR – Hurricane

Great song brought to my attention by Mr. Robert Betz.

73. Twin Shadow – Be Mine Tonight

This song would be in the rotation with Lady In Red and Nonesuch in ’86.

74. Icona Pop – I Love It

So repetitive and slightly annoying but spectacular and powerful.

75. Asa – Leave The Light On (Stumblein Remix)

This song is super sad and awesome.  Oh and it samples Ursher.  This unofficial video is rad.

76. Passion Pit – Carried Away

So freakin chipper!

77. Chromatics – Kill For Love

Title track off their album.  Very shimmery and lovely.

78. Miike Snow – Paddling Out

Though I wasn’t blown away by the whole album this song is great.  And for the last time it’s Mike Snow not Me-kay Snow.

79. Stepdad – Must Land Running

This song makes me believe I could Forrest Gump-it across the US.

80. Bloc Party – Truth

Their album Four was, in my opinion, a giant disappointment but this song is sweet.

80. Tanlines – Brothers

Tanlines’ signature awesome tropical percussion.

82. Solange – Losing You

Beyonce’s sister can sing too ok people?!  And she is fierce.

83. Enrique Iglesias – Finally Found You

Yep.  I don’t even care.  This song makes me soooo happy.  Look out for Sammy Adams in 2013.

84. Kanye West – Clique

This one grew on me and now I can’t get enough. Jay’s verse = YES.

85. Azealia Banks – Nathan

She is so badass. 53 seconds in is the magic spot.

86. Fiona Apple – Daredevil

The part at 1:48 when her voice starts turning into an exquisite shriek-growl. Goosebumps every time.

87. Poolside – Give It A Rest

Listen to while driving the same car mentioned above.

88. LP – Into The Wild

Ummmm seriously her voice is CRAZY good.

89. Frankie Rose – Pair of Wings

Like a lovely lullaby.

90. Nikki Minaj – Beez In The Trap

Nikki can still be badass but she should watch out for Azealia.

91. St. Lucia – All Eyes On You

Ok I’m sick of writing about St. Lucia.  They’re good.

92. Tallest Man On Earth – 1904

2012 Bob Dylan.  This song is amazing.

93. Delta Spirit – Time Bomb

Beautiful.

94. Kendrick Lamar – Swimming Pools (Drank)

People say this is a drinking game in a song but if you really listen to the lyrics it makes you want to abstain and possibly go to a meeting.

95. Big Boi – Mama Told Me

I love Big Boi.  This song is so fun.

96. Savoire Adore – Dreamers

Album was a big disappointment but this song is fantastic.

97. Poolside – Can’t Get You Off My Mind

Perhaps the most simple song of all time.  Probably not but almost.  Beach Boys-ish goodness.  Very pretty.

98. Mumford & Sons – I Will Wait

More banjo please.

99. No Doubt – Push And Shove

ND said it was their “Bohemian Rhapsody.”  Not quite.  But it’s a good song.

100. Bahamas – Lost In The Light

Well now this song is in commercials but it’s still great.  Artists gotta eat.

Happy New Year everyone!  Here’s to 2013 bringing us some awesome music.
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Bonface Killah Presents: Julia Neuman’s Top 20 Metal Albums of 2012

Ok people I won’t lie…metal is not my favorite.  But last year my friend (and super gorgeous metal connoisseur) Julia introduced me to a band called Ghost and sure enough their addicting song “Ritual” ended up on my top 100 songs of 2011 list.  Who knew I would like metal?   She even took me to see them live and I was truly blown away (the lead singer dresses up as a Satanic Pope, a must-see).

When it comes to metal I wouldn’t trust anyone but Julia to steer me in the right direction.

Here’s what she has to say for herself:

Hi, I’m Julia. Metal stole my soul ten years ago, and I’ve never really tried to get it back. If I’m not headbanging in a dark club somewhere in LA, I’m usually busting out some riffs on my guitar or writing for Invisible Oranges: The Metal Blog. I’m a firm believer in supporting your local music scene – wherever, or whatever, that may be.

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And here’s what she has to say about this year in metal:

1. Enslaved – RIITIIR

2. Graveyard – Lights Out

3. Woods of Ypres – Woods 5: Grey Skies & Electric Light

4. Aura Noir – Out to Die

5. Neurosis – Honor Found in Decay

6. Gojira – L’enfant Sauvage

7. Pallbearer – Sorrow and Extinction

8. Grave – Endless Procession of Souls

9. Sigh – In Somniphobia

10. Winterfylleth – The Threnody of Triumph

11. Meshuggah – Koloss

12. Black Breath – Sentenced to Life

13. Swans – The Seer

14. Katatonia – Dead End Kings

15. High on Fire – De Vermis Mysteriis

16. Blut aus Nord – 777 – Cosmosophy

17. Sylosis – Monolith

18. Baroness – Yellow & Green

19. Ulver – Childhood’s End

20. Rumpelstiltskin Grinder – Ghostmaker

I’ll say this for metal: the musicianship is incredible.  I can’t even wrap my head around it.  Thanks Julia!   \m/

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Photo credit: Amanda G. Hernandez Photography

Bonface Killah Presents: Scott St. Patrick William’s Top 20 Hip Hop Songs of 2012

Scott St. Patrick Williams.

True New Yorker, ultimate hustler, and hip-hop soul-dier!  Scott is responsible for introducing me to A$AP Rocky’s “Fuckin Problems” and for that I am eternally grateful.  See what he chose as his favorite hip hop songs of 2012.

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1. Kanye West – Mercy

2. Rick Ross ft. Drake, Meek Mill – Stay Schemin

3. 2 Chainz ft. Drake – No Lie

4. Kanye West ft. DJ Khaled– Cold (aka Way Too Cold aka TheraFlu)

5. Young Jeezy ft. 2 Chainz – SupaFreak

The rest are in no particular order:

Future – Same Damn Time

Meek Mill ft. Big Sean – Burn

Meek Mill ft. Drake – Amen

Rick Ross ft. Wale, Drake – Diced Pineapples

Rick Ross ft. Dr. Dre, Jay-Z – 3 Kings

Nicki Minaj ft. 2 Chainz- Beez In The Trap

Juicy J – Bandz A Make Her Dance

A$AP Rocky ft. Drake, 2 Chainz, Kendrick Lamar – Fuckin Problems

Kendrick Lamar – Swimming Pools (Drank)

Tyga ft. Lil Wayne – Faded

French Montana – Pop That

Nas – Daughters

Nas – The Don

Chief Keef ft. Lil Reese – I Don’t Like

Glory – Jay-Z

Stay tuned for more lists from guest contributors and BFK’s top 100 songs of 2012.  Oh and hey world, good luck tomorrow.  Try not to end.  We need to go out with a better reputation than this.

Bonface Killah’s Top 15.5 Albums of 2012

In comparison to 2011, 2012 was a bit of a lackluster year for music but there are some albums that are worth playing on repeat.  Here are the best in my opinion:

1. Chairlift’s Something dominated my speakers in the early part of 2012 and I go back to it time and again.  I caught them live at The Troubadour and front woman Caroline Polachek gave one of the best vocal performances I have ever witnessed.  Total perfection, not one note out of place.  I also want to have her baby but I promise I’m not biased.  Their songs are super unique and amazingly catchy.  This will probably end up being one of my favorite albums of all time.

2. For me, Metric’s Synthetica was a grower, not a shower.  At first listen I wasn’t sold but there were a few tracks that captivated me enough to prevent me from dismissing the record as a whole.  As I listened more I soon began pressing repeat obsessively and now here it is at number two on my list.

3. Santigold’s Master of My Make-Believe is simply awesome.  Got to see her live at Nokia Theater and it was a ridiculously great show.  Listen and be prepared to run it back over and over.

4. Oh Frank, I love you.  Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange is delicious.  To be honest, I wasn’t convinced at first.  There was so much hype surrounding this album but I wasn’t immediately feeling it as I started to dive in.  Then I heard the track “Pyramids” and everything started to fall into place.  Frank Ocean is one of the best storytellers in music today.

5. Lana Del Rey’s Born To Die is good.  Just accept it.  Yes she’s a crappy live performer, yes she’s somewhat ridiculous and manufactured, but she has some damn good songwriters and producers working with her.  I fully embrace all of it.  The songs are good and LDR executes them well (in the studio at least).

6. St. Lucia – St. LuciaThank you, St. Lucia for renewing my faith in music this year. My hope for the future of music was waning when I was putzing around on Spotify and heard “We Got It Wrong.”  This lil CD is a breath of fresh air.  They even managed to put on an AMAZING show at The Echo which has the worst sound in town.  At six songs this mini album is a total tease.  I can’t wait for more from St. Lucia.

7. Twin Shadow – ConfessThis album is a dark foray into the 80’s.  His compelling lyrics and lush instrumentation draw us into his web of destructive lust.  On “I Don’t Care” he sings, “Before the night is through I will say three words/ I’ll probably mean the first two and regret the third.”  Ouch, George Lewis, Jr., ouch.

8. Tanlines’ Mixed Emotions is tropical indie dance pop at its finest…whatever that means.  One thing it does mean is these two dudes know how to put a great song together.  Also saw them at The Echo and they put on a great show despite the vocals being too low and the usual crap sound that the venue provides.  I hope to see them on the Coachella 2013 lineup.

9. Kendrick Lamar is Dr. Dre’s protégé and his album good kid, m.A.A.d. city makes him worthy of that distinction.  good kid is refreshing in its realness.  Lamar takes the listener on a journey through his life growing up in Compton.  He raps about heavy material over the top of great hooks, nasty beats, and shiny production making this album multifaceted yet approachable to the masses.  Still kicking myself for not getting to the polo fields early enough to see his solo set at Coachella, but it was really really hot that day and our pool was so so nice.

10. Milo Greene – Milo Greene. Last year their track 1957 was one of my most-played and Milo Greene’s 2012 full-length album did not disappoint.  The self-titled album is a gorgeous and cohesive piece of sound.

11. Hot Chip knows how to make me move and In Our Heads is no exception.  I saw them at the Hollywood Bowl with Passion Pit and HC stole the show.  Get ready to dance your face off because In Our Heads is slick.

12. Grimes – Visions. The track “Genesis” is one of the best things to happen in music all year.  This album is distinctive and awesome although let’s be honest, Grimes would be nothing without Ray Lynch’s Deep Breakfast (see below and witness magic).

13. Wild Nothing – NocturneThis album would be an amazing soundtrack to an angsty teen movie.  Nocturne is a beautiful, ethereal, and cohesive album.  Push play and go on a journey through lush and dreamy songs while you construct a melancholy movie montage in your head.

14. Kanye West – Kanye West Presents Good Music Cruel SummerYeah I know I used to hate Kanye West.  I still kinda hate him but I can’t help but like his recent music.  KWPGMCS is a killer compilation of songs and I mean, come on, he has my namesake Ghostface Killah on a track.  People say this album lacks cohesion but who cares?  I don’t.  If the songs are good, the songs are good people.

15. Chromatics – Kill For LoveThis album is killer and more importantly is finally on Spotify.  Kill For Love is the Chromatics’ signature sound at its absolute best.  I can’t seem to pick a favorite track from this album—it’s almost like one giant continuous song.  Push play and find someone to make out with.

15.5. Ok so technically HAIM’s Forever EP is not really an album but I don’t care because it’s so awesome.  If Wilson Phillips came out of 2012 Silverlake this is what they might sound like and trust me that’s a huge compliment.  So so good.

Honorable Mention:

Passion Pit – Gossamer

First Aid Kit – The Lion’s Roar

Kathleen Edwards – Voyageur

Miike Snow – Happy To You

The XX – Coexist (Just kidding that album was lame.  I guess their boringness finally reached the tipping point.)

Stay tuned in the coming days to see my top 100 songs of 2012 as well as some top lists from guest contributors.

BFK