Listen in this weekend (December 23 to 25) and the next (December 29 to January 1) to hear songs from each contributors list as well as their thoughts and other surprises.
MICHAEL MAROTTA, music editor, The Phoenix; music director, WFNX.com
1. Merchandise "Become What You Are" (from Children of Desire)
2. Icky Blossoms "Heat Lightning" (from Icky Blossoms)
3. Japandroids "The House That Heaven Built" (from Celebration Rock)
4. Icona Pop "I Love It" (From Iconic EP)
5. Alina Devecerski "Flytta Pa Dig" (from Maraton)
6. Grimes "Oblivion" (from Visions)
7. DIIV "Doused" (From Oshin)
8. Trust "Sulk" (from TRST)
9. Purity Ring "Fineshrine" (from Shrines)
10. Gossip "Move In The Right Direction" (from A Joyful Noise)
The "best song" of 2012 clocks in at just under 11 minutes long, doesn't seem to have a discernable chorus, and came out of Tampa, Florida. But Merchandise's "Become What You Are" is a remarkably captivating 10 minutes and 56 seconds of slow-burning emotion, an unexpected jolt of modern rock born in 1983 but raised on the fast-fed culture of 2012. It led a very good year for guitar-rock in 2012, as bands like Japandroids and DIIV weren't so much concerned with being the future of rock as they were the disaffected present, taking a climate seemingly more concerned with synths and proving that nothing beats a great rock and roll jam. Of course, the synths had their way with the world as well, as Nebraska's Icky Blossoms, Montreal's Grimes, and Swedish disco divas Icona Pop (owners of the undisputed SOTS, Song of the Summer, "I Love It") kept a dance beat not only alive but relentlessly feverish, posh, and uber-cool. Icona's Swedish sister Alina Devecerski remains the greatest pop-star bafflingly unknown to US audiences, and Gossip remain criminally underrated on home turf. But in the end, 2012 came down to one question: "Jesus fuck, how great is this Merchandise song?" And the song is all that matters.
GET THE SPOTIFY PLAYLIST: Phoenix/WFNX.com's Top Tracks of 2012