BARRY THOMPSON, music writer, The Phoenix

1. Japandroids "The House That Heaven Built" (from Celebration Rock) 2. Future Of The Left "Sheena Is A T-Shirt Salesman" (from The Plot Against Common Sense)

3. Tegan And Sara "Closer" (from Heartthrob)

4. Math The Band "Four To Six" (from Get Real)

5. Zambri "From The Starts" (from House Of Baasa)

6. Dark Dark Dark "It's A Secret" (from Who Needs Who)

7. How To Destroy Angels "Ice Age" (from An Omen)

8. Ringo Deathstarr "Rip" (from Mauve)

9. A Place To Bury Strangers "And I'm Up" (from Worship)

'10. Abandoned Pools "Sublime Currency" (from Sublime Currency)

For me, the process of writing Top 10 year-end lists usually gets kind of emo. I'm forced to look back at what I was listening to during the good and bad bits of the last 12 months. I have to attempt this awkward balance between songs I think readers might like and the songs I played on repeat for an afternoon and these aren't always the same things. I second-guess myself quite a bit with Top 10s of the year, is what I'm trying to say. Take, for example, "Sublime Currency." Do I genuinely believe that track belongs on a Top 10 list, or I was just crazy excited about a new abandoned pools record because 2003's Humanistic is so incredible? The snuggly "From The Starts" isn't the best song on House of Baasa - "ICBYS" probably is -- but "From The Starts" gets on this list because "ICBYS" is dancetastic but not as dancetastic as Tegan And Sara's love-letter to TRL's glory days, "Closer," and not as triumphant as what may well be remembered as Japandroids' definitive mission statement. This year, I needed frantic 16th notes on the hi-hat, feedback-soaked guitars, some staccato "ohs," and a chorus of "tell 'em all, there's love in my shadow..." to reassure me that I've been fighting for the right side all along.

122812_spotify-logo GET THE SPOTIFY PLAYLIST: Phoenix/'s Top Tracks of 2012

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