NINA MASHUROVA, music writer, The Phoenix

1. Grimes "Be a Body" (from Visions)

2. Lower Dens "Brains" (from Nootropics)

3. Hundred Waters "Caverns" (from Hundred Waters)

4. Julia Holter "In the Same Room" (from Ekstasis)

5. Black Moth Super Rainbow "Spraypaint" (from Cobra Juicy)

6. Hop Along "Tibetan Pop Stars" (from Hop Along)

7. Evy Jane "Sayso" (from Evy Jane EP)

8. Purity Ring "Obedear" (from Shrines)

9. TOPS "Double Vision" (from Tender Opposites)

10. The Babies "Wandering" (from Our House on the Hill)

In 1985, Korg released a synthesizer with a digital delay effect, Dell released its first computer, Nintendo debuted the NES, and Donna Haraway published the Cyborg Manifesto, saying that, since we are now all "theorized and fabricated hybrids of machine and organism," we need to find new forms of existing. In 2012, Haraway's words ring truer than ever: synths, computers, and video game samples are essential parts of the musical vocabulary; Purity Ring has been earnestly labeled "futurepop;" and electronic music, which has been infiltrating the American pop landscape for some time now, has finally come out of hiding and is free to bleep-bloop unrestricted. No wonder so much of this year's music deals with how to stay human while progressively becoming a machine, and how to make our machines sound as human as they're beginning to feel. Most of my favorite songs this year blur gender lines and genre lines, fight to stay embodied, replicate sensory overload, and generally support not only Haraway's cyborg theory but also Robyn's cyberbabe theory, which can be summed up in a single revolutionary declaration -- fembots have feelings, too.

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

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