SEAN CORBETT, music writer, The Phoenix

1. King Khan and the Shrines "Bite My Tongue" (single)

2. People Under the Stairs "Uprock Boogie" (from Highlighter)

3. Tame Impala "Apocalypse Dreams" (from Lonerism)

4. Divine Fits "Would That Not Be Nice" (from A Thing Called Divine Fits)

5. Jack White "Love Interrupted" (from Blunderbuss)

6. Pond "Elegant Design" (from Beard, Wives, Denim)

7. Pretty & Nice "Hibernate" (from Us You All We)

8. White Denim "Company" (from Takes Place in Your Workspace EP)

9. M. Ward "Primitive Girl" (from A Wasteland Companion)

10. Antibalas "Dirty Money" (from released on Antibalas)

All ears will "look" back at the year and hear whatever they want. Perhaps it was a big year for Maroon 5, Bruno Mars or some other swollen front-pagers. Or maybe it was a great year in classical and jazz. No idea. The year 2012 brought some real music produced by real musical artists. Jack White retains his integrity with Ruby Amanfu on the dark-side-of-love tune, "Love Interrupted," which pairs nicely with M. Ward's sincere little "Primitive Girl." Pretty & Nice lets raw skill shine with "Hibernate." Divine Fits is A Thing now. And LA's hip-hop duo People Under the Stairs brings back that classic, early analogue hip-hop sound, again, with "Uprock Boogie." King Khan rests at the top for personal reasons: he is genuine; he posed for a dagger-wielding backstage photograph for me (his idea) in Philly; and the "Bite My Tongue" video has Jesus shooting wine from his eyeballs. White Denim and Australian psychedelic rockers Tame Impala and Pond have three of the most exciting offerings: swirling, slow-building songs about loneliness and the general craziness of time and human existence. And a few words about Brooklyn's 13-piece Antibalas: marching band nerds need to meet more charismatic African tribal singers.

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

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