ANNIE ZALESKI, music writer, The Phoenix

1. deadmau5 "Professional Griefers (vocal mix featuring Gerard Way)" (from >album title goes here<)

2. Garbage "Control" (from Not Your Kind Of People)

3. Nada Surf "The Future" (from The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy)

4. Mark Lanegan Band "Ode to Sad Disco" (from Blues Funeral)

5. Icona Pop "I Love It" (from Iconic EP)

6. Ice Choir "A Vision Of Hell, 1996" (from Afar)

7. Muse "Panic Station" (from The 2nd Law)

8. Corin Tucker Band "I Don't Wanna Go" (from Kill My Blues)

9. John K. Samson "When I Write My Master's Thesis" (from Provincial)

10. Candy Hearts "Matchbox Cars" (from The Best Ways To Disappear EP)

For me, 2012 was marked by a resurgence of the female voice. So many women released powerful, enduring music; even more important, these tunes were spread across a diverse array of genres: punk (White Lung), indie (Best Coast), '90s alt-rock (I Was Totally Destroying It, Nu Sensae), post-punk (Savages), electropop (Charli XCX, Frankie Rose, Sky Ferreira) and eclectic pop (Ke$ha, Solange). Several highlights for me: Garbage—fronted by perma-vixen Shirley Manson—returned in a blaze of seductive electronica, highlighted by the stomping, disorienting synth rampage "Control." Corin Tucker Band released one of the year's rawest, urgent albums; hearing the former Sleater-Kinney vocalist/guitarist unleash her inimitable cutting warble on the noisy fuzz bomb "I Don't Wanna Go" was inspiring. Of newer acts making their mark, I gravitated toward Candy Hearts and Icona Pop. The former is a New York/New Jersey band which conjures both Jawbreaker and Letters To Cleo with its new EP, The Best Ways To Disappear. Produced by New Found Glory's Chad Gilbert, the EP is a blast of '90s pop-punk, from the wobbly guitars down to vocalist Mariel Loveland's heart-on-sleeve declarations. And "I Love It," a buzzing technopop anthem from Swedish duo Icona Pop, is a riotous declaration of freedom from a lame ex.

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

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