With another year coming to a close owning this thang I like to call spinmuse, I wanted to write a 2012 wrap-up post of top jams from this year, because YOU, dear spin enthusiasts, are worth it.
How are you all? I miss you guys… in brief: NYC/my new career is my dream come true, except when some absurd force of nature, named Sandy, who is a huge jerk, kicks me out of my Zone A apartment for 2 weeks. This year has been an absolute whirlwind for me since I uprooted from my home in Boston to give a new career a shot in NYC. This has been such an incredible year for me (mostly?) in so many aspects of life, and will have been one of the more important years that I will look back on for the rest of my life.
Since no longer instructing spin classes, I am not constantly on the move to find new music, bangin’ remixes, and making super fun playlists to sweat to. I listen to Pandora Jam all day long at the studio, I hear every instructor’s playlists, so I am constantly hearing the best music all day long, but I am not actively searching it out like I used to be on blogs and music websites like earmilk.com or pitchfork.com. Then, when I do have the free time, I feel like it’s completely overwhelming to even begin catching up on the websites I want to check out to scour for the next best thing. I’ve fallen behind, sadly, but that doesn’t mean I’m not still jamming out to only the best and brightest tunes at home, on the subway, struttin’ on the sidewalk, in class, and while running (or what little running I’ve done since it’s become less than 50 degrees out… because who does that?)
So, without further adieu, here are the top 10 spinmuse discovered and approved, played on repeat, never could get sick of, songs of 2012:
1. Phantogram, When I’m Small (4:09): This song was out in 2010, but it was hiding from me until this year. Phantogram is a duo I have become obsessed with consisting of a chick and a dude, both of which I have crushes on. I fell in LOVE seeing them this year at one of my first shows in NYC, Governer’s Ball. They have beats, absolutely gorgeous vocals, lyrics that you can feel, and what some synthesizer-y (I can still make up words even though I don’t blog that often) sounds. I played this in class a few times, so it’s definitely workout-able, and I have heard it used in many other classes, but really, their sound is so laid back and chilled out that it’s relaxing music. If you like them, check out “Mouth Full of Diamonds“, “Don’t Move“, and “Bloody Palms“, too!
2. Stateless, Bloodstream (5:14): This is a cool down song for sure. The lyrics are so romanticly melting, and the piano keys add an extra sexy element to the romance. Stateless came out with this song in 2007, but again, was not in my obsessive possession until this year. I’m listening to it as I type this, and seriously, the lyrics… swoon. If you like this, check out “Prism #1” by them, too!
3. Gardens & Villa, Chemtrails (5:30): Another cool down song… Found this one in the soundtrack from the movie The Comedy, with James Murphy from LCD Soundsystem (one of my favorites, as you know by now). I don’t know much about this group, but this song is so relaxing and sleep-infused (in a good way!) that I can’t wait to check out their other stuff.
4. Gramatik, Talkbox Intended (6:10): Are you sleepy now after #3? Gramatik has absolutely killed it this year. He’s been getting so much recognition in the EDM and bass world, just like I knew he would. He’s been collaborating a lot this year with GRiZ (calling themselves “Grizmatik” which I am a huge fan of), and this album had to have come out right after I stopped teaching, otherwise you KNOW I would have been all over this in my classes. I especially like this one for the heavy beat, but also because the majority of the lyrics are “To the Dubstep Sound in the Funk” which is basically what my life is all about.. dub and funk. If you like this song, make sure to read any other post on my blog, because I surely mention how obsessed with G I am. Did I mention how incredible he is live, too? He’ll be at every festival again this coming year, just like I predicted here. Stick with me folks, I am like, really, smart. Also, this track is so spinable and funky.
5. AWOLNATION, All I Need (3:38): I like this guy because they are all over the place in terms of sound. No distinct characteristics carry over into every song, which is a pretty cool thing to find in an artist these days. This song also reminds me of one of my most favorite instructors who plays this song to open class with who just moved to the west coast, and I’m devestated over. It’s such a feel good jam, and the lyrics are so cute… “All I need is you, smiling.. All I need is life, love, with you” and it makes me want to hug my loved ones. It’s got a good beat for a spin too, if you find the fast beat to it. If you like this one, check out the song “Sail” by them, if you haven’t discovered it’s tasty synthesizers yet.
6. Matthew Dear, Her Fantasy (6:15): Matthew Dear came out with a new album this year, and I can’t get enough of this song. It’s got such a fun, dancey beat, and his vocals have such a David Bowie in the Labrynth feel to them that is so deep and eerie that I can’t quite fathom why I love it so much. Have a listen though, and dance your face off, because you won’t be able to help it. If you like this, check out “Headcage” for a slower, dancey beat.
7. Pretty Lights, Hot Like Dimes (7:23): My marriage to Pretty Lights (and his whole music label at this point) is no secret, so I couldn’t leave him off this list – especially since I’m SEEING HIM ON NEW YEARS EVE IN NEW YORK THIS YEAR! Literally can not wait for the 31st, not to mention I’ll be there ringing in 2013 in sparkles and sequins with 10-15 friends. Hot Like Dimes came out in 2010, but I can’t get enough of it; it’s got dub, hip hop, and old vinyl samples. If I was still teaching, would do a sickly heavy climb to this for 7 minutes. If you like this, check out this post for more Pretty Lights infused playlists.
8. Mumford & Sons, Hopeless Wanderer (5:07): I can’t mention bands/songs I can’t stop listening to on repeat without mentioning the new Mumford & Sons album, Babel, that came out a few months ago. I love most of the album, but I especially love Babel, and this one, Hopeless Wanderer. It starts off really slow for a few minutes, and then picks up in true M&S form for the last two minutes or so. You KNOW I’d be throwing some resistance on for a hill for the slow part, and then sprinting during the crazy fast. If you like this one, check out “Babel“, or “I Will Wait.”
9. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Your Love (Fake Blood Remix) (5:10): My most music saavy friend, Boots, sent me this on Spotify, and I fell in love with this guy (I thought it was a group until reading his bio!) after hearing this remix. I spent a lot of one of my days off listening to his albums on Spotify (my one true love in this world). This has got a great, quick beat, with male vocals, and then a female vocalist who sounds like she would be found playing in a gay club.. you know that kind of voice? It’s my favorite, and this songs got it all. If you like this song, check out “Tapes & Money” for some heavy synth dance music.
10. Ellie Goulding, Figure 8 (The Alias Extended Mix) (5:59): I can’t do a top 10 list without including my girlfriend, Ellie. I used her for my very first playlist I ever taught (when I thought I was going to puke up my nerves) well BEFORE the “Lights” Bassnectar remix was discovered by the masses (sorry to be that snob, but I can’t help it – it’s my one talent, let me have it). Ellie could sing about picking up dog doo, and I would still listen to it and love it and want to snuggle with it forever. Her voice is just too adorable. This would be a ton of fun to spin to, and if you like this, check out the Jakwob remix of “Under the Sheets“, Alex Metric’s “Salt Skin Remix“, “Hanging On“, and “High for This” which she covered, originally by The Weekend.
Words of advice for the new year… To the dreamers out there: Follow it. I promise, you’ll love it.