Looking at my Last.fm charts is one of my favorite things to do - especially at the end of a year. Even though I know what I listened to (because, well, I listened to it), there are always some surprises that come from near-comprehensive data aggregation. If you had asked me what I listened to the most in 2012, I would have said new wave - I had my Depeche Mode Pandora station on almost every single day. But: That stuff wasn't aggregated. Only one related artist made it on - I guess when I'm deliberate about an artist or album, things turn out a bit differently. Maybe it's because that Pandora station perfectly captures the aesthetic, memory, or gestalt of some intangible thing that can only be accurately presented as a collection of songs. Anyway, here they are: my top 10 listened-tos of the year.
10. Two Wounded Birds. This was solely based on their song I Think The World Of You, which I heard playing in TopShop over the summer. It is the most beautiful epitome of moody Brit surf you will probably ever hear.
09. The Veronicas. This one really surprised me. I only play two of their songs, but I play one of them to absolute death. It's called 4ever, and is probably one of their more popular ones. I don't know much about these girls, except that this song was the theme of one of the most fun nights I had in grad school, involving my friend Carrie, wigs, a new bar, cherry vodka, sweater creatures, and the sound of McDonald's wrapper crinkling in the depths of my half-asleep consciousness as the sun rose.
08. The Hundred In The Hands. They came out with a new album this year I believe, but I still couldn't stop listening to their previous one. So moody and good.
07. Michael Jackson. What a surprise! He surprised me last year as well.
06. The Ramones. I got really into Bowery history this year, which had me tearing through dozens and dozens of Ramones tracks. I also bought a black motorcycle jacket at around this time a year ago, which drove me to them even more.
05. Metric. Surprise, surprise. I think they're still my top listened-to artist since I opened my Last.fm account in 2006.
04. Pet Shop Boys. I was introduced to some really stellar tracks of theirs through that Depeche Mode Pandora station, and I had those on repeat many a day.
03. Metallica. My favorite band of all time, which may sound weird to some but make perfect sense to others. This year, Orion was on heaviest rotation. If you're ever in a bad mood and have to go walk somewhere, put this on.
02. April March. My favorite discovery of the year. In 2010, I became totally obsessed with yé-yé. A friend spun her English version of Laisse Tomber Les Filles (Chick Habit) at a metal bar one night (I don't know, it worked), and I was hooked. I know it was in a Tarantino movie, but I have yet to see it. Chick Habit (the song and album) got the most plays of the summer. It's fantastic. Also fun fact: She was once an animator for Ren & Stimpy. What.
01. The Faint. They came back in a big way this year for me. This is the band that has probably made the most songs that I have played on repeat for hours and days, dancing around like an idiot. (Exhibits A, B, C, and D).