The 17 Best Songs Of 2012 (So Far)

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Tomorrow is the last day of March, as you might already know, and it also marks the end of the first quarter of 2012. What better way to close out a three-month span than to size up its musical offerings via playlist? Below, please find the contents of my "2012 awesomeness" playlist, a running-all-year diary of the songs that have hit my ear in a particularly pleasurable way. Among the 17 bands on it are Tanlines, Pop. 1280, fun., and Pistol Annies!

A few notes:

• The Kindness song, from the forthcoming World, You Need A Change Of Mind, rocketed into my song-of-the-year position instantly upon first listen. Which was nine days ago. If you only listen to one song, make it that one; if you listen to it first, you might just keep hitting play over and over and over and over again. It's very appropriate that the London/Berlin-based dance producer's album is coming out on the revived Casablanca imprint.

• The Miranda Lambert/Pistol Annies track is from the soundtrack to The Hunger Games. It's a nice tide-over until the country trio's next album, which is slated to come out next year.

• I found the Ladyhawke song while browsing this Spotify playlist of adds to BBC Radio 6, which seems like the closest analogue the Brits have to NPR Music. Same with the Arctic Monkeys track, which I really dig because of how utterly dark it is—I'd always liked their speedier material.

• Get ready for a slew of end-of-year thinkpieces on Canadian teenpop singer Carly Rae Jepsen's utterly earwormy "Call Me Maybe." Or maybe we'll have devolved enough as a culture so that the "thinkpieces" will actually be GIF walls?

And here is a bonus track from the soundtrack to the Disney Channel show Shake It Up!, which is a deliciously fun collection of teenpop that sounds like the album Madonna wanted MDNA to be. "TTYLXOX" is, as you might have gleaned from the title, thick with Internet-acronym references, which normally turns me off (what can I say, I like my pop to be a little more timeless), I'm a big fan of the "Rapture"-gone-spacepop feel on the verses here.

What else should I be listening to over the coming nine months? Tell me in the comments! And, no, "anything else" is not an acceptable answer.

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