Tracking 2012’s Best Songs: Jack White, Air, Willis Earl Beal

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Every week, we keep track of and discuss the best songs of the year. This week, hear new additions from Jack White, Air, Willis Earl Beal, F*cked Up and Dr. Dog.

JACK WHITE – “Love Interruption”
Jack White’s first solo-single sounds like the final track off the White Stripes album we’ll never get. More masochistic than your average blues-ballad, “Love Interruption” finds White begging Love to bring on the pain (and could Love kindly burn down his house too?). The scar tissue will ultimately be his armor (“I won’t let love disrupt, corrupt, or interrupt me”). A clarinet accompanies an acoustic and electric guitar, and the trio weaves a lovely track for White and duettist Ruby Amanfu. Yeah, it should have been Meg, but bitching is for ingrates. “Love Interruption” is as good as White gets. Love Interruption single is out now on vinyl and digital download. Blunderbuss album is out April 24.

AIR – “Sonic Armada”
“Sonic Armada” is Air’s best track since “Sexy Boy.” The song passes around its Bacharachian lounge melody — between a synth-flute and bass guitar — with glee. So, Air still has a pulse after all. Sure, “Sonic Armada” is a wedge of moon cheese, but it ages to perfection the more you hear it. Le Voyage Dans La Lune is out now, and it’s fantastic.

Think about the hyphenate “lo-fi” for a sec, and think about what it means to you. Think about the first time you heard a song and you thought “wow, that sounds like shit, and I love it.” And why did you love it? We love the scuzz and the dirt because it’s so fresh, so passionate, so seemingly created in real-time, unpolished, unrefined, unfinished, it’s a wound that’s still bleeding, a wound that’s still being made. We love XL’s latest signee Willis Earl Beal because he’s still bleeding. “Take Me Away” is a song that’s still bleeding. It’s the weird sad dirty soul song you recorded on your back porch drunk in the summer after someone broke your heart and you were still bleeding – it’s the real deal, and that’s what makes it intoxicating. Acousmatic Sorcery is out later this year on XL.

F*CKED UP – “Year of the Tiger”
Customary to F*cked Up’s Chinese New Yearly release of some kind of literally and colloquially epic jam on 12” vinyl, they’re ringing in the Year of the Dragon with fifteen minutes of ferocious, anthemic prog rock inexplicably called “Year of the Tiger.” Dizzying layers of cutting guitars, pop-rock piano chords, some rather dark spoken word contributions from Jim Jarmusch, shout-along vocals from frontman Damian Abraham, a sweetly apocalyptic sing-along from Dutchess Says’ Annie-Claude Deschenes – we have literally no choice but to love this. It’s absolutely, compellingly relentless. The Year of the Tiger is out now.

DR. DOG – “That Old Black Hole”
We’re not mad at Dr. Dog for going back to their old ways when they promised they wouldn’t, because their old ways are so perfect. “That Old Black Hole” has got that big irresistible pop-folk chorus, those Hammond organ wails, Dr. Dog’s really incomprehensible and totally enviable knack for slowly building up and up into the pounding, hyper-catchy, unpredictable banger… “That Old Black Hole” is so catchy, so masterfully constructed, it’s concrete evidence that this is a band truly at the top of its game. Be The Void is out now; read our review in which we make some lofty comparisons.

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