ClickMusic’s 10 greatest songs of 2012: a year of something new

Join us for the 10 best songs we've heard all year, some surprises and an obligatory one pound fish

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Posted 31st December 2012 in Features & Reviews, Bat For Lashes

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So that’s it for another year. 2012 is getting its coat and 2013 is lurking by the door to kick its way in.

2012 has given us some dodgy music, but it's also given us some of the most exciting songs we've heard in a while.

It was the year that Bat for Lashes and Girls Aloud came back, the year of 'Gangnam Style', and the year when the One Pound Fish became an internet sensation. Here are our picks for the best songs of 2012.

10. Toy Horses: ‘It Was You’

Their self-titled debut album didn't make huge waves, but it made an impression on those who heard it. 'It Was You' settles on a more melancholy note than some of their bigger songs and its quieter moments bring a welcome introspection.

9. Decibels: ‘The Lesser’

Nerd-electro isn't a new genre, but Decibels brought something new to the table with 'The Lesser'. What Decibels manage to do with their synthesisers is just a whisper shy of brilliance with a determined, rich melody that loops around introverted lyrics.

8. Girls Aloud: ‘Something New’

The Girls Aloud comeback song made critics and fans pause when it was first leaked online. Days later, once the off-kilter structure had time to settle in, it became clear that the girls were intent on reclaiming their girl power by any means necessary.

7. Rudimental: ‘Feel the Love’

Rudimental appeared from nowhere with one of the greatest summer anthems in years. 'Feel the Love' combined drum and bass, John Newman's voice and a chorus that felt so sweeping, it could knock you off your feet.

6. Luke Sital Singh: 'Fail for You’

Hearing this for the first time affects you in such a strange way. 'Fail for You' opens with an acoustic guitar before otherworldly harmonies lead the song off into sadness. Luke deserves big success, but you can't help but want to keep him for yourself.

5. Django Django: 'Storm'

Django could be a perfect storm themselves in 2013. Their psychedelic art-rock has lit up the music scene in 2012, taking electronic music in a new direction far away from the chart pretenders. 'Storm' is tantalising, electrifying and bloody good – with just enough psychedelia to make your mouth water.

4. Haim: ‘Don’t Save Me’

They made the BBC Sound of 2013 short-medium-long-list, so they could be in for a career-launching new year. But whatever the results may be, the summery nu-folk vibes of 'Don't Save Me' became one of the breakout hits of the year.

3. Kodaline: 'All I Want'

Few other bands can capture heartbreaking rawness like Kodaline. 'All I Want' is a moving song about desire, but add to that an emotional video and you have one of the most surprising – and most deserving – songs on this list. The band's on the list for BBC's Sound of 2013 honour and with songs like this under their belt, 2013 promises to be their year.

2. Bastille: 'Of the Night'

If you're getting old like us, Bastille's mash-up probably made you misty-eyed for glow-sticks or 90s' dance music. Tearing up 'Rhythm is a Dancer' and 'Rhythm of the Night' was inspired in itself, but turning them into a mournful, nostalgic ballad made us fall in love with every listen.

1. Bat for Lashes: ‘Laura’

No-one quite realised how much they'd missed Natasha Khan and Bat for Lashes until this song came like a ghostly apparition. As the first single from 'The Haunted Man', Natasha took away all the theatricality for a bare-bones song about self-image. At her best, she can make your flesh tingle with electricity and that's exactly what she did on 'Laura'.