Top Indie Songs 2012: Rock (Part I: 11-20)

These are not quite the top ten indie rock songs of 2012, but are still some of the best bands you shouldn’t miss out on hearing.

Note that I’ve used the phrase “indie rock” very loosely here. I’m only striving to make a distinction to break these up into the vaguest of genres. So you can look forward to a hip-hop list, a dance list, and an indie pop list. This mostly means rock, but they’re just as much defined by what they’re not: dance-y. These are the (second) best songs of 2012 with more grit than groove.

Top Indie Songs of 2012 comes with art!
“Talliff” by Matt Lyon via City of Vultures


As usual, to download the song, right-click on it and choose “Save as.” Also, please note the music player at the bottom right of the screen that enables you to preview all the songs on this page as a playlist.

  1. Little Jungles – Nothing Will Grow

    Hey, Little Jungles, what happened? Your Bandcamp said way back in January of 2012 that this song would be on the forthcoming album I Would Kill For Some Sunlight. And here it is January 2013 and that album appears to be still forthcoming. “Nothing Will Grow” indeed. Ah well get this song from Bandcamp, where you can name your price.

  2. Moonface – Teary Eyes and Bloody Lips

    I wish Spencer Krug would pick a band and stick with it. He’s all over the place, sometimes in Sunset Rubdown, last seen in Wolf Parade and now he’s the primary voice behind Moonface. Every year I think the gent has produced nothing new, I come to find he’s in some other project. Fortunately he has a distinctive voice and amazing lyrics, so I tend to realize it’s a Spencer Krug song the first time I hear it. This one sticks out for the line “Teary eyes and bloody lips make you look like Stevie Knicks.” I think that makes you look more like Tina Turner, but I guess that wouldn’t rhyme.

    Buy the Moonface album With Siinai: Heartbreaking Bravery

  3. Band of Skulls – Death by Diamonds and Pearls

    This is not, as you might expect from the name “Band of Skulls,” a metal band. But they are some solid rockage. The other song on this album that landed on my heavy rotation was “Patterns”.

    Buy the Band of Skulls album Baby Darling Doll Face Honey

  4. Yellow Ostrich – Daughter

    I was originally drawn to “Marathon Runner” from this same album but the mixed metaphors don’t go too deep. “Daughter” has a slower build up but it is a darker, more interesting song.

    Buy the Yellow Ostrich album Strange Land

  5. Urban Cone – Freak

    This song has an urgency to it. What are the circumstances of this song, that lead the protagonist to warn that the mysterious “They” will track you down and cut you? Shiver.

    Buy the Urban Cone EP Our Youth Pt. 1

  6. Au – Get Alive


    “Get Alive” is the heavenly track from the album Both Lights. Another stand-out is “OJ,” but if you’re considering getting the album, know you can preview the whole thing on their Bandcamp page.

    Buy the Au album Both Lights

  7. Two Door Cinema Club – Sun

    Sam Halliday has the knack for creating catchy guitar melodies. Other than a touch of overdrive he plays it clean, so it’s not some effect or magical combo of pedals. Halliday simply has a gift for hooks that make me say, “play it again, Sam!” (Ahem. Sorry). What you’ll find here is no different than any other pop rock song put out by this Irish threesome, which is why it’s only number 19 on this list, but also why you should get every song they’ve ever made.

    Buy the Two Door Cinema Club album Beacon

  8. Clock Opera –  Lesson #7

    When The Hype Machine offered full previews of this album, it became the first album of 2012 I felt confident would make my Best of 2012 list. Other very different but just as good songs from the Ways to Forget album are “Once and For All” and “Man Made.”

    Buy the Clock Opera album Ways To Forget

  9. Boxed Wine – Feral

    Just another great band producing the kind of infectious rock music that makes you wonder why the songs you hear on the radio are such crap. This is the second track on their debut EP, aptly but poorly named EP. They already have a new EP out this month.

    Buy the Boxed Wine EP EP

  10. Jack White – Weep Themselves to Sleep

    A song to remind us what the phrase “tickle the ivories” is all about.
    Just like you expect from Jack, it’s a little bit honky-tonk, it’s a little bit rock and roll.

    Buy the Jack White album Blunderbuss

That’s the first chunk of the Top Indie Rock Songs of 2012, but there’s more to come!