Club Fonograma's Best Songs of 2012 (100-76)

100. Lucila Inés - Se Desbautizó ♫♫♫
Argentine songwriter Lucila Inés is the only artist to have ever sent us material in the .wma format. Not that the average reader would care, but this speaks tons about the newcomer’s charmingly naïve and essential approach to songcraft. “Se Desbautizo,” a track out of Todas las letras de tu nombre, proves how miniscule can turn into monumental with the right amount of lyrical warmth and whirling chords. This is a blasphemous pilgrim song about the joy that comes to those who substitute prayer with self-introspection. A tune so endearing even the most religious fanatic would sing along. - JEAN-STEPHANE BERIOT 



099. La Perla Irregular - 
El aprendiz de brujo ♫♫♫
It’s hard to think of an album as alienated and melodically unpredictable as La Perla Irregular’s America. While the gorgeous cover is very welcoming, their measure of folk and psychedelia add to something almost impenetrable. And yet, I can’t help but to come back to it. Particularly to its opening track “El aprendiz de brujo.” Although scattered all across the melodic spectrum, the jam-packed song carries a grandiloquent feel to it –a genuine frame of mind when you claim to have “entered the sun.” - CARLOS REYES 



098. Husky - Easy Girl ♫♫♫
Let’s face it, it’s easy to dislike a band like Husky. Not only are they in competition with Cut Your Hair for most inadequately located band, but they seem bent on taking a certain 80’s lighthearted pop-rock hits revival as their unequivocal aesthetic. But being fair, for all of this band’s surface-level hateabiity, the sharply determined slickness of their summer-y anthems, the irresistible singalong power of their choruses/hooks, makes listening to them a pleasure as guilty as watching Adventureland’s own easy girl dancing to 80’s pop jams. - PIERRE LESTRUHAUT 




097. Carla Morrison - 
No quise mirar 
Who would think she'd explode this year? Oh Carla. Let them dismiss your music as “cute” and “soothing” and then punch them over the head with it. But also make it damn likable  While there's a lot of filler in her sophmore effort Dejenme Llorar, songs like the jaunty, gorgeously melodic "No quise mirar" confirms that Morrison's talent and potential are still there, and that she's still one of the most dynamic young talents in pop music. - ANDREW CASILLAS 


096. I.E. - Smartphone ♫♫♫
Reminiscent of your childhood video games or maybe what the 80s thought the future would sound like, I.E.'s ode to connectivity dependency strikes a chord with a lot of us. The tinny vocals and the way the whole thing sounds rushed is exactly like the anxiety of being alone in public without something to do that makes us instinctively reach for our phones. This one goes out to everyone who can't go five minutes without checking their phone. I feel you. - BLANCA MÉNDEZ 




095. Andrea Balency Trio 
Lover ♫♫♫
2012 was supposed to be the year that Andrea Balency broke out. Well, that didn’t really happen—which sort of happens when you don’t get your highly anticipated LP out before year’s end. But revisiting “Lover” after a few months reveals that there’s plenty of substance to stand behind the hype. The intimate percussion, cooing vocals, and reasonable effects: there’s a reason Balency caused excitement amongst the scene. Here’s hoping 2013 finally provides the payoff. - ANDREW CASILLAS 



094. Los Amparito & Apache O'Raspi 
El Cantar del Jilguero ♫♫♫
Though Apache O’Raspi is no stranger to the blogosphere, Carlos Pesina has eluded us ever since he jettisoned his most successful alias and vanished into the ether, only to resurface with another quaint little project months later. Yet it would appear that other project of his still has plenty to offer in terms of pure sonic bliss. “El Cantar del Jilguero” is a sweet and succinct return to form for Los Amparito, ever a refinement of the sound that’s always been characteristic of the project: a polished, ethereal rendering of Mexican folklore through digital psychedelia."- REUBEN TORRES 



093. Plan B - Te Dijeron 
Following the success of party anthem “Si no le contesto”, Puerto Rican reggaeton favorites Plan B stroke back tremendously this year with “Te dijeron”, another of their highly relistenable, can’t-get-out-of-my-head hitazos. Extracted out of the self-titled debut by super-group La Formula, conformed by Pina Records’ most important exponents, “Te dijeron” is an evident standout that functions thanks to the duo’s ever relatable formula. Solicited hit-makers Luny Tunes’ production is infectious, turning this track into red-hot yearning desire of a future ardent but endearing re-encounter. - ENRIQUE COYOTZI 




092. Silva - Mais Cedo 
Claridão is an album replete with stunning larger than life hits, but like CF writer SouadMartin-Saoudi stated, it's the quieter side of Silva I keep coming back to. "Mais Cedo" is a warm and stunning track in which the Vitória artist romanticizes the shorter days. (Hoje anoiteceu mais cedo / Pra quem já não tem segredo). Each listen is as rewarding as coming away with a late night confession or some brilliant truth that unfortunately is all over much too soon. - GIOVANNI GUILLÉN 


091. SraSrSra - Putos Señora ♫♫♫
“Putos Señora” is quite short of an anthem, but kudos to the band for their wonderful display, using four words and some monkey chants. SraSrSra has given us a refreshing breather from vitriolic, hyperbolic rally calls against structural conditions or the machine. Using the track’s music video as a backdrop, it's a choice tune to rage too with our queer compatriots, in spite of the resounding persistence of possessive investments in heteronormativity and institutionalized homophobia. Yay Gay! - ADRIAN MATA-ANAYA  




090. Piyama Party - 
Sexo, drogas y comida chatarra ♫♫♫
Rock & roll never really changed the world, punk rock didn’t exactly bring down the establishment, and indie rock ultimately sold out. For Piyama Party though, that’s no reason to be bitter. They’ve been so adroit in their demystification of rock in all of its stages, that a bold statement like “Sexo, drogas y comida chatarra” touches a nerve in how their generation might not stand up for many ideals, but at least they have the honesty to admit they’re more interested in watching porn, eating pizza and playing lingerie contests. - PIERRE LESTRUHAUT 



089. Mentira Mentira - 
Lars Hetfield ♫♫♫
Mentira Mentira didn’t make a great leap of style in their sophomore LP No Way Out, but they certainly did in attitude. Under a punkier, in your face, carnage-ready delivery, closer “Lars Hetfield” is violence translated for the fucking mosh-pit. Leader and mastermind Gabriel Noriega understands what real rock music sounds like. Sure, No Way Out might principally resemble Nirvana’s Bleach era, but “Lars Hetfield” goes way beyond into something heavier under Noriega’s own dense levels of aggressiveness. - ENRIQUE COYOTZI 




088. Tego Calderón - El Sitio 
We didn't realize how much we'd been missing El Abayarde till he dropped his mixtape The Original Gallo del País - O.G. El Mixtape this summer. "El Sitio" is a perfect summer jam—not of the upbeat, catchy poppy variety, but of the straight up chilling, lazy beach/stoop hanging kind. And Tego is indeed the O.G. (that's "Original Gallo," beeteedubs) of Latin hip hop. His flow his effortless yet smart, understated and consistently relevant. - CLAIRE FRISBIE 





087. Nina Sky - Heartbeat ♫♫♫
After years of waiting for our favorite twins to find solid footing, they seem to have finally arrived at a place that feels right with the independently-released Nicole & Natalie. The verses on "Heartbeat" are confident, the hook effortless but powerful, the production (by Nina Sky's own Nicole Albino) polished. The song commands the listener to "feel my heartbeat" because this is Nina Sky for real real--doing what they want to do, and doing it on their own. - BLANCA MÉNDEZ  



086. Los Ginkas - 
Rama-Gabba-Rama-Mania 
Spain’s most hyperactive indie band laments on the serenity of our millennial zeitgest: “una juventud llorona canta triste y aburida.” And just like that, Los Ginkas articulate on their own musical purpose (often a career-longing search). The song starts contemplating tropical bird singing, mounting a string and cunning percussions and quickly transitioning the meditative frame into a high-flown melodic feast. Los Ginkas propose a fantastical alternative for this sorrowful generation – it’s bombastic and it includes a match between Santa Claus and Godzilla. Count us in. – CARLOS REYES 


085. Silva de Alegría - 
La Campana ♫♫♫
Furland lead singer/composer, Sergio Silva's voice has always erred on the side of joyousness – relentless, perhaps, but not like a child: instead, it demands that the inner child is kept alive, so that every new experience isn't sullied by blown expectations from the past. On "La Campana," Silva's orchestration creates a song not out of place at the end of the year: it makes you reflect, a little unsure, yet resolute. The final 50 seconds of key tinkering and distant bells may be a tear-stained face, but it's smiling broadly, ready for what comes next. - SAM RODGERS 


084. Dávila 666 - 
¿No crees que ya cansa?
An aptly titled track from the band that never seems to stop; our favorite Puerto Rican garage rockers didn't release a full album this year, but they were hardly sitting around doing nothing. Fiesta Nrmal, plenty of touring, a limited 7", and this gem of a track off a split with Atlanta's The Coathangers. "No Crees Que Ya Cansa" is Dávila at their very best: a driving beat, distorted guitars, raw, catchy singalongs ("oooooh baby!"), and their incredible energy that apparently doesn't tire. - CLAIRE FRISBIE 



083. Los Labios - Nada para mi ♫♫♫
“Nada Para Mi” makes me a bit less disappointed that Selena’s hologram didn’t play Coachella last year. Once again, Los Labios reject reproducing future sounds of Argentina’s club, but instead contribute to reconstructing feelings towards purposefully forgotten sounds of Argentina’s streets, Cumbia. Julieta Venegas’s “Me Voy” lends a hand as an anchor point for the psycho-historical virtual implant that helps me feel a bit better that I wasn’t raised on Selena, like a holographic pendant warding off false nostalgia. - ADRIAN MATA-ANAYA 



082. Pájaro Sin Alas - 
Pájaro Sin Alas ♫♫♫
Taken from his upcoming EP, the self-exploring lead single “Pájaro Sin Alas” and first official work carrying the Nueva Ola Fronteriza stamp, has had us quite pumped. The young poet is now exploiting a more Latin approach unlike the Indian Madlib-sampled sound Castro initially presented in breakthrough “Alfombra Mágica Mental” --check out those reggaeton-esque beats and tropical keyboard lines. Its overall aura is wistful. One just needs to experience Pájaro Sin Alas’ excruciating torment to totally jump from merry to blue. - ENRIQUE COYOTZI



081. Los Embajadores - Peso ♫♫♫
As soon as January of this year, we were anticipating just how much “Peso” was shaping itself as a serious candidate to enter this list. But even back then, we couldn’t have imagined that by the time we would be writing this blurb, Los Embajadores would have decided to break things up. As an act that could seamlessly alternate between mellow ballads and pop odysseys, Danae Morales voice never sounded as soul-wrenching as it does in “Peso,” and when Cristóbal Gajardo enters as the low-end, its force is as poignant as it is blithing. - PIERRE LESTRUHAUT 



080.  Valentín y Los Volcanes - 
100.000 Reflejos ♫♫♫
You know you have a marvel whenever shoegaze synchronizes its pedal with the heartbeat. Argentina’s Valentín y Los Volcanes borrowed/extended a note or two from their 2010 hit “Piedras al Lago” into the leading track of their second album, Todos los sabados del mundo. Two lovers confront the world shielded in anarchy –a provisional, acquired freedom they know is made merely out of their wishful reflexions. There’s so much desolation here, and yet so much hope for a happy forthcoming. - CARLOS REYES




079. Los Mil Jinetes - 
El canto del canario ♫♫♫
As much as Cristóbal Briceño spent most of the year delivering grand lyrical statements, few felt as compressingly aggressive as the lone lyric line in “El canto del canario.” Starting with a series of harmonizing “Aaahs,” some acoustic guitar strumming, and a steady beat enclosed by singing canaries, it might initially suggest that the song’s intentions are pointing towards naturist folk catharsis. But when Briceño finally unleashes his brave manifesto, what he may lack in poetry, is actually made up by the honesty of his desire to throw punches in the nose. - PIERRE LESTRUHAUT 


078. Miguel - Arch & Point 
I probably spent about six consecutive weeks this summer with “Arch & Point” stuck in my head. But in all fairness: this song is really fucking good. And it’s certainly more than just a catchy tune. The track itself is an exercise in deconstruction. Really, Miguel crafts one great track ostensibly out of two or three half-finished sections: The sinister muffed guitar lick backed with reverb; sleazy sex metaphors sung without a trace of irony; analog and electronic instruments working in isolation. And yet it coalesces quite nicely, intimacy achieved through execution. - ANDREW CASILLAS 


077. El mató a un policía motorizado 
Dos Galaxias ♫♫♫
Some b-tracks turn out to be some of the most accomplished pieces in a band’s career. This is the case of the beautiful and underappreciated “Dos Galaxias” by El mató a un policía motorizado. A track left out of La Dinastia Scorpio but made public as a b-track. This is heartfelt rock and roll in amplification. “Tan grande como dos soles, como cuando Luke miraba el cielo,” roars a visibly overwhelmed Santiago as he employs his geeky nature when describing his magnifying love.  - CARLOS REYES  


076. Gepe - Bacán tu casa 
I once commented to the CF staff how GP was Daniel Riveros' moment, largely because I was personally underwhelmed but had faith in some of the sure to be singles. My time with the record has since then converted me into a full believer. Not only is it one of my favorite albums of the year, but I firmly believe “Bacán tu casa” should be as big as “Lento.” Here, Gepe works overtime constructing a tower of irresistible pop to win us over. The piano base gets buried immediately over many levels of beautiful touches everywhere: the shades of Brazilian MPB, the horns, THOSE LA-LA-LA’S- all before slowing down on a fully earned string outro. Look, Gepe, you had us at Bacán. - GIOVANNI GUILLÉN 

5 comments:

Martha C. said...

No puedo confiar en una lista que tiene a Plan B. ¿Qué patrañas son estás?

Carlos Reyes said...

And we own them! "Si no le contesto" should've been in the top 10 back in 2010.

el amarillo amarillito said...

Es club fonogrma, por dios| nada q ver con ese reggaeton...

Santiago Ulloa said...

Pretty damn great so far. Not sure the Silva, Nina Sky & IE songs are strong enough to be here but they do add diversity, which is good.

Fonograma is the most reggaeton friendly publication, just look into previous years. It gave a reggaeton album (La Maravilla) a 5-star rating for god sakes. Anyway, stop the genre prejudice peeps. But I'm looking forward to the day you include some Alexis & Fido, way better than Plan B imo.

Renée said...

I love "Bacan tu Casa" and couldn't agree more with the GP review!!

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