Songs That Made Me! Me! Me! Happy in 2012
svetlana | Dec 5, 2012 | 9:00AM |

Much like every year, we kick off our end of year lists with my 6th annual, all-important, hugely subjective list of songs that made me happy every time I heard them (in 2012). Not the best songs, not the coolest songs, just the songs that made me! (me! me!) happy. I am pretty predictable in my tastes so expect mostly music you can wear a dress to and maybe a fair amount of cheese dripping off your screen. But there is no shame in my sonic game, and there never will be.

Before we start, I’d like to point out a couple of things:

  1. I barely listened to any new music in 2012, it seems (sort of a pattern).
  2. As such, some may find this list uninspired and definitely sprinkled with some non-2012 releases, so please feel free to offer suggestions in the comments.
  3. Apparently-more so than ever before, I realized my emotional musical age is 16
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Also if you’re into nostalgia, check out:

In no particular order:

Actually, no particular order note aside, this song had to be the first one on the list. I mean people, how good is it? SO GOOD. The kind of bratty, sing alongy pop that worms its way into your brain and doesn’t let go. EVER. The fact that the girls are gorgeous AND Swedish should come as no surprise/doesn’t hurt at all. I play it on repeat in the BYT office at least twice a week and at least one of those times I don’t care (I love it. I don’t care) if anyone else is present (bonus: they are opening for Marina & The Diamonds at RAMS HEAD this week, making it this month’s concert equivalent of a champagne cocktai). You’re so damn hard to please, we gotta kill this switch. You’re from the 70’s, but I’m a 90’s bitch.

I am pretty confident that if this song didn’t have FUCK in the title or had a non-FUCK-in-the-title version of it (that maybe featured Muppets) it would have been the biggest hit of the year.

I was pretty into SUMMER CAMP in 2011, which is when they released “WELCOME TO CONDALE”, a concept album about a fictional California town, but then, courtesy of some recommended Spotify playlist or other, this kiss-off-semi-anthemic number about the other boy in “MY SO CALLED LIFE” (featuring a rare male vocal on the record) came on and I never stopped listening to it. If actual Brian Krakow wrote THIS song for Angela Chase, Jordan Catalano would have been history. Alltogether now: And if you wanna have me, that’s fine, If you say you love me, you’re mine, Baby if you need me all the time, I’ll stick around

This song has only been out a few weeks AND I am pretty sure this is NOT actually good but THE MILK’s  earnest attempts at recreating some of northern soul magic in 2012 still make me stand up and cheer a little every time I hear it. We’ll see if it has any staying power (doubtful), but for now, it can sit (messily) here.


I spent a big part of 2012 shuttling up and down from DC to NY on a bus. Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever met me in real life, but I don’t really belong on buses. I am too tall to fit properly anywhere, my butt is too bony to sit still even for a movie let alone a four hour+ trek in a seat that doesn’t fit properly, and I can’t nap in moving vehicles to save my life. Also-I can’t read in moving vehicles since I get very nauseous, and wi-fi tends to suck pretty epically on buses (no matter what they say), so that pretty much left me with one option: my ipod. Cale takes good care of filling it and meticulously rating songs on it for me and, at some point-this came up.  At first I was going to skip it since white dude rappers with albums entitled “WHITE ALBUM” and a single called “YOKO” didn’t quite seem to be my cup of tea but boy, was I glad I stuck it out. Stuff was catchy and with this nice little bounce to it that just MAKES your shoulders shimmy whether you’re standing, sitting or walking. Non-optional shimmy inducing. Songs like that don’t come along every day.

As soon as the song ended, I listened to it again. Then I texted Cale and was like: “Dude, unexpected hit: that Berner YOKO song”

he texted back straight away: “GOD, I LOVE THAT SONG. I keep playing it all the time but you’re the first person to bring it up to me. It is way better than it deserves to be, right?”

me, in a frenzy: “OMG, TOTALLY. ok-going to listen to it now again”

(or something to that effect).

This year, Danny Brown retweeted one of our tweets and it was legitimately a highlight of our career. Bigtime.

On my birthday, Phil Runco, who is as good of a music writer BYT ever had, made me a “Super Sweet 16-AGAIN” mix (since you know, I am forever young, or something along those lines) filled with all sorts of pop songs I really loved already and a few songs I thought I would hate but ended up capitulating to eventually. This is definitely one of those. So inane, yet so perfect, it should really have a dance move associated with it, Macarena style.


TAKE THIS WALTZ” is actually a phenomenally melancholic movie starring Michelle Williams and Seth Rogen as a couple growing apart, but in the middle of it all, there is this perfect slice of legitimate joy when “CLOSING TIME” comes on. When Sara Silverman says you dance, goddammit, YOU DANCE.


I have been poring over some Brit Pop compilations this year in an attempt to recapture my youth and/or something else. I am super into DIVINE COMEDY right now (as opposed to when I was a teenager and this came out originally) because it reminds me of that kind of sly songmaking Jarvis Cocker used to specialize in, and whether upbeat (SOMETHING FOR THE WEEKEND) or narrative (like LADY OF A CERTAIN AGE) they still feel like a well crafted sonic joke.

If you don’t like this song, you don’t like anything.


Why Robyn? I mean, why NOT ROBYN? You’re should consider yourself lucky this list is not all Robyn, all the time, every year. To quote the inimitable Megan Burns, our NYC editor: Let me just take a moment to say I would go anywhere and do anything so long as it was Robyn-themed. If my dentist was Robyn-themed, I would brush my teeth with Pixy Stix just for an excuse to get a root canal there. If the DMV was Robyn-themed, I would gladly wait on line for days, maybe even weeks.

Every year, one of the songs on this list can be blamed on GLEE, which I am somehow STILL watching with some regularity. This year, during THE PROM EPISODE, the boys played this song for the girls, and goddammit-I am such a sucker for this kind of ego boosting uptempo serenading, it is almost unfair. Now, if you happen to be in a car with me, and I have had more than half a cocktail, chances are I will ask you to turn on 99.5 in hopes of this song coming on AND me being able to scream along to it. The amount of people WILLING to be in a car with me has, as a result, diminished exponentially, but see if I care.

A song about perfect arrangements: I love you, you pay my rent.

The case for “RED” has already been made on BYT, but even though the first single was what got most attention thus far, my vote goes to this track. Also, during Hurricane Sandy, I spent some of the better moments of captivity with some of my highest quality girl friends, eating candied bacon muffins and listening to this. Sorry/not sorry.

Every year, I pick an old school jam to throw in here, and POSITIVE K’s “I GOT A MAN” is more or less the equivalent of a xanax. Loose, funny, and yet always on point. AIYOOO SWEETIE….



For the uninitiated SSION is Kansas City, Missouri freak-scene collective led by charismatic mastermind Cody Critcheloe, who in his spare time does lowkey things like make album art for YEAH YEAH YEAHS and videos for LIARS. Essentially they are like OF MONTREAL but (maybe) funnier. On “BENT”, which YES I KNOW came out last year, MY LOVE GROWS IN THE DARK is by far the most upbeat bit of dance camp, and the video just wins every single time.

I know everyone is way more into “EVERYTHING IS EMBARRASSING” (Which, OH WOW, just got NY Mag’s “Song of The Year” accolade)  but I am a big fan of the RED LIPS operation/production. The whole vibe is that of a Courtney Love’s pre-destruction younger sister, complete with a Terry Richardson directed, “Girl Parts” redux video. And you can dance while using your hair (a lot) to it. You know the way-the way ONLY your red lipstick shows through it all.

Of the novelty videos/tracks this year, PSY may have gotten himself on ELLEN, but THRIFT SHOP wins my heart any day.

OK-your turn now. Leave your happy song favorites in comments, because sharing (musical prozac) is caring.

Recent Comments:
  • Data says:

    I reached your site after clinnikg on a link you posted in a comment to Alfie Kohn- very outdated but I’m commenting anyway. Your intro to this post really struck me- particularly because I’ve been reading Khon and considering parent ed. options. You identify parents having little control of children’s behaviour as something wrong with parents, and go on to note that you were a perfectly behaved child and a hellraiser teen. Do you think different parenting might have better helped you cope with the challenging teen stage even if you weren’t such a well behaved’ performing seal as a little one?.