Transmission's Top Tracks of 2012


Jake Rudh
Jake Rudh (MPR photo / Nate Ryan)

Transmission's roots are in the worlds of post-punk, new wave, synth, power & dream pop, shoegaze, psych, mod, space and Krautrock.

Here's a list of artists who carry on those sounds nicely today (in no particular order). Some broke through to the masses while others are still waiting their turn.

(Don't worry, this doesn't include Transmission's choices for top local tracks...those are forthcoming!)

Top Five Singles:

Johnny Marr — "The Messenger"

(Chiming/jangly guitar, keys, disco bass-line, hand-claps ... it's the perfect recipe, and the former Smiths guitarist nails it.)

Melody's Echo Chamber — "Endless Shore"

(We sadly lost Trish Keenan of Broadcast two years ago ... this is helping me cope with that fact.)

Beach House — "Myth"

(I'm not going to write anything about this, because I won't do it justice.)

Violens — "Totally True"

(Just as the band they came from (Lansing-Dreiden) was criminally overlooked, so are Violens)

La Sera — "Please Be My Third Eye"

(Feeling a little blue? Throw this on)

Arial Pink's Haunted Graffiti — "Only In My Dreams"

(retro pop)

Beach Fossils — "Crashed Out"

Belbury Poly — "Summer Round"

(Hauntingly beautiful synth)

Benjamin Schoos (featuring Laetitia Sadier) — "Je Ne Vois Que Vous"

(French pop featuring the vocalist from Stereolab)

Chairlift — "Sidewalk Safari"

(experimental new wave)

Chromatics — "Kill For Love"

(Seductive synth)

Coastal Cities — "Relief"

(Carrying on with the Franz Ferdinand/Rakes tradition)

Craft Spells — "Still Left With Me"

(dream-like with a beat)

Crocodiles — "No Black Clouds For Dee Dee"

(A song for his wife Dee Dee of the Dum Dum Girls)

David Byrne & St. Vincent — "Who"

(Because it's David Byrne & St. Vincent)

Dead Mellotron — "Stranger"

(bringing us back to the Dreamy, hazy & fuzzy 90's)

Death and Vanilla — "Cul-De-Sac"

(Do you dig spy movies and their soundtracks?)

Deep Time — "Clouds"


DIIV — "Doused"


Discoverer — "Personal Clone"

(I do obsess over Kraftwerk you know...I'm supposed to enjoy music like this)

Divine Fits — "The Salton Sea"

(Mesmerizing synth & beat by Spoon, Wolf Parade & Handsome Furs side project)

Dum Dum Girls — "Lord Knows"

(A voice that is beyond her years)

Errors — "Relics"

(trance-like music that is not trance music)

Eternal Summers — "You Kill"

(Think 90's female fronted goodness like Belly, Velocity Girl & the Primitives)

Factory Floor — "Two Different Ways"

(They're bringing back the music we used to dance to 6am to)

Frankie Rose — "Night Swim"

(I'm beginning to see a pattern here about possibly liking female fronted tunes with infectious hooks)

The Holiday Crowd — "Never Speak of it Again"

(Two words - The Smiths)

Laetitia Sadier — "Find Me the Pulse of the Universe"

(Vocalist of Stereolab)

Lower Dens — "Brains"

(Modernizing Krautrock)

The Luyas — "Fifty Fifty"

(Take a guess...yep, more female fronted awesomeness...this time from Canada)

Metric — "Dreams So Real"

(see above)

Night Vision — "Keep Moving"

(NYC band bringing the romance of 80's electro pop back)

Parastatic — "Like a Fraud"

(They were raised on Krautrock, Shoegaze & synth)

Pet Shop Boys — "Leaving"

(These Boys haven't lost a thing through the years)

A Place To Bury Strangers — "You Are the One"

(Dark & distorted)

Poolside — "Next To You"

(Life is stressful, listen to more Poolside)

Raveonettes — "She Owns the Streets"

(Johnny Marr influenced pop)

Santigold — "Disparate Youth"

(It doesn't matter if it has over five million views, it's flippin' great.

The Sea and the Cake — "Harps"

(Let me use this space to say how glad I am that these guys are still creating music)

Stars — "The Theory of Relativity"

(Gary Numan would be proud)

Strawberry Whiplash — "Now I Know It's You"

(late 80's/early 90's heavy Twee influence. p.s. "Twee" is not a bad word)

Tamaryn — "I'm Gone"

(One order of Shoegaze please)

Tame Impala — "Be Above It"

(Let's face it...Lennon's ghost has resurfaced in an Australian band named Tame Impala)

Tan Lines — "Green Grass"

(dig it)

Tennis — "Origins"

(just because you heard this track coming out of your hipster neighbors apartment day & night this past year doesn't make it a bad tune)

Toy — "Left Myself Behind"

(Though I don't agree 100% with the top comment under this video stating "Toy Division"...they've got a point. If you're a fan of the Horrors, you'll groove on this)

Teen Daze — "Treten"

(The artists may dislike the term Chillwave, but it fits the vibe to a tee)

Trust — "Chrissy E"

(Straight-up synth pop with a dark edge)

Twin Shadow — "Run My Heart"

(Pretty sure that's Andy Summers of the Police on guitar. Not really.)

The Walkmen — "Heaven"

(Yep, it's the Walkmen)

Warm Soda — "Reaction"

(What ever happened to Power Pop? Why don't more bands do it today?)

White Rabbits — "Temporary"

(fell in love with this song the moment I heard it on the Current's airwaves)

WhoMadeWho — "Inside World"


Wild Nothing — "Nocturne"

(If anyone's properly channeling my favorite artists of the 80's, it's Wild Nothing)

World's Most — "Tall Shadows"

(I know nothing of this band...except that I really dig this song)

Young Prisms — "Runner"

(More dreamy material to get lost in)

Tune-in to Transmission at 10 p.m. every Thursday night. This week's episode will feature selections from this list.