Published Dec 28, 2012As 2012 winds to a close, it's time to look back on some of the most popular music that we've shared over the last 12 months here at Exclaim.ca.
Be sure to note that this isn't a list of favourites, and there's no qualitative assessment involved in the music featured here. Rather, this ranks posts from our Music/Video section based solely on their popularity on Exclaim.ca.
Many of the posts included here are full album streams, and half of them come from Canadian acts, although the No. 1 spot is reserved for an exceptionally big name from elsewhere. Can you guess who it is? Peruse the list to find out.
Exclaim!'s Top 10 Music/Video Posts of 2012:
10. Matt Mays - Coyote (album stream)
Prior to Coyote, Matt Mays hadn't released an album since 2008's Terminal Romance, which featured his own backing band El Torpedo, and his fans were thoroughly stoked for the follow-up. This album blended heartland rock with some experimental twists, and this earned a big audience here at Exclaim.ca.
9. Bruce Springsteen - "Death to My Hometown"
Rock fans can always count on Bruce Springsteen to cause a major stir, and 2012 was no exception. The Boss rolled out songs from his album Wrecking Ball one at a time, and although each one was only online for 24 hours, that gave enough time for a whole heap of listeners to check it out.
8. Ministry - Relapse (album stream)
The Occupy movement helped to inspire the angry, politically minded new album from industrial icons Ministry. Although the protests weren't earning quite so much press by the time Relapse came out in March, the album still garnered plenty of attention from the group's many fans.
7. Katatonia - Dead End Kings (album stream)
Metal fans rejoiced when Swedish metal titans Katatonia returned with Dead End Kings, their first album in three years. It channelled the group's melancholic doom sound while also adding some intensity and spontaneity to the proceedings, making for one of the year's most popular metal releases around these parts.
6. Propagandhi - Failed States (album stream)
Veteran political punks Propagandhi touched on prog, thrash and metal on their latest full-length. Sonic touchstones reportedly included Voivod, Rush, NoMeansNo, SNFU, Sacrifice, Razor and Guilt Parade, and this blend of influences helped to make the Winnipeg band a big draw in 2012.
5. John K. Samon - Provincial (album stream)
In early 2012, we ranked the solo debut from Weakerthans leader John K. Samson as our most anticipated Canadian album of the year. Evidently readers agreed, since the Provincial album stream earned the No. 5 position. If the Weakerthans can finish up that new album they've been talking about, maybe 2013 can be a big year for Samson too.
4. Nicole Atkins - "Bird on a Wire" (Leonard Cohen cover) (video)
When Leonard Cohen's much-hyped Old Ideas came out, Columbia Records curated a series in which contemporary songwriters covered their favourite song by the Canuck legend. Contributors included Bradford Cox, the Mountain Goats, Cults, A.C. Newman and more, but the most popular at Exclaim.ca was "Bird on a Wire" by New Jersey folk singer Nicole Atkins.
3. Mother Mother - The Sticks (album stream)
Mother Mother made a big showing on our chart last year, and the same was true with 2012. The Sticks is the Vancouver pop group's second album in as many years, but they clearly aren't over-saturating the market, since their fans still have a big appetite for their catchy, slightly off-kilter tunes.
2. Devin Townsend Project - Epicloud (album stream)
Canadian metal king Devin Townsend embraced catchy melodies and more conventional song structures for his latest album with his Devin Townsend Project. Epicloud takes a poppy, spiritual approach to metal, and his fans were eager to hear the latest instalment in the eclectic guitarist's catalogue.
1. Bruce Springsteen - "This Depression"
For many listeners here at Exclaim.ca, 2012 was the year of Bruce Springsteen. His second entry on our Top 10 comes in at No. 1, as his song "This Depression" earned more listens than any other piece of music posted in our Music/Video section this year. It was online for a mere 24 hours, but that was enough for Springsteen followers. Hats off the Boss, who, after 40 years in the business, proved that he's still able to pen new material that drives people wild.