best for guests. lisle mitnik (fireflies)

Lisle Mitnik is a multi instrumentalist and founder of various indie pop projects (Fireflies, Very Truly Yours and Tiny Fireflies). He creates lo fi recordings of songs inspired by 80s and 90s indiepop, going from profoundly melancholic melodies evoking Sarah Records to bright, delicate summery pop.

His latest work is a collaboration with Edine, from The Marshmallow Kisses, called Edine Avec Lisle Mitnik Et Son Orchestre; a project that started as an online friendship in 2005 and came alive when they met in London in 2011. A 7'' with 4 tracks was released a few weeks ago via Elefant.

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I hesitate to use the word "best" or "favourite" because I'm sure I only heard a fraction of all the great songs that were released in 2012. I'm usually quite slow to pick up new music, so I'm sure in 2013, I'll be saying, "man this song is great' about something that was released this year. My year end lists are eternally flawed in this way. Still, that being said, the following is a list of five songs that really got a hold of me this year.

5. KENSEI OGATA On the Beach
This fall I discovered Kensei Ogata's music through my friend Yugo of Happy Prince records. His soundcloud page is full of delights ranging from more electro tracks (like this) to shoegazy stuff...but the thing tying them all together is an excellent sense of melody and production. Definitely check out his album, "Her Paperback," if you like this one the whole album is great.

4. THE SCHOOL Where Does Your Heart Belong?
I feel like I missed any hype leading up to The School's album. It was like, suddenly there it was! Anyway, though the whole album is solid, this track was my favourite. I love the Margo Guryan type feel of the piano part, and the little flute bits are a nice touch. Perhaps its that kind of exquisite attention to detail that helps The School nail the girl group sound so well.

I saw DIIV come up on a lot of year-end lists...and I enjoyed their album...but when I heard Nocturne, I realized there's really no substitute for the real thing. Captured Tracks has a very distinct vision of its sound as a label, and to me, Wild Nothing are the masters of that. This song in particular is just a perfect combination of sound. The guitar hook is just icing on the cake for the other lovely parts...the winding bassline, and the dramatic strings that slowly move their way up the scale, and the great lyrics, "I tried to feel something for you but that's all I can do, give my shadow to you."

 Tiny Fireflies had the opportunity to tour with Memoryhouse in March and so we were privileged to hear this (and other) songs live every night for almost a week. It was a real treat to hear such pretty songs over and over. The album had only just come out at the time, so I was surprised that their live arrangements were actually quite different than the album. Anyway, The Slideshow Effect is a great keepsake that reminds me of that fun time. When we got back, I listened to the album waiting to hear Heirloom since I loved that so much during their live sets.

Based on total number of plays, CANDY CANDY is my #1 favourite song of 2012. Though I guess she's most famous for last year's bizarre PON PON PON video that went viral, I think this is her best song. I love the retro-electro style of the music.. and her cute voice is much more appealing to me than the vocoder style of Perfume (though they're great as well). To me, it's just very refreshing to hear pop music that is unabashedly fun and not trying to be all cool and provocative... and I guess Kyary's overall style, both herself and the music, just really appeal to me. CANDY CANDY is pure bubblegum, and I can't help but smile every time I hear it.

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