As always, the criteria we use to compose this annual list is based on a combination of factors: gut instinct, personal taste, overheard men’s room small talk, music journalism, data mining, peer pressure, gay sex appeal, political incorrectness, wet dreaming and, of course, penis size.
It’s kind of a tricky list to come up for a couple of reasons. Firstly, mainstream pop music is apparently so effin’ gay that, as music critic Alex Ross noted in his epic New Yorker essay on gay rights victories and pop culture, “At certain moments, straight people can seem gayer than the gays.” (Or maybe, at certain moments, gay people seem straighter than the straights?)
Secondly, there were more than enough indie songs with homo appeal released in 2012 from which to compile this list. Sadly we had to leave a few choice numbers on the cutting room floor but as we say in gay blogging, sometimes you have to kill your gaybies.
READ THE TOP 10 GAYEST SONGS OF 2012 AFTER THE JUMP!
10. Antony and The Johnsons, “Cut The World”
Let’s get the serious stuff out of the way. Although this deceptively delicate orchestral ballad from Antony Hegarty is a meditation on repressed female anger, its revolutionary message has broader implications. As Antony put it in an interview about the song with Pitchfork, “the oppression of gays is built on the premise that the feminine is subjugated in society” so it’s no wonder the theme resonated.
We kept coming back to this song after three U.S. states voted to legalize gay marriage in the November election. So, what’s next? Will we wait four years to demand further equality? Gays aren’t the only ones with problems but often it feels like we are too fragmented to overtake the forces of social conservatism. “It’s almost inconceivable that we’re going to be able to shake this shitty system off its foundations, to create a new trajectory for ourselves as a species, in relation to nature,” Antony added. “But that’s the idea of ‘Cut the World’ – why not try? All we’ve got is legend to make of ourselves.”
9. Hunx, “Do You Remember Being A Roller?”
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This one is dedicated to all the queens over age 40 that still keep that glitter bottle tucked under their pillows at night. It also goes out to anyone that can relate to this rollicking indictment of creeping complacency from West Coast hottie Hunx: “Your fashion feels all wrong / Do you remember your favorite song?”
8. Zebra Katz feat. Njena Reddd Foxxx, “Ima Read”
New York City bass MC Zebra Katz‘s minimalist jam became the year’s breakout fashion anthem after designer Rick Owens included it in his runway presentation last spring. The song’s cunty attitude and drag slang also helped propel New York’s underground Vogue-ing scene onto the indie music world’s radar. However, despite its pro-education message, it fell short of inspiring an Ellen-assisted toddler rap redux. One day.
7. Frank Ocean, “Forrest Gump”
“Overcoming hardship in love” is a hallmark of the gay anthem, according to Wikipedia. Are we so unlucky in love? Straight people also suck at relationships but I guess when your bad romance can’t even get off the ground because one party is unable to express his burnin’ yearnin’ for man-on-man action, we’re in gay anthem territory. Which brings us to Frank Ocean‘s ballad “Forrest Gump” — a little too low-key for anthem status but its vivid lyrics nonetheless had us daydreaming about his alleged male model boyfriend’s buff bod for the better part of 2012.
6. The Magnetic Fields, “Andrew In Drag”
This song might actually be one of the least gay songs of the year: it’s about a straight dude who falls in love with the drag persona of another straight guy named Andrew. Fortunately a number of factors compelled us to include it on the list, namely Stephin Merritt‘s hilarious wordplay, his sardonic deadpan and the delicious twist on the whole ‘celebration of unashamed sexuality’ theme. It’s also insanely catchy. One of The Magnetic Fields‘ best songs.
5. The Carry Nation feat. Viva Ruiz, “This Bitch Is Alive”
We’re getting deep here people. One of our favorite gay dance imprints is London’s Batty Bass Records, which released this dirty peak hours banger from The Carry Nation (a.k.a. DJ Will Automagic and Nita Aviance) early in the year. The title says it all.
4. Stereogamous feat. Shaun J. Wright, “Face Love Anew”
Our aural sex anthem of the year. Majorly gay Aussie dance duo Stereogamous‘ dramatic “Face Love Anew” features a beautiful, dusky vocal performance from ex-Hercules and Love Affair singer Shaun J. Wright and an arpeggio breakdown that is the sonic equivalent of feathers tickling your balls. The single also comes with a suite of remixes by a cavalcade of international homo-rati DJ talents, including Horse Meat Disco, Jason Kendig, Kim Ann Foxman and Discodromo. Essential!
3. Le1f, “Wut”
New York city rapper Le1f handily edged out Paris Hilton’s “Drunk Text” for our Best Vocal Fry Recording Award with his gloriously fey club jam “Wut.” The lack of media attention from the hip-hop music press on Le1f and this undeniably fun underground hit would suggest the mainstream rap world is still a bit weirded out by homos. If it’s still punk to be gay in hip-hop, you’d think more people would be doing it…
2. Scissor Sisters, “Let’s Have A Kiki”
Is “kiki” the new “cray”? The heartwarming spoken word story of the year belongs to pop group Scissor Sisters, whose novelty dance tune “Let’s Have A Kiki” became a surprise viral hit after Boston-based club promoter Videodrome Discothèque posted the above homemade music video online. The song eventually reached the number one spot on the U.S. dance charts, providing us with the gay “Gangnam Style” moment of 2012.
1. Azealia Banks, “1991”
For better or worse, the ’90s are back (judging from the previous two Gayest Songs of the Year lists, the brown lipstick-smudged decade has been back for a while), but there is just something about the divaness in New York MC Azealia Banks’ “1991” that transcends lipstick color. The song turns Brooklyn producer Machinedrum’s already incredible “DDD” track into a weave-tossing anthem that takes us on a journey every time. The “Come Into My House” of 2012. All hail the Kunt Queen!
BONUS: Listen to the !! omg blog !! Gayest Songs of 2012 on Spotify here!