Songs announce themselves as essential in different ways. Some knock you off balance; some help you find your rhythm. Some insinuate themselves into your life slowly, until you can't imagine a time they didn't exist; some leap out of car windows, change the course of your week and then vanish.
On this week's show, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton are joined by NPR Music's Stephen Thompson to recount their favorite music from the first six months of 2014. They spin the ferocious punk energy of Perfect Pussy, the magnetic vocals of Broken Twin, absurdly catchy electro-pop from Sylvan Esso and much more.
This is what 2012 sounded like streaming on our phones, blasting through tiny laptop speakers, booming wirelessly in our living rooms and spinning on vinyl while hanging out with friends. These are the songs that made us smile, made us cry, put our hands in the air, cracked us up, lodged in our brains, caught us dancing in our chairs and brought us back down to earth.