MY TOP 25 IS ACTUALLY TOP 30

Johnny (John of Whaps) hails all the way from Toronto, so you know his list is going to have swagger and style. If it’s not his pop culture acumen, his way in the kitchen, or his panache for throwing memorable parties; Johnny is known for his vulnerable honesty and charm. Def excited to share his playlist with you and your loved ones!

Deciding on my favorite songs of the year is always a trying process, as my taste varies so greatly from moment to moment. At the club, in the car, in the background: there are very specific songs I like in one place, but can’t stand in another. I can gleefully admit to dancing more to LMFAO’s ‘Party Rock Anthem’ than any other song this year, but don’t own a copy downloaded or otherwise. I had a self-revelatory moment that brought me to tears during Joywave’s track ‘Winnipeg’, but because of it’s impact, I just can’t listen to it on a regular basis (or in public, for that matter…). The shock of Tyler The Creator’s ‘Yonkers’ is undeniable, and like College’s ‘A Real Hero’, is a song I’ll forever associate with this year. Are they my favorites? No, but they have their place; all of these songs do.

What separates these tracks from the other great ones missing is their durability. When I listen to ┬áB I G S L E E P’s ‘Sex’, it rushes over me the same way it did the first time I heard it. New Navy’s ‘Zimbabwe’, no matter how overplayed it was as the kick-off track of my most successful mixtape amongst my friends, I can’t deny the stupid dance face I’m putting on as I bob my head to it right this second.

As for my two favorites, it was a real toss up. ‘Tulips’ impacted me instantly, and etched it’s scent into my brain. Whenever I need a song to listen to, at any time of day, Tulips fits perfectly. When I’m working, when I’m reading, when I’m walking, when I’m itching to make-out: it’s sonic perfection. M83’s ‘Midnight City’ is a track that has just grown in size every time I hear it. The bass hits harder, the squeaks squawk louder, and my fist clenches into a pump, now worthy of a guest spot on Jersey Shore. It’s gutteral, it’s viceral, it is the living, breathing sound of the city.

Each artist is only represented once for diversity sake, however in some instances one song couldn’t be decided on (noted by a slash). My top 25 is actually a top 30. Shhhhh…


The Bilinda Butchers – Tulips
M83 – Midnight City
B I G S L E E P – Sex
New Navy – Zimbabwe
Monarchy – Maybe I’m Crazy
Destroyer – Kaputt/Suicide Demo For Kara Walker
James Blake – The Whilhelm Scream
Peter & Kerry – Knees
Maroon 5 – Moves Like Jagger
Dirty Beaches – Lord Knows Best
Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
Foster the People – I Would Do Anything/Helena Beat
Frank Ocean – ┬áNovacane/We All Try
Childish Gambino – That Power
Keep Shelly In Athens – Song To Cheer You Up
Chris Brown – Beautiful People (ft. Benny Benassi)
Tyler The Creator – She (ft. Frank Ocean)/Yonkers
Joywave – Winnipeg
The Weeknd – The Morning
Kooks – Junk of the Heart
Thundercat – For Love I Come (Your Friend)
College – A Real Hero (ft. Electric Youth)
Pure X – Twisted Mirror
Bon Iver – Calgary/I Can’t Make You Love Me
Rihanna – We Found Love (ft. Calvin Harris)

4 thoughts on “MY TOP 25 IS ACTUALLY TOP 30

  1. @Johnny: I would describe your mix as the kind I would create for my drive to Calgary on the sunny month of May. It not too loud or too soft. Just the right kind of mellow without getting sleepy.

    Songs that stood out to me were: Tulips, Zimbabwe (loved it on your mix earlier this year as well!), Knees, Lord Knows Best, That Power, Twisted Mirror and Junk of the Heart (Happy).

    Also, I enjoyed your well written write up which is oh so honest!

    Lastly, it seems that saxophone is the new ‘it’ instrument of 2011. Move over T-pain’s auto-tune and welcome Kenny G’s sax!

    Thanks for sharing your songs to the world Johnny!

  2. JohnnyHO!!! always a pleshure to listen to your tracks o joy. Good writeup too. like it.

    I hear ya on liking songs in different situations and environments. I am enjoying listening to your mix as my background, and every so often in this environment a specific song will jump at me, and I will investigate that band further. radical.

    Liking Childish Gambino.

  3. Somewhere in the back of my head I hear a song that very accurately reflects the way I feel when your top picks for the year rolls around…

    “it’s the most wonderful time of the year…” hahaha!!

    Thanks!! Can’t wait to check these out! Still have your playlist from last year that I listen to almost every day!!

    Happy New Year, O!!

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