I’m not going to go near the “Best Songs of 2006” lists that other, wiser, hipper bloggers are doing. I have a really hard time keeping track of what’s coming out each week and, well, I don’t exactly listen to radio.

That said, there were many songs new to me that were enjoyed this year, so here’s a tracklisting, if you will, of what stood out. In no particular order, regrettably limited to 25 and not including new takes on familiar songs (read: that’s why Matt Nathanson isn’t included here). Check it out after the jump…

  1. Belief – John Mayer: I thought I was immune until Austin. And now I’m looking forward to Amherst in February. Dammit! (Continuum)
  2. Give Me Back My Dreams – The 6ths: Breathy synth with a lovely whisper vocal from Sally Timms. This song calms me, makes me sad and leaves me hopeful at the same time. Also has the best final line to a song I’ve heard in a long time. (Hyacinths and Thistles)
  3. Dear Sons and Daughters of Hungry Ghosts – Wolf Parade: I don’t know what it is that makes me like this song. It just does. Head-bobbing good times. (Apologies to the Queen Mary)
  4. Don’t Be Crushed – Hawksley Workman: Sometimes those vocal missteps on a recording really do come off as emotion. This is one of those cases. Talking about the city: “It’s pretty I suppose from inside a plane that’s heading for another place.” Sigh. (For Him and the Girls)
  5. Mushaboom – Feist: Whee! Fun! (Let It Die)
  6. Metaphor – Patrick Thomas: A little bit of roar, a nod at wordplay and a hint of a smile. Much like the musician himself.
  7. C’mon – Guster: Joe rocks the cowbell like nobody’s business as the band takes its most Beatles-y turn yet. I heard this song many times this year, in many places, and loved it every time. (Ganging Up on the Sun)
  8. Christian Girls – Jamie Randolph: Bitter and jaded has never sounded more lovely. (Villain)
  9. Long Legs – The Magic Numbers: See Number 5. (The Magic Numbers)
  10. The Blues Are Still Blue – Belle & Sebastian: Wait a minute, mainstream folks know who Belle & Sebastian is now? The band’s not just getting picked on by Jack Black? My head reels…(The Life Pursuit)
  11. Steady As She Goes – The Raconteurs: Thank you, Austin, for giving me reason to look up from my ACL schedule to say, “What the hell is this?” Great bass line kicks off the track, then the rest of the band takes it from there. (Broken Boy Soldiers)
  12. Three More Days – Ray LaMontagne: Ray. Grooving. My soul rejoices. (Til the Sun Turns Black)
  13. Jackknife Girl – Patrice Pike: This is a voice that grabs you and doesn’t let go. When walking by her ACL stage, I almost involuntarily turned abruptly and headed closer to hear more.
  14. Let You Sleep – Chad Perrone: Dear Chad, thank you for not calling it “Tonight.” Best, Victoria. (Used To Dream)
  15. SexyBack – Justin Timberlake: I resisted. I really, truly did. Doesn’t that count for something? (YEAH) (FutureSex/LoveSounds)
  16. Still in Love Song – The Stills: The Montreal band was one of my two can’t-miss ACL acts. They delivered – and I, uh, gushed a bit about it on the ACL website. (Rememberese EP)
  17. White Daisy Passing – Rocky Votolato: And here’s the other. I happily stood in the rain, swimming in a yellow poncho, to listen to Votolato sing. Loved every moment of it, even when the water seeped through my sneakers. (Makers)
  18. Boston – Augustana: How could I not? Exactly. (Before the Stars & Boulevards)
  19. The Captain – Kasey Cambers: I just connect with this song. Pretty, honest. “And did I forget to thank you for the ride, I hadn’t tried, I tend to run away and hide…” (The Captain)
  20. You Will Love This Song – Amber Rubarth: I love songs that paint the picture for me. This is a perfect example.
  21. Golden Days – The Damnwells: Several good memories of The Damnwells this year (P.S. Dear band: Thanks for helping me get to Austin) (Air Stereo)
  22. Anywhere But Memphis – Todd Carey (w/ Bushwalla): A simple sort of song, recorded in a snowstorm and hot as can be. The two Bushwalla-featured performances I took in (Burlington and Boston) were beyond fun, beyond rollicking…this is the TC/BW performance experience, melted down to a single song.
  23. A New Name for Everything – The Weakerthans: This makes me think of blushing and shooting glances over my shoulder on a perfect Saturday day in Burlington. The song’s good, too. (Reconstruction Site)
  24. Love and Love Lost – Ryan Montbleau Band: A song that should be a hit, by the one band I can rely on to leave me dance-exhausted and grinning after a long night of tunes.
  25. Disco Infiltrator – LCD Soundsystem: If you haven’t seen my dance to this song, trust me. You’re missing out. (LCD Soundsystem)