I’m back with my absolute favorite songs of this year!
I was not in America for half the year, so I’ll admit that I wasn’t on my A game with respects to the latest and greatest on the airwaves… feel free to argue with me (although praise would be nice, too).
Charts, reviews, and Pitchfork aside, this is what I was listening to on repeat in 2010…
25. Throwing Shade - Abe Vigoda
I like how chaotic this feels, it sort of had to grow on me to be honest. I threw it on a playlist and noticed that every time it cycled back to this song, it stood out in a great way. I don’t think it’s catchy, which is more than half the reason why I listen to it.
24. Get Some - Lykke Li (Beck Remix)
This little Swedish lark is adorable and equally fierce. Beck’s remix of ‘Get Some’ hits and bounces and hits again. At first I didn’t love ‘Get Some,’ released as the first sneak peak from her anticipated Wounded Rhymes (due in March, along with new Bright Eyes and the Strokes, what a beautiful month it will be), but the remix really brings out the best of it. And those provocative lyrics… Lykke Li, as if you didn’t have the male race wrapped around your finger tightly enough.
23. Don’t Leave My Mind - Azure Ray
Azure Ray is a pair soft-singing, glowing girls who’ve made appearances on a good handful of Bright Eyes albums. This song off of Drawing Down the Moon is slow-moving and romantic, but sad, too.
22. Stranded - The Walkmen
The Walkmen’s _Bows + Arrows _has been a top album in my life, and while I’m loyal to their sort of crashing-sounds-meets-ragtime, I really like the pace of this song. The horns compliment Hamilton Leithauser’s dipping and pulling vocals.
21. Used to Be - Beach House
It was hard to chose between this song and Norway, but ultimately, the subtle bounciness of ‘Used to Be’ tends to conduct the rhythmic patterns of my heart beat, and that’s pretty awesome. If there ever were to be a ghost that haunts my house, I’d let it stay if it howls about like the hyaline voice of Victoria Legrand.
20. Solitude is Bliss- Tame Impala
The beginning of this song reminds me of a car commercial, and that just ties into the band’s name so well - what’s not to love? It’s a nice and upbeat display of their psychedelic rock, something that moves enough to keep it from becoming stale.
19. We No Speak Americano - Yolanda Be Cool & DCUP
I first heard this song at Otto Zutz, a club in Barcelona that hosted Loco Lunes (‘Crazy Mondays’). It’s a night of dancing to either really old American Music or new-enough hits. I thought this was some random Italian swing music, which is true to an extent, but it actually blew up in every European club. It’s bass-catchy and fun, and it reminds me of being out at 6 a.m. in the streets of Barcelona.
18. The Other Side of Your Face - Twin Sister
The build-up in this song is near perfect. Then the voice comes in, a sort of nasally and intimate female vocal, and I’m instantly sold. Can you really go wrong with pretty harmonies and reverb-y noise? Well, yeah, of course you can, but this song nails it.
17. Bloodbuzz Ohio - The National
The sadness of these lyrics are put on a really triumphant backdrop, a paradoxical tactic I tend to fall for in songs. I love the deepness of Matt Berninger’s voice, always have and always will.
16. Art House Director - Broken Social Scene
Choosing from this album was difficult, runners-up include: Texico Bitches, All to All, Meet Me in the Basement, and Sentimental X’s. This song is genious from beginning to end - the wobbly beginning, the overall liveliness (I’m a sucker for brass, what can I say), and the signature BSS random-sounds exit.
15. Tighten Up - Black Keys
I plain and simply love the Black Keys. I love them even more when their edgy rock flirts with blues (also applicable when their rock makes love with blues, listen to ‘Stack Shot Billy’ from Rubber Factory). It’s a love-at-first-listen song, but again, it was hard to choose from this album. Listen to all of Brothers if you haven’t already.
14. Tell ‘Em - Sleigh Bells
So energetic! A few bangs, a lot of synth, and a strange echo of Jimi Hendrix’s Woodstock version of the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ (listen for it, you’ll hear it). Sleigh Bells produces such an impressive amount of sound for just two people. Fun facts: Derek Miller used to be the guitarist of Poison the Well and Alexis Krauss was on a Nickelodeon Magazine commercial as a kid.
13. Despicable Dogs - Small Black
“Do it without me, do it when I’m gone,” that’s what singer/innovator Josh Kolenick is droning in the chorus; even if you don’t quite remember the order of the words, with one listen to ‘Despicable Dogs,’ you’ll be singing this line over and over again… kind of like how moms improvise trigger words from the radio. It’s dull and static, with that submarine-ding guitar in the background… things I simply love.
12. Bang Bang Bang - Mark Ronson (feat. MNDR & Q-Tip)
MNDR has come to play with the big boys, and Amanda Warren has shown she can play tough. This song is a single off of Mark Ronson’s third album Record Collection. The feature artists are the ones that really got me to press play, so it was surprising to hear this isn’t Mark Ronson’s typical work. Sometimes change is good, even great, and this is true for ‘Bang Bang Bang,’ a hard-hitting, gyrating-your-hips, in-your-face rock out of a song.
**11. We Ah Wi - Javelin
This song would come on and I’d forget what it was. Then about 15-seconds later the little beat would march its way in, and I’d be so happy that ‘We Ah Wi’ found its way to my ears again. Maybe I was sucker to the surf rock sound that captivated the alt rock world this summer, but I think this song is sort of beautiful in its own electric wave way. **