Thursday, December 16, 2010

Favorite Songs of 2010

Some songs stick with you.  They burden your shoulders, weigh on your heart, put a bounce in your step, raise your eyebrows, have equal parts hope and desperation.  Some songs kill you while keeping you alive; some keep you alive while killing you.  The best part about it: every song is different for everybody.  Here are my 10 favorite songs of 2010.

The Arcade Fire - "Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)"
The Arade Fire have danced with disco before, but this is the first time they've fully embraced it.  But this is no Saturday Night Fever.  This is disco underwater, dark and murky and menacing.

Andrew Graham & Swarming Branch - "Take It Easy On Kathy, At Least She Can Dance"
The carelessness with which Graham speaks "I'm gonna getcha, Kathy.  Here I come," speaks to the carelessness of the song.  It almost seems thrown together on the spot, completely free of any structural restraints.

The Walkmen - "Juveniles"
"You're one of us or you're one of them," sings leadsinger Hamilton Leithauser and it seems this might be the anthem of the year.

Panda Bear - "Slow Motion"
This is Noah Lennox at his cloudy best.  Sounds like the melody was flipped on its head and thrown on a danceable beat.

Distractions - "My Gold"
The deep baritone of Tom Owens cuts through on this track.  Sounds like an Arthur Russell or Bill Callahan song fermented - I mean that in the best possible way.  These grapes have become wine.

Kanye West - "Runaway"
I've never been a big fan of Kanye, but he outdid himself with this record and with this song.  The auto-tune at the end of this 9 minute song is worth the emotional buildup alone.

Women - "Eyesore"
A shame these kids like to fight on stage because it gets in the way of this awesome music.  "Eyesore" is a behemoth of change.  It works through various verses, loud/quiet parts, and a lilting melody that sticks in your head.

Local Natives - "Sun Hands"
Local Natives don't take themselves too seriously most of the time, methinks.  Listen to the "boos" at the opening of the track "Airplanes," and you'll see what I mean.  "Sun Hands," on the other hand, is pretty serious and the breakdown is not only moving, but I'll be damned if you don't want to clap along too.

The Morning Benders - "Excuses"
This song is everywhere for a reason.  It has that familiar melody and chord change.  It sounds like an old song rehashed as something new and fresh.

Sufjan Stevens - "Djohariah"
Seventeen minutes of mostly one word: Djohariah.  A psychedelic guitar solo.  That background choir.  That techno-ish beat.  Sufjan destroys all sense of pop and reinvents it as his own.


  1. Hmm. Favourite songs of 2010...

    The Black Keys - Everlasting Light

    Dr. Dog - Jackie Wants A Black Eye

    The Arcade Fire - Half Light II

  2. Fave songs of 2010 for me:

    Mumford & Sons- Little Lion Man

    Florence & The Machine- Howl

    Grizzly Bear- Two Weeks

  3. @Bex: "Everlasting Light" is a great song! I haven't heard the new Dr. Dog record yet. Any good?

    @GallifreyReject: I love "Two Weeks."

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  5. Mine were :

    Ingrid Michaelson- The Chain and Keep Breathing

    The Pogues- Fairytale New York

    Van Morrison- So Quiet in Here

    The Feeling- Kettle's on

    Feist- So Sorry

    Imogen Heap- Hide and Seek

  6. @Justine: Pogues and Van Morrison are tops!

  7. @The Spiral - wow, I'm crap at replying to comments. HA! Yes, the new Dr. Dog record is pretty awesome. Although you've probably heard it by now. If not, and you're not averse to music sharing, let me know and I'll send it.