Sunday, December 26, 2010

Top 25 Tracks of 2010

Hey I love lists, but making a 'Best Of' list is such a nuisance for slouches like me. You can see we don't even share as much music as we used to, but we would like to keep up the tradition of sharing our favourite songs here, so here we go, for the fifth consecutive year! One can easily dismiss my taste, for I am a sucker for good hooks and melodies, but there is no right or wrong in music preference, I am just voicing out what I grew to love and enjoy over the past year. Hopefully we will stick around until this time next year. 

Miami - Foals
The key flavour of this standout track from 'Total Life Forever' lies in the melodic riff. With its jagged guitar cascading over a bouncy rhythm, 'Miami' produces a funky groovy vibration that got me hooked like a fisherman's hat.

O.N.E. - Yeasayer
'O.N.E.' is the energetic high of the band's sophomore album, leaping from the sound of reggae-ish percussion to a hyperactive synth line and the upbeat showcase of Chris Keating's vocal. Such buoyant and dynamic instrumentation. Simply brilliant.  

Rococo - Arcade Fire
Musically, 'Rococo' emphasises on simplicity, with a simple chord progression being repeated throughout the track, allowing the string, horn and vocal melodies to reveal themselves slowly, and eventually building up to a powerful crescendo of Butlet repeating the track title. Rococo is classic Arcade Fire at their musical best. Powerful stuff.

Baptism - Crystal Castles
Crystal Castles are certainly an acquired taste. This track is harsh, raw and atmospheric, jam-packed with the band's trademark eerie bleeps and synths, and Alica Glass's piercing squeals as the standout presence. It's one hell of a ride.

Bang Bang Bang - Mark Ronson And The Business Intl
"Un, deux, trois", kicks starts the intro, indicating the exact number of seconds it takes to get soaked up with the delicious synth hook. Guest emcee Q-Tip and synthpop singer MNDR round up the lineup, providing concise rhymes and twisted squeaky hooks. Infectious, dancey, and a huge bounceathon that should be on everyone's summer playlist. BANG BANG BANG!

Odessa - Caribou
Wtih sleigh bells, synth flute and dog whistles all over an infectious bassline, 'Odessa' sounds like it is emerging from a dark and ice cold place, creating a house vibe that is rather relaxing. An awesome chillout track.

Forever and Ever, AmenThe DrumsThis track is a POP anthem with a capital P. The 80's indie guitar riffs sounds like it's being played out of a vintage amp. Simply brilliant.

Champion Sound Crystal Fighters
A lovely track with a hint of Basque folk clashes with electronic synth element. It just provide a continental feel that we are watching the sunrise on the Barcelonan shores. 

Real Love - Delorean
This is a bright and summery jam, with all of the band's trademark sonic elements - organ like synth, house piano riffs and the signature vocal. It hardly matters what lyrics the singer is blissing out as the soothing aura of the track has already settled into the bones , creating a wonderful mood-booster and blissful joy. 

Chinatown - Wild Nothing
"Chinatown" serves as a shining example of the 80's electro pop rock - haunting pop melodies, deep bass hooks, and inventive use of synth softening the lo-fi vibe around the edges, creating a wonderful and dreamy layered sound

Listen To Your Love - Mona
Small town band with big sound, 'Listen To Your Love' sounds something along the lines of 50s rock'n'roll with a hint of 80s anthemic hooks. Of course the comparison to early King of Leon does them no harm, already billed as
BBC Sound of 2011, only bright future awaiting the boys.

Bloodbuzz Ohio - The National
The velvety and warm voice of Berninger draws you in once the song starts playing. The strings and piano pile on the intensity to this 5-minute slow-burn epic. Who cares what a 'bloodbuzz' is? It still gives me chills after listening for almost a year. 

Rock It - Little Red
The feel-good summer anthem in Australia, 'Rock It' is no doubt a fun-filled catchy track. Borrowing the grooves of 60s America, with the charming harmonies and a killer hook, it does not take long for one to like this song.

Bombay - El Guincho
This song literally screams carnival, the steel drum, the handclaps, the pounding rhythms, and the joyful vocals provide the winning ingredients. If this song does not make you feel like dancing, there is probably something wrong with you. I even have the urge to take up Spanish lessons.

Excuses - The Morning Benders
If a song is featured in multiple commercials, it must be fantastic right? The band deserves all the money because 'Excuses' is the perfect indie pop single. Following the band from those unsigned days to getting mild mainstream success, I am not going to be an indie snob but remain a fan. 

Same Dream China - Gold Panda
Gold Panda proves that he is not a one-trick pony in 'Same Dream China'. In contrast to the other bangers in his debut Lucky Shiner, this track is a sparkling, dreamy piece that is lent on some Eastern-like melodies. It certainly exhales bliss and calmness to the listeners. 

I Saw You Blink - Stornoway
Sometimes simplicity is enough to warrant brilliance, that's with the case of Stornoway. Their brand of unpretentious and exhilarating folk-pop is accessible, yet somehow moving in their ordinariness. 'I Saw You Blink' is a simple love song that goes straight to your heart.

Pumped Up Kicks - Foster The People
Being compared to MGMT, Foster The People is going to blow up next year when their debut drops. With the distant vocals, whistling and surf-guitar, you think light-hearted and chilling vibes? Behold and check out the lyrics. 'All the other kids with the pumped up kicks you'd better run, better run, better run, outrun my gun'.

The Gaudy Side Of Town - Gayngs
This 80s R&B sounding track is probably the sexiest song for the year. Justin Vernon's soft croon adds on the smoothness in this atmospheric slow-jam. In another word, George Michael goes indie in Mid-west America.    

 Take Me Over - Cut Copy
This track clearly displays the pop-snyth goodness of what Cut Copy's trademark sound is about. The lead single from the highly anticipated album 'Zonoscope' has all the 80's pop flourishes. Simple, joyful, catchy, brilliant. 

Sunlight - Bag Raiders
Fresh from the band's debut album, 'Sunlight' is a collaboration with electro pop singer Dan Black, serving up a bright and fresh dance pop gem that will get your foot tapping. Coupled with chant-along lyrics and bouncy beats to mosh with, I predict this will be a major summer anthem in the making.  

Holidays - Miami Horror
Another Australian electro pop makes the list, "Holidays" is so aptly titled that it is perfect for those summer road trips and beach parties. This catchy disco-house throwback tune serves as a soundtrack to the carefree youth days we all long for. Sometimes I wonder if it is really all about sun and sand down under that make all those musicians master in crafting fun pop songs. 

Dreaming of Another World - Mystery Jets
Mystery Jets has a special knack in writing eccentric British pop. 'Dreaming of Another World' is a catchy 3-minute pop nugget that oozes youthful vibes, one can't help but wants to feel young and 'do something that will make your mother cry, dreaming of another world'. 

Tighten Up - The Black Keys
Produced by Danger Mouse, "Tighten Up"  features a heavy-whistle melody and soulful groove, delivering a big dish of the Black Keys' typical modern blues sound. This is definitely some authentic rock n' roll!

Burnout Eyess - oOoOO
This track portrays a vast contrast to the indie-pop melodic gems in the list. 'Burnout Eyess' draws you into the lush, spooky world of witch-house, or whatever you call it. Surprisingly it is digestible, the sensual allure and rawness defy the confines of this left-field genre that is supposed to appeal to only the fans of dark and Goths.  

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Blogger Chris said...

Thank you for this list! I've been way behind in my music, and I'd never heard of Crystal Fighters. Crystal Fighters is amazing, and the rest of these bands aren't so bad either.

12:47 AM  
Blogger kaishin said...

i've always found the quirkiness of your taste in music cute, but now i'm just falling in love with it.

2:21 AM  

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