November 19, 2010

The Best Songs of 2010 :: 30-21

Dead Models - "Tonight"
Straightforward, fuzzy and 1960s-tinged garage rock with a killer, repeatable guitar riff. Sometimes that's all you need.

Broken Social Scene - "Texico Bitches" 
Forget Cee Lo. The year's best "fuck you" belongs to a couple of Canadians who recorded a timely middle finger to the oil industry.

The New Pornographers - "Crash Years"
Melodically, the opening verse of "Crash Years" is so good it almost makes the rest of the song irrelevant. To put it in layman's terms, Neko Case owns it.

Magic Kids - "Summer"
The fact alone that singer Bennett Foster has the chutzpah to convincingly pull of a cutesy and cliched line like "summertime is for sweethearts" and then pull it off makes this one of the best songs of the year. But then Foster and company make you believe it too with a piano, strings and a Harry Belafonte-worthy choral conga line.

The Arcade Fire - "Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)"
RĂ©gine Chassagne's five-and-a-half-minute love affair with Blondie is one of the more interesting musical turns of The Suburbs, taking the band into an unexpected territory that one can only hope they'll return to.

The Ruby Suns - "Cranberry"
Kiwi Ryan McPhun may not have met everyone's expectations with his Ruby Suns' unexpectedly synthesized third record, Fight Softly, but "Cranberry," with its minute-long introduction, is such a refreshingly original, fun and captivating single that it makes his creative turn worth it.

Summer Camp - "Round The Moon"
"Round The Moon" sounds half like teenagers mimicking their favorite 80s movies in their parent's basement and half hip genius pop masters. Perhaps it's a bit of both: lo fi and simplisitic, but reaching for the stars the whole time.

Crystal Castles - "Not In Love (Feat. Robert Smith)"
To see Robert Smith—the man responsible in part for pop classics like "Close To Me" and "Six Different Ways"—take advantage of the opportunity to make relevant music again and succeed at it so thoroughly is one of the year's best stories, and incidentally, songs.

Surfer Blood - "Take It Easy"
People always tell me this song sounds like Vampire Weekend. I don't see the connection myself, but the comment points to the fact that there's not a whole lot of peppy, clean-toned and tastefully upbeat rock and roll out there. Surfer Blood, although fans of heavy gain and distortion, pull off the clean sound incredibly well here.

Family Trees - "Dream Talkin'"
Tambourine, the clean upstroke of a guitar and 50's and 60's tinged vocal harmony prove to be an intoxicating cocktail on this short but indelible blast of retro sunshine from Brooklyn's Family Trees.



  1. Hey dude, nice tunes, just fyi - the link to the Summer Camp tune directs to Family Trees.

  2. Thanks for looking out. All is fixed now.

  3. Great choices. Thanks.
    PS: "Simplistic" doesn't mean the same thing as "simple." And it's not a compliment.

  4. Well I do mean it negatively in that Summer Camp's music is purposefully naive and young and avoids complexities. Their narrators are stuck in a John Hughes teenage time warp, which is exactly why it's so fun.