November 16, 2010

The Best Songs of 2010 :: 50-41

Miami Horror - "Holidays (Feat. Alan Palomo)"
Whether it's VEGA, Ghosthustler or Neon Indian, anything Alan Palomo touches seems to turn to a vintage sparkling disco ball of gold. Here, guesting on Ben Plant's Miami Horror project, Palomo does his best neo-hipster-Michael Jackson over the subwoofer blast of "Holidays."

The xx - "VCR (Matthew Dear remix)"
Matthew Dear's remix of "VCR" and its colossally bone-jarring bass groove somehow further elevate the intimacy and interchangeability of these two young narrators—both impossible not to adore.

Small Black - "Camouflage"
Small Black's New Chain is an otherworldly blanket of synthetic textures and sounds represented equally well by the warm and approachable glow of tracks like "Photo Journalist," "Search Party" and "Camouflage." "Camouflage" though with its waves of melody and hushed choruses is the one I find myself continually coming back to.

El Guincho - "Bombay"
The song that inspired this year's best and most bizarre music video is an overwhelmingly modern synergy of pop, world, and dance music based around the hook of a steel drum and the existential lyricism of the Canary Islands-born Pablo Díaz-Reixa.

Wild Nothing - "Chinatown"
Despite the fact that Jack Tatum ripped off the song's hook from Chantal Goya's "La Pluie Du Ciel," there is nevertheless something striking and contagious about the vocal haze and rattling drum stick percussion that makes Wild Nothing's first big moment one nearly impossible to resist.

Warpaint - "Undertow"
The nonchalant cool of the five beautiful women comprising Los Angeles's Warpaint is enough to briefly intoxicate any music fan, but "Undertow" is more than a cursory glance at the surface. The build of light drifting vocals, a dark bass and guitar chord progression, and eventual kick-in-the-door drumming create this band's first calling card—one wrapped equally in mystery and allure.

Caribou - "Odessa"
Much of Swim barely passes as pop music—it's Daniel Victor Snaith doing his best Jackson Pollock with wildly experimental dissonances and loops passing for dripped paint. But "Odessa" is a respite from that highly orchestrated chaos—a whispered vision of dance music steeped in layers of fog and a warbly bouncing bass riff. For Snaith, disco is alive and well.

Levek - "Look On The Bright Side"
David Levesque—the bus driver by day and genius by night auteur behind a cappella covers of Grizzly Bear, the Dirty Projectors and a host of original Paul Simon-inspired bedroom pop—turns to a 1970s-inspired palette of orchestral strings, wah-wah pedals, jazzy drumming and a vocal delivery akin to a young Curtis Mayfield or Marvin Gaye for his brilliant first official single.

Yeasayer - "Ambling Alp"
This is R&B music made for the future and apparently, that future is now. Leading the rhythm and blues train into uncharted soundscapes awash with whirling synthesizers and dynamic jump-off-the-page percussion, these Brooklynites make their underwater outer-space journey relatable through an underdog story that hooks you with its simplistic and anthemic sing-along chorus.

Herzog - "Abandon Love" 
Cleveland's Nick Tolar makes an indelible impression with his simultaneously intimate and cavernous re-imagining of Bob Dylan's 1975 Desire outtake "Abandoned Love," lending an autumnal tone and heartfelt vocal desperation to the master wordsmith's original.



  1. abandon love is a dylan cover

  2. You're absolutely right, thank you so much. I had no idea. I've added that to the description. I guess the title was slightly changed--Dylan's original is in the past tense: "Abandoned Love."

    Even as a cover, I still feel it's remarkable for it's bareness and Tolar's excellent and desperate vocals.

  3. word...its one of my favs from dylan's BIOGRAPH, but i like tolar's version too. thanks and keep the tunes comin.

  4. Surprised to see bombay so far up the list. That's in my top ten for sure.