Sunday, December 19, 2010

2010 Songs: 81 - 100

Here we begin counting through my favorite songs of the year. As always, each artist is limited to one appearance in order to maximize diversity. In addition to the list below, I have embedded a widget from Grooveshark that should let you stream the songs from the list.

2010 was a mixed year of music for me. Highly anticipated albums by many of my favorite bands failed to live up to excessive expectations (Spoon, The National, Menomena, to name a few). However, for every letdown there was a positive surprise, often from bands I had only a passing interest in previously (Beach House, Joanna Newsom, Deerhunter, etc). The only real disappointment was a lack of new blood, with only 4 of my top 25 new (to me) artists.

All thoughts and reactions are appreciated

(If the widget looks a little funny with the play button on the top left cut off, please click on it and the full list should appear)

81. "Put the Days Away" by Sun Airway (from Nocturne of Exploded Crystal Chandelier)
"In the moonless night I wait for your call"

I know very little about this band, other than that I would have sworn it was a Julian Casablancas side project after my initial listen.

82. "Stranded (Haiti Mon Amour)" by Jay-Z, ft. Bono and Rihanna  (from Hope for Haiti Now)
"We under the rubble again, here we go rumbling"

Probably one of the best songs ever written for a telethon, which I can't imagine is much more than faint praise.

83. "Boy" by Ra Ra Riot  (from The Orchard)
"When I have / once or twice / thought I lived / my life"

The Orchard was a fairly forgettable follow-up to The Rhumb Line, but "Boy" would have fit right in on their debut.

84. "Run From the Gun" by Dead Confederate (from Sugar)
"Dried my mouth / took me out / and left me glad"

Like Oasis, but presumably without the douchebaggery.

85. "Heavy in Your Arms" by Florence + The Machine (from Twilight: Eclipse)
"My love has concrete feet"

No, I did not see the movie.

86. "Right On" by The Roots, ft. Joanna Newsom (from How I Got Over)
"A lot of people counting on me kinda like a digit"

At the start of the year, I would have ascribed zero probability that Joanna Newsom would appear on this list, let alone twice with one of them being on a rap song.

87. "Bully" by Lissie  (from Catching a Tiger)
"Mama's here and your papa too / and we are so darn proud of you"

Lissie first got attention for covering Kid Cudi, but her straight forward alt-country isn't bad either

88. "The Life" by Gary Clark, Jr. (from Gary Clark, Jr EP)
"I can't go on like this"

Most of the EP consists of heavily electrified blues (he dubs himself the "Future of Texas Blues"), but "The Life" is more of a no-frills R&B track. (not on grooveshark)

89. "Cameras" by Matt & Kim (from Sidewalks)
"Old cement makes for a solid place to lay"

I've seen the Brooklyn duo described as "happy-pop", which is hard to argue with.

90. "Tell Me You Love Me" by Leela James (from My Soul)

There is always room on this list for throwback soul recorded for Stax. Harder to come up with lyrics worth quoting, though.
91. "22" by Wakey! Wakey! (from Almost Everything I Wish I'd Said The Last Time I Saw You...)
"You should go home before your money's all gone"

Worst band name on the list?

92. "King Night" by Salem (from King Night)
<instrumental, kind of>

O Holy Night thrown into a meat grinder and electrified.

93. "Go Outside" by Cults (from Cults 7")
"You really want to stay inside and sleep the light away"

Cults, similar to jj in 2008, mysteriously released a 3-song 7" with no further background on the band or its members. Hard to know if the level of success they gained during the year was in spite of or because of the manner in which the songs were released, but the music is there regardless.

94. "Rose Garden" by Shad (from Tsol)
"Rabbi said don't trust in cash prizes / same things that float your boat can capsize it"

I don't know much about Shad except that he is a Canadian rapper, which is adorable.

95. "In Every Direction" by Junip (from Fields)
"Try to ride on waves of activity"

From where I sit, Fields is better than anything Jose Gonzalez has recorded outside of that one Knife cover song.

96. "Crosswalk Stereo" by The Pass (from Colors)
"Oh, the sunshine / walking like she hears it"

There are a lot of damn happy songs in this bottom 20...
97. "The Ghost Who Walks" by Karen Elson (from The Ghost Who Walks)
"She looked at him with pleading eyes"

Karen Elson is an SI swimsuit model and wife to Jack White. With nothing at stake, she put out a nice debut.

98. "Confetti" by 1, 2, 3 (from Confetti)
"Even though we're all gonna die here / you're my kind, dear"

Starting with the Stripped version of "Love in Vain", I've always loved when an artist kicks off a song, screws up, starts again and keeps the whole thing on the record.

99. "Chinatown" by Destroyer (from Kaputt)
"The wind and the rain / to your detriment you try to explain"

Dan Bejar is one of several artists on the list (some at the very top) trying something different and succeeding in 2010.
100. "Cynicism" by Nana Grizol (from Ruth)
"Cynicism isn't wisdom / it's a lazy way to say that you've been burned"

The cynic in me is cynical enough to agree with this attack on cynicism


  1. I never thought I would see the day where David Scott publicized Twilight.

  2. Definitely digging Cameras. Good beat, easy-listening. In a good way, not a playing-in-the-background-while-I-get-a-cavity-filled way.

  3. EPR's top 5 of DSS' 2010: 80-100

    Boy - Ra Ra Riot
    Bully - Lissie
    Run from the Gun - Dead Confederate
    Right On - The Roots ft. Joanna Newsom
    Rose Garden - Shad

  4. EPR's bottom 3 of DSS' 2010: 80-100

    Confetti - 1, 2, 3
    Go Outside - Cults
    Crosswalk Stereo - The Pass