Top 75 Tracks 2010, part 2
And so it continues…
Click here for part one, or click below to read on with part 2…
50. Nika + Rory – I’m Not Going Anywhere
This year Zola Jesus got a lot of press time. Rightly so, as they put out a bunch of great, classy but gothy tunes. However, my first introduction to ZJ mainlady Nika Roza Danilova was through this track. A side project formerly known as Rory Kane, this occasional affair allows Nika to indulge a slightly poppier side to her personality. It’s still pretty dark, but what else did you expect? Here with added beats and autotune, though. Marvellous.
49. Bright Light Bright Light – Love Part II
This wasn’t a million miles away from a lot of other stuff out this year, both on the successful side (Hurts) and the thusfar less so (Monarchy). Eighties cues all present and correct, lots of melodrama, pop ambitions. It’s not quite all I wanted it to be, but it’s a nice little tune and quite moving in its simplicity.
48. Tim Kasher – Cold Love
It’s not something that comes out very often on this blog, but I used to be quite partial to a bit of Saddle Creek-flavoured emoting. Tim Kasher’s Cursive put out a couple of stone cold classic albums early in the decade, perfectly detailing relationship breakdowns. I’ve not been in love with everything he’s done since, being relatively unmoved by The Good Life (his other project) and the diminishing returns of recent Cursive. However, this solo track takes some of the sounds from career highpoint The Ugly Organ, lightens up a bit, and bolts on a great tune and gloriously wry video. The lyrics are pretty basic – but sometimes they’re the ones that tell it the best.
47. Mark Ronson & the Business International – Bang Bang Bang
Ask me earlier in the year what I thought of Mark Ronson, and you’d have heard very little. A degree of half-arsed whining, perhaps, but little else. And then he goes and makes a record like this. You know it, so I won’t go on about it any more. Of course it’s 80s to almost pastiche levels, but when it’s this much fun, who’s arguing?
46. Hooray For Earth – Surrounded By Your Friends
If you need a perfect mix of loveliness (song) and silliness (muppet-based video) in your day, then you won’t go far wrong with this. New York indie, but with a rare combination of heart and humour that you can’t help but be charmed by. It’s a mix that the Flaming Lips circa Yoshimi would have been proud of.
45. Wolf Gang – Back to Back
I’m definitely noticing as I go along that there are more guitars in this list than usual. That changes later, but here’s another one I simply couldn’t leave out. Max McEllligot’s Wolf Gang is a varied beast, with tracks like ‘The King and All of his Men’ showcasing a totally different side to his sound. This gorgeous, spaced out few minutes strongly betrays the influence of producer Dave Fridmann, particularly his work with MGMT. It’s the killer chorus that’ll knock you out first time, though.
44. The Hundred in the Hands – Pigeons
I enjoyed the years nice little flood of THITH material far more than a mid-40s placing would suggest. It’s simply a case that no one track stood out as much as Dressed in Dresden last year. The broken-dancefloor stumblings of the oddly-titled ‘Pigeons’ came close though, and had the year’s most wonderfully appropriate-feeling video.
43. Yeasayer – O.N.E.
If I’m honest, Yeasayer were one of those bands I’d written off as ‘not really my thing’ until this years excellent, beefed-up Odd Blood album. Bringing a band onto the dancefloor has been a bit of a cliched, and often awkward-feeling, move of late. But this feels organic, and the end-result ends up feeling a lot like Hot Chip, and for me that’s never a bad thing. Like lots of their material, it’s also oddly moving.
42. Karl X. Johan – Flames
Safely the most bombastic, preposterous thing you’ll find in this list. A Swedish synth duo, there’s none of the lightness of touch and dreamy floatiness that you’d normally associate with that combination of homeland and vague genre. What there is, though, is some seriously dramatic synth action, and some heavy emoting. Deep and wonderful.
41. Tensnake – Coma Cat
Tensnake is Marco Niemerski, a 35-year old from Hamburg. This track has been all over Radio 1 for most of the year. It’s a glittery, funky disco type thing, and it’s pretty massive. I can’t help feeling an entirely instrumental version would make it a bit less silly and therefore practically perfect, but it’s great enough as it stands, thanks.
More to follow in the next few days…