Tracks of the Year 2017 Monday, Dec 11 2017 

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This year’s list has 21 UK artists, 18 US artists, four Australians and one each from Sweden, New Zealand, Spain and South Korea. No Canadians for the first time in forever… weird.

Spotify playlist: https://open.spotify.com/user/prinpi/playlist/289q5v3IZhIbWpXopWxlwG

YouTube playlist (missing two songs): https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1-jCniWBb12Kb-DqjQ454wAKOEwNIuUv

 

THE list!!:

No. Artist-Song Why?
1 King Krule – Dum Surfer Because this young British slum-poet’s sordid tale told over a Definition of Sound-like background just got stuck in my head and won’t leave
2 The Killers – The Man Because it’s a perfect return to top pop form for a veteran band risen from the ashes of 00s indie history
3 Odina – Why’d You Make Me Cry Because it’s a beautiful, heartbreaking breakup song
4 Bad Sounds – Mean on My Bones Because of the rhinoceros’s esophagus
5 Superfood – Clo Park Because this indie band has taken a delightful funky turn with their second album and this is the best example of it
6 Everything Everything – Can’t Do Because I can’t make EVERY single they put out my song of the year…
7 Cloud Control – Rainbow City Because they are magician musicians and songwriters
8 Holiday Ghosts – Quiet Carriage Because nothing beats good ole’ rock n’ roll
9 Bad Mannequins – Under the Glass Because it has so much energy!!!
10 Together PANGEA – Money on it Because I wrote lyrics for a band called Pangea once. Plus, it’s a great uplifting song
11 Ten Fé – Single, No Return Because once you listen to this single, you won’t return to ignoring Ten Fé
12 Django Django – In Your Beat Because Anna from Metronomy was involved in creating this song
13 Low Island – Holding it Down Because Low Island > Future Islands
14 alt-J – Deadcrush Because of the way they sing “You’re my DC”
15 Katy Perry feat. Skip Marley – Chained to the Rhythm Because it is a polished pop diamond that makes you think. And it has a Marley on it.
16 The Cornshed Sisters – The Message Because of those beautiful harmonies
17 Pumarosa – Priestess Because it is a 7.5 minute long sonic tour-de-force
18 Grace VanderWaal – Moonlight Because they managed to polish the 13 year old’s sound without taking away her charm
19 A$AP Ferg – Plain Jane Because hamdu Allah
20 Line & Circle – Vicious Folly Because it’s the best Morrissey song that came out this year
21 Locals – End of Time Because it’s the best Oasis ballad not actually sung by Oasis
22 Kidsmoke – Seabirds Because Kidsmoke wrote the perfect verse. If they ever learn how to write a chorus you better beware.
23 Future – Mask Off Flutes. I like flutes.
24 TYNI – Fighter Because GIRL POWER
25 Kendrick Lamar – HUMBLE. Because that b#$&@ should sit down and be humble
26 Swimming Tapes – What’s on Your Mind Because it’s a better Real Estate song than what Real Estate actually put out this year
27 FAIRCHILD – So Long and Thank You Because of Douglas Adams
28 WillTheRapper feat. Gucci Mane – Pull Up Hop Out (Remix) Because her #$^#&* mad as $@#^. So?
29 Nadia Reid – Richard Because the guitar riff and lyrics are beautifully heartbreaking (and heartbreakingly beautiful)
30 Holy Boy – The Blood Moon Because it’s a seriously dramatic love song
31 FAIRCHILD – Start Again “For the hell of it”
32 Treasureseason – The Rush Because Nordic pop made by non-Nordic artists is a thing
33 Hoops – On Letting Go Because it’s the best song Primitive Radio Gods never wrote
34 Lowtide – Julia Because it’s a beautiful and unique sound collage
35 L.A. WITCH – Baby in Blue Jeans Because of the unbelievable guitar solo at 2:07 minutes
36 The Belligerents – Flash Because of the disco chorus
37 Lil Uzi Vert – XO TOUR Llif3 Because there’s beauty in the depths of sadness
38 Superfood – Double Dutch (Alt Edit) Because of the off-beat guitar in the middle
39 Damian Marley feat. Stephen Marley – Medication Because two Marleys are better than one (except for, you know, their dad)
40 Post Malone feat. 21 Savage – Rockstar Because hip hop success has never sounded so depressing
41 Bonny Doon – I See You Because the second verse almost made me cry
42 Best Ex – Someday Because of Mariel Loveland’s laugh
43 Ride – Charm Assault Because of that guitar riff. And because they’re Ride
44 The Orielles – I Only Bought it for the Bottle Because I also bought alcohol for the bottle sometimes when I was younger
45 Gorillaz Feat. Popcaan – Saturnz Barz Because of the way Popcaan sings “All my life” and Damon Albarn sings anything
46 Beck – Dear Life Because it sounds like Beck covering a lost Magical Mystery Tour-era Beatles song
47 Django Django – Tic Tac Toe Because of the Bo Diddley-style chorus
48 Loyle Carner – The Isle of Arran Because the Mercury Prize nominated rapper has matured and it’s wonderful to see / hear
49 Cast – Paper Chains Because John Power is now an elder statesman of indie and should be listened to by one and all
50 Yaeji – Drink I’m Sippin On Because Korean never sounded so sexy and mysterious

 

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Tracks of the Year 2016 Tuesday, Dec 20 2016 

2016tracks

Tracks of the Year 2016

Spotify playlist:                        http://bit.ly/2hMSPJY

SoundCloud playlists: Part 1: http://bit.ly/2h3s1qj (two songs missing)

Part 2: http://bit.ly/2h8mT5P (one song missing)

YouTube playlist:                     http://bit.ly/2gYs1Vh (four songs missing)

 

  1. Jagwar Ma – Loose Ends
  2. Wild Beasts – Big Cat
  3. The Avalanches – Frankie Sinatra
  4. Basement Revolver – Lake, Steel, Oil
  5. MIA / GENER8ION – The New International Sound (Pt. II)
  6. Prince Rama – Bahia
  7. Soleima – Wasted
  8. Cass McCombs – Bum Bum Bum
  9. The Casket Girls – Sixteen Forever
  10. Kiiara – Say Anymore
  11. Kate Tempest – Don’t Fall In
  12. The Blood Arm – Mr. Toad
  13. Honeyblood – Ready for the Magic
  14. Doe – Sincere
  15. Let’s Eat Grandma – Eat Shiitake Mushrooms
  16. Norma Jean Martine – No Gold
  17. Psychic Ills feat. Hope Sandoval – I Don’t Mind
  18. The Wave Pictures – Pool Hall
  19. NxWorries – Lyk Dis
  20. NEAMO KID – SCHOOLYARD
  21. Skye & Ross – Hold On
  22. The Struts – Put your Hands Up
  23. Hey Violet – Pure
  24. Jennifer – Dreams on Fire
  25. D/R/U/G/S feat. Akiine – New Born Love
  26. Jennifer – Is it Today
  27. Japanese Breakfast – Everybody Wants to Love you
  28. Viigo – Beautiful
  29. The Jacques – Eleanor Ring Me
  30. Dej Loaf – Beef n Broccoli
  31. Pixies – Tenement Song
  32. Babygirl – Overbored
  33. Loyle Carner feat. Rebel Kleff – No CD
  34. Graceland – Fleetwood
  35. Jacuzzi Boys – Lucky Blade
  36. Broken Hands – Meteor
  37. DARMA – What are you Waiting for?
  38. Prides – Are you Ready?
  39. Yoni & Geti – Wassup (Uh Huh)
  40. SLEEPLUST – Lone Black
  41. Banks – Lovesick
  42. SHELLS – Gold
  43. Kassassin Street – Do or Die
  44. Bantug – Creatures
  45. Computer Magic – gone for the Weekend
  46. The Stone Roses – Beautiful Thing
  47. Hey Violet – Guys my Age (Stripped)
  48. Swet Shop Boys – T5
  49. Anderson .Paak – Come Down
  50. Serebro – Chocolate

Tracks of the Year 2015 Wednesday, Dec 23 2015 

tracksoftheyear2015

This year’s list has 26 artists from the UK (one with multiple entries), 12 artists from the US (one with multiple entries), four artists from Australia, two from Denmark and one each from Canada, France, Holland and Norway.

 

This playlist can be found here:

YouTube (missing 1 track):

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1-jCniWBb134wqAFTqinRI2EFtj0rtQj

SoundCloud:

Part 1 (1-26) (missing 3 tracks): https://soundcloud.com/tal-ayalon/sets/tracks-of-the-year-2015

Part 2 (27-50) (missing 2 tracks): https://soundcloud.com/tal-ayalon/sets/tracks-of-the-year-2015-part-2

Spotify:

https://open.spotify.com/user/prinpi/playlist/2YAr9ZFIrH3f2MjSqqhJEf

 

 

Tracks of the Year 2014 Thursday, Dec 11 2014 

Welcome to my annual list of songs that made my year!

ברוכים הבאים לסיכום השנה המוסיקלי שלי ל 2014 – מקווה שתמצאו פה פנינים שאולי פסחתם עליהן במהלך השנה…

Here are links to this playlist on Spotify, YouTube and SoundCloud:

Spotify (Four songs missing)
http://spoti.fi/1wDrbnw

YouTube (One song missing, one song cut short. Thank you, Prince!)
http://bit.ly/1uscE7E

SoundCloud (Two songs missing, two remixes instead of original songs)
http://bit.ly/1vHpiPA

This year my list includes 27 acts from the UK, 10 from the US, 5 from Sweden (!), and one each from: Australia (one band with two songs), Canada, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Japan and the Philippines!!

I always like to hear your comments, listen to your playlists and find out what you think and whether you found a new song you love on the list!

Tracks of the Year 2014:

1) Gruff Rhys – American Interior
2) The Casket Girls – Same Side
3) Alvvays – Archie, Marry Me
4) Låpsley – Falling Short
5) NONONO – Like the Wind
6) Crushed Beaks – Rising Sign
7) Jamie XX – Girl
8) Metronomy – Month of Sundays
9) Vaults – Permonitions
10) Dinowalrus – In a Sense
11) Kate Tempest – The Beigeness
12) Jamie T – Don’t you Find
13) Kasabian – treat
14) Midlake – It’s going Down
15) Allah-Las – Follow you Down
16) Neneh Cherry – Spit Three Times
17) Little Comets – Salt
18) Lovepark – 21/12
19) Wild Beasts – A Simple Beautiful Truth
20) IBV (I’ve Become Vapour) – The Sun Will Rise
21) Rachael Dadd – Strike our Scythes
22) Desperate Journalist – Happening
23) TOWNS – Too Tired
24) Yuck – Athena
25) Flyying Colours – Wavygravy
26) Ballet School – Cherish
27) Flyying Colours – Like you Said
28) Lovestarrs – Get your Sexy on
29) Tove Lo – Habits (Stay High)
30) Lykke Li – No Rest for the Wicked
31) Alt-J – Left Hand Free
32) Real Estate – Crime
33) Painted Palms – Forever
34) Dios Mio – Stories
35) Perfume Genius – Queen
36) Grumbling Fur – All the Rays
37) Speakman Sound – In Flight
38) Black Honey – The Taste
39) Thee Oh Sees feat. Chris Woodhouse – Penetrating Eye
40) Anna of the North – Sway
41) Prince – U Know
42) Racing Glaciers – First Light
43) Fat White Family – Touch the Leather
44) FKA Twigs – Two Weeks
45) BenZel feat. Stevie Neale – Wasted Love
46) Eyedress feat. GEoRGiA – When I’m Gone
47) The Orwells – The Righteous One
48) Looks – Everest
49) MØ – Don’t Wanna Dance
50) Superfood – Lily for your Pad to Rest on

Prinpi’s Tracks of the Year 2013 Thursday, Dec 19 2013 

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The Links:

2013 Tracks of the Year on YouTube:

http://bit.ly/1fpqotr

 

2013 Tracks of the Year on Spotify:

Tracks of the Year 2013

 

2013 Best of the Rest on Spotify:

2013 Best of the Rest

 

2013 Tracks of the Year (in reverse order!) on SoundCloud:

http://bit.ly/JGNuBl

 

Highly recommended – The best UK radio station active today, which introduced me to many of the songs on this list: Amazing Radio:

http://amazingradio.com/

 

2013 chart on Amazing Radio’s sister website, Amazing Tunes:

http://amazingtunes.com/charts/2013

 

The designer of this year’s list artwork, Sofía from Argentina (gracias!): http://sofiielii.deviantart.com/ , http://www.twitter.com/IDreeams

 

The List:

Including: 28 acts from the UK, 12 from the US, 3 from Canada, 2 from Australia, 1 from New Zealand, 1 from Iceland, 1 from France, 1 from Ireland and one from… Kenya!

 

1. Everything Everything – Kemosabe

2. Crushed Beaks – Feelers

3. Younghusband – Dromes

4. Ssion – High

5. Phoenix – Trying to be Cool

6. Standish/Carlyon – GucciMountain

7. The BesnardLakes – People of the Sticks

8. Cloud Control – Scar

9. Only Real – Get it on

10. INTRVALS – Field Lines

11. Jungle – The Heat

12. Luke Sital-Singh – Nothing Stays the Same

13. Girls Names – Hypnotic Regression

14. Merchandise – Anxiety’s Door

15. Is Tropical – Video

16. Darlia – Queen of Hearts

17. Lucius – Turn it Around

18. SULK – The Big Blue

19. Jackson Scott – That Awful Sound

20. Ásgeir – King and Cross

21. Yuck – Rebirth

22. The Range – Metal Swing

23. Charles Bradley (feat. Menahan Street Band) – Strictly Reserved for you

24. The Lucid Dream – Love in my Veins

25. LULS – Never let it go

26. Bleached – Dead in your Head

27. Night Engine – Young & Carefree

28. Parquet Courts – Stoned and Starving

29. Half Moon Run – Full Circle

30. Sir Sly – Ghost

31. Temples – Keep in the Dark

32. Lorde – Tennis Court

33. The Strypes – Blue Collar Jane

34. MONA – Goons (Baby, I Need it all)

35. Owiny Sigoma Band – HarpoonLand

36. Fall Out Boy – My Songs Know what you did in the Dark

37. London Grammar – Strong

38. Tripwires – Shimmer

39. Coasts – Wallow

40. Champs – My Spirit is Broken

41. Pond – Xanman

42. Johnny Marr – New Town Velocity

43. Moko – Freeze

44. Kurt Vile – Never Run Away

45. New Model Army – March in September

46. Sweet Baboo – Let’s go Swimming Wild

47. Outfit – I want what’s best

48. Phèdre – Ancient Nouveau

49. Arctic Monkeys – Do I wanna Know?

50. Shinies – Taste

 

The Commentary:

 

1. Everything Everything – Kemosabe

Out on Jan. 14th and the rest of the songs which came out this year never really stood a chance. “Arc” is also my album of the year. I was fortunate enough to see this amazing band perform two “tracks of the year” back to back live: This one and then “Photoshop Handsome” – track of the year 2009.

It is a whole musical and emotional journey in 3:46 minutes of music.

 

2. Crushed Beaks – Feelers

I can imagine a planet, far, far away, where millions of little goblins live happily and “Feelers” is their official feel-good song. Songs that can immediately transform your mood for the better always get a huge bump on these lists from me.

 

3. Younghusband – Dromes

A masterpiece of an indie wall of sound building steadily up to an exquisite crescendo.

 

4. Ssion – High

Released as a single in 2013 and one of the most original electronic pop tracks of the last few years, combining awesome sound games, great rhythm and one of the best rap segments of the year. A song that immediately makes you feel sinister and mischievous.

 

5. Phoenix – Trying to be Cool

It was the Saturday Night Live performance that really did it for me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Koyh3F6kicY

Sweet, sweet song, impeccably done, with a killer bass line and a complete oxymoron underlying the whole thing. As the charming French indie princes of Phoenix know very well, TRYING to be cool is the most un-cool thing one can do.

 

6. Standish/Carlyon – GucciMountain

This beautiful chill out song means a lot to me, personally. More than a place on a list could ever say. Not for everyone, not for every mood, perhaps not for every time of day, but under the right circumstances, this song could become a friend for life.

 

7. The BesnardLakes – People of the Sticks

A song that is a trip. Both psychedelically, spiritually and story-wise. Like a beautiful, foggy musical dream.

 

8. Cloud Control – Scar

Just a perfect indie anthem. A real gem. The fact that a song like this is only at number 8 is a testimony to the depth of this musical year.

 

9. Only Real – Get it on

A young, talented dude from London. Can’t wait for his debut album, as he seems to take giant steps from single to single. This one sounds like Bob Dylan for the Instagram generation.

 

10. INTRVALS – Field Lines

One of the more imaginative and original tracks of the year. Mixes dance, synth, guitars, dreamy vocals and numerous interesting musical transitions.

 

11. Jungle – The Heat

A mysterious duo making soul-infused funky dance music. Like Daft Punk, only better.

 

12. Luke Sital-Singh – Nothing Stays the Same

What a powerful, moving ballad. Luke totally uses the Force on this tune.

 

13. Girls Names – Hypnotic Regression

My Israeli readers would be happy to know that this sounds like an ultra-polished Yossi Elephant (RIP) track. A total New Wave tour-de-force.

 

14. Merchandise – Anxiety’s Door

Echo’s, distortion, murmured lead and supporting vocals – Welcome to Merchandise’s beautiful nightmare. Stream-of-consciousness dark ‘80s by a band who wasn’t alive during the ‘80s.

 

15. Is Tropical – Video

This is an album track, but Is Tropical and their excellent French label, Kitsuné, should really think about releasing it as a single. It is pure magic from the first three keyboard strokes to its polyphonic chorus. And if you want to see them live, perhaps you should try going to… Mongolia?! http://bit.ly/1i2gt16

 

16. Darlia – Queen of Hearts

Good, potent British guitar pop is dead? Try telling that to this bunch of lads… I’d probably have their poster up on my wall if this were 1993 and not 2013…

 

17. Lucius – Turn it Around

They sound a tiny biy like Haim, only I loved this song much more than I liked anything by the half-Israeli sisters from California. Plus, their album has the best cover of 2013.

 

18. SULK – The Big Blue

SULK (formerly The Ruling class) do the Stone Roses almost as good as the Stone Roses. Plus, they just finished supporting the Happy Mondays on their latest tour! That’s a gig I’m sorry to have missed…

 

19. Jackson Scott – That Awful Sound

Jackson Scott’s acoustic guitar produces anything buy awful sounds. As acerbic as an unplugged Harvey Danger.

 

20. Ásgeir – King and Cross

Staying with charming acoustic guitars, and adding falsetto and a swirling rhythm.

 

21. Yuck – Rebirth

Lovely shoe-gazing love song.

 

22. The Range – Metal Swing

Sampled speech over progressive dance beat. Like Disclosure, only better.

 

23. Charles Bradley (feat. Menahan Street Band) – Strictly Reserved for you

Funk has a new godfather. This 65 year old Brooklynite leaves his heart and soul, so much soul, on this track.

 

24. The Lucid Dream – Love in my Veins

Out as a single back in 2011, but part of the debut album from this year. They sound like a psychedelic marching band. Plus, after 30 or so listens I STILL can’t, for the life of me, understand why this is labeled as “explicit” on Spotify…

 

25. LULS – Never let it go

You can have big sound even if you’re an indie band, and the LULS are quasi-Phil-Spector-ish.

 

26. Bleached – Dead in your Head

I often feel as if female lead singers of indie groups are lecturing me with their lyrics and making me feel guilty. It’s a real problem. I still like the songs, though (see also: Warpaint – Undertow).

 

27. Night Engine – Young & Carefree

If you give this tune a chance until about 1:30 minutes in, you will get David Bowie crossed with the Village People.

 

28. Parquet Courts – Stoned and Starving

I was walking down Long IslandCity, Queens. I was celebrating Thanksgiving. I was cold. So cold and freezing (sorry about the personal riff – Long Island City on the East River shore in November is a cold, cold place. In other news, this is a cool song by a cool band).

 

29. Half Moon Run – Full Circle

Some real enchanted moments in this painfully beautiful song.

 

30. Sir Sly – Ghost

Because of that immaculate synth-bass riff.

 

31. Temples – Keep in the Dark

Speaking of ghosts, this is a haunted, spooky pop song with one of the most beautiful choruses of the year.

 

32. Lorde – Tennis Court

She also had some other song you might have heard about… http://bit.ly/1fCiAW8 – This, however, is the better song of the two, in my humble opinion, and if you disagree, let’s talk it up like yeah (yeah).

 

33. The Strypes – Blue Collar Jane

I have a soft spot for rock n’ roll revivalists… Apparently there IS a way to write an instant classic rock n’ roll anthem in 2013.

 

34. MONA – Goons (Baby, I Need it all)

The curious case of MONA – And this happens a lot – First album is released with a ton of hype and fanfare, second album is better, but accepted with dead silence. This might be the best song of these Ohioans’ (/Kentuckians/Tennesseans) young career, and a classic pub/bar anthem for years to come.

 

35. Owiny Sigoma Band – HarpoonLand

That wonderful African guitar strumming gets me every time.

 

36. Fall Out Boy – My Songs Know what you did in the Dark

Surprisingly triumphant return and a glimmer of hope in an age when guitar rock is all but dead.

 

37. London Grammar – Strong

This ballad is so beautiful, it doesn’t even matter what the lead singer looks like. http://dexpr.es/19w5Tea

 

38. Tripwires – Shimmer

A sweeping indie anthem by a band from Reading…

 

39. Coasts – Wallow

…followed by a sweeping indie anthem by a band from Bristol.

 

40. Champs – My Spirit is Broken

If YOUR spirit is broken, this lovely ballad, which sounds as if it has been written and recorded by Roy Orbison although it has been written by two brothers from the Isle of Wight, might cheer you up a tad.

 

41. Pond – Xanman

In absence of Tame Impala, this year’s “Best psychedelic performance by an Australian band” goes to…

 

42. Johnny Marr – New Town Velocity

Confession: I was a huge Morrissey fan as a teen, and I still am, but in recent years I learned to give Johnny Marr much more credit for everything I loved about the Smiths. This song is the most Smiths-like he has ever recorded post-1987.

והאקורדים הם לחלוטין האקורדים של “מי רצח את אגנתה פאלסקוג”, אחד השירים היחידים שאני יודע לנגן על גיטרה, שזה בכלל בונוס

 

43. Moko – Freeze

Because of the over-used-yet-delightful drum sample (I believe it originated in James Brown’s “Funky Drummer”. it sounds a lot like Massive Attack, as well). I have a feeling this will be a huge hit and that Moko will become a new Emeli Sandé.

 

44. Kurt Vile – Never Run Away

A ballad that is one of the best examples of what Americans (as opposed to Brits) call “indie”.

 

45. New Model Army – March in September

Did you know that these guys are still around? And sounding as vital as ever?

 

46. Sweet Baboo – Let’s go Swimming Wild

As sweet as an indie love song can be.

 

47. Outfit – I want what’s best

This years “Best Hot Chip track not actually written by Hot Chip”.

 

48. Phèdre – Ancient Nouveau

Because I couldn’t resist a song that starts with “le le le le le le le le la”.

 

49. Arctic Monkeys – Do I wanna Know?

The AM album kind of reminds me of Blur’s “Blur” album – also known as “The American Album”, only less original. I was a bit disappointed. What I loved the most about Arctic Monkeys (apart from Matt’s drumming) was their originality, and AM sounds like another step in the same direction for them.

 

50. Shinies – Taste

Because of the “woo hoo” supporting vocals.

 

2013 has been the best musical year in quite a while. Let’s all hope for an ever more kick-arse 2014!

 

Tracks of the Year 2012 Wednesday, Dec 12 2012 

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December 2012

Welcome to my annual Tracks of the Year list

 

This year’s list includes 30 artists from the UK, 8 Americans, 4 Australians, 2 Austrians, 2 Finnish and one from each: Canada, New Zealand, Sweden and Denmark.

 

The YouTube playlist for these tracks is at:

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1-jCniWBb12uWJCVYYGrOgaIEfovTQ9V

(Two songs are not on YouTube and had to be replaced)

 

The Spotify playlist, as complete as I could make it, is at:

Tracks of the Year 2012

 

The chart includes every track’s MSR = Main Stream Ranking: How well would this track fit on a mainstream radio station from 1 to 5. It also includes the new “Listen to this if you like…” column.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

#

Artist

Title

MSR

Listen to this if you like…

Notes

1

Midnight Lion

Sleeping in the Woods

3/5

Wild Beasts

Perfect song that would fit right in the top five of any year. Except for 1994. Perhaps. Shame it’s not on Spotify.

2

Binary

Modern Man

3/5

Babylon Zoo

 

3

Neighbourhood

Sweater Weather

4/5

The Killers

 

4

Max Min

Alpaca Socks

3/5

Foals

Austrian artist singing about bitcoins

5

The Orb featuring Lee “Scratch” Perry

Golden Clouds

1/5

Smoking ganja

Give her the animal. Give her the lion. Aaaaarr

6

ME

Naked

4/5

Muse

Muse were Radiohead after Radiohead stopped being Radiohead. ME are Muse after Muse stopped being Muse

7

Django Django

Default

2/5

The Beta Band

 

8

Rams’ Pocket Radio

1+2

4/5

Ben Folds Five

Probably the best chorus of 2012. Plus, THIS: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xznVQiaAZA

9

The Pre New

A Night on LeatherMountain

1/5

The Orb

The re-incarnation of Earl Brutus

10

Young Kato

Drink, Dance, Play

3/5

Keane, The Automatic

 

11

Alt-J

Tessellate

2/5

David Byrne, John Cale

 

12

How to Dress Well

Cold Nites

2/5

Marvin Gaye mixed with a French movie’s soundtrack

Total Loss is one of the top albums of 2012

13

Gaz Coombes Presents…

White Noise

4/5

Supergrass, Neil Young

 

14

Arctic Monkeys

R U Mine?

4/5

Cream

 

15

Fast Years

Young Heart

4/5

The Stranglers, The Buzzcocks

 

16

Selebrities

The Living Dead

3/5

Metric

 

17

Crystal Castles

Kerosene

1/5

Aphex Twin, Hot Chip

(III) is probably my album of the year

18

Burning Hearts

Modern Times

3/5

The Cranberries

 

19

Lonsdale Boys Club

Light me up

5/5

Boy Crisis

 

20

The Egg

In Your Pocket

2/5

Tinariwen, Bernard Butler

 

21

DZ Deathrays

Gebbie Street

3/5

Sonic Youth, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

 

22

Centre Excuse

MTV Generation

4/5

Manic Street Preachers

 

23

Jack White

Love Interruption

5/5

Cat Stevens after testosterone treatment?

 

24

AlunaGeorge

You Know you Like it

4/5

Lykke Li, Oh Land

Featured on BBC’s “Sound of 2013”. I guess I’m ahead of my time?

25

WILD FLAG

Boom

3/5

Siouxsie and the Banshees, Blondie

 

26

Retriever

The Curse

3/5

Elastica, The Long Blondes

 

27

Spiritualized

Little Girl

4/5

Nick Drake, George Harrison

 

28

Rival Sons

Face of Light

4/5

Led Zeppelin, Allman Brothers, the Doors

 

29

I Heart Sharks

Monogamy

2/5

The Futureheads

 

30

Gaoler’s Daughter

How do you Know

3/5

Beach House, the Thieves, IV Thieves, Nic Armstrong and the Thieves

 

31

Jessie Ware

Taking in Water

5/5

Sade, Adele

 

32

DeepSeaArcade

Steam

4/5

Blur, Supergrass

 

33

Swim Deep

Honey

3/5

Feeder

 

34

The Raveonettes

Observations

3/5

The Stones’ Gimme Shelter, Cat’s Eyes

 

35

Elliphant

Ciant Hear it

3/5

Azealia Banks, Kreayshawn, Uffie

Swedish answer to Azealia, and much better than her imho

36

Idles

Meydei

3/5

Bloc Party, the Vaccines

 

37

Diagrams

Ghost Lit

4/5

Incubus, the Raconteurs

 

38

LCMDF (Le Corps Mince de Françoise)

Paranoia

3/5

Happy Mondays, EMF, Charli XCX

The Finnish sisters appearing here for the fourth year running…

39

Atoms for Peace

Default

2/5

Radiohead, The Good the Bad and the Queen

In my defense, I liked this track before I knew it was Thom Yorke’s new project

40

Ultraísta

Bad Insect

2/5

THEESatisfaction, Bonobo, Nigel Godrich

Nigel Godrich’s current project

41

Bright Light Bright Light

Love Part II

4/5

Heaven 17, Erasure, Human League

 

42

Haight Ashbury

Sophomore

2/5

The Mamas & the Papas, Throwing Muses, San Francisco in the 60s, Acid

 

43

Miles Kane

First of my Kind

4/5

The Who, Boo Radleys

 

44

Gotye

Easy Way Out

4/5

The Kinks, Franz Ferdinand

 

45

Tribes

Sappho

4/5

Thin Lizzy, Boston, Operahouse

Formed by two former Operahouse members

46

All the Young

The Horizon

4/5

Mansun, The Rifles

 

47

Eugene McGuiness

Harlequinade

3/5

ELO, Pulp

 

48

Django Django

Hail Bop

2/5

Gregorian monks on a psychedelic trip

 

49

Sweet Lights

Endless Town

4/5

Nilsson

Stage name of The Capitol Years frontman, Shai Halperin

50

Tamaryn

The Garden

3/5

The 4AD sound

 

 

 

Tracks of the Year 2011 Wednesday, Dec 14 2011 

Welcome to my annual Tracks of the Year column!

If you would like to read some thoughts I had about the passing musical year in Hebrew, you are welcome to click here:

http://cafe.themarker.com/post/2420788/

And here:

http://cafe.themarker.com/post/2434170/

This year I will start with the straightforward list of my favorite tracks of 2011 followed by short (as short as I can make it…) commentary.

For much better commentary (it better be, as this guy is actually paid to write it), I highly recommend reading The New Yorker’s Sasha Frere-Jones’s series of musical summaries of 2011:

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/bios/sasha_frere-jones/search?contributorName=Sasha Frere Jones

This year, for the first time, my entire collection of Tracks of the Year (well, the part of it that is licensed by Spotify) is available via a Spotify playlist!:

Tracks of the Year 2011

As Frere-Jones writes, 2011 was a lukewarm musical year. No major breakthroughs (Some call post-dubstep a major musical development. I don’t see it as a musical revolution and I believe that it is a fad that will eventually disappear or get assimilated like the nu-rave fad did in the mid-naughties. One James Blake a revolution does not make) but, on the other hand, not a disastrous year, either. There were quite a few good songs, interesting new sounds, old timers proving they still have it, and to sum it up – the best tracks of 2011 were a not-too-shabby soundtrack for my life and, I hope, yours.

Statistics:

The top 40 consists of acts from theUK (22.5), theUS (10.5 – Blame the half on The Kills),Australia(3) and one from each: Austria, Sweden and Finland.

THE List!

1)      Viva Brother – The Darling Buds of May

2)      The Belligerents – Such a Crime

3)      Hook & The Twin – We’re so Light

4)      Various Cruelties – Chemicals

5)      Ghostpoet – Survive it

6)      SULK – Back in Bloom

7)      Kasabian – Re-Wired

8)     DeepSeaArcade– Girls

9)      Miles Kane – Come Closer

10)  The Vaccines – Nørgaard

11)  Cat’s Eyes – Face in the Crowd

12)  Metronomy – The Bay / Corinne

13)  Kaiser Chiefs – Man on Mars

14)  PJ Harvey – The Words that Maketh Murder

15)  Lana Del Rey – Video Games

16)  The Vaccines – Wetsuit

17)  Wild Beasts – Reach a Bit Further

18)  Radiohead – Little by Little

19) BombayBicycle Club – Lights Out, Words Gone

20)  LCMDF (Le Corps Mince de Françoise) – Future Me

21)  Jon Fratelli – Rhythm Doesn’t Make You a Dancer

22)  Kurt Vile – Runner Ups

23)  The Kills – Baby Says

24)  Ljusår – Ljusår

25)  Bass Drum of Death – Young Pros

26)  DeckchairOrange– Stay

27)  The Music – Ghost Hands

28)  Rival Sons – Pressure and Time

29)  Stripmall Architecture – Ownsome

30)  MONA – Teenager

31) Florence+ The Machine – What the Water Gave Me

32)  Cold War Kids – Louder than Ever

33)  LittleBarrie– How Come

34)  Foster the People – Pumped up Kicks

35)  Poppy and the Jezebels – Sign in, Dream on, Drop out

36)  Ty Segall – You Make the Sun Fry

37)  Unknown Mortal Orchestra – How Can U Love Me

38)  Emeli Sandé – Heaven

39)  The Vines – Candy Flipping Girl

40)  Willy Moon – I Wanna be Your Man

In a Word:

1- Viva Brother – The Darling Buds of May: The rock critics who hate Viva Brother obviously have something against perfectly crafted rock anthems. I happen to like those.

2- The Belligerents – Such a Crime: The real crime is that you can’t get this song on Spotify yet. And that Israel doesn’t even have Spotify.

3- Hook & The Twin – We’re so Light: I would never have heard this beautiful psychedelic rhythmic chant if it wasn’t for DJ Caroline Beavon from Q Radio’s excellent “New to Q” show and Kerrang! Radio.

5- Ghostpoet – Survive it: I’m very happy for his success this year. What I am puzzled about is that most other rankers preferred his other singles: “Cash and Carry me Home” and “Liiines”. To me, “Survive it” is, by far, his best track and the best R&B song of 2011.

6- SULK – Back in Bloom: There used to be a very talented British group that produced great madchester-type songs called The Ruling Class who sounded like a modern day Stone Roses. This year I found this madchester-type song by a band who sounds like a modern day Stone Roses. Coincidence? No. SULK are simply the new name The Ruling Class goes by these days. They are wonderful and criminally underrated.

9- Miles Kane – Come Closer and 11- Cat’s Eyes – Face in the Crowd:

I wasn’t a Miles Kane fan, and now that I finally found a song of his that is a real indie anthem I love, he seems to be less cool. Oh well, SMH. Faris Badwan, however, is still the NME’s darling, and should get more credit for this retro-suspence-thriller piece.

10- The Vaccines – Nørgaard and 16- The Vaccines – Wetsuit I thought they were all hype at first, and since the media created a fake Vaccines vs. Brother (later Viva Brother) feud, I kind of ignored them. Their singles towards the end of the year where a cut above the things I heard from them before and they ended up producing my “classic Rock n’ Roll anthem of the year” since the disappointing Strange Boys single failed to be it.

12- Metronomy – The Bay / Corinne: Metronomy released my album of the year “The English Riviera”, so I took the liberty of ranking the best single off the album, The Bay, as well as the best non-single, Corinne. The vocals, music and lyrics in this album all combine to give you the feeling of changing geographic scenery without really being able to escape your inner self. Superficial sweetness reveals deeper estrangement. Hearing this album during my last visit to London made that trip feel more special.

13 – Kaiser Chiefs – Man on Mars: Long time readers (yes, all three of you) will know by now that these lists are skewed unfairly towards songs I have seen played live (See also 33- Little Barrie – How Come). In Kaiser Chief’s case, if you only read the papers (every day, we like who we like we hate who we hate etc. etc. etc.), you’d think that they were finished. However, seeing them perform live, especially with the new “The Future is Medieval” songs which sounded great on stage, is a reminder that this is one of the best live bands in the world and that it is far too early to eulogize their musical career.

14- PJ Harvey – The Words that Maketh Murder: It took me a couple of listens to realize that behind the fun poppy song, are deep, disturbing lyrics. I saw this song in a different light after that. It’s now hard for me to think of it as just a piece of pop culture. It seems as if anti-war voices all over the world are getting weaker and weaker and that my generation, once growing up dreaming of a peaceful world, now continue to be sent to die for politician’s interests as if nothing changed. Polly Jean Harvey called her album “Let England Shake”. I hope the whole world shakes and that humane values regain some weight in the eyes of our leaders.

15- Lana Del Rey – Video Games: The most polarizing song of 2011. Lips or no lips, PR stunt or not, commercial or indie, this is simply a beautiful love song. How many of those do we get to hear nowadays? My only complaint is that I had to listen to it 10 times a day at some point…

18- Radiohead – Little by Little: I think Radiohead are an important, original band with some excellent songs and a lot of pretentious overrated shite. The way everything they do is revered in some circles appalls me. Given that, I am surprised that by the time they release perhaps their best track since Kid A’s “Idioteque”, no one else likes it as much as I do. Oh well.

19- Bombay Bicycle Club – Lights Out, Words Gone: It’s a beautiful song, but let’s be honest: It wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the album version’s long, almost a cappella coda, featuring the lovely Lucy Rose on backing vocals.

20- LCMDF (Le Corps Mince de Françoise) – Future Me : Third year in a row for the poppy energetic Finnish sisters in my top 20.

21- Jon Fratelli – Rhythm Doesn’t Make You a Dancer: What a knack this guy has for writing sweeping indie-pop anthems.

22- Kurt Vile – Runner Ups: I first thought of Kurt Vile with his acoustic songs and clever name as one of the numerous American nu-folk carbon copies of Bright Eyes, Devendra Banhart, etc. This enchanted blues tune shows that he has something extra.

24- Ljusår – Ljusår: If radio stations and music magazines had the same power they had 20 years ago, Ljusår (Swedish for “light year”) could have been the new A-ha.

26- Deckchair Orange – Stay: Should I be THIS surprised that such a nice indie pop song comes fromAustria? I mean this country did give us Mozart, for God’s sake…

28- Rival Sons – Pressure and Time: Every now and then a new band comes along, trying to claim the current crown of classic rock. This usually fails, but it gives Led Zeppelin fans something to get excited and/or argue about. Wolfmother built a whole career off of this phenomenon. Allow me to introduce 2011’s Wolfmother: Rival Sons!

29- Stripmall Architecture – Ownsome: A lovely song that builds up into the deepest lyrical cry for help. This list, like every “best of” list, is totally subjective, and this song moved me because it reminded me of many people I know who also have “the illusion of success”. If you happen to listen to this song, please stay until the end.

30- MONA – Teenager: They may be over-hyped American indie merchants, but this song is a fresh cri de coeur comparable to Suede’s “So Young”.

35- Poppy and the Jezebels – Sign in, Dream on, Drop out: OK, I’m cheating a little bit here. This song actually never came out as a single and is only available as a YouTube acoustic rendition. However, it is beautiful and cheerful and I hope P&TJ finally make it big in 2012: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKkOCVrBfrY

 Thanks for reading! I’d love to get your comments, even a word to let me know you were here 🙂

NME’s 50 Best Tracks of 2011 Wednesday, Dec 7 2011 

NME’s Tracks of the Year 2011

1) Lana Del Rey – Video Games

2) Tyler, The Creator -Yonkers

3)  The Horrors – Still Life

4)  PJ Harvey – The Words that Maketh Murder

5)  Wild Beasts – Bed of Nails

6)  Battles – Ice Cream

7)  Metronomy – The Bay

8)  tUnE-yArDs – Bizness

9)  Howler – I Told You Once

10) M83 –MidnightCity

11) Metronomy – The Look

12) Kurt Vile – Baby’s Arms

13) Niki & The Dove – The Fox

14) The Vaccines – If You Wanna

15) Spector – Never Fade Away

16) Summer Camp – I Want You

17) Katy B – Broken Record

18) Azelia Banks – 212

19) Anna Calvi – Blackout

20) Milk Music – Beyond Living

21) Foster the People – Pumped up Kicks

22) Arctic Monkeys – The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala

23)Florence+ the Machine – Shake it Out

24) Glasvegas – The World is Yours

25) The Strokes – Under Cover of Darkness

26) Rihanna – We Found Love

27) Little Dragon – RitualUnion

28) The Vaccines – Post Break-Up Sex

29)BombayBicycle Club – Shuffle

30) Adele – Rolling in the Deep (Jamie XX Shuffle)

31) The Drums – Money

32) Ghostpoet – Liiines

33) Alex Turner – Piledriver Waltz

34) Austra – Beat and the Pulse

35) SBTRKTft.Little Dragon – Wildfire

36) Hercules & Love Affair – My House

37)Marinaand the Diamonds – Radioactive

38) Beyonce – Run the World (Girls)

39) Friends – I’m his Girl

40) Justice – Civilization

41) Metronomy – She Wants

42) Factory Floor – Real Love

43) Azari & III – Reckless with your Love

44) Joe Goddardft.Valentina- Gabriel

45) Iceage – Broken Bone

46) Austra – Lose it

47) Dananananaykroyd – Muscle Memory

48)ColdCave– The Great Pan is Dead

49) Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – If I had a Gun…

50) Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – AKA…What a Life!

Prinpi’s Tracks of the Year 2010 Thursday, Dec 16 2010 

Note: You can find my Tracks of the Year lists from 2005 through 2009 as earlier posts in this blog. 2005 through 2008 are in Hebrew. Sorry.

Note: If you can’t be (currently?) bothered to read the commentary, the full list of songs appears at the bottom of this post.

So, another musical year has passed. First years of new decades tend to “clean up” the remains from the previous decade and prepare the ground for a new sound soon to come (Please let there be something exciting during this musical decade…). 1970 was very “Sixties-ish”, 1980’s top artists were Barbara Streisand and the Bee Gees, 1990 was pre-grunge and Britpop, 2000 was pre-Strokes, Libertines and White Stripes, and this year will probably be remembered as the last hurrah for the naughties sound.

My top 40 consists of 22 British acts, 11 Americans and single acts from Australia, Canada, France, Sweden, Finland, Iceland and Spain.

40. Band of Skulls – Death by Diamonds and Pearls 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEbBIswSsEA

In a word: You gotta respect the best Jack White dirty guitar riffs not actually produced by Jack White.

39. The Dears – Omega Dog

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zw3ruwwewFo

In a word: A very appetizing teaser for the Dears’ new album, due for release on February 2011. A beautiful slow-burning guitar-falsetto blues.

38. Holly Miranda – Waves (Acoustic)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugaWI1gyhwo

In a word: Continuing the slow and beautiful theme. Such a quiet ballad can easily get lost in all the noise. Especially the naked acoustic version, in which you gladly invite Ms. Miranda to gently break your heart.

37. Audio Bullys – Only Man

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yD0KEi554c

In a word: Isn’t it just like me to like an Audio Bullys track five years after the world stopped caring about them? [I guess you are the “only man” who still listens to them, etc. etc. –ed.]

36. Cherry Ghost – Kissing Strangers

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tl6Tcqi-RFs

In a word: Too croonish to be “proper” indie, too obscure to be pop, but I wish more people would give this song a chance. We’ve all been there. Oh, and regarding the previous note: I don’t REALLY have an editor. Can’t you tell?

35. She & Him – In the Sun

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZ3cTwI9bIw

In a word: After crowning Zooey Deschanel (I was only one letter off trying to spell her name without Wikipedia!) as the coolest person on earth, we are left with the music. In this case, this chirpy, jumpy, uplifting tune just crawls under your skin and stays there until you have no choice but to have a better day.

34. RPA and the United Nations of Sound – Are You Ready

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8pZFjczSyA

In a word: Yeah, Richard Ashcroft is not as relevant as he used to be and, no, this is no Verve song, but there is still some value in straightforward rock anthems. Either that or my ears are getting old.

33. The XX – Crystalised (re-release)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pib8eYDSFEI

In a word: Mercury Prize winners, the XX, re-released this flagship track from their acclaimed debut album in 2010. Due to its dual release and the UK being obsessed with the XX, this is probably the track I have heard the most time out of the ones on this list, and I’m still not tired of it. That says something.

32. Katy B – Katy on a Mission

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNhPYj-5rIY

In a word: Dubstep was the most popular buzzword in music this past year. You can do anything with it, from fascinating experimental sound collages such as James Blake’s to poppy dance anthems like this track by the reigning queen of dubstep-pop, Katy B. Its sense of urgency makes it my dance tune of the year.

31. The Ting Tings – Hands

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZoPtlQMUYc

In a word: All the usual Ting Tings ingredients were there. Catchy tune? Check. A beat that makes you want to shake your rear end? Check. Glossy video? Check. David Bowie reference at the beginning? Well, that was a new element, but check. It’s a mystery why this wasn’t a very successful single.

30. Good Shoes – Under Control

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1KworDaCqs

In a word: Are Good Shoes the “last band standing” out of the mid-00s wave of “shoe bands”? Possibly. They got it under control, which is more than I can say about this column’s word count.

29. The Victorian English Gentlemen’s Club – Bored in Belgium

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25GzYF2W7Uk

In a word: One of the things I love the most about music is that sometimes I love a song even though I have no “logical” reason to love it. Something about it just clicks [I see no logical reason to like anything on your list so far… –ed.] TVEGC’s hymn for mind-numbness in a Benelux country, both the studio and live versions of it, is such a song. For others, it is a song that would keep their heads banging and banging and banging and banging…

28. Everything Everything – Schoolin’

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0fb0G3hfjo

In a word: Is there such a thing as “progressive pop”? If there is, Everything Everything are the Godfathers of that genre. Quick multiple rhythm switches, daring falsetto, Afro-pop strumming and a trip through a unique sonic universe in all of 280 seconds.

27. We Are Scientists – Rules Don’t Stop

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmjvnU4VKaA

In a word: Being reduced to a duo didn’t stop them, not being a “new and fresh” band didn’t stop them, Even my bad review five years ago didn’t stop them, as much as I’m sure it hurt their feelings. And, therefore, it is no surprise to find out that rules don’t stop them. I won’t even be surprised if these rebels wear white after Labor Day!

26. Let’s Buy Happiness – Six Wolves

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBcw3ek95bo

In a word: Nothing witty or clever to say here. This is just a beautiful song and the singer has a beautiful voice.

 

 

25. The Coral – 1,000 Years

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baH0SWCFVzo

In a word: Retro-sounding flower power ballads will probably never completely disappear, but the Coral preceded the current wave of P-folk (to paraphrase “P-funk”) by a few years. Good to see they stuck around long enough to enjoy (?) its current bloom. Whatever you call this hippie genre, this is one enchanting tune.

 

 

 

24. We Have Band – Oh! (re-release)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQUC5WbCSrg

In a word: I only discovered this fun song (originally released in 2008) this year, so I was very excited about it being re-released and eligible for this list (although I am actually the one making the rules. I could decide that only B-sides can be charted. I can decide that Australian bands are banned. Muahaha! With absolute power comes… Well, nothing, really).

23. Tame Impala – Solitude is Bliss

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxvf7gR4-2M

In a word: Nice “prog-ish” psychedelic pop-rock gem. I first heard most of the songs on this list thanks to BBC 6Music, NME, Pitchfork and especially self-research, but I owe my enjoyment of this particular song to a fellow Anglophile indie junkie, the queen of all things Kasabian and Mika, Ms. Michal Goldman. Thanks, Mici!

 





22. Frankie Rose and the Outs – Candy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIs-NZ5Hsg4

In a word: A reminder that sometimes American bands can make good indie music. I mean proper indie music, not what American blogs sometimes call indie/alternative, which usually consists of a 17 year old taping himself sing acoustic out-of-tune folk songs in Portland. This is the first of two songs on this lists with bits that remind me of songs from Nirvana’s “Nevermind”. This one reminds me of “On a Plain”. Granted, it’s only some “oooh-oooh”s, but still.

21. Surfer Blood – Swim

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AEldiUP408

In a word: Bands I see live get a significant bump in the rankings. That’s just the way it is. I make the rules. With absolute power comes etc. etc. etc.

They sounded very promising as Interpol’s supporting band at Brixton, switching between contemporary Afro-beat, math rock and impressive psychedelic reverb symphonies.

20. Non-Tiq – Quiet

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVWaClz0ODo

In a word: This is the poppy, uplifting single Lykke Li SHOULD have released. Instead, it introduces us to her promising color-drenched compatriot. 

 
 
 

19. The Fall – Bury Pts. 2 + 4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joY8Qn0dh3M 

In a word: What’s left to say about Mark E. Smith and The Fall after 30 odd years? [I’m sure you’ll think of something –ed.]

It’s not a “song” as much as it is a reminder that a combination of stinging “rap” by the world’s oldest indie kid, plus a killer riff,

can somehow move you and feel meaningful way beyond what one could reasonably explain. Music used to mean something

and The Fall provide the soundtrack for all those feeling contempt towards these times, when it doesn’t anymore.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

18. Beach House – Norway

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHbtR8uO81M

In a word: I have a problem with this song’s intro. So much so that I used to “skip” every time I heard it on my iPod.

It’s worth waiting a few seconds, though, as Beach House provide the year’s best usage of a slide guitar effect in this dreamy

tune.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

17. Oú Est Le Swimming Pool – These New Knights

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2L4IaqeVD8

 

In a word: Tragic. The tragic death of front man Charles Haddon during a festival in Belgium (see #29)

last August was the saddest indie story of 2010. It came just as OELSP (or: “Where is the Piscine”?)

were about to take off. We’ll probably never know how big they could have been, but we still have their

excellent debut album and this 80s-vibe electro-indie-dance track to remind us of a very special artist,

gone much too young.

 

 

16. The Good Natured – Your Body is a Machine

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_mw5cdF4WM

In a word: Ah, the drama! The slow building tension throughout the song! Supporting Ke$ha’s UK tour! Well, OK, not the last one. That’s weird. Anyway, I believe that Sarah, AKA The Good Natured, will become big in 2011. Look out for her at SXSW next March.

15. Detachments – Holiday Romance

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lZZ_oAtKDc

In a word: As far as dark 80s revival goes, Detachments > Hurts. And if I may elaborate a bit, Detachments >>> Hurts. Hurts are OK, but I think the music media adopted the wrong dark 80s “darling”.

14. Haight-Ashbury – Freeman Town

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPHYg_QPUb8

In a word: Speaking of retro acts, the 80s are way too modern for Haight-Ashbury… Good old hippie folk with a touch of contemporary indie sound and angelic female harmonies make this the perfect meditation soundtrack.

13. Crystal Fighters – In the Summer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9d9N_sR_SM

In a word: I can’t really defend my love for this song. It’s silly, it’s messy… It’s a whole lot of fun. You are all invited to listen to it, get addicted, smile and dance uncontrollably and publicly condemn me for admitting to liking it.

12. The Strange Boys – Be Brave

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hEQd-1XdIs

In a word: There has been nothing that puzzled me more about the end-of-the-year lists than everyone totally ignoring these Texan pure rock-n-rollers. It’s like compiling a 1955 list without Elvis. They are the best new act I heard all year and I can’t wait to hear new material from them.

11. Warpaint – Undertow

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMkqbY0oGKQ

In a word: Taking Haight-Ashbury’s meditative female harmonies one big step further in this perfect gem of a heartbreaking ballad. This song also reminds me of a Nirvana song, this time “Polly”. I predict a huge 90s revival soon, headlined by 2011’s 20 year anniversary of “Nevermind”. Warpaint are ahead of their retro-time, if that makes sense [It doesn’t –ed.], but they clearly sound more like the unplugged version, with a pinch of 4AD bands.

10. LCMDF – Gandhi

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3f_DSs54MO8

In a word: Second year in a row for these Finnish sisters (formerly known as “Le Corps Mince de Françoise”) in my top 10. They have a knack for producing perfect pop hooks and my request from Santa this year is to make them a successful top 40 act (and to fire the NME writer who ranked Willow Smith in their “best tracks of 2010” list).

9. Rapids! – Fuses

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHEWANg_vlM

In a word: Math rock is not only Foals. A reminder that sometimes there are new British indie bands worth listening to, even in this day and age. 

 
 
 

8. I Blame Coco – Selfmachine

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0j6VoW6vv9Y

In a word: This is such a catchy pop tune, so well-crafted, that it makes me wonder whether Coco Sumner isn’t more successful BECAUSE her father happens to be Sting. Forget about that for a second and just listen. Well, it’s hard, since she sounds just like him, but give it a try, huh? The acoustic version is ace, as well.

 

7. Wild Beasts – We Still Got The Taste Dancin’ On Our Tongues

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkkJCSduFS0

In a word: No, I don’t like Antony and the Johnsons. Yes, I am completely crazy about this tune by Wild Beasts. Contradiction? Whatever. This is one of the most unique tracks of 2010 and a glimmer of hope for British music.





6. The Strange Boys – Night Might

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVtZutbTXw0

In a word: Here are those Rickenbacker-jangling Texans again! This is probably the Sambol brother’s (and their gang) best work. It wasn’t officially released as a single, but it gained a lot of air time on BBC 6Music. 6Music was supposed to be shut down this year (a good enough reason to overthrow the Labour government, if you ask me), and, luckily, it was saved. If you love music, do yourselves a favor and listen to it sometimes (it is available all over the world via http://www.bbc.co.uk/6music). It’s like having an iPod that automatically adds new amazing songs you love every week.





5. Foals – Miami

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQ90LRaEIt0

In a word: “Spanish Sahara” was the slow-cooking ballad everyone loved, but to me, this is the second-best song Foals have written (after “Hummer”). I like their faster math rock anthems, what can I tell you.





4. Uffie – Pop the Glock

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1v2PtoxwNo

In a word: Heavily influenced by Audio Two’s classic rap track “Top Billin’”, this minimal-house track by American-French electro-rapper Uffie was first released in 2006. It was then re-released late in 2009 and featured on Uffie’s debut album this year. To me this sounds totally fresh and experimental, and producer Feadz’s beats are addictive. However, many people compared Uffie to Ke$ha. I just don’t hear it. Can’t a track use auto-tunes AND be good? Just be good cool hipsters and admit that this is a killer track already.

 

 
 

3. tUnE-yArDs – Real Live Flesh

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwDEQWaSiEU

In a word: An experimental sound collage which is not for everyone, but if you’re patient enough with it, you’ll find enchanting beauty.

 

 
 

2. How to Dress Well – Lover’s Start

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbdeacVXbik

In a word: An experimental sound collage which is not for everyone, but if you’re patient enough with it, you’ll find enchanting beauty. [Is anyone else having a déjà-vu? –ed.] Most critics loved “Decisions”, but I prefer this emotional “ballad” instead. This very well may be the future of music.

 

 
 

1. Jónsi – Go Do

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6HjT4SQKJI

In a word: In the end, nothing could trump this perfect pro-active hymn with its bird chirping, falsetto crooning and almost-violent drumming. I see it as a call to arms for anyone who loves good, real, creative, original music. If you are talented but depressed by what you hear on mainstream radio, do not despair. Go do. Have an excellent 2011.

 

 ___________________________________________________________________________________

 The complete list:

1. Jónsi – Go Do

2. How to Dress Well – Lover’s Start

3. tUnE-yArDs – Real Live Flesh

4. Uffie – Pop the Glock

5. Foals – Miami

6. The Strange Boys – Night Might

7. Wild Beasts – We Still Got The Taste Dancin’ On Our Tongues

8. I Blame Coco – Selfmachine

9. Rapids! – Fuses

10. LCMDF – Gandhi

11. Warpaint – Undertow

12. The Strange Boys – Be Brave

13. Crystal Fighters – In the Summer

14. Haight-Ashbury – Freeman Town

15. Detachments – Holiday Romance

16. The Good Natured – Your Body Is a Machine

17. Oú Est Le Swimming Pool – These New Knights

18. Beach House – Norway

19. The Fall – Bury Pts. 2 + 4

20. Non-Tiq – Quiet

21. Surfer Blood – Swim

22. Frankie Rose and the Outs – Candy

23. Tame Impala – Solitude is Bliss

24. We Have Band – Oh! (re-release)

25. The Coral – 1,000 Years

26. Let’s Buy Happiness – Six Wolves

27. We Are Scientists – Rules Don’t Stop

28. Everything Everything – Schoolin’

29. The Victorian English Gentlemen’s Club – Bored in Belgium

30. Good Shoes – Under Control

31. The Ting Tings – Hands

32. Katy B – Katy on A Mission

33. The XX – Crystalised (re-release)

34. RPA and the United Nations of Sound – Are You Ready

35. She & Him – In the Sun

36. Cherry Ghost – Kissing Strangers

37. Audio Bullys – Only Man

38. Holly Miranda – Waves (Acoustic)

39. The Dears – Omega Dog

40. Band of Skulls – Death by Diamonds and Pearls

 

Getting ready for Prinpi’s Tracks of the Year 2010! Tuesday, Dec 14 2010 

My (Prinpi’s) Tracks of the Year 2010 list is published this Friday! Are you ready?

(don’t you all scream in ecstasy at once, please! You’ll crash WordPress!)

A teaser for now: My all-overrrated list for 2010:

Janelle Monáe, Kelis, Big Boi, M.I.A. (sorry girl, I still love you), Nicki Minaj, Best Coast (not bad, but not THAT good), Les Savy Fav, Hurts, Darwin Deez, Sleigh Bells, Robyn, Villagers, Zola Jesus, Gayngs, Ariel Pink.

Overrated of the year: These New Puritans.

Lifetime overrating achievement awards: LCD Soundsystem (Happy retirement. It’s about time).  And Janelle Monáe again.

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