Favorite Songs of the Year

It should be noted that these songs are not on any of my favorite albums or EPs that have been or will be listed. These are just too good to let go without mentioning.
  • Venetian Snares - "Colorless" (from My Downfall (Original Soundtrack) on Planet-Mu) On the whole My Downfall didn't seem to measure up to the stylistic breakthrough that it is sort of a spiritual sequel to, 2005's Rossz Csillag Alatt Született. However, I thought this first track was just totally arresting: like an Arvo Pärt choral arrangement compacted into two minutes. Like a lake of ink on a cloudless midnight. Totally. I want any album's worth of this!
  • Daso - "Meine" (from the Meine Idee EP on Spectral Sound) This combines a steady disco beat with some chilly staccato synth chords and lifts into a swirling, panning, and utterly amazing melodic refrain. The build ups and climaxes are paced just right, the tune is catchy as hell, the beat is supremely danceable. It sounds like it maybe belongs in a city that's all neon-edged like in Tron or anime cyberpunk movies. This track is just about as classy as it gets, but it isn't too cool for the room. So good.
  • Thieves Like Us - "Drugs in My Body" (from the Drugs in My Body / Fass 12" on Kitsuné)When I was originally flipping my lid over this song and sharing it with dear friend Jason, he astutely summed it up as sounding something like "Hot Chip meets The Field." I think that hits the nail on the head. A looping micro-sampled guitar hook pushes this kinda pleasantly snotty and fey sounding track along. An irresistible 80's style drum-pad break halts things up before the refrain drops back in one last time. A pop brain with a house heart? Or vice versa? Tops in any case.
  • Bonde Do Rolê - "Geremia" (from With Lasers on Domino) This album and Bonde Do Rolê in general is pretty obnoxious and irritating. I'm a sucker for a marching cadence, though, and "Geremia" has just that. Bass drums that sound like they'll cave the roof in, salacious-sounding Portuguese raps, and, putting things over the top: slide whistles and kazoos! Fucking YES. I can appreciate a shot of humor in a dance tune, and this track has it in spades (and it doesn't hurt that the beat's good too). Avoid the album though. What a mess.
  • JDSY - "See Me" (from the New Faces EP on Ghostly)A fractured pop song from a hacked NES cartridge. Nice deadpan-ish vocals not entirely dissimilar to labelmate Matthew Dear. A boisterous beat that will get your head bobbing. Check check check. Mm-hm. Unfortunately I can't think of much more to say about this. That doesn't mean you shouldn't look into it.
  • Kleerup feat. Robyn - "With Every Heartbeat (Tong & Spoon Wonderland Remix)" (from a bunch of singles and 12" on a variety of labels) Robyn's radio-ready vocals make this track a bit melodramatic, but it doesn't matter. They go great with the beat and the swooning pseudo-orchestral melody. From the first second the beat is nice and roud, solid but not rigid (if that makes sense). The lovely arpeggios in the closing segment of the song sound like glitter falling from the dancefloor ceiling. Fab indeed.
  • Flosstradamus (as Ravestradamus) - "Act a Fool (Remix)" (from the internets) Take Lil' Jon and 3 Six Mafia's krunk klassic "Act a Fool," simply mix in Zombie Nation's ubiquitous rave anthem "Kernkraft 400" and you've got a clean, straightforward, and fucking unstoppable party jam. It's ingenious how this works together. Another credit to Jason for spinning this at my wedding, making for a great close to the evening.
  • Professor Murder - "Dutch Hex" (from the Dutch Hex 12" on Brothers Label) A ferocious dancefloor burner that proves there's still some juice to squeeze from the dance punk orange (so to speak). P-Murder keeps it fresh with their semi-tropical style, unmissable tom-toms and funk-tastic bass. What seals the deal is the giant refrain, with giant synths and a giant vocal part that absolutely begs to be shouted with / back at the band at a show ("Of course they fuckin' do!!!").
  • Caribou - "Melody Day" (from Andorra on Merge) Now I like Caribou's other albums a great deal, and Andorra is decent, but it's pretty flat compared to earlier work. "Melody Day" is the sort of penultimate refinement of the Caribou sound. Sunny psych-guitars and falsetto vocals, flute trills, and awesome drum blowouts. Things seem to be timed out just right, the song held by wires, everything a sort of controlled chaos. Wonderful.
  • Animal Collective - "Fireworks" (from Strawberry Jam on Domino) Strawberry Jam is probably Animal Collective's most uneven and lumpy album (which isn't to say it's bad, it's fine, it just seems to lack some focus). Despite this, they managed to record "Fireworks," undoubtedly one of the best songs in their entire catalog. Echoing drums and an elastic guitar part that sounds like its being played in a storm drain pair with Avey Tare's hooting vocals. Hearing this for the first time was truly surprising. Like unwrapping some big multicolored ball of foil to get to who knows what in the middle. Most of you have probably heard this already so I don't need to keep going on about how great it is.
  • Yellow Swans - "Mass Mirage" (from At All Ends on Load) Probably the best noise track I've heard all year (even though it's not really strictly "noise"). Four gargantuan, gorgeous, heavy-as-the-world guitar chords swell and undulate throughout the song as they are buffeted by waves of roaring static and manipulated vocals. Yellow Swans seem to be very good at merging honest-to-god noise with a sense of melody and direction (as opposed to your just kind of fuzzy, bratty "noise pop"). This track stands as a perfect encapsulation of where they are now and where they might go in the future.
  • Strategy - "Stops Spinning" (from Future Rock on Kranky) Sexiest song of the year? I think so. A warmly pulsing foundation lies under the underwater hi-hats, melted organs, sly bass and tasteful (not retarded, as is sometimes the case) vocoder vocals. For the sweaty, tail-end of a drunken dance party. Smoove.
  • Jens Lekman - "The Opposite of Hallelujah" (from Night Falls Over Kortedala on Secretly Canadian / Service) This could be easily exchanged with "I'm Leaving You Because I Don't Love You" or "A Postcard to Nina." But anyway. What can you say except that Jens writes a mean pop song? Heartstring-tugging vocals, drum part that's full of pomp, lovely strings, a subtle mandolin in the refrain. What's not to love?
Yeesh, this is starting to get a bit exhausting. But we're having fun, right?

I might take the weekend off before I starting listing the real top 10. We'll see.

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