Back in early May, over at the Higher Ed Music Critics blog, I posted my top 20 songs of the year so far. Now, with it being the halfway point of 2010, I face the task of compiling the next iteration of this last. I agonized over paring it down to 20 before I realized, “Hey, it’s my blog, I can do what I want!” So, 30 songs it is. In December, it will likely be a top 50 of the year.
Unseen here is the document wherein I list the dozens of amazing songs from the year so far, trying to narrow down to this list. This is a tough, tough task. But I want to hear what your favorites are and your feedback on these selections. As always, the caveat is that this list is only a valid representation of my opinion at the moment it was committed to paper. If I compiled it right now, I’m sure it would vary to some degree.
P.S. Do you want to kick back and listen to this playlist in all its glory at your leisure? I’ve created a YouTube playlist with all of the below-linked videos. Works just like a radio station. (Well, one with a 30-song catalog, anyway.)
Without further ado (and in no specific order — that’s a December task *gulp*)…
Magnetic Fields – You Must Be Out of Your Mind – An emotional, delicate tune
Yeasayer – Ambling Alp – “Speak up for yourself, son…” Uplifting and upbeat.
Tanlines – Real Life – One of my favorite dance tracks of the year
The Hold Steady – Hurricane J – More anthemic goodness from Craig and co.
The National – Bloodbuzz Ohio – Matt Berninger at his befuddling best
Surfer Blood – Swim – This’ll wake you up, that’s for sure
Ted Leo & the Pharmacists – Bottled in Cork – A classic romp with a killer hook
Teenage Fanclub – Baby Lee – A return to form for these Scottish popsmiths
Hot Chip – I Feel Better – An alluring, classy dance track
David Byrne/Fatboy Slim feat. Steve Earle – A Perfect Hand – A perfect song, plain and simple
New Pornographers – Crash Years – Another epic single from the NewPs
Mumford & Sons – Little Lion Man – Enthralling and relentless
Alphabeat – Heatwave – Groove IS in the heart
Gorillaz – Stylo – Bobby Womack owns this song
Butch Walker – Trash Day – Another WERS discovery, and a nice throwback pop tune
LCD Soundsystem – Dance Yrself Clean – This song builds into a frenetic dance floor meltdown, oh yeah
School of Seven Bells – Windstorm – Swirly, melodic goodness
The Roots – How I Got Over – This song grooves so damn well
Freedy Johnston – Don’t Fall in Love with a Lonely Girl – A classic. The singer-songwriter at his poppy best
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes – Home – Unabashedly heartfelt, and a fine use of whistling, at that
Stars – Fixed – O Canada! Captivating pop via Montreal
Ten Bears – Braces – They have bears in their name, what could go wrong? Also, this song just rocks hard
We Are Scientists – Rules Don’t Stop – More quality pop from these spiffy Brooklyn dudes
Peter Wolf – The Green Fields of Summer – Anything with Neko Case is a win, and Peter Wolf is a revelation here
Futureheads – Struck Dumb – More tour-de-force pop from the UK band
Club 8 – Shape Up – A fun, shimmery pop song
Local Natives – Airplane – These guys churn out some top-dollar indie rock.
Math & Physics Club – Love or Loneliness – Lucksmiths-style pop
Two Door Cinema Club – Something Good Can Work – A fun, catchy song with a vaguely island-y feel
Dan Black – Symphonies – A nice, mellow groove with orchestral flair