The Playlist: The Must Hear Songs of 2010

If you listen to nothing else from this past year, listen to these 15 gems.*  Without further adieu, the Must Hear Songs of 2010…**

1. “White Sky“- Vampire Weekend

This infinitely catchy song showcasing the spastic yelps of Ezra Koenig will be in constant rotation on your iPod for months.

2. “Do the Astral Plane“- Flying Lotus

If you don’t find yourself bouncing along to this rapidly progressing, multi-layered track you may not have a pulse.

3. “Fright Night (Nevermore)“- Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti

An ’80s style vibe infused with pseudo-spooky guitars, synths, and comically macabre lyrics like “I used to talk to demons with my Ouija board but… not anymore.”  What’s not to like?

4. “Yamaha“- The-Dream

The-Dream takes a page out of his idol’s book with this heavily-synthesized ode to a girl whose name he doesn’t know.  We’ll just call her “Yamaha” instead.

5. “All of the Lights“- Kanye West

This one hits like a Rocky punch and only lets up at the very end once you’re down for the count.

6. “Impossible Soul“- Sufjan Stevens

For the music lover who wants it all, this is your song.  At over 25 (yes, 25!) minutes long this track has everything—electronic funk, spacey atmospherics, auto-tune crooning, exuberant horns, and gentle acoustic guitar plucking.  All in a day’s—er song’s—work for the ever-ambitious Stevens.

7. “Good Intentions Paving Co.“- Joanna Newsom

Newsom weaves strings, horns, and her easily distinguishable and uniquely singular voice together to churn out a bluesy/folksy gem that will have you longing for more well after it’s over.

8. “Cubism Dream“- Local Natives

Easy flowing guitar, piano, and drums provide the perfect complement to lead singer, Taylor Rice’s, pitch-perfect and melodious voice.

9. “Rill Rill“- Sleigh Bells

There’s something uniquely endearing about this oddball pop gem that has quirky high school gossip/gibberish for lyrics.

10. “Your Love“- Nicki Minaj

This irresistibly catchy bit of ear candy samples Annie Lennox’s “No More I Love You’s” and gives it a reinvigorated hip-hop bounce fit for the 21st century.

11. “The Suburbs“- Arcade Fire

A brooding and reflective look back at youth, growing up, and the dissolution of innocence and childhood.  All interesting fodder for a band that’s never shied away from deep subject matter and the chance to provide social commentary.

12. “Faster“- Janelle Monáe

Buzzing along at a breakneck pace, “Faster” is a song that certainly lives up to its name.  Monáe puts on display her ability to swing with the best of them on this up-tempo track.

13. “Norway“- Beach House

Beach House channel their inner Fleetwood Mac and combine it with their dream-pop aesthetics to produce this little slice of heaven.

14. “You & Me“- Diamond Rings

Infectiously poppy tune that will have you believing rainbow-colored eyeliner is cool—if only for 3 and a half minutes.

15. “If You Want It“- TV Girl

Any song that samples Todd Rundgren’s classic “Hello It’s Me,”*** drops a nifty beat in the background, and has poignant and humorous lyrics about drunken hook-ups and the resulting awkwardness of the morning after gets an A+ in my book.

*Limit one song per artist/band.

**Songs listed in no particular order.

***Check out the getup Rundgren is sporting in this clip.  The Lady Gaga of his time?  I think so.

Check back soon for my “Best Albums of the Year” roundup.


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Filed under Best Songs of 2010

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