Well, here they are – a list of my favorite songs of the year.
(The order is based more on mood, not necessarily on preference.)
“Wavlngth” – Headless Horseman, “HDLSS” compilation
Wild, exuberant, and infectious, this song jumped out at me as I was researching the hundreds of unknown bands descending on the city for CMJ in October.
“Whale” – Yellow Ostrich, The Mistress
Listen to the slowly unfolding beat as layers upon layers are piled on top of each other to create an earnest, upbeat diddy that is far more complex than it appears.
“Let England Shake” – PJ Harvey, Let England Shake
A strong intro to a strong album. Harvey proves she’s still got it.
“Lose It” – Austra, Feel It Break
Operatic, buoyant, and so much better than Zola Jesus, this is the song that sold me at SXSW. The bit at the end by the Lightman twins (of Tasseomancy) seals the deal.
“Cheerleader” – St. Vincent, Strange Mercy
I know, I know. “Cruel” was the song with the awesome music video. But can I help it? I love the slowly mounting tension this song holds before it erupts into a pounding, staccato chorus.
Det haster! – Casiokids, Aabenbaringen over aaskammen
This song is just a blast. Easy as that. (Now if I could just understand the Norwegian…)
“Heart in Your Heartache” – The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Belong
The album was a disappointment, but this song’s got everything that first made me fall in love with the band in 2009. A peppy, poppy masterpiece.
“I’ll Drown” – Sóley, We Sink
A veteran of fellow Icelandic artists Seabear, Múm, and Sin Fang, Sóley steps into the spotlight, herself, and the result is charming and magical, even though the lyrics depict heartache.
“Carve a Peach” – His Clancyness
Despite the artist’s cringe-worth name, I can’t get enough of this song – shimmering, laid back, and lovely.
“Bunhill Fields” – Amor de Días, Street of the Love of Days
Short and sweet, I could listen to this song on repeat for hours.
“Mona Lisa” – Atlas Sound, Parallax
Bradford Cox at his poppy, pitch-perfect best.
“Harsh Realm” – Widowspeak, s/t
Hazy, mesmerizing, and simple.
“Night After Night” – Laura Marling, A Creature I Don’t Know
This song consistently makes me cry. Beautiful, tragic, and haunting.
“Holocene” – Bon Iver, Bon Iver, Bon Iver
Another one for weeping – honest and breathtaking, a downer that somehow manages to simultaneously exude strength.