|Artwork credit: Alyssa Shapkoff|
Welp, it's that time of year again. As we groove into 2011 with renewed goals to get our asses off the sofa and onto the treadmill, we must reflect back on all of the music that kept us in semi-permanent couchlock, frantically downloading, listening to, and researching the gobs of tunes that jammed our inboxes, our favorite blogs, and in turn, our minds.
The four of us here at Speakers in Code did our damndest to put together a comprehensive list of, what we believe to be, the Best Songs of 2010, comin' at ya in four parts for the rest of the week. We even went so far as to rank them, but we ensure you that in no way is our attempt at ordering these hot jams scientific, or even that sensical, really. At first, coming up wtih 100 songs seemed a daunting task; halfway through, we realized that 200 would have been a breeze. So, we did our best, real nice and proper like.
Without further ado, your first twenty-five songs:
100 Courtney Jaye - Box Wine [listen]
A perfect example of Jaye's unique sound (personally dubbed "Hawaiian Country"), "Box Wine" is an ode to the simplicity of Franzia and no-frills men.
[buy the album] [more from Courtney Jaye on Speakers]
99 Janelle Monae feat. Big Boi - Tightrope
Not grooving to Janelle Monae's funk-filled frolic is an impossibility. Big Boi's rhymes are simply icing on the proverbial cake.
[buy the album]
98 Oberhofer - Away From U
Youngster Brad Oberhofer, who seems far too confident and sounds way too good to be nineteen and already crafting songs, offered up "Away From U" before he even graduated college.
[get the free album] [more from Oberhofer on Speakers]
97 Josh Ritter - Lantern
"Lantern" is one of those songs that doesn't need a minute to heat up; its heart beats from the start.
[buy the album] [more from Josh Ritter on Speakers]
96 La Sera - Never Come Around
La Sera's track hauntingly whispers of 2010's surf rock trend, but its 1950s sweet-as-pie chord changes are satisfyingly vandalized by a little lo-fi grit.
[album out in 2011] [more from La Sera on Speakers]
95 Jens Lekman - The End of the World is Bigger than Love
This uncharacteristically upbeat (relatively speaking) gem is a welcome break from the infinite sadness that tends to permeate Jens' work.
[buy the album] [more from Jens Lekman on Speakers]
94 Like Pioneers - Some People
Members of Chin Up Chin Up, Bound Stems, The Narrator, and Vacations, got together over two weekends and recorded an album. "Some People" is as magical as the story of how the song, and resulting album, came to be.
[buy the album] [more from Like Pioneers on Speakers]
93 Griffin House - If You Want To
On this track, House sings, "If I'm ever Tom Petty enough..." We like him just the way he is.
[buy the album] [more from Griffin House on Speakers]
92 U.S. Royalty - Equestrian
On "Equestrian," the band combines southern, sweet tea harmonies with gobs of beautiful nature imagery a la Fleet Foxes. In fact, the intro vocals quite remind us of a hooting owl.
[buy the album] [more from U.S. Royalty on Speakers]
91 Cults - Go Outside
"Go Outside" alternates seamlessly between dreamy verses and groovy hooks, creating a highly pleasant head-bobbing experience. They "know what's good" and they've "been there before." Trust in Cults, and you will be free...
[buy the album] [more from Cults on Speakers]
90 The Gaslight Anthem - Bring It On
On the new album, American Slang, Gaslight Anthem step up its sound to a relative Springsteen level. "Bring It On" highlights everything that is good about the album and rock 'n' roll in general. Storytelling. Guitars. And raw emotion.
[buy the album] [more from The Gaslight Anthem on Speakers]
89 Backyard Tire Fire - A Thousand Gigs Ago
Kinda like The Allman Brothers and Skynyrd rolled into one, this tune jams and twangs.
[buy the album] [more from Backyard Tire Fire on Speakers]
88 Common Prayer - Us vs. Them
The first single off There Is A Mountain, "Us vs. Them," is a slow-paced, bluesy romp featuring standout piano and a laid back attitude.
[buy the album] [more from Common Prayer on Speakers]
87 Surfer Blood - Anchorage
While "Swim" and "Take it Easy" may be the first impression standouts on Astro Coast, "Anchorage" grows with each spin. And when the riff changes ever so slightly for the second half of the tune, SB's skill as a band is on full display.
[buy the album] [more from Surfer Blood on Speakers]
86 Foals -Black Gold
Smooth lyrics laid down over Foals' signature, funky guitars make it literally impossible to not dance to this standout track from the band's latest effort.
[buy the album] [more from Foals on Speakers]
85 Carrie Rodriguez - Steal Your Love (Lucinda Williams cover)
Rodriguez smartly covers one of Williams' most underrated tunes with her voice leading the way.
[buy the album] [more from Carrie Rodriguez on Speakers]
83 Beach Fossils - Youth
Lo-fi, surf-pop-rock GOLD!
[buy the album]
82 Dead Confederate - Run From The Gun
Dark and moody, "Run From The Gun," is a departure from the Athens, Georgia band's offerings. Still, it's Southern gothic at its best.
[buy the album] [more from Dead Confederate on Speakers]
81 Steel Train - Bullet
This song is anthemic, meant for belting out at the top of your lungs. And, we love its unapologetic use of the xylophone.
[buy the album] [more from Steel Train on Speakers]
80 Rogue Wave - Permalight [listen]
This track bleeps and bloops like a rousing Ms. Pac-Man competition. Maybe it's not the indiest of all indie pop, but it just may be the poppiest of all indie pop. So, put another quarter in the Skee-Ball machine, baby.
[buy the album]
79 Ariel Pink's Haunted Grafitti - Round and Round
"Round and Round" sounds kind like the soundtrack to a silky dream we might have that happens to be set in the late '70s or early '80s. Way out, man.
[buy the album] [more from Ariel Pink on Speakers]
78 The Beat Connection - Silver Screen
"Silver Screen" is one of those songs that will forever remind us of the summer. Dreamy synth dominates this mellow jam. We can hear the waves crashing on the coast all the way from our couch.
[get the free album] [more from The Beat Connection on Speakers]
77 A Weather - No Big Hope
The harmonies here are soft, convincing, and naked, just the way we like them.
[buy the album] [more from A Weather on Speakers]
76 The Morning Pages - My Name Is Lion
With lead vocals that, at times, oh-so wonderfully favor Neil Young, this track combines "country authenticity with the grit of city life."
[buy the album] [more from The Morning Pages on Speakers]