It always seem to have difficulty selecting my favourite songs/tracks of the year. When there are so many great albums each with multiple great songs on them, plus all of the other albums that were good, and featured great songs, it leads to an initial list of 500 great songs. So to narrow it down to 100 proved to be a daunting task this year as always. Unfortunately some great songs ended up being cut, and these are the ones that Ended up taking the top marks.
100. Fanfarlo – Atlas
My Fav track of the Twilight: Eclipse album
99. New Young Pony Club – We Want To
A bouncy and fun track to dance to
98. LCD Soundsystem – Dance Yrself Clean
Never been a huge fan of these guys, but they always have some tracks I really like. This is my fav off the album.
97. Mesita – Living/Breathing
A slow burner reminiscent of Bon Iver
96. Jamie Lidell – Compass
This is the track that defines this new album: Rough, Raw and soulful
95. Gogol Bordello – My Companjera
Gogol Bordello at its best… Fun!
94. Ólafur Arnalds – Hægt, kemur ljósið
A simply beautiful track from a simply beautiful album.
93. The Gaslight Anthem – The Queen of Lower Chelsea
A stellar track that shows their versatility
92. Anais Mitchell – Wait For Me
Justin Vernon Guests on this track off the eclectic folk opera. In this song Orpheus is determined to follow Eurydice, and Hermes gives directions.
91. Surfer Blood – Swim
An Anthemic blast of goodness from a fantastic album
90. Deer Tick – Goodbye Dear Friend
A soulful mourner for anyone who has lost someone close
89. Best Coast – Crazy For You
An album I tried to love, but this is the song that I kept coming back to. Over and Over….
88. Kylesa – Tired Climb
This opener sets the pace for this crushing album.
87. Amy Seeley – Mile Marker
A lovely piano ballad from the lovely Amy Seeley. Witnessed it performed intimately live. It’s all about the silent bits. goosebumpy.
86. Delorean – Grow
“Don’t you tell me that we are free to do whatever we want” – Slow and dancey
85. The Drums – Let’s Go Surfing
Simple guitar line and whistles. What else do you need. Such a happy song.
84. 80kidz – Weekend Warrior
A killer electro track from this Japanese Duo. Reminds me of Justice, but Japanese
83. Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings – I Learned the Hard Way
My favourite Sharon Jones track in a very long time. There is just something special to it.
82. Glasser – Home
lovely voice over a tribal sounding drum loop and what sounds like xylophone samples
81. Electric President – Safe and Sound
“When there is no way out, I will let you build your home with me until the clock runs out.”
80. Pineapple – Snoodle
After hearing what “Snoodle” actually means I was unsure about this quirky little ditty, but it’s infectiousness won me over.
79. Dharohar Project – Devil’s Spoke / Sneh Ko Marg
Mumford and sons with Laura Marling with an Indian Collective!!! Like nothing I have ever heard before.
78. Frightened Rabbit – Things
The stunning opener to the album. “I didn’t need these things, pointless artifacts of a mediocre past”
77. ceo – No Mercy
A side project from Eric Berglund of The Tough Alliance, this track is the one I listened to the most often.
76. Free Energy – Dream City
Dream city is glam rock for 2010. Catchy, hooky, and fun!
75. Grouplove – Don’t Say oh well
Never trust a happy tune. A group that met abroad and eventually moved to LA together. This song will pick you up!!!
74. Hurts – Wonderful Life
An eighties throwback electro duo from the UK. Moody and synthy.
73. Local Natives – Airplanes
A standout among standouts on this great album
72. Creep – Days
XX meets electrogoth
71. Retro Stefson – Kimba
Eclectic Icelandic band of youngsters channelling an Portuguese and african vibe.
70. Seabear – Lion Face Boy
Another great young Icelandic Band. Slow building track that grows with each listen
69. The Mynabirds – Let the Record Go
A relentless piano number chock full of harmonies.
68. Josh RItter – The Curse
Sometimes is about the story. One of the best stories he has told to date.
67. The Roots – Right On
Joanna Newsom provides the chorus line to this fantastic track
66. Band of Horses – Laredo
Band of Horses at their best. Loved this song since the first time I heard it on CBC
65. Kanye West – Lost in the World/Who Will Survive in America
Take two of my favourite recent artists, combine, add a classic, and magic will happen. All three artists in this song are featured elsewhere in this list. Featuring Bon Iver and Gil Scott-Heron.
64. The Cat Empire – Only Light
This number is a little different than the rest of the tracks on the album, reminds me of the Doobie Brothers.
63. Nas and Damian Marley – As We Enter
This is the perfect opener to this album. It grabs you, tosses you around, and then throws you back!
62. Axiomatik – Mercury
The opener to this local bands great outing. Its one of those classic quiet/loud/quiet/loud songs that works great.
61. Shearwater – Meridian
One of my most listened to songs of the year. I don’t know what it is about this song. But it grabs my attention subtly.
60. Mumford and Sons – Little Lion Man
This song was everywhere this year. Deservedly.
59. Bombay Bicycle Club – Rinse Me Down
Was surprised to hear this on the radio in Iceland, but they love these guys out there.
58. Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Round and Round
It’s all about the 2 minute mark and forward. So catchy it’s ridiculous. Pitchfork’s no. 1 track.
57. M.I.A. – XXXO
A mis-mashed album that yields some significant tracks. This is the strongest.
56. Yeasayer – O.N.E.
This is Yeasayer at it’s pure pop best. So infectious is hurts
55. Junip – Always
Everything about this song works for me. It’s straight out of the 70’s in a great way.
54. Janelle Monae – Cold War
This song proves why she is touted the future of female R & B. Sometimes she still in the future, but this track brings it all together nicely.
53. Kid Cudi, Best Coast, and Rostam Batmanglij – All Summer
A converse commercial never sounded so good. A summer anthem to remind you to drink water!!
52. Vampire Weekend – White Sky
Vampire Weekend stretched their wings on Contra and came up with this quirky number. I can’t help but try to sing along to the chorus, and fail miserably.
51. Prince – Lay it Down
Prince’s return was not a complete failure. There were some decent tracks, but this hidden gem crushed them all and may be the best Prince song in a decade.
50. Kid Cudi – Scott Mescudi Vs. The World
Setting the tone for the rest of the album this soulful number featuring a killer hook from Cee Lo makes you do a slow bob with a smile on your face.
49. Gayngs – The Gaudy Side of Town
My favourite track on a great album full of killer tracks. There is something to the build in this song that gets me.
48. Reflection Eternal – Midnight Hour
Estelle steals this track, but the sample and verses from Talib and Hi-tek are kinda awesome as well.
47. El Guincho – Bombay
Spanish electro to make you shake your hips.
46. Fistful of Mercy – Fistful of Mercy
The strongest track off of this supergroups album.
45. Dax Riggs – Say Goodnight to the World
That intro guitar lick followed by the immediate sludge starts it all out. This song was my introduction to him and this album.
44. Angus and Julia Stone – Big Jet Plane
Happy sounding folk song from this Australian duo. The chuggy guitar lines leads into the sweet chorus.
43. The National – Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks
I have no idea what this song is really about. But I love it. The perfect closer to a near perfect album.
42. Beach House – Norway
An album i just never got, except for two songs. This song is bloody fantastic.
41. Big Boi – Tangerine
On an album full of bass thunping hip hop anthems, this sexy song stands out.
40. Robyn – Hang With Me
This dance version of the original ballad appeared on Body Talk vol. 2. Pure synthy goodness.
39. Gorillaz – Stylo
Booby Womack adds soul to this electronic song
38. Broken Bells – The Ghost inside
The perfect combination of both artists. When it works it works.
37. The Black Keys – Everlasting light
As you may have noticed I tend to favour the opening tracks on albums. Everlasting light has a great groove and those awesome falsetto’d vocals.
36. Kanye West – POWER
“I guess Every superhero need his theme music” This is Kanye’s
35. Jamie Lidell – Enough is Enough
As loose sounding as soul music can get. This takes you back to the days of Motown. A blend between “Jim” and “Compass”
34. David Ford – Panic
This multi-instrumental societal rant is the most angry I have heard him in a long time.
33. The Arcade Fire – We Used to Wait
Even if you ignored the innovative interactive video for this song, you can’t ignore the keys. The piano driven song simply feels like a journey in a story.
32. For a Minor Reflection – Dansi Dans
This keyboard duel song starts small and builds big, swells some more, and then plinks out.
31. Sleigh Bells – Tell ‘Em
The loudest song on this list is crushingly fierce. Believe the hype.
30. Drew Grow and the Pastor’s Wives – Bootsraps
This feels like a romp through the past. The chanting harmonies characterize this rough track. “This is how I’m wound up”
29. Aloe Blacc – I Need a Dollar
Theme song that opens the new album from Aloe Blacc. He fails to recreate the charm of this song elsewhere on the album. But why do you have to when you have this.
28. Antony and The Johnsons – Fletta
This duet with Bjork is simply stunning.
27. Lissie – Record Collector
One of the best female led songs of the year. This song excels on all levels.
26. Gil Scott-Heron – New York is Killing Me
A simple song that features Gil over a clap based rhythm and stomping drums. It builds up, then fades away.
25. Cee Lo Green – Fuck you
We all know it. We all sing it. We all love it. May turn out the be the song that defines 2010 in 10 years.
24. Crystal Castles – Not in Love (ft. Robert Smith)
This version is from the Single/EP and is one of the best electronic songs of the year.
23. Hot Chip – I Feel Better
Every Hot Chip album has that one amazing song. This is it.
22. The Morning Benders – Excuses
It starts of with the sound of a stylus hitting vinyl. This is a retro masterpiece.
21. Caribou – Odessa
A disappointing album by Caribou in my opinion. But this track makes up for it all.
20. Titus Andronicus – A More Perfect Union
7 minutes of Rallying around the Flag have never sounded better
19. Four Tet – Love Cry
I love patterns and Cycles and Builds. And that is what this song is all about!
18. Sufjan Stevens – I Walked
The best combination of Sufjan and Electronics on his new album. Here they combine perfectly to create this masterpiece.
17. The Dream – Yamaha
It’s all been said before. Princeish R and B at it’s best.
16. Mumford and Sons – White Blank Page
My favourite song on the album. I love the buildup, the harmonies, and of course the banjo!!!
15. Laura Marling – Alpha Shallows
Perhaps my favourite Laura Marling track ever. The lovely guitar and string buildup, the poetic lyrics, and that huge buildup and swell. Then to come back down and rebuild.
14. The Head and the Heart – Down in the Valley
A song that has brought tears to a friend’s eyes. It conjures images of regrets and change. But it’s that pleading ohhhhh harmony at 1:50 onward that gets you. “I am on my way back to where I started” This is the song that hooked me and according to iTunes is my most played song of the year.
13. Fyfe Dangerfield – When you walk in the Room
The very first song I heard as a married man. This song will always hold a place in my heart.
12. James Blake – Limit to your Love
Released as a single in November, this is James Blake as I never heard him before. This cover of Feist’s amazing song becomes even sadder sounding. This may end up being one of my favourite songs of 2011. I just can’t stop listening to it. To get the full effect, use headphones or a subwoofer.
11. Yeasayer – Ambling Alp
The perfect Yeasayer song. A blend of their last album with their new sound. Telling the tale of a boxer teaching his son life lessons.
10. Tunng – Hustle
I first heard this song on CBC and immediately got the album and put this song on repeat. I haven’t stopped since. It’s too good.
09. Jonsi – Go Do
This is the quintessential Jonsi track off of Go. It is full and flirty and larger than life. It’s hard to say that this isn’t my favourite track off of the album. Nico Muhly plays a huge role in making this song what it is.
08. The Tallest Man on Earth – Light the Wheel
This song off the EP “Sometimes the blues is just a passing bird” is everything I love about music. It is a very simple song that draws you in. It commands your attention and makes you think. It makes you feel.
07. Frightened Rabbit – Swim Until You Can’t See Land
As I mentioned earlier, perhaps the best Frightened Rabbit song so far. Melancholy rarely feels so good. But when it does there is a good chance it’s Frightened Rabbit.
06. Bon Iver – Come Talk to Me
A cover at number 6. This amazing cover of Peter Gabriel’s classic “Come talk to me” is one of those rare covers that eclipses the original. The banjo line with Justin vernon’s haunting vocals is transcendent.
05. The Arcade Fire – Sprawl II
The most surprising Arcade Fire song on Suburbs. Maybe she should lead more songs in the future.
04. Kanye West – Monster
Another guest laden song by Kanye. This song is huge. Starting out with a distorted Justin Vernon and some screams it builds into this huge bass thumping monster. Production aside it all comes down to that killer vers by Nicky Minaj. And she crushes it making one of the verses of the year.
03. Robyn – Dancing on My Own
Pure Pop Bliss. This song is impossible to resist. It charms its way into you’re heart. We’ve all been there, we can relate to what Robyn is singing about. Dancing on my own is the pinnacle of credible pop music. Welcome Back Robyn. And experiencing this song with 5’000 sweaty dancing strangers adds to the appeal.
02. Jonsi – Kolnidur
Kolnidur is one of the least obvious tracks on Go. Perhaps that is why it is the one I go to the most. It’s a very slow string build with those perfect violin flourishes. The big swell at 1:50 followed by the high croon of Jonsi is the pinnacle of a soaring song that is somehow understated. It feels like it could go even higher, but it’s the restraint that reels you in. Witnessing this live was one of the greatest musical moments in my life.
01. The National – Bloodbuzz Ohio
This song at no. 1 surprises even myself. It is the first song I heard from “High Violet” and I played it on repeat immediately. This song is what the National are to me. This may be my Favourite track by them. And I have trouble expressing what makes it so amazing. All I can say is that it is. I wake up singing it. I listen to it regularly. It pulses, it sweeps. It’s subtle nuances unwrap with each listen. “I was carried to Ohio in a swarm of bees”