Top 30 Songs of 2010
Top 30 Songs of 20+10
I’m keen on Top 10 lists. I knew going into this it was likely to be closer to a Top 20. Then I did my best to limit it to a Top 25. I finally made peace with a Top 30 list. 2010 was such an amazing year for music that I couldn’t trim this list down without killing off a lot of my darlings, as Faulkner would say.
Here are my 30 best tracks of 2010:
30. James Blake – Klavierwerk
Ghostly, minimal electronic full of clicks, glitches, and possessed vocal samples.
29. Sea of Bees – Willis
A sweet, sappy, and poignant song from an earnest and nerdy girl.
28. Deerhunter – Helicopter
The only song I liked off of Halcyon Digest. These Atlantans find the right mix of garage rock and psychedelia on this track.
27. Mount Kimbie – Before I move Off
Eccentric British dubstep with some noticeably African influence.
26. Phantogram – When I’m Small
Guitar heavy trip-hop that could pass for Portishead’s younger, punkier sister.
25. Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings – The Game Gets Old
Soul as pure as it gets from its reigning queen.
24. Die Antwoord – Evil Boy
Both lovable and hateable, this song showcases their South African heritage with an interesting backstory of contemporary tribal circumcision.
23. Four Tet – Angel Echoes (Jon Hopkins Remix)
A gorgeous and dreamy remix of an already phenomenal song.
22. oOoOO – Plains Is Hot
Witchhouse hit the scene hard in 2010 and oOoOO are one of the finest examples of it with this creepy and rapturous song.
21. Bonobo – All In Forms
In a wholly solid effort from solo jazz-tronic prodigy, Bonobo, “All In Forms” exemplifies the focus shown on his 2010 effort.
20. The Joy Formidable – The Greatest Light Is The Greatest Shade
Lush, dreamy vocals from an otherwise bratty-sounding vocalist add a saccharine legitimacy to this synth-rock track.
19. HEALTH – USA Boys
HEALTH’s single from their remix album, “Disco2“, hint at them taking an interesting change of direction from these noise-rockers’ earlier work.
18. The Twilight Sad – The Wrong Car
Hyper-biographical Scottish rock from The Twilight Sad’s 12″, The Wrong Car.
17. UNKLE – Caged Bird (feat. Katrina Ford)
Katrina Ford, formerly of Love Life and currently of Celebration, was born to work with UNKLE.
16. Balam Acab – Regret Making Mistakes
Mindblowingly sophisticated for a 19 year-old, Balam Acab produces progressive electronic music that draws from every wing of the modern indie-electronic scene.
15. Salem – Sick
Hard drugs, prostitution, nightmare-ish rap, shittons of keyboards, and violently creepy vocals are all in the gossamer that constitutes Salem.
14. Robyn – Dancing On My Own
The Swedish princess of pop demonstrates her intelligent and eloquent approach to an easily cheapened genre.
13. Jónsi – Go Do
Sigur Ros’ frontman went solo for his debut album, Go. This song sounds like summer. (And gnomes.)
12. Zola Jesus – Night
Zola Jesus hit her stride on her “Stridulum EP”. Coming from the dark, abstract shadows of her freshman effort, she puts her operatic voice and synthesizer to good work in “Night“.
11. Crystal Castles – Not In Love (feat. Robert Smith)
Young electro-punks teamed up with The Cure’s Robert Smith. What a perfect combination! That, and he could totally be their grandfather.
10. Caribou – Odessa
9. Menomena – Tithe
Menomena takes a decided aggressive-guitar’ed approach to their angular and looped sound in this eager and severe track.
8. Future Islands – Inch of Dust
“Call on me… I’ll be there always.” This song is the close up on the bleeding heart that Future Island’s LP-about-a-breakup, “In Evening Air“, is about.
7. The National – Bloodbuzz Ohio
These Brooklyn-by-way-of-Ohio troubadours keep shooting from the hip and singing from the gut.
6. Darkstar – Dear Heartbeat
Hyperdub’s Darkstar shimmers in a diluted pond of other sub-par synth albums. Conceptually more similar to a 60’s R&B album than a modern electronic album, Darkstar shows the restraint and emotional honesty that is extremely rare in the genre.
5. Flying Lotus – Satelllliiiiiiteee
John Coletrane’s nephew, Flying Lotus, carries the Jazz torch high and is musically messianic across his entire Cosmogramma album. FlyLo is running far in front of his contemporaries to illuminate the path modern, intelligent music is heading.
4. Sleigh Bells – Infinity Guitars
Hella distorted guitars and bombastic, thump-heavy beats covered sugary, relaxed vocals from a knockout bombshell? Sign me up. I’m not sure Sleigh Bells will ever be able to reproduce the innovation and originality of their debut album, “Treats”, but this effort alone will keep them remembered.
3. Interpol – Try It On
Although it seemed to be a critical failure, Interpol’s latest (and possibly last) album seemed more honest and mature than any of their previous albums – replete with the sorrow and disillusionment a career like theirs can bestow. Try It On shows their maturity and elegance as they keep precise control over this song’s crescendo.
2. Beach House – Take Care
This song is the sound of a bursting heart and a gushing tear duct.
1. Gonjasufi – Ancestors
When I first heard this song I was blown away. Never had I heard something so unprecedented, bizarre, beautiful, and weathered as this track. Gonjasufi, mystic desert wanderer, philosopher, sometimes yoga teacher, and perennially homeless-looking-dude’s coarse vocals seep into every crack of the beat, produced by Flying Lotus.
This entry was posted on December 15, 2010 by Justin Keller. It was filed under Music and was tagged with balam acab, beach house, best of, best of 2010, best songs, bonobo, crystal castles, darkstar, deerhunter, die antwoord, dubstep, flying lotus, four tet, future islands, gonjasufi, health, hyperdub, indie rock, interpol, james blake, jon hopkins, jonsi, joy formidable, katrina ford, menomena, mount kimbie, oOoOO, phantogram, robert smith, robyn, salem, sea of bees, sharon jones, sleigh bells, the national, top 2010, top songs, twilight sad, unkle, witchhaus, witchhouse, zola jesus.