Songs 2009: 20-1
Alright, the time has come for me to finish off this list of my favorite songs of the year. 20 through 6, I will attempt to sum things up in one sentence or so. For my Top 5, I’ll elaborate a bit more. Hate my picks? Love them? Don’t feel strongly either way? Leave comments, so we know people are reading!
20. “Close Every Valve To Your Bleeding Heart” By Ha Ha Tonka — Any band that makes a quality Dostoevsky reference is alright by me. Plus, this alt-country song about love and heartbreak is fantastic.
19. “A Fairytale Ending” By The Boy Least Likely To — Twee-poppers get nostalgic for the days of youth, and wonder if it’s possible to recapture that feeling of invincibility. Completely charming and catchy.
18. “Someday” By Tegan and Sara — A pseudo-anthem for all us twenty-somethings who plan on making something of ourselves. Or at least want to.
17. “Train Song” By Feist and Ben Gibbard — A wonderful collaboration from the Dark Was The Night compilation about heading back to a lost love… on a train. It’s simple harmonies and combination of Gibbard’s and Feist’s vocals are addicting. I just listened to it 5 times in a row today. And I went way over two sentences.
16. “My Girls” By Animal Collective — Waiting for the beat to drop in on this gem from Merriweather Post Pavilion is like anticipating presents the night before Christmas. Once it happens, more than 90 seconds in, I can’t help but thoroughly enjoy the unwrapping.
15. “Horchata” By Vampire Weekend — Good to know that VW hasn’t lost its Afro-Caribbean flare. There’s so much going on in this song, it warrants repeated listens. I have obliged.
14. “Sleepyhead” By Passion Pit — I feel like I heard this song all kinds of places this year. Passion Pit creates such a unique and danceable sound, and they had their record release party on a boat. It’s a win-win, people.
13. “Be Calm” By Fun. — An interesting musical journey through the process of avoiding a nervous breakdown. The strings and Nate Ruess’ movement from collectedness to panic and back again — with appropriate musical accompaniment for each — make this song great.
12. “Swing Tree” By Discovery — The beats and blips churned out by Vampire Weekend keyboardist Rostam Batmanglij and Ra Ra Riot singer Wes Miles are delightful. I would totally rock this song with the windows down in warm weather. Matter of fact, I did. And got the kind of weird looks you’d expect.
11. “1901” By Phoenix — When the kickass guitar riff and synthesizer hums start this song off with a bang, you know it’s going to be awesome. And the band spends about the next three minutes proving your assumption right.
10. “Fiya” By Tune-Yards — Perhaps the most interesting musical artistry I came across in 2009. These found sound clips and Merrill Garbus’ vocals are all woven together into a delicious cavalcade of tunefulness and noise. Oh, and it’s about obsessive love and still manages to be endearing.
9. “Sleep All Day” By The Rural Alberta Advantage — This is the perfect example of how the percussion on TRAA’s Hometowns makes the songs 10 times better, even though Paul Banwatt’s pounding drumbeat doesn’t quite fit the song’s message. This is the perfect song for a rainy summer day.
8. “Sink Into Me” By Taking Back Sunday — Wouldn’t you know it, one of my oldest emo-loves sneaks into the Top 10?Few songs kicked ass as well as this one did in 2009.
7. “Two Weeks” By Grizzly Bear — While I wasn’t as taken with Veckatimest as seemingly everyone else was, this song was undeniably alluring. The piano riff that bounces through this song meshes beautifully with the wafting “whoa oh whoaaaaaa oh whoaaaa oh” backing vocals.
6.”Percussion Gun” By White Rabbits — Was there anything as cool as the badass drumming in this glorious Britt Daniel-produced indie-rock gem? I say no, and I say this song could’ve been even higher on my list. I probably listened to it as much or more than the songs in my Top 5. Speaking of which…