Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Favorite Tracks of 2008: #40-31

Let's see - I have an exam tomorrow, a presentation I know nothing about, a lab report to write, a paper that's already late, and I'm stuck at work for hours.  Seems like the perfect time for part two of my list. 

40. Mystery Jets - Young Love (mp3)
This song is produced by DJ Erol Alkan and features the young, folksie Laura Marling (she's also on my list for a solo track and can be found on Noah and the Whale's 5 Years Time, which almost made the list) on vocals.  It's indie pop at it's best - an intelligent cute story, a boy/girl duet, a slightly-80s inspired rhythm, an "instantly catchy" melody, complex arrangement, and one of my favorite music videos of the year.  Check out the song and watch the video below:

39. She & Him - Sweet Darlin' (mp3)
She is super cute indie film queen Zooey Deschanel (think Elf and All The Real Girls).  He is brilliant alt-country god M. Ward.  Together they were this year's best musical duo.  Zooey's voice reminds me of the great female country singers of the 50s and 60s, and this song combines that sound with the harmonies and rhythm of old girl-groups.  M. Ward's instrumentals make the simple track deeper and even more enjoyable.

38. Black Kids - Hurricane Jane (mp3)
You know that song, I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You?  Well, it was great and all, but this one's better.  Same artist and similar style, but more interesting.  Black Kids have managed to combine a whole lot of genres, which I think is what made them such a blog sensation.  This song's slow, off-beat tempo and simple melody are sort of Miami Vice disco-y, the vocals are strict indie-pop goodness, the lush instrumentation combines electro with a more old-fashioned sound, and the lyrics are pure pop heaven.  The Twelves' remix of this track was my summer anthem, but the original stands on its own.

37. Mystery Jets - Two Doors Down (mp3)
The UK band is back on the list already with the even better track, Two Doors Down.  Bloggers went crazy for this shit at the beginning of the summer, swearing that you could close yr eyes and think you were back in the mid 80s.  As that era predates little 21 year old me, I'm just going to have to take their word for it.  I can say, however, that this is the best track off their wonderful album (21) and honestly pure pop perfection.

36. Dr. Dog - The Rabbit, The Bat, And The Reindeer (mp3)
I'll be honest - I hadn't even heard this song until two days ago.  In preparing for my best of list, I checked out some of my favorite blogs' recaps of 2008 and Dr. Dog kept coming up.  I actually wrote them off earlier in the year because their name sounded dumb.  How wrong I was!  This song is really great and actually the rest of their songs are great, too.  This song is dripping with 60s pop and features "ragged-but-right" [according to all music guide] vocals with clever lyrics you won't feel silly singing along to.

35. She Keeps Bees - Release (mp3)
What can I say about She Keeps Bees?  I could write a whole post about them... and actually Camila already has.  They're a bluesy indie-rock duo, with Jess Larabee on guitars and vocals and Andy LaPlant on drums.  The music is simple in theory, but has an unexpectedly deep sound that separates it from other drum/guitar duos like The White Stripes.  It might remind you of early Cat Power and my mom thinks Jess's voice sounds like Jefferson Airplane singer Grace Slick.  While these comparisons definitely ring true, She Keeps Bees has a unique sound that makes me feel really super good inside.  I expect big things from them in 2009.

34.  Fleet Foxes - He Doesn't Know Why (mp3)
Fleet Foxes is going to be on everyone's best of list.  The band's 2008 self-titled album offered a fresh spin on indie pop.  The vocals are just right, the lyrics are intriguing, the music goes beyond the simple riffs of most pop songs, the arrangement is perfect with appropriate build ups and break downs, and talk about lush instrumentals.  This song stands out to me as being especially fresh.  I could listen to it over and over.

33. Santogold - Creator (mp3)
Santogold's self-titled debut is definitely one of my favorite albums of 2008.  She apparently used to sing for a ska punk band, but I'd say the electro hip-hop dub genre suits her way better.  Creator is mostly just her vocals over pretty bare electronic beats.  And yet the song never gets boring or repetitive.  And I fucking love the intro.  Czech it out.

32. Beyonce - Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It) (mp3)
Just so you know, I'm currently working on perfecting my Single Ladies dance - be on the lookout for a youtube video.  But in all seriousness, one of the best R&B/pop songs of the year.  Sasha Fierce (aka Beyonce) hits this one out of the park.  A great beat, a beyond-catchy chorus, a dope dance, great sound production, and all the diva attitude you could ever want.

31. The Ting Tings - That's Not My Name (mp3)
Sure, Shut Up and Let Me Go is fun and Calvin Harris did a great job remixing Great DJ, but The Ting Tings best song this year was definitely That's Not My Name.  Just as catchy and danceable as Shut Up and Let Me Go, this one offers a little more variety, music-wise.  It has multiple layers, an instrumental breakdown, and a really great buildup at the end culminating in electro euphoria.  Hell, the track is so good Dizzee Rascal covered it (see below).


Bumpershine said...

Please don't hotlink to images on my blog. The Black Kids image isn't even showing up in your post, as you can see.

bessie bessie said...

yeah! erol alkan makes everything sound goood