Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sunless Shortlist: Songs 2009

Animal Collective - "Lion in a Coma"
So many songs to pick by Animal Collective this year. I chose the one that gets me the most excited.

Antony and the Johnsons - "Epilepsy is Dancing"
Antony sends us on a lyrical rollercoaster in less than three minutes. Sounds about par for the course.

Andrew Bird - "Masterswarm"
This was the toughest song to pick out for this year's list. My taste for individual songs on this album has changed with every listen. In fact, I had to go back and listen to this album again in order to find the song that best sums up this album for me. This is Andrew Bird's most difficult album to date. Even just picking one song that best exemplifies the album is a near-impossible task. I decided on this multi-tiered masterpiece, but couldn't go wrong with a number of songs.

Bill Callahan - "All Thoughts Are Prey to Some Beast"
Bill Callahan can transition between lighthearted and super intense like no one else. Moving into this song, he goes deep into some of the most intense territory of his career.

Camera Obscura - "Forest & Sands"
Often when Camera Obscura records a slow song, I find it mind-numbingly boring. Not on this song, however. This song is some of the most beautiful music they have ever performed.

Condo Fucks - "The Boy With the Replaceable Head"
Everything I wanted from this album is right here on this Richard Hell cover.

Decemberists - "The Wanting Comes in Waves/Repaid"
The Decemberists can do melodrama like nobody else. Now this album may not be as strong as their albums past, but this song is absolutely stunning.

Dirty Projectors - "Temecula Sunrise"
The most complicated toe-tapper of the year. It's catchy sure, but it is almost impossible to snap along. I love it.

Flaming Lips - "Silver Trembling Hands/Virgo Self-Esteem Broadcast"
Technically these are two songs, but one sounds best with the other. Wayne sings with unprecedented passion, and the songs end wholly disturbingly. It's primal and shakes me to the core every time I listen to these songs.

Grizzly Bear - "Two Weeks"
Yeah, it's sugary stuff. It's sweet and poppy. But I can't resist this song. Grizzly Bear isn't necessarily the most feel-good band, but this song is easily the most feel-good song of the year. Totally irresistible.

Handsome Furs - "Legal Tender"
Brutal synths. Just spine-tingling, stomach-punching, brutal, brutal synths. I loooove this song.

National - "So Far Around the Bend."
There is nothing innovative for the National on this song. However, it is the National's most prevalent new song of the year and it's great for that reason alone.

Phoenix - "1901"
The coolest song of the year. I can be sitting on my couch in sweatpants eating chips and listening to this song and still feel like the hippest guy in the world. And at that moment I am definitely not the hippest guy in the world.

Realpeople - "My Night With the Prostitute From Marseille
Sometimes the best electronic songs are the simplest.

Sunset Rubdown - "Nightingale/December Song"
I grew completely obsessed with this song for a few weeks this autumn. I was listening to it maybe three or four times a day. I eventually was able to take a break from this song. But even now when I come back, my obsession creeps right back in.

((Next post: Best Albums))