09 December 2008

Top 26 Songs of 2008 (Jess Edition, Part 1)

Here's my list of fave songs of the year. Stay tuned for the other gals' lists of songs. And then check back at the end of the month for our cumulative top albums list.

26. Mykonos – Fleet Foxes
This is the song that convinced that Fleet Foxes were waaaaay more then Grizzly Bear-lite. Swelling harmonies and tribal rhythms rarely sound this compelling.

25.Run (I'm a Natural Disaster) – Gnarls Barkley
It’s all in the little “woos” and “las”. Simultaneously menacing and dizzyingly fun.

24. Slapped Actress – The Hold Steady
With this song, The Hold Steady finally managed to become epic. Massive crescendos, lots of “woah woah woah-ing” and Craig Finn’s as-always urgent delivery work in perfect unison.

23. Pieces of You – Islands
Ultra-bouncy and deceptively intricate song that bubbles its way into full-fledged orchestral grandeur.

22. Another Day – Jamie Lidell
The sunniest single Motown never released (by a British white boy, no less).

21. Too Drunk to Dream – The Magnetic Fields
The title says it all –a bitingly witty (and boozy) ode to my two favorite verbs.

20. Chasing Pavements – Adele
While most of the British neo-soul songstress’ debut album errs a bit on the sleepy side for my taste, this song just explodes once it hits the chorus. Heartbreak rarely sounds as bombastic as it feels.

19. The Crook of My Good Arm –Pale Young Gentlemen
Theatrical crooning, a clanging bell and one of the catchiest choruses I’ve heard all year (RUN! RUN!) make for an awesomely frantic song - from a damn-underappreciated band at that.

18. Dying is Fine – Ra Ra Riot
e. e. cummings’ poetry and rocking cello make for an epic combination.

17. Heart of Chambers – Beach House
Victoria Legrand, oh my, your voice! Oh my, this song! Where does it come from? I’m thinking it’s gotta be from some otherworldly realm where Nico and woozy organ drones collided to form a black hole of exponential melancholy.

16. Two Weeks – Grizzly Bear (Live on Letterman)
It’s a bit more sprightly then their usual hazy-as-codeine sound. And by that I mean it has a lot of bouncy keyboards. Yet it still retains the haunting-as-fuck aesthetic of anything they’ve ever recorded. In other words, it’s the sound of a group howling at the moon while dancing in its light.

15. Raincoat Song – The Decemberists
Songs about rain and loneliness are by no means a rare thing and Colin Meloy manages to breathe a breath of fresh air into the fowl weather canon with a sparse acoustic melody and wistful lyricism. “You sleep like a spinster and you’re twenty-eight/ you’ve been thinking late, you couldn’t catch a cold” Sadly, some of can relate.

14. Id Engager – Of Montreal
Sure the album, was a bit choppy (and let’s face it, nothing’s gonna top last year’s Hissing Fauna) BUT we’re talking about songs here and as far as songs go, you don’t much more audaciously sexually playful then this (unless of course you’re Prince). Kevin Barnes coos out from a jungle of swooping synths and a self-proclaimed “phalocentric tyranny”. Baby, I’ll play with you any day!

Stay tuned for the final 13 songs later in the week...


Danny said...

I would have had Pieces of You at #2, but I like your (huge) list anyway.

Anonymous said...

I've only heard of about half of these bands, so yay for this list! Of the ones I've taken and listened to so far, I agree with Islands and Pale Young Gentlemen especially.

Jess said...

aw glad you guys like the list. i just posted the second part, enjoy!