Today at 4 p.m. on University of Maryland’s WMUC, I’m going to be counting down my Top 25 (Radio Friendly) Songs of 2010 on “In Afternoon Air.” This list will be a little different from my Top 50 Songs of 2010 list, seeing as how there are some songs out there (“Younger Us” by Japandroids, anything by Kanye or Big Boi) that are not suitable for FM radio play. So for now, it’s just those songs that can be played on the radio. I think I have a pretty solid list put together, so definitely take the time to head on over at 4 p.m. to WMUC to check it out.
EDIT: Download the show here!
Afterwards, I’m going to post my Top 25 (Radio Friendly) Songs of 2010 here along with a link to download the show for your later listening pleasure.
Enjoy the show.
UPDATE (2:38 p.m.): Tune in at 3:30 because Denver’s Tennis is going to be in the studio on Victory Sweater, the show before mine. So stoked to see Tennis play in the studio because I’m missing them tonight at 9:30 Club. Listen here!
UPDATE (7:21 p.m.): So Tennis was late and didn’t actually get to play, which was a bit of a disappointment. However, they did sit down with Youth Orientation‘s Reese and seemed like some of the nicest people ever, which was awesome. And also, my Top 25 (Radio Friendly) Songs of 2010:
Daniel’s Top 25 (Radio Friendly) Songs of 2010
25. Lonnie Walker – “Love Turn”
From the Friends Records split with Future Islands, there’s something haphazard about this track that just makes it work. The guitar part seems thrown together, there doesn’t seem to be too much art to the drumming and folky nature of the vocals make it feel like the song could end up in any direction. However, it just makes it that good of a love song.
24. Cults – “Go Outside”
The mysterious Cults broke through with this track, which sounds absolutely commercial ready to me. I wasn’t surprised that they were signed to Columbia (although the quickness of the signing did), and I fully expect to hear “Go Outside” in a car commercial soon. It’s addicting and easy to remember.
23. Surfer Blood – “Swim”
I have more memories with this song when I first heard it in December 2009, but it still holds weight. It’s a solid single with power chords suggesting a classic rock feel, but mixed up just enough to add some flavor and originality to it, making it even more appealing.
22. Lightspeed Champion – “Marlene”
At one point, this was my track of the year. Back in February and March, it was the most played track on my Last.fm and I felt that “Marlene,” along with Life Is Sweet! Nice To Meet You, were going to be at the top of both of my year-end lists. However, neither had much staying power, with both falling by the wayside. I didn’t give this track a listen all summer, which is a shame because I absolutely love Dev Hynes. Still a solid track and it still deserves a spot in this Top 25.
21. Vampire Weekend – “Giving Up The Gun”
This track probably gets the most discussion of whether or not it should be on here. Maybe I should have put “Diplomat’s Son.” Maybe “Horchata.” Maybe even “Cousins.” Nah, not “Cousins.” But this track, packaged and slicked up for radio has something about it that draws me to it. Sure, it feels like it can drag and nothing really happens, but that might just be the beauty of it. You wait and wait and wait for the climax of the song…but it never comes.
20. Wild Nothing – “Summer Holiday”
To me, this is the most quintessential Wild Nothing track out there. Sure, “Live in Dreams” might have gotten more play as the summer wore on, but this song, just the purity of it, just the bedroom-pop aesthetic has yet to wear down on me. Jack Tatum was able to craft something beautiful through this track and it continues on, even in December, when a “Summer Holiday” is a distant thought.
19. Family Portrait – “Mega Secrets”
Seeing Family Portrait play “Mega Secrets” live back in October was one of the musical highlights of the fall for me. I’d worn this track down through the latter part of summer and into fall, and I just couldn’t get over how simple the bass riff sounded and how well it all fit together. It’s a golden track from Evan Brody & co.
18. Dom – “Living in America”
Another summer jammer about how being an American is sexy and awesome and all that jazz, this track’s synth line brings to mind MGMT (back when they were good) and other synth driven pop-rock. Dom succeeds in crafting something that tweaks the ear and makes you listen closer to whether he’s really saying what he’s saying.
17. Cloud Nothings – “Talk To Me”
If you listen to the show, I say basically anything I need to write there in here. A Cloud Nothings song was bound to make this list, it was just a question of whether it was this one, “I Apologize,” “Even If It Worked Out,” “Leave You Forever” or even a live track from the set at the Knitting Factory. No matter what, this band is awesome. January 25 can’t come soon enough.
16. The Drums – “Forever And Ever Amen”
This album had been floating around for a long time before its official release in September, but the debut self-titled had many great tracks to choose from including “Let’s Go Surfing” and “Best Friend,” but “Forever And Ever Amen” takes the cake. It’s just too good. That’s all it comes down to.
15. Gauntlet Hair – “I Was Thinking…”
This track sneaked up on me as I was making my list. I didn’t give Gauntlet Hair much thought since summer, but as I went through, I picked up on it and remembered this summer, blasting the bass in my car. Sure, it’s driven by summer nostalgia, but even I can see through that to know this is an ace track.
14. Small Black – “Photojournalist”
Quintessential chillwave. That’s all there is to describe this track. Listening to it reminded me of the first time I listened to Neon Indian or Toro Y Moi or Washed Out, the enveloping feeling the music creates. It recaptured that feeling of when chillwave first burst onto the scene and had this whole stigma of being far out behind it. While most of New Chain doesn’t provoke that kind of feeling, “Photojournalist” does an awesome job.
13. No Age – “Glitter”
There’s so much emotion and so much longing present in this song. Just the chorus of “I want you back underneath my skin” is enough to make you look past the noise and traditionally punk ethos of No Age to basically show that, well, they have feelings too. “Glitter” is easy to put on repeat and just think about what must be going through Dean Spunt’s head while writing and recording a track that feels so emotional like this one.
12. Warpaint – “Undertow”
Is it said to say that I’ve developed a cliche when talking about Warpaint? Well, I think I have. Devastatingly beautiful. It’s the easiest way for me to describe the soaring vocals and just overall mysteriousness that is present in the music, and this track embodies it the best out of any of the tracks on The Fool.
11. Yeasayer – “Ambling Alp”
The soundtrack to my February, “Ambling Alp” was another track that fell out of my spectrum of listening until before FreeFest when I thought I was going to hit up the Baltimore-gone-Brooklyn band for a set. Alas, I ended up at Neon Indian, but I realized that Odd Blood has some great tracks like this one, “O.N.E.” and “I Remember.”
10. Toro Y Moi – “Low Shoulder”
I was reading up Chaz Bundick’s Les Sins project today on Pitchfork and stumbled across the review of Causers of This, which came out to 7.6, which is viewed by many, including myself, as a travesty. Bundick created such tight and layered tracks on Causers, and “Low Shoulder” represents the pinnacle of them with its addicting samples and groove. It’s no wonder I spent nearly all of January waking up to this song.
9. LCD Soundsystem – “Dance Yrself Clean”
This has to be one of the most epic songs of the year, especially when the song exits its introductory phase and explodes into straight James Murphy doing his James Murphy thing. The energy doesn’t lag at all during the nearly-10 minute duration and the only thing you can do during it is dance. Having this as the opener at FreeFest was the perfect start to the end of the night and it was executed to perfection. Every time I listen to it, it brings a sort of anticipation in the pit of my stomach, waiting for the moment it goes crazy.
8. Future Islands – “Inch of Dust”
“Inch of Dust” kind of falls into the same category as “Dance Yrself Clean,” as it is executed to perfection by Future Islands every time live. The energy and emotion is pure and raw, and so easy to feel as it goes on. It’s essentially a wave of emotion that crests through Sam Herring’s unmatchable vocals.
7. Real Estate – “Out of Tune”
Real Estate has some real gems out there like “Beach Comber” and “Younger Than Yesterday,” but “Out of Tune” just makes the cake. It’s more melancholy with a twinge of sadness in Martin Courtney’s voice, but that’s what drives it. When I first heard it, I thought of it more as a warm-up tune, as it was leading off the set when they came through on tour back in March, but when I heard it in July and heard other subsequent recordings, and then the final version, I realized how good this song truly is.
6. Big Troubles – “Freudian Slips”
File this one under addictive Ridgewood rock. Fuzzed-out with a catchy riff, this really is one of the most perfect pop songs out there today. These dudes know what’s good, and Worry is so good and so solid. I dig.
5. Sleigh Bells – “Rill Rill”
With all the percussiveness and volume of Treats, “Rill Rill” sort of provides a respite from all that. Granted, it’s still intense and still has the Sleigh Bells stamp on it, but it feels pulled back just enough. It really is a gorgeous song that you can float along on late in the evening during summer.
4. Beach House – “Walk In The Park”
I was worried that Beach House would take a tumble down my lists because of the fact Teen Dream came out so early in the year and because I’ve already had it for over a year. But going through songs that could qualify for this list, “Walk In The Park” definitely jumped out at me because of Victoria Legrand’s soaring vocals on the chorus and just the imagery that it provides. No late-season slump from this band.
3. Deerhunter – “Desire Lines”
“Desire Lines” is another track that falls under the category of “songs that can engulf you.” Lockett Pundt is absolutely awesome on this track and everything is accented perfectly on it. It’s another testament to how truly talented Deerhunter is as a band and the prowess that each member possesses. “Desire Lines” won’t exit my rotation anytime soon.
2. Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – “Round and Round”
Another song that is going to be the staple of year-end lists and that has been called the “My Girls” of 2010 by many (aka Real Estate), “Round and Round” is a highlight of production gone right. It’s not lo-fi. You can tell that Pink and the band spent an extended amount of time making sure everything is in its right place before shipping it off to Before Today. “Round and Round” is just addicting, perfect music for spacing out and being on your own, going round and round in your own thoughts.
1. Beach Fossils – “Daydream”
While this band has almost been reduced to a punchline in my circle of musical friends, there’s no denying that Beach Fossils is a great album and tracks like “Daydream” are what makes it great. While in my continued listening, “Wide Awake” might be distancing itself in the race for best song on the album, “Daydream” was my first taste of Dustin Payseur and ever-revolving co. back in late 2009, and this song has remained a constant all through the year. There’s no denying the talent behind this song and there’s no denying that this song is a perfect daydream. It’s wistful and creates a distanced feeling that is unmatched on nearly every other song in 2010.
So there you have it. Beach Fossils’ “Daydream” is my Top (Radio Friendly) Song of 2010.
Tune in to In Afternoon Air next week for Daniel’s Top 25 (Radio Friendly) Albums of 2010.
Fresh Heirs should start it’s crazy list-making soon and be posting them around Christmas time, as a head’s up.