More Songs I Loved in 2010

Installment #2 of tunes from the past year that I really enjoyed.

Most, not all, are from CDs that are NOT on my list of top albums, or are culled from an EP, or simply represent the occasional one-off download.  Roughly in the chronological order in which I discovered them.  So supplement your listening of full-length releases with these nuggets.

“Double Knot” by Living Sisters – from Love to Live.  Don’t be fooled by the innocent 50’s poses and Frankie Lymon harmonies.  Several Love to Live songs are a bit filthy.  But it’s not all stagecraft…the Living Sisters included alot of great songwriting on their CD for anyone who pines for the Eisenhower era.

“I Can Try” by Sambassadeur – from European.  To start with, I am a sucker for this kind of string arrangement.  Add to that Anna Persson’s uncanny vocal resemblance to one of my all-time favorite singers Kirsty MacColl.

“Imagine Hearts” by Ringo Deathstarr – from Colour Trip.  Hate to wait until March for this one but there is a 5-song EP from 2008 if you really like your JATMC seasoned with sparkling guitar effects.

“The Turned on Truth” by Cornershop – from Judy Sucked a Lemon for Breakfast.  Technically a 2009 release but not available in these United States until last April, Tjinder Singh has lost none of the charm of his britpop and desi fusion.

“Madame Van Damme” by Lightspeed Champion – from Life is Sweet!  Nice to Meet You!  Devonte Hynes turns more towards art rock (shudder), but this song has one of the more traditional pop structures on Life is Sweet!  Hynes also sounds more like Murray Lightburn here, which I much prefer to his Freddy Mercury turns.

“Tell ‘Em” by Sleigh Bells – from Treats.  Galactic-sized hooks overcompressed to the point of self-caricature with white girl Go! Team urban styling.

“I Didn’t See It Coming” by Belle and Sebastian – from Write About Love.  OK so the album is a liiiiitle radio ready.  So sue them, this is still essentially the perfect pop song.  Really very nearly perfect.

“Intil” by Menomena – from Mines.  Love pretty much anything with this much reverb and sensitive Coldplay keyboard.  But.  But but but.  Check out the wild little backbeat that kicks in halfway through Mines‘ closer, evocatively layered and gorgeous.

“Selina” by Pete & the Pirates – from Precious Tones EP.  The climactic chorus (“Selina you don’t smile when you break my heaaaaart!”) is a little bit of everything I love about PATP.

“Pogo” by Eternal Summers – from Silver.  All Hail Roanoke!  They didn’t make bands like this during the 5 years I lived under the shadow of Mill Mountain Star but this two-piece writes snappy pop songs with plenty of open space.  Instant street cred for all the up-and-comers at Hidden Valley High.

“Groove Me” by Theophilus London – from Maximum Balloon.  I guess I wasn’t as smitten as the rest of planet Earth by this TV on the Radio side project, possibly because of the insufferable band name, but it’s hard to deny that “Groove Me” will groove you.

“The Great White Ocean” by Antony and the Johnsons – from Swanlights.  Antony Hegarty is an acquired taste, a bit avante garde and of course he loves him some vibrato.  I did though really enjoy 2005’s I am a Bird Now and this song shows nice texture as a lyricist and songwriter.

“Until the Nipple’s Gone” by Atmosphere – from To All My Friends, Blood Makes the Blade Holy.  Slug’s narrative and cutting diction knock you down with their venom.

“Like the Wheel” by The Tallest Man on Earth – from Sometimes the Blues is Just a Passing Bird EP.  iTunes bonus track from The Wild Hunt which I have gushed over enough.  I played “Like the Wheel” approximately one billion times in 2010.

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