2K10 – New writer, New music ect.
03 Jan 10
That’s right, it’s a new decade in music, years from now we will look back and celebrate the tennies (a phrase I’m planning on coining) as the decade in which Jacko rose from the grave like the Christ like figure he most surely is only to disappoint by making music like he did just before he died the first time and also remembered as the decade where the 90’s were revived in both fashion and in musical style, much to the distaste of the entire world other than smug trend hopping record peddlers. On the good side we’re opening up 2010 with the promise of new Los Campesinos, Lightspeed Champion, Radiohead, MGMT, Beach House, These New Puritans, Delphic, LCD soundsystem, Fleet Foxes, Sleigh Bells, Dum Dum Girls, Gorillaz and a whole other bunch of incredible artists (Including the Beastie Boys) all churning out new albums it’s likely to be THE BEST YEAR, EVER. Or not, but its got some tasty sounding albums coming out of it.
In other news some cocky upstart called Dan Lester wants to have a crack at all this writing lark (I jest, he seems very self deprecating and a fine fellow) and we, being the lovely and occasionally understaffed music blog we are welcomed him with open arms after he sent in this little lovely little article;
10 – Panic at the disco – Lying is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off
Woah!! Woaah!! I hear you cry. What does this crazy new writer think he’s talking about? A song by one of the most widely hated emo-pop bands in the world making it’s way into the top tracks of the decade? From the band that were bottled at Reading festival a few years back? From the album that Pitchfork media gave 1.5, one of their lowest ratings ever? What is this madness? Well stop throwing darts at that picture of Brandon Urie, take a deep breath and have a listen to some textbook power pop, perfectly encapsulating teenage lust and name-checking Closer along the way. And what’s more? No emo in sight.
9 – Pacewon & Mr Green – Childen Sing
As you might deduce from the title, Children Sing opens with the sound of a childrens choir, backed by violin, before everything gets mixed up, and Pacewon’s lyrics, ‘I started out hardcore, spinning on cardboard’ provide the ultimate juxtaposition to the youthful innocence of the opening.
8 – At the Drive In – One Armed Scissor
Not that I’d have known at the time, being at the age of only just making the leap from awfully shit Gareth Gates to the slightly-less-shit Coldplay, but being released in early 2000, it’s fair to say One Armed Scissor was one of the first great tracks of the decade. And it sounds just as fresh and exciting as ever as we approach the twentytens, with a roaring opening guitar riff topped by raging megaphone fueled vocals. Check out the performance below to see what I’m talking about.
7 – Such Great Heights – The Postal Service
Perhaps the very definition of a cult band, The Postal Service was the short lived 2003 side project of Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard and Rilo Kelly’s Jenny Lewis. Whilst the lyrics, ‘freckles on our eyes are mirror images and when we kiss they’re perfectly alligned’ teeter on the brink of cheesiness, and though the song has since been bastardized by Owl City, something about the opening blips and shuffling drums mean that Such Great Heights remains one of the greatest chill out tracks to see release for years.
* Bonus: Iron and Wine acoustic cover is well worth checking out
6 – All my friends – LCD Soundsytem
This track from LCD Soundsystem’s Sound of Silver hit the number 2 spot on Pitchfork Media’s recent top 500 tracks of the decade. It’s perhaps not surprising, given that the content of the lyrics are ultimately about growing old – sure to hit home for a bunch of aging music journalist hipsters. But I’m still young, and aging is the last thing on my mind. So why do I like it so much? Maybe it’s the repeating clunky keyboard tingle, that stays constant throughout the entire seven and a half minute song. Maybe it’s the careful layering upon this with equally hypnotically repetitive guitars and drums. Or maybe it’s how downright cool James Murphy sounds throughout it all.
6 – Boa Vs Python – Test Icicles
There’s a lot of love for Dev on Misc, yet why he was so critical of Test Icicles will forever remain a mystery. Exploding onto the scene like an angry Bloc Party, guitars battled and vocals weren’t afraid to scream, yet the songs all remained incredibly tight. Raw indie-dancy-art-rock at it’s absolute finest.
5 – Kids – MGMT
With MGMT exploding onto everything from our radio stations to our clubs to our TV show soundtracks last summer, the overwhelming hype surrounding the band made it easy to forget how great they are. Synths bounce and riff, to culminate in one of the most utterly euphoric choruses committed to record in years.
4 – Death From Above 1979 – Romantic Rights
Hitting the scene the year before Test Icicles released For Screening Purposes, Dfa1979 fused a similar combination of elements from all different genres to create a brilliant indie-dance-punk hybrid of sorts. But perhaps most impressive is that they did it with only two musicians; a drummer and a bassist, with the overdrive cranked up. Who’d have known a bass could even make such a noise?
3 – Aeorodynamic (Daft Punk Remix) – Daft Punk
In Discovery’s Aerodynamic and One More Time, french electronic gods Daft Punk had two of the greatest dance tracks recorded in years. But how do you improve on perfection? According to the Daft rulebook, why not simply mash them up? The chorus call of ‘One more time!’ gives way to the ridiculously OTT guitar solo of Aeordynamic. Great stuff, and an inspiration to the fusion of dance music and rock that led to the likes of Rapture, Klaxons, Hot Chip et all storming indie dancefloors later in the decade.
2 – Bloc Party – Positive Tension
With tracks from Bloc Party’s debut Silent Alarm cropping up in a couple of the other top tens on Misc Music it’s fairly clear I’m not alone in the claim that the bands debut effort was easily one of the decade’s best LP’s, and as has been said, I could have just as easily chosen half a dozen off the album to put on this list. Credit to the band for branching out and experimenting with different sounds, and at times they’ve been successful doing so, but Positive Tension exemplifies what made Silent Alarm so great. Matt and Gordon’s Drums and Bass form what is perhaps the best rhythm section in indie music, sadly pushed to the backseat in recent work, upon which floaty guitars are perfectly arranged on top. All over which kele’s lyrics resonate… ‘Something Glorious is about to happen?’ I think it just did.
1 – Crazy in Love – Beyonce (aha wait wait no, no.)
1 – Staring at the Sun – TV on the Radio
Never a band to be confined to a single genre, the albums released by Brooklyn’s TV on the Radio span borrow elements of Rock, Jazz, Electonic, and whatever else they feel like. At their best they produce massive, audacious tracks, the likes of Halfway Home or Wolf Like Me, and here, the sublime Staring at the Sun. Vocals softly harmonise over a unsettling radio voice like a quietly foreboding calm before the storm, before the monstrous drone of a synthed up bass, mighty, reckless, and utterly delicious, rips through the track. Whilst the animalistic lead vocals growl, ghostly ‘ooh’s float over in a manner not dissimilar to that seen in Pixies’ Where is My Mind. The original Young Liars version, with intro intact, deserves to be seeked out, and on speakers cranked up to full blast.
Play him out, keyboard cat
Aha, no really. Welcome aboard Dan.
HAPPY NEW FUCKING YEAR!