Wednesday, December 29, 2010

STL's Top Songs of 2010: 40 - 21

The Morning Benders get prepared for their placement on the list
Following on from Part One, here's the second installment of STL's favourite tracks from 2010, counting down from 40 - 21.


40) Kid Karate – Feel For You

Urgent, synth-rock from a band more renowned for their TV screen debut on Fade St ("and you fuck off") than their music career. It's impact wanes on repeated listens but that first listen is a knock-out blow.
Feel For You by KidKarate

39) Morrissey - Happy Lovers United

The re-released Bona Drag album unearthed this gem from the vaults, bringing dry self deprecation, and a jangly, simple tune, all the way from 1988.

38) British Sea Power – Zeus

Rollicking title track from the EP which bodes well for next years new album.


37) Broken Bells – The High Road
Like The Shins on acid, this is the glorious result of a collaboration between Danger Mouse and James Mervers, the lead singer of Shins.


36) Avi Buffallo – What’s in it for?

Lo-fi, summery tune from another Sub Pop disciple.


35) Perfume Genius - Learning 

Fragile and emotive work from Seattle resident Mike Hadreas. He wrote his haunting debut as a cathartic act to purge his own demons and has deservedly seen it gain international attention as a result.


34) Apparatjik - Antlers

Going against the trend that all supergroups need be loud and brash, the members of Coldplay, A-Ha and Mew combine to form a decidedly Scandinavian, tranquil sound.


33) Cathy Davy – Little Red

What a voice. Cathy Davey's work doesn't always hit home with me but this is a magical retelling of the childhood classic.

32) Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip – Get Better

If the duo's second album didn't quite reach the majestic heights of the debut overall, it came mightily close on occasion and most notably on the lead single - a call to arms for a broken society from a genius wordsmith, which is engulfed in a sumptuous beat. Their gig at The Workman's Club was a highlight of the year also.


31) Darwin Deez - Constellations

The title may allude to vast scope and infinite possibilities but this is in effect a simple, low key and unashamedly funky pop song. Extra points for that tache also.

Somadrone – Vapours

Redneck manifesto member Neil O'Conner has been a mainstay in the Irish music scene for quite some time now and the latest release under his Somadrone guise,
Depths of Field, has been well received across the board. This is the most accessible slice from an album brimming with texture and intricacies.

Somadrone - Vapours by Somadrone

Cults – Go Outside

Arriving with virtually no information, this song swept into our ears with little fanfare, leaving the flowing, joyous melody to do the job instead.

28) Warpaint – Undertow

The all-female indie hipsters attracted equal amounts of love and derision this year but there's no denying the virtue of this hazy, mid-tempo, lead single.

27) Halves – Growing and Glow

Halves debut is an incredibly rich and rewarding experience; akin to finding yourself lost in the most detailed of forests, with a fascinating sight at every turn.

Growing & Glow by halves

James Vincent McMorrow – This Dark Old Machine

McMorrow's debut is an alluring affair, and in truth there could be half a dozen songs in this spot. That this song has grown on me so much in recent times is an indication of the album's depth and its enduring appeal from a singer-songwriter whose recent success is well deserved.

Tame Impala – Solitude is Bliss

Trippy and symphonic, never has a video reflected the songs content so well.


24) Spies – Liars Call Me King 

The finest cut from a triumphant debut EP from this Dublin five-piece, who bear a slight resemblance with The National's heavier output. Brooding and strident riffs combine to underpin a wonderful concoction of baritone vocals and lyrics which are drenched in romanticism and intelligent introspection.

Download their debut EP for free over at Bandcamp


23) Pepper Rabbit – Older Brother

The soft strum of a ukulele, sun drenched vocals and a joyous climatic chorus: perfection.


22) Deerhunter – Revival

A captivating, sauntering tale from the outstandingly dreamy new LP.


21) Morning Benders - Excuses

Beautiful and joyous to the nth degree, this tale of lovers trying to rekindle those precious first moments is as emotive and stirring as it sounds.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

STL's Top Songs of 2010: 60 - 41

So here we are. I'm not quite sure why I settled on 60 but it's a nice number regardless, and one which holds the tracks which have most pleased my ears throughout the last 12 months.

I'm sure I've missed some obvious choices but it's a nice representation of what has been a great year in music none the less, particularly on an Irish front.

Have a listen, find something you may like/have missed and make sure to post your own!

Here's Part 1 with songs 60 - 41

60) Rubberbandits – Horse Outside   

Sure, who else? Love 'em or hate 'em there's no doubting that Horse Outside will be on the 'Reeling in the years' montage for 2010 in another decade or so...

59) Surfer Blood – Floating Vibes

Summery indie-vibes which are as fuzzy and warm as the name suggests.

58) El Guincho - Bombay 

An outstandingly nonsensical video which almost detracts attention away from a great tune from Spain's Animal Collective influenced El Guincho.

57) Mountain Man - Animal Tracks

As with the best things in life this is simple and beautiful, and if you will excuse the lazy comparison, sounds close to an all female Fleet Foxes - which is never a bad thing.

56) Blur – Fools Day

An unexpected treat from a band presumed defunct; not a Blur classic but it holds more than enough to suggest a proper reunion is a worthy proposition.

55) Ham Sandwich – The Naturist

The greatest achievement yet of a band whose earlier praise baffled me, lovely voice.

Ham Sandwich - The Naturist by tigger_sinclair

54) Robyn – Don't Fucking Tell Me What To Do

Scandanavian pop-let lets loose to wondrous effect.

53) Laura Marling – Needle and the damage done   

A charming retelling of a Neil Young classic; her incredible voice suits it perfectly and there's a smashing stop-motion video to boot. 

52) Owen Pallett – Midnight Directives

Sufjan-esque, operatic splendour. 

51) Rory Grubb – Take Your Own Advice

Lush acoustic ramblings; Ireland has never been short on singer-songwritrs but Grubb's latest album 'Sketches From The Big Sleep', does enough to keep his head well and truly above the water.

No videos unfortunately but have a listen over at Breaking Tunes.

50) Rihanna – Rude Boy

A pop song that the indie kids will dance to, no wonder it has 133 million YouTube hits...

49) Stornoway – Boats and Trains

A beautiful seranade from the thinking man's Mumford and Sons.

 48) Tindersticks – Black Smoke

With our very own David Kitt in tow, Tindersticks produced a strong new LP in the form of 'Falling Down A Mountain', with this track in particular appearing as the perfect accompaniment to a 'Cohen' Brothers classic.

47) Everything Everything – My Keys, Your Boyfriend

Will no doubt infuriate many but these off-kilter melodies have enough originality to stick around

46) Belle and Sebastian– I Want the world to stop
Modern indie royalty arrive back with a good new album, of which this is a highlight. 

45) The Flaws – Part of you 

Jangly return from Monaghan's finest; which is the equal of anything on their excellent debut.

44) John Grant – TC and Honeybear 

Wherein the members of Midlake combine with a singer to make an arguably more compelling set of songs than the band's own new LP.

43) Patrick Kelleher - Wonder (Jape Remix)

Emerged late last year but only officially released this year on the stellar You Look Colder remixes album. That good that it deserves as many listens as possible; genuinely spine tingling reworking of the splendid original. The Kittser remix would have made it also were it not for fear of an overload.

42) Nouveounoise – Cinnte

A sumptious pebble-dashed array of colours and shapes, which build and latch onto your snyapses in the process.

41) Solar Bears – Primary Colours at the Back of My Mind

The sound of the cosmos and equally as life affirming. Beautiful and in no way immediately recognisable as 'Irish', Dublin/Wicklow's Solar Bears are the perfect example of the depth and variety which Irish music has been offering lately.


The full run down from 40 - 1 will follow in the next couple of days...