the ones i liked best.
10. lykke li, youth novels
can’t go wrong with a swede. beautiful, eclectic songs with heart.
favorite songs: ‘dance dance dance’; ‘hanging high’; ‘breaking it up’
9. she & him, volume one
twangy alt-country sung by an actress named after one of my favorite fictional characters. zooey deschanel + m. ward = gold.
favorite songs: ‘sentimental heart’; ‘this is not a test’; ‘you really got a hold on me’
8. the raveonettes, lust lust lust
moody and reverb-y, with haunting boy-girl harmonies. and they’re from denmark!
favorite songs: ‘aly walk with me’; ‘lust’; ‘dead sound’
7. tilly & the wall, o
diversified tilly, made of shout-out-loud anthems. as always, jamie presnall’s tap dancing is impeccable.
favorite songs: ‘cacophany’; ‘alligator skin’; ‘poor man’s ice cream’
6. cansei de ser sexy, donkey
brazilian electro-pop at its finest. the best for drunk dancing.
favorite songs: ‘jager yoda’; ‘left behind’; ‘move’
5. ryan adams & the cardinals, cardinology
a [maybe] more mature ryan plays more sophisticated and adult songs, which seems a genuine progression instead of a contrived projection. the cardinals are perhaps the most talented and underrated back-up band i know of.
favorite songs: ‘fix it’; ‘crossed out name’; ‘evergreen’
4. vampire weekend, vampire weekend
strange, kooky ivy league indie kids sing about the romantics and proper grammar. instant love affair.
favorite songs: ‘oxford comma’; ‘one’; ‘walcott’
3. ssion, fool’s gold
wholly gay- and dance-friendly, with wildly uproarious and inappropriate lyrics. bonus points for the lead singer’s fu-man-chu.
favorite songs: ‘bullshit’; ‘street jizz’; ‘the woman’; ‘warm glove’
2. jenny lewis, acid tongues
i will probably always love anything that jenny lewis does, but i think this album shows jenny’s musical evolution from her first album with the watson twins, and that she can hold her own without them. m. ward plays guitar, zooey sings back-up, chris robinson and elvis costello contribute vocal duets… it’s like heaven in my ears.
favorite songs: ‘the next messiah’; ‘acid tongues’; ‘godspeed’; ‘jack killed mom’
1. bon iver, for emma, forever ago/ 1. mgmt, oracular spectacular
maybe it’s a cop-out to have a tie, but despite being completely musically opposite, these two albums defined what the past year has meant to me, in distinct but equal ways. mgmt was roadtrip music, and i haven’t instigated/participated in a single instance of dancing where at least one mgmt song was not played. bon iver is my memories of south africa, of death, of heartbreak; it’s the music i listen to when tears are inevitable. and really, in the simplest terms possible, that’s what my past year has been: dancing and crying.
favorite mgmt songs: ‘time to pretend’; ‘electric feel’; ‘kids’; ‘the handshake’
favorite bon iver songs: ‘flume’; ‘skinny love’; ‘blindsided’; ‘for emma’
cat power, jukebox
britney spears, circus (no one does good dance songs, or the comeback, like britney does)
jaguar love, take me to the sea (the furious and beautiful phoenix risen from the ashes of blood brothers)
lil wayne, tha carter III
beck, modern guilt
kanye west, 808’s and heartbreak
tv on the radio, dear science