It's almost Fourth of July weekday here in America, and what better way to celebrate our FREEDOM with our top ten tracks of the year (so far). You might recall we presented our top fifteen earlier this month
with limited commentary. Here are some thoughts on each one. Bump it during your driveway fireworks.
Listen to the mixtape on Spotify!
1. "The House That Heaven Built" - Japandroids - Celebration Rock
It might be the brash guitars, the reckless abandon, or the supernova hook of "tell 'em all to go to hell," but this song never fails to get the blood pumping. In an oversaturated world of a million sub-genres and styles, the one thing we might still be able to agree on is the strength of an underlying melody mixed with the electricity of attitude. This song stands apart as an anthem of our directionless, overprivaledged generation.
2. "Gun Has No Trigger" - The Dirty Projectors - Swing Lo Magellan
If anyone frequently mentioned on Pitchfork is going to be in your music history textbook in 2030, it's going to be Dave Longstreth. Hell, he might even be your professor.
3. "Werewolf" - Fiona Apple - The Idler Wheel...
Although some of Apple's melodic contour is a bit nebulous, this song follows a clear trojectory from convivality to heartbreak, right up to the final turn. Pretty spectacular.
4. "Oblivion" - Grimes - Visions
The young electro-mage has invented a pretty unique sound, and this cut is one of the more infectious songs to prominently feature a lisp I've ever heard. Grimes doesn't try to hide her qualities, she makes them feel essential.
5. "Make Up Your Mind" - Here We Go Magic - A Different Ship
Although not all of the experiements between Luke Temple's band and Nigel Godrich resulted in something mindblowing, this single is the year's best example of layering as the key ingredient of a song's momentum.
6. "Wasted Days" - Cloud Nothings - Attack on Memory
This Steve Albini-produced disc yielded some of the most energized, fraught-with-life rock 'n roll in a long while. Coupled with the band's prestidigious dedication to being as wasted as their double-entendre song title would suggest, and you've got yourself a bunch of self-annointed rock stars.
7. "Sleeping Ute" - Grizzly Bear - Sleep Ute [Single]
Grizzly Bear occupies the softer indie rock space, being one of the original bands to fall in that category for aesthetic reasons as well as being small and relatively unknown minus car commercials syncs. So when we say "badass," we mean it in the context of the Bon Ivers of the world. That being said, this song is bad. Ass.
8. "R U Mine?" - Arctic Monkeys - R U Mine?
OK this song is bad ass in the traditional sense.
9. "Lazuli" - Beach House - Bloom
Beach House has leveraged their fluffy songwriting with engaging, effervescent instrumentals.
10. "This Is Sally Hatchet" - Father John Misty - Fear Fun
Needs more syncopation. (Just kidding. Is perfect and humorful and tragic and odd and excellent.)