There were a ton of ridiculously good songs this year. So many that’s when i conceived of doing this it was top ten, but then I realized I just couldn’t do a top ten of the year. I can barely do a top 25, but here it is. There will be some surprises in here and despite having an natural like for “Call Me Maybe” it will not appear on this list. While I understand the value of pop music in society and it’s identity as being the gateway drug to better and harder music, something about this pop song struck a chord with me.
I felt it was the best pop song of the year, but not near the best song of the year. And I guess the distinction has to do with lack of lyrical quality. It’s a simple song for simple people who aren’t looking to get much more from their music than happiness. What I seek and what I hope most of you seek is a sort of thoughtful nirvana from the music you listen to and that is kind of what I feel like I’ve put together here. Granted some of these songs are less thought provoking than others and some are just plain fun, but there is a lyrical quality to all of them that I feel is better than the average pop song.
#25 Dum Dum Girls – Mine Tonight
This is one of those songs that made me reminisce about the ‘90s. It had such a grungy sound to it that I even used it for my wake up alarm on my phone in the morning and still didn’t hate it. This group has big things ahead of them. They’re like a young Mazzy Star.
#24 – Alt-J – Matilda
This is my favorite song off their brilliant debut album An Awesome Wave. Lead singer sounds like a British Billy Corgan, but without the petulant attitude, at least not yet.
#23 – Calexico – Fortune Teller
Calexico took their music in a different direction, a better direction as far as I’m concerned. “Fortune Teller” was the best song off the album and maybe their best song ever, at least as far as I’m concerned.
#22 – Damien Jurado – Maraqopa
Damien Jurado is a guy that seems to revel in flying under the radar. I loved this album and it was definitely in my top 25. With his Neil Youngesque vocals “Maraqopa” the song really stood out as a throwback to another time. It is a song with great visual quality.
#21 – Kathleen Edwards – Change the Sheets
The album was produced by Bon Iver front man Justin Vernon and you could tell it was a little rougher around the edges and had a more effective quality to it without losing the style that made Edwards a darling of the Indie community. “Change the Sheets” was the single off the album and really exemplified that sound.
#20 – Grizzly Bear – Yet Again
Grizzly Bear really came into their own with their latest album. “Yet Again” defines lead singer Ed Droste’s relationship and marriage to his partner and the pitfalls and indecision that go along with that jump.