Thursday, December 16, 2010

My Favorite Songs of 2010 - #20 - 16

By Paul Steven Brown

The list of my 30 favorite songs of 2010 continues. Keep in mind that numbering these songs in a countdown order is purely arbitrary. On any given day the sequence could change. Well, maybe not the top ten, but anyway...

20. "Excuses"
The Morning Benders

The Morning Benders did not reach Grizzly Bear heights of acclaim this year, but not without a lack of trying. "Excuses" is fine example of chamber pop with a nice dash of Everly Brothers vocals. It's a great song, but I don't necessarily think of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups when I hear it. Then again, television commercials are the new radio.

19. "Waves"
Holly Miranda

Holly Miranda's "Waves" is an effective use of slinky Rhodes piano, layered guitar reverb, and her hushed, sweet voice. There's a little Cat Power in there, but without all the catharsis.

18. "Norway"
Beach House

The arpeggiated guitar and breathy vocals make for a great intro. This gives way to moaning feedback and temeloed guitars during the verse that call out like whales from below the ocean. I never realized that the singer was a woman until I saw this video.

17. "He Was Worse Than the Needle He Gave You"
The Delta Mirror

Another cheery number. The monotone delivery becomes almost a mantra. The dreamy piano and keyboards give way to a harder synth and drum sound halfway through the song, giving it a sudden sense of urgency.

16. "Harmonix"
Surfer Blood

It does what it says on the box, albeit spelled with an "x" (the letter "x" makes everything cooler, you know). While the harmonics are cool, it's the vocals distorting and merging into the guitars at the end of the first chorus that really makes this song for me.

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