Love rankings, so these are my Top 20 songs of 2008 according to my Last.fm charts and my Ipod play counter. (If you are reading on Facebook, click on View Original Post so you can see the embedded videos)
20.- The Dodos - Fools. An amazing song by a band that I only discovered this year (They are great live)
19.- TV On The Radio - Dancing Choose. TV On The Radio released one of the best albums of 2008, Dear Science. I am not quite sure if Dancing Choose was the first or second single, what I am positive about is that I love David Sitek's production and the hip-hop style lyrics.
18.- Kaiser Chiefs - Good Days Bad Days. Silly lyrics, killer hooks. That statement summarizes this song by the Kaiser Chiefs, who released a new (and pretty good) album this year. It is true that they have always been influenced by XTC, yet I think in Off With Their Heads the influence is more evident and polished.
17.- Ida Maria - I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked. The clever catchphrase of this one got me right off. I believe Ida Maria is from Norway. She released her debut album in 2008 from which this song is one of the highlights.
(embedding not available, here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cySmUjQB05I)
16.- Born Ruffians - Hummingbird. Technically this song is from 2007 (Oct-Nov 2007) but I listened to it mostly this year and it is so good that I had to include it here. It sounds like Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, but the comparison only holds for this song. Born Ruffians have their own style.
15.- Das Pop - Underground. I spent the entire second half of 2008 waiting for Das Pop's new album and I am still waiting. Lighthearted quality pop a la Phoenix.
14.- Hot Chip - One Pure Thought. I had to decide between Ready For The Floor and One Pure Thought as the Hot Chip song to include in this ranking. It was tough but I decided for the latter because I love the beats during the "I won't be on my way" part.
13.- Metronomy - Heartbreaker. Nights Out by Metronomy is another great 2008 record. Heartbreaker, the first single, features the trademark Metronomy sounds (some people compare them with Hot Chip, I do not see why). The music video is really good.
12. The Ting Tings - Great DJ. The Ting Tings released quite a few catchy singles this year (4 at least). Besides the singles, their debut album is pretty unremarkable. I think That's not my name and Great DJ are their best songs. I am including Great DJ in the ranking because it was the first song I heard by them and because is so damn catchy. Every time I go to this club, the DJ spins it, and the crowd goes nuts.
11. Santogold - I'm A Lady. Santogold's debut album includes several great songs (and some duds too). I'm A Lady sounds more like L.E.S. Artistes than Creator and that is a good thing by me. Waiting for the single release. Here is an unofficial video.
10. Morrissey - All You Need Is Me. Moz released yet another compilation this year including a couple of new tracks. All You Need Is Me is one of those new tracks. It features some of the best lines Moz has written recently. Here is an example: "You don't like me, but you love me. Either way you're wrong. You're gonna miss me when I'm gone". (embedding not available, here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElemRKA9r1c)
9.- Beck - Modern Guilt. Beck, our favorite chameleon, came up with this hell of a song in 2008. I love the lyrics. Great video by the way.
8.- Sigur Rós – Vid Spilum Endalaust. In 2008 Sigur Ros released a couple of singles that were uncharacteristically uplifting for their standards. I am not saying that I did not like their previous singles (I love them) but that they certainly changed their style in this new record. In any case, I have no clue about the lyrics, they might not be uplifting at all.
7.- We Are Scientists - After Hours. I am not a big fan of this band, but I truly believe that they nailed it with this song. A weekend hymn. It reminds me of weekends spent with my friends in Chile during my undergraduate years. Nostalgia is the word.
6.- Cut Copy - So Haunted. What would happen if you put together a Pixies riff, an Electric Light Orchestra chorus, and some New Order beats? The answer: So Haunted by Cut Copy. By comparing the song to this musical recipe, my intention is not to undermine Cut Copy. Actually it is totally the opposite, you have to have talent to mix all those influences into an excellent song. So Haunted sounds GREAT live. The video is from the show I attended in Atlanta.
5.- Vampire Weekend - M79. The best song Wes Anderson has not included yet in any of his movie's soundtracks. M79 is one of the two new tracks Vampire Weekend added to their debut album (the other tracks were released on that famous 2007 demo CD). For some reason I cannot understand, the band released The Kids Don't Stand a Chance instead of M79 as their new single. At 2:25 or 3:35 on this song I feel SO glad music exists.
4.- The Hold Steady - Sequestered In Memphis. The coolest of the uncool bands. Sequestered in Memphis was probably the track with the most meteoric rise in my charts. I simply love the storytelling on this song. That part "that's alright I was desperate too.." kills me every time I hear it. The chorus is brilliant as well.
3.- Deerhunter - Never Stops. I recently started to pay attention to Microcastle, Deerhunter's most recent record and this song hit me immediately. The distorted guitars, the phrase "it never stops" constantly repeated, the repressed anger that I believe is contained in the song are irresistible to me. Currently on repeat on my Ipod.
2.- CSS - Beautiful Song. Beautiful Song turned out to be the soundtrack of my last visit to Chicago. It was unintended. I was in the plane listening to the new CSS album and this song popped out on my headphones. And it kept popping out during the rest of my visit, while on the L train, walking to get some drinks on Wicker Park, on my way to the Pitchfork Festival. It is a very simple song, but catchy as hell. And just like Lovefoxx I, some times, feel like I want to go wrong..
1.- Cut Copy - Far Away. Well, it was love at first listen. I was listening to In Ghost Colours (my favorite record in 2008 by the way) for the first time and there it was, this gorgeous 80s homage called Far Away. If So Haunted was Pixies+ELO+New Order, then Far Away is Erasure+ELO+New Order. I love catchy songs, and Far Away is irresponsibly catchy.
The lyrics are so silly, but it is the type of lyrics that fits perfectly in the song.
This is a pretty cool video made by a fan, I picked it because the girl is reading a Pablo Neruda poem in one of the scenes. I think Cut Copy will be releasing Far Away as a single pretty soon, so expect an official video.