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Monday, December 22, 2008

Bears and Bullets 25 Best Songs of 2008

It's that time of year where music columns like Pitchfork and Rollingstone issue out their annual year end lists of their favorite singles of the year, coupled with surprises, disappointments, and angry sentiments.

2008, the first year of Bears and Bullets, was marred with hype from high rising acts, excellent summer of music festivals, and some accidental celebrity interactions. But this list (MP3's included) highlight what I feel are the best songs of the entire year.

So, let's start fighting.

#25: Black and Gold - Sam Sparro
This was one the rare singles that seemed to have come out of no where. I picked up on it when it was, ironically, a free single from Itunes. The rising base-line of the beginning encapsulates a maladroit beat, moving the brooding sentiments of Sparro (official website) alongside with the cleverly atmospheric aura the song creates. By the end, Sparro moves the chorus themed "Black and Gold" into a repetitious heart beat of exhaustion, even as the sounds of dance fade out. The song provided to be one of the glorious surprises that laced many of best of lists we've seen.

#24: Vanished - Crystal Castles
"Vanished" starts moving with a chromatic bass-line to fill in the duel vocal ranges of Ethan Kath and Alice Glass (Myspace). It's the climaxing of sounds and rhythm that gave this song an edge over the few that didn't make this list. Yes, the subjectivity may be a bit ordinary, but the cascading of vocals, coupled with the other-worldly inclusion of keyboards make this song so memorable. Something to note with the songs in this list - a lot of eating references. Odd

#23: One Pure Thought - Hot Chip
2008 was truly a year where dance and electonica reigned supreme, and Hot Chip (official website) proved to be one of the artists that has the most ability to motivate that. "One Pure Thought," however, differentiated itself from ordinary Hot Chip in that it was one of the few songs they've created that really capitalized on the guitar. The intro riff (God I hate talking about guitars for too long) instantly pulls the listener in, surrounding the song with a clear dynamic that was different from the other tracks off their album Made in the Dark, making it one of year's more addictive singles.

#22: Black Mags - The Cool Kids
The Cool Kids (official website) are easily my favorite new hip-hop act of the year, far and away. Their name has been rising higher and higher, and deservedly so. Their debut, The Bake Sale, was one of the year's most complete albums with singles like "88" and "Bassment Party," but what sold it for me was "Black Mags." The single grasps the incredible minimal effects that rap songs usually rarely flourish with, surmising with echo beats and an indelible bass. I'll hold on to my bets that 2009 will be another year that the Cool Kids really make their mark.

#21: No Romantics - Lovvers
Here's another single that came out of no where that I instantly fell in love with. This English post-punk group (Myspace) created an epitome of fun noise and chaos with their short, smile inducing single "No Romantics." Throughout the song's barely audible 1:38, the solemness of collapsing cymbals and super-sped guitar chorus create an almost unreal sense of urgency to listen again and again. It's teeth-grinding joy in its most simple form.

Check Back Tomorrow For Song's #20-#16

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