Web Toolbar by Wibiya Bears and Bullets: Monday Bears: Bears and Bullets Top 25 Songs of 2010 (Pt. I)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Monday Bears: Bears and Bullets Top 25 Songs of 2010 (Pt. I)

Greetings. Now that the Northeast, particularly New Jersey, is covered up in a invariable snowstorm, keeping most of us housed up indoors, this seems more than the perfect time to unleash Bears and Bullets annual list of the Top 25 Songs of the Year. Last year Grizzly Bear's "Two Weeks" ended up toping our list in a year that seemed sweltered by indie music's perennial power houses, like Phoenix and Animal Collective. So this year may be a bit more refreshing, considering 2010's somewhat unpredictable month by month catalog of new music.

As with last year, lets clear up the two rules that qualify music for the list: first, the song must have been released during the calendar year. Second, songs heard prior to 2010, such as Yeasayer's "Ambling Alp" are disqualified because it had been out for a much longer period of time, even though it was released on the band's album Odd Blood, released earlier this year.

So, lets begin.

#25: Stranded - The Walkmen
The first listen to Lisbon yielded "Stranded," an achingly sad and mature bar tome brimmed with some of the most harrowing and enchanting horns heard from the Walkmen in years. Lead-singer Hamilton Leithauser's now well-known voice, once detached and coarse from 2004's "The Rat," seems calmed and skimmed, but still powerful enough to make plaster wilt in "Stranded." The band's work, and specifically Leithauser, always seemed to overflow with stern honesty, but here, as the band continues to grow, it begins to sound too beautiful to capture. Almost.

The Walkmen - Stranded - MP3

#24: Round and Round - Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti
I may still be somewhat amazed at Pitchfork's decision to place "Round and Round" at number one on their songs of the year list, but that doesn't take much away from it. It's a deceivingly well-crafted five minutes staunchly brewed with a buzzing rhythm, sparse sound clashes splashing in the backdrop with Ariel's constantly changing approach. The chorus, where the ghostly tone goes by the wayside, is huge and clamoring, preceded at the end with a high-pitched "sentimental/everything is my fault,"  is where "Round and Round" stands tallest, before blending backward to its creative axis. Na Na Na Na.

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - Round and Round

#23: Post Acid - Wavves
At some point, Wavves must have gotten tired churning out buzzy, lo-fi, messy songs about Mickey Mouse and pot when they made "Post Acid," a quick, almost clean bursting pop-punk protocol with an eschewing chorus that deserves shrill yelling. It's painlessly fun, but not as drab and callously single-minded as most of Nathan Williams' work. In another word, you can enjoy it without trying.

Wavves - Post Acid - MP3

#22: Wreckin' Bar (Ra Ra Ra) - The Vaccines
When we first heard the Vaccines back in October, "Wreckin' Bar" immediately jumped out (and was good enough to make the Our Newest Obsession series). It's a short, endlessly joyous minute and a half surf rock jangle that keeps spinning on constant repeat, much like "Post Acid," but with more of shiny punch. It always happens since I've begun making these year-end lists; that a song like "Wreckin' Bar," with only a little recognition to its name and even less word of mouth claws its way in, and deservedly so.

The Vaccines - Wreckin' Bar (Ra Ra Ra) - MP3

#21: Vultures - The Pass
The list's first official dance track (or easily danceable track) came up a few months ago after the Pass entered their video for "Vultures" into a blogger contest. While the video, with all of its indie blogging references (again, we go unnoticed. Sigh), is pretty enjoyable, the song should truly stand out. It's an infectious dance rock track in a year where the subtle sub genre went largely unnoticed. Oddly enough, when you're listening, it ends up feeling "like the first time," no matter what it was for. The better songs, in the end, usually have that effect.

The Pass - Vultures

Stay tuned, we'll return tomorrow for songs #20 - 16.

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