Belated Best of ’10: the whole shebang

The Best Songs You (Maybe) Didn't Hear 2010Here it is, kids: my full The Best Songs You (Maybe) Didn’t Hear 2010 playlist. Just over 80 minutes from beginning to end, all linked to videos or streaming audio sources. Thanks for playing along all these weeks. Next up: less looking back, more looking forward!

  1. Phantogram, “Mouthful of Diamonds”
  2. The Love Language, “Brittany’s Back”
  3. V.V. Brown, “Shark in the Water”
  4. Yeasayer, “Ambling Alp”
  5. Stars, “Wasted Daylight”
  6. Broken Bells, “The Ghost Inside”
  7. Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, “Tiny Light”
  8. Massive Attack feat. Hope Sandoval, “Paradise Circus”
  9. The Sirens of Venice, “Do You Believe”
  10. Cherry Ghost, “A Month Of Mornings”
  11. Tricky, “Hakim”
  12. Grinderman, “Palaces Of Montezuma”
  13. Manic Street Preachers, “A Billion Balconies Facing The Sun”
  14. Mark Ronson & The Business International feat. Simon Le Bon, “Record Collection”
  15. John Legend & The Roots, “Our Generation (The Hope Of The World)”
  16. Fitz And The Tantrums, “Dear Mr. President”
  17. Andy Clockwise, “Love And War”
  18. Fyfe Dangerfield, “When You Walk In The Room”
  19. The High Wire, “Odds & Evens”
  20. Gil Scott-Heron, “Me And The Devil”
  21. Alabama 3 feat. Shane MacGowan, “Fix It”
  22. The Magic Theatre, “Silent Snow”

Belated Best of ’10: The Magic Theatre

I never got around to sharing my Best Songs You (Maybe) Didn’t Hear list for 2010 with the internets in general in December, so I’ve decided to mine it for fresh post material in ’11. I’m posting the songs in the order in which they would have appeared in the final playlist, so if you play along at home, you’ll have heard a tidy 80-ish minutes of great music when all is said and done. This final (yes! really!) entry comes from Londoners The Magic Theatre.

The Magic Theatre, London TownI stumbled upon The Magic Theatre’s debut album London Town very early in ’10, but their brand of lush, 60’s-style orchestral pop kept it in heavy rotation all year long. The whole album is solid, and it also works as a quasi-concept album, telling a time-travelling love story that connects a boy from 1888 with a girl in 1968. The narrative doesn’t always work, but the songs always do, and from my first listen I knew one of the tunes would end up on my list. I ended up picking “Silent Snow” to close my playlist because it sums up the sound of the album so well (stately 60’s cool, orchestral swells, boy/girl vocal interplay, swooning melody), and simply sounds like a musical climax as it builds — check out the video below:

Like what you hear? Head to The Magic Theatre’s website to watch videos for every song on the album, and then visit Amazon MP3 to download a copy of London Town.

Belated Best of ’10: Alabama 3

I never got around to sharing my Best Songs You (Maybe) Didn’t Hear list for 2010 with the internets in general in December, so I’ve decided to mine it for fresh post material in ’11. I’m posting the songs in the order in which they would have appeared in the final playlist, so if you play along at home, you’ll have heard a tidy 80-ish minutes of great music when all is said and done. Today’s entry comes from Alabama 3, who are not from Alabama and whose roster includes definitely more than 3 members; Discuss.

Alabama 3, Revolver SoulThat’s right, the band from The Sopranos. Their impossibly unique blend of gospel, soul, country, rock, and acid house continues to surprise 14 years after penning that show’s classic theme song, and 2010’s Revolver Soul is no exception. There are moments of soaring gospel beauty (“She Blessed Me”), dark politics (“Vietnamistan”), and even a dash of Undercover-era Stones (the title track), but the song that made a bee-line for my best-of list was “Fix It,” which features a delightfully mumbled contribution from Shane MacGowan:

Like what you hear? Give Alabama 3’s album Revolver Soul a try over at iTunes.

Belated Best of ’10: Gil Scott-Heron

I never got around to sharing my Best Songs You (Maybe) Didn’t Hear list for 2010 with the internets in general in December, so I’ve decided to mine it for fresh post material in ’11. I’m posting the songs in the order in which they would have appeared in the final playlist, so if you play along at home, you’ll have heard a tidy 80-ish minutes of great music when all is said and done. Today’s tune was sixteen years in the making by Gil Scott-Heron.

Gil Scott-Heron, I'm New HereI must admit that I’d never heard of Gil Scott-Heron before discovering his 2010 gritty electronic blues album I’m New Here, but what a discovery: it’s a striking mixture of urban beat poetry, ominous electronica, and soulful folk, all solidified by Scott-Heron’s deep, expressive voice. Diverse, moving stuff. The album’s been subsequently remixed by Jamie xx of the horribly over-hyped xx, but the reworked tracks don’t hold a candle to the originals. Here’s my favorite song from the album, “Me And The Devil”:

Like what you hear? Head to Amazon MP3 and download I’m New Here.

Belated Best of ’10: The High Wire

I never got around to sharing my Best Songs You (Maybe) Didn’t Hear list for 2010 with the internets in general in December, so I’ve decided to mine it for fresh post material in ’11. I’m posting the songs in the order in which they would have appeared in the final playlist, so if you play along at home, you’ll have heard a tidy 80-ish minutes of great music when all is said and done. Today’s selection is from Londoners The High Wire.

The High Wire, Odds & EvensThe High Wire’s brand of dreamy shoegaze pop makes for a hell of a great single, but they sadly run out of gas over the course of their proper debut album The Sleep Tape. When combing over the 2010 additions to my iTunes library, I kept coming back to this song, but every time I gave the full album another chance, I’d quickly get bored & move on to something else. “Odds & Evens,” tho, is a dreamy slice of fuzzy pop-rock, and is definitely worth your attention:

If you like what you hear, check out The Sleep Tape at iTunes — you may find it more appealing than I did.

Belated Best of ’10: Fyfe Dangerfield

I never got around to sharing my Best Songs You (Maybe) Didn’t Hear list for 2010 with the internets in general in December, so I’ve decided to mine it for fresh post material in ’11. I’m posting the songs in the order in which they would have appeared in the final playlist, so if you play along at home, you’ll have heard a tidy 80-ish minutes of great music when all is said and done. Today’s tune is from the solo debut from Guillemots frontman Fyfe Dangerfield.

Fyfe Dangerfield, Fly Yellow MoonI can’t fully recommend Fyfe Dangerfield’s debut album Fly Yellow Moon: for the most part, it’s a batch of run-of-the-mill Chris-Martin-maudlin romantic pop tunes. “When You Walk in the Room,” however, stands out from the pack and instantly made the cut for my best-of list thanks to its bouncy pop melody; Dangerfield’s raw, energetic vocal; and the chiptune-inflected beats and guitars. Great, great stuff — it’s a shame the rest of the album sounds so dull in comparison:

Like what you hear? Head to Amazon MP3 and download “When You Walk in the Room” as a single.

Belated Best of ’10: Andy Clockwise

I never got around to sharing my Best Songs You (Maybe) Didn’t Hear list for 2010 with the internets in general in December, so I’ve decided to mine it for fresh post material in ’11. I’m posting the songs in the order in which they would have appeared in the final playlist, so if you play along at home, you’ll have heard a tidy 80-ish minutes of great music when all is said and done. Today’s contribution is from Andy Clockwise, a one-man-band from down under.

Andy Clockwise, The SocialiteAndy Clockwise first got on my radar thanks to buzz from his performances at the 2010 SXSW festival: the reviews were interesting, so I made my way to his (unfortunately now very buggy, flash-laden) website & downloaded a couple of EPs for free. I was initially drawn to the Are You Well? EP by a really interesting cover of Björk’s “Hyperballad,” but what sold me on Clockwise was the impeccably catchy pop/rock of his originals, especially, “Love and War,” which would end up on his full-length follow-up The Socialite, that unfortunately remains unreleased in the U.S. Head to MySpace to listen to the studio version of the song, and check out a great live performance of it below:

Like what you hear? Head to Amazon MP3 and download the Are You Well? EP.