The Year’s Best Songs (2010 Mix)

Every year I create a mix of my favorite songs of the year. My rules are that (1) the songs must have been released Jan. 1 or later of the current year,  (2) only one song per artist, even if the entire album was genius, and (3) the tracks must flow together.  The last rule is more of a guideline — Since it’s a mix, not a Top 10, I don’t order them by most favorite to least favorite, or vice-a-versa.

Below is my mix for 2010, which I call “Psychedelic Grooves.” I’ve tried to include links to audio or video streams where I could find them. Post your own 2010 mixes in the comment section!

  1. The Acorn — Restoration
    The swirling acoustic guitar line hypnotizes in this alluring track by the up and coming Canadian indie folk band.
  2. Old 97’s — Every Night is Friday Night (Without You)
    The Texas alt-country rock band comes out fists swinging in this punchy send off to an ex.
  3. Broken Bells — The High Road
    By far the best song by the collaboration of Shins singer James Mercer and Danger Mouse, this song will have you clapping and singing along in no time. Read my review of the album here.
  4. Crocodiles — Sleep Forever
    Psychedelic rock is back, and it’s got teeth. Read my review of the album here.
  5. Ash — Dionysian Urge
    Thrilling guitar work from the great Tim Wheeler on one of my favorite tracks from Ash’s amazing A-Z series.
  6. Jimmy Eat World — Coffee and Cigarettes
    The Arizona band best known for “The Middle” showed they still matter on this year’s Invented, and this chugging rocker finds them in top form.
  7. Nada Surf — Love and Anger
    This underrated indie group released one of the best cover albums ever by ignoring all the standards and playing hidden gems instead.  This cover of Kate Bush marks the most haunting of the set.
  8. MGMT — Flash Delirium
    This cut from Congratulations is, like the album itself, a bit of a grower. But while it might leave you scratching your head after the first spin, it’s hard to deny this band’s talent for writing compelling music.
  9. Yeasayer — Ambling Alp
    Sure it sounds like the ’80s, but Yeasayer play it with such gusto you can’t not like it. Warning: may get stuck in your head. Read my review of the full album.
  10. Gorillaz — On Melancholy Hill
    Catchy in a depressing way, this one will have you bobbing your head with a frown. But it will be a really wonderful, “I’m having an epiphany” kind of frown. Review of the album here.
  11. Pete Yorn — Precious Stone
    This straightforward rocker shows Yorn at his best. If only all of his self-titled album was this good…
  12. Two Door Cinema Club — Something Good Can Work
    Fans of Bloc Party and Death Cab for Cutie should dig this great young Irish band. How does he sing that fast, anyway? Live show also recommended.
  13. Spoon — Got Nuffin
    Rockin’ and minimalist. Nuff said.
  14. Trashcan Sinatras — I Hung My Harp Upon The Willows
    A haunting ballad from the Scottish veterans. See this band live if you can.
  15. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club — Sweet Feeling
    This melancholy tune is sure to make you stare thoughtfully out the window.
  16. Wavves — King Of The Beach
    Sounds like a surfing outing with Green Day, Blink-182, the Beach Boys and the Violent Femmes. Better than a blister in the sun.

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