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Top 20 Rad Songs of 2009

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The past year has been an interesting one. Musically, there were some pleasant surprises that I really enjoyed as well as some expected releases that delivered the goods. Making a best of list is a hard task for me because I am so indecisive. Considering all the good music that came out this year didn’t make it any easier. Oh well, the list is complete and that all that matters – let’s begin.

#20. Come Around by Tim and Jean (myspace)
Tim and Jean are two relatively unknown youngsters coming straight out of Australia and into your electro-pop loving soul. My initial thoughts on this song were, “What a rip-off of Passion Pit!” While I still feel this song is reminiscent of Passion Pit, Tim and Jean prove to be superior in the fact that they aren’t as annoying. Heavy on the synths, this song is a pleasant treat that will leave you feeling youthful. With neither member breaking the 20 year mark, Tim and Jean prove to be an intriguing hope of potential for 2010.

#19.  My Girls by Animal Collective (Amazon)(iTunes)
I’ve done my share of trying – trying to like this band that is. There is so much hype surrounding Animal Collective and I still don’t really get it. “My Girls” definitely does it for me but this is the first and only song that I truly like by Animal Collective. The first time I heard this song was in a skate video – Alien Workshop’s Mind Field – and from that point on I couldn’t stop listening to this song. It’s catchy, simple and is sure to get that head bobbin’. I am jealous of any man in the world that has a wife and a daughter(s) because this song would be oh so appropriate to sing along with.

#18. Empire State of Mind by Jay-Z featuring Alicia Keys (Amazon)(iTunes)
I feel like people either love or hate this song; I love it. Above all, I am jealous that my city doesn’t to have a bad ass anthem like this. While I’m not a huge rap fan, when proper rhymes and rhythms are produced, it is hard not to like a well written song such a this. Hova’s rhymes, Alicia’s melodies, and beats to leave you reeling. Who hasn’t heard this song?

#17. Day Glo by Brazos (Amazon)(iTunes)
This song would go perfectly with some Super-8 home videos of kids and adults alike, gallivanting around a suburban home with candid smiles of laughter working their way into your heart, inspiring you to appreciate all of those close to you. There is something so magical about this song that I can’t quite put it into words. Ya. It’s magical.

#16. Cult Logic by Miike Snow (Amazon)(iTunes)
Miike Snow put out an amazing self titled debut album this year. A well produced record start to finish, this was the first track I heard by the band and by far my favorite. It really highlights the dense layers of the production from the electronic blips and tweaked out organ sounds. I am usually not as concerned with the lyrics as I am the melody, but the lyrics to this song are very entertaining take on the battle with the self. I love Miike Snow and this is the track that really made me fall in love.

#15. Let’s Go Surfing by The Drums (Amazon)(iTunes)
I don’t know is more appealing, the name of this song or the band that sings it. Probably the song name because it elicits so many images of beach parties and bikinis; fun included. That’s what’s so great about this song is the it successfully exceeds your expectations of reading a song by it’s cover. There is so much wrapped up in this song it is hard to contain yourself while listening. I mean, they sing “down down baby, down by the rollercoaster” in the song for Christ’s sake. Loosen up, have a listen, and dream about partying at the beach with all your best buds.

#14. Happiest Time by Little Big Adventure (Amazon)(iTunes)
Break up songs are almost always good. “Happiest Time” is a look into a old relationship that came to painful and bitter end. “My stomach hurts and my head hurts” are words that echo through the song as  feelings of abandonment emanate from the unhappy croon of the singer as he recalls his lost relationship. As he awakens in his own mistakes, it is hard not to get enveloped in the raw emotion of this simple song.

#13. A Community Service Announcement by Jonathan Boulet (iTunes)
This song make me so happy.  There is something so optimistic about the opening notes of this song that this is one of my favorite songs to listen to when I’m feeling down about anything. The lyrics are minimalistic and pure. This is one upbeat anthem that you’ll be singing along to in no time.

#12. Shadows by Au Revoir Simone (Amazon)(iTunes)
I know I’m a bit behind, but I just learned of Au Revoir Simone this year. “Shadows” was the first song I heard from them there was something about the organs that I couldn’t stop listening. I felt the song and almost knew exactly what it would be about before any words were muttered on the track. Au Revoir Simone write and sing lullabies for adults – wonderful wonderful adult lullabies.

#11. Mirror Ball by Crayon Fields (Amazon)(iTunes)
This song transports the listener to another dimension similar in feel to the movie Virgin Suicides. Hazy and warm, this song will take you to an open field with nothing but clear skies and cool breezes with a splash of romance. The vintage love these guys are dishing is very very delicious.

#10. Mystery by Lake Heartbeat (Amazon)(iTunes)
I love the tempo of this song. The chorus really hooks you. Where these guys came from is a mystery to me but their debut album from which this song came from, is one heck of a debut. There were more songs by Lake Heartbeat on my potential top songs list, this is favorite.

#9. Change of Heart by El Perro Del Mar (Amazon)(iTunes)
Another sultry lady who I just got acquainted with this year was one Sarah Assbring under the name El Perro Del Mar. She minded me a lot of Lykke Li but with more soul and heart; then I found out they’re both Swedish. I laughed. This song is mellow and easy to listen to at almost any point of the day. It’s somber tones are relaxing. And I love they way strong presence of the drums all throughout.

#8. Trepanation Party by Voxtrot (website)
Speaking of drums, this song is too carried by wonderful drum work. I love the layers of this song, each one being peeled or put back in such a sequence to make a carefully crafted song. I highly suggest you look up what “trepanation” means if you don’t know what it means. I had to and I still don’t quite get this song, but I do really like it.

#7. Chinese by Lily Allen (Amazon)(iTunes)
I was very eager to listen to Lily Allen’s sophomore album when I came out earlier this year. I must admit I have quite a crush on Lily and her music. That being said, this was my favorite of all the tracks from It’s Not Me, It’s You although there were plenty of other gems in there.

#6. Heartbreaker byMSTRKRFT featuring John Legend (Amazon)(iTunes)
Lot’s of people seemed really disappointed by MSTRKRFT’s Fist of God and I couldn’t help but be initially swayed by the critics. After listening to it a lot I realized it has it’s ups and down, but as a whole it compares to “The Looks.” I love the departure from the go-to MSTRKRFT sound in “Heartbreaker” and John Legend adds some needed class to the 4/4 piano-driven tune. When the video came out for this song I really fell for it all over again.

#5. Keep The Lights On by Wave Machines (Amazon)(iTunes)
I don’t know how to classify this song. All I can thing of is a whole lot of swagger. The contrast in the singer’s voice gives the song a duality that works perfectly. This little indie jam is quite a treasure.

#4. Flashback by Calvin Harris (Amazon)(iTunes)
Calvin Harris’ songs are either hit or miss for me – actually they’re mostly misses. I don’t recall liking anything off his debut, but “Flashback” and “I’m Not Alone” were pleasant surprises for me of his latest Ready For The Weekend. The two were close in contention but “Flashback” offers more and it has a way better video. I am totally swayed by visual stimulation.

#3. Feel It All Around by Washed Out (Amazon)(iTunes)
Another song with an amazing video, “Feel It All Around” has to be the feel good anthem of the year. There were so many people jocking Washed Out it was crazy. But it was legitimate hype. You can’t help but slip into a daydream when listening to this song. This is the ultimate chill song.

#2. Happy Up Here by Royksopp (Amazon)(iTunes)
Royksopp always seem to impress with their fancy tunes and “Happy Up Here” is no exception. The energy of this song is unstoppable and bound to get anybody going.

#1. 11th Dimension by Julian Casablancas (Amazon)(iTunes)
This song is by far the musical highlight of the year and the video was just released a few days ago. The Strokes drought has come to a slight end with the work of frontman Julian Casablancas and this has got to be the most exciting thing off his solo album Phrazes for the Young. I remember being humored by somebody calling his lyrics cheesy, which made me think of how cheesy a lot of good music is. Anyway, “11th Dimension” is quite a interesting song with influences coming in all over the place. You’ll want to dance a little and you’ll want to sing along. This is by far the best song of 2009.

Happy New Year.
Be Rad. Enjoy

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Written by theberad

January 2, 2010 at 4:36 am

Posted in Rad Music

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