15. portishead – machine gun (mp3)
is this the best song on third? probably not – in fact i really can’t decide if there is a best song considering how exquisite the whole record sounds. but in terms of musical significance, the aggressively repetitive bursts of said weapon probably best ushers in the portishead we know so well sounding so much better, as if we ever doubted them even after that decade long wait. it was well worth it, i’d say.
14. lykke li – dance dance dance (mp3)
most of my friends hate her voice and hate how she really can’t sing. but that’s the point, really. every time she goes flat singing “hips”, i genuinely feel the music world getting just that little bit more democratized. it wasn’t too long ago that lykke li was just like us, attending gigs and dancing awkwardly to them. now she’s on the other side, but at least she’s still shy, shy, shy, and still not the best dancer around.
13. vampire weekend – walcott (mp3)
walcott was the main character in lead singer ezra koenig’s film titled vampire weekend – a boy tasked to get out of cape cod to bring the warning of an impending vampire attack. does that make more sense now? anyway, it’s such a simple song, relying on such a simple formula of frenzied piano and strings, executed to perfection, no less. do check out the live versions too.
12. vivian girls – where do you run to (mp3)
taken off the debut self-titled album that reportedly sold out in just over a week, “where do you run to” must be the heartbeat of the record, with the most generous streams of sunshine peeking through the haziest fog in your dad’s old garage. the charming harmonies here would never have worked in any other situation without the relentless pounding beat and all its stubbornly fuzzy edges.
11. antony and the johnsons – another world (mp3)
there’s an escapist in all of us, with traces of idealism we never admit to having, and bits of nostalgia we only sometimes dare indulging. the intoxicating voice of antony hegarty romanticizes everything to remind us there’s no shame in all that, and with the astounding beauty of his delivery exposes only the ugliness of the world we worship much too freely.