Tuesday, 14 December 2010

My Top 20 Singles of 2010


BoB ft. Hayley Williams - Airplanes

Released: 9th August

Video here

It's a pretty-enough tune and decent rapping from B.O.B, but the Paramore frontwoman makes it her own, and in the process, creates one of the surprise chart hits of 2010.


Bullet For My Valentine - The Last Fight

Released: 19th April

Video here

Aggressive Welsh rockers are fast becoming world-class. Dunno what it is about a killer riff and some insane drumming that just does it for me, but I've certainly been listening to this all year long. The guitar solo is at 2m 45s and the outro is worth sticking around for too (for those that appreciate these things).


Hot Chip - I Feel Better

Released: 19th April

Video here

Steel drums, synthy strings, and a vocal to die for. This song demonstrates why Autotune is not always a bad thing, and why Hot Chip are ALWAYS a very good thing indeed. The video is probably my favourite music video of 2010.


Two Door Cinema Club - I Can Talk

Released: Unknown (several times, I think)

Video here

Amongst a myriad of average indie singles from average British indie bands, 'I Can Talk' is a beacon of hope... sounds like a British version of We Are Scientists. Love the "uh-oh, uh-uh-oh" sampled backing vocal.


Alphabeat - DJ

Released: 31st May

Video here

Underrated track from the Danes, with a marvellous melody which brings to mind the 90s Europop of Snap and Ace of Base.


Marina & The Diamonds - Hollywood

Released: 1st February

Video here

Sassy pop from one of the brightest new artists of the year. However the radio edit skips the best verse, and it has suffered from overkill to some extent. I can also understand why her way of enunciating every. single. word. might be annoying. But I like it. So there.


Kele - Tenderoni

Released: 14th June

Video here

Parts of the Kele Okereke solo album followed the tried-and-tested Bloc Party model, but the lead single was right at the dance end of his band's output, and just seemed to make sense, from the very first listen.


Example - Kickstarts

Released: 14th June

Video here

Another euphoria-inducing clubbing anthem, accompanied by rapping that does just enough to keep this interesting.


Foals - Spanish Sahara

Released: 17th April

Video here

A slow-burner of a song, from a slow-burner of an album which has matured with time and now sounds like a modern classic. Haunting vocals at the beginning from Yannis, which become ever more hopeful as the song progresses.


The XX - Islands

Released: 8th February

Video here

My favourite track off the Mercury-winning album - I love the interplay between the male and female vocals. Definitely wins "Intro of the Year" too.


Katy Perry - California Gurls

Released: 11th May

Video here

Mrs. Russell Brand had a great year, and this slice of bubblegum pop was stuck in my head for months. Incidentally, if you'd played this to me when I was 16 years old, and told me that I would end up loving songs like this, I'd have had you packed off to a lunatic asylum.


Biffy Clyro - Many Of Horror

Released: 18 January

Video here

Blah blah X-Factor blah blah. Fact of the matter is that this is properly great, and their duet of this with Marina (minus her Diamonds) at the NME Awards in February was sensational. The fourth of seven (yes, seven) singles released from 'Only Revolutions'. Biffy keep getting better and better. 'Mon The Biff!


Rihanna - Only Girl (In The World)

Released: 10th September

Video here

Ri-Ri is at the top of her game, but I wasn't expecting her to unleash ANOTHER anthem quite so soon. Will be heard in nightclubs for years to come. Could have easily had 'Rude Boy' and 'What's My Name?' in this Top 20 as well.


Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly (ft. Shy FX) - Collapsing Cities

Released: 9th August

Video here

A surprising collaboration between the indie troubadour and the drum'n'bass legend, but the beats only serve to accentuate Mr. Cape's lovely voice. Another excellent video too.


Tinie Tempah - Pass Out

Released: 28th February

Video here

Needs no introduction (but I'll give one anyway)... ubiquitous chart-topper, massive bassline, and lyrics about both Uncle Fester AND Tinie's aunt's cupboard space. The junglist breakdown at the end scores bonus marks.


Arcade Fire - We Used To Wait

Released: 1st August

Video here

Praise indeed, given how I generally react to Arcade Fire (i.e. not positively), but this just has a really warm and satisfying feel to it.


My Chemical Romance - Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)

Released: 28th September

Video here

Typically bombastic stadium mega-anthem from the emo brigade. As catchy a singalong as any in 2010. "Standing in... V formation" is another lyric of the year, as is "Shut up and let me see your jazz hands".


Nicole Scherzinger - Poison

Released: 25th October

Video here

In this post-Gaga world, it takes something special to get a pop song noticed. Former lead Pussycat finally achieves her potential with this huge floor-filler. It's got RedOne's grubby mitts all over it, and, frankly, it's a banging choon.


Kate Nash - Do Wah Doo

Released: 12th April

Video here

60s-inspired surf pop, but with the Nash-ster's trademark "edgy" lyrics. It made me happy all summer long, and for that, I am grateful. "I think she's a ...."


Crystal Castles - Doe Deer

Released: 17th April

No official video, but you can hear Zane Lowe ruining it here

One minute and thirty-seven seconds of pure mental. Distorted beats, violent shrieking - what's not to like? This was my single of the year from the moment I first heard it. I've seen Crystal Castles play live four times now, twice this year, and whilst Alice Glass is, admittedly, a tiny bit of psychopath, she's also a bewitching live performer. Ethan Kath stands in the shadows, but it's clear that he is the brains behind the operation, and for all Alice's screaming and wailing, this is his song.

Honourable mentions go to:

  • The Futureheads - Heartbeat Song
  • Klaxons - Echoes
  • Mystery Jets - Flash A Hungry Smile
  • Manic Street Preachers - (It's Not War) Just The End of Love
  • Temper Trap - Fader
  • Delphic - Counterpoint
  • Plan B - She Said
  • Diana Vickers - Once
  • Brandon Flowers - Crossfire
  • Muse - Resistance
  • Robyn - Dancing On My Own
  • Yeasayer - O.N.E
  • The Drums - Let's Go Surfing
  • Lady Gaga ft Beyonce - Telephone
  • LCD Soundsystem - Drunk Girls
  • The Wombats - Tokyo (Vampires & Wolves)


2009 winner: Jordin Sparks - Battlefield

2008 winner: Noah & The Whale - Five Years Time

2007 winner: Los Campesinos! - We Throw Parties, You Throw Knives

2006 winner: Justice vs Simian - We Are Your Friends

2005 winner: Ladytron - Destroy Everything You Touch

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