It’s finals week, so I probably won’t get the next installment of this up until Friday. Gotta get A’s or else.
If you missed 50-41 on Monday (I don’t blame you), then here’s a link so you can catch up before you read below.
40. Pulled Apart By Horses “Some Mothers”
A brutalizing, two-minute post-hardcore jam should not be this melodic, and should not get lodged in your head all day. But it does. Each and every time.
39. Niki & the Dove “Mother Protect”
I initially avoided this duo because of the massive hype – and also because one of the guys doing PR for them is a massive, self-centered douche. But in a way, I suppose I lost out. The band’s debut one is one of the more enjoyable listens of the year, pulling in elements of electronica that would make Bjork proud. “Mother Protect” is the album’s most inventive moment.
38. The Kabeedies “Eyes”
“Eyes,” the lead single off of the band’s second album,” saw a shift in sound, away from saccharine pop to an expansiveness that sees more focus on rhythm. Surprisingly it works, and the new music has had a much longer shelf life.
37. Let’s Buy Happiness “Works Better on Paper”
My love for this band has nothing to do with the fact that I’d like to go on a kissing date with their lead singer. Brilliant indie pop.
36. Cheers Elephant “Doin’ It, Right”
Good music with a ’60s rock feel, “Doin’ It, Right” recalls some of the best moments of the Kinks. Best thing of all? They’re from Philly.
35. The Spills “Atomic Arabian Facebuster”
The Spills were relatively quiet this year, but of the songs they released, this is my clear favorite. It emits hyperactive energy through every note, making it the musical equivalent of Coke and Pop Rocks.
34. I Concur “Your Chair”
When a band releases their finest moment as their latest single, you hate to hear that it’s also their swan song. Their knack for storytelling over fuzz-drenched indie noise is going to be missed, as “Your Chair” continues their trend of brilliant lyricism backed by memorable instrumentation.
33. The Megaphonic Thrift “Fire Walk With Everyone”
At times this Norwegian group sounds like Guided By Voices raised exclusively on a diet of T. Rex and Ride – and that’s nowhere more apparent than on this track.
32. Egyptian Hip Hop “Yoro Diallo”
After this London group’s string of brilliant singles a few years back, I was sure that their debut album was going to be life-changing. When it finally came out this year, I can’t say it was the tour de force I was expecting, but the more time I devote to it, the more I really start to understand it. And “Yoro Diallo” was the first track to grab me. It’s a lo-fi electronic masterpiece that rewards those who are willing to devote the time to really break it down.
31. Alt-J “Tessellate”
Alt-J probably never meant to be a pop band, and this tune for sure was never meant to be a pop song. But alas, “Tessellate” is pop music for 2012, a song that pushes all of the right buttons and at times can be quite uncomfortable to listen to while home alone.
The more I listen to this new Cheers Elephant album, the more I feel like a real asshole. Not listening to a band just because you think their name is dumb is a real jerk move, especially when your friends are raving about the group. But with added context of knowing the name came from a circus elephant in Coney Island who apparently only drank beer makes me appreciate it a bit more.
And now, here I sit, listening to their new album Like Wind Blows Fire and enjoying every moment. To put them in the proper light, if Wes Anderson were filming Rushmore in Philly and assembling the soundtrack in 2012, these guys would be all over it. There’s a little bit of the Kinks, some Lennon, and and even a touch of the Faces.