20 in 07: Songs

Part two in the “20 in 07” series. Here are the songs that I most enjoyed this year.

20 MP3: Loney Dear – I Am John
I almost forgot that this tune came out in America in 2007. Something about the song’s fast tempo makes me think of that kid’s movie the Brave Little Toaster. I guess I just picture the meek Emil triumphing over huge odds (like the toaster).

19 MP3: Panda Bear – Comfy in Nautica
There’s so much good advice and relaxation waiting for you in this song.

18 MP3: Bishop Allen – Rain
I was at first not very thrilled with how the studio version of “Rain” turned out, but I’ve warmed up to it tons. I think it’s one of the best songs Bishop Allen have ever written and it never fails to put me in a good mood.

17 MP3: Junior Senior – Can I Get Get Get
Let’s be honest: this is a silly, silly song. So why’s it on my list? Well quite simply it’s a ton of fun wrapped in a good beat. Plus I love that guitar.

16 MP3: BOAT – (I’m a) Donkey For Your Love
The dark horse candidate! Holy snot is this a great pop tune or what? “Donkey for Your Love” is endearing, sweet and bound to get stuck in your head.

15 MP3: Jens Lekman – Postcard to Nina
I first heard this song at the Pitchfork music festival and fell in LOVE. I hear there’s a version out there with his talking between verses, but this is the only one I’ve got. It’s so heartwarming and cute that you can’t help but fall in love with Jens and his lesbian penpal. I predict a watered-down romantic comedy to be spawned from this song soon.

14 MP3: Tullycraft – If You Take Away the Makeup (Then the Vampires They Will Die)
Here’s another one that I waited forever for. Matt Skatterbrain introduced me to a youtube video of Tullycraft playing their next great song (this one) and I was hooked. It’s not the best song on their new album, but it’s so awesome that I had to pick it.

13 MP3: Justice – D.A.N.C.E.
Ubiquity, ubiquity. I probably heard this too many times in 2007, but I can’t knock it off the list just for over-familiarity.

12 MP3: Deerhoof – +81
I connect Deerhoof’s Friend Opportunity with the cold weather we had last year when it leaked. I connect “+81” to walking through the freezing cold to get to my morning classes. It’s a curious thing to identify with such a great song, but no one decides what they associate with what.

11 MP3: Apples in Stereo – Energy
One of the brightest, happiest songs the Apples have ever recorded. Robert Schneider helps us marvel at the world like we’re little kids again: “The word is possibility.”

10 MP3: Radiohead – House of Cards
I was sure I’d pick “15 Step” or “All I Need” for this one, but I just keep coming back to “House of Cards.” It just feels… honest.

09 MP3: Spoon – the Underdog
I had a rough time picking between Spoon songs, so I disqualified “Don’t You Evah” on the basis that it’s actually a cover. “The Underdog” still has tremendous punch, though. I usually prefer Spoon at their stripped-down and loneliest (Kill the Moonlight please), but this is just a fantastic song from the writing to the production.

08 MP3: Grizzly Bear – Blackcurrant Jam
God, what’s not to love about this song? Grizzly Bear were handed a sheet of lyrics as part of the Worried Noodles project and they banged out one of the best songs they’ve ever done.

07 MP3: Vampire Weekend – Bryn
That opening guitar lick is just so… much…. fun.

06 MP3: Menomena – Evil Bee
For the first half of the year I had “Muscle n Flo” on this list. It was only a few months ago that I realized the real gem on Friend and Foe is “Evil Bee.” “Oh to be a machine / Oh to be wanted, to be useful.”

05 MP3: Arcade Fire – Keep the Car Running
If I had to pick a song from this year that would have the most mass appeal while still being a great song, I’d probably go with this one.

04 MP3: Of Montreal – Suffer for Fashion
Someone snuck me a demo for this song midway through 2006 and I didn’t really know what to make of it. It sounded unlike anything the band had done before. Little did I know that that sound was the band making one hell of a record.

03 MP3: Polyphonic Spree – Running Away
Man, what a liberating song. This was my sunny day travel music for all of 2007. There’s a lot of urgency and passion in here that makes it great for plane takeoffs and driving long stretches of country road.

02 MP3: Busdriver – Casting Agents and Cowgirls
When I posted this on here I had people mentioning the song to me for weeks around Lexington. It’s just that good. The lyrics are great, though it might take you forever to catch them, the instrumentals rock and it’s got a fun chorus.

01 MP3: LCD Soundsystem – North American Scum
01 MP3: LCD Soundsystem – New York I Love You, But You’re Bringing Me Down
It’s hard to believe that the two songs that tie for first place came from the same album. “North American Scum” is very simple and explosive while “New York…” is a beautiful tale of disillusionment. Both are just fantastic songs.

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