Josh Lachkovic

My Favourite Songs of 2010 #10-1

10. Top Girls – Faded Feeling In the year of chillwave and Sleigh Bells, over-compressed and lo-fi should not shock anyone. Faded Feeling leads by that example, that is isn’t until the undistorted vocal swoons in. Haunting melodies echo and lead toward a beautiful solo synth pad that, in turn mesmerises you until the drums build again. Top Girls – Faded Feeling 9. Boy & Bear – Blood to Gold While this cannot be said of the rest of their E.P., Blood to Gold sounds a lot like Mumford & Sons. This is strikingly obvious and yet it still doesn’t detract from the song. Blood to Gold excels where other songs would sound like copycat artists. Plus its got that guitar hook that is fundamentally missing on ‘Sigh No More.’ [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYjwRfyi-no] 8. Katy Perry ft. Snoop Dogg – California Gurls Teenage Dream is undoubtedly Katy Perry’s biggest (and probably best) song of the year, but for me California Gurls was the moment it all turned around. After I Kissed a Girl I dismissed her as the artist of one of those many other 2008 summer singles you’ve now forgotten. The boom, California Gurls with it’s “gin and juice,” boys breaking their necks trying to catch a perv, sun-kissed skin, and of course Snoop Dogg. What the hell more could you want? [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTVJTt-Gfx8] 7. Les Sins – Lina Chazwick Bundick has made a quick name for himself with Les Sins, because his other project is Toro Y Moi. Yet Les Lins leaves Bundick’s gentle lo-fi crafting of chillwave and creates a song that wouldn’t feel out of place sandwiched between Black Legend and Spiller on the 2000’s ‘Now 46’ compilation. 90s disco and turn of the century house beats leave me wishing I’d heard it before summer. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7fU7nC4pbQ] 6. Netsky ft. Bev Lee Harling – Let’s Leave Tomorrow After a very drunken summer’s evening this year, my friend played me this song. I was quite certain, beforehand, that drum ‘n’ bass wouldn’t surprise me anymore. Yet this incredibly chill production (from an otherwise, expectedly fast-paced album) from Netsky really stopped me in my tracks. Forever will be the song of summer’s evenings. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHFr-z4b6PY] 5. Washed Out – #2 I wrote an article this year for Australian web-mag Trespass about the wonders of chillwave. I had one of the fastest-falling love affairs with the genre that I can remember, and it was all propelled by this song. Arpeggiated synth melodies stream up and down in this upbeat masterpiece. A classic for Washed Out and certainly for the genre. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7hPmaoxERU] 4. Jamie Jones – Ruckus This disco-inspired soulful house track was my favourite electronic production of the year. If the first four Balearic minutes of this beat weren’t enough, Jamie Jones lets rip in the last few with an electro riff that leaves you wanting to hear it all again. “I bring the ruckus to the ladies….” [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZ4XV2sZiq8] 3. LCD Soundsystem – All I Want LCD Soundsystem have carried on gathering appreciation from dance fans and music geeks since their debut releases at the start of the decade. ‘This is Happening’ took two years in the making, and the resulting record was worth every second of the wait. For me, the past ten years of LCD Soundsystem grew to this track. All I Want is an incredible and charming homage to David Bowie’s Heroes. It revolves around, and builds with anticipation, a guitar riff in just the same way. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLPeQ9U_f-0] 2. Kanye West ft. Rick Ross – Devil In A New Dress When Devil In a New Dress was Kanye’s Good Friday back in September, I remember thinking this was going to be the standout track on the album. Then Lost in the World leaked, and the ‘Runaway’ film came out. It was at this point I realised how great the album would be. The provisional tracklist looked incredible, and with tracks like Dark Fantasy, and All of the Lights how would Devil In A New Dress compare. There was a Ustream before the album dropped where Kanye and Big Sean promised so much more in the final cut. What could possibly add to my previous favourite for the album’s best track? The answer is of course Rick Ross. The Smokey Robinson sample already cemented this track as one of his best soulful tunes since Slow Jamz. Then Ross snarls in with “Looking at my bitch, I be she give your ass a bomb.” Ross’ flow steals this track, and when he spits “spinning Teddy Pendergrass vinyl as my burns,” its like you’re in a hazy hiphop dream. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8ejqE3ktFU] 1. Cee-Lo Green – Fuck You With all said and done about the Kanye album, it lacks the pop element that my favourite track of the year deserves. Fuck You is one of those products of Internet marketing that results in terms such as “going viral.” The lyric-based video had something like a million views after a week, and why the hell not. The new Godfather of Soul had produced heartbreak that only Al Green or Marvin Gaye seemed capable of. Of course Fuck You is a product of 2010, like I’m Still in Love with You was of 1972. Al Green certainly left out the talk of Ferrari’s, Xbox’s, and Atari, but Cee-Lo captures unending pain like one of the greats. And to say nothing of the fact that “I love you/I still love you” is wrenchingly screamed, quite masterfully, over one of the most feel-good sounding choruses of the year. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAV0XrbEwNc]