Top 10 Tracks of 2010

I said the lists were coming…. here’s the first.

This is slightly amended from the version on the Tonic website because of “The Rules” which don’t permit unreleased material (fair enough!). These here don’t allow anything released before 1 Jan 2010, but demos and tracks without an official release are fine. I’ve also tried to put them in order.

10. Villagers – Pieces

From the Mercury Award-nominated 2010 album “Becoming a Jackal”, this song is on here mainly because of the 50s-style piano chords. I actually heard it for the first time during our SXSW challenge but it didn’t stick until later. Happens sometimes.

9. Kanye West – “The Joy” (Feat. Pete Rock, Jay-Z, Charlie Wilson, Curtis Mayfield, Kid Cudi)

I laughed out loud when I heard “Runaway” and its “Toast for the Scumbags” and I think that’s partly why I love this track so much – it had the complete opposite effect on me. Combining soul legend with modern day icons.

8. The Migrant – In The Sun

Quite literally the last song that blew my mind, I was so disappointed when he didn’t play it at the Dublin Castle gig. There’s something about his voice, and the guitar…and what sounds like a fiddle… that seems to resonate at my own personal frequency. Whatever that means.

7. Drake – Fancy (ft. TI & Swizz Beatz)

Drake needed a mention and this is my favourite track on the album… largely because he doesn’t sing. The track reeks (in a good way) of Jay-Z and for some reason I think the video should involve floral-print, flared jumpsuits and big shades. But maybe that’s just me.

6. Lucy Rose – Don’t You Worry

This is my favourite “support better than the main event” moment to date – Lucy Rose supporting Pete & the Pirates at the Lexington (no offence to P&tP). She’s had support slots for Bombay Bicycle Club this year and I’m really hoping for big things from her in 2011. Beautiful live.

5. Patrick Watson – Sit Down Beside Me

Released only in the US & Canada I believe this is going to be on Patrick Watson’s forthcoming album – which I have no doubt will be every bit as beautiful as this song. I only just realised how similar the rhythm is to “In the Sun”…no wonder they both feature!

4. Tobacco – Fresh Hex (ft. Beck)

Nothing new from the man himself in a long while, Beck seems to have been working with Tobacco a fair bit. It’s only about 1min 30s long but I listen to it on repeat and loud. It’s going to be fairly hard to rank the last few, but this one’s going here.

3. James Blake – I Never Learnt To Share

Unreleased, possibly as it’s due to feature on his full-length out next year, the vocal on this track is why it made my list rather than Limit To Your Love, which was released. Live show in January is already sold out.

2. Jai Paul – BTSTU

Last-minute switch this was almost number 1 but I changed my mind just now…there’s still no further info on so all I know is he’s from Rayners Lane, he’s a Chelsea fan, and this is an immense track. I keep meaning to do a mix with this on but haven’t yet. Maybe next year…

and at number 1:

1. Breton – Sharing Notes

Breton - Sharing Notes

I want big things for this band. If their heaving December gig at the Old Blue last is anything to go by, they will come. Sweeping strings and electronic blips with a slightly creepy vocal…you’ll understand when you hear it – this is my track of 2010. More please.

Sorry for the mish-mash of links, I couldn’t find all the songs in any one place.

For the official, rule-abiding list, and run downs from the rest of the tonic folks, see the blog, HERE.

Also features top albums, and top gigs.

The Migrant – In The Sun

The Migrant - Travels in Lowland (2010)

I seem to always have a “play on repeat” song. Earlier this year it was “Sunlight” by tUnE-yArDs, then “Good Arms vs. Bad Arms” by Frightened Rabbit, then “BTSTU” by Jai Paul, and now… it’s this:

The Migrant – In The Sun

Undeniably Beirut in style, and even vocally Bjarke Bendtsen’s tone conveys an honest vulnerability that can’t help but draw comparisons. The sweeping waves of the melody, mimicking the movement of the ocean and the subtle strumming of the ukulele bring a purity to the sound I haven’t felt since I first heard Postcards from Italy, the Beirut version.

He’s from Denmark but is currently in the US and seems to be unsigned (which I cannot believe), according to his MySpace. The album, Travels in Lowland, looks to have been self-released this week and I’ve just ordered myself a copy.

He’s going to be over here at The Dublin Castle on 16 November which I’m definitely going to be going to if I can figure out how to get tickets – it seems to be a flyered show right now but maybe they’ll be selling some closer to the time.