It's the last day of 2010 and I'm in a Melbourne internet cafe sucking a bottle of orange juice with the nipple unscrewed. Over my shoulder a lady is reading academic literature and next to her is a guy watching porn.
Unusual situations will be remembered. So will great songs. Here are a few.
Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - Fright Night (removed by request)
I'm a big fan of new wave and glo-fi, so Ariel Pink wasn't hard to like. The under-produced yet smooth textures give this track a timeless veneer. Music critics have celebrated this band's work and Pitchfork selected 'Round and Round' as its top track of the year.
Beach House - Walk in the Park (removed by request)
I've had a love affair with Beach House for more than two years. I can't sleep without listening to 45 minutes of this band's music each night. I've churned through earphones on it. If you read stuff you've probably heard that their third album Teen Dream is probably the best album of the year. Lauded. The Baltimore duo has signed to Sub Pop, has toured all year and is coming to Sydney next month. See you there.
Best Coast - Bratty B (removed by request)
Reading about Best Coast way too much (fuck you Hipster Runoff) before getting into the music was a bad idea. I'm glad I switched my game and swung into the dripping '60s summer imagery Crazy for You is filled with. However, this mightn't be for everyone. The intentionally cheesy lyrics could get on your nerves. But if you're sipping Corona on a warm balcony, put this album on and whip out the lotion.
Crystal Castles - Doe Deer (removed by request)
Crystal Castles' second self-titled album is nothing short of great. It's most abrasive track 'Doe Deer' sounds like a pop song with cancer, and that's being gentle. Gone is the blippy 8-bit angst of their earlier work - this is a kick in the teeth and it gets my jaw grinding every time I play it. I hope yours do too.
Here We Go Magic - Land of Feeling (removed by request)
Here We Go Magic does hazy psychedelic sounds that are fresh every time I put them on. If you haven't heard Pigeons yet, I recommend you do. Steve put me onto them earlier this year and now I'm stuck trying to better him. I know; I probably won't.
For all his failings, Kanye West knows how to arrange beats and melodies. 'Monster' is one of the least artistic tracks on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, however, it has some of the most aurally intense moments of the whole album. It begins to wear after 50 plays; but even still, this is a slayer of a song and you should play it at least 50 times.
Neon Canyon - Bikepath (removed by request)
'Bikepath' is like a song within a dream located in a forest. This forest is buried deep in a canyon where all that matters is how sunny it is and how fast you can meet your friends for a dip in the river. This is easily one of the best songs on Bricoleur - one of the best EPs I've heard this year.
Pikelet - Red Pleather (removed by request)
On her sophomore album Stem, Pikelet has upped the ante with more melody, harmony and just about everything else. She's maturing as an artist, and quite quickly. Check out this interview I did with her a while back to find out more from one of Melbourne's best indie artists.
PVT - Crimson Swan (removed by request)
PVT's Church With No Magic shows a departure from the old Pivot. Gone is the purely instrumental music they made, although the tough experimental rock remains. Now the band includes vocals in every track and DAMN it's good.
Toro Y Moi - Imprint After (removed by request)
All the blog buzz aside, Toro Y Moi has grown on me like a mole this year. I liked his lo-fi pop aesthetic, with R&B overtones, straight away. More than any song on Causers of This, 'Imprint After' makes me nostalgic for the early 90s, Nike Air Max, Michael Jordan dunks and an active pre-web lifestyle. If you're a Gen-Yer you would probably feel the same way.
Grab all these songs right here (removed by request).
Happy New Year. See you all in 2011!