Best of 2010 Tracks Part 2
Vampire Weekend "Giving up the Gun"
Perhaps no indie rock artist hit it bigger in 2010 than Vampire Weekend, with the exception of maybe Arcade Fire. But when I first listened to Vampire Weekend's 2010 release "Contra" I was quite honestly disappointed by what I heard. Their self titled debut was immediately catchy and infectious, like a modern day beach boys. As the year went on however Contra kept growing on me, and it became apparent that Vampire Weekend had evolved. The songs were great from the first listen, they just weren't initially what I had wanted to hear. The addition of electronic bleeps, drum machines, and dance music style stop and start beats in certain tracks took some getting used to, and were a huge leap from their previous music. But at it's core the songs, especially Giving up the Gun, are still very true to the sound Vampire Weekend has developed. In 2010 they were nominated for a Grammy, annoyed the hell out of us with their song Holiday in the Honda commercials this past Nov/Dec, and even had a video featuring Jake Gyllenhaal (which youtube won't let me link to here for some reason, but worth hunting down).
Rogue Wave "Solitary Gun"
Rogue Wave has been making great music for years and is easily one of the most unappreciated bands out there. They took a huge artistic leap forward on Permalight, and if you give it a chance, it's a very rewarding experience. All around a fantastic record.
Aidan Knight - "Jasper"
Canadian Aidan Knight's first release "Versicolour" is 8 tracks of pure folky goodness. The track "Jasper" is certainly one of the standouts, and is available for free on his website. The whole album can also be purchased on a name your own price basis, which you gotta love. If you like the Weakerthans, Fleet Foxes, or anything modern folk, you'll love Aidan Knight.
She & Him: "I Can Hear Music"
She & Him first came together a few years back after Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward got together on a song for the soundtrack for the movie "The Go Getter". While no one knows what the hell the movie is even about, it really doesn't matter, because it brought Zooey and Matt together. This song was released as a B-Side to their album "Volume 2" this past year, and had to be obtained via the "in the sun" single released in February. I can hear music, originally penned by the beach boys, is a great song, but after hearing the She & Him version, it becomes apparent that it is superior in every single way. This song also gets bonus points for being played at our wedding - (Thanks Ben).
James and Robert Mercer - "Spanish Harlem Incident"
As I get further in to this list I am starting to notice a trend towards cover songs. Like all songs written by Bob Dylan, Spanish Harlem Incident is brilliantly written, and better sung by someone else. This is where James Mercer comes in (Shins, Broken Bells front man). This track was available on the annual "Love Songs" album released on Valentines day of each year at Starbucks and it looks like 2010 was the last year, so be sure to hunt the 2010 version down while you still can.
Have anything that you feel needs to be on the list? Stay tuned for the next 5.