Nuclear Seasons: Charli xcx
I haven't ranked these songs, but "Nuclear Seasons" is pretty far up there for me this year. British electro-pop sensation Charli xcx nails this one with a dark late 80s sound reminiscent of the days when good, strange music could only be found through someone who knew someone who was on college radio.
CharliXCX - Nuclear Seasons by charlixcx
Hey Sparrow: Peaking Lights
Slow and wispy, this is a little like "Heart & Soul" played on a kalimba--there's a nice plinky, repetitive thing going on. Breathy background music.
Hey Sparrow by Peaking Lights
Better Off Without You: Summer Camp
This song makes me laugh. It has the boppy throwback sound that seems to be going around (like the Dum dum girls). Also it's a breakup celebration song. I'm so happy you're gone! Stop calling! Tee hee.
Summer Camp - Better Off Without You by Webzine Obstacle
Thankless Thing: Wild Beasts
This is mostly on my list because I love Wild Beasts and their forays into the falsetto-sphere. This song is quite mellow for my taste, but also gorgeous and pretty irresistible. Find them on Facebook!
Wild Beasts - Thankless Thing by DominoRecordCo
Yellow Missing Signs: Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin
I posted about this on Facebook and it was pointed out to me that it seems to be about justice for serial murder victims. Which is not a bad thing, but I'd only been listening to the music, some excellent raw synth pop straight out of 1985.
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin - Yellow Missing Signs by Polyvinyl Records
100 Other Lovers: DeVotchKa
DeVotchKa have a lovely happy gypsy-ish sound. Apparently they came to fame on the Little Miss Sunshine soundtrack. This song is quietly propulsive.
DeVotchKa - 100 Other Lovers by antirecords
Beat and the Pulse: Austra
Toronto's Katie Stelmanis seems just amazing. Super-talented, the unplugged piano sessions released in the fall prove she can make awesome electro-pop without even needing the electro. This song is another big 2011 favorite.
Austra - Beat And The Pulse by bluepumpkin aka antennica
Bunhill Fields: Amor de Dias
Bunhill Fields is a London cemetery for dissenters apparently. The song seems appropriately pensive and atmospheric, with the occasional sweeping cello and piano statement. It's lovely pop.
Amor De Días - "Bunhill Fields" by OctopusWindmill
Don't Stop: The Dodos
These two guys worked with Neko Case on their album, though this song is just them. And it's great! They have some interesting percussion things going on... drumsticks? Don't Stop has a lot of layers and noise and energy, appropriate for the name.
The Dodos 'Don't Stop' by Wichita Recordings
Let's Go: Mike & Cody
Every best-songs list has to have a big club banger, right? This song makes me want to jump up and down and drink gin & tonics made fluorescent by the club black lights. Let's Go!!
Let's Go! by mikeandcody