MoreThanAFeeling Music Blog’s Top 20 Songs of 2010

Was Tighten Up the song of the year?

Well, it’s that time of the year again.  Children are up before dawn.  Even adults are so excited they can’t sleep.  The shopping malls are a-bustlin’ with giddy shoppers.

Yes, it’s time for Top 10 and 20 lists.

Welcome to MoreThanAFeeling Music Blog’s first annual “Best of ” series.  I’m very excited about today’s post: the Best of 2010 – Top 20 Songs, as chosen by yours truly.  Now, a few things to keep in mind when reading:

  • I haven’t heard every song put out in 2010 and I don’t claim to know every artist, especially those in genres that I don’t listen to very often.
  • This list is composed of songs that have both been quite popular in 2010, as well as many that I feel deserve much more recognition than they received (hidden gems, if you will).
  • Also, if the album did not come out in 2010, the songs from that album won’t be on this list, even if “released” as a single in 2010; the album had to be officially released in 2010.

Ok, are we ready?  Here goes: (as always, click on the song titles for a link to the youtube video or myspace link)

20.  American Slang – Gaslight AnthemThese boys from Jersey rock like a collision of Bruce Springsteen and The Sex Pistols, and do it quite nicely with their title track to their latest album.  These great guitar tones and pulsing drum beat will have you tapping your foot in no time.

19. As A Ghost – Horsefeathers — There’s something about lead singer Justin Ringle’s voice that seems fragile, yet hauntingly powerful.  It got to me the very first time I heard it and I can’t get enough.  This is true indie folk, complete with acoustic guitar, soft piano, some strings and no percussion.

18. Forced To Love – Broken Social Scene — The dissonance in the opening riff caught my ear upon first listen, and I didn’t like it.  Then I heard it again, and recognized the contrast between the the opening riff and pleasing sounds of the chorus, (again contrasted with negative lyrics).  Check out this Letterman version.

17. Destroyer of the Void – Blitzen TrapperDo you like the classic rock act Kansas?  If so, you will most likely like Blitzen Trapper and this song.  At about six and a half minutes, it is a modern day Carry On Wayward Son complete with multiple sections, guitar licks a-plenty, and fantastic vocal harmonies.  Song really kicks in gear at about 3:35, and rocks on through!

16. Congratulations – MGMTSure, their second full-length studio album is a little different from the mega-success of Oracular Spectacular, but I personally quite like this direction from MGMT.  This song is so completely chill, but still rocked so good when I saw it live in Vancouver’s Commodore.

15. Cousins – Vampire WeekendI will be the first to admit that I did not “get” Vampire Weekend when I first heard this song.  Now, I quite enjoy it, and I’m not sure why.  This song is a grand mal seizure, but it’s a fun one.

14. We Used To Wait – Arcade FireMany will argue that Ready To Start or Modern Man are the best tunes on this album, but after seeing this song live on Saturday Night Live, it changed my entire perspective of Arcade Fire and this tune.

13. Beg Steal or Borrow – Ray Lamontagne & the Pariah DogsRay’s soothing voice is at it’s best on this first single off of his album God Willin’ and the Creek Don’t Rise.  The glimmering pedal steel guitars and simple folk country beat make my knees buckle.  Ray is a folk troubadour.

12. Trace Decay – WintersleepAs much as I was disappointed with Wintersleep‘s follow-up to their gem of an album Welcome to the Night Sky upon first few listens, this song stood out to me from the first listen as the stand-out track.  It’s anthemic and powerful from start to finish.  Check it out!

11. Bodies of Fiction – Library Voices — I can’t help but sing along to this chorus, and feel warm and fuzzy.  It was hard for me to pick only one song off this album, but this one probably hit me the quickest. This “electroacoustic indie pop” act from Saskatchewan is definitely worth checking out, but you’ll have to iTunes or Grooveshark this tune, ’cause I can’t find it anywhere else.

10. The Hair Song – Black MountainAgain, a current band summoning the powers of the ’70s rock scene, and doing it very well.  If you don’t hear the Led Zeppelin inspiration in this song, you probably haven’t ever listened to Zep.  I love everything this song has to offer: the lyrics, the vocal harmonies, the Bonham drum beat, the instrumental bridge. Ah!

9. Older – Band of Horses From the first pluck of guitar strings, BOH summons their alt-country side that hasn’t been this prominent since The General Specific, and perhaps even moreso.  Man, I’m such a sucker for awesome vocal harmonies with an alt-country twang.

8. By the Sword – Slash (feat. Andrew Stockdale) The first single and best song on Slash‘s debut solo album, this song couldn’t have been better suited for Andrew Stockdale, lead singer of Wolfmother. I’m a big fan of Slash but this album was a bit of a disappointment, I’m glad this song was on there to save it a little.  Oh, and I’d proclaim it “Riff of the Year”.

7. Deep End – Hannah Georgas — “Everybody’s Girlfriend”; Gorgeous Georgas; “The woman who wants to see Yukon Blonde and Tony Parsons naked”.  No matter how you know her, you should know this song.

6. Brides Song – Yukon BlondeWhile listening to this tune on a sunny May morning on my way to work, I decided that I needed to start a blog to spread the good name of Yukon Blonde, and thus, this music blog was born.  This song epitomizes Yukon Blonde and their debut, self-titled album.  A real rockin’ jam at the end of this tune, love it!

5. Bambi – Tokyo Police ClubThis song didn’t take very long to get my attention.  It’s pretty hard not to tap a foot or do a jig when listening, and it’s one of the most unique sounding songs I’ve heard in a long time.  Kudos to you, Tokyo Police Club.

4. Tighten UpBlack KeysIf you have not heard the greatness that is the Black Keys, and this song in particular, do yourself a favour and click on the link.  And if you aren’t whistling or humming along to that disgustingly catchy guitar riff, then you may want to get checked out.

3. What To Say – Born RuffiansThis album may be the sleeper hit of the year (but I’ll have to save that rant for another list), and this song is really this good.  If you are thinking “Who the hell are the Born Ruffians and why are they #3?” then you should check out what is a fantastic, simple tune: “People talk, but they don’t know what to say.”  Sums up society pretty well.

2. The High Road – Broken BellsOne of the best and, perhaps more unexpected collaborations of the year, James Mercer (the Shins) and Danger Mouse (Gnarls Barkley) team up for a full album, and on this album is The High Road.  It is complete with a relatively odd intro (that carries through the chorus, too), some terribly simple acoustic guitar chords and a solid beat.  Oh yea, and James Mercer’s amazing vocal prowess.  You really can’t go wrong.

1. Little Lion Man – Mumford & SonsSo, most probably saw this coming like the obvious ending to a romantic comedy, but how can this not be the song of the year?  This is the tune that skyrocketed Mumford & Sons to stardom around the world and they have one of the freshest, most appealing sounds around.  When was the last time people thought the banjo was cool? I’m thinking banjo sales have also skyrocketed in concordance with album sales for this little band out of the UK.  Congrats on a great year and the not-so-important Grammy nod, fellas. You deserve it!


A phenomenal year in music, it was hard to pick only 20 tunes, but I hope you enjoyed reading and would be curious to hear a few of your faves that may or may not be on this list.  Happy Christmas!

~ by DR on December 4, 2010.

4 Responses to “MoreThanAFeeling Music Blog’s Top 20 Songs of 2010”

  1. Great list Dylan. So many good artists out at the moment, and I feel that I can actually use the word ‘artist’…more real music finally making the airwaves and way less fluff – at last!!! Your # 1 and #13 picks are my faves, but all really good choices.

    • Thanks, Mel 🙂 I definitely agree with the ‘artist’ label, as you said, now that there are so many more true artists out than ever. I was working on a job site today and they were blasting 94.5 the Beat… it was painful. Very painful.

  2. clap clap clap….that was me applauding you on a fantastic list of songs! Some of my favorite artists. Job well done!

    • Aw shucks, Ash, you make me blush! I have you to thank in part for the list, you were one of my most dedicated readers/commentors and had many a great artist suggestion for me *ahem*Horsefeathers*ahem*. This list would have looked veeerrrry different if I didn’t have great readers 🙂 I think I will post my top songs from 2009 just so everyone can compare to where my musical tastes have steered…

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