Part II of IV. Check out part I here.
78. Natalie Prass “My Baby Don’t Understand Me”
77. Florence + the Machine “What Kind of Man”
I don’t agree that the latest album tops 2011’s Ceremonials (I adore that album maybe more than anyone else), but if you’re into Florence’s dramatically belted approach to pop music you’ll always enjoy what she’s putting out. “What Kind of Man” features that same anguish-filled questioning: “What kind of man loves like this?” she asks–Florence doesn’t just rattle your soul, she tears open your chest and grabs it making sure you know exactly how she feels.
76. Beirut “At Once”
A minor entry in the global spectrum of Beirut’s indie rock stylings, it’s beautifully pleasant.
75. Vic Mensa, Kanye West “U Mad”
74. Titus Andronicus “(S)he Said/(S)he Said”
73. Johanna Warren “Black Moss”
72. Justin Bieber “Sorry”
71. Sports “Reality TV”
Another perfect fit for my women in rock music piece from a couple months ago, Sports perfectly capture why slacker indie/punk/whatever is so fun. It’s minimalist, a quick jolt of energy that is strangely satisfying despite being so easy to digest.
70. FKA Twigs “In Time”
69. Tame Impala “Cause I’m A Man”
68. Jack U, Skrillex, Justin Bieber “Where Are U Now”
67. Omi “Cheerleader”
66. Miguel “FLESH”
65. Julien Baker “Something”
64. BØRNS “Electric Love”
The track’s opening lines: “candy, she’s sweet like candy in my veins” is an apt descriptor of “Electric Love”, an almost sickly-sweet combination of falsetto and highly produced funky guitar riffs.
63. Unknown Mortal Orchestra “Multi-Love”
62. Eskimeaux “The Thunder Answered Back”
It starts off slow and ethereally, before drums start to slowly come in, the beat picking up over Gabrielle Smith’s repeated lyrics. The song crescendos into Smith shouting “you coward, you hummingbird” over and over. It’s reminiscent of the neo-folk trend from a couple years back, which didn’t always work, but I guarantee you that you’ll break into random accusatory “YOU COWARD, YOU HUMMINGBIRD” shouts once this track grabs you.
61. Diet Cig “Harvard”
60. Disclosure w/LIONBABE “Hourglass”
I haven’t read anything to confirm this theory, but I am 99% sure this song is a tribute to “Space Jam” by Quad City DJs, yes, the theme song from Space Jam (minus all rap parts). It starts off with a simple beat which at any moment feels like it could break out into the melody of “Space Jam”. LIONBABE’s vocals are also eerily similar to that of Quad City DJs, I expected an “errrybody get up” to pop in throughout the first minute of the song. All similarities aside, the track works well on its own, offering a smooth dance track that avoids Disclosure’s pitfall of relying too heavily on big name stars to carry their songs.
59. Rihanna, Kanye West, Paul McCartney “FourFiveSeconds”
58. Julia Holter “Everytime Boots”
57. Majical Cloudz “Downtown”
Majical Cloudz feel like spiritual successors to Radiohead and Coldplay (before they went off on strange pop-experimental ventures). Devon Walsh sounds like a more laid back Thom Yorke, singing over Matthew Otto’s subtle electronic music which has the feel of a film score more than anything.
56. Julien Baker “Everybody Does”
Baker’s debut album is a sparse and soul-baring affair. She’s armed with nothing but an acoustic guitar and some painful experiences that need to be let out. Parts of her album show her finding hope in the darkness, but here she lets her deepest fears play out, concluding “you’re gonna run when you find out who I am; you’re gonna run, it’s alright everybody does”.
55. Kelly Clarkson “Invincible”
I accidentally stumbled on this song while surfing through Clarkson’s top tracks on Spotify. It’s a bona fide jam and while not quite up to par with her greatest songs (but let’s face it she has two of the best pop songs of the last 20 years), Clarkson is definitely at her best here.
54. Low “Lies”
53. Panda Bear “Crosswords”
52. Sufjan Stevens “Should Have Known Better”
51. Autre Ne Veut “Age of Transparency”
Autre Ne Veut is branded as PBR&B for playing R&B music through the lens of hipster irony. “Age of Transparency” opens with a quiet build, filled with saxophone and a piano in the background. Arthur Ashin’s falsetto kicks in–his voice can be quite powerful, but is never quite devoid of playfulness. All of this builds into an exploding chorus that absolutely makes those quiet moments of build-up worth the wait.