Saturday, December 31

Tracks of the Year!

10. Glass Candy - Warm in the Winter
This song proves that all a great song needs is four great chords to hook you in. Taking you on a much needed vacation to (insert tropical local here), Glass Candy leaves you feeling hopeful, excited, and yes, a little warm, too. Layering synth tracks is nothing new to Anthony Jewel, but never has he so successfully created a feeling of serenity than has with Warm in the Winter. It's not trying to be uberly sexy like tracks on "Night Drive" and "Beat Box" were, its sound is fresh and wholesome. Beach Sounds can't wait to hear this whole album when it comes out in 2012.

9. The Antlers - No Widows
What? No ethereal or surf references? No dancey interludes? That's about all the negatives we could mentions about The Antlers dark album Burst Apart. This song, however cold and eerie, is too infectious to ignore. Peter Silbermans sweet, if haunting, voice leaves you with goosebumps and your finger on the repeat button.
The Antlers, No Widows (Daytrotter Session 11/23/11) by Danceyrselfcleaner

8. The Rapture - How Deep is Your Love?

After a hiatus that lasted a few years too long, it was reassuring to finally hear the first single off the Rapture's latest LP, and even more so, it was great to hear how fresh it sounded! In a time when the few remaining dance-punk acts around have taken more to punk than dance, it's great to hear "In the Grace of Your Love" loaded with danceable tracks. How Deep is Your Love? is a song like nothing they've done before, yet it's still characterized by everything their known for: blazing sax solos, free flowing bass rifts and Luke Jenner's distinctive Falsetto. In an album that's missing their x-bassist's irresistibly dancey bass rifts, How Deep is Your Love? proves that bands can come back from the dead, and apparently dance their way into heaven while doing so.

7. Beirut - East Harlem
Who doesn't love a good swoon? It's nice to take a moment out of the our busy city lives to feel foolishly in love. And when you need something to spark that heavy hopeless sigh, Zach Condon and the talented members of Beirut arrives to help. Off their recently released "The Rip Tide", Beirut's single East Harlem captivates listeners with a short story of a distant love, followed by long drawn trumpet blows that invokes at the very least a little sway in the body from any hopeless romantic.

6. The Decemberists - This Is Why We Fight
Let's all take a moment to remember the band's preceding album Hazards of Love.
Now that our recollection's brought on shudders of disappointment, we can all feel all the more appreciative of the solid work on "The King is Dead." We chose This is Why We Fight for a number of reasons. One is it's undeniably American folk influences that makes you feel like you've joined the ranks with muskets in hand to ward off the English Parliament. But Meloy's combination of strong lyrics and stronger strumming is what truly won us over. It was enough to make one us fans again.

5. Cold Cave - The Great Pan is Dead
If the four horsemen had an intro song, this would be it. Kicking you down before you even got up, Cold Cave intro their sophomore LP, "Cherish the Light Years", with one hell of a song. It's fast, it's epic, and it's just startling enough to make you play it again. Laying the foundation for one of Beach Sound's favorite albums this year, The Great Pan is Dead is just a piece of the story. The brilliance of this song isn't based on it trying too hard to create a new sound, it's based on Wesley Eisold's abilitiy to dig deep into his musical past and find inspiration in his previous hardcore bands. 
The Great Pan Is Dead by BitCandy

4. Lana Del Ray - Born to Die
Blending the soul of Hip Hop with the poise of a movie soundtrack, Lana Del Rey knows exactly how to create a truly satisfying sound. Born to Die has everything you could possibly want from a song: an ethereal string arrangement, a subtle yet sweet hip hop drum beat, and tender lyrics fronted by music's newest bad ass. Check it out.
3. Phantogram - Don't Move
A definite progression from their previous LP, the New York duo resurfaced with a Beach Sounds favorite. The track begins with an indistinguishable voice meshed with synth that's sure to satisfy anyone's electro-pop cravings. Sarah Barthel then enters with her almost whispering voice, though her lyrics are fare from timid. Take a listen below, and we dare you not to move.

dont move // phantogram by sexmusic

 2. Tune Yards - Bizness
This bay area native knows how important it is to stay connected with her community. Her first single Bizness was just a taste of how she tries to amplify how those around her feel. Kicking off the track with loop machine beats that she always records live (sup Beach House?), Merril Garbus commands listeners to pay attention with her loud and powerful vocals on the first verse. 

1. M83 - Midnight City
And just like wine, Anthony Gonzalez seems to only get better with time. Setting the bar to a new standard with Midnight City, the first single off "Hurry Up, We're Dreaming", Anthony left you feeling nostalgic for an unremembered past, he left you excited for what was going to play next, and most importantly, he left you dancing while doing so. Grabbing your attention with one hell of a synth loop, Midnight City proves that even the Track of the Year doesn't have to make sense (what is he saying again?). It's 1 part 90's rave and 2 parts 80's arena rock. Midnight City is fresh, compelling, engaging, and yes, it's a little epic, too. It'll get you through this year and send you off to the next. Enjoy.

Honorable Mentions:
Active Child- "Hanging On"
Britney Spears feat Nicki Minaj & Ke$ha- "Till The World Ends" Remix
Chad Valley- "Now That I'm Real"
Cut Copy- "Need You Now"
Destroyer- "Kaputt"
Drake feat Rihanna- "Take Care"
Fleet Foxes- "Helplessness Blues"
Fool's Gold- "Wild Window"
Fucked Up- "The Other Shoe"
The Horrors- "Still Life"
Kisses- "Kisses"
Lykke Li- "Get Some"
M83- "Steve McQueen"
Mountain Goats- "High Hawk Season"
Nicki Minaj- "Super Bass"
The Oh Sees- "The Dream"
The Pains of Being Pure At Heart- "Heart in Your Heartbreak"
St. Vincent- "Cruel"
The War On Drugs- "Baby Missles"
Wild Beasts:- "Bed of Nails"

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