10. Diiv – How Long Have You Known? (Oshin)
Inspired by krautrock and drenched in reverb, Diiv turned in a solid debut album with Oshin but no other song on the record compared to “How Long Have You Known?” The harmonized guitar riffs steal the show and are nearly impossible to get out of your head.
9. Animal Collective – Monkey Riches (Centipede Hz)
On every one of their releases, Animal Collective have one song where all of their experimentation come together to form one nearly perfect composition. On Merriweather Post Pavilion it was “My Girls , on the Fall Be Kind [EP] it was “What Would I Want Sky?” and on Centipede Hz it is “Monkey Riches”.
8. Grimes – Genesis (Visions)
Though its impossible to discern what Claire Boucher is actually singing, it takes nothing away from the sheer beauty and longing in her voice. The unintelligible words weave their way through the instrumentals and only poke their way through as she repeats the one thing we’re able to understand; “everything”.
7. El-P – The Full Retard (Cancer 4 Cure)
El-P takes us on a trip through his paranoid, delusional fantasy of a futuristic, dystopian society where “the bread lines are prisons” and we all have “chips under our wrist skin”. Throughout the song, he changes up his flow and rhyme scheme at least 5 times and throws out lines that no one else even dares rap: “Fuck your droid noise, void boys’, ‘noid ploy/Oi, Oi, I’ll rugby kick the shit out your groin boy.” Simply put, there is no one quite like El-P.
6. Wild Nothing – Shadow (Nocturne)
Wild Nothing’s Jack Tatum has mastered escapism through music. With a light an airy atmosphere, a catchy guitar riff and a resonant string section “Shadow” takes you away to your own internal paradise.
5. Purity Ring – Fineshrine (Shrines)
A song about unhealthy obsession, Megan James sings the disconcerting but oddly romantic line “cut open my sternum and pull/my little ribs around you” in an almost playful tone. The deep bass and high vocal sample offset each other perfectly and provides the perfect backdrop for James’ musings.
4. Titus Andronicus – Ecce Homo (Local Business)
“Okay, I think by now we’ve established/everything is inherently worthless/and there’s nothing in the universe/with any kind of objective purpose”. The opening line of album opener “Ecce Homo” is less a song lyric and more a way of life for the existential nihilist rockers from Glen Rock, New Jersey.
3.Beach House – Myth (Bloom)
A transcendental kind of song, Alex Scally’s ambient guitar along with the synthesizer drone provides an idyllic soundtrack for your subconscious. Through the dreamscape comes a radiant beam of light in the form of Victoria Legrand’s angelic voice; she encourages to us to build ourselves a myth upon our own fleeting canvas.
2. Japandroids – Fire’s Highway (Celebration Rock)
Japandroids play every song like it’s the last song they’ll ever play. On “Fire’s Highway”, Brian King and Dylan Prowse sound like their in competition one another for who can play harder and faster than the other. The breakdown features a feverish guitar solo over Prowse’s relentless drumming. It abruptly comes to end when King screams “one night to have and to hold/to let live but never let go” with such overwhelming passion, you get the sense that it might actually be the last song anyone sings.
1. Cloud Nothings – Wasted Days (Attack on Memory)
A 9-minute punk rock that puts you through the ringer and leaves you battered and bruised at the other end. The song begins its epic build up at 3 minutes with a nothing but a bass guitar. Over the next 4.5 minutes, the tension builds to the earth shattering conclusion where Dylan Baldi screams his throat raw with the generation defining line “I thought I would be more than this.”