What's On The Hi-Fi...Top 10 Best Songs of 2010

Click here or on the image below for our staff picks for the best songs of 2010.

Listen to the Best Songs of 2010 MP3

And check out our special Best Songs of 2010 Podcast at What's On The Hi-Fi - What's On The Hi-Fi - What's On The Hi-Fi

ANA TIJOUX - “1977”

Track of the Day..."Soak It Up" from Houses

“Soak It Up”
from All Night
Lefse Records 2010

Listen to “Soak It Up” MP3

We generally never get so lazy as to let an artist explain their album but in the case of Houses effort All Night the effort and the story is worth the pass.

“I got laid off from my job at the end of last year and decided I needed a change. My girlfriend put in her two weeks and we moved out to a little cabin in Papaikou, Hawaii. It’s a pretty remote place outside of Hilo (i.e no plumbing/electricity/gas). We worked for meals during the day cultivating indigenous micro-organisms and learning the basics of sustainable living. We drank showered and cooked with rain water. It was a beautifully simple experience. In our downtime, she would paint and I would record. We’d have to light candles in an effort to save solar power to keep my computer running. We inspired each other a lot out there, and I think it shows on the album. She sings on a lot of the tracks on All Night. The music comes from a place of love and ease.”

It’s cold out there and we know that this song might be a dream world. The track “Soak It Up” is a simple, emotional, sound architecture based track that embodies the story of the songwriter. There is no loneliness or blues in the song nor craving for love; it exists plainly and fluidly as a moment on a beach or in front of a fire filled cabin. The sounds are the idealism and comfort of humanity.

MySpace | Lefse Records

Album Review...Sometimes The Blues Is Just A Passing Bird from The Tallest Man On Earth

The Tallest Man On Earth
Sometimes The Blues Is Just A Passing Bird
Dead Oceans 2010

Listen to “The Dreamer” MP3

The Tallest Man On Earth is Kristian Matsson from Dalarna, Sweden. After fronting fellow Swedes Montezumas he released two full length albums (Shallow Grave and The Wild Hunt) but has really caught lightning in the bottle with the faultless Sometimes The Blues Is Just A Passing Bird five-track EP on Dead Oceans.

“Sometimes the blues is just a passing bird, oh why can’t that always be…”

The EP title is not only a lyric but it is a palpable theme to the piece in general. All of the songs lay in a bluesy, seemingly mawkish tone but Matsson expertly sings his way out of that pool and rockets the songs to prominence.

From the light and energetic fingerpicking on the opening track “Little River” to the bare bones electric guitar and plaintiff yearning on “The Dreamer” (which includes the title lyric) to the soft earnestness of “Thrown Right At Me” there isn’t a forgettable or over-indulgent track.

Although his guitar work and song-crafting is spot on and fills the air perfectly, it is the power of the lyrics that fuels the album in its entirety. You listen and come back and back again finding yourself singing a moment either internally or in an under-the-breath hum while grabbing your morning coffee or just taking a break from your day to day life.

The sound and the songs are truly special and we can’t wait to see where The Tallest Man On Earth might take us next.


01. Little River
02. The Dreamer
03. Like the Wheel
04. Tangle In This Trampled Wheat
05. Thrown Right At Me

MySpace | Dead Ocean

Track of the Day..."Babylon Is Burning" from Thieving Irons

Thieving Irons
“Babylon is Burning”
From The Midnight Hum
Seabird Recording Company 2010

Listen to “Babylon is Burning” MP3

After years recording and touring with Pela, Nate Martinez (aka Thieving Irons) has completed his first solo album. This Midnight Hum is a collection of songs written and produced by Martinez with Mike Brown co-producing.

On “Babylon Is Burning” Martinez explores the joining of instruments into one sound. The track begins with a lightly picked guitar, a slide electric guitar that is joined by a tinkling to chord piano riff followed by a walking tom-tom drum, a slow pulling accordion and ultimately united by the joyous meanderings of a folk banjo.

The song exults in a convergence of sounds that builds to an anthemic and deep crescendo in which all the instruments (including vocals) meet and swoon together in a long, languid stretch to sweetness and harmony.

MySpace | Official

Track of the Day..."Skull Cakin'" from Pomegranates

“Skull Cakin’”
From One Of Us
Afternoon Records 2010

Listen to "Skull Cakin’" MP3

Having released two albums in two years (2008’s Everything Is Alive and 2009’s Everybody, Come Outside!), Cincinnati band Pomegranates have finally hit pay dirt with their latest LP One of Us.

Led by founders Jacob Merritt (drums) and Isaac Karns (vocals, guitars, keyboards) the art-punk band has found the midway between experimental psych-rock and anthemic punk.

Their sound works especially well on the standout track “Skull Cakin’” which stands as an exemplar to pure, pounding garage rock in all its glory.

MySpace | Afternoon Records

Track of the Day..."Photojournalist" from Small Black

Small Black
From New Chain
Jagjaguwar 2010

Listen to "Photojournalist" MP3

Brooklyn based synth quartet Small Black’s debut album New Chain shows an impressive progression from their self-titled EP. The band kept the melodic but refreshingly experimental sounds from standout track “Despicable Dogs” and built a solid freshman output.

From New Chain comes the quirky, chillwave track “Photojournalist.” Filled with deftly created chiming and wriggling percussion and oddball sample sounds the song flows over you like a wave of echoes. The group’s effort on the track really shows upon repeated listening when you break down the intricacies within.

Check the video for “Despicable Dogs” featuring a fantastic surf van and killer gray fu-manchu moustache.

MySpace | Official | Jagjaguwar

Track of the Day…"Draw In Light" from Wild Palms

Wild Palms
“Draw In Light”
One Little Indian 2010

Listen to “Draw In Light” MP3

Things have moved quickly for the Chatham/Southgate band Wild Palms. After just over a year of playing together the band fronted by singer Lou Hill stands to make some quality noise on the indie music circuit. With comparisons that run the reference gamut from Can to Cut Copy to New Order, the band has a lot to live up to in the future.

They have made huge strides towards that goal by signing a three-album deal with One Little Indian and getting into the studio to sculpt a new album with Gareth Jones (Grizzly Bear, Clinic, Interpol, Wire, Depeche Mode). The as yet untitled album is set for release next spring.

The band hasn’t left fans wanting by releasing a double AA sided 10” that includes the excellent “Draw in Light.” The track is bathed in rollicking, fuzzed out, white light sound but continues the sensitive yet unrestrained momentum that they delivered on their single “Deep Dive.”

MySpace | One Little Indian

Track of the Day…"Once And For All" from Clock Opera

Clock Opera
"Once And For All"
From Kitsuné Maison Compilation 10
Listen to "Once And For All" MP3

The latest single from London's Clock Opera is "Once And For All", an uplifting electro "chop pop" (self-described) charge coupled with Guy Connelly's imploring vocals. 
Word has it that the track is inspired by a play from the Belgian performance company Ontroerend Goed entitled Once and for all we're gonna tell you who we are so shut up and listen, exploring what its like to be teenagers who feel like teenagers.
"Once And For All" is featured on the latest compilation from Kitsuné.  You can also check out various remixes of the new single on the band's MySpace page, including a remix from Little Loud. 
MySpace | Kitsuné (Clock Opera Page) | Little Loud (MySpace) | Ontroerend Goed