2. Julia Holter - Marienbad
10. Hot Chip - Flutes
Well, Mariendbad is my nomination. What I love about Julia Holter is the way she experiments with vocals as both layers and counterpoint, therefor continuing an experiment started by Brian Wilson in the 1960's, but as far as I know picked up by afterwards by absolutely no one. Arguably, Für Felix from the same album does it even better, but that one wasn't eligible here and Marienbad is far from a poor substitute. It is as mysterious and transcendent as the film I suspect it is named after.
Flutes is good, original and forward-thinking too, but seems almost mediocre to me next to Mariendbad.
14. Odd Future - Oldie
11. Death Grips - Hacker
There is something about Oldie and it's fond showcase of a rogue's gallery of new rap talents, but I feel I haven't quite come to grips with it's fun factor yet. Hacker on the other hand is more immediate and I find it's sense of lunacy appealing.
8. Hot Chip - Motion Sickness
12. Charli XCX - You're the One
Motion Sickness is the best of the two Hot Chip tracks this week, even if it is not the best Motion Sickness
of the decade. I like pop frequently the most when they mix things up and that is what Hot Chip is all about. Charli XCX's song starts very strong, with a very epic but brooding sound. This feeling remains, but it is still somewhat disappointing that it quickly reveals it is structured as a very conventional pop song. Not a bad one, but I feel like I was promised more.
13. Bloc Party - Octopus
7. Melody's Echo Chamber - I Follow You
I no nothing of Bloc Party after Silent Alarm, but here it seems they have slightly wavered their post-punk style and opened up to a more warm-hearted indie style. Yet I say 'wavered' as they haven't quite abandoned it yet. It is a mix between the two styles and somewhat appealing, if perhaps too slight to be really great (but that also goes for much of Bloc Party for me).
That Melody's Echo Chamber album was part of Moderately Acclaimed last year and I remember not caring for it. Perhaps that was a mistake, as I Follow You seems pretty strong to me now. It's the type of breezy and beautiful dream pop I am very susceptible to.
1. Lana Del Rey - Ride
3. Adele - Skyfall
Both of these are in my all-time top 1000, but only one of them is in my top 100. Skyfall is one of my favorite Bond tracks. I remember having a lot of discussion about it in 2012, as even though the song was embraced by mainstream audiences, it got a lot of flack from Bond fans and music lovers as if it were a crime to the legacy of Bond for some reason. Glad to see people came around to it, because Adele is better than most in capturing the sense of romanticized danger that for my qualifies a great Bond song.
But Lana Del Rey's Ride is something else. My favorite song of her after Video Games and because it did well in at least two previous polls on this forum I thought it was going to be a shoe-in for a win, but apparently people here are suddenly in love with Skyfall or something. And as always some people resent Del Rey for some unclear reason. "Public self-flagellation", really Mileswide? To me that song is one of the most cathartic of the decade. It captures the sense of wanting to go somewhere/ anywhere in times of feeling bad in a way not done since Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen, even if the context here is more openly sad. The sadness gets moulded into a sense of freedom that is essential to Del Rey. For me her work still is about the battle between the ecstatic and the fatal; in a way no else tells it. This one already perfected that vision very early in her career.
By the way, already since 2012, the year of Adele, I hoped that Lana Del Rey would do a Bond song. To me she seems the most obvious candidate since Portishead. But yeah, Portishead were never asked either, so I can't get my hopes up too much.
9. Converge - Aimless Arrow
16. My Blood Valentine - Only Tomorrow
Love or hate Aimless Arrow, but you can't deny the guys of Converges don't let their emotions crop up. I kind of love it's abandon, even if I wouldn't usually put it on. About My Bloody Valentine, I feel like I'm getting closer in understanding them, but not quite yet.
5. The Knife - A Tooth for an Eye
4. Nick Cave - Higgs Boson Blues
The toughest match-up of the week. I have a soft spot for The Knife and their messy album, but there is a poetry and dark power in Higgs Boson Blues (and let's face it, pretty much all Nick Cave) that shakes me to the core.
6. David Bowie - The Stars (Are Out Tonight)
15. Waxahatchee - Swan Dive
I remember like Swan Dive, but also forgot what it was immediately. The second time the same thing happened. So an easy win for David Bowie, as this is the best track of The Next Day, a gloriously catchy and quirky interstellar song, worthy of Ziggy Stardust.