S&B Annual Anthology 2010: The Results

It’s taken a while, but the votes are finally counted and calculated, the playlist is completed and the first Annual Anthology is ready to go. As I hoped at the beginning, it has been a real education for me. I specifically asked for contributions from people with a discerning taste in music, those whose tastes I respect. I wasn’t disappointed.

The trouble, as I speculated initially, was that as the votes came in, I realized there were a huge amount of individual songs being polled. I had to think of a way to order them and I hope it’s to your liking. I decided that each artist could only have one track. If they had more than one nomination, I would add them to the track that recurred most often. I counted the songs in the order they were written, five for the first, one for the last.

After refamiliarizing myself with Microsoft Exel and purchasing the tracks individually, I put them into Sound Cloud and created the playlist below. I hope it doesn’t attract the ire of any included artists… please take it as a compliment and contact me if you have an issue with it! For now, though, I hope you all enjoy the forty tunes that make up my first Annual Anthology. Many thanks to those who took the time to vote and particularly, to the kind folks who contributed some glowing words to the top ten tracks.

#1: Beach House

1. Beach House – Zebra

“Something so simple has no business being this good. The scale-led guitar intro is all pleasing innocence, something I’d like to imagine I could’ve concocted as an early-learner. Clearly wishful thinking, Alex Scally lays the groundwork for Victoria Legrand’s wistful howl and one of the year’s best albums.”

Finn Scott-Delany: newshound for the Crawley Observer and music hack for Drowned in Sound.

2. The National – Runaway

“There were eight different songs nominated for the Anthology from High Violet. It’s an indicator that The National aren’t really a singles band, but also a measure of how consistent their work is. High Violet is their most accessible, poppiest album to date. Runaway probably fits the same description, track-wise. Led by an acoustic arpeggio, backed by a plinking piano, guided by Matt Berninger’s slightly off tune vocal and strengthened by subtle splashes of horn and strings, this is simple, heady stuff. Perhaps The National’s finest moment of effortless beauty since Daughters of the Soho Riots.”


3. Deerhunter – Desire Lines

“Desire Lines is just one of those songs that’s almost impossible to pin down just WHY it’s so good but I’m going to try anyway. From its opening kick drum you immediately get the sense that something important is looming; The gentle guitar line that runs through it is subtle but beautifully crafted and it builds and builds and builds to a magnificent climax. It’s close to seven minutes long but you’ll find yourself wishing it was longer.”

Stu Lewis: editor of the splendiferous Tidal Wave of Indifference

4. The Villagers – Becoming a Jackal

“The first thing that struck me about this song was how strong the lyrics were. The man is like a contemporary-classical poet of some sort! Which fills me both with admiration and immense envy… then there’s the sixties tinged melody with those little staccato chords from a big hollow bodied guitar with plenty of reverb… absolutely incredible song. Amazing record too.”

Cormac Fee: lead singer of the excellent pocket promise.

5. The Phantom Band – Everybody Knows It’s True

“If the Mercury Prize was a fair fight then The Phantom Band would have won it with Checkmate Savage; here they are with another contender. Playful, soulful, and with a bit of madness in its heart, this is as immediate as they get on an album loaded with textured slow-burners.”

Dave Kerr: seemingly five-armed Music and Online Editor of The Skinny

6. Bombay Bicycle Club – Rinse Me Down

“When I first heard this track, I was gobsmacked. I had been left a little cold by their debut album last year and certainly didn’t expect the intricate, acoustic turn BBC would take for their sophomore effort. Revisiting reviews over the past two months, it seems it’s criminally underrated. Rinse Me Down is the stunning highlight. It sounds like a cross between Murmur-era REM and freak-folkers Vetiver, which is about as high a compliment I could pay any track!”


7. James Blake – Limit To Your Love

“2010 has been an exciting year for London boy James Blake. Only a handful of releases in and he has become one of the most talked about British newcomers, as well as making it to the BBC’s list of 15 hopefuls for 2011. Limit To Your Love is his most accomplished piece yet, a truly original cover of Canadian singer/songwriter Feist. Managing to push the ‘Post-Dubstep’ microcosm its melodic boundaries while keeping minimal and credible, Blake’s piano lick and vocals contrast perfectly with the spacious, sub heavy drop.
Certainly one to keep your eyes on in 2011, his self entitled debut album drops in February.”

Alexander Colmer: editor of the fresh and generous Single Serving blog.

8. Arcade Fire – Ready To Start

“Arcade Fire took 2010 to reestablish themselves as one of the finest indie bands around. The immediacy and urgency of Ready To Start is a fine representation of a band with grievances to air, axes to grind and bones to pick. That they manage to do so in such tuneful style should be something everyone is grateful for.”


9. Caribou  – Sun

“I find it difficult to listen to Sun without slipping into a trance. From the album that presented Dan Snaith to the mainstream in spectacular style, this is one of the trippiest cuts. Swim is an album loaded with potential hits and quite a few got votes, but this was by far the most popular of his songs.”


10. Perfume Genius – Learning

“I remember the first time I got excited about Mike Hadreas (Perfume Genius) was when I downloaded a zip. file of songs ripped from his MySpace player. What I heard was both fragile while simultaneously cutting, unsure yet self-aware. My appetite was whetted and I couldn’t wait until I could actually purchase a legitimate release from him. I wasn’t let down, as during my first spin of debut ‘Learning’ I knew from the title track opener that it was going to be something special. The warm notes of Hadreas’ piano intertwined with his timid voice create something of genuine beauty. The lyrics are milky at best and have more than a shade of sinister to them; ‘no one will answer your prayers until you take off that dress/no one will hearyou’re your crying until you take your last breath’. I guess that is why I love this track so much, it completely baffles me by combining the beautiful with the dark to create a world-weary masterpiece.”

Ian Greenhill: editor of the marvellous Have Fun At Dinner and contributor to The Line Of Best Fit.

11. Foals – Spanish Sahara

12. Mountain Man – Animal Tracks

13. Twilight Sad – The Wrong Car

14. Sufjan Stevens – Too Much

15. The Black Keys – Next Girl

16. Joanna Newsom – Good Intentions Paving Company

17. The Fall – OFYC Showcase

18. The Tallest Man On Earth – King Of Spain

19. Gil Scott-Heron – Me and the Devil

20. Meursault – Crank Resolutions

21. These New Puritans – We Want War

22. Kid Canaveral – Good Morning

23. Micah P Hinson – Take Off That Dress For Me

24. The Hold Steady – The Weekenders

25. John Knox Sex Club – Honesty The Beast

26. Massive Attack – Atlas Air

27. Forest Swords – If Your Girl

28. Band of Horses – Compliments

29. Pantha du Prince – Stick To My Side

30. Midlake – Rulers, Ruling All Things

31. Laura Marling – Rambling Man

32. Incarnations – Make You Mine

33. Salem – Trapdoor

34. Big Boi – Shutterbugg

35. The New Pornographers – The Crash Years

36. Frightened Rabbit – The Wrestle

37. Cee Lo Green – Fuck You

38. LCD Soundsystem – Dance Yrself Clean

39. Spoon – Got Nuffin

40. Admiral Fallow – Subbuteo


One thought on “S&B Annual Anthology 2010: The Results

  1. […] indie rock band but likes some other stuff too and has also evoked the spirit of Peel with a Festive Forty where you might recognise one of the guest […]

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