Since it seems that everyone and her brother are doing top ten lists to wrap up 2005, here’s the official pf.org Top Ten Earworms of 2005, presented in no particular order:
- Spinvis, Ik Wil Alleen Maar Zwemmen. I have no idea what this song is about—it’s in Flemish—but you can dance to it anyway. The song starts off with a simple solo guitar riff—very indie-rockish—but about half-way through it drops into a wonderful synth bass break that’s as hip-loosening as anything I’ve heard recently.
- Annie, My Heartbeat. It makes the list solely for the tight, funky instrumental break after the first chorus.
- Robyn, Be Mine!. The previous song was about the start of the affair; this one’s about the end of the affair. Fantastic production on this one too.
- Ed Askew, Fancy That. Truly wonderful and bizarre alt-folk. Except that I’m not sure that Mr. Askew would embrace labels like that…
- Genesis, Squonk. I wrote about the squonk before, in this post. In case you’re wondering, this is from Genesis’ first album after Peter Gabriel left, but before Steve Hackett left and the group turned into the pop powerhouse they were in the 1980s.
- Imogen Heap, Hide and Seek. A cappella vocoder overload, or, perhaps, the most haunting thing I heard all year. I still haven’t figured out what the song is about.
- The Free Design, I Found Love (Styrofoam & Sarah Shannon Mix). The Free Design were an entirely obscure pop/folk group from the hippy Sixties; they were rediscovered and their songs updated, to varying degrees, last year. Lovely, cheerful, optimistic Summer-Of-Love pop filtered through a indietronica sensibility.
- Kudu, King Kong. No tie-in to the Peter Jackson movie, but a great commentary on alpha males and the war of the sexes.
- The Cat Empire, Hello. Guitars, horns, the funky, and Australian vocals run through a distortion filter—what’s not to like?
- Yes v. Sir Mix-A-Lot, Owner of a Lovely Butt. Exactly what you’d expect: “Owner of a Lonely Heart” remixed with “Baby Got Back”.
- April March, Sugar. There’s much to love about this song, but I’m particularly taken by the rhythm section, which sounds like it wandered in from a Blue Note recording session, circa 1963.
- La Laque, Secret. I thought these guys were Canadian of the Quebec persuasion until I looked up their website, where it turns out that they’re a NYC band that just happens to prefer singing in French. Still, there’s something about a breathy femme whispering en français—it doesn’t matter what, hell, it could be a grocery list—that’s just incredibly sexy.
- John Hiatt, Thunderbird. A little country, a little roots rock, a little Americana… hell, it’s just a great song about a guy and his favorite car. Screw labels.
- Royskopp, What Else Is There. Take some chilly, glassy electronic beats, add a dash of synth pop and some obscure, moody lyrics (hey, at least they’re in English!), and stir. Pour over rocks.
- Bonobo, Nothing Owed. Yes, I’m pretty sure that’s an
oboe soloactually, on further review, it seems more like a soprano saxophone.
I guess that’s more than 10. At least I left out the song performed entirely on the hurdy-gurdy.