16. Andy Stott - Sleepless
The distinct dub techno of Andy Stott’s amazing Luxury Problems makes for a soundtrack to drift into restless slumber. The title of this track is misleading as the first half is a thick murmur through the stages of REM that deliberately builds into a vivid dream state. The cut up vocals poking through the mix as the dark waters swirl creates a dire, lonely space that eventually becomes the most memorable moments of your favorite dreams.
17. Liminanas - AF3458 (DL)
The concept seems so incredulous, yet so appropriate: A French group making bare-bones music in the simple traditions of The Velvet Underground while touching on the ardent sexuality of countryman Serge Gainsbourg. The resulting sounds on Crystal Anis are simply spot on where the primitive thump carries the coy, ye-ye lyrics until you hit the psych guitar buzz. The only shame is that the song is so damn short.
18. Blur - Under The Westway
This track was written exclusively for the closing ceremonies for the Summer Olympics, which could have signaled a half-assed, heavy handed ode to sports (Hi, Shakira!). However, the newly reunited kings of Britpop sculpted a fitting tribute not to competition, but to the lost souls that often get buried in the urban grime so that the rest of the world can go on being distracted. And not unlike their band’s most memorable moments from the 90’s, this is plaintive. heartfelt and beautiful.
19. Hot Chip - Flutes (DL)
Released in March as a teaser for In Our Heads, this may be the first release of the year that made me truly excited. On their fifth and undoubtedly best album, this track is the lengthy centerpiece of a full set of bait-heavy hooks. Some many songs these days get pushed aside for the remix, but Hot Chip beat the knob twiddlers to the punch. You can’t make this track any better than how it is right now.
20. Rhye - The Fall (DL)
Details were a bit sketchy on this LA based outfit and the voice behind this soulful lovesong for a new age. Comparisons to great female chanteuses such as Sade and Tracey Thorn are being given without hyperbole, with some rumors that it was actually Sade herself. The stunner is that the female in question is actually a ‘he’. Words fail to describe this any further, so I am going to leave the song and its accompanying video finish my thoughts.