The album isn’t dead, as you’ll see when my top albums of the year list rolls around tomorrow. But these songs stuck out over and above the albums that encompassed them–or not, as #4′s album has yet to be released. Viva la album, viva la single.
11. “Advice From People Who Shouldn’t Give It (Don’t Take It)” – Superstar Runner. There’s beatboxing and group vocals in this acoustic tune. Yeah, it’s awesome.
10. “Brother Don’t Wait” – Emily and the Complexes. The raw emotion tugs at my heartstrings.
9. “Kneebone” – The Miami. This call and response tune is profoundly fractured and odd, but I dare you to keep it out of your head.
8. “Virtues, Spices and Liquors” – 4H Royalty. The best lyrical outing of the whole year, backed up with strong melodies and great instrumentation.
7. “Rockingham Cindy” – Jonas Friddle. I could fill this slot with at least a dozen Friddle tunes, but this tune of longing is especially memorable.
6. “See the Conqueror” – Jenny and Tyler. Beauty and power wrapped up into one hymn-esque charge.
5. “Still Analog” – The March Divide. It’s a pop song about pop songs, and it involves clapping and snapping. ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?!
4. “All Creatures” – ElisaRay. Poignant and pounding in turns, this arrangement choked me up the first time I heard it.
3. “All I Have” – Young Readers. This is one of the most romantic tunes I’ve heard in a long time; it’s right up there with “Above All Men” by J. Tillman.
2. “This Love Won’t Break Your Heart” – Annalise Emerick. A gorgeous, evocative folk tune that perfectly captures the sadness that hope brings and the hope that sadness brings.
1. “When I Write My Master’s Thesis” – John K. Samson. There is no song I spun more this year. You could often find me dancing and singing along with manic glee to this power-pop jewel.