2010: Festive Fifty (Part 2 of 2)

on Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Words: Saam Das

Here's all fifty singles/free downloads that comprise the Festive Fifty. To listen to all of them, you're going to have to check out the first part and then go through the ones here. If you too lazy for that and willing to skip out a couple of tracks (which aren't available), then I have constructed this Spotify playlist for you. Enjoy.

#50 Chew Lips - 'When You Wake Up' // #49 Wilder - 'Girls vs Boys'
#48 Operator Logic - 'Logic' // #47 Weekend - 'End Times'
#46 Tokyo Police Club - 'Breakneck Speed' // #45 Willow Smith - 'Whip My Hair'
#44 Errors - 'A Rumour In Africa' // #43 Sunday Girl - 'Four Floors'
#42 The Unwinding Hours - 'Knut' // #41 Hot Horizons - 'October'
#40 Yeah Yeah Yeahs - 'Skeletons' // #39 Victoria & Jacob - 'With No Certainty'
#38 Disappearers - 'Everything Straight Lies' // #37 Broken Records - 'A Darkness Rises Up'
#36 The Good Natured - 'For The Widows In My Paradise, For The Fatherless In Ypsilanti'
#35 Spark - 'Revolving' // #34 The National - 'Terrible Love (Alternate Version)'
#33 Mystery Jets - 'Show Me The Light' // #32 OK Go - 'White Knuckles'
#31 Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster - 'Love Turns To Hate'
#30 Jukebox The Ghost - 'Good Day' // #29 Stairs To Korea - 'All Of Your Friends'
#28 Foals - 'This Orient' // #27 Seerauber Jenny - 'Push It Away'
#26 Clock Opera - 'Once And For All'

#25-#1, after the jump. Hope it satisfies the masses.

#25 Jamie T - 'Emily's Heart'

A stark contrast to the boisterous 'Sticks n Stones', with an emotionally strained Jamie T offering his most tender yet depressing single thus far.

#24 Rostam Batmanglij, Bethany Cosentino and Kid Cudi - 'All Summer'

STREAM: Kid Cudi, Rostam Batmanglij and Bethany Cosentino - All Summer

Rapper Kid Cudi, Rostam of Vampire Weekend and Bethany of Best Coast teamed up because of Converse and provided an "ethereal take on the summer pop anthem".

#23 Lord Huron - 'Into The Sun' (Teen Daze Remix)

The remix that actually birthed a column on this very blog. And also the token remix in the Festive Fifty. But in this list on merit, of course. "Teen Daze takes Lord Huron's blissed out tropicana and turns it into a pulsating anthem, while retaining those moments of introspection that made the original so wonderful."

#22 Caribou - 'Odessa'

STREAM: Caribou - Odessa

To be honest, if I hadn't started working at Fopp, I probably would never have got into Caribou. Having been pretty non plussed by "their" live performance at Field Day, after a few listens of acclaimed album 'Swim', I was won over. If this track isn't the future of dance music, then it should be.

#21 All The Damn Kids - 'The Books Stop Here'

"Tinged with a summery indie-pop vibe, this is quintessentially British. And quintessentially amazing." Read a little bit more about the band, and download the track, here.

#20 Friendship - 'Lifeguard'

In the April singles of the month round up, I noted how awful Friendship were when I saw them live yet how brilliant this single was. "Effervescent, hyperactive, bouncy, and more variations on that theme. It actually makes me want to jump into a sweaty moshpit."

#19 Vampire Weekend - 'Giving Up The Gun'

STREAM: Vampire Weekend - Giving Up The Gun

Not sure how many bands can get away with an opening line that goes as such: "Your sword's grown old and rusty". Quite literally below the belt. A mellow, melodic offering that is essentially the 'Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa' of album numero deux. Great cameo-filled video too, even if they are all rubbish at tennis.

#18 K'Naan - 'Waving Flag'

Maybe you didn't notice but there was a football World Cup on this year. Bafana Bafana and all that. Spain won, yeah? This might reminds you: BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR. That's my textual representation of the sound of a vuvuzela. In amongst all that was this life-affirming anthem, which really does make me throw my hands up in the air, like I just don't care.

#17 PVT - 'Window'

Formerly known as Pivot, this experimental pop single meant that the band strayed eerily close to the term "PVC window". Still as "inventive and exhilarating" as it was a few months back, and even better, still downloadable here.

#16 The Drums - 'Best Friend'

STREAM: The Drums - Best Friend

I naively believed that "the backlash might have been and gone" way back in April, only to hear one of my former colleagues at Fopp slagging this track off the other day. To be fair, he probably had a point about the naff lyrics but I think it's an enjoyably breezy, bouncy track regardless. Especially in this live rendition.

#15 Maybeshewill - 'To The Skies From A Hillside'

In October's singles round up, I proclaimed that "this instrumental post-rock odyssey puts them on a par with contemporaries such as 65DaysOfStatic. Monumental." Alas, I'm not sure my words had an effect on reality and Maybeshewill remain significantly underappreciated.

#14 Revere - 'We Won't Be Here Tomorrow'

Unfortunately, Revere haven't had the wider appreciation that they deserve. From me too, to be honest, as I'm still yet to hear their debut album. Anyway, to paraphrase myself from July this single is all bombastic and melodramatic, and what I imagine Hope Of The States might have sounded like if they were still going and embraced more pop sensibilities.

#13 Zola Jesus - 'Poor Animal'

Perhaps the best thing Nika Rosa Danilova has done, which considering that this is a new track, is a very good thing. This single "gives off an ambience similar to some of the introspective moments of Joy Division, with a relentless drumbeat adding to the atmosphere."

#12 Let's Buy Happiness - 'Six Wolves'

October's single of the month. And something I paid like £12 for. Admittedly, it came with a t-shirt, another EP and all sorts but anyway. "There's something magical about 'Six Wolves', when the handclap-inspired bridge begins, I'm transported to another world. A majestic, melody-laden world."

#11 Wild Palms - 'Deep Dive'

"With echoes of labelmates The Twilight Sad but even more gloriously compelling, 'Deep Dive' is awash with immersive guitar lines and arresting vocals." May's single of the month.

#10 The Chap - 'Even Your Friend'

Back in September, I described this as a bit "like the soundtrack to the most ridiculous party ever." It feels even more like that now, for some reason. 'Even Your Friend' is pretty much the musical equivalent of pick'n'mix, with particular highlights being the pseudo-rap bridge and the gospel vocal hook. "OHHHHHH YEAHHHHHHHHHH".

#9 The Cinnamons - 'Welcome To The Business'

STREAM: The Cinnamons - Welcome To The Business (Radio Edit)

Probably the "shock entry" of this year's Festive Fifty seeing as they've received precisely zero mentions on FADED GLAMOUR ever. But 'Welcome To The Business' has stayed with me for many months, a thrilling power pop anthem. I dare you to not bop your head, tap your feet and singalong to this.

#8 Delorean - 'Stay Close'

A soundtrack to match the best summers of your life, 'Stay Close' is "dream pop meets Ibizan dance music". Glorious. Download here. The video perfectly matches the song, to boot.

#7 Underworld - 'Scribble'

"And it's ooooooookkkkkkkkkkkkkkaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyy". Back in July, I mentioned how surprising it was that "such a shitty lyric makes such an amazing opening refrain." It was also June's single of the month. "Teaming up with High Contrast, 'Scribble' is Underworld's take on drum'n'bass. With a bit of random female spoken word thrown in. And it's better than okay. Let the melodic euphoria consume you."

#6 Marina & The Diamonds - 'Hollywood'

STREAM: Marina & The Diamonds - Hollywood

"OH MAI GAWD! YOU LOOK JUST LIKE SHAKIRA, NO NO, CATHERINE ZETA...ACK-CHA-LLY, MY NAME'S MARINA". That lyric still brings a smile to my face, even though it's kind of awful. Possibly single of the month for February but back then, I was doing a weekly round up. "'Hollywood' bubbles along with a variety of melodies and hooks, and with a glamourous video to match Marina's glamourous looks. A splendid pop single." That seems a bit understated in retrospect, this is the bee's knees.

#5 White Sea - 'Mountaineer'

DOWNLOAD: White Sea - Mountaineer

I don't think Morgan Kibby, former collaborator with M83, has received anywhere near enough recognition yet in her burgeoning solo career. This is Exhibit A. Like I said in October, "'Mountaineer' somehow manages to find a glorious middle ground between Sigur Ros and eighties power pop, resulting in an anthem so magnificent, I can't seem to go five minutes without yearning to listen to it again."

#4 Hot Chip - 'I Feel Better'

STREAM: Hot Chip - I Feel Better

I still can't find a streamable audio version of this single even in the 7 or so months since I declared 'I Feel Better' April's single of the month. You'll have to get by with the album version. Or check out the brilliant video, featuring none other than "cancer Jesus".

#3 Kele - 'Everything You Wanted'

STREAM: Kele - Everything You Wanted

August single of the month. "For all of Kele's other electro nonsense, he's hit a massive home run with this single. Melodic and majestic. You can't help but think that this could be Kele's ode to his fellow Bloc Party members while the band is on "hiatus"."

#2 Mark Ronson & The Business International - 'Bang Bang Bang'

Foolishly wussed out of giving this single of the month back in July. But here's what I wrote: "OKAY. I give in. I wanted to hate this because Mark Ronson is ridiculously smug but instead, I must applaud him on near-pop-perfection. The chorus is particularly brilliant, with inspired use of of French lyrics from 'Alouette'." Seriously though Mark, sort yr hair out.

#1 Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip - 'Get Better'

STREAM: Get Better by le sac Vs Pip

In retrospect, this was surprisingly overlooked for March's single of the month. Particularly as I'd been gushing with my praise for the single previously. "Combining Pip's ever-so-clever observational lyricism and Le Sac's bouncy electro vibes, we have another gem on our hands. An impassioned plea to the youth of today to "get better". Admittedly, 'Get Better' is inherently moralising which can come off as patronising but it's tough to take Scroobius Pip as anything other than earnest."

Most of you probably don't know that I've spent the last four years working with underprivileged teenagers promoting higher education and raising aspirations. Consequently, 'Get Better' struck a particularly personal chord. "Whether you have or you have not wealth, the system might fail you but don't fail yourself"." With the painfully high university tuition fees looming, this seems like an appropriate message to present.

Any thoughts? If not, see you next year. Cheers.

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