I’ll be doing a Top 20 Albums Of The Year piece soon, but in the meantime I thought I’d do a quick Top 10 Songs, made up of the 10 tracks that have meant most to me this year. Some of them will be appearing on my top albums, others won’t, but I love them all…
1 – Shawn Smith – Love And Riots
In a year of unrest and turmoil all over the world, from uprisings in the Middle East to riots and looting in Manchester and London, one of my favourite vocalists released this wonderfully simple song that seems to sum it all up.
2 – Jonathan Wilson – Gentle Spirit
Another song for the soul in a year of chaos.
3 – Gillian Welch – Hard Times
Another universally topical song, though it makes you wonder what David Cameron made of it when he saw her live in London.
4 – PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
Dave of course found himself next to PJ Harvey on the Andrew Marr Show after her Mercury Award prize, and this title track is one of her best ever.
5 – Radiohead – Codex
The King Of Limbs still hasn’t really made an impact on me as a whole, but this beautiful piano-led track shows what they are still capable of.
6 – Björk – Cosmogeny
One of my highlights of the year was seeing Björk’s Biophilia show in Manchester and this is the best track by a mile.
7 – R.E.M. – It Happened Today
One of my low points of the year was R.E.M. splitting up, but they left us with another great song, featuring Eddie Vedder on background vocals.
8 – Lady Gaga – The Edge Of Glory
Gaga’s second album was a bit too much of a mish-mash of familiar ideas to be a classic, but this track made it worthwhile, not least as a swansong for the late Clarence Clemons.
9 – Brian Wilson – Baby Mine
A lullaby from Dumbo from his Disney album, he transforms it into a bona fide Brian Wilson classic.
10 – Death Cab For Cutie – You Are A Tourist
I’m a sucker for a catchy riff and this is immensely catchy, so makes it on my list.