Quick Before it Melts


by  |  December 12, 2008  |  3 Comments

(Art: J. Di Gioia)

(Art: J. Di Gioia)

It’s time for another look back at the year that was, this time focusing on the individual songs that peppered the QBiM playlist in 2008, and shake-shake-shimmy-shaked their way into our brains.  Last week’s list of 20 albums was a tough one to put together, and this list was no different.  Although some artists appear on both lists, it’s clear that our favourite songs of 2008 tend to be a bit more conservative than some of our album choices.  It all comes down to the fact that it’s harder to hook your listener with experimentation in a three to four minute song than it is over the course of a whole album.  It also doesn’t hurt that I’m a sucker for a great pop song.

In keeping with something started last year, this year’s favourite songs list is forgoing any real in-depth analysis of what makes the song great in favour of a quick, short six word description that hopefully encapsulates the spirit of song and artist.  So without further ado, here’s QBiM’s 20 favourite (note: favourite, not best) songs of 2008.  As always, your reactions, thoughts and opinions are welcomed in the comments to this post.

“Gamma Ray”
from Modern Guilt (Interscope)
“Go-go dance and indie rock sandwich”
MP3: Beck “Gamma Ray (Jay Reatard version)”
Video: Beck “Gamma Ray”

Bloc Party
“Ion Square”
from Intimacy (Vice/Wichita)
Makes ‘Mercury’ seem like a bad dream”
Video: Bloc Party “Ion Square (live at Le Live De La Sema)”

Born Ruffians
from Red Yellow and Blue (Warp)
“Frantic, frenetic, full of pop goodness”
MP3: Born Ruffians “Hummingbird”
Video: Born Ruffians “Hummingbird”

The Charlatans
“Oh! Vanity”
from You Cross My Path (self-released)
“Indie Godfathers still have the goods.”
MP3: The Charlatans “Oh! Vanity”
Video: The Charlatans “Oh! Vanity”

“Lovers in Japan”
from Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends (Parlophone)
“Guilty pleasure highlight from over-hyped album?”
Video: Coldplay “Lovers In Japan”

Constantines + Feist
“Islands in the Stream”
from Islands in the Stream 7″ (Arts & Crafts)
“Indie and country swap lovers’ spit”
Stream: Constantines + Feist “Islands in the Stream”

Crystal Castles
from Crystal Castles (Last Gang)
“Pure electro-pop brings life to death”

Cut Copy
“Hearts On Fire”
from In Ghost Colours (Modular)
“Classic electro-pop for a new generation”
MP3: Cut Copy “Hearts On Fire”
Video: Cut Copy “Hearts On Fire”

Luke Doucet and the White Falcon
“The Comandante”
from Blood’s Too Rich (Six Shooter)
“Horns from heaven signal rising star”
Video: Luke Doucet “The Comandante (live at the Starlight)”

“One Day Like This”
from The Seldom Seen Kid (Geffen)
“Lighters aloft anthem dispels the darkness”
Video: Elbow “One Day Like This”

The Futureheads
“The Beginning of the Twist”
from This is Not the World (Nul)
“Post punk power pop pulverizes peers”
Video: The Futureheads “The Beginning of the Twist”

from Seventh Tree (Mute)
Downtempo techno gets pastoral and pretty”
Video: Goldfrapp “A&E”

from Hey Ma (Mercury)
“Can’t kep the old masters down”
Video: James “Waterfall (live on Later with Jools Hooland)”

“Graveyard Girl”
from Saturdays=Youth (Mute)
What Smiths on ecstasy sound like”
Video: M83 “Graveyard Girl”

Moscow Olympics
“Second Trace”
from Cut The World (Lavender)
“New shoegaze order buzzes with delight”
MP3: Moscow Olympics “Second Trace”
Video: Moscow Olympics “Second Trace (fan-made)”

Sigur Rós
“Inní mér syngur vitleysingur”
from Me∂ su∂ í eyrum vi∂ spilum endalaust (XL)
“Arctic pop alchemy transcending language barriers”
Video: Sigur Rós “Inní mér syngur vitleysingur”

Sons & Daughters
“Gilt Complex”
from This Gift (Domino)
“Dirty sexy gritty pop ditty heaven”
Video: Sons & Daughters “Gilt Complex”

The Stills
“Being Here”
from Oceans Will Rise (Arts & Crafts)
“Rock poses mixed with smart pop”
MP3: The Stills “Being Here”
Video: The Stills “Being Here”

Tokyo Police Club
from Modern Elephant Shell (Saddle Creek)
Short, sharp, sticky, sweet clap-along”
Video: Tokyo Police Club “Tessellate”

The Wedding Present
“Spider-Man on Hollywood”
from El Rey (Manifesto)
“Hell, why fix what isn’t broken?”
Video: The Wedding Present “Spider-Man on Hollywood”
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  1. Ashley says:

    Finally, some Bloc Party on somebody’s 08 list!

    Mercury grows on you when you listen to it with the entire album.

  2. Jim says:

    I agree with you, Ashley. I’ve actually come around to Mercury quite a bit. It’s a shame the album wasn’t as satisfying as Weekend In The City was though. I think I may need to go back and spend some more time with Intimacy–I usually just get caught up in the awesomeness of Ion Square.

  3. Brian says:

    Great music in this bunch! Some nice Canadian artists on here too:) nice to see

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