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CoS Year-End Report: The Top 50 Songs of 2010

on December 13, 2010, 9:00am
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20. The Tallest Man on Earth – “King of Spain”

king of spain CoS Year End Report: The Top 50 Songs of 2010

Kristian Matsson may not be the tallest man you know. In fact, he comes in at a few inches under six feet, but listening to the triumphant “King of Spain”, you’d never know that.

Matsson jokingly toys with his status as a songwriter, claiming to “Settle in Pamplona” and “Provoke the bulls with words.” He even shouts out to Dylan with his “Boots of Spanish leather.” Jokes aside, the song is about love and transformation and is, frankly, irresistible. With his characteristic rapid guitar strumming in top form and raspy, passionate vocals paired alongside an exuberant love for love, the Tallest Man is in top form with this revival tune. -Caitlin Meyer

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19. Robyn – “Dancing on My Own”

robyn dancing on my own CoS Year End Report: The Top 50 Songs of 2010

Robyn‘s “Dancing On My Own” is the kind of pop song an indie rocker can get behind: incredibly catchy (but not annoyingly so), lyrically detached and melancholy, and dominated sonically by chilly, dense, synthesizers. Kanye might be the pop star of 2010 in terms of sheer “can’t ignore me if you try” hooks, but with this masterful comeback single, Robyn gracefully and subtly dominated the dance floor. -Ryan Reed

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18. Wavves – “King of the Beach”

wavves king of the beach CoS Year End Report: The Top 50 Songs of 2010

Kicking off one helluva fun album is this super-charged, rollicking beach jam. Nathan Williams and Co. set the tone with an anthemic shout-along about his sand dominance. The thrashing chords and rapidly rolling drums provide a pretty standard (yet great) power-pop gem before a wide-open, whammy-bar bridge and chord change crash in to keep things fresh. -Adam Kivel

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17. Sleigh Bells – “Tell ‘Em”

 CoS Year End Report: The Top 50 Songs of 2010

“Tell ‘Em” is Sleigh Bells. There’s no other track on Treats that better does what “Tell ‘Em” does, because the opening riff – the one that sounds like a Jock Jam shredded out on cocaine – is definitive. Derick Miller’s instrumentation attacks your every pressure point, from the EQ’d guitar sound that is sorely missed in most indie music, to the industrial spine supporting the track, to the hand-claps and snaps replacing the snare and hi-hat. Over each meticulous element, Alexis Krauss speeds through her thoughts on youth, suggesting insignificance in both style and substance, a timely quality that couples well with the substance of Miller’s guitar. The definitiveness of “Tell ‘Em” goes beyond the album, too. Sleigh Bells’ sound might be the most exciting debut of 2010, sounding like everything and nothing, full of fluff and substance, and this song is their battle cry. –Jeremy Larson

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16. Broken Social Scene – “World Sick”

world sick CoS Year End Report: The Top 50 Songs of 2010

Broken Social Scene is a band that’s always done drama: strained inter-band relationships, a rotating cast of musicians, and a discography of melodramatic soundscapes. But “World Sick” tops them all. The song is the perfect slice of Broken Social Scene melodrama. It builds slowly with a gorgeous riff and mounts into an anthem. It’s the sort of song that begs for you to have an embarrassing fist-in-the-air-at-a-concert moment, and really, with lyrics like “I get world sick every time I take a stand,” it’s easy to imagine the song being a sappy train-wreck. But Kevin Drew, Brendan Canning, and Co. instead take that sentiment to a beautiful, epic place. -Evan Minsker

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