(In order of the extent I’ve heard all the music made by the artiste. This indicates the degree to which I’m making an informed choice based on all that I’ve heard from them— the significance of my choice.)
1. Autumn – Joanna Newsom
My current favourite JN song. Had quite a hard time deciding between that and Cosmia. It’s really hard to be ‘objective’ in this. I decided on Autumn because it was the one I’d got stuck to more recently. Also, I’m having a little love-hate relationship with Cosmia as I’m in the midst of covering it and there’s this 2-bar affair that’s rather impossible to sing and play at the same time without spending too much time on it. Yada yada yada. I’ve also yet to listen to some of the tracks on her 3rd album close enough. And this is the first CD I’ve bought in a long time.
2. Guyamas Sonora – Beirut
Which Beirut song to feature is impossible to decide. I chose this one because I’ve consistently played this throughout the year.
3. Primal – Slowdive
Someone on lastfm recommended Slowdive to me. Ancestor of shoegaze. Primal is just … wow.
4. Debaser – Pixies
Bought their CD though haven’t listened to them close enough yet. (For me, there is a correlation between buying CDs and not listening to artistes close enough.) The last time I listened (years back), I didn’t really appreciate them. The music just sifts by my ear. Debaser got me stuck. Will be browsing more of that CD.
5. An Island – Devendra Benhart
Browsed enough of his songs which sifted by me as hard as I try to listen. This is the only song that stuck. Amazing song. I’ll line it up on the list to cover.
6. Love and Mathematics – Broken Social Scene | Interlude – +44 | (A tie)
I never ever quite got into BSS. None of their songs ever really got me. An exception is Love and Mathematics which I really adore (and which also seemed to be not so popular among BSS fans). I didn’t really listen to this song this year as I’d forgotten but when I gave it a listen today, it got me again. Since today is part of ‘this year’, I’ll let it count.
Yes, +44 is a 2/3 spinoff from blink 182. I love their music— much more than blink’s. Sometimes I’m a little ashamed to admit but their one and only album’s a gem. I don’t think +44 is alternative/punk as they themselves have suggested. It’s electronica/indie (except for the label).
7. Sleep to Dream – Fiona Apple
Ahhhh, need I say more? I need to listen to more of her though.
8. Gymnopedie – Erik Satie
Amazing. First heard it in class when the teacher showed us a video utilising the song.
9. Sun – Caribou
Amazing song that makes me want to bob and shake my head wildly and dance (and I do). His video of pagan dancing enhanced it all. Finally got around to checking out Caribou this year after staving it off for 1-2 years.
10. Suspended in Gaffa – Kate Bush
An e-friend sent this to me and thought I may like it. I love it. It’s just … wow. I was obsessed with it. However, I didn’t get around to checking out more of Kate Bush. I really, really, really should.
Just one rule for myself: Artistes cannot be repeated.
I had a hard time coming up with this list. I entered a few of the songs here spontaneously without much thought. 2 of the songs here got chosen in the very process of browsing through my library and stumbling upon them and finding them precious like old relics. Even though I didn’t listen to them much throughout 2010, I felt bad if I had to bar them from the list.
The list was all different from last year— except for JN. And I am still obsessed with Emily. JN songs stay! This year, the songs featured are of a larger variety and some cannot be as easily classified. I am also more into female vocals whereas in the past, I really, really preferred male vocals. There are also more old artistes here. My list paid more tribute to history.
It’s also less frivolous than last year’s (both in how I choose and the nature of the songs which are now more thoughtful instead of how they just sound good and trigger off a pleasure switch in my head). Another thing that stayed is that the list contains as many purely instrumental songs as it previously did.
Overall, I still can’t say it is totally objective. I’m only human, perhaps. It’ll probably be different if I were to do it tomorrow.