Much more fun to pick out the best songs of the year than the best albums. Mainly because I get to pick more, so it’s slightly easier. And I get to stick some of the quality chart toppers in there, even though the rest of the album might be utter crap. If you want to guzzle up this top 30 without having to hit play 30 times, you can find them it handy playlists on Spotify (here) and YouTube (here) too.

Let me know what you think! What songs have I unforgivably left out?

30. Katy Perry

Teenage Dream

[insert shriek of outrage here]
Yes, I love this song. It’s just a perfectly crafted poptastic happy singalong and I’m guessing it was inspired by Perry’s blossoming romance with British bad boy Russell Brand. “I’ma get your heart racing in my skin-tight jeans be your teenage dream tonight”

29. Moss

I Apologise (Dear Simon)

A gorgeous jingle jangle song with hand claps and singalong aaahhhhs, and from Holland no less! It got played to death on the radio, but it hasn’t bored me yet.

28. Two Door Cinema Club

Something Good Can Work

A peppy summer popsong from these young Northern Irish lads, picked from an album jam packed with happy go lucky energetic songs for bright and sunny days. It may not be deep and meaningful, but who reads Dostoyevsky every day?

27. Mark Ronson & The Business Intl

The Bike Song

Bit of a slow burner for me this one, but such an endearing little song. The video perfectly portrays the sugar coated happiness of just riding around on your bike, checking out the local talent. Love Spank Rock’s mumbled little rap too: “I run around town, around round the town, with the pedal to the me… the pedal to whatever”

26. Jack Parow

Cooler As Ekke

In the toss up between Parrow and fellow South African group Die Antwoord it’s the long cap wearing laid back rapper that wins in the long run. Die Antwoord has high impact bizarre appeal, but it wears thin after a while. Cooler As Ekke is a witty introduction to the SA-soundwave that hit our shores this year.

25. Martin Solveig feat. Dragonette


It might be a bit manic in its upness, but very addictive too. Dragonette’s innocently cooed lyrics are perfectly suited to this bouncy song.

24. Blaudzun

Quiet German Girls

For me this one works even better together with the video, how captivating to watch beautiful women scream silently to this song!

23. Laura Marling

Rambling Man

It could have gone either way with Laura Marling after her promising if somewhat shaky debut, but thankfully she stayed true to herself and made a confident and more well rounded second album. This is my favourite track, a folky ballad. “But give me to a rambling man, let it always be known that I was who I am”

22. Cee Lo Green

It’s OK

What a joy of a record Cee Lo made, it’s just uncomplicated goodness, but very clever at the same time. It’s Ok is a funky, upbeat song with a nice luvvy duvvy message for the holiday season: “It’s ok, to say that you love me”

21. Faberyayo & Vic Crezée


Faberyayo, known from De Jeugd Van Tegenwoordig and side project Le Le, dropped a rather amazing mix tape called Het Grote Gedoe with Vic Crezée online earlier this year. Just a little free download, like it were nothing. Just goes to show his amazing creativity and broad scope, this boy is going places (two places in my top 30 for instance).

20. LCD Soundsystem

I Can Change

LCD at their eighties synth best, its got Eurythmics written all over it (Love Is A Stranger), but in a proper tribute sort of way. You’d almost believe James Murphy when he promises “I can change I can change I can change, if it helps you fall in love”

19. Janelle Monae


Not moving is not an option, tap them toes people! Janelle Monae is this year’s breath of fresh air in the pre-programmed R&B landscape, she doesn’t fit in any standard boxes and it works for her. As does the look. “When you get elevated, they love it or they hate it”

18. Adele

Rolling In The Deep

Adele is back and in the two years since her debut album it sounds like she’s been listening to a lot of White Stripes and blues, good choice! We get her soulful voice with a bit of a raw edge to the song, works like a charm. “Think of me in the depths of your despair”

17. The New Pornographers

Crash Years

The New Pornographers have produced a great record this year and Crash Years sums up all that is great about the band. Plus it had the unbeatable Neko Case on vocals, can’t go wrong with her. “Honey child you’re not safe here”

16. The Third Twin


Could it be? Is this really Daft Punk in disguise, dodging their Tron publishing restraints? It sure does sound like it! Their album Homemade is much more satisfying for Daft Punk fans than the Tron soundtrack, which is good but, well, soundtracky.

15. Broken Social Scene

Meet Me In The Basement

The only completely instrumental track on the album, but one of the most attention grabbing and exciting all the same. It makes me want to get up and start a protest movement. Any cause will do.

14. De Jeugd Van Tegenwoordig

Sexy Beesten

The brutal beat, the trademark Jeugd lyrics and most of all Wiwa’s auto tuned rap at 2:35, “Kijk in de spiegel bitch je bent magnifique!”

13. Hot Chip

I Feel Better

It’s as simple as this, “when you hold me, I feel better”. And to celebrate this glorious fact Hot Chip called in the assistance of a steel drum band at Glastonbury, stroke of genius.

12. Foals

Blue Blood

Such a heartfelt song and one of Foals’ best yet. The boy in the video is also all kinds of awesome. “You showed me. Where to go. To my home.”

11. The National

Bloodbuzz Ohio

2010 is the year I started to understand what The National is about. I have the feeling I’m not quite there yet, but Bloodbuzz Ohio is without doubt one of the finest songs of the year. “I still owe money, to the money, to the money I owe”

10. Yeasayer

Ambling Alp

A lot of what Yeasayer does and sings remains a complete mystery to me, take the song title Ambling Alp for instance, but I do know I find this psychedelic weirdness irresistible. “You must stick up for yourself son, never mind what anybody else done”

9. Lady Gaga feat. Beyonce

Telephone (vevo clip, sorry)

There is no denying the genius in the madness of  Lady Gaga. Last year she had gay choirs and glee clubs all over the world singing Bad Romance, this year she teamed up with Beyonce for one of the catchiest songs of 2010. “Should’ve left my phone at home cause this is a disaster!”

8. Caribou


An intoxicating dizzy trip of a song, addictively pulsating and hypnotising you with it’s simple mantra: “sun sun sun sun sun sun sun sun sun…”

7. Kanye West


Only Kanye gets away with mashing his royal rap highness Jay-Z, log cabin troubadour Bon Iver and outrageous Nicki Minaj on one track and making it the most accomplished on the album. “I’ma need to see your fuckin hands at the concert!”

6. Villagers

I Saw The Dead

The most eerie and haunting song on Villager’s debut album, but then it is about a room with dead people. “You take the torso, and I’ll take the head”

5. Beach House


Soothing, comforting and warm, and as a bonus it’s about a beautiful zebra. You didn’t know you needed a song about a zebra in your life, but it turns out you do. Beach House doesn’t avoid the weird, but it works out wonderfully. “Don’t I know you, better than the rest?”

4. James Blake

Limit To Your Love

Such precision and delicate delivery from a 21 year old, it’s almost hard to believe. James Blake takes this Feist song to a whole new level, darker, deeper and more exciting. His album leaked this week and I suggest you all hit download ASAP!

3. Local Natives


This song really struck a chord with me. It remembers a lost loved one in such a sweet and honest way, almost child like. Maybe it was even written from a child’s perspective and that’s why it works so well, judge for yourselves. “I love it all, so much I call, I want you back”

2. Robyn

Dancing On My Own

This is Robyn’s year and Dancing On My Own is the juicy cherry on her Body Talk pie. It’s a mystery to me you don’t see or hear more Robyn on (M)tv and radio, surely this album will appeal to masses of people? As she puts it herself: “I’m right over here, why can’t you see me?”

1. Arcade Fire


From the menacing opening notes you immediately know this is one of The Suburbs’ key songs. Thom Yorke would say: something big is gonna happen. And it does. Win Butler rips the tragic hipster culture to pieces in this intelligent and harrowing anthem.  “Oh my dear god what is that horrible song they’re singing”


This top 30 and some of the runners up in a Spotify playlist.

This top 30 in a YouTube playlist.