Top 50 Songs of 2010 :: 50-41 [Get up, get up, get up]

50. Silver Swans - "Secrets"

A dark, sexy slice of female fronted post-punk, Silver Swans took us downtown and underground in 2010. Pushed through crowd to the back of the club and into some secret corner with dead eyes and weak hearts, the central lyric is a lie, "I don't think about you anymore."

49. Apex Manor - "Under The Gun"

"Under The Gun" both enjoys the comfort of conversation cliches and relentless 4/4 snare drums. A pounding rock song at the center of Apex Manor's debut record, The Year Of Magical Drinking due next year on Merge, caught our attention for its unapologetic affect and the huge guitars that carry us into the last chorus.

48. Murder Mystery - "I Am (If You Are)

Ebullient on arrival, New York's Murder Mystery slice synth-pop into the kind of digestible bites that are metaphorically carried around by waiters at Chairlift's holiday party. It's not quite "I tried to handstands for you," but chiming synths and an intensely infectious chorus make the co-dependency of the title seem an after thought and your answer the immediate and necessary, "Yes."

47. California Wives - "Blood Red Youth"

The glossy, soaring rock of California Wives gave us an intense reflection on lost youth this year. The song builds and builds on the backs of whipping guitars, clocking near five minutes in total, before a final chorus and an explosion so fitting it makes clear that getting older isn't dying at all. For a young group with a stellar EP, be certain to follow each day in the future for this band with an inside chance of being the Stills of 2011.

46. Pallers - "The Kiss"

In one of those moments that needs television licensing before you will take full notice, Pallers' "The Kiss" takes off under its own power at the 3.15 mark, like a zero-gravity push, sliding into infinity with no regard for physical friction or conventional resistance. We said this was a long drive for someone with someone with too much to think about. Apologies, Brock, it's still true.

45. Generationals - "Trust"

The guitars in Generationals' "Trust" are so simultaneously mournful and optimistic, it very nearly makes the lyrics seem sarcastic. Earnestness is currency in this crowd, and this band, more than most, is willing to look you in the face and sing lines like, "what's the use in trusting more than we have to?" They don't have an answer but the prevailing assumption is you will figure it out yourself.

44. La Sera - "Never Come Around"

La Sera vocalist Katy Goodman is so stupidly pretty she inspired cynicism from at least one 32ft/sec contributor who accused us of giving looks-based favoritism. The former Vivian Girl did stun, but it was with her voice, the detached, breathy tones that held captive the longing "Never Come Around." It was a single more suited to a late 1950s house party where the boys and girls spin records and smile at each other, not because they feel good, but because it was the fashion to do so.

43. Small Black - "Photojournalist"

Small Black have sold their guitars and bought turntables, and then they sold their turntables and bought synthesizers and samplers. Perched behind a wall of modern technology, the band draws on the sonics of a distopian, urban safari, creating the music for the headphones of the kids who roam post-industrial Bushwick (you can fill in your own version) wondering what the hell happened here.

42. Sun Airway - "Put The Days Away"

Sun Airway traffic in sea-sick loops and bending sonics that feel like the woozy second-movement of cold medicine on an empty stomach. The chorus sails out of the gloom and maw, but the message is about burial, about being driven underground. In the verses the band returns to its cloudy, anxious vernacular as we steady ourselves against something immovable. If you feel unsettled, good, it's working.

41. Delorean - "Stay Close"

For this writer in 2010, Delorean will never leave the stage at Chicago's Empty Bottle the night before their daytime slot at the Pitchfork Fest. It was late and we were bouncing around to the fog horns and the stream-lined and echoing Euro-pop. At the center of a washed out summer in the middle of the night in a foreign city, "Stay Close" seemed an appropriate close to an evening spent next to Kurt Vile and Neon Indian, losing their minds along with the rest of the kids, "Get up, get up, get up."

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