Firstly, I’d like to note that I am a member of Generation X. I say this because many of the bands that have made an impact on me came out of the 90s e.g. hearing “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (on the charts!) for the first time or seeing You Am I live during my first week at Uni. This is not to say that “things aren’t as good as they used to be” (though in my head this may be the case). It’s just that it’s often the music that makes an impact on you in your late teens/early 20s that stay with you. Nostalgia, I guess they call it. But now it’s time for some Noughtstalgia. I have done my best to keep this list contemporary and not include too many relics from the 90s in the list, but there are a lot of bands (e.g. Animal Collective, Panda Bear, Grizzly Bear – basically any band with an animal in the title. And I am not a member of the religion that is Radiohead) loved by Gen Y that I just don’t get and I’m probably not supposed to.
There are those who say that compiling lists like this is foolish and you can’t place a numerical value on music, etc. etc. and I understand this view. But the order of these songs have not been painstakingly assembled and it’s not overly important. It’s actually not so much about the songs either, though I think they are all awesome. The focus is more about the artists that have impressed me this decade (that happen to have embeddable videos online for the songs that I like).
So here are 30 songs that I like that have been released (not necessarily as singles) in the last 10 years. Think of it as a mix tape that I have compiled for your (ok, mainly my) listening pleasure.
Oh, Dang! I forgot Bob Dylan! And Sonic Youth..and…Arcade Fire…and..
#30 “Someday” The Strokes (2002)
It has been uncool to like this rich pretty boy band. But The Strokes were the first band to break into the mainstream as part of the turn-of-the-millennium garage rock revival trend and as the decade ends, they are getting recognised for this. And if you twisted my arm really violently, I’d even admit to liking them.
This video clip features Slash. Slash is cool. Isn’t he?
#29 “Tiger Mountain Peasant Song” Fleet Foxes (2008)
This song muses on mortality with an ethereal melody and vocal that is pure and peaceful. I wish them all the best for their “difficult second album.”
The cover art to their debut album is of the 1559 painting Netherlandish Proverbs by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. Beat that for retro.
#28 “Pass The Hatchet, I Think I’m Goodkind” Yo La Tengo (2006)
There’s nothing like a raucous, 10-minute, 3-piece jam to open an album. Especially when that album is a double album called “I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass.”
We should never take Yo La Tengo for granted.
#27 “Some Summers They Drop Like Flys” Dirty Three (2000)
Horse Stories is great and the instrumental concept album Ocean Songs is even better. But Whatever You Love, You Are was this Melbourne band’s finest effort at combining spontaneous raw emotion with well-crafted melodies. The distinctly Aussie-titled Some Summers They Drop Like Flys is a good example of this.
This video gives you a hint of how great they are live.
#26 “Change Is Hard” She & Him (2008)
Dear God. Please help. I’m under the spell of Zooey Deschanel. Her eyes make me melt. I hear her sing and I turn to liquid. Please cure me of this relentless affliction. Love, Simon.