1. James Blake | I Never Learnt To Share
The vocals. The chords. The pacing. I loooove this song.
2. Frédéric François Chopin | Waltz In C-Sharp Minor, Op. 64, No. 2 (Performed by Art Tatum)
I got into Music through Classical and Jazz piano, but this makes me never want to play again. Art Tatum improvises on the ubiquitous High-School-recital piece and blows any piano playing I’ve ever heard out of the water. This dude was not a human. The terrible fidelity only makes this recording seem even more otherworldly and precious.
3. Dirty Projectors | Useful Chamber
I hope I’m not cheating by putting this in a Top 10 list, because Useful Chamber is basically 3 songs crushed into one. It’s a risky move on DP’s part, but against all odds, the song’s overall form is as joyful as it is terrifying.
4. Radiohead | Give Up The Ghost
I’m too young to have really been into Radiohead when a lot of the classics came out, so this is the first song of theirs that I got to watch develop, from seeing a Lo-Fi video of Thom Yorke’s first performance, to hearing it on King Of Limbs, to actually getting to see the full-band version live.
5. Nosaj Thing x Chance The Rapper | Paranoia
This is not Chance at his most verbally virtuostic but the heart-breaking lyrics and Xanaxed beat work perfectly together. Man, does this one have a lot of feels.
6. Roomful Of Teeth | Ansa Ya
These guys can make more sounds with just their voices than most people can make with Ableton. They have a ton of killer tracks, but my favorite might be this one, written by Merrill Garbus (of tUnE-yArDs). When the main theme comes back in, it puts me in a totally novel, scary, and exuberant world.
7. Madvillain | Figaro
The beat on this could not be hotter, but the flows are freezing. It’s hard to divorce any one track from the rest of the album, Madvillainy, but this is my favorite.
8. Miguel | Quickie
The best thing on the radio in like the last 5 years. With enough snare fills to kill a Dancehall DJ, this one sizzles and pops right from the beginning. Oh, and Miguel can kinda sing, too.
9. Xenia Rubinos | Hair Receding
Xenia’s voice jumping the octave at 3:36 may be the most Punk thing ever.
10. TOTALMESS | SANDWATR
Underrated British producer TOTALMESS kills it on this one. Each individual sound is super Digital, but somehow the song as a whole is totally Organic and Natural. SANDWATR sounds like a religious epiphany in the middle of the woods.