Each day this week, we will be debuting ten more songs as we count down our favorite songs of 2010.  We couldn’t have possibly listened to every song in 2010, but these are our favorites out of everything we listened to.  Today we present 40-31.  Read below to see our picks!

40. “Stay Close”

Delorean

This sunny song by Spanish Barca-beat band Delorean is one of those songs that never fails to put you in a good mood.  Upon first listen, “Stay Close” seems like yet another dance song, but when you hear Ekhi Lopetegi sing, “I could never stand not being closer” you realize the emotions behind the lyrics.  Synths build throughout the track as background vocals implore, “get up, get up” — yet the song never seems to climax, creating an anticipation throughout the song and leaving the listener wanting to listen again.

39. “I Think Ur a Contra”

Vampire Weekend

On the somewhat disappointing Contra, Vampire Weekend closed the album with their best and most mature track to date.  The song begins with Ezra Koenig’s falsetto and guitars reminiscent of the Dirty Projectors before blossoming into strings and African drums.  Koenig addresses critics of the band who want either “good schools and friends with pools” or “rock and roll, complete control.”  But Vampire Weekend finally decide to “never choose between two,” and they shouldn’t have to — as long as they keep making great pop music.

38. “Where I’m Going”

Cut Copy

The best songs feel like they’re speaking to the listener directly, and Cut Copy succeed in doing so on “Where I’m Going.”  The song uses only a pulsating organ, Beach Boys harmonies, a steady drum beat, and a bunch of “yeah’s” and “woo’s” to create this fantastic psychedelic dance track.  Dan Whitford sings, “Take my hand ’cause I know what you’re going through” and it isn’t just a lyric — it’s a personal invitation to join them on a journey through the song.  And what a journey it is.

37. “General Patton”

Big Boi

Epic.  It’s a word that’s grossly overused these days, but it’s the only word that fittingly describes “General Patton.”  Big Boi raps only two verses on the song, but those two verses are all he needs to establish that he is one of the most innovative modern rappers.  At one point he raps, “Then we spittin’ ’cause we killin’ everything that we attack.”  It seems arrogant, but it’s true — when you can rap over a  beat built around a sample from a Giuseppe Verdi opera, you’ve earned the right to brag.

36. “10 Mile Stereo”

Beach House

It’s easy to forget how remarkable Victoria Legrand’s voice is.  Her marvelous vocals often seem like another instrument on the Baltimore duo’s dreamy tracks.  On “10 Mile Stereo,” however, Legrand gives the performance of a lifetime: her voice rises above the reflective guitar and drums, and with every listen you find yourself immersed in the beauty of her voice.  Legrand’s voice draws you into the song and you let it — and with a voice like her’s, why wouldn’t you?

35. “Tell ‘Em”

Sleigh Bells

Sleigh Bells are a band of juxtapositions, and nowhere is that more clear than on the opening track from their debut album.  Alexis Krauss’ fragile vocal harmonies glide effortlessly over Derek Miller’s crunchy guitars and gunshot drums, an unlikely contrast that not only succeeds but excels.  Krauss criticizes the mediocrity of her generation and asks, “Do you really wanna be that way?”  Sleigh Bells set out to be different from their peers and effortlessly innovated a sound that sounds like no one else in music today.

34. “Not in Love”

Crystal Castles [ft. Robert Smith]

It seemed like an unlikely collaboration: The Cure frontman Robert Smith teams up with electronic duo Crystal Castles to cover 80s new wave group Platinum Blonde.  But the awesome”Not in Love” works remarkably well.  Smith’s vocals sound as if they were beamed in straight from the 80s and somehow are the perfect compliment to the bombast of synths on the chorus.  It’s nostalgic, and forward-looking, and downright fantastic.

33. “Flash Delirium”

MGMT

After hits such as “Time to Pretend,” many were expecting a similar electro-pop song from MGMT. Instead, they delivered a four minute and sixteen second psychedelic adventure that goes in a million different directions without ever seeming unfocused.  The song has no chorus, a flute solo, Wall-of-Sound production, the lyric “stab your Facebook,” and a frantic ending before all suddenly disappearing.  It’s certainly not another “Kids”, but we wouldn’t want it any other way.

32. “Floating Vibes”

Surfer Blood

There’s something to be said for a band who writes straightforward guitar pop.  In a time when new genres seemingly evolve every month and genres clash together at an ever-fastening pace, it’s refreshing to see a band making catchy rock music.  Surfer Blood have mastered writing outstanding melodies on their debut album, and that skill is evident on this laidback, summery track.  And when a guitar riff is just as catchy as the chorus itself, you know you’re doing something right.

31. “Hang With Me”

Robyn

In a blog post on her website, Robyn wrote, “Pop should be seductive and sweet when it can.  [‘Hang With Me’] is like a sweet and sour bon-bon wrapped in melancholy.”  The song with its shimmering synths and shout along chorus features hint of caution below the surface.  She tells a lover not to fall in love out of fear of the inevitable break-up, but she finally concedes as long as they both realize the consequences going in.  Robyn sings with such confidence and emotion on the track, it’s hard to believe she didn’t even write it.

Next: Songs 30-21

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