6. LADYHAWKE, “BLACK AND WHITE AND BLUE”
Frenetic and overstuffed and full of sounds competing with other sounds, “Black, White and Blue” sounds like what it’s about. And if you’re at a point where you think “life inside your head has come undone,” but you can sing “Livin’ on a Prayer” and make your music shine while thinking those words, you’re doing better than us.
7. T-ARA, “LOVEY-DOVEY”
This is No. 1 on Billboard’s K-pop chart right now (you didn’t know they had one? Get familiar!), and even without a working knowledge of the major players and artists in the scene, it’s easy to see why: it’s the exact midpoint between today’s dance and latter-day disco, with an infectious curtsy of a chorus and vocal burbles. As an introduction to the genre, it’s as glorious as any.
8. MIIKE SNOW FT. LYKKE LI, “BLACK TIN BOX”
Miike Snow is a group with, among other people, producers Bloodshy & Avant (responsible for the few Britney Spears tracks that get critical praise, i.e. “Toxic” and “Piece of Me”); Lykke Li, meanwhile, turned in one of the more underrated, more haunting albums of last year with Wounded Rhymes. They’ve collaborated before and team up again for “Black Tin Box,” crackling and claustrophobic.
9. CARINA ROUND, “JANUARY HEART”
This is the last weekend playlist where this track’ll make sense. Carina Round’s a British singer-songwriter, and she tends to get compared to PJ Harvey, but that’s not quite accurate. Her current project, Early Winters is a little quieter, a little janglier; meanwhile, Slow Motion Addict, where “January Heart” appears, is a much louder, slicker affair (it’s produced by Alanis collaborator Glen Ballard.) “January Heart” tricks you into thinking it’ll be slow, but it turns out that’s just slow seething.
10. ADELE – “SET FIRE TO THE RAIN”
Because it’s No. 1 now, and we’re going to be writing about it, and Adele’s probably going to be performing it sometime this year when she’s performing again, so let’s showcase it now while it’s only sorta-kinda and not completely overplayed.