Song, by Toad Readers’ Top Five Songs of 2010

The results of the only real award that matters this Winter season (apart from the oracular annunciations of my own opinion, of course) can now finally be announced!  AWESOME! I hear you cry in unison.  Maybe.

Last year we had these votes as well, but I rather neglectfully failed to actually add up the final scores.  In all honesty, it’s the making of the lists which is often the best bit, so picking a winner at the very end is probably not entirely necessary for fun to take place, but given you all did me the honour of voting it seems a little rude not to fulfil my side of the bargain.

So yes, my enormous and profoundly complex algorithm (also known as a tally chart) has finally processed all the entries, and we can announce the winner of the Song, by Toad Readers’ Top Five Songs of the Year.  On Friday we will vote for our top five albums, so you might want to start thinking about that one in advance.

Anyone who actually followed the votes will know two things about this particular vote: firstly, that the winner was completely obvious from the very start; and secondly, that there are dozens and dozens of songs with no more than a single vote each, which is kind of inevitable in this kind of thing, but at least suggests that for all Song, by Toad probably represents something of a musical monoculture, there is at least a fair bit of diversity within that narrow vista.  So congratulations to the likes of CTel for coming on here and posting five entirely different songs from a notably different genre to the norm around these parts, and balls to the indie kids who don’t like it!

So, in reverse order, we had many songs tied for sixth place.  They’re not really part of a top five, of course, but I thought you would be interested to see them:
Arcade Fire – Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)
Arcade Fire – We Used to Wait
Meursault – One Day This’ll All Be Fields
Meursault – Weather
The National – England
The Scottish Enlightenment – Little Sleep
The Walkmen – Angela Surf City

Getting into the top five, we ended up with a three-way tie for third place (in alphabetical order):

=3. Broken Records – You Know You’re Not Dead (Buy here)
[audio:http://songbytoad.com/tunes/BrokenRecords-YouKnowYoureNotDead.mp3]

=3. Foals – Spanish Sahara (Buy here)
[audio:http://songbytoad.com/tunes/Foals-SpanishSahara.mp3]

=3. Meursault – What You Don’t Have (Buy here)
[audio:http://songbytoad.com/tunes/Meursault-WhatYouDontHave.mp3]

There was a really close-run race for second throughout the voting, with Meursault, Foals and Broken Records all in there at various times, but in the end a little burst of enthusiasm carried the following tranche of epic gorgeousness over the line ahead of the others:

2. eagleowl – No Conjunction (Buy here)
[audio:http://songbytoad.com/tunes/eagleowl-NoConjunction.mp3]

Which leaves the winner, obvious from the very start of the voting, and a song which, from the moment it was first released, generated so much excitement for the album from which it comes that High Violet was almost guaranteed to do well weeks before anyone heard more than a single song.  Bloodbuzz Ohio may not even be my personal favourite from that record (that would be England) but it does embody the rich, luxuriant sombreness of the album beautifully.

1. The National – Bloodbuzz Ohio (Buy here)
[audio:http://songbytoad.com/tunes/TheNational-BloodbuzzOhio.mp3]

And so there we go, your favourite five songs from 2010, a year which I thought was brilliant for new albums, far better than the extremely disappointing 2009.  A few things stood out to me from the voting, which are sort of worth mentioning, just by way of follow up.

1. No Sparrow & the Workshop?  Come on, people. I know the Sparrows have been quiet for a while, working on their new album, but I reckon they deserved a little more love than they ended up getting in this particular vote.

2. Ha ha ha, no Joanna fucking Newsom or Laura Marling. Well done.  They’re fucking shit.  I am proud of you.

3. Meursault and The National got a lot of votes. The National scored marginally more total votes than Meursault, but they were mostly for Bloodbuzz Ohio.  Meursault had about five or six songs, all of which could easily have been nudged into the top five by a couple of stray votes here or there.  In the end, I think it’s fair to say (with some pride) that the consistent excellence of their album, and their general schizophrenia as a band, cannibalised their own vote.  No matter though, because these two bands both scored almost double as many total votes as anyone else on the whole list, which is accolade enough in itself.

4. How do I know nothing at all about Foals? I assume that you all read this site because you more or less agree with my taste in music.  Otherwise, I can’t entirely see the point.  So how come, given we all listen to broadly the same kind of music, do you all love Foals so much while I have never once made the time to sit down and listen to their stuff.  Shame on me.  Homework for Christmas!

5. We got a lot of votes. This fact gives the results a sheen of respectability which I could never hope to generate on my own. Thank you.

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