Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted by Spinner
On Wall Street, quarterly reports show how investments have fared during three-month increments. But here at Spinner, we like to take stock in music. And if the first quarter is any indication, 2010 should be a robust year. Some of the new year's most successful acts are still on a roll from 2009, of course. But others have launched with the new decade. Here are 20 of our favorite songs that rose in popularity the first three months of this year.
Despite the name, these preppy Columbia University alumni are not a fly-by-night kind of band. This song from VW's sophomore effort wants to be an '80s synth hit with sweet vocals, but any true attempt at retro is halted by the beating-a-door-down drum riffs.
In these fickle music times, even über-cool Beck already seems so ten years ago. But here we're reminded of his gifts in a song that sounds like '60s rock mashed with thumping, Beck-like beats. With zombie-inspired vocals, this song explores death -- something French actress Gainsbourg nearly encountered after what was thought to be a minor water skiing accident nearly killed her in 2007.
While there have been other contenders, Lady Gaga is easily the closest anyone has come to inheriting Madonna's Queen of Pop crown. And her bizarre fashions, club-friendly songs and Material Girl dance moves have helped revitalize music videos. (Two years after her debut, she became the first artist to surpass a billion views on YouTube recently.) Here she offers all that -- and Beyonce.
This song isn't your typical surf song in the Dick Dale or Beach Boys sense. But, like many mellow Shins tunes, if you play it to a longboard surf flick, it works. Hailing from West Palm Beach, Fla., this new indie rock quartet is garnering lots of Weezer comparisons.
If you were starting to miss Tracy Chapman, her quivery vocals seem to be passed on to Bulat, a product of London, Ontario, whose album 'Heart of My Own' was inspired by the brutally cold and lonely Yukon Territory. This dramatic tune starts out sparse but then transforms into a robust folk rocker with mournful strings and busy drums.
The low-budget video of Badu stripping naked at the site of JFK's assassination gave Badu even more exposure -- this time in the media. But the video threatens to overshadow what is a stellar song, featuring jazzy piano and Badu's '70s-style soul vocalizing.
Starting out with bubbling creek and bird noises, this dreamy, echoey song -- recalling Radiohead and early My Morning Jacket -- is good for those moments when you want to lie motionless while staring at the ceiling. Beach House pairs Victoria Legrand with Alex Scally, both hailing from Baltimore.
With its hand claps, peppy melody and slick harmony vocals, Rogue Wave's 'Solitary Gun' is a perfect song for a road trip. Recorded after singer-guitarist Zach "Rogue" Schwartz suffered two slipped discs in his neck, keeping him largely immobile for months, the song deals with death but in a bubbly way that still makes us want to dance.
The first line -- "She used to love me, but it's over now" -- leaves no mystery that this is a break-up song. And indeed it was written after Mark Oliver Everett, the man behind the Eels, went through a divorce and pondered middle age at 46. Recorded on a 4-track in his basement, this energetic rocker pairs rockabilly guitar with swampy vocals and old-school guitar leads Bill Haley would appreciate.
As this singer-harpist captures Kate Bush's weirdness and inventiveness, her song will frustrate anyone looking for a simple melody. Like a theatrical number, it rises and falls somewhat unpredictably, with falsetto vocals leaps here, flute accents there and strings to boot.