100. War on the East Coast---The New Pornographers
Dan Bejar's big moment to shine on the latest New Pornographers disc, WotEC is a steady chug that builds to climax that treats rock music as a form of celebration.
99. Fram---Rodrigo y Gabriela***
Fram has no use for RyG's standard build-up, hitting you straight away with air-tight acoustic sound, and refusing to loosen it's grip.
98. Susie Thumb---Ty Segall
Ty Segall can do a lot of things, but I for one like it most when he just rocks out. Susie Thumb is his distinct version of lightning in a bottle, slamming on the gas, and refusing to let up.
97. Nothing But Trouble---Phantogram
The opener to Phantogram's long-awaited follow-up to 2009's Eyelid Movies, NBT hits the ground running with their signature nocturnal electro-pop, rounding out the track with a schizo guitar solo.
Has there ever been a more appropriately named song or album? The title track from ceo's latest possesses quite the jaunty, candy-colored swirl.
95. Sweet Sun---Milky Chance
Milky Chance's appeal is a tough thing to put a finger on, and SS is a perfect example, a goofy, groovy, sexy thing strung together with minimal, sinewy strums.
94. Song for Five & Six---Owen Pallett***
Owen Pallett's music is always lovely and orchestral, but Song slightly deviates from the formula, adding speed and synths to glorious effect.
93. Stay Ugly---Millie & Andrea
A lurching anti-techno instrumental, SU places rafter-shaking sounds atop an echoing, fuzz-adorned abyss that only makes them sound that much bigger.
92. Break Free---Ariana Grande feat. Zedd
Sure, Ariana Grande can steer a decent ballad, but she's much better suited for enormous club jams, as Zedd and his massive dubstep production will readily attest.
91. The Soundmaker---Rodrigo y Gabriela
Contemplative, spacious, muli-faceted, and ready to rock out at the drop of a hat, The Soundmaker is a high-octane reminder of just how great RodGab can be at the peak of their powers.
90. Soda---Azealia Banks
One of the things that makes Banks' debut hip-hop record so infectious is its refusal to just be a hip-hop record. On Soda, the new kid on the block stops spitting and crafts one of the years most fun and catchy tracks.
89. All the Rage Back Home---Interpol***
Those clean, reverberating electric guitar licks are back, caffeinated, and ready to turn the place out with Interpol's best song in years.
88. Are You What You Want To Be?---Foster the People
Supermodel was never destined to be as big a hit as the band's debut LP, but it certainly would have helped to position this as the lead single, its arena-filling chords and sky-scraping chorus opening the disc on an awfully high note.
87. Low Key---Tweedy***
A lazy love ballad and a cocoon of mid-tempo warmth and sunshine, there simply couldn't be a more apt song to select from the lowest key offering of Jeff Tweedy's 2+ decade career.
86. Angel of Small Death and the Codeine Scene---Hozier
Hozier just can't stop taking us to church; this stand-out from his debut album is straight gospel with a wrought and dangerous twist.
85. Violently Wild---Horse Feathers
The loveliest, most life-affirming track on an album chuck-full of them, VW finds Justin Riggles' breathy, patient voice in the mid-afternoon sun, encased in all kinds of warm folksy goodness.
84. Turn Away---Beck
Beck has made plenty of down-tempo tracks throughout his prolific career, but TA stands out for its hymnal qualities, a gorgeously lush three minutes with an etherial quality that's tough to put one's finger on.
83. 180db_---Aphex Twin
A glitchy stomp that you'd expect more at a dance club than an Aphex Twin album if not for the warped, descending tones that writhe around on its edges, rendering it just as sinister as it is savage.
82. Damage---Andy Stott***
An agressive, violent change of pace on an album that could have used a little more blunt force to get its point across, Damage stands as one of the year's finest instrumental tracks, even if it almost demands that you cower in fear.
81. Hands Up---Vince Staples
Vince Staples doesn't really view the travesties perpetrated by his local authorities with a whole lot of nuance, but at this point, why should he? Hands Up is the kind of hip-hop thumper that you could picture on the radio, but don't let its disturbed and distrusting lyrics pass you by.
80. Lazaretto---Jack White***
This... this is just Jack White doing his Jack White thing. Guitar solos, distrust in women, punchy vocals, and piss and vinegar; just Jack doing his thing.
79. The Front---KOOL A.D. feat. Toro y Moi and Amaze 88
A lot of indie artists have been tasked with crafting hip-hop beats lately, from Purity Ring to Ariel Pink. For my money, Toro y Moi's The Front beat is among the finest in the growing trend, a laid-back groove perfectly befitting KOOL A.D.'s ever-lazy raps.
78. Cavity---Hundred Waters
Hundred Waters is bedroom music with an singular bend, Nicole Miglis' hauntingly hushed vocals stretching across Cavity's endless vortex of percussion and synthesizers.
77. Dark Waltz---The Men
A coming-of-age track from one of the most prolific acts working today, DW hazy, imperfect production befits the wily ideas and desires of the track, all bolstered by their ever-steady ax work, and a surprise harmonica solo.
76. Best Friend---Foster the People
A track for the festival crowds if ever their was one, Best Friend practically screams fun with its every waking note, over-powering ear drums with the sheer force of its crowd-riling pleasures.
75. Don't Wanna Lose---Ex Hex***
DWL, like most every other track on Ex Hex's debut album Rips, doesn't exactly require description and assessment so much as it needs you to just lend an ear. This is pure pop rock pleasure, and it hits the main vein the second you press play.
74. Limos---Vince Staples feat. Teyana Taylor
Less party-ready than we're used to from Staples, Limos is a description of high-life tragedy set to a throbbing beat, and leveled out by Teyana Taylor's comely vocal hook.
73. Winter Linn---Clark***
Like most everything on Clark's excellent self-titled LP, WL is an angular, aggressive beast, a beautifully haunting track that changes directions, sounds, and moods about 5,000 within its tidy 3 minutes without a single miss-step.
72. 1998---Chet Faker
Most of Built on Glass consists of chilly instrumentals and lovelorn lyrics, but not 1998, a summertime jam dressed up with curiously inviting samples (ok, the lyrics are still kind of lovelorn, but whatever!).
71. And That's All I Know---Kevin Drew
Subtle, sweet bedroom pop that leaves Drew's trusty guitar in its case, All I Know's sturdy keyboard core steering the ship while the singer's whispered croon and supporting synths glide effortlessly on its sides.