Happy New Year! …It still feels like last year. Fancy that.

My music listening this year was rather paltry. Despite that, I still had a hard time whittling down my list to 15 tracks (limited to songs that were officially released this year, as far as the Internet can tell me), some widely popular, some less so, and hopefully as least one you haven’t heard before but end up enjoying. The theme of this list: dancey, pretty, or all of the above. Tracks are in order of how I’d arrange them in a mix CD, not by how much I like them.

1. Animal Collective – In the Flowers


Repeating what I said in January, this is my favorite song off Merriweather Post Pavilion. The 2:30 mark sets off this explosion of elation that could potentially result in dancing, if I weren’t firmly planted in my chair 110% of the time.

2. Kings of Convenience – 24-25


I wouldn’t place Kings of Convenience‘s latest album Declaration of Dependence above their previous ones, but it shows they’re still the best at playing beautiful, warm harmonies. And they’re still one of my favorite artists to see live.

3. Moderat – Rusty Nails


I just blogged about how much I love this song. GO LOOKIE.

4. Dan Deacon – Red F


OH MAN DAN DEACON, YOU’RE THE BEST. I can’t believe there was a time when I thought your music was irritating.

…Nah I lied, it’s really easy to see why his music could be perceived as irritating. Bromst made it easier for me (and probably many others) to get into. My ideal party would be Dan Deacon-powered. And have lots of balloons. That’s what his concert needs: more balloons.

5. Num̩ro# РTonton Klaxonne


This song by Montreal-based duo Numéro# is super catchy, but if it weren’t in French I probably wouldn’t like it as much. Since blogging about it in April I never did bother to look up the translation…oh wait, what do we have here? NOOOO.

6. Passion Pit – Sleepyhead


Holy hell, I was obsessed with Manners this summer. I was determined to see Passion Pit live, so a friend helped me get tickets to their show in Philadelphia, which was the sweatiest experience of my life. Although it was fun, a lesson was learned: do not go to a concert at the First Unitarian Church in the summer ever again. Or at least bring a towel with you.

7. The Drums – Me and the Moon


The Drums make me feel ridiculously happy. HAPPY FUN TIMES NAO [jerks around]…yeah.

8. Le Matos feat. Coeur de Pirate – How Do I Let You Know


I listened to a lot of Coeur de Pirate this year, but as her album came out in 2008 I chose her more recent cover of this 80s-tastic song with Le Matos. More happy dancey-ness.

9. The Octopus Project – Wet Gold


I’ve listened to The Octopus Project only sparingly over the last few years, which is silly since they’re…awesome. This song from their Golden Beds EP is my favorite.

10. Telefon Tel Aviv – Helen of Troy


It’s my favorite song off Immolate Yourself. I have yet to listen to Telefon Tel Aviv‘s other music…I should probably do that.

11. Mew – Hawaii


It took a few listens for me to get into this song, but it became my favorite off No More Stories Are Told Today Sorry… (my second favorite Mew album, after Frengers). Mew has the tendency to write epic songs; I feel like this one fits three acts into five minutes.

12. Phoenix – 1901


I wasn’t much into Phoenix until I heard Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. CUE THE FUN HEAD BOPPING. If only I could have caught them at Trocadero.

13. Annie – Songs Remind Me of You


I don’t like everything by Annie, but some of her songs are instantly addictive, like “Heartbeat” and this one from Don’t Stop.

14. Bat for Lashes – Daniel


It’s dark. It’s pretty. GOOD TIMES. This is the only Bat for Lashes song I really like, but that probably means I should listen to more of her other stuff.

15. This Will Destroy You – Freedom Blade


As soon as I started listening to This Will Destroy You, I bought all their releases (as should you). Not that there were that many for me to catch up on. This year they released two songs on Split, an EP with Lymbyc Systym. This song puts me to sleep, in the good way that achingly beautiful post-rock tends to do. It would also make a sweet soundtrack to watching a blizzard.