Top 25 Songs of the Decade So Far

Surprise! Well, not quite. I’ve hinted and flat out mentioned that I had been planning this for a while, but it may be a surprise that it’s finally here and coming to fruition. Yes, I am going to release four more lists than I usually do to celebrate what we have been given within the decade of the 2010’s so far. I’ve gone on to talk about 2014 as a year full of great noise albums and prophetic songs, but within the half decade, it’s only a sprinkle of what we have been blessed with so far. Yes, each year may seem specific in nature, but I’ve discovered that we have truly had an exceptional half decade so far once it’s all been compiled. This goes for films, performances, albums, and, topically now, songs. 

I actually struggled to limit this list to 25, that’s how many songs truly stuck with me. I don’t think I have cut so many entries, where I had even written paragraphs for songs that didn’t end up making it (I was certain they would, yet here we are). We’ve been fortunate with songs that examine the current state of the world and the current state of music. We have self aware hip hop songs that question the essence of what it means to be a rap song. We have older musicians who show their appreciation of their successes with songs that shrug off the years of trial and error. We have some songs with social commentary that is very now but will continue to thrive as the years go on. Yes, these songs have had a lot to say and many ways to say them, and they are all bold, unforgettable and even poignant at times. I can only wait for the nightmare of compiling a full decades list if this consistency keeps going, but for now, I hope you enjoy this list as much as I do; Here’s my top 25 songs of the decade so far.

25. Santigold – Disparate Youth (2012)

Santigold has had loud albums but a rather quiet career. She’s been scarce with her releases and we haven’t quite had the full exposure of this interesting character that we’ve hoped for (yet). This is because she releases good music over all, and because she occasionally drops a truly magnificent song here and there. DIsparate Youth was a great way to lead into her second full length Master of My Make Believe. “We said our dreams will carry us”, she sings in this dreamy anthem; If anyone knows what it’s like to fight for their dreams to come true, it’s Santigold. She’s made it a bit later in life, and that’s what makes a song like DIsparate Youth so touching. Sure, it’s catchy and got a nice melody, but there is a lot of personal experience behind this song. She’s made it, and she hasn’t taken it for granted. There is still more ahead waiting for her, and there are still people trying to slow her down. If you need a song to give you a push, you’ve got one from this grateful songstress.

24. Kylesa – Tired Climb (2010)

This Georgian metal group aren’t strangers to trying something different. They have a male and a female vocalist, a catchier approach to sludge metal and two drummers placed on either side of the mix to enclose each song with a war of percussion. Their take on psychedelic songwriting on 2010’s Spiral Shadow was an experiment with great results, as can be seen with the crushing opening track Tired Climb. There is a calm before the storm that is rhythmic, sorrowful and lonely. It subtly builds up to the song’s intense core, but without you truly knowing it on the first listen. Then the song gets going, and you’ll be pressed to find guitar riffs more catchy and devastating within the past few years. Even though the chorus takes a bit of a step back, Laura Pleasants’ vocals are still drowned out by cyclonic guitar reverb. It cuts back to Phillip Cope’s charged vocal bursts, and the guitars are still razor sharp. It’s almost like Some Velvet Morning through the eyes of a demon, where the call and response barely resolve the storm. The song finally ends with a calm guitar tone, and we’ve survived; Do we ever want to drive through the tornado again, though.

23. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Sacrilege (2013)

At this point, it’d seem difficult to make a song that will end up being one of Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ best. They sure have had their share of greats amongst their first three albums. Mosquito came out, and despite being their weakest release, it carried with it easily one of their best songs. Sacrilege was already on the road of greatness when it starts with a fun, catchy melody. After the first chorus, you can tell something is different with this song, though. It didn’t revert back to how the first verse sounded. Could it be escalating towards something more? It does, and you won’t expect how spine tingling it becomes. With its demonic Rolling Stones-esque choir to accompany the latter stages of the song, Sacrilege goes from a different take on sex to a terminal song about desire and taboo. The song ends with the choir still going by itself, as if the song is over but its message is still standing. You’ll be blindsided by this song that was meant to be fun but ended up being surprisingly earth shattering. By the thousandth listen, it still won’t make much sense as to how it was pulled off, but by God’s grace, it surely was.

22. The War on Drugs – Red Eyes (2014)

“I am trying to see the right, right way, and I don’t see it anywhere I go” is the last line sung before the triumphant second chorus of this ultimately American song. Maybe the narrator’s eyes are red from being soaked in tears due to his longing. The uprising choruses seem more promising and about resolution rather than wandering. Truth be told, Red Eyes is a fairly cryptic song that doesn’t make too much sense on a surface level, but in grander scheme of things feels like a collage of shattered memories pieced together. The American dream nowadays has to be reworked, and it’s a tired goal, but it can still be obtainable if reworked. The best cues you’ll get are from the musical lines themselves. The verses are safe and meandering, and the chorus goes gung-ho forwards and without a care. Whether or not your life can be compared to the storyteller’s here, you can still find reliability within the emotional responses in the music itself. This is a fantasy realized in 2014, and it’s still as glorious as it would have been back when nuclear families dictated your futures on television.

21. Gang Gang Dance featuring Alexis Taylor – Romance Layers (2011)

I have absolutely no idea what Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor is saying in this song, and his inclusion is fogged by echoes and stretched production. The music is far more straightforward, despite being a bunch of eclectic styles tossed into one cultural pot. All that is certain about Romance Layers is that it is a mystifying song geared by the energy during the sparking of love, and it’s clear even outside of the song’s title. The bass line is sultry and relaxing. The upper layers blur into one another like the events of a romantic evening out on the town. It’s as funky as a 70’s song, and as digitally nuanced as a song of our own times. A lot of Romance Layers is a meshing that is hard to take apart, but the overall atmosphere is delightful, suave, endearing and uplifting. That’s how love is to some. Sometimes it’s simply an entity and not a series of labels and ideas, and Gang Gang Dance’s mission to capture that in a song is a resounding (and smooth) success.

20. Girls – Vomit (2011)

Girls are no more, and it’s unfortunate. They had only two full length albums and heaps of promise. Vomit, the unpleasantly named track that is far more remarkable in sound, may be seen as one of their final successes, but is it ever a song to leave behind. It has the inner workings of a Pink Floyd song that slowly picks up in weight as it goes on and singer Christopher Owens’ quest to find love continues. The song is hopeful and continues to fight to find romance, but this counters Owens’ success by concluding that he’s been unsuccessful as the song proceeds. He finishes the song by begging for one to “come into [my] heart” as a sea of female backing vocals accompany him. There’s even a standout female singer leading the pack, but no one ends up joining him in the end. There’s a world of women out there and he’s with them, but there is still a lack of results here. Vomit may resemble the nausea of being in love or the nerves of being alone. Either way, it’s a touching song that only showed what Girls  could have been (and then some) had they kept going. Best of luck on the members of Girls, and with the narrator within this song’s quest to find love-filled happiness.

19. Lana Del Rey – Video Games (2011)

Before we knew her for her controversies, her desire to shatter glamor and her will to explore outside of her comfort zone, Lana Del Rey, a relatively unknown singer, came onto the scene with this bedroom hit. It’s as if she wrote this song in her diary and composed her famous Youtube video with clips of things that fascinated her. These clips shine through her music even still (movie sex icon Paz de la Huerta falling over drunk, a plethora of paparazzi’s cameras going off, people skateboarding down what looks like a Californian road, and so forth). Lyrically, it’s a simple love song where she simply exists with her boyfriend. He gets a beer and sits beside her as they play video games.  There is orchestration, but it feels like Del Rey put it all together on Garageband. She’s explored love and has tried to experiment with more epic production, but Del Rey has never sounded more authentic and passionate than she does here. You don’t need much to show adoration, and just Del Rey’s sudden realization that she is in love is why Video Games may be her most (unintentionally) grande song she may ever make.

18. Kavinsky – Nightcall (2010)

Nightcall opens with the sounds of the night surrounding someone trying to operate a pay phone. We can assume the call was answered, as the song starts right after. Maybe it wasn’t, and the song resembles the wait between the dialing of the phone number and the receiving on the other end. It’s a sinister and nightmarish song plagued by vocoder monsters that are relentless and without remorse. The circling synth melodies seem dizzy when the distorted voice clips persist. The chorus comes around with a calming female vocal and all feels well in the world again. The weird thing about it all is that it’s the male, digitalized vocals that are trying to be optimistic and guide the female speaker through her worries (“but have no fear”). It’s the female singer that’s more pessimistic, as she concludes that nothing has changed with this man and that he’s up to his old tricks. Nightcall is a song that makes it difficult to take sides of this obscure situation, and it’s slinky and chilling about its own dilemmas. You’ll be lost within the situation, but it’s a sexily deviant confusion, so no need to worry.

17. Janelle Monáe – Come Alive (The War of the Roses) (2010)

Janelle Monáe may as well be an android, as her album concepts prove her interest on the subject. She’s talented at so many styles of music; it’s almost inhuman. On her album The ArchAndroid, you will be graced with Come Alive (The War of the Roses), which is a mash up of The B-52’s and James Brown within one song. You can imagine that result being truly outstanding, but you truly have no idea until you hear it. With an insanely impressive vocal range, with a climax resulting in a lower note that escalates into a wailing falsetto that lasts for over 20 seconds, you’ll find Monáe’s a master of her own voice. The bass is cleverly in between new wave and old swing music, so you can deal with both a calm acoustic guitar and a blazing electric guitar being within the same song. When people talk about Monáe and they bring up other great songs like Tightrope and Cold War from off this album, I feel they are missing this raw gem of a song; It truly is when she comes the most alive.

16. PJ Harvey – The Glorious Land (2011)

Inside of PJ Harvey’s stunning war concept album Let England Shake is this haunting battle ballad that begs the sympathy of both the United States and the United Kingdom (“Oh, America; Oh, England”). There is a battle trumpet that is way off time with the music, but that’s because war is a surprise and unexpected. You follow this awkward trumpet into a chilling corridor of guitar glides, and the punishing marching drums from the start stalk you into the dust storm. Harvey’s declarations are softly sung but carry a massive punch; She doesn’t need to overly explain the situation with her harshly touching brevity. Even though the piling instruments are small in number, so much about The Glorious Land sounds daunting as it keeps going, but there’s no turning back now. Much of Let England Shake sounds like the observations of war from passerby, after actual battles, from the wounded or even before the events. Only a few songs sound like they take place within the actual fights, and The Glorious Land does a great job at representing that aspect of the album’s nature. War is ugly, but if anyone could make it sound pretty, it’s PJ Harvey.

15. LCD Soundsystem – Dance Yrself Clean (2010)

LCD Soundsystem are no more, and it’s a damn shame. If there was ever a musical project that sounded like it was made by someone direly in love with music, it’s James Murphy’s 3-album outfit that came and went. Only making it as a musician a bit later into his career, Murphy made LCD Soundsystem one hell of an emotional group, and his final album wasn’t any different. It starts off with the slow burning disco hit Dance Yrself Clean, and it’s quiet for quite a while initially. Like Murphy’s career, it explodes out of nowhere somewhere after the first third of the song, and it’s difficult to see coming even after a few listens (you’ll have this song memorized in no time, though). This sudden, infectious beat doesn’t let up for most of the song, and it carries Murphy’s vocals with it (he now belts out notes and is no longer shy). Murphy has been a symbol of your everyday man making it, and Dance Yrself Clean is a terrific reminder. It’s the embodiment of someone breaking out and losing control of their body to the music, no matter who they are or what they stand for. It’s a party song by an inspiring spirit.

14. Kendrick Lamar – Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst (2012)

Kendric Lamar’s masterfully cinematic album Good Kig, M.A.A.D. City has every song linked thematically (both through lyrics and through Lamar’s maturity within each song). By the time we have reached this 12 minute two part track, Lamar (within the album’s context) has experienced death, fear, self revelation and life’s horrors. He no longer wants to be the rebel he once was, and hip hop isn’t just about sex and drugs. Here, he is begging to be cleansed, or to at least have his legacy continued if his life is cut short and he is unable to leave the life he is living. It’s a scary cry for help, and it results in the song shifting. You get the first half where he is a bit hopeful that people will continue his career for him (and he does/disappears metaphysically within the song before he can finish some verses), and the beat is more upbeat and optimistic. Reality hits him, and the song evolves into the marching-beat Dying of Thirst, where Lamar’s hands are up high and he surrenders entirely. With the angelic vocals behind him, it seems like it may be already too late and his own death is all he knows. It’s a touching song, and it’s a sign of promise for Lamar: He isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

13. Caribou – Can’t Do Without You (2014)

Caribou’s album Our Love leaked many months early, but that made no difference to us as it was just so beautiful. Even if it hadn’t leaked, we would have been fine waiting with the single Can’t Do Without You. That song alone carries the amount of emotion and grace the entire album has upon its own shoulders, and in under four minutes, that is a huge amount of feelings to explore. The vocal samples stay the same, but they mean different things as the song goes on. Are they hopeful, certain, fearful or false? There’s a cluster of ideas just within the stagnant, repetitive voices, that the transformative music is a magical experience in itself. With heart racing pacing within the latter half of the song, Can’t Do WIthout You is the realization of dependency on a loved one. The song ends with just the voice clips and a simple synth line, and that’s either a good thing or extremely worrisome. Are we left alone and unloved, or were we met up by our loved one and all of our fears were resolved? There are many interpretations within this Pollack piece, and any is as justifiable as the next.

12. Animal Collective – New Town Burnout (2012)

Centipede Hz screamed at many listeners and it has thus become one of the most debated releases in Animal Collective’s line up. A song that truly shines on this album is New Town Burnout, as it feels like a Beach Boys song after hours. After the glee of vocal harmonies, surf guitars and bright sun during the day, this is the disorienting zip back to reality such a song may face in the darkest depths of night. The keys pull you into the darkest room of the house to reflect, while Panda Bear sings to warn you. Everything about this song is optimistically spooked. You may find yourself saying “but it all sounds so happy” when the resolution of the song comes around and, truly, all is pretty sorrowful. As surreal as this song is, its magic comes from Animal Collective’s maturity here: The inkling of hope to make this dark passage bearable and, entirely, memorable enough to revisit just one more time.

11. Grimes – Be A Body (侘寂) (2012)

Grimes has gotten her flack this year for her Rihanna-esque song Go. It’s a shame, because it’s quite a lovely song, and if anyone should write a pop song to see how it’ll be, it’s Grimes. After all, she’s proven that she can deconstruct pop music and see how awkwardly every piece can be glued together yet still sound good. Be A Body (侘寂) is barely consistent in any way, and not much repeats here. The bass line changes for no apparent reason, dark synths appear halfway and then retreat, and melodies will pop in and out as if Grimes had accidentally muted them briefly. It’s still very much the same song, there’s no denying that, and the most astonishing about it is how much more Grimes gets away with here than you can even notice. The song is unsure of what it wants to be, but it knows what it truly is at its core, and that’s why it works so well. If there is any indication that Grimes knows how to write a good song, it’s this evidence here that shows she can make a song with very little structural unity work effortlessly.

10. Tame Impala – Feels Like We Only Go Backwards (2012)

There’s no denying that psych rock band Tame Impala sound a whole lot like The Beatles, but if they’re going to suffer these comparisons, they may as well embrace them. And so they have, with their greatest track yet Feels Like We Only Go Backwards. Funnily enough, this song expands on the kind of goals The Beatles may have had when they were in their studio session years. The beat is steady and poppy, but the melody fleets. Washed under waves of a colourful aurora borealis, this song propels itself forwards while not being afraid to stand still– temporarily– and dazzle at the wonders above it. It’s a daydream fighting against the steady pace of the machine we like to simplify as reality. The only backwards motion here is the instant reaction to send this song back to the beginning to experience it again.

9. Brian Eno and Karl Hyde – Return (2014)
Something magical: Brian Eno and Karl Hyde put instinct ahead of intellect.

A few guitar chords are strummed over and over again. Vocals are murmured and difficult to hear. The song changes many times during the course of this track while the guitars barely do and we don’t get an answer to what those sung words were truly about. That’s life, and both Brian Eno and Karl Hyde have replicated it well on this digital totem. We start, we are confused, and it all ends suddenly. You won’t have many answers during life, and you won’t find many here. You’re begged to return, as the song name implies, and even then you still won’t find many answers. You aren’t supposed to; You get resolution instead. Nothing makes sense, and yet it all does. You have no idea what Eno is singing about, but you can guarantee that you’ve been in his position before. You’ll want to branch away from Hyde’s patterned playing but he knows that you have to stay on a constant pace to keep going. Return is as eye opening as it is ear candy. You’ll wonder about it all even as it still goes. Luckily, you can start from the beginning as soon as it ends here, and it’ll always smile at your return.

8. Kanye West – Devil In A New Dress (2010)

“God show me the way because the Devil trying to break me down” was the call for help Kanye West sang ten years ago. He begged through humility back when he was first making it big as a hip hop artist and not just a producer. Well into his career, he started this decade by saying “We love Jesus, but you done learn a lot from Satan”. He’s visited the dark side, and he’s gone back to stay for good. It’s one of the few times on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (his magnum opus) where he returns to his soul-sampled roots, and even then this song is as grandiose as the rest of the album. It ends with Rick Ross’s visit to West’s dungeon, a guitar solo that creates a pathway to hell, and an increase of layers of sounds (one layer of music for each level of hell we descend). The devil is described as an attractive siren, and West can’t pull himself away despite her flaws. For a little while, we get entranced by evil, and if West’s learned anything during our trip, it’s that we can get something golden out of the worst of us and not just the best.

7. Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Round and Round (2010)

Ariel Pink likes to make soundtracks to digital worlds of the 80’s, where his music revs and his emotions pertain to the old neon-bordered bars surrounded by bright cars. A song that establishes both this notion and the headspace of one lost within this world is Round and Round: A song as dizzy as its name. “And we’ll dazzle them all”, everyone sings as they wish to face the world. The song is smooth and creepy until the bombastic chorus that resembles the one or two times in life we truly triumph above all. Life goes on, though, and it goes in a circle. We will be victorious again if we only wait; “Hold on”. The second chorus happens after Ariel Pink concludes that all that is bad is derived from his own actions. It isn’t so, as we are the heroes one again. Round and Round is hopeful, yet it is also open about being bittersweet. All will go wrong and right, eventually. We just have to keep going and not worry, because “it’s always the same; as always”. Just like the great montage songs of the 80’s, this is a new (and more honest) rendition of a song promising us that it will all be fine in the end.

6. Crystal Castles – I Am Made of Chalk (2010)

We often forget that music is more than just a form of entertainment that supplies joy or the ability to be uplifted by understanding. Music is an art form that expresses any idea. Crystal Castles certainly have catchier songs and they have more entertaining songs. Nothing they have ever put out will be as memorable as the frightening and confrontational track I Am Made of Chalk. It’s one thing if the last number on an album guides the listener out of the door with a lasting impression, and it’s another thing if that very same song can be separated from said album and not need a handful of songs beforehand to get the same effect. Every time you hear I Am Made of Chalk, you will be blown away. Maybe not the first few times you hear it will it make sense because it is a very gruesome song that attacks you, bares it’s wounds, and then lays there dying and asking for your forgiveness. Maybe the song truly is about that mother who drowned her child. Maybe that was just a rumor and the band would disagree. Maybe the narrator is made of chalk because of its fragility. Maybe it’s because it’s the outline of a dead corpse at a crime scene. However you interpret this devastating outro is up to you, but it will always remain cinematic and gut wrenching the very moment you get it’s suffering. 

5. Alcest – Percées De Lumiere (2010)

There is a rare moment where a metal number ends up being applicable to the lives of those outside of the diehard metal scene. Usually it’s the intense vocals or the noisy instrumentation that scare people off. Alcest is hard to define already, as they blend post rock and shoegaze with black metal, which isn’t a new mixture in music at all. However, Alcest complete this blend very well, and they are one of the finer examples of this concept being pulled off. If the many of their other songs don’t seal the deal, a prime example would be Percées De Lumiere (which vaguely translates to “Breakthroughs of Light”). There is so much space in this song that you can breath easily despite it’s harsher qualities. There is screaming, too, but you needn’t be afraid. Attached to the stunning, ringing guitars, the pained vocals are an emotional release that are more liberating than they are frightening. The song travels through many doorways, as the music will shift and the vocals will transform (from damaged to clean and hopeful). Every transition is so natural that the song merely melts into each segment. Once the song ends on the same structure that it started off with, it’s full circle is an incredibly rewarding experience for those who sat for the ride. If you don’t find some sort of prepossessing openness with this song, metal fan or not, you may not be giving it a chance as big as the chance the song’s giving you.  

4. My Bloody Valentine – wonder 2 (2013)

What is shoegaze? Is it the loud guitars or the subdued vocals that make the genre what it is? My Bloody Valentine helped shape the genre with their opus Loveless in the early 90’s, and many bands have tried to discover what this loud style meant to them between then and My Bloody Valentine’s eventual return with m b v. The album coasts through three different waves: A modern rendition of the My Bloody Valentine we all know and love, a test of how dream-like they could make their music, and then an intense final third that is the most experimental the band has ever been. The closer is wonder 2, and it truly examines what can be extreme but poppy at the same time. It has jet tube drones out front and jungle beat drums shoved way into the back of the mix. The guitars come in one at a time like fighters in a gladiator arena, and the onslaught is devastatingly gorgeous. There is no sense of direction in wonder 2, yet everything is structured. It sounds like a song a band like The Kinks would have made back in the 60’s, but distorted and altered within a black hole. This is music of the past launched way into the future, far ahead of any of us. My Bloody Valentine have gone way ahead of the game yet again, and let’s hope it doesn’t take so many years for them to show us how it’s done next time.

3. Chromatics – Into The Black (2012)

Neil Young’s song Hey Hey My My (as well as My My Hey Hey) both have alternate titles: Out of the Blue, and Into the Black. That was at the end of the 70’s. It was the start of the 2010’s when Chromatics released the simply sleek title of just Into the Black. Times have changed, and we don’t know where we are going with music. Neil Young and his band Crazy Horse had both an upbeat tune and an acoustic reprise that wondered “what if” with rock n’ roll; It will never die. Chromatics’ version of this song is almost depressingly hopeful. It’s dark and after the party. Everything is being cleaned up, and we are all left asking ourselves if we will ever experience that rush again. The song starts off with an echoing guitar melody, and is slowly accompanied by hesitant piano chords and an eventual wall of instruments. The song won’t ever break out into a full rock out; It’s far too reserved. It’s keeping a hold of what is left of rock n’ roll firmly against itself, not to release all of its energy at once. This is what a cover is, ladies and gentlemen. Chromatics took an optimistic song, applied it to our times, and turned it into a longing of nostalgia and a reminiscing of enjoyment. It’s a completely new song, but it’s one that sneakily clings onto the past through its source material. It’s an astounding rendition of a song we all know and love, and it’s easily been one of the most remarkable cover songs I can safely say I’ve ever heard (and I’m not usually one for cover songs).

2. Beach House – Wishes (2012)

Wishes starts off as a basic prayer. It gets more and more tension piled on as each instrument joins in. Whether or not you feel more hopeful or more doubtful is up to your mood, but Wishes will play to either mood. Beach House crafted their song on Bloom (an album full of songs that are born, grow up and mature in front of your very ears). Much like Brian Eno’s terminal track Here Come the Warm Jets on the album of the same name, Wishes starts off simply but gets more emotional with every sound that gets caked on. Just like the Eno track, Beach House’s song also has a sense of finality to it (despite it not even being the last song on Bloom). Is Wishes about the observation of one’s past or the fear of death? It’s tough to tell, but either way, there isn’t a clear feeling here. We are teetering on the edge of something great or a truly tragic event. With the titular wishes “on a wheel”, we find out that that’s life. It will play in your favor, and then the wheel will turn and suddenly we will be on the very bottom. However, these aren’t good moments that Victoria Legrand sings about. They’re merely dreams. We may not even get what we want when the wheel comes full circle; We may only just get the opportunity. Still, we have the chance, and this song captures the purgatory-like state of being both enticed and truly petrified of any outcome (whether it be an event or the possibility of the end of life itself). Once the song ends abruptly, we’ll never find out how it ends, but we can only dream that it ended well.

1. Burial – Come Down To Us (2013)

“Here we are”, an unknown voice says at the 1:10 mark of this thirteen minute, tri-movement song; We have arrived at the humbling, embracing equivalent of the twilight zone. The twilight zone is the extent of man’s utmost fears, but this song is the polar opposite: It’s where those with fears can run to. We are repeatedly told to come down, as if we are high up in a tree hiding from society. Burial’s discography has been golden from start to finish, and his signature style has always incorporated the night life of the city. Before, his music simply identified with our isolation inside the steel and concrete labyrinths of society, but his release Rival Dealer finally has his music hugging its listeners and not just nodding in agreement. The third and final track, the greatest song of this decade so far, is so beautiful that it almost warrants a shed tear each and every complete listen. It’s a challenge to find music this ethereal, never mind make it.

The first passage welcomes you to the room of outcasts, the second brings you outside for a one on one discussion, and the final sends you into the world of pop culture with newly opened ears. Burial mastermind William Bevan himself stated that this e.p. was to help bully victims cope (this was a rare sighting as Bevan usually never opens himself up to the world outside of his music). “You are not alone”, we are told about ten and a half minutes in, and the aforementioned you is absolutely everyone. What is this height we find ourselves at? Is it the tree we nestle within as I mentioned earlier? Is it the ledge we find ourselves standing on with onlookers below? “Who are you? Why did you come to me?” are some of the first words heard and the very last to close the song out (the very first line “excuse me I’m lost” explains us all). Whatever this driving force Burial believes can save the tortured is unknown to us, but the cleansed spirit he feels can magically be felt.

Lana Wachowski closes the song out with parts of her 2012 Visibility Award acceptance speech sampled without any editing tricks. We hear her loud and clear. Every other vocal sample peaks out of the fog from an unknown source like the many voices of saviour we hear in our lives. The entire thirteen minutes is chilling and blunt: Depending on how you feel, you will either hear a spiritual transcendence or the battle to keep going. Come Down To Us is partially depressing but mostly uplifting, and it only shows any signs of sadness because it allows you to open up your emotions without failure. “I’m tied down in the dark, in my mind” is what the song possibly says with its fragmented text (I’ll believe the few websites that state this, even though you can get whatever you wish out of this song). You feel anxiety the first part, release in the second, and resolution in the Wachowski finale. Burial’s already made some of the best music of recent years and was way ahead of the pack to begin with. With Come Down To Us (an electronic song that is so organic that it barely even has to try to fool us), he has made a song that has surpassed any other so far this decade, and it has to take a miracle to beat this song the next five years (it already took a miracle for this song to exist in the first place).

About author

Former Film Editor & Music Writer at Live in Limbo. Co-host of the Capsule Podcast. A Greek/South African film enthusiast. He has recently earned a BFA honours degree in Cinema Studies at York University. He is also heavily into music, as he can play a number of instruments and was even in a few bands. He writes about both films and music constantly. You should follow him on Twitter @Andreasbabs.