1. The Brunettes, “Small Town Crew.” Of all the tweeness I loved in 2007, the Brunettes’ Structure and Cosmetics was the finest. With their move to Sub Pop, the harmonies got coated with another layer of candy goodness and the orchestration was beyond lush.
2. The Reelists feat. Ms. Dynamite, “Back to Life.”
3. Sparks, “Pretending to be Drunk.”
4. Be Your Own PET, “Bicycle Race.” On that hit-and-miss tribute to Queen from a while back, some artists did amazing, pointillistically rendered copies — you would not believe how sharp those mall punks in Sum 41 sound on “Killer Queen.” But Be Your Own PET, led by Nashville feral child Jemina Pearl, slash the tires on this old Schwinn and kick it into a ditch.
10. Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, “Something’s Changed.” The coolness of 100 Days, 100 Nights goes well beyond the abundant ’60s funk and Jones’ unbelievable soulfulness. The production on the thing is pure vintage — the Dap-Kings played on Wino’s Back to Black, but Mark Ronson’s mix was that kind of dense, integrated production we’ve been hearing since the ’70s. On this one, the horns are in one speaker, the bass is in the other, the drum parts are split, and Jones is wailing in the middle. Cool as hell.