Songs To Listen To While Driving Somewhere Sketchy

The songs on this list are all from 2008. The order of this list has nothing to do with rank or quality—it’s just based on flow. Imagine them as if they were on a playlist. A playlist to listen to while driving somewhere. Somewhere that is not familiar. Somewhere that could be sketchy. Very sketchy. —Craig “Tiger” Smith, Buzznet product manager, craigertiger

1. “The Shaded Forests“by Deastro (off Keeper’s) If there is one song to hear before getting somewhere, this is it. I t-t-t-t-t-told ya. Once you hit the 2:23 marker, you’ll be good.

2. “Blind“by Hercules & Love Affair (off Hercules & Love Affair) Disco bass. Driving percussion. Trumpets. Haunting vocals by Antony Hegarty about a romance with stars. Weird and instantly memorable. Not to mention it’s can be played back to back with “Far Away” by Cut Copy for a perfect dance out (same bpm, similar vibe).

3. “House Jam by Gang Gang Dance (off Saint Dymphna) There is a lonely confidence to this track that makes it irresistable. The guitar guitar work is bold and beautiful (much like the stuff off of the last Les Savy Fav album). Yay for the constant sliced vocal samples and the synth arpeggios (1:17). Kate Bush is probably jealous.

4. “Yucatan by Throw Me The Statue (off Moonbeams) At first, TMTS comes across like later era CAKE or even a good post-Dismemberment Plan Travis Morrison. But then the electro chorus drops in with impeccable phrasing (lyrics aside) and you want to get in pace with these guys.

5. “Foxes Mate For Life” by Born Ruffians (off Red, Yellow And Blue) The debut album from this Canuck 3-piece is one of the most solid releases of the year. It’s hard to pick just one song to rep. The looped intro/bridge, the awkward guitar/bass interplay, and the vocal yelps charm the socksez off my foxes.

6. “Vanished by Crystal Castles (off Crystal Castles) Eerie dance anthem of the year. Don’t know why, but I see dark, empty, rain covered streets when I listen to this. drum beat + distorted bass synth + echo lead synth = 90% of why this song rocks.

7. “Esperando Nuevas Órdenes by Extraperlo (unreleased, appeared on El Guincho’s Gorilla Contra Bear mixtape) From Barcelona. I don’t really know much about them but their attention to mood and detail is beyond their apparent youth. Check out the distant background vocals, the woodblock percussion during the chorus, and the loungy outro.

8. “Two Weeks by Grizzly Bear (unreleased, performed live on Letterman) I never really got into Grizzly Bear the way other people have, but for some reason this song kills me. Probably the syncopated bass and the epic melody. It’s spooky. Reverb is king.

9. “Planet Health by Chairlift (off Does You Inspire You) This song takes me beyond. Love the bass snaps.

10. “Microcastleby Deerhunter (off Microcastle) This song has two parts. The first part reminds me of The Beach Boys “Surfer Girl”. The second part revs it up into a pogoing-worthy fuzz fest. The sum is greater than the parts.

BONUS/// “What Is Left Unsaid” by Moscow Olympics (off Cut The World) MO are the only band I’ve heard of from the Philippines. The vibe is very organic and smooth. Simple, well-constructed rhythms (0:49). Reminds me of The Appleseed Cast’s Low Level Owl albums.