Favorite Free & Legal MP3s of 2010 (pt. 1)

With MP3 activity winding down with the end of the year, it’s time for the annual year-end “Fingertips Favorites” list, in which I, as tradition has it, bitch and moan about how hard it is to narrow down a year’s worth of really good songs into a top 10 list and as a result present a top 20 list.

With MP3 activity winding down with the end of the year, it’s time for the annual year-end “Fingertips Favorites” list, in which I, as tradition has it, bitch and moan about how hard it is to narrow down a year’s worth of really good songs into a top 10 list and as a result present a top 20 list.

Especially attentive Fingertips followers will know that the entire list has already been placed on the site, but for the sake of those whose regular access to Fingertips is either via email or RSS feed, I’ll spend these last two weeks of the year presenting the list—numbers 11 through 20 this week, and the top 10 next week.

All songs are still available as free and legal MP3s, so you can download them the usual way, or listen via the play button if you happen to be reading this directly on the Fingertips site. If my snappy one-sentence song summaries leave you wanting more, you can read the original reviews by clicking on the date next to each band name, which is the date of the original Fingertips post.

And now, in super-suspenseful reverse mode, here are Fingertips’ favorite free and legal downloads from 2010, part one:


20. “The Best Things in Life” – The Silver Seas  (April 28)
Effortlessly enjoyable pop with a faux ’70s-soul sheen.

19. “Buy Me Presents” – Darren Hanlon  (October 13)
Lovable, organic, speak-singing fun from an underappreciated Australian.

18. “Alouette!” – Tallest Trees  (July 21)
Gleeful, skewed, and clattery; more good-humored than electronics-based songs usually manage to be.

17. “Icarus” – White Hinterland  (January 13)
Propulsive and mysterious-sounding electro-pop with both beat and melody.

16. “Rio” – Hey Marseilles  (May 4)
A sweetly rollicking neo sea shanty.

15. “Orange Yellow” – The Spires  (June 30)
Smartly-written garage rock with a Velvet-y aura.

14. “The Kiss” – Pallers  (May 18)
Graceful electronic dance-ballad that unfolds with a New Order-like majesty, minus the melodrama.

13. “Quarry Hymns” – Land Of Talk  (August 24)
Gorgeous and expansive rock, with a Fleetwood Mac influence and a timeless feel.

12. “A Walk Around the Lake” – Lost in the Trees  (July 28)
A poignant, introspective, and dramatic three minutes.

11. “Doubles” – Amy Bezunartea  (September 29)
A swaying, mournful melody, beautifully sung, with short-story-like lyrics.



Okay, that’s the second ten. If you like surprises, tune in next week for the top 10; if you need it all right now, you can go here, although be warned: you don’t get the snappy one-sentence summaries over there. I have to leave something for next week.

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