2010 IN REVIEW: Ilirjana Alushaj’s Favorite Songs, Including Superpitcher, Guido, Frank (Just Frank), and Jamie Woon

[Photo by Yudi Ela Echevarria]

Ilirjana Alushaj is an occasional self-titled contributor who also happens to front Apache Beat and run the digital magazine/label The Pop Manifesto. Her new solo project, Typical Girls, will release its first single next month alongside remixes from Superpitcher, Magick Mountain, and Bruno of Light Asylum. Here are 10 of her favorite songs from 2010, although the singer insists she may change her mind before the day’s over…

This song is mixed beautifully. The synth lines envelope everything so perfectly that the minimalism of the track is still not missed. The vocals lie somewhere between 2-step R&B and auto-tuned MC-ing that is surprisingly sensual. I love everything about this song.

It is all hooks and hair, neither of which can’t be denied. I will have it as my ring tone ’til boredom do us part. I also am very impressed with a 9-year-old girl demanding all the ladies to whip it real hard. If only we could all get our Devo on like that.

It is all about the introductory piano part in this song. It never leaves you, even when it does. “Joanna” is way more organic than Superpitcher’s past releases, but still has that same hypnotizing marriage between the kick and synths. Who is Joanna? You have such a lovely song written about you. I am jealous.

If I could montage two minutes of surrealism into music than I would probably create Danse Pop. Zak Mering’s voice floats over sounds that are ridiculously catchy, yet at the same time intricately otherworldly. It is a really good song; pop (danse) at its most innovative.

This is the first track I released on my label and every time it comes on, it brings me much joy. It is both epic and beautiful as the music swells back and forth. It feels much like a heartbeat playing to a carefully orchestrated string section. Hauntingly romantic.

This band is amazing and this track is particularly great. A 4.42-minute instrumental journey that sounds like a perfected progressive dance jam session. It nicely builds and falls and builds again bringing in new samples and instrumentation. Drums fade and return. I could loop this in my mind for days.

The lead-in guitar mixed in with the bass synths are so pretty that it won me over within 20 seconds. If the Jesus And Mary Chain were more into goth-y synths they possibly would have written a song like this. This is music for making dreams happen.

I will always swoon over “Night Air.” The lyrics are magically dark and his well-trained soul/pop vocals work so well over spacial post-dubstep. This track is almost as massive in my mind as he will be in the near future.

A gracefully subtle song that unlike a lot of songs released this year, relies on everything being soft and quietly built. There is nothing naive about the music itself, but there is a feeling of cold innocence that makes everything about this song undeniably attractive.

Oh oh oh, these lyrics sung like a next level Hall & Oates, makes me feel a special way. The vocal melody mix is great and the placement of the guitar, xylophone and saxophone are so perfect that I couldn’t think of anyway to improve this love song.