One of the most popular pages on IRC is the Top 10 Songs page. Since we started the series in 2010, there has been nearly four million views of the page, thousands and thousands of free and legal MP3s, and arguably dozens upon dozens of some of the best Top 10 indie and alternative rock playlists available anywhere on the web.
And what makes IRC’s Top 10 Songs weekly series even more special than most other such playlists anywhere on the web is that you – IRC’s regular readers and listeners, plus visitors from around the world – decide which songs make it to the Top 10, and in which order, from No. 1 to No. 10, based on how many times songs are streamed and downloaded for a given week. Read more about the Top 10 Songs process at the end of this post.
This post highlights some of the best singles from many of the best albums officially released during March 2012. It might seem that Top 10 Songs playlists for March is a bit of old news, but we think once you start listening to these playlists, you’ll probably care less about that aspect. As explained in more detail at the end of this post, it takes a considerable amount of work to put these playlists together. However, we plan to have the Top 10 playlists for April done a bit sooner than is the case for March.
As with the Top 10 Songs page itself, the list is a reverse chronology, from later March to early March. To keep it simple, we’re only highlighting the Top 5 songs and including a link to the bottom five singles so you can hear all of the songs in each list – and there are, most of the time, just as many great songs in the No. 6 to No. 10 slots as there are in the No. 1 to No. 5 positions.
The Top Songs Ending Week of April 2nd: Poor Moon, Brothertiger, La Sera, Oberhofer
The No. 1 track for the week of March 27th to April 2nd went to the supergroup Poor Moon‘s new single, “People In Her Mind.” The band features members of Fleet Foxes, Crystal Skulls and The Christmas Cards. Some would say Poor Moon is not really a supergroup in terms of what people think of as supergroups, like Monsters of Folk and the more recently formed Diamond Rugs, but there’s no question that Fleet Foxes is a huge group, and to a lesser degree Crystal Skulls, and to an even lesser degree The Christmas Cards, the latter of which even most fanatical indie fans haven’t heard of before.
“People in Her Mind” – Poor Moon from on Sub Pop
From Athens, Ohio, the electro shoegaze band, Brothertiger, the moniker of musician John Jagos, sent in his new album, Golden Years, and we were in total agreement with listeners that the lead single, “Lovers,” was worthy of being the No. 2 track of the week.
Golden Years on Mush Records– Brothertiger from
The popular band, La Sera, founded by Katy Goodman, the bassist for the Vivian Girls, had the No. 3 most listened to song, “Please Be My Their Eye,” of the week, followed at No. 4 by the Brooklyn band Oberhofer’s single “Away Frm U,” which we actually featured as a demo back in 2009, when we featured the then relatively unknown one-man band of Brad Oberhofer. The band also took the No. 5 spot with their song, “oOoO” (there has been various versions of the spelling of this track). Oberhofer really has such a unique sound, especially the vocals, almost animal-like but at the same time it has a strange allure.
Listen to tracks No. 6 through No. 10 via the Top 10 Songs page through April 2nd.
The Top Songs for Week Ending March 26th: The Shins, Tanlines, Lost in the Trees
This was definitely the week of The Shins, and it shows in the results for the Top 10 Songs of the week. We featured three songs from the new album, Port of Morrow, and they easily swept the Top 10. But we were a little surprised that the lead single, “Simple Song,” wasn’t the No. 1 track or the No. 2 song. Rather, IRC listeners chose “It’s Only Life,” as the top track of the week, followed at No. 2 by “September,” and finally, at No. 3, “Simple Song.”
We haven’t seen a featured band sweep the top three in a long time, which goes to show that The Shins are bigger than ever. The No. 4 song of the week, “All of Me,” from the duo Tanlines is an enjoyable dance pop track, so it’s not a surprise it came in the Top 5. The track that completed the Top 5 was the newest single, “Golden Eyelids,” from the new album from Lost in the Trees.
Mixed Emotions (Amazon Exclusive Version) via True Panther Sounds– Tanlines from
The bottom half of the Top 10 include great songs (in order) from Yukon Blonde, Morningbell, The Wedding Present, Daniel Rossen, and Cousins. Listen to them here.
Top Songs for Week Ending March 19th: The Ting Tings, Delta Spirit, Tribes, Tiger! Tiger!, Lucero
This week was the 25th anniversary of the world-famous South by Southwest music festival, marathon and convention in Austin. Therefore, much of the music world was pretty much focused on SXSW. Nevertheless, there were a number of notable new releases for SXSW week. In fact, some of the same artists that were at SXSW released new albums the same week. The latest single from The Ting Tings, “Soul Killing,” topped the list at No. 1, followed closely behind at No. 2 by the CD release single from Delta Spirit, “California.”
The No. 3 track of the week, “Sappho,” was the lead single by the enthralling band Tribes’ anticipated debut, Baby. The band, Tiger! Tiger!, sent in their new album, Cut Them Where They Bleed, from which the lead single, “Perfume of Despair,” took the No. 4 slot. To round out of the Top 5 was the single “Sometimes,” by the band Lucero.
Delta Spirit on Rounder Records (track via )– Delta Spirit from
“Sappho” – Tribes from via Fairfax Recordings (song via )
“Sometimes” – Lucero from via ATO Records
The bottom half of the Top 10 for the week starting March 13th featured, in order, singles from Drowner, Freshkills, Spoek Mathambo, Tacocat, and Say Anything.
Top Tracks for the Week of March 6th: Andrew Bird, Ceremony, Good Old War, The Bowerbirds and White Rabbits
Andrew Bird easily took the No. 1 spot for first full week of March (in album release terms; since most albums are released on Tuesdays) with his fantastic new single, “Eyeoneye,” from the widely acclaimed new album Break it Yourself. In Part Two of this week’s Best New Releases, the band Ceremony‘s new single, “Hysteria,” captured the No. 2 spot.
At No. 3 for the week is the new track from a band we like a lot, Good Old War, off their new release Come Back As Rain. The Bowerbirds‘ return with a new album that produced the No. 4 song of the week – “Tuck The Darkness In.” To round out the Top 5 songs, White Rabbits‘ “Temporary” came in at No. 5.
“Tuck the Darkness In” – Bowerbirds from (+Digital Booklet) via Dead Oceans
Milk Famous via TBD Records– White Rabbits from
The lower half of the Top 10 of the first week of March included songs, in order, by Miniature Tigers, The Magnetic Fields, Said The Whale, Bensh and Yellow Ostrich. The Top 10 were determined by the Best New Releases of the week of March 6th – view Vol. One and Vol. Two.
Top Tracks for Week of March 4th: PT Walkley, Memoryhouse, Elliott Brood, Geographer, Plants and Animals
IRC listeners and visitors agreed with our pick of a lead single for the first week of March. The song, “The Way That You Are,” from PT Walkley‘s latest album, Thriller – even though we strongly disagree with the choice of any another artist in the world giving their album title ‘Thriller.’ Love or hate MJ’s music, that’s just a line you don’t cross. It really makes us wish we could have been there when the discussion over giving Walkley’s album that title was made. That aside, the track is terrific, and no wonder that it was the No. 1 song of the week.
The lead single, “The Kids Were Wrong,” of the debut album from Toronto‘s dream pop duo, Memoryhouse, took the No. 2 spot followed at No. 3 by the lead single, “Northern Air” off Elliott Brood‘s album, Days Into Years. Checking in at No. 4 is a terrific single from Geographer‘s well received album, Myth, trailed by “Lightshow” at No. 5 by Plants and Animals.
Seeking Your Comments About Top Tracks and Bands Featured in Playlist Posts
One of the goals is to include more comments, mini-reviews and observations from you about the songs and bands in the Top 10 Songs posts using the Comments box below, as well as Twitter (please include hashtag #irctop10 and the song or band you’re commenting about). This will make it easier to include your comment – for example, thoughts about the No. 1, 2 or 3 songs.
In early July, which is approaching quickly, we’re going to publish the top tracks, usually those within the Top 5, for the first half of 2012. The plan is to include as many listener comments about the songs as possible. preciate everyone who takes a couple minutes or less to say what he or she thinks about a particular song via the Comments section (usually in the Best New Releases posts that often determine the Top 10), or through Twitter and Facebook.
More About the Top 10 Songs Process
Some of you have probably noticed that it takes a few weeks (sometimes a little less, other times a bit more) for the Top 10 Songs playlist for a particular week to get posted to the site. The main reason for that is because it takes a considerable amount of work to collect the site’s web statistics and analyze them to determine, among hundreds and hundreds of other songs streamed and downloaded in a given week, which new singles we featured were indeed the most popular. Once the Top 10 songs are determined, we have to double-check to make sure they are only singles from new releases for the week in question, and not songs from previous weeks, or other features and special playlists that spotlight songs that are weeks, months, years, and sometimes even decades old. The task is made even more difficult because many of the tracks for a specific week that are provided by bands, labels and publicists or other sites are not specified with a date or another identifier (such as the full song title or artist) in the MP3 link.
Phew! We hope that all made sense, but it’s important that you guys know because, again, you’re the ones that determine what the Top 10 Songs for each week are, and we are not aware of any other popular indie site or blog that does that. We plan to come up with a method in the future that will allow us to more quickly create the Top 10 list so that we can publish them more quickly because it not particularly our favorite thing to do and it can be tedious, and did we mention time-consuming? But, in the end, it’s all worth it because more than half of the visitors to the Top 10 page are return visitors.
Therefore, it’s an obligation we feel we are required to fulfill , and once another Top 10 Songs playlist is verified and ready to publish, it’s an accomplishment as well as a permanent record of which songs hundreds of thousands of people listened to, and downloaded, the most for a given week. In addition, you guys have great taste, so it’s always exciting to see, and listen to, the final lists. Another great thing about it is that you can go back to any week over the past 60 months or so and spin the Top 10. Sometimes, after a while, some songs do expire, usually those that are supplied and hosted by bands, labels and publicists, but from what we see the vast majority – up to 80 to 85% are still active more than two years later.
So, that’s the deal with the Top 10 list; all said and done what matters most is the music, and it always will. As of this posting we have completed the Top 10 playlists for all of March, and almost all of April.