25. Manchester Orchestra "Simple Math"
Slowly dividing into life's abyss, Manchester Orchestra questions existence in fractions. The song, as a whole, adds itself up to combat adversity and the perfectly constructed solution lies in the numbers. Math has never been simple for me, but after squaring the roots of this orchestra there was no choice but to integrate my logic and become a savant. —Max Simon
24. Motopony "Wait for Me"
"Wait for Me" gently unfolds like a flower, revealing its beauty and depth as it slowly evolves. The track begins simply, and shifts and builds over five minutes to the tear-jearking final verse. —Claire Tiller
23. Wild Beasts "Loop the Loop"
Hayden Thorpe's smoky, theatrical voice croons over a minimalist texture, woven together of guitars and piano. There's a reflective melancholia about the song, as if Thorpe were an outsider, looking in. —Claire Tiller
22. TV on the Radio "Will Do"
Opening with heavy thumps, settling into confident desires, all whilst maintaining a jazzy feel, TV on the Radio gambles with love in a convincing way. As waves of encouragement flow out of his words, renewed compatibility waits with the best contract: "any time will do." Desperateness and conviction work hand in hand here, adding rich spice to a flavor-seeking instrumental. —Max Simon
21. Florence and the Machine "No Light, No Light"
You might just say Florence had a busy year. From killing it on SNL to being the opening act for U2’s North American tour, the Machine took their second album, Ceremonials, and ran with it. A follow-up to 2010’s Lungs, Florence Welch again uses her echoic, defiant voice to encapsulate what she considers a mixture of "chamber pop and soul." The track "No Light, No Light" epitomizes the dramatic elements Welch sought to achieve, leaving us in awe while giving 2011 a unique song that exudes the musical ethos of various genres. —Erica Matlin
20. Black Light Dinner Party "Older Together"
Looping in and out of delusion, "Older Together" eventually puts together the pieces of a pixilated love story. Alone the spontaneous beats and impulsive transitions try to confuse the direction that the song is going, but together they give way to euphoria. It is as if phosphorescent bulbs are intensely flickering alongside his strut to find the girl he's always wanted, but the blinding light has no effect on his desires. And with an everlasting feel, this song and I could be growing old together. —Max Simon
19. Cults "You Know What I Mean"
If "You Know What I Mean" sounds familiar, you probably recognize the borrowed melody from "Where Did Our Love Go" by The Supremes. The instruments are relatively downplayed compared to the vocals until the chorus comes in strong, punctuating every syllable. Madeline Follin's angelic voice is paired with meaning deeper than "baby don't leave me," and somewhere between the sweet-sounding nostalgia there's a more honest version of trying to find something missing. —Azaria Posik
18. Of Monsters and Men "Little Talks"
"Little Talks" gives us a reason to be in high spirits. From the opening "hey" shouts, it carries a bouncy and upbeat rhythm the entire time. You'll feel like "your mind is playing tricks on you my dear" as this song teleports you to a European pub and puts a mug of Guinness beer in your hand. Embrace the moment. Stomp your feet. Jump around. Get used to this one, as this new indie jam will be making its way to the top of the charts soon. —Max Simon
17. Lana Del Rey "Video Games"
New York performer Lana Del Rey's soulful voice — matched with a '50s charm — are exemplified in this breakout track, a romantic and haunting ballad about the joys of contemporary love. The song's honest lyrics linger as they cast a refreshing twist on an old-school style ("he holds me in his big arms, drunk and I am seeing stars, this is all I think of"). "Video Games" marks Lana Del Ray as a true lyricist and a powerful new voice. —Emily Osborne
16. Real Estate "Green Aisles"
There's something really serene about Real Estate's "Green Aisles." It is the type of song to put you at ease but not to sleep, something one could describe as a calm focus. With various spurts of fast-paced percussion beats, the acoustics stay the same. The song also has a long musical intro so that you really take the music for what it is, and that is an overall solid song that's perfect for strolling the streets, walking to class, or bringing you peace from a crazy day. "Green Aisles" describes a careless lifestyle that is rarely found these days, but listening to the song can give you that break you need from your own chaos. —Erica Matlin
15. Purity Ring "Lofticries"
Irresistible from the start, "Lofticries" represents Purity Ring at their hypnotic best. The opiate groove of the song gets distilled as time progresses, but Purity Ring doesn't push their expansion of the hook so far that the track loses out. The ghostly vocal samples are echoed by the singer's imagery of disembodiment, but Purity Ring's greatest accomplishment in the track is the vital energy they are able to inject into it. —David Ruiz
14. The Rosebuds "Woods"
After a hiatus from the band and each other, we all can thank baby G for Ivan and Kelly's return to the Rosebuds and their latest LP, Loud Planes Fly Low. This album is an open idiom of tension, emotion, and explanation of love, not through blame but through reflection and beautiful music. "Woods" is the most abrasive track with a hauling chorus line sang over pounding keys. The swell and honesty of this track ties together not only the LP, but also The Rosebuds' story. —JoAnn Schinderle
13. SBTRKT feat. Little Dragon "Wildfire"
"Wildfire" blazes through the mazes of your cerebral cortex — shifting your awareness and consciousness to a superior dimension. This mind-shifting transformation occurs due to the ideal contrast between Little Dragon's high-pitched cry and SBTRKT's mysteriously comforting beat. It's scary as phuck. It's the most comforting 3:26 of my night. This monster of a song cleanly punches into dubstep's deformed chest and rips out the heart, Frankenstein style. —Max Simon
12. The Antlers "Every Night My Teeth Are Falling Out" Peter Silberman's vocals drive this brooding track to a chaotic crescendo, before everything suddenly fades out. Sandwiched between two of the slower tracks on the album, "Every Night My Teeth Are Falling Out" stands out as a great example of the frenetic energy that The Antlers can bring in to the studio. This unsettling track is the best off of Burst Apart which is chocked full with great music. —David Ruiz
11. Braids "Lammicken"
"Lammicken" speaks to your body unlike any song has before. At the same time that a heavy pulse harmonizes with your heartbeat, a hypnotizing spell drags your head back and forth. From beginning to end, it triggers the flow of endorphins and incessantly manipulates your energies. Overused phrase or not, this song is mind-blowing. —Max Simon