#15 – The Ting Tings – Hands [mp3]
Super fun and dance-y, this one is unabashedly 100% sugar-pop.  But with an infectiously addictive melody and a chorus that commands you to “clap your hands if you’re working too hard”, who can resist?

#14 – Cults – Go Outside [mp3]
Despite only having a handful of songs, they were one of Pitchfork’s most-hyped darlings of 2010, and for good reason.  L0-fi fuzziness, simple and melodic vocals, and a healthy dose of piano and glockenspiel combine to create a pretty magical effect.

#13 – Pepper Rabbit – Older Brother [mp3]
This one makes me want to go outside and lay down in a fresh meadow or something.  Which is really too bad, because I don’t know if that opportunity has ever presented itself (at least not in December).  I guess I’ll have to settle instead for laying down on a fresh couch and enjoying the soothing vocals, chimes, ukulele and organ of “Older Brother” in the confines of my own house.

#12 – Sufjan Stevens – Vesuvius [mp3]
If I had to pick one word to describe this one, it would be “fission”.  Sufjan starts with a soft, beautiful melody, and over the course of 5 minutes, deliberately deconstructs it until you’re left listening to a cacophony of distinct parts, albeit with the melody subtly remaining throughout.  A beautiful song that grows on you with each listen.

#11 – The Naked and Famous – Punching In A Dream [mp3]
Electronic power-pop awesomeness from New Zealand that will have you dancing up a storm.  Unfortunately New Zealand’s a long way away, so despite having their album debut on the New Zealand charts at #1,  this one is still picking up steam on the other side of the world.