Almost an impossible question, the answer for me would change from week to week. Over time even my absolute favourites can become stale, and then there are songs which only work depending on your mood. I'll go with Elephant Gun because it is a great song filled with happiness and humour, despite the thinly veiled sense of hopelessness that runs through the lyrics. It's also stood the test of time over repeated listens, too.
Do Make Say Think have long been my favourite band and they're my most listened to artist according to Last.fm. Despite being renowned for purely instrumental music, this was their first song to contain lyrics and I was instantly impressed with the result. It's long, but it's the ultimate chill-out tune. Seeing them play this song live was one of the highlights of my life.
This song reminds me of my ex-girlfriend. I watched The Life Aquatic with her and it instantly became one of my favourite films. The use of this song in the film is quite amazing. After that scene, she admitted to crying when she saw Sigur Ros play live, then seemed embarrassed by the fact, but I thought it was the most adorable thing ever.
One Armed Scissor is pretty much an anthem of my youth. I didn't have much of a life until I left school at 16, and during that time we all started hanging around at the only local club that would let us in and serve us beer at that age. I went every fortnight for two years solid and this song emerged as one of the staples that all of us liked and danced to together. This song reminds me of that dingy squalid Working Man's Club and the freakshows who frequented it.
This song reminds me of the 9/11 terror attacks in America. I remember getting on my school bus after college and wondering why the radio was playing, before trying to drown it out with my own music. When I took my headphones off to listen to the commotion I was absolutely bamboozled by the story. Suddenly I felt a real worry that my generation would now have to put up with a war and I felt a real fear that the carefree style of life I'd enjoyed to this point would come to an end. The lyrics were also profoundly relevant.
I used to eulogise a lot about how lucky I was in life, everything seemed to just fall into place for me. I don't feel so lucky these days so those songs I once considered theme tunes don't really strike a chord with me any more.
This song, however, remains extremely poignant. Two lines in particular: "Well, how did I get here?" and "My God, what have I done!" ring profound.
I often wonder how I got to where I am today, seemingly with very little effort. I'm ridiculously overqualified with a decent job, yet I've never applied for anything in my life and I've never even take the time to consider anything else. I'm coasting. Which leads me to asking the second question, what have I done?. Is this really what I want to be doing? If so, why do I feel so empty?
Hate is a strong word, and while the beat to this tune remains pretty infectious, I couldn't care less if I never heard it again due to the sheer amount of times it has been played in my life. To be honest, the same could be said for most of the follow up album, Discovery.
17. A song from an artist you wish more people liked.
Radiohead - Reckoner
I struggled with this question, as I honestly don't care whether other people enjoy what I listen to or not. I picked Radiohead, not because they need any more fans, but because I'm so sick of validating my appreciation for their music. Plus, if more of my friends listened to them, maybe I'd have someone to go to their gigs with.
I've already cheated with so many songs from my favourite albums already listed here, so I will throw this in as a complete change of pace. I scoped these guys out after listening to the Akira soundtrack on repeat for many months. This album is relatively short, but each of the four tracks is an amazing experience. Of all of their work, I resonated with this album the most as it sounded more like a natural extension of the Akira soundtrack.
Nobody tears it up like Justice, their music is just full of rage. The live versions I've heard of this song sound like robots kicking the hell out of each other. I once destroyed a set of headphones by playing this song with the volume set too loud, double dose of anger right there!
This song is just so innocent. It's also based on the first space walk ever conducted by a human being. Thinking about the elation involved in such a feat is just about enough to punch through my layers of defeat and pessimism.
Your funeral song is never about a song you actually like from your own music collection, it's about trying to appease as many people in the congregation as possible. This might just about mix appeasement with appreciation from the dead man.
No doubt about it, Hundred Reasons suck big time. But for some reason, I had this song on my computer and it was about 3000 decibels louder than all my other songs, regardless of the external volume of my speakers. Cue some hilarious moments when my playlist would be cycling through Random and this song would be selected to follow a string of peaceful melodies, only to blow me through the back wall with its wall of noise. A running joke in all three of my university households. Apologies for the video, I have no idea.
I chose this song because it's a classical piece that represents the skill and talent it takes to write a piece of music for dozens of instruments. I could've chosen a pop song or any guitar-band staple, but man what talent you must have to be able to write music for a whole orchestra! And what reward you must feel when you hear it performed by so many people as one.
28. A song that changed your music taste in some way.
Squarepusher - Ultravisitor
The albums Ultravisitor and Endtroducing are undoubtedly two that caused a massive awakening in my taste in music. Suddenly I realised that there were other instruments than guitars, and that not all electronica music was a guilty pleasure. When I first heard the eponymous first track from Ultravisitor I was amazed. It led me to ask - what if every one of his songs was actually this good? I was even more amazed that actually, he can do better.
As Jacko is infinitely less embarrassing than Will Smith, I'll go with him. I think everyone in my age group was a fan back in his heyday, I was hooked on his music. Thanks to this video and years of practise, I can now operate jukeboxes from the other side of the bar and do the limbo forwards.
I am pretty terrible at keeping up with when music is released. But I definitely know that this album dropped in 2010, and I listened to this song on repeat when trying to sleep. Featuring the vocals of the dude from Animal Collective, this was always gonna be a heavy hit!