This past week was loaded with new songs and teases for some of fall’s biggest releases (Sleigh Bells, M.I.A., Arctic Monkeys). But by default, the top spot in our countdown goes to Pixies, who dropped a surprise EP right before their North American jaunt next week. It’s the sound of Frank Black reinvigorated and a huge moment for indie rock. Any other week and Madlib and Freddie Gibbs would’ve taken No. 1 with “Deeper”, their strongest collaboration yet. Ranking these tracks was difficult, to say the least.
10. Ryan Adams – “When Pigs Fly”
This pretty, acoustic ballad comes from Sandra Boynton’s Frog Trouble — a book and CD of 12 country songs written by the author/illustrator. The songs were divvied up among a host of major recording artists, with Ryan Adams nabbing the sparse “When Pigs Fly”. Few can carry a song with mere fingerpicking and a voice like Adams’, who delivers a superb performance. The live, no frills production adds to the song’s charm, too. Listen to it here. –Jon Hadusek