Top 5 from 2004 #1: NY Excuse / Another Excuse by Soulwax

My choice for the best song from 2004 to dance to might be a little bit controversial, as it’s not one of the most popular songs from that year, but it’s one you’ve doubtlessly heard on a dancefloor somewhere. Belgium’s Soulwax released Any Minute Now in 2004, and for the track “NY Excuse,” enlisted the help of Nancy Whang of LCD Soundsystem / Juan Maclean / guest vocalist par excellence. It’s a piece of electropop perfection, so reminiscent of the vestiges of electroclash but by 2004 somehow fresher and more fun than that whole movement ever was. Whang’s vocals are fun, ridiculous, silly, angry, all at once, and the song’s rollercoaster synths rise and rise and rise to a huge crescendo. Not only is the original fantastic, but later in 2004, what might be the definitive version of the track, “Another Excuse,” featuring the remixing assistance of the DFA, aka James Murphy and Tim Goldsworthy. Behind their steady hands, the track becomes a haunted house ride, veering between dark disco alleyways, down creepy neon-lit avenues, and seemingly hitting an out of control hairpin turn every few measures. It’s one of the DFA’s best works (and that’s saying a lot) and a song that never gets old, never sounds anything less than perfect for the moment you slip it on.

Best of 2004
#1 – “NY Excuse” / “Another Excuse” – Soulwax
#2 – “Banquet” – Bloc Party
#3 – “Hounds of Love” – the Futureheads
#4 – “I Predict a Riot” – the Kaiser Chiefs
#5 – “I Disappear” – the Faint

In preparing for our upcoming party Head On: 2014 vs 2004, we’re each counting down our 5 favorite songs from our respective years. I’ll be representing 2004 so my task is a pretty fun one for blogging. I thought about how to decide which 5 songs were best. I decided to pick the 5 best songs from 2004 to dance to, rather than just my 5 favorites or something, because that would get obscure and include stuff like Shocking Pinks. Some of these songs I remember dancing to in 2004, some I was playing at dance parties and loved the way people danced.