Arcade Fire played pretty much in the first half of the year for me and I had to keep myself from overplaying Funeral (2004). I've cycled through so many of the songs as "my favorite song" from this album and their eponymous debut Arcade Fire EP (2003), I'd have to say they are close to perfect in their execution.
As of today, I've settled on Wake Up as my favorite on Funeral and Woodlands National Anthem on the Arcade Fire EP. Vampire / Forest Fire is a must have from the KCRW set they did last January. Finally, their cover of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs's Maps could be put on infinate loop without getting old. So could the original.
Clearly, the second half of 2005 concerned Sufjan Stevens. I could not fully comprehend Illinois (2005) the first time through and would often finish listening to a song to go "What the fuck?" before back-tracking and listening again. Maybe that's reflected in my high play count on the first song Concerning the UFO Sighting Near Highland, Illinois which I adore in sound, simplicity, and the imagery. Sufjan could be summed up with the line, "In the spirit of three stars, the alien thing that took its form."
Working my way though earlier releases, I often heavily play Year of the Ox from the electronic zodiac song-cycle Enjoy your Rabbit (2001). Another equally addictive song is The 50 States Song which he plays live to start each of his shows. Of all his albums I got my hands on this year, I'm repeatedly drawn to Seven Swans (2004) with In the Devil's Territory as my favorite and most played. Maybe it's the wurlitzer?
I found Caribou's The Milk of Human Kindness (2005) another jewel of 2005. Discovering Bees on KCRW felt like a quiet windfall. I enjoy the clever little nods (I believe!) to Brian Eno (The Great Pretender) and the The Beatles (Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite!) on Yeti and Brahminy Kite, respectively. My highest played Caribou track, on the Leaf compilation Lost for Words, is the soft Air Doom.
I caught Nobody's release And Everything Else... (2005) at the very end of the year and I'm still repeating the first two tracks The Coast is Clear (For Fireworks) and what is the light? before exploring the rest of the album.
Thoughout the year His Name Is Alive has been releasing many home mixes in a 6 part series, but the winner for me comes off the Summer Bird EP (2005). Here Forever Always reminds us that Warren is a master when mixing a song to mindbending levels (the accoustic version can be found on the Raindrops Rainbow EP on iTMS). Get Your Curse is an HNIA instant classic.
Finally here is the list to round out my most played songs of 2005:
Girl (Octet remix) - years beyond the "original" track off the album
Since K Got Over Me - the KCRW version is equally lovely
Kæmpechok and Lover's Walk - it takes time for Dutch music to come over to the U.S.!
Oh! September - how could you not still love this little song from 2003?