Full disclosure: this one is super catchy and will make you want to dance . Without feeling like a throwback, something about it makes me want to listen to some of the songs on Primal Scream's Screamadelica or Happy Mondays or Stone Roses or other madchestery acid house tinged tunes of the early 90s. The love-everyone-positive sunshiny lyrics contribute to that sentiment, I suppose. All I know for sure is I'm failing miserably at resisting the strong urge to hit repeat every time the song ends. Hashtag Infinite feedback loop.
Obviously, the perfect song to herald Independence Day weekend In the good ol' U.S. of the A is a j-pop-tinged electroromp by a young, iconoclastic Canadian bedroom synth maven. Duh! Actually, we still have a ways to go before living up to the testament of the Declaration of Independence, but it's reaffirming to know that we are making progress towards ensuring that's not just a bunch of pretty words on paper, but an accurate description of how life is for all in this country.
Upbeat but chill, which helps the mind unwind in these tumultuous, muggy, and steamy days.
Still great several years in... Not that it has ever left my awareness, of course. Never forget & Always ask the tough but important questions. And, don't forget to dance, which makes evetything worthwhile.
He Knows The Sun by The Legends
This song is like my old friend who can never fail to cheer me up.
L’aventurier by IndochineSynthtastique! Great to dance the shivers away with Indochine. The beginning of the Le Tigre cover of “I’m So Excited” = the beginning of this.
Nothin’ but the best. A solid list in year virtually brimming with great tunes!
FAVORITE SONGS OF THE YEAR (PART TWO: #25 - 1) // 2013
The last list consisted of the back half of my favorite fifty. Here we have the front half. As I stated in the last list, it is very difficult to rank or place any of these songs as they all found me at the right time this year. The top five tracks are as good as any song in any year. Hell, the same can be said for many of these songs. The top five here just happened to have found me at a particularly noteworthy part of the year. It could have been anything, I suppose, but luckily it was these songs. I tried to put the rest in some sort of order based on plays and time spent obsessing over them, but tomorrow the order could be drastically different - so, please just think of it all as a big collection of excellence.
There was a lot to love this year. In fact, it was one of the strongest years for great songs in years. At least, in my opinion. So, the fact that any of these tracks are listed above dozens and dozens of others that didn’t make the cut, is something special. Hopefully, you’ll find something new and interesting and worthy of your time while reading the list. I will provide some commentary on the top five, but please take my word on the rest. You won’t be disappointed. Click on the track title for a soundcloud or bandcamp link. At the bottom is a Spotify playlist of every song that is available on Spotify. Enjoy.
/// THE FAVORITE TWENTY-FIVE ///
- 25) "Young and Dumb" by The Band in Heaven
- 24) "Push the Sky Away" by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
- 23) "Atlantis" by Postiljonen
- 22) "Black Out Days" by Phantogram
- 21) "Hiders" by Burial
- 20) "Takes Me Back (Until the End of Time)" by Active Child
- 19) "Clash the Truth" by Beach Fossils
- 18) "Swallow My Pride" by D. Vassalotti
- 17) "Childhood’s End" by Majical Cloudz
- 16) "Dissipate" by Prince Innocence
- 15) "Blue Ocean Floor" by Justin Timberlake
- 14) "Endangered" by Jigsaw Puzzle Glue
- 13) "Always Pretty" by Princess Reason
- 12) "Limits of Desire" by Small Black
- 11) "New You" by My Bloody Valentine
- 10) "Red Eyes" by The War on Drugs
- 9) "You Caught the Light" by CHVRCHES
- 8) “True Believer” by Widowspeak
- 7) "Freckles" by You Me & Us
- 6) "Fog Song" by Plastic Flowers
- 5) "Hard to Find" by The National // The big album closer for “Trouble Will Find Me” is one of the most beautiful, heartbreaking songs that the band has ever done, and it’s as intimate as the band gets. A truly stunning moment in an album full of brilliance
- 4) "Barren (Hounds)" by Camp Counselors // A haunting, atmospheric creation that manages to sound like the ambient place just before dawn as the world is coming back to life and all of the shadows are receding back into the darkness. The sound of an awakening. Gorgeous stuff.
- 3) "Oostende" by Keep Shelly in Athens // One of those big, heart-on-sleeve synth pop masterpieces that feels like the kind of songs that Depeche Mode used to create for crowds of tens of thousands of fans - but oddly, the pained sentiment of longing displayed feels as intimate and personal as two distant hearts calling for one another.
- 2) "Afterlife" by Arcade Fire // For all of the hype and numerous random tv appearances, this is is the reason that Arcade Fire are perhaps the biggest band in the world today. A transcendent, life affirming, powerhouse that pulls the heart strings and moves your body. One of the best songs that the band has ever done. Could just as easily be number one.
- 1) "Ya Hey (Vampire Weekend cover)" by Phosphorescent // A song that has personal reasons for being here, but in addition to that connection, it’s also a magnificent work by an underrated artist. Vampire Weekend wrote a wonderful song, but Matthew Houck sings it as if he’s been doing so for decades. As I said in my original post, it’s “a heartbreaking wonder that manages somehow to match (if not one-up) the original by delivering it weary and resigned instead of bright and headstrong.” After sitting on it for a couple of months - it does one up the original, as well as every other song this year. I hate to end it on a heartbreaker, but i was continuously moved by this brilliant, beautiful, perfect lullaby.
There it is. My favorite songs of the year. If you’re still curious as to why I chose certain songs, feel free to ask and I’ll post a response. I didn’t want the post to run super long, but I have my reasons for each choice. I hope that you’ve enjoyed listening, and reading. I’ve enjoyed making it for you all. Please enjoy, and have a wonderful holiday season!
FAVORITE SONGS OF THE YEAR (PART ONE: #26-50) // 2013
The long delayed songs list is finally here - well, half of it anyway. Compiling a list of my favorite songs of the year is easy. Boiling it down to a suitable number for sharing is not. I realized a long time ago that I’m not a music critic. I don’t pretend to be. Look all over Perfect|Midnight|World and you’re not going to find me taking a piss on anyone’s artistic endeavors. If something doesn’t strike me as particularly note-worthy, it doesn’t mean that it’s bad or unlistenable or anything, it just means that it’s not really for me, and in turn won’t fit with what I’m doing at this time. Of course, there are plenty more songs that do hit me in the sweet spot, that I never get the chance to post, simply out of time constraints or whatever. Here’s where I get to remedy that for some of the tracks that never got posted, or got buried under something more popular. Throughout the year, I keep a log of those songs and I regularly come back to them, and I fall in love with them and share them and live with them and find inspiration in them. Ranking them seems like a fool’s errand in most cases because it’s not a competition. I want this to be a celebration of wonderful music. So, this year I’ve broken the tracks into two groups - the first being the songs that I couldn’t shake and that helped shape my year. The second being these twenty five songs. No less important, and down the road could easily help shape another year in an impacting way. I hesitate to call these the runners up, because they’re more than that. I love each of these songs, and they deserve to be noticed. The next batch that I highlight might have scored more listens and stuck with me for whatever reason, but these tracks - the back half - certainly deserve their place as well.
So, without further ado - here are some of my favorite songs of 2013. The back half of the favorite fifty. I won’t bother with individual explanations till the front half, just rest assured that each of these tracks are exceptional, and worth your time. Click on the track title for a soundcloud or bandcamp link. At the bottom is a Spotify playlist of every song that is available on Spotify. Enjoy.
THE BACK HALF // Alphabetical
- "Sympathetic Strings" by ARMS
- "Ingenue" by Atoms for Peace
- "Reach for the Dead" by Boards of Canada
- "Cherry Bark & Almonds (Jap Jap Rmx)" by Daniel Land & the Modern Painters
- "Where Are We Now" by David Bowie
- "Academy Avenue" by Ducktails
- "Pepsi/Coke Suicide" by Elvis Depressedly
- "Aurora" by A Grave With No Name
- "Unreal" by Hebronix
- "The Beauty Surrounds" by Houses
- "Goodbye Horses" by Jon Hopkins & Hayden Thorpe
- "When the Tide Comes In" by Kids and Chemicals
- "Snowflakes are Dancing" by Kurt Vile
- "Interlude" by London Grammar
- "Seasons of Your Day" by Mazzy Star
- "What is Love" by New Found Land
- "Song For Zula" by Phosphorescent
- "John Denver" by Royal Forest
- "Reverse Tectonics" by Seismograph
- "July ‘09" by Spook Houses
- "Ice on the Windowsill" by Teen Daze
- "Honey" by Torres
- "Ya Hey" by Vampire Weekend
- "Collapse" by Vancouver Sleep Clinic
- "Peace and Quiet" by Waxahatchee
There you go. Half way done with the favorite songs of the year. The next batch will be en route shortly, with more detailed explanations for being chosen. In the meantime, please enjoy this wonderful collection of music. I’ve enjoyed putting it together for everyone. Thanks for listening.
2013 Faves: Sea of Love by Silver Swans
"Jacqueline" - Geoffrey O’Connor
Infectious and lovely. This couldn’t come my way at a better time considering I’ve recently spent many hours in the company of copious New Order live performances from their 83-88 period.