sand is overrated

all songs posted are for evaluation only. if you hear something you like and would like to hear more, please go ahead and support the artists by buying their music--i will always include links for you to do so. copyright holders: if anything on my site needs to be taken down, please email me and it will be removed immediately.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

2007 is overrated : tracks of the year, part 2

part two of my year-end lists brings my ten favorite tracks of the year (part one here, part three here). "all the weird kids up front, tell me what you know you want"

1. "black like me"
spoon
from the lp ga ga ga ga ga (merge records) emusic

picking number one between "black like me" and "darkmatter" was an incredibly difficult choice because i just think "darkmatter" is an amazing track. but "black like me" is just so full of soul, feeling, and the wanton desire that i have been craving for so much of the year, it just really couldn't not be my favorite song of the year.


2. "darkmatter"
andrew bird
from the lp armchair apocrypha (fat possum records) emusic

i really think this is one of the most incredible songs i've ever heard. it begins with some pristine whistling followed by some gentle strumming of the acoustic guitar. at 40 seconds, the kick drum slowly builds the tension to an explosive release of sound that kicks off the song's emotional core. bird's lyrics are astounding, pensively examining the fabric of our very being, and his voice--normally subtle and serene--bursts with fervor and inspiration. the song circles back to its whistling beginnings before asking one last time: "do you wonder where the self resides? / is it in your head or between your sides? / and who will be the one who will decide / its true location?"


3. "old timers"
leslie and the badgers
from the lp leslie and the badgers (self-released)

in the interest of full disclosure, i first heard this song only a few weeks ago, so maybe it is just the novelty, the freshness, and the excitement of feeling like i've uncovered a hidden gem that has caused me to put "old timers" so high on my list. perhaps it's the wistful nostalgia of the sad tale it tells, or the vulnerability in leslie stevens' voice, or that irresistible slide guitar. whatever it is, somehow i feel positively certain that this track will remain a favorite song of mine for a long time to come and is well-deserving of the number 3 spot.


4. "your 8th birthday"
cloud cult
from the lp the meaning of 8 (rebel group)

a song about singer craig minowa's son kaiden, who died as an infant, this is the most touching song i've heard in a long, long while. i have no personal experience that comes anywhere close to relating to this song, but i still get chills down my spine every time craig minowa belts out kaiden's name.


5. "australia"
the shins
from the lp wincing the night away (sub pop)

one of the catchiest tunes of the year obscures the cleverness of james mercer's songwriting abilities. who doesn't know the feeling of remorse that accompanies feeling trapped--by circumstance, by belief, by life? "you'll be damned to pining through the windowpanes you know / you'd trade your life for any ordinary joe / well do it now or grow old / your nightmares only need a year or two to unfold"


6. "plus ones"
okkervil river
from the lp the stage names (jagjaguwar) emusic

will sheff is a lyrical genius. how many different songs can you reference in a less-than-four-minute song about a crumbling relationship and still have it make sense in a completely indignant way?


7. "hot knives"
bright eyes
from the lp cassadaga (saddle creek)

conor oberst just has a way. he punctuates every example of the escapist tendencies that seem to rule our lives by building the tension in each verse, pausing just for an instant, and then jumping off the cliff. brilliant.


8. "either way"
wilco
from the lp sky blue sky (nonesuch)

a perfect example of how well nels cline's guitar can seamlessly integrate into wilco's sound, replete with jeff tweedy's plaintive vocals and easy, casual attitude of what will be will be.


9. "headed for a fall"
m. ward
from the single "to go home" (merge records) emusic

a song that features m. ward, nels cline, jim james, neko case, mike mogis, jordan hudson, mike coykendall, and the rosano bros. i don't really think i need to say more than that, but it truly is a fantastic rockin' good time. it's a cover of a jimmie dale gilmore song, with james and case on harmonizing vocals and cline's signature frenetic guitar work closing out the track.


10. "lay your head down"
keren ann
from the lp keren ann (blue note records)

feist's "1234" might have been the song that exploded in popularity, but for my money "lay your head down" is even better, with its catchy bass line, irresistible hand claps, and of course, keren ann's beautiful voice.

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all songs posted are for evaluation only. if you hear something you like and would like to hear more, please go ahead and support the artists by buying their music--i will always include links for you to do so. copyright holders: if anything on my site needs to be taken down, please email me and it will be removed immediately.

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