You have good years and bad years with music, well life in general. Last year was alright but this year was pretty damn good. I bought more records this year than I did last year. I never have any money, but the money I do have spare goes on music. Rather on stuff I need. Such as clothes, as most of mine are a bit worn out. Or some new boots as my Docs are hanging on for dear life. They’ve been through a lot, but I think I can drag them through hell a bit longer.
This year for all reasons possible was rather good. Ignore all the crisis in the world and how society at times is fucked, then you’re okay. It’s been alright. And there have been some rather wonderful songs to go with it. Now, if this was a list of SONGS THAT MADE OLIVIA HAD A HERNIA WHEN PLAYED IN A VEHICLE, then Call Me Maybe would be my number 1 choice. Quite possibly one of the best pop songs to have been released in a long time. But did it come out last year? I’m not sure. But that song makes me happy, and I don’t even care. We’ve all made our own versions of it. Probably full of smut, but who cares.
So, here’s my list of songs that brought all kinds of joy and various emotions into my ears; and everywhere else. There are so many songs I know I have missed out, but I’ve got a really bad memory and I’ll want to change my mind after writing this. As always.
10. The Creeping Ivies- Ghost Train.Music should have elements that just freak you out. It should make you feel as if spirits are haunting you (I don’t mean a bad glass of whiskey.) It should fill you with sinister vibes that you just cannot shake, but the thing is- part of you doesn’t want to get rid of them. The haunting chills you get from Ghost Train are just stunning. My love for Becca and Duncan is ridiculous. They make me feel I am anywhere but in this time. That’s something that is entirely rare. I have woken up many a mornings where this song is in my head, and stays there for the duration of the day. That’s when I have my good days. The Creeping Ivies just make perfect eerie music that just reinforces my love for music.
9. Swim Deep-King City. I know I could have picked Honey, but King City mentions Jenny Lee Lindberg from Warpaint. That alone makes this song brilliant. It gives you a Summertime feeling, even if we are in the murky depths of November. I remember first hearing it and just being blown away. They have this gentle, euphoric tone to their music that just soothes you. It is like your being swayed. Your worries and troubles mean nothing when you listen to Swim Deep.
8. Jack White-Love Interruption. Anything Jack White does is just a piece of musical heaven. A stroke of genius. He has this way of creating something so insane yet pure. The lyrics to Love Interruption are mighty strange, yet you relate to them. You won’t let love corrupt you in any way, anymore. The music is so simple and stripped back but you can hear such frustration in his voice. A hint of longing just purifies the song. Ruby’s delicate and quivering vocals makes the song a lot more honest and vulnerable than it would be without. It’s just a gorgeous song that sums up everything love should be, and all you won’t let it be.
7. Ellie Goulding-Figure 8. This song pleasantly smacks you in the chops. I wanted to pick Only You, but that’s because I’m obsessed with the drums in it. A tribal feel to it, but I’ve gone with Figure 8 because there is something about this song that makes you feel a bit alive, yet sad at the same time. I think you can take the “And lovers hold on, to everything” in many ways I suppose. In a way, it is like Ellie is telling lovers to hold onto anything and everything. Or maybe she is saying lovers cling onto anything because they do not want to be without. Her second record is nothing like her debut, and that’s why I adore it and why I adore Ellie’s music. She still has such honesty to her songs, and the lyrics are darker; which is probably why I love them.
6. Beach House-New Year. Very nearly picked Wild, but I’ve gone with New Year because it means a lot to me. So does Myth. Myth just breaks my heart. New Year is 5 minutes of hope. In fact, the Bloom record is just a collection of songs that give you hope. It is like Victoria and Alex are giving you life lessons. Words to provide comfort and hope to those who listen. Everything about their music makes you feel as if they are cradling your soul. Soothing and swaying you as you face things you wish you could turn from. It is hard to turn away from some things and some people. Sometimes we can bring ourselves to do so; sometimes we can’t. I make life so difficult for myself (and probably others) but when I listen to Beach House, especially New Year, it is almost as if nothing really matters for that moment. New Year just makes you think about everything in a way you’ve never done before. It opens up your eyes and soul. It heals your heart.
5. Tamaryn-Heavenly Bodies. As Warpaint didn’t release anything this year, I’m declaring Tamaryn responsible for making the most ethereal song of the year, and the most tranquil record of the year also. Heavenly Bodies makes you feel as if you are drifting towards the most perfect and relaxed place possible. It makes you feel alive, even as your eyes become sleepy as you listen to this gorgeous song. You fall in love with everything surrounding it. You notice different layers to Heavenly Bodies as you listen to it through headphones. It is like a magical journey to something so divine as you listen to it. I adore the line, “She’s a fool but time is a thief.” I cannot explain why, but I just do. The song brings out a true sense of inner peace, and guides those gently, who feel slightly lost.
4. Crocodiles-Endless Flowers. The perfect opener to my favourite record of the year. I hold this song, this band and this record very dear to my heart. Their lyrics are romantic. Even when dark, they still have a romantic feel to it. No Black Clouds For Dee Dee is my favourite love song of the year. Yes, it reminds me of the one I love and adore. Endless Flowers is another song that gives you hope. I love the line, “I’ll bide my time swimming in your eyes, on some faraway screen.” It is easy to lose yourself in the one you love, and their eyes. Endless Flowers is a taste of devotion. A wonderful song that makes you wish you could create your own kind of ode to love.
3. Dum Dum Girls-Lord Knows. I’m going to try keep my ramble about this song as brief as I can. Lord Knows offers redemption and comfort in those who have hurt others. “I want to live a pure life” is such a vulnerable line. What I adore about Dee Dee is her vulnerable lyrics. She isn’t afraid to be so open with her words. That takes courage and strength that most shy away from. The intro to the song feels like the sun rising, giving you hope for another day. A chance to be better. The repetition of the chorus is like a chant, a mantra to stop you from hurting those you love. I love love love the line, ” ‘Cause every time you think of me, the black covers what might be.” Lord Knows offers so much solace, much like most of their songs. It is pure and truthful. It oozes out everything you wish you could. I guess next time you mess up, play this song. You’ll be alright. You always are.
2. The Long Wives-Judas Hex. I play this song nearly every day. I listen to The Long Wives a lot. Brandy’s voice is easily one of the best around. Discovering her music this year made everything a bit easier. We all have shit days, and how we get through them should make us tougher. I try to be tough, but I don’t think I have it in me. I don’t see it as a bad thing anymore. I’d rather be sure of how I feel rather than be emotionally numb. Judas Hex is so dark and simple. Just her voice and a guitar. Her voice is so so haunting. It isn’t overpowering at all. You don’t need a grand voice to be heard. Her voice is quietly powerful. I know it sounds like a contradiction, but she has something that no other will ever have. Or has ever had. Judas Hex evokes such devilish imagery in your mind, but they aren’t enough to scare you. You just embrace it, go with it. There’s no harm in it at all. Brandy’s voice lures you in, and once you are there- no part of you can leave. You just don’t want to. She is easily my favourite solo artist of the year. She’s just beautiful in all ways possible.
1. Saint Lou Lou-Maybe You. This song breaks my heart. This song makes me happy. This song is the best song of the year. It is gentle, it is delicate and utterly sad. I do like sad songs, but I don’t like obviously sad songs. Only when you pay close attention to the lyrics do you notice how heartbreaking this song is. What drew me in at first was the music. It felt like being on a bed of water, floating towards a state of bliss. Then I listened very closely to the lyrics and such sadness crept up on me. Since I first heard Maybe You, I have played it every day. I just have to always hear it. I have no idea what their record will sound life, but if it has the same elements as Maybe You (dreamy, blissed-out with shades of sadness) then they will probably become responsible for creating a sound that hasn’t been done before, and is of course, much-needed. I’ve mentioned before in previous posts the line I love the most in this song, but I adore “And if you’ve got an emptiness inside, you should let our worlds recollide.” The song offers reassurance and reconciliation. It’s just beautiful. There’s nothing else I can say about this song that I haven’t already said to anyone who may listen to me.
*I’d also like to add that Inhaler by Foals is bloody brilliant and I reckon their new record will be a massive highlight of 2013.