I know the second I publish this I will want to change everything. I hate that I do this, but maybe I’ll write this and not look back on it. I hate looking back on anything I ever write because I always find fault. It is like looking in the mirror the second before you leave the house, and you think “I’m actually going to go outside with this face, and people will see…shit.” But, some things you have to do. Of course I don’t have to do this, but I want to. Mainly because I may be slightly bored. I don’t even know.
Lyrics are hugely important to me. I won’t care for a song unless I feel something for the lyrics. Lyrics can make you feel less alone, less shit and just give you comfort that you cannot get from a person. Yes it is all well and good knowing you are loved and can love; but at 4am when you’re alone and you feel like you’re hitting rock bottom- sometimes all you have is a song. You may turn on the radio and you catch a part of a song that just sums up how you feel. Or you may play your favourite song of all time to just get a piece of mind. So you can fall asleep without anything disturbing your mind.
There are so many songs I could have chosen for this. I know I have missed some out, and that alone pisses me off. I’ve limited myself to ten lyrics, but I know I could easily listen a lot more. These aren’t lyrics that I thought were clever or sounded good. They are lyrics that just mean a lot to me. Okay, so maybe the Swim Deep lyric I chose may not mean a lot- but the innocence behind it means a lot. Oh and they reference Warpaint so obviously I needed to mention it. One of my main issues was choosing which Dum Dum Girls lyric to use. Mine Tonight, Lord Knows and I Got Nothing have all got lyrics that mean a lot to me. All of End Of Daze is so pure and beautiful. But I went with Season In Hell because this specific line just grabbed me a bit more, I guess. I’m writing this listening to End Of Daze, and I’m close to changing my mind… I’ll try to refrain from doing so.
So, in order..here are my favourite lyrics of 2012 (I know it’s October but the world may end on 21st December so I’m just being prepared.)
10. Swim Deep-King City : “And fuck your romance. I wanna pretend that Jenny Lee Lindberg is my girlfriend.” When I sing this, I always change it to all members of Warpaint. Sometimes I just use Emily Kokal’s name instead. I remember hearing this song for the first time and just being utterly in awe of the dream-like atmosphere they create with their sound. They are truly one of the best bands to have come out of Birmingham in a bloody long time. If their debut record comes out next year, I reckon it’ll easily be one of the best things we hear.
9. Mystery Jets-Someone Purer : “I was gripped with a bit of fear. Worried the one thing that I loved back when I was just a kid, might now never be enough.” Radlands is one of the best records of the year, that is so obvious. The opening of Someone Purer is one of my favourites of the year. Blaine’s delicate voice makes you cling onto every single word right from the start. You tremble and identify with every word. We’re told that, as we get older we should be more sure of ourselves. Thing is, I think someone of us get older and become less sure of ourselves. It is seen as a bad thing, but I don’t believe it is. We’re all works in progress and you cannot progress if you think you are above change and being honest with yourself. You can adapt to your surroundings, but at some point you know you want to be more. You want to see more. Someone Purer echoes adult frustrations through child-like innocence. It is just beautiful.
8. Willis Earl Beal- Monotony : “Could it be malaise? Or am I depressed? Just a life-long phase. I am not indirect, don’t consider me blessed. But don’t consider me cursed, in this chaotic mess. I guess that it could be worse.” Willis Earl Beal is the year’s greatest solo male artist. Sure he’s been around quite some time now, but his debut record came out this year and when I listened to it, Monotony was the song that gripped itself around my heart and head. These lyrics alone just show the sheer genius of Willis. His music hits you right in the soul.
7. Saint Lou Lou-Maybe You : “And if you’ve got an emptiness inside, you should let our worlds recollide.” I’m fairly sure Maybe You is my favourite song of the year. All year I had been waiting for a song to have this hold on me. I have to listen to it about 20 times a day or I just feel a bit sad. The lyrics are quite sad, but the music is so soothing and gentle. Yet, when you truly listen to it- you feel your heart-break. I know nobody ever wants to feel sad. But the sadness you get from listening to Maybe You is the kind of sadness that can be created and cured by the same thing. Music does this a lot, it’s not a bad thing. Sometimes you just have to feel sad; to remind yourself. However, the song also offers some reassurance and any wrong that has been done to you doesn’t have to matter. One person will get you through, even if their eyes are sad.
6. Garbage-Beloved Freak : “People lie and people steal. They misinterpret how you feel. And so we doubt and we conceal.” Garbage are my life so whatever I say about this song, I have more than likely said about their songs a hundred times before. They’re one of the few bands that, when I mention them or if anyone mentions them to me, I just feel instantly better. Not Your Kind Of People was the only record this year that I had truly truly been waiting for. It was all I wanted, and had been wanting for so long. I guess this year everything I wanted/had waited for, had actually happened. Some are music based, but the most important thing wasn’t music based. But I’m not telling you. You don’t need to know. What I love about Garbage is how vulnerable Shirley’s lyrics are. One every record of theirs, they have at least 2 or 3 songs that just ooze vulnerability. Or songs that are for those who aren’t sure and a bit lost. Run Baby Run to Medication to The Trick Is To Keep Breathing to Tell Me Where It Hurts and all in-between. Beloved Freak made me bawl when I first heard it, and I still get teary-eyed when I play it. It is the perfect end to a wonderful record. It just makes you feel less horrendous and allows a small dose of self-acceptance to creep in. Something we all need.
5. Cat Power- Always On My Own : “I want to live my way of living.” Everything I just said above about Garbage, I feel about Cat Power. Sun was another record I had been bursting to hear this year. Highly anticipated and greatly loved from the first listen. I cannot pick a favourite song off Sun, but I can easily pick my favourite lyric. This line is just so utterly perfect and so fucking true. When you have to change your way of living because of your surroundings, it gets you down. It breaks you and ruins you. Then you leave; and you’re happy. Then you come back, and you’re just a shell of who you are. Yet, the only good thing is that the ones you love don’t get to see that. Imagine if they saw you at your lowest. No thanks. Cat Power has always provided comfort for the soul. My love for You Are Free is insane. That record is like a guide for life. I guess most of her songs can be seen as that. I just love her so much.
4. Beach House-Myth : “Can’t keep hanging on to what is dead and gone. If you build yourself a myth, you’d know just what to give. Materialise, or let the ashes fly.” I remember where I was and the day when I first heard Myth. I needed it. I was just about to leave here to try start my life again somewhere else. My life consists of false starts; this eventually would turn into a massive false start, but I had to do it. I’ll probably keep doing it, and I may never get it right. Beach House are good for the soul. Beach House mend you. They put you back together again. They make every part of you feel warm and loved; even if you are without love. They make you feel as if you are in love, even if you’re not with anyone at all. The power in their music constantly leaves me in awe. So delicate and ethereal. For me, Myth is the process of letting go. Let go of the bad, and create something better. It may be make believe for others, but who cares? So long as you believe, nothing else matters. This specific part of the song just means the world to me. You know when something is so personal, no words can actually describe it and all it means to you? That’s how I feel about it, and how I feel about the vast majority of their songs.
3. Metric-Artificial Nocturne : “I’m just as fucked up as they say. I can’t fake the daytime. Found an entrance to escape into the dark. Got false lights for the sun. It’s an artificial nocturne; it’s an outsider’s escape for a broken heart.” Oh Emily Haines. How you manage to unleash a fraction of my thoughts in one verse. You’ve done it again. You always do it. This is another example of a perfect album opener. Hearing this was enough for me to know Synthetica was going to be an incredible record. I’m still going through my phase of playing this song about 5 times before I play the rest of the record. Artificial Nocturne just shows that Emily Haines is more than a song-writer. Her words are poetry. Her words are life, her life, your life, my life- everything. There is something so vital about this song. It provides a lifeline. It gives hope. It makes you feel as if she is projecting all your ugly feelings and making them into something beautiful. We all need that, sometimes we need it more times than we care to acknowledge.
2. Crocodiles- No Black Clouds For Dee Dee : “No more lost girls walking from you. No more sickness sleeping in you. No more
fools spit judgements on you. No more dead birds raining on you.” Quite possibly the best love song of the year. Endless Flowers is probably my favourite full length record of the year. I cannot even begin to tell you how much I love them. After FINALLY seeing them live this year, and this song too; my love for them just grew. I didn’t think it could, but it turns out after waiting over 3 years to see a band that mean more than the world to you, causes your love and admiration for them to just explode. I could pick any song off Endless Flowers, but I chose No Black Clouds For Dee Dee because it is such an honest yet simple love song. It just oozes devotion and the urge to look after the one you love. When you listen to this, you cannot help but think of the one you love. The keeper of your heart. Romance and love isn’t expensive gifts and pretentious prose. Romance and love is being totally honest and gentle actions. This song just portrays this in the most beautiful and open way possible. I love everything about this song.
1. Dum Dum Girls- Season In Hell : “A confession’s not a cure. There’s always darkness to endure, on the path to be redeemed.” At first I wanted to go with something from Lord Knows. Then I went to Mine Tonight. I decided on Season In Hell because I just really love this lyric. I cannot tell you how many times I have played End Of Daze since it came in the post last week. It’s on constant repeat. I play it EVERYWHERE. Season In Hell is just perfect. It makes you feel GOOD. The line I chose to use is so true, so apt. Dee Dee is one of my favourite song-writers easily. I personally feel she is my generation’s Patti Smith. Her words are so powerful, even when they seem quite frail and delicate. You take such strength from it because you know someone else has endured the same battle as you. I could quite happily write a thousand more words on this song, this lyric but you just have to listen to it, to fully understand how important it is. The whole song just lifts your spirits. Not everything stays shit forever. You won’t feel like this forever, because nothing in life is permanent. Not even life itself. I love the ending too, “Lift your gaze, it’s the end of daze.” It is just wonderful. There are so many words I could use to describe the lyric I chose, but none are good enough. All I know is that it is my favourite I’ve heard all year, pretty much speaks for itself really.