Arousing Sounds: Songs of 2012.

25 11 2012

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.





Lyrics Of 2012.

5 10 2012

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.





Saint Lou Lou.

11 09 2012

 

“If you’ve got an emptiness inside, you should let our worlds re-collide.”

I’m writing this based on one song I have heard by them and I’m 100% sure that this is enough for me to know that Saint Lou Lou are nothing short of amazing.

Music should make you drift off. I don’t care for where it may take you, but it should take you far away from where you are. Maybe because where you are is a bit rubbish, and anything can be seen as an escape. It takes you to a place where nothing and no one can really get to you. Sometimes you get really lucky and find that place physically too. Yet when you have to leave it behind for a while, you feel as if you are being torn apart. One day you will get to stay. One day it’ll go your way. Listen to the one you love, because they know. They just know.

Maybe You is such a gorgeous song. The kind of song that makes you want to sit alone (or with someone you are fond of) staring at the sea and ignoring everything around you. You both fall into this untouchable dreaming state. hit repeat to avoid the come-down. I’ve heard some strange songs this year, I’ve also heard some truly heartbreaking and beautiful songs- Maybe You can easily be placed in the best songs of the year. The intro immediately lures you in. You feel secure; as if nothing and no one in this world can harm you. Music can soothe and tame. Maybe You does exactly that.

When one song can make you believe in a band. Make you believe that they are going to keep making music that just blows your mind; then maybe it is worth trawling through some awful sounds to find this tiny bit of heaven.

Of course them being a duo (they’re also twins) is a big part of my love for them. I just love duos. For me, it is like they work so much harder. They make more noise, they sometimes play with more heart. More passion.

I can only hope that for the remainder of this year and years to come causes people to pay attention to Saint Lou Lou. They go beyond making music for you to believe in; they just make you feel part of it. That’s rare.