Friday, January 28, 2011

Song Obsessions of the Moment

1).  "Eyesore" by Women.
From: Public Strain (2010).
Find it in the catalog!

I loved the song "Black Rice" from Women's 2008 self-titled debut album.  But overall, I'm a bigger fan of the second album by this Canadian rock band.  They have a spare, post-punk sound that reminds me more than a little bit of Wire, and the album's bleak mood is near perfect winter listening.  "Eyesore" is the last track on the album and is nearly six minutes long, but it's probably the catchiest song on Public Strain.  "Eyesore" has some interesting shifts in song structure about midway through, and the harmonies are wonderfully haunting.

2).  "Lost Verses" by Sun Kil Moon.
From: April (2008).
Find it in the catalog!

This is more of a long term obsession for me, but I recently became re-obsessed with it while I was compiling a mix of songs of heartbreak and despair for our Young and Restless Unvalentine's Day Party (you should come!).   It is probably my favorite ever Sun Kil Moon song; though "Light," which immediately follows it on April, would be a close second.  "Lost Verses" is a nine minute epic that is written from the perspective of a ghost.  It manages to be both sorrowful and uplifting.

3).  "Laughing Hieroglyphics" and "Oliver Twist" by Avey Tare.  From: Down There (2010).
Find it in the catalog!

Animal Collective co-mastermind Avey Tare's solo album is one of my favorite records from last year.  The whole album has a swampy, dark vibe that makes it perfect to listen to when you're not in the best of moods, but you can still dance to it.  "Laughing Hieroglyphics" and "Oliver Twist" are my two favorite songs from the album, probably because they both have killer beats. "Laughing Hieroglyphics" show cases Avey's unique and emotional vocals. "Oliver Twist" has a very cool and very danceable mid-song shift.

4). "Say Valley Maker" by Smog.  From: A River Ain't Too Much to Love (2005).
Find it in the catalog!

I love Bill Callahan's use of natural imagery in his songs.  Here he uses a river to describe a person drifting there way through life, and why maybe that's not the best way to live.  I really like the way the song builds up to the closer.

5).  "Monster" by Kanye West. From: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010).
Find it in the catalog!   

MBDTF pretty much topped all best of 2010 album lists (well, besides ours), but I didn't really think I would like it.  And besides, with his over the top Twitter feed and award show interrupting, Kanye isn't exactly the most popular or easiest to like celebrity.  However, after listening to it, I found that I enjoyed MBDTF quite a bit.  It's a catchy and showy album, but it still wouldn't make my top ten list for last year (it was a pretty great year for music).  "Monster" was the track that stood out the most for me on the album, mostly because of Nicky Minaj's awesome cameo.