Hey everyone! Time for one last 2017 edition of Music Monday. I know I’ve missed a few, so I’ve decided to collect my favorite dozen songs that I first heard this year. Some of them are older (I think back to 2009) and some came out this year. Most of these will fit into three groups (Writing Songs, Relationship Related Songs, and I Feel Personally Attacked by These Songs) and I’ve arranged them as such. They’re in a rough order, but also kind of grouped along those lines. The last two are my favorite of the year though, so that’s really the point where the order starts to matter.
12) Quitters Don’t Smoke by Blood Command
This song is just kinda badass. High energy and a great beat. Lyrics like “Let’s go to war, show me your dreams, you are the best thing that I’ve ever seen.” I knew immediately that I wanted this to be on one of my writing playlists, but it’s taken most of the year to find the right character for it.
11) Treasure by Company of Thieves
Another song that does a great job of evoking a mood. There’s a hint of mystery and danger and lost love and betrayal. There’s a lot of anger too, and sultry smokiness. Really good writing song, and one that I’ve listened to over and over again. This could kind of tie in with a politics list too, but I mostly use it for writing.
10) Not Before Our Time by Tub Ring
This song is the first of the relationship songs. I like the evolution of the feel of a relationship and kind of the us against the world vibe that evolves as the song progresses. I like the wide variety of musical influences that are apparent, and the abrupt left turn into feeling like a musical number.
9) The Sound of Settling by Death Cab for Cutie
I’ve considered making a playlist that is “The Worst Wedding DJ Ever” and this is the number one contender for it. It has a really great beat and actually has kind of a romantic feel to it, but on the name alone, it definitely would raise eyebrows among wedding guests that were paying attention. Really cute song though, and fun.
8) So Tied Up (More Bishop Mix) by Cold War Kids
This one falls into the relationship category too. It’s more about the destruction of a relationship, and people just being bad for each other. I didn’t realize how bad until I watched the video, and man, that is a whole lot of killing. Between two people? Maybe it symbolizes them being trapped in hell together. Maybe it’s just showing why you shouldn’t date immortals. But either way, you might just listen to the song. I really do like Bishop Briggs voice though, and there’s something to be said about loving a person that constantly challenges you. Maybe not that much though. And if you’re into goofy sexy times and also rope stuff, then maybe this song would be fun to play to. YRMV
7) Paradise Circus by Massive Attack
I’m putting this song in the relationship grouping because it more or less radiates sensuality. Sultry is the descriptor that springs to mind when thinking of Hope Sandoval’s vocals. The beats are slow and smooth and swelling and there’s a good rhythm to it. The lyrics are of sin and forbidden things and enjoying them. Definitely a fun song.
6) Rotten Pumpkin by Slothrust
This song kind of rides the line between the “Relationship Songs” and “Personally Attacked” songs. It’s a song about seeing the flaws in yourself and your bad behaviors and that you should still be loved and appreciated in spite of it. It’s upbeat, and I like the vocalist. It’s a little weird and a lot of fun.
5) Never Really Good at Sports by Sledding with Tigers
This is the most personally attacking of the personally attacked songs. “Some day I will learn to love myself as much as I love everybody else”. It’s a song about self loathing and desperation and love and fear of loving and tilting your head back and catching the rain. It’s got kind of a folksy beat and I love the lyrics, even though they hit really close to home.
4) Art School Wannabe by Sorority Noise
Okay, so Present Fred doesn’t really feel personally attacked by this song, but man, College Fred sure would. It’s a song about breaking up and being alone and having an identity crisis and wondering how much of your goth-y dark attitude is your own and how much of it is just being the guy that people expected you to be. Also, being melodramatic about the breakup. Yeah. There’s an epic feel to the song, and another that I could see doing a crazy kind of dance number too. I think I might have a thing for crazy dance numbers. But yeah.
3) A Choppy Yet Sincere Apology by Mike Wiebe, Fadi El-Assad, Ian MacDougal, Eric Green, Rob Marchant
This song is probably the best song that I’ve heard about dealing with functional depression / anxiety that I’ve ever heard. It’s got kind of a rock feel to it. Pop rock, maybe? I don’t actually have much to say about this song because it really speaks for itself. Give it a listen, and if it strikes home, I guess be comforted that you’re not alone in feeling that way, and if it doesn’t, hopefully it helps you understand someone you know.
2) The Criminals by Anti-ape`Flag
Now we take an abrupt left turn. This is the first song that I’ve included purely because of it’s political message. There’s a lot of good songs that have come out this year along those lines. Probably an entire post’s worth. This has been a hell of a fucking year, and protest/political songs are the least we should expect to come from it. But something about this one struck home. Maybe it’s as simple as the beat, or hearing from a band I haven’t heard much from in almost a decade. A comfort, the sound of the time when I was still young and impassioned and idealistic. Maybe I need to reach through the years and take some of that energy from young me. Not that he did much with it. Anyway… fuck nazis. And not like, to massive attack. Just… fuck right off and leave my country alone.
1) I Listened by Apes of the State
Now for something completely different. This song could probably be classed with the relationship ones, but I wanted to call it out as my favorite one. It’s a really goddamned sweet person about a kind of messed up person in love with another kind of messed up person and is doing everything they can to show that they care. I like the vocalist, and the back up guitar is simple and kind of folksy and there’s a lot of passion and it’s raw and did I mention that is was really goddamned sweet? Anyway, it’s real cute and you should give it a listen.
That’s it for me. Let me know what you think or just what are your favorite songs of this year. Hope you all have a great one!