“Bodies” by Pale Seas // “My Own Mind” b/w “Bodies” (2012)
The new Pale Seas single, “My Own Mind” comes backed with the b-side “Bodies”, which has been on repeat in my head for the better part of the past few days. Fans of the band will immediately recognize the band’s lovely acoustic dream pop sound, but something just clicks on “Bodies”, and I find myself clicking over from “fan” to “mildly obsessed”. The jangly guitars and gorgeous harmonies are front and center, but it’s that melancholic melody that just demands multiple replays. It’s like The Sundays and The New Pornographers melodic sensibilities fused with Real Estate and “Bodies” came out. Okay, maybe i’m reaching - it’s just an absolutely stupendous bit of dreamy folk pop. Highest possible recommendation for fans of Real Estate and Memoryhouse
“On the Last Day of the Decade” by Burning Hearts // Extinctions (2012)
Burning Hearts had one of my favorite songs of last year (“Into the Wilderness”) and there is a lot to love on their new full length, Extinctions, but for the life of me, I can’t shake the familiarity of this song to something that I hear years ago. Don’t get me wrong, I very much love “On the Last Day of the Decade” with its dream-like speak/sing cadence and it’s slow build into a folksy, Billy Bragg style folksy sing-a-long. I just can’t place where I feel like i’ve heard something similar. Maybe it’s a trip hop act from the late 90’s - Dubstar or St. Etienne or Hooverphonic… or maybe i’m just hearing something where there’s nothing. At any rate, this is a great little dream pop gem recommended for fans of St. Etienne, Darkness Falls, or The Sundays.
Well, it was certainly something of a chore to work this list down to a realistic and approachable number. What started as a list of over a hundred, was worked down to fifty, and then I chose to podcast the top forty. This is the backend of that list. Numbers 40 - 21 are presented here with limited interruptions.
Tomorrow, I’ll be posting my 20 favorite songs of the year and I’ll offer a little more insight into my top ten selections in particular (in case you don’t want to listen to me ramble in podcast form). So, without further ado, here goes my back twenty list. Feel free to listen to the songs via the podcast provided above (stream) and below (download). Please bear with my introduction on the podcast, it runs all of three minutes long and might annoy those of you with ears. Please enjoy, and tune in tomorrow for top 20, which is sure to contain some choices that will get me verbally assaulted. Thanks for listening!
THE LIST /// FAVORITE SONGS OF THE YEAR #40 - 21 (back twenty)
40. “The Night” by School of Seven Bells
39. “Hold Your Hand” by Dum Dum Girls
38. “Solid Morning” by Tearjerker
37. “Call it Off” by Washed Out
36. “Nuclear Seasons” by Charli XCX
35. “Shells of Silver” by The Japanese Popstars
34. “Black Cloud” by Mozart Parties
33. “Alive in Us” by Darkness Falls
32. “It’s Alright” by Kurt Vile
31. “Summer Moon” by The Raveonettes
30. “Playing House” by Active Child & How To Dress Well
There you have the first set of my favorite songs of the year. Tomorrow will be even better as we countdown my absolute favorites. In the meantime, please enjoy these wonderful songs. Let me know what i’m forgetting, or suggest some songs that you think that i might not be aware.
As promised, here is the first episode of the new podcast series, Radio Slow Riot. As mentioned before, the goal is to create a radio-show-type podcast to highlight independent new releases, old favorite deep cuts, and whatever fits between. I keep the talking to a minimum and aim for a consistent vibe. You be the judge. This week is a basic straight forward episode which sticks to the lo-fi, dream pop, and synthier side of things.
I hope that you enjoy the effort. Please don’t be afraid to share/reblog with others and or support any and all artists that strike your interest. Stream or download as you wish. Thanks for listening to Radio Slow Riot.
Please support the artists that you find and enjoy. Buy their music, merchandise and tickets to see their shows. Supporting them is the only purpose in doing this blog. Contrary to the opinions of some, music blogs are a great way to discover new music, but there will only be so much new music to go around if these artists can’t afford to support themselves through their art and commerce. Only use these mixtapes as a guide to find something to throw your (financial and emotional) support behind.
“Alive in Us” by Darkness Falls // Alive In Us (2011)
I’m a complete sucker for mixing 60’s retro pop with shoegaze sounds and Trentemøller did a wonderful job on this track for Darkness Falls when he came in to produce some of their new album. It’s all sorts of lovely and haunting with a widescreen production full of choral vocals, chiming keys, soaring synths and honey dipped guitars. One of the best songs that I’ve heard in recent weeks. Hands down.