FAVORITE SONGS OF 2004 (as written in 2004)
- “A Little Consolation” by Now It’s Overhead
- “Your Hand in Mine (with strings)” by Explosions in the Sky
- “Bows + Arrows” by The Walkmen
- (tie) “You Said Nothing” by Epic45 // “To Be Alone With You” by Sufjan Stevens
- “Huddle Formation” by The Go-Team
* listen to my Favorite Tracks of 2003 on Spotify via P|M|W Playlist!
Talking single tracks from 2004, I find my notes are a lot more padded. I may not have had as much time to devour full albums that year, but I certainly found the time to gather plenty of single track obsessions. This list (originally a list of 20) is actually pretty solid. Time has been good to most of these songs, and especially good to one of them. If i were piecing this together now, “You Said Nothing” by Epic45 would be tied for first place. Hell, it would probably be first place. The song by Now It’s Overhead is one of the prettiest and at the same time, most heartbreaking songs that you’re likely to find on any of these lists and because of that and the reason that it mattered so much to me then, i’ve pretty much retired the song. I love it completely, but it’s a reminder of a loss that was a pretty substantial moment in my life, and those aren’t always the kinds of things that you want to revisit regularly. Meanwhile, the Epic45 track found me at a transitional period in my life in the Autumn of 2004 and it’s the kind of song that reminds me of what it felt like when adulthood finally set in. Sure, i was a full fledged adult a few years before then, but the timing and my love for that dreamy, chilly, autumnal sound created this mythical time in my mind that probably isn’t even a remotely accurate depiction of the actual events of that Autumn - but the tiny cinematic memory that it soundtracks is one that I’ll hold in my heart until the day I die. It’s a perfect song.
As for the remaining tracks, “Bows + Arrows” by The Walkmen is one of my absolutely favorite songs to ever chronicle a deteriorating relationship. It’s a song that’s proven itself useful at a few different points in my life. Also, the lyrics alone are absolutely gut wrenching. It’s wonderful and dark and sad, but vaguely optimistic. Like all of the best romances. The inclusion of Explosions in the Sky’s “Your Hand in Mine (w/Strings)” is something that I wouldn’t include if made today, but that’s mostly because it actually belongs in the list of 2003 songs when it was originally released, but this reworking with strings is still a wonderful, bitter-sweet piece of music that brings out all sorts of emotions in me.
Sufjan Stevens had a couple of possibilities in this year. The title track of “Seven Swans” deserves to be included for sheer scope and jarring loud/quiet/loud transitions, but it’s the track “To Be Alone With You” that’s getting the vote. I’m not in any way a religious person, and i had several friends who were turned off by the Christian imagery throughout the lyrics, but for me, music is how you choose to interpret it. Let it move you in whatever way it can, and despite my complete lack of faith, I can hear those songs and be moved by the power of Sufjan’s compositions. Closing out the list is the hyper, party anthem that soundtracked many a drunken, higher-than-clouds night for me and my roommates in late 2004, early 2005. The Go-Team created a batch of visceral, wild as all hell, party jams that were absolutely embedded in my skull for months. I understand why I chose it then, but I wouldn’t choose it now. All in all, I agree with 2004 me. He was starting to get his bearings.