Sunday, January 8, 2012

Guest Blog! The Beautiful Wife Presents Her Own Top 20 Songs of the Year

Hello readers! For this blog post I’m handing over the reigns to my amazing wife Holly. In our family, she is most certainly the musician. Whereas I critique the music, she’s the one who actually knows what she’s talking about (if you don’t believe me, click here). If you’re ever lucky enough, you can get to see her hippie dance to #17. And can I just say I’m shocked to see #12? There was a time when I thought she was going to shank me if I played it one more time! Hope you enjoy!

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(The author)

*Disclaimer: One song per artist. No repeats whatsoever. This is a “as of now” list :-). Some songs will surely become less enjoyed over time while others will become classic go-tos. I got really tired of trying to rank them so while these might be the top 20… I don’t know if they will all shake out in their current numbered “positions.”

Top 20 2011

1) Bon Iver: “Minnesota, WI”

I can really feel the hip-hop influences in this one with the rhythms he uses. I always felt like on his amazing album that this is the “different” one of the bunch.

2) Civil Wars: “Poison &Wine”

The Civil War’s debut album blew my socks off. This one’s got this call and response feel that I love. Saw a youtube of them singing together and it was the most amazing thing I’ve seen in awhile. They are SO in tune with each other. I mean they sing so intimately it’s like watching two people kissing or something. I don’t know. I just can’t describe the chemistry and blend they have together.

3) The Antlers: “Every Night my Teeth are Falling Out”

I can’t get over the way the melody dances around on this one. Very influential style-wise for me.

4) Gauntlet Hair: “Top Bunk”

This song’s position so high in the list is mostly because of the reaction you get out of me with it. I don’t know if in 3 years I’ll feel the same way about it, but for now…Get ready for the psychedelic awesomeness to sweep over you. If I wanna weird out this is definitely the over the top thing I need. Don’t think it’s in English though. Ha ha. Tried to figure out the words to the cool part where they vocally mimic the guitar line and well….I gave up.

5) Coldplay: “Major Minus”

If I could just play the instrumental part that starts at 2:37 over and over and over and over and over and over and over I would. Okay, I already do….I don’t know if you would call it psychedelic or what but whatever it is it makes me get my hippie dance on and sway my head around. It’s a “let it roll over you” kind of thing.

6) Radiohead: “Lotus Flower”

It’s Radiohead. Do I need to say anything? No. Okay, well I guess so. A bassline?!

7) Florence + the Machine: “What the Water Gave to Me”

Don’t know what kind of instrument is used in the beginning, but me likey. I love that it lives up to what a giantness of some of Florence’s past work (complete with choir) and that she sings about “poor Atlas” :-). Gotta love a mythology nerd.

8) Mutemath: “Blood Pressure”

“Why can’t you do a little more for Jesus?” Love the line. Love the syncopation. Mutemath’s overall feel and bluesyness is definitely very influential to me.

9) Boy & Bear: “Part Time Believer”

It’s got whistling in it! It’s had my heart from the beginning, because it’s almost impossible not to be happy while listening to it.

10) The Givers: “Up, Up, Up”

MUST be played with windows rolled down. This may be a song for Trebein Road. Ha ha.

11) Death Cab for Cutie: “You are a Tourist”

A song that is SO personally meaningful to me. There IS a burning in my heart. There is almost always some kind of doubt in my mind. Plus they’ve got this cool guitar line that I love.

12) Gotye: “Somebody That I Used To Know”

Did not grab me at first because his voice sounds so Peter Gabriel or something that it turned me off. BUT….I grew to love it once I got past it.

13) Foster the People: “Pumped Up Kicks”

This one won out for me in the end over the more musically advanced “Helena Beat” for sheer singability and happiness.

14) Fleet Foxes: “Grown Ocean”

Rousingness at its best.

15) Sarah Jarosz: “Run Away”

There’s just something about this girl. She seems so pure, is very talented, and her music is so comforting.

16) William Fitzimmons: “Fade and then Return”

Feels like you should be taking a nap in some meadow a million miles from everything.

17) Broken Bells: “Meyrin Fields”

Brings out the best booty dropping hip swinging hardcore dancing you’ve ever seen this side of Fairborn.

18) M83: “Midnight City”

Fun to turn up loud.

19) The Head and the Heart: “Down in the Valley”

The opening lines always get in your head. I like the rousing all-together-now feel that the end has along with the nice harmonies. Plus, it’s got some really nice piano octave stuff in there.

20) The Strokes: “Machu Picchu”

Just love the intro. It’s a fun head-side-to-side-to- the-beat kinda song.

Fav Albums

· Bon Iver: “Bon Iver, Bon Iver”

The man is Midas. Plus, I’m so so intrigued that his other album For Emma was written holed up in a cabin somewhere in Wisconsin.

· Civil Wars: “Barton Hollow”

Holy mother of pearl

· Mutemath

· Boy & Bear

Please give “Part Time Believer” a try. I dare you not to smile. It’s just a happy feeling song.

· Radiohead

Draggggooooonffffllllllyyyyy

Too amazing not to mention:

Put this on repeat 10x kind of songs (Not this year so not included on list):

1) Sufjan Stevens: “Futile Devices”

Purity of beauty. I once got up in the middle of the night just to listen to this repeatedly on youtube.

2) Sufjan Stevens: “To Be Alone with You”

When I realized what the lyrics were about I cried. Such a touching way to portray God’s love without taking any poetic shortcuts.

3) The Listening: “When - 14 Nights and 23 Days”

Reminds me of driving back from Nashville blasting it. It’s the little things like the rhythm in the lyrics and that cool riff at 3:35.

Most moving Music Video

Bon Iver: “Holocene”

Wow! This is nature through my eyes. I basically AM this little guy in the video. I cried when the music swells just as the bird swoops. Jaw-droppingly good.

Most personally meaningful Lyrics

· Death Cab “You are a Tourist”

Don’t know that there’s been a more fitting song for this time of my life. I relate with SO much of this song.

· Gotye “Save Me”

It’s like a song to Derek :-)

· Jars of Clay “Shelter”

This was pretty cool in concert especially since the whole song is about brother/sisterhood in Christ.

· Chief “Night & Day”

· Switchfoot “Restless”

· Mercy Me “Beautiful” (2010, also very moving in concert)

Amazing Cover:

Sarah Jarosz “The Tourist”

-Exquisite harmonies. The bluegrass feel is beautiful with the song.

Awesome bass lines and potential for some fav songs:

The Black Keys “El Camino” album

Sweet Songs:

Jack’s Mannequin “There, There Katie.”

Frank Ocean “There Will Be Tears”

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