These could have easily made my top ten on another day, but didn’t quite. As of today, they’re sort of ranked, with most favorites at the top.
“A Stone” by Okkervil River. This was not released this year, but I never really listened to it until this year, and I’m so in love with this song! I can’t even choose the best lyrics, but this is a line I love: “And I think I believe that, if stones could dream, they’d dream of being laid side-by-side, piece-by-piece, and turned into a castle for some towering queen they’re unable to know.”
“My Hanging Surrender” by The Wheel. Denver local Daniel Rateliffe’s voice is so unique, so varied. You can buy his cd at Twist and Shout, or online at CD Baby (where you can listen to him, too!). Also: I was surprised and pleased to find a video:
“You Know I’m No Good” by Amy Winehouse. I don’t think any public figure scares me more than Ms Winehouse, but damn, her voice is amazing, and this song is so catchy.
“Killing for Love” by Jose Gonzalez. Beautiful song, good point. The video is totally creepy, though.
“Sea Lion Woman” by Feist. This one is about sound more than lyrics, but I think it so energetic and lovely! Apparently (I learned doing a little research for this blog), this was a Nina Simone song, and is even older than that, recorded in 1939 by Herbert Halpert for the Library of Congress. The Library sells the music, but you can hear a clip of it if you search “sea lion woman” on iTunes.
“Sweet Dogs” by Trolle Siebenhaar. I like this one for the sound… just a fun, happy song.
“Boy with a Coin” by Iron and Wine. This is a little heartier than the Iron and Wine I’ve heard in the past. I like the little story, and the beat. Go here to see the video.
“Ghost of Corporate Future” by Regina Spektor. This song is a few years old, but I hadn’t listened to it very intently until after I heard it live… a couple of her lines here are really beautiful. There’s sort of a message of “stop freaking worrying about things like wet shoes and kissing someone and getting a haircut — none of it matters.” People are just people, they shouldn’t make you nervous, people are just people like you.
“Tournament of Hearts” by The Weakerthans. It’s a song that uses curling as a metaphor for life. How can you not love it? Find a clip here.
“Small Town Parade” by Laura Gibson. I really liked this girl, as a singer and as a person. I think if I lived near her, we would be friends. I love this song’s innocence, hopefulness. Find a clip here.
“The Story” by Brandi Carlile. I love her voice — so strong, especially in the middle when she really belts it out.
“Going to a Town” by Rufus Wainwright. My list is apolitical, but if it weren’t, I’d add this one because it is sad and honest.
“North American Scum” by LCD Soundsystem, also because it’s sad and honest, oh, and really funny. Maybe unfairly, this song groups those northern neighbors in with the rest of us… Sorry, Canadians. “For those of you who still think we’re from England, we’re not, no.”
Most of these songs are available on iTunes — click here to go to the iMix I made, where you can purchase all of the available songs as a set (for $19.80), or individual songs for $.99 each).