Matt’s Bestest Songs of the Week: 2/12/16
Nowadays, when I see a girl I used to date at Target, I duck into the detergent aisle as she passes by, swing around for some visual reconnaissance, then go home and tell the girlfriend how frumpy and middle-aged she looked. What I DON’T do, is sit down with pen and paper, think of words that rhyme with sweatpants, and put a five-string melody to the prose.
But other folks, like poets, musicians, and actors do. It’s hard to be creative. It takes some considerable effort. More effort, some would argue, than it takes to criticize and find flaws in any of said creations. This week, one of my favorite journalism websites was abruptly and inexcusably shut down. It was a corporate decision; one that took place in a corner office between three men named Jim, the trio most-likely never having spent time on the site, much less learned a personal bullet point about the staff working there. And it made me angry and sad.
It’s a hard fact to accept, and I’m subjecting you to some very selfish sorrow in order to perhaps scarcely explain that the “content creators” (horrible term), even if it’s just one bearded guy talking about anime while on a nature hike, deserve a nod of the head and a purse of the lips every now and then.
Not me though. I haven’t done a “…Bestest Songs” in four months, and so deserve nothing but scorn and ridicule. You deserve better. So here’s an overabundance of fantastic new songs from Bon Iver and Andrew Bird, as well as from some others you might enjoy pinning to your noggin for later.
Have at it!
Caveman – “Never Going Back”
Because: When Caveman’s third record, Otero War, comes out summer 2016, you’ll remember “Never Going Back as the opening number to the best car-ride soundtrack of the year.
Airwaves – “Ghost Town”
Because: This band of UK teens have the guitar bits down to a tea …*cough*.
Old Man Saxon – “The Perils”
Because: Retro-nostalgic Hip-Hop is best kind of Hip-Hop. And in case anyone is taking notes, a sexy slow jazz sax riff is universally wonderfully. Keep an eye on this Coloradan.
[Old Man Saxon Facebook]
Bon Iver – “Haven, Mass”
Because: It’s a quiet B-side from the Deux mixtape, produced to advertise Justin Vernon’s Eaux Claires Music & Art Festival (you can stream the whole mixtape featuring artists like Erykah Badu, Beach House, and Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, and Vince Staples here), and it’s just the classic cabin-trapped kind of Bon Iver goodness you remember.
Andrew Bird – “Capsized”
Because: It sounds as if Bird has got a little fire in him these days; the bonkers, manic kind of fire. “Capsized”, the first single from his forthcoming record Are You Serious -no question mark-, is definitely the most angsty we’ve had from Bird in a good cathedral-touring while. Pre-order his album here, and get a instant free download of the tune.
SONDAR – “Singlewave”
Because: Fred Astaire could dance on ceilings and drum sets to this cascading offering from the Nashville duo.
Ded Rabbit – “Better On The Day”
Because: If you haven’t heard, the bassline scene in London these days is the best it’s ever been. The keyboard stroke saving Ded Rabbit, are a swell example, and might be the perfect song for standing outside on your SO’s lawn while they throw your hoodies down at you.
Mansuit – “Though”
Because: California’s Matt Walsh, aka Mansuit to his friends, is best heard in a steep-walled rock canyon, where his tenor can have plenty of reverb and his words can have more time to paint bus-ride pinings in your ears.
Vimes – “Tuem”
Because: This song from the German electronic duo manages to be simultaneously isolating and reassuring.
UCD Chorale Scholars – “Mo Ghille Mear (My Gallant Hero)”
Because: I was a sucker for Celtic Woman when that craze was blanketing the air of every PBS channel; there’s just something RIGHT about an Irish accent when sung. The choral scholars at the University College of Dublin know what’s up; gathering in a backlit room and not looking at the camera as much as possible. They must be a really nice group of kids too, letting the local barkeep’s bug-eyed son (2:32) be a part of the gang. The world would be a better place if everything was in Gaelic.
Dean Johnson – “Far Away Skies”
Because: You’d probably be proffering sideburn advice or accepting a PBR from Dean Johnson if you saw him out in the world, but here he waxes poetic about every boy’s fancy of riding the range. Ka bless the Tiny Desk Concert contest. It’s bringing all sorts of goodies to light.
Lissie – “Don’t Give Up On Me”
Because: It always devastates me to find out a singer smokes. WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT TO YOUR VOICE????? (i.e. Bob Dylan) But I can’t stay mad at Lissie. She has enough heart in her music and freckles on her cheeks to make anyone selectively admiring.
Sibling – “Westside”
Because: If this song was about anything other than getting high by the ocean at night, I’d be disappointed, but it instills such a carefree vibe in my bones that all I want to do is rave wave my hands around in a convertible and sing along.
Twin River – “Antony”
Because: I love songs that let give you space to breath and dance within. It’s not about song length, it’s about pacing and phrasing. Even though Vancouver’s Twin River constantly dance across the Garage and Psychedelic Rock line in their music (“Bend To Break” vs. “He’s Not Real And He Ain’t Coming Back”), they’ve absolutely nailed the combination on “Antony.”
Icarus – “Home”
WILD – “Vagabond”
Because: Every edition of “…Bestest Songs” should have a song you can hitch on the rails to.