Monday, December 30, 2013

Favorite Songs of 2013: Songs 1-10

And the conclusion. Or the beginning, depending on how you want to look at it.

1. Young Fathers by Typhoon.

"When you're young you have …
You have your whole life before you,
everyone will adore you,
grow up, you'll be an astronaut.

(Or anything you want).

What goes up, goes up in flames.
And now your choices surround you,
indecision confounds you.
And you're pacing around the place.

(Shows you everything you're not)."

It took a really great song to knock what is now #2 off its perch. And this is it.

2. Humiliation by The National.

"All the L.A. women;
Fall asleep while swimmin'.
I got paid to fish 'em out;
and then one day I lost the job.
And I cried a little.
I got fried a little.
Then she laid her eyes on mine,
and she said 'Babe you're better off.'"

My favorite song from when I first heard it this spring until … White Lighter came along. The above stanza is my favorite from any song all year, still.

That's The National's Matt Berninger, as he makes his way
through the crowd during the encore of their show at
The Filmore in Charlotte. Yep, he was that close.

3. Chocolate by The 1975.

"Run run away from the boys in the blue.
Oh, my car smells like chocolate.
Now think about what to do,
think about what to say,
think about how to think.
Pause it play it, pause it play it, pause it."

The video looks like a London-esque version of West Side Story. But the song has to be about very non-1950's drug use.

4. Time to Run by Lord Huron.

"I've no regrets.
I will not ask for your forgiveness.
Lower your defense,
run away with me and it'll all make sense.
I did it all for you,
don't spurn me after all I've gone through.
No time to rest,
gonna find me a life, baby, way out West."

What exactly did he do for her that makes him have to run?

5. Pompeii by Bastille.

"And the walls kept tumbling down
in the city that we love.
Great clouds all over the hills
bringing darkness from above."

Pompeii as a metaphor for our current cities/civilization? Or just one in particular (London? L.A.?). Whatever, it's a really catchy song.

6. Unbelievers by Vampire Weekend.

"See the sun go down.
It's going on down, and the night is deep.
Want a little light,
but who's gonna save a little light for me?"

One of the irreligious songs that I referred to in my first part of the list. Hard to see this song as anything but an indictment of organized religion. But it's a great tune, and certainly has some validity to its assessment.

7. Holy by Frightened Rabbit.

"While you read to me from the riot act
way on high, high.
Clutching a crisp new testament,
breathing fire, fire.
Will you save me the fake benevolence?
I don't have time
I'm just too far gone for a telling,
lost my pride."

I promise it is coincidence that this song follows Unbelievers, other than the fact that they were among my favorite songs this year. Still, the lyrics and particularly the video of Holy suggest that it may not be directed against the Church. Check out the "bible" in the video - it's got FR's "Pedestrian Verse" symbol on it.

8. The House that Heaven Built by The Japandroids.

"It's a lifeless life with no …
fixed address to give.
But you're not mine to die for anymore,
so I must live.
Born of a bottle from
heaven's hand.
And now you know,
and here I am."

Actually the best lyrics are Oh-oh-oh-ohohohoh-oh, but that doesn't translate too well. Amazing that just two guys can make this much noisy great music.

9. Goodbye by Rocket & The Ghost.

"Hide yourself behind the stairs.
Set the fire to your daddy's chair.
For me.
For me."

I honestly don't know how I first came across this song (perhaps on BIRP), but obviously I like it a lot. The group reminds me of Seryn, who graced the list in 2011.

10. Lightning Bolt by Pearl Jam.

"Always something and never nothing.
Isn't that the way we're taught to be?
Flipping through the worn out pages,
and stages when you knew not who to be …
'Til the lightning strike sets you free."

Eddie Vedder, sans ukulele, can still rock.

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