July is almost upon us, which we thought was the perfect time to release our mid-year song list. Between the songs and the albums, there were quite a few split decisions, but below are the best we came up with for our favorite tracks that have been released so far this year. Hopefully you enjoy them as much as we do.
5. “Crush” by Sleigh Bells
Sleigh Bells returned with quite the bang, and this is one tune from the album that is impossible to get out of your head. Aggressive, hardcore-pop. This song seems to spit in your face as it falls in love with you, and you can’t help but return the favor. After a few listens, it’s impossible to not scream along with this song.
4. “$4 Vic/Nothing but You+Me (FTL)” by El-P
One of the more frantic, all-out spastic freak tracks of the year. The entire album from El-P makes you want to have a seizure, and the final track will definitely get you there. I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed such a roller coaster of a song. This song will take you up and down, and is the absolute perfect closer to an album that does the same.
3. “Werewolf” – Fiona Apple
Fiona takes a very minimalist approach with this track, but it pays off in a very large way. Look for the very noisy, but distant build up toward the end of the track (reminiscent to the effect Johnny Greenwoods distant guitar has in the song “House of Cards”). It builds and creeps, almost like a Werewolf slowly stalking you through the night. The song never strays from the slower pace it begins with, however, the intensity builds to great heights before you even realize it’s about to end. Glad to hear Fiona back in such a great way, and proving that there is certainly nothing wrong with a song ending in a minor key.
2. “Myth” by Beach House
Some would say that Beach House is about as boring to listen too as the above video is to watch … I am one of those people. Having said that, I can still see why Austin and Wes love this track so much. It’s light and fluffy, full of hope, and as Austin put it, “You just want to wake up every morning to this track.”
1. “Trash Tongue Talker” by Jack White
One of the more classically great tracks to come around in years. I chose the live version to post above, just to emphasize how badass a Jack White track can be when it is played before your eyes. From the aggressive lyrics, to the almost drunken piano, to Jack’s very simple approach at getting his point across while telling a very simple story. This track is a perfect Jack White melody and will put you right in the mood for a good ole fashioned old-timey bar brawl.
The “just missed our list” list:
Wes – “You Ain’t Alone” by Alabama Shakes
When you hear Brittany live, it’s almost as if she is singing directly to your soul. I was standing next to Wes at Bonnaroo as I witnessed him melt as Brittany ripped his soul to shreds with this tune. He has never been the same since, but I am convinced he is a better man for it. Since, he has still not been able to get over this classically great tune, and it’s certainly a hard one to argue.
Todd – “Oblivion” by Grimes
Grimes serenading her beautiful high pitched, slightly lisped voice over pure synth goodness. This track is bubbly and bright, while somehow being dark and mysterious at the same time. It also hosts one of the better music videos to pop out this year. There are definitely quite a few missed tracks on this album, but “Oblivion” is far and away a stand out track on a very good debut effort.
Austin – “The Way” by Mr. Gnome
The mystery of Mr. Gnome still haunts me to this day. After everything Austin has shared with me about them, I have been simply holding off until I catch them live since it’s apparently an incredible show. So much in fact, that I didn’t even listen to this track when I posted it. From what he says, they put on a hell of a show, and whether I’ve heard this track or not, I can’t wait to see it live some day.
So there is the list. Let us know what we unforgivably missed, or got right, but still feel free to just rip on us in general …