I really mailed it in this year…
17. Genesis by Grimes – The perfect album closer to 2012. Watch her perform live surrounded by the keyboards, then tuck the microphone between her shoulder and cheek so she can plan both boards at once, and you’ll think damn, she’s into this.
16. Serpents by Sharon Van Etten – I said nothing about this track when first rec’ed. It kills. The most haunting song of the year not sung by someone with the last name Apple.
15. Six Weeks by Of Monsters and Men – Everybody geeked up over the song Little Talks by these weirdoes, but to me Six Weeks had everthing this type of multi-instrumental Icelandic commune jam should have.
14. Friends of Friends by Hospitality – This track prolly takes first place in the songs I’m sorry didn’t make WD this year. It will make you happy. I promise.
13. Lady of the Ark by GASHCAT – If this is only a demo as their website insinuates…well they better not screw this song up. It’s the sing-a-long track of the year…if when you sing-a-long you’re in your car by yourself.
12. I Belong In Your Arms by Chairlift – Closing scene of the biopic of my life hypothetical discovery of latent homosexuality ca. 2002-2003 cut
Close up of bacon frying in a skillet, crackling, popping, so close you can smell it. A fork jabs in and removes the strips one at a time until nothing but hot bacon grease shimmering in the empty skillet remains. It’s doused with white flour and slurred together congealing into clumps. Milk is sloshed on top of it as a fork stirs it together and constructs the gravy. The sound of the fork scraping the pan in big circles.
A door slams. Cut to a shot of girl…some girl…walking toward the front door of the house carrying her shoes. Rough. Long night. She doesn’t acknowledge the cook as she leaves.
The cook scoops up a spoonful of gravy. The shot follows the full spoon from the kitchen to Ford’s face lying on the couch. “Taste this.”
I Belong In Your Arms rolls over the credits.
11. In a Big City by Titus Andronicus – It was hard to extract anything from this masterpiece of an album. So I went with who brought me. Maybe it’s the best song on the album. Prolly it’s not, but it’s the first one I heard and fell in love with.
I’m a dirty bum, but I wipe my own ass.
10. Ho Hey by the Lumineeers – There is one song every year that I know in five years I’ll be embarrassed I liked as much as I did. I’m certain Ho Hey will be it for 2012. This has Maroon-5 written all over it…soon to be judging America’s-Got-Voice-Factor… But I can’t quit it, can’t stop tapping my foot even as I suffer brilliance like:
I’ve been sleeping here instead / I been sleepin’ my bed
I don’t know where I went wrong, but I can write a song
….let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
9. In the Beginning by Daughn Gibson – If you’re not sucked in by the piano when the beat drops, Gibson’s voice will make you laugh. But if you’re in it…wow.
8. Flaggin’ a Ride by Divine Fits – Maybe Wife’s favorite non Jack White song of the year.
7. The Once and Future Carpenter by The Avett Brothers – Yeah, I was wrong.
Sometimes I hit / Sometimes it robs me blind.
6. Til I Met Thee by Cody ChesnuTT – Because of this song, and the way it makes me move my head and the way it makes me dododooyeah, honey I’ll forgive you the TTs
5. Hip (Eponymous) Poor Boy by Jack White –
“Once a man has seen a dragon in flight, let him stay home and tend his garden in content – for this wide world has no greater wonder.”
– George R. R. Martin/WD after Cains in October
4. Emmylou by First Aid Kid –
If you all want to meet up after watching this and share a good hug, I’m down.
3. Kool On by The Roots –
2. Hold On by Alabama Shakes – The song that made me fall in love with them. Consistently all year, if someone caught this in my car or playing in my office, I was cross-examined on it. Who is this? I didn’t figure this would be something you’d like. Can you burn this for me?
Let me tell you. Everyone likes this, and everyone should.
1. The House that Heaven Built by Japandroids – Rock and Roll perfection is a slippery thing. Some might say the very nature of rock ensures that it can’t exist, that something so infused with bombast, love, sex, power, thrills, and tears can never exist perfectly. And the flaws that accompany these emotions make rock great, but why it can never be perfect.
I might agree with that. But The House that Heaven Built is close. Like Rollin’ in the Deep last year, this is the song of the year by a mile, so it may as well be referred to as rock perfection.
WD prescription for getting everything you can out of The House that Heaven Built: Get dumped by your girlfriend (boyfriend), your heart broken, beaten to death, every part of your psyche exploding with unrequited love, and an unforeseeable future following an uncertain past. All wrought by someone who didn’t love you back, by memories you question.
When they love you and they will / tell them all they’ll love in my shadow / and when they try to slow you down / tell them all to go to hell.
But you can’t hate her/him can you? You can’t hate your past, because it made you who you are. It would be easier, but you can’t. So what do you do?
It’s a lifeless life, with no fixed address to give / but you’re not mine to die for anymore / so I must live.
You have to wake up the next morning. Live!!!!
All of this in one perfect song, thrashing guitars, pounding drums, and an oooh, oooh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, ohhhh sing-a-long for the ages.
It’s the first song in forever that makes me want to the meet the guys who wrote it, who perform it, and just say thank you. Thank you.
Everyone keep your heads down and have a safe New Year. I’ll see you in few.