Weekly Download Vol. V No. 30

(Insert Last Week’s Preface) and for the songs I decided that there would be no repeat artists. So it’s prolly even a worse list.

16. Song for Zula – Phosphorescent – My obsession with album closers results in a needless demotion and consequent underrating of brilliant songs because I love how they close my album. But letting Song for Zula cut me lose from the last five years of music into the next is exactly where I want to be.

15. Midnight City – M83 – I think this is truly the only song on the list that’s more feeling than song. I don’t have any idea what this song is about, and I don’t really care. But I want to live in it.

14. Rill Rill – Sleigh Bells – No other song Sleigh Bells has ever done sounds close to this. Hell, no song anyone has done in since I first heard it does.

13. Emmylou – First Aid Kit – That soul triage…yeah.

12. Hold on – Alabama Shakes – Come on, Brittany! Ya gotta get back up!

11. Circuital – My Morning Jacket – This song perfectly emblemizes my entire relationship with My Morning Jacket. I forget about it. Then it pops up on a mix somewhere, and I remember how much love it. Then I get mad at myself for the time I’ve wasted listening to anything but this.

10. Rolling in the Deep – Adele – You know. Daft Punk/Pharrell tried to challenge her, but no song really approached the ubiquity these last five years. Yet Daft Punk’s crack-pipe-ingly addictive dance diddy eventually wore me down, like methadone wore me down, and England’s rubenesque power-diva’s perfect song never has. I bet it never does.

9. Out Go The Lights – Spoon – The place for a Spoon song that up until a few months ago would have gone to Who Makes Your Money and in six weeks will prolly go to one of about four stellar tracks from They Want My Soul, but Out Go The Lights has carved out a sweet spot recently. It makes any mix better.

8. Freedom at 21 – Jack White

7. Second Song – TV on the Radio – I re-discovered this jewel scanning back through lists from years past to prepare this one. Wow. I forgot. It’s a stellar encapsulation of the “band who should be everyone’s favorite band.”

6. Everybody Needs Love – Drive-by Truckers – Yeah, I don’t know. This is a cover and very non-DBT-ish. But I can’t turn it loose. It makes me happy every time I listen to it.

5. Shake it Out – Florence + The Machine – Florence’s weapons-grade voice seared me like no other instrument the last five years. Complete Goose-bumper.

4. Runaway – Kanye West – (sigh) When you start to hate him, want him to shut his fucking mouth, and get his super-cell F5 off popular culture’s radar, listen to the first 1:12 of his masterpiece. It will infect you.

3. The House that Heaven Built – Japandroids

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.

2. Hannah Hunt – Vampire Weekend – After time I’ve decided that more than anything, Hannah Hunt defines Modern Vampires of the City. The ocean waves, the heart-ripping lament, all of it. She puts you inside this album as Ezra says goodbye (as we all say goodbye) to (some) of the dreams of our youth.

A gardener told me some plants move
But I could not believe it
Till me and Hannah Hunt
Saw crawling vines and weeping willows
As we made our way from Providence to Phoenix

A man of faith said
Hidden eyes could see what I was thinking
I just smiled and told him
That was only true of Hannah
And we glided on through Waverley and Lincoln

Our days were long our nights no longer
Count the seconds, watching hours
Though we live on the US dollar
You and me, we got our own sense of time

In Santa Barbara, Hannah cried
“I missed those freezing beaches”
And I walked into town
To buy some kindling for the fire,
Hannah tore the New York Times up into pieces

If I can’t trust you then damn it, Hannah
There’s no future, there’s no answer
Though we live on the US dollar
You and me, we got our own sense of time

1. Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains) – Arcade Fire

There are songs that remind us of people, of places, of times, of memories. For each of you there are songs that soundtrack your important points, your zeniths, your nadirs. There is the song you sang in the car with your dad every time. There is the song you listened to on repeat your entire senior year. There is the song you sang outside a bar after close, drunk and surrounded by your friends. There is the song you listened to on the way to every final. There is the song you played at every after-party. There is the first song on the first mix CD you ever burned for her. There is the first song you danced with your wife to. There is the song they played at his funeral. There is the song you watched as your son and the song you watched your daughter danced there way to even higher cockles of your heart.

And there is the song that will be Weekly Download, that will forever remind me of this pretentious thing I did.

That song is a mighty band’s crowning achievement and was pretty much certain to top this list.

I won’t drone on about it. Listen one more time.

See you next week.

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