This was supposed to just say “2005” but then I’d have to redo the whole picture. So yes, I know there’s a glaring typo.
Every year, there are albums I love the shit out of and songs I love the shit out of, and there’s not usually a direct correlation. Stand-out songs stand out because they’re so much better than their album that they make you stand up and take notice. Some of the songs I’m going to post came from my top 10-20 albums of the year, but a lot of them didn’t – and those are the ones, for whatever reason, that I really fell in love with.
There were obviously more than 30 good songs this year. But in the interest of not giving you any filler, and to save everyone the trouble of dealing with 5 billion YSIs, here are 28 songs (yes, ranked in order) that touched my heart in 2005. Some of them you can download, some of them (ok, all) have blurbs, and all of them are worth your time.
(This list breaks some rules regarding 2004 etc. Shit happens.)
28. Holopaw – “Losing Light”: mp3
The first song on Quit +/Or Fight, “Losing Light” encapsulates everything that’s good about Holopaw. And the genre I “invented” to talk about this album, atmospholk.
27. Bloc Party – “This Modern Love”
The panned vocals kill me every time. It’s pretty clever idea, and the great melody doesn’t hurt either. This was one of the songs I saw live before the record came out that really, really impressed me – if only it wasn’t the last good song on the album. (Ok, I like “So Here We Are” too, but that’s about it.)
26. Cardinal – “You’ve Lost Me There”: mp3
This song is so beautiful and yearning. This album, Cardinal, is a reissue and it’s not bad, but why can’t the rest of it have low-voiced harmonies and earnest pleas? The little guitar break before the chorus is a nice touch.
25. Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin – “Pangea”: mp3
“Pangea, we used to be together, why’d we have to drift apart?” Comparing a relationship to billion-year-old continental drift is about the funniest, most awesome idea ever. Helps that the song is catchy as hell.
24. The Constantines – “Soon Enough”: mp3
I’m not gonna lie to you. I’m a big geek for folk music, and most of this list is pretty songs. This is a pretty song from one of the hardest rocking bands I’ve ever seen perform (if you were one of the 20 people at ATP Pacific 2004 at 1 in the afternoon, you know what I’m talking about), and they just nail it. Bry Webb can do no wrong.
23. Spoon – “Sister Jack”: mp3
This song is just, fuck yeah. Spoon don’t do this sort of thing very often, so to hear them out-Big Star Big Star is fantastic. What a great cap to their Arthurfest performance. Like “This Modern Love,” this is where the Spoon album peaks for me.
22. Wolf Parade – “Dear Sons And Daughters Of Hungry Ghosts”
This is the rock anthem portion of the list. I could go on and on about this song – the lyrics, how the band lays the guitar riff bare in the chorus before joining back in, how ridiculously catchy it is, etc. You’ve already heard this song as many times as I have, so you know what I’m talking about. I have a feeling I’m going to like Apologies To The Queen Mary more and more as time wears on, but until then – more songs like this, guys.
21. Rogue Wave – “Love’s Lost Guarantee”: mp3
For a guy who put Out Of The Shadow as his 2004 year-end #3, behind fucking Wilco and fucking Elliott Smith, Descended Like Vultures is a big disappointment. This is the only song on the album where RW’s newfound fascination with arena rock anthemics is really properly married with their old brilliant quirkiness, and it’s awesome. It’s so good that I didn’t even notice how lame the five-second bridge is until yesterday, so hopefully you won’t either. Opps.
20. The National – “Secret Meeting”: mp3
This being my album of the year, I shouldn’t be able to pick one favorite, but this song just envelopes you – the murky, reverb-laden guitars, the piano (hear it? put on your headphones), the chanting people in the background towards the second half, and that chorus – how smoothly the melody shifts back and loops around itself. An absolutely brilliant introduction to an absolutely masterful album.
Anybody else notice that four of those are Sub Pop? Sheesh. LoTY!