Best of 2007, Halfway: Songs

Last week, I presented my picks for the best albums of the year thus far. Here are some of the songs. I’ll probably finding myself posting these all again at the end of the year. They’re that good. Not a lot of overlap with the albums — in picking favorite songs, I find myself drawn to tracks that stand-out from a record vs. trying to pick a winner out of a collection of great songs. So you can imagine how good the Spoon song below is if Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga is my current AOTY.

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin – “Half-Awake (Deb)”: mp3

I thought these guys would never top “Pangea,” but if this song is any indication of how good the sophomore album will be, sweet Jesus. SSLYBY is to Weezer as LeBron is to MJ. My favorite track of the year so far.

Spoon – “You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb”: stream on Hype Machine

Notice: Britt Daniel going from breathy falsetto to sandpaper throat and back. Notice also: The fuzzy horn lines that could be guitars. The Motown backbeat. The bottom-of-the-sea harmonies. The handclaps. Best Spoon song ever.

See the rest of the list after the jump! [Continue reading]

Andrew Bird – “Simple X”: mp3

Sounds like a Radiohead b-side in the best possible way. Gorgeous.

Avril Lavigne – “Girlfriend”

Tell you what, Avril would beat the shit out of that “Hey Mickey” girl. If you’re a 13-year-old girl who hasn’t discovered the Shins yet, this is still the best song in the world.

Bright Eyes – “Tourist Trap”: mp3

This song is so fucking forlorn. It sounds like a great Ryan Adams or Will Oldham or, yes, Conor Oberst song, some lost tune recorded at 3 a.m. on a particularly lonely night. “The road finally gave me back / But I don’t think I’ll unpack / Because I’m not sure if I live here any more,” Oberst sings. Tell me about it.

Field Music – “Working to Work”: mp3 / “Kingston”: mp3

“Working to Work” is a polar opposite to that Bright Eyes track. It’s almost too peppy for words, hitting every note exactly on beat and requiring you to pump your fist in strict rhythm. It’s all peaks and valleys and peaks again, moving with ballerina-like accuracy: “DIVING TO DROWN / and coming up for air.” Phew. And “Kingston?” Like all my favorite songs, it’s dour and pretty.

The Clientele – “Winter on Victoria Street”

Watching a movie and getting bored / trying to get UP with a girl next door … I’m SO WIRED and nobody’s tired. These guys redefine “evocative.”

Lucky Soul – “One Kiss Don’t Make a Summer”: mp3

Best chorus on an album full of ’em, and the best verse lyric: “You’re just a P.S. on a postcard home anyway.” Or are you? Ali Howard can’t decide, but damned if she’s not going to get a great pop song out of it either way.

The Autumn Defense – “This Will Fall Away”: mp3
Bears – “You Can Tell”: mp3
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – “Emily Jean Stock”: mp3
Studio – “No Comply”: mp3
Centro-matic – “Atlanta”: mp3
Of Montreal – “Suffer For Fashion”: mp3

Download all the MP3s in one folder: zip

“Dave! Where’s ‘D.A.N.C.E.’?!?!” Here.

Previously: Best of 2007, Halfway: Albums


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