Here it is, 2007's top ten songs. These are the ones you've been waiting for, folks! I'll move quickly onto discussing the songs, then:
10. Tori Amos - Girl Disappearing (Sendspace link)
Album: American Doll Posse
A melancholy, piano-led song about a girl who is disappearing into "a prison behind her eyes" while Amos watches, in the midst of a war pitting "woman against feminist". Its lyrics are enigmatic and intriguing, Amos' vocals are wonderful, the music pulls you in and drags you upwards. I'm still puzzling out the song's meaning, but its a beautiful piece of work regardless, and the best off her latest album.
9. Dragonette - Take It Like a Man (Sendspace link)
Dragonette is at their best when they take a character I should have no interest in and draw me in, and this is exactly what they do here. While not being very slow, this song does have a strange softness to it, and it does express the idea that though this couple 'get a little crazy with the razor blades', they do love each other. This paradox, being able to draw you into the story of such an alien figure, and just the quality of the song that matches or beats the rest on Galore makes this a winner.
8. Andrew Bird - Self-Torture (Sendspace link)
Album: Armchair Apocrypha (iTunes bonus track), Soldier On EP (as 'Water Jet Cilice')
Andrew Bird at his best here. The song opens with his haunting whistling, like a bird call through am eerie mist. Bird's voice appears then, soaring through this mist with visuals of a mysterious girl with golden curls and morbid thoughts. The song is completely mysterious, but it resonates through your bones and through your body. Wonderful, and a tragic cut from Apocrypha. After this and the gems on the Soldier On EP, I would love to get my hands on any other Bird b-sides.
7. Grand Archives - Sleepdriving (demo) (Sendspace link)
One of the best newcomers to come out of 2007, battling with the now-defunct Die Romantik for the title, this was a wonderful look at the potential of this band. The multiple vocalists gives it a wonderfully ghostly feeling, which works magnificently considering the fuzzy state the song is describing. The lyrics are quite interesting, with a great core theme in 'sleepdriving' that gives you the sense of needing only to escape, without any real consciousness, just instinct. The highlight is the voices, which just resonate in your chest, almost painfully beautiful.
6. Beirut – Elephant Gun (Sendspace link)
Album: Lon Gisland EP
Surprisingly, Beirut's best song this year wasn't on their much lauded new album The Flying Club Cup, but on their fantastic Lon Gisland EP. The epic nature of the band behind the music, with Zach Condon's excellent voice stirring into the mix, makes for a truly inspiring song. This feels wonderful, and that's the only way to describe it. It takes you and throws you into the sky, and you can't tell whether you're flying or falling.
5. Natalie Walker – Circles (Sendspace link)
Album: Urban Angel
A hauntingly beautiful foggy piano-based song about the circle of life, centring specifically around a pregnant woman whose soldier husband dies and leaves her alone with a child on the way. I showcased this track when I discovered it, and it's still outstanding, filling you up with ghostly vocals until you're ready to burst. Natalie Walker has one of the best voices I''ve heard.
4. Tegan and Sara - Back in Your Head (Sendspace link)
Album: The Con
Another former track showcase, this song has gone the rounds with remixes galore. A bouncy , angst-filled track about drifting apart, with the protagonist missing the time "when I was so strange and likeable". The lyrics here are excellent, and the music is a highlight, bouncing along. The vocals sometimes sound echoing, fitting the distance this song is about. The Con was a grower, and this one has shown itself to be the album's best.
3. The Pierces - Three Wishes (Sendspace link)
Album: Thirteen Tales of Love and Revenge
Since I got it, I've been enchanted with The Pierces' very strong third album, and by far this was the most impressive track. A haunting, calm song with a preamble about the nature of the soul before it descends into a song about desire that, along with presenting a number of wonderful options for the wish taker, hints to the terrible potential of the scorned.
2. Die Romantik - Another Round (Sendspace link)
Album: Narcissist's Waltz
My favourite discovery of 2007, Die Romantik had an amazing, macabre sound that worked to their extreme advantage. The strained, yet immensely wonderful vocals of , combined with their particular spine-tingling sound, made their work always exemplary. The band broke up in the early days of 2008, which is especially a same considering this utter gem of a song left behind. Not buying Narcissist's Waltz in time for it to rank amongst 2007's Top 10 Albums post was a massive shame.
1. Andrew Bird - Heretics (Sendspace link)
Album: Armchair Apocrypha
Soaring and nonsensical, with his voice and whistling at their glorious best, "Heretics" is a work of fantastic art, sending shivers down my spine while giving me hours' worth of musing over its mysterious lyrics. The fantastic beats make it Bird's catchiest song yet, and it doesn't surprise me that this is bringing attention to Armchair Apocrypha. Though I will be the first to say Apocrypha isn't 100% the album that The Mysterious Production of Eggs was, "Heretics" is definitely in the running against "A Nervous Tic Motion of the Head to the Left" for my favourite of Bird's tracks. Excellent, excellent song that gets better every listen.
If you enjoy these songs, I strongly urge you to consider buying their albums, because these are some of the best songs I've ever heard. If 2008 has a haul half as strong as 2007's, then it will be an excellent, excellent year.
Wait and See
6 years ago