Thursday, January 31, 2008


Just discovered this intriguing new artist from the UK, Eugene Francis Jnr., and I have to say I'm liking what I'm hearing. Didn't find him in time to include him in the Newcomers post, sadly, but he did recently release this very quirky video for single 'Poor Me'. It's very Gulliver's Travels (you'll see when you watch it), and the colours are great. And I know I'll have a time working out exactly what the lyrics mean, but that's half the fun!

No links to Amazon this time round, as his debut album, The Golden Beatle, comes out April 28. However, you can listen to more here and here, and you can buy his singles for the album at the first link.


Here's a maintenance post. This is for:

* A hub for you guys to request reuploads, which I will reupload and edit into this post.
* A place where those who cannot use Sendspace/Rapidshare (for some older posts), or prefer not to, can request uploads from other sites - Megaupload, Rapidshare, etc.

Anything I can help with, just comment!

TOP 100 SONGS OF 2007: 31-40

Getting into some real gems here, with heavy hitters like Andrew Bird, Dragonette and The Pierces starting to surface. The lower ranks were pretty light of them, but that's mostly because they found themselves in a lot of higher spots. I considered limiting things to 1 per album, but then I realised this way was just plain more honest. Also, I've started including music videos where appropriate (athough I'm holding one back as I've already written a Music Video Showcase to post at a later date for it).

Anyhow, onto the list...

40. Andrew Bird - Imitosis (Sendspace link)
Album: Armchair Apocrypha

A song I only really discovered after falling for the remix, this is a wonderful song about the mysteries of science. Andrew Bird shows off his intelligent lyricism here, telling stories of cells, mitosis and bunsen burners, all words one might have found in a science clasroom instead of one's iPod. That said, the music is far from neglected here - in fact, the Marriott Hotel chain used just instrumental pieces from this song (and others from Bird's repertoire) for their commercials. You fall in love with the music, which I have trouble properly describing in words, and begin to pay attention to the lyrics. That's when he gets you.

39. Straylight Run - This is the End (Sendspace link)
Album: The Needles the Space

A quiet, lullaby-like song that opens with glittering sounds and soft vocals from female vocalist Michelle DaRosa, and continues in this quiet, calming tone with other voices joining in occasionally, for the chorus mostly. It's a quite simple song, but also quite beautiful. I've heard that the band only recently started giving DaRosa lead vocal spots, and I'm of the opinion that might be the band's best move. While male vocalist John Nolan isn't bad, DaRosa has a gorgeous voice, and his works best when supporting hers. Tracks like this highlight that fact magnificently.

38. Dragonette - Competition (Sendspace link)
Album: Galore

One of the first Dragonette tracks that caught my attention, this song features lead vocalist Martina Sorbara taking on the guise of a mistress and, of course, loving it. Just like in songs like Take It Like a Man, she's the one with the confidence, playfully telling her beau to 'try not to blush'. She loves, not the man or being with him, but merely the danger and excitement the situation affords her. Sorbara's significant other here barely factors into the equation at all, and that's the way we like it.

37. The Pierces - Boring (Sendspace link)
Album: Thirteen Tales of Love and Revenge

Where the previous song was about joy from a taboo, this is all about the ennui that comes from the excess of it. A song that perfectly ties into our age of celebrity and starlet fever, this needles the Paris Hiltons of the world. When you can have everything, there's nothing left to excite you. This really is the ultimate 'be careful what you wish for' song. Not only this, but the way its sung, with the utter apathy extending even to the climax where even their life dreams, once realised, have become 'boring'. And yet, the music and the style of the singing keep it from being boring itself.

36. Sophie Ellis-Bextor - Me and My Imagination (Sendspace link)
Album: Trip the Light Fantastic

Sophie Ellis-Bextor knows how to make you dance, whether in a club or in your chair, and this, Trip the Light Fantastic's second single, is no different. A song about leaving an element of mystery in order to keep a relationship fun, it draws on the feeling of the 'thrill of the chase', something well translated in the music. This makes my feet tap like crazy every time I give it a listen.

35. Mika - Grace Kelly (Sendspace link)
Album: Life in Cartoon Motion

This song is apparently born out of Mika's frustrations with labels' attempts to pigeonhole him into this or that sound, ironic considering some of the criticisms levelled against him for being too 'cookie cutter pop'. However, I am not one of those critics, as I thoroughly enjoy a good listen to Mika, and this is the song that pulled me in (while waiting to watch Spiderman 3 in theatres - the power of advertising!). It's delightfully bouncy and loud in all the right places, and easily applied to the common relationship issue of changing one's partner to suit one's own needs as easily as Mika's original meaning. It's a great song for walking, and (if I don't have a headache) can usually make me grin.

34. Die Romantik - Narcissist's Waltz (Sendspace link)
Album: Narcissist's Waltz

One of my biggest 2007 regrets is not buying the total Die Romantik debut album (of which this is the titular song), as every song from it is excellent. This follows the waltz beat, with the usual great vocals and intriguing sound. It makes me think of waltzing in a pitch dark ballroom, every dancer so well practised that they never, ever touch. Chills down my spine every time.

33. The Pierces - Lights On (Sendspace link)
Album: Thirteen Tales of Love and Revenge

When I describe The Pierces as 'wicked', this is one of the songs that I'm thinking about. Shameless, the protagonist is seductive and dangerous, capturing the hearts of men with a wink. My cousin Marelly compares their voices here to Gwen Stefani and sometimes it does sound like Gwen at her best. The song is so sexy, and yet oddly hilarious as well. Perfect partner to any Dragonette track.

32. Remi Nicole - Rock'n Roll (Sendspace link)
Album: My Conscience & I

I have a lot of tenderness in my heart for Remi Nicole, a young black singer who fought attempts to 'r'n'b'-ize her or pigeonhole her into hiphop. While many of her lyrics show potential for growth, this song is one of her delightful best, detailing her attempts to just be herself in a music scene that doesn't want her if she doesn't rap. She's just so damn cute, and I'll forgive a lot for the pure enjoyment I get outta this track. Even if, to me, she sounds a little more like pop than rock. Who cares as long as it's good?

31. Cloetta Paris - Broken Heart Tango (Sendspace link)
Album: Myspace release

I found this gem via the gallant Zeon's blog (on the sidebar). At first, I wasn't sure, but then I fell hard for this song. The ethereal 'ah aaaah' in the background early on, the downbeat disco beat, and Paris' beautiful vocals translating her beautiful sadness from word to song. The lyrics are also very nice, with the lead line, "Don't say you love me, for a start, or you will be a boy with a broken heart." Like the above Narcissist's Waltz, I can practically see this song in my head, and it breaks my heart every time.

All of these have been on my 'can't stop playing' list at one point or another, excepting Narcissist's Waltz, which had to wait until I fell in love with two other Die Romantik songs to get noticed. If you enjoy these songs, I urge you to check out their albums!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


"Why do you let me stay here all by myself?"

She and Him, the partnership of Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward (mentioned in the 'Newcomers' blog yesterday) just released their first single, this old-style song (complete with old-timey girl group backing!) with Deschanel taking lead vocals. It's a nice song about feeling abandoned. Nothing groundbreaking, but a nice little song that bodes well for their upcoming album.

DOWNLOAD: She and Him - "Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?" (Sendspace)


"God I pity the violins, in glass coffins, they keep coughing... they've forgotten how to sing."

The internet is a wonderful tool for the music lover. Not only can one sample and preview tracks released for purchase, but one can procure rare live tracks. One of the best I've ever discovered is this wonderful gem from Regina Spektor, a crystal clear recording of an extremely rare (this is the only known recording) song, "All the Rowboats". And, it's bloody fantastic. There's a little audience murmuring, but other than that it's one of the best live recordings I've heard.

It's a gorgeous song about the jail-like existences of museums, with works of art locked away like murderers, like the living dead on display for the world's bizarre fascination. The piano work is flawless, but it's Regina herself who is on showcase here, the emotion in her voice perfect. Contempt, regret, sadness - she has more range here than many artists' entire albums. I can't stop listening to it, and I can never listen to it without listening to it again immediately after.

Please, please let this be on her next album.

DOWNLOAD: Regina Spektor - "All the Rowboats"

Buy some Regina here, here or here.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


What's funnier: A white indie girl turning a mainstream hiphop song by Nelly into a low-key indie song, or... a white mainstream pop girl turning a mainstream hiphop song by Fergie into a piano-led sad ballad?

I just discovered Jenny Owen Youngs' take on Nelly's "Hot in Herre", the original of which took the world by storm back in 2002 by telling all the hot girls to take off all their clothes. Jenny Owen Youngs' take on the song, hilariously placed in the Arctic, is here:

This reminded me, in a big way, of Alanis Morissette's amusing stunt for last year's April Fools Day, parodying Fergie's "My Humps" without changing a word of it by turning it into a sad piano piece and showcasing the lyrics - which are, of course, absolutely terrible. The following video, 'Alanis-izing' the original, never ever gets old:

Buy Jenny Owen Youngs' Take Off All Your Clothes EP (featuring 'Hot in Herre') in mp3 format.


One of the best feelings in music searching is uncovering a new artist, one with limitless potential who has their whole career coming for you to enjoy. The bands and artists contained herein are, like Dragonette and A Fine Frenzy last year, great ones coming up with their debut album. Some have great careers behind them already (M. Ward, looking at you) but these are still all new beginnings.


Led by Carissa's Wierd's and Band of Horses' Matt Brooke, this dreamy band is looking to have an amazing debut. In 2007, they released a quartet of demos that blew me away, including the amazing Sleepdriving and damn good Torn Blue Foam Couch. Their self-titled debut album comes out in February, and I'm foreseeing a great hit here.

Sample: The album version of one of their demos, Torn Blue Foam Couch, in all it's finished glory.


This quirky young singer has a lot of talent, and I've managed to grab a scattered sample of her work that popped up on last year's EP and will pop up on March's debut, Autumn Fallin'. Lyrically fun, low key, some nice humming. Should be nice.

Sample: Nice, quiet song See Green, Sea Blue.


This intriguing pairing of Matt "M." Ward and Zooey Deschanel drew my attention from the moment they sang a duet together, and they apparently feel the same way. Their debut, Volume One, should hit shelves in March, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't excited.

Sample: The two take on Ward's Magic Trick, a song I've always liked, in a live recording.


The Dresden Dolls vocal powerhouse's debut album, Who Killed Amanda Palmer? is one of my most anticipated albums of 2008. Her work with Dresden Dolls and her various covers have shown power, range and emotion, and a live recording of Ampersand (a song I desperately hope finds its way onto the album) made me fall in love with her and her gorgeous voice.

Sample: The gorgeous Ampersand, performed live.


Former lead singer of The Faders before their break-up, she's now moving to a solo career and using their most well-known track, No Sleep Tonight, as a single. There's no concrete news about the debut other than it's coming, and honestly, I can't wait.

Sample: The original Faders version of No Sleep Tonight.


Their debut, The Portrait is Finished and I Have Failed to Capture Your Beauty..., has already been released, I believe, but they qualify as newcomers in the 2008 year. This comes from visual artist Sydney Vermont and Dan Behar, best known of Destroyer, Swan Lake, or The New Pornographers. The album has a delightfully sweet, soft golden feel to it.

Sample: The single, and my personal favourite so far, Shadow Falls.


A new band I discovered through thesixtyone, last year's release The Nature of the Ground EP, is quite good, and one of their songs has particularly caught my attention (see below). No concrete news of a possible album, but I'm hopeful as I'm interested to see what happens with these guys next.

Sample: Their most interesting track from the EP, Wild Creatures of Doubt.


Toronto-based youth Lights makes sweet pop music that never fails to make me at least smile. The lyrics, the music, the sound, it's all very nice, and that's refreshing.

Sample: I've already posted my favourite of their tracks before, February Air, so this time I'll let you guys have I Owe You One.


Oddly enough, this gorgeous instrumental music isn't from a band at all, but from a video game composition for an independent video game. This, however, doesn't detract from its beauty one bit. It's, in fact, excellent sleep music. I don't know if we'll be hearing from this artist once the score, and the game are completed, but I definitely hope so! The whole album, Meanders, was released free on the 'net last Christmas here.

Sample: The song that led me to fall in love with Streams, the quiet, beautiful and epically long From the Top of the Mountain to the Bottom of the Sea.

So, there's my upcoming newbies for 2008. Anyone have any suggestions for new bands or artists who I might wanna check out in 2008? Other than that, enjoy!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

TOP 100 SONGS OF 2007: 41-50

We've now made it into the Top 50! Excellent! You guys are in for a treat. Sorry for the long wait; my headphones broke and I had to procure a new pair. Fear not, that has been done and I can now listen to music unbothered by a missing half of the song. Now, here we go...

50. Scala & Kolacny Brothers – Fake Plastic Trees (Radiohead cover) (Sendspace link)
Album: One-Winged Angel

I've heard a number of covers - Alanis, KT Tunstall - and this one is the best. The choir sound works perfectly with the quiet piano backing for a song that's as enigmatic lyrically as any other. Scala's mix of voice tones shows a great improvement here over their earlier albums, and there's real soul to it. And when they reach a climax, it's heavenly.

49. Dragonette - I Get Around (Sendspace link)
Album: Galore

A great beat mixed with Dragonette's lyrics that follow their sexual themes. This time, it's a clandestine relationship between two people who run in similar circles. It's weird how Drqagonette can make what seems like a sleazy moment seem so fun, but I have a feeling it has a lot to do with Martina Sorbara's vocals and the heavy synths

48. Calexico - Ocean of Noise (Arcade Fire cover) (Sendspace link)
Album: Arcade Fire - Intervention (single)

The rare cover that is far superior to the original, Calexico is perfectly suited to this song. What was a bit of a dull spot on Neon Bible becomes a soul-tunning love song, with Joey Burns bringing great emotion to the song where the original vocals fell flat emotionally. The sadness, the desperation here is great. Probably my cover of 2007 too, had I made that list and kept track of my covers.

47. Eisley - Invasion (Sendspace link)
Album: Combinations

The gem in Combinations' crown, this is a joy to listen to. The creepy feeling obtained without the common quiet style is refreshing, and the chorus is wonderful. "You, you, you would take the breath from my throat and you, you you would take the cherished people that I love." That bit is sung marvellously, with fear and desperation mixed in with accusation. The rest of the lyrics are great as well, mixing calm with horror.

46. Feist - 1 2 3 4 (Sendspace link)
Album: The Reminder

There is a reason Apple picked this song for its commercial and, thus, caused it to be simultaneously everywhere at all times. It's a really good song. Leslie Feist's voice is on top form here, with some nice lyrics and horns and is just a really nice song. You probably already know.

45. Jason Mraz - The Beauty in Ugly (Sendspace link)
Album: Single

Reworked from one of Mraz's unreleased songs to be a theme for Ugly Betty's "Be Ugly" campaign, this song illustrates the themes of that series perfectly, refusing to allow physical beauty to be the only measure of worth in this thin-led world. The chorus is inspiring, ordering those downtrodden by imperfect looks to 'own [their] name and stand up tall'.

44. Alanis Morissette - My Humps (Fergie cover) (Sendspace link)
Album: Internet Release

There are very few, if any, moments funnier in 2007 than Alanis Morissette's cover and accompanying video of Fergie's ridiculous song, "My Humps". Taking a hyped-up hiphop song about bling and boobs and turning it into a piano-led ballad it highlighted exactly how ridiculous the song is, while Alanis takes a moment to laugh a little at herself and her maudlin image as well. The video is especially hilarious, featuring Alanis' take on Fergie's original.

43. The Sunshine Underground - Commercial Breakdown (Sendspace link)
Album: Raise the Alarm

A great rocking song about, what else, the overcommercialisation of the modern age, and the frustrations inherent in trying to survive with a soul. A moment, where "I used to think that these things happen for a reason" just perfectly illustrates the confusion and hopelessness of it.

42. The Gossip - Careless Whisper (Wham! cover) (Sendspace link)
Album: Radio 1 Established 1967 (Covers compilation)

This song is just a vehicle for amazing covers. First Ben Foldss & Rufus Wainwright's soulful duet of it I found, and now Gossip lead singer Beth Ditto utterly owns it in a powerful cover recorded for the Radio 1 tribute album released this year. The music has a real dance feel to it, and the emotion in Ditto's voice makes the song work really well, bringing in regret and sadness while never losing its power.

41. Camera Obscura - Hands Up Baby (Sendspace link)
Album: If Looks Could Kill EP

A simple, understated b-side to If Looks Could Kill (EP), this song is about a couple of truly broken people. A duet, from the point of view of a man with a gun and his kidnapped ex with an acid tongue. Lines like, "you don't remember things I can't forget" say more than whole stanzas of other songs. Neither of these people are happy, and both wouldn't be sad to just let it end and the darkness here is pretty powerful. A wonderful song.

We've started into the bigger deals here, and I'm very happy to be sharing these with you guys. And remember, if you enjoy these songs, I urge you to check out their artists!

Monday, January 21, 2008


Hey, guys.

I've been reminded that, to those without a Premium account, the Rapidshare waiting times are insane. So, with the spirit of inclusiveness and non-evil-ness, I'll be returning to the standard Sendspace links.

Starting with a zip of all the tracks in the last post, HERE. Enjoy, and keep waiting for the next post, which should be up within the next couple days.

If anyone has a concern, feel free to comment. Or comment to tell me I rock. Either way.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

TOP 100 SONGS 0F 2007: 51-60

And we're on the cusp of the latter half of the best of 2007, getting to the juicy stuff...

60. Arcade Fire - My Body is a Cage (Sendspace link)
Album: Neon Bible

A quiet, mournful song with the organ, quickly becoming an Arcade Fire trademark, playing in the background. The song grows in intensity gradually, finally blasting to life in the last half of the song. The best work here, though, is the lyrics, pathetic, mournful and intriguing, describing the inability to dance with 'the one I love' with the titular metaphor. Metaphors actually get some nice airtime here, making up the bulk of the lyrics of the song.

59. Mika - Relax, Take It Easy (Sendspace link)
Album: Life in Cartoon Motion

Mika's first single before 'Grace Kelly' exploded, it's more low-tune and often more palatable than his more colourful fare. The sound is quite interesting, layers of low beats behind the tale of fear and paranoia set out in the lyrics. Mika's on vocal good form here, instead of the sometimes-grating effect his other songs have. Even with this darker song, there's a great beat under the song that allows you to move to it.

58. Róisín Murphy - Overpowered (Sendspace link)
Album: Overpowered

The best of the same-titled album, this song about the mechanics of love has very interesting lyrics. Murphy doesn't shrink from using larger words. In fact, considering the purpose of this song (science's attempts to explain the concept of love) they fit in perfectly, and it's an interesting lyrical choice. Beyond that, though, it's a well-crafted song with a great beat to it.

57. Rilo Kiley - Close Call (Sendspace link)
Album: Under the Blacklight

Under the Blacklight was a disappointment. I can only preface this with mentioning that, as Rilo Kiley should be taking up multiple spots in my top 10, instead not even making it inside the top 50. It's not the most disappointing - I love Nellie McKay more, and Obligatory Villagers didn't even get one in the top 100. That said, this song, about the dangers of 'money for sex', isn't bad. Lyrics are enjoyable, and Jenny Lewis can rarely do wrong by me.

56. White Rabbits - While We Go Dancing (Sendspace link)
Album: Fort Nightly

Great beat, which belongs to a song about dancing. The lyrics translate the joy of dancing quite well, telling about dancing the night away instead of sleeping through it. Vocals are great, ranging from contempt for the one staying home showing clearly to enjoyment of the act. Because, it clearly asks, who would want to pass on having such a good time?

55. Sia - Buttons (Sendspace link)
Album: 'Buttons' single

I love Sia. Sadly, her album 'Some People Have Real Problems' didn't come out until 2008, but happily this single was released within the confines of 2007. It's a song about paranoia and being a little crazy, and while not Sia's best it's still damn catchy and her voice is still great.

54. Remi Nicole - Dates From Hell (Sendspace link)
Album: My Conscience & I

A favourite of mine from Lily Allen's 'Alright, Still' album last year was 'Knock'em Out', a song about avoiding being hit on by sleazebags. I've been theorising that Remi Nicole is like Allen's less spiteful but just as spunky cousin, and this is as close to a comparison as one can get. Nicole's song is less nasty and more of a lament for the state of men and dating, but it's just as charming, and that's all it needs.

53. Patrick Park - Life is a Song (Sendspace link)
Album: Everyone's in Everyone

The legendary OC-ender, Patrick Park's 'Life is a Song' is a nice tribute to life in general. While tearing down hypocrites who preach heaven and fear death, it reminds us that life is good, and death is inevitable, and that that's okay. Fear is the enemy here, as Park tells us to live in the moment instead of constantly attempting to live a risk-free existence that can't last forever anyway.

52. The Pierces - Ruin (Sendspace link)
Album: Thirteen Tales of love and Revenge

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, and while The Pierces' protagonist here shows an icy demeanour, her rage is evident in the lyrics, claiming that 'all I want is for you to come to ruin'. She doesn't cry to herself, instead wishing evil upon the one who has wronged her, and doing so beautifully.

51. Andrew Bird - Scythian Empires (Sendspace link)
Album: Armchair Apocrypha

A subtle anti-war song, focusing on long-lost empires that self-destructed under their own weight while dropping in brief mentions like 'Haliburton attache cases' that hint where his real message is directed. Regardless of that, this is a wonderfully-crafted song, building and building subtly throughout, gaining in momentum all throughout the song without building to a significant explosion. Not 'Apocrypha's best, but close, and it was a heartbreaker to drop it from the Top 50 in the end.


So, that's another set down as we approach the larger numbers... Remember, though, all of these songs are damn good. There's plenty of songs that didn't even make it into the top 100! :) That said, though, with the next set we enter the big leagues!

If you enjoy these songs, I urge you to check out their artists!

Monday, January 14, 2008

TOP 100 SONGS 0F 2007: 61-70

On we go, heading towards the top 50. Considering slowing this down, as 10 songs a day (or couple of days) really is a lot... Maybe I should've only done 50 after all.

70. Sophie Ellis-Bextor - Catch You (Rapidshare link)
Album: Trip the Light Fantastic

An extremely fun song with a great beat, letting Sophie have some fun as she sings a song from the perspective of a stalker who refuses to be shaken off, no matter how their target tries. Her enthusiasm, as ill-placed as it is, is infectious. It's not too complicated, just a fun song to dance to.

69. White Rabbits - Tourist Trap (Rapidshare link)
Album: Fort Nightly

An excellent mix of sounds, something these White Rabbits are great at. I enjoy the 'dreamy' quality of the lyrics about being tourists, about going home and going abroad.

68. Mgmt - Time to Pretend (Rapidshare link)
Album: Oracular Spectacular

An amusing song in the beginning, outlining a perfect life of wealth, drugs, babes and 'living fast and dying young'. It turns out to be, I believe, a sad statement on how our destinies are predestined early on and how we can only imagine the future that we really want, despite how grand our dreams may be. 'We're fated to pretend,' states the protagonist amidst carefully constructed layers of sounds, as it delves into the past where, as children, we would pretend not knowing what comes next. Oddly, one of Pitchfork's top songs of the year as well, on one of our rare agreements.

67. Straylight Run - The Miracle That Never Came (Rapidshare link)
Album: The Needles the Space

This song is relentless, moving forward like a train, with singer Michelle DaRosa singing quickly a story of grief that starts out grinning sideways and slowly becoming a sad song about loss of a child, then pounding back into its quick tone again. "I used to sing you lullabies, I'd hold you when you'd start to cry, I was your mother and your friend, don't you remember me from then?" It reminds me of someone 'keeping busy', running from their grief and yet never escaping.

66. Eisley - Many Funerals (Rapidshare link)
Album: Combinations

A chilling beginning leads into a gorgeous song, one of Eisley's best yet, a macabre song about death. Their voices are like the angels of death here, pretty and creepy at the same time, singing lyrics like, "They fill the empty caskets, and leave you with your tears." It's like a dance in the fog at midnight, with a rocking beat that nonetheless belongs to the dead.

65. Bowerbirds - In Our Talons (Rapidshare link)
Album: Hymns for a Dark Horse

Another song from enviro-friendly band Bowerbirds, offering their unique, almost sullen sound with hopeful vocals. This song is a song to the earth, to the small things that make it beautiful, and mourning their destruction at human hands. With these guys, I always want to look up their lyrics, because they always have some sort of message. It's summed up in a line near the end: " "It takes a lot of nerve to destroy this wondrous earth", bemoaning the fact that this is a lesson we've yet to learn.

64. Natalie Walker - Quicksand (Thievery Corporation Remix) (Rapidshare link)
Album: Unreleased (original on Urban Angel)

Natalie Walker's voice is one of my finds of 2007, a highlight among all the bad music I find and dispose of. This song, about the feeling of being stuck in one place in the aftermath of being left, touches something deep, and it's only enhanced by Thievery Corporation's remixing. The original was a bit too over-beated, and they add a beautiful dreamy haze to it that really works well with Walker's vocals and the general tone of the song.

63. Shannon Wright - They'll Kill The Actor In The End (Rapidshare link)
Album: Let in the Light

Shannon Wright is a singer that, sadly, I feel I've neglected as I've always wanted to listen more to her, but never remember to. What I have heard is great - her cover of The Smith's "Asleep" is a particular favourite - but that isn't as much as it could be. Luckily, I picked up her 2007 album, "Let in the Light" at a small used music store in Toronto, which led me to this piano-led piece. It feels like slipping into a world of dark slow-motion depression, with Wright's scratchy vocals leading us on a field trip into the darkness. However, dark is far from good, and this is a song that sends chills through one's spine.

62. Great Lake Swimmers - Your Rocky Spine (Rapidshare link)
Album: Ongiara

A love song to the mountains that some could interpret as a metaphor for a lover, this is a highlight of the Great Lake Swimmers' style of odd, haunting distant vocals with folk-sounding instruments. This feels like the song the mountain wind makes, with the lake and the trees, a mystical, magical song of ambiguous love. I find that you cannot listen to this music often, but when you do, it's an experience.

61. Róisín Murphy - Let Me Know (Rapidshare link)
Album: Overpowered

A song about sexual disconnection, about emotional borders, about heat where love has no place. It's about alleviating loneliness, and like many songs of this theme is ultimately very danceable. It's about freedom, and with that it makes a song easy to bounce to, well-constructed and layered for maximum effect. Murphy is brilliant here.

So, that's another set down as we approach the larger numbers... Remember, though, all of these songs are damn good. There's plenty of songs that didn't even make it into the top 100! :) And remember, if you enjoy these songs, I urge you to check out their artists!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

TOP 100 SONGS 0F 2007: 71-80

We're just starting to gain some momentum. so I'm gonna cut to the chase and keep going...

80. Remi Nicole - Right Side of Me (Rapidshare link)
Album: My Conscience & I

A really sweet love song about feeling accepted and loved, even at her worst. It's so honest, very downbeat and low and showcases Remi's voice and lyrics instead of the music. I enjoy the little dialogues Remi relates, and when she finally says, "I think you're amazing," we believe that she does.

79. Tori Amos - The Beauty of Speed (Rapidshare link)
Album: American Doll Posse

I fell in love with this song through a live version, actually, which moved a little slower and forced Tori to sing normally all through the chorus, something I initially disliked, but have grown to love. The lyrics and her vocals here are spine-tingling, and her piano is, just as always, beautiful. While this album has been slow to grow on me, this song readily demanded to be acknowledged.

78. Klaxons - Golden Skans (Rapidshare link)
Album: Myths of the Near Future

One of the catchiest songs of the year, it spread through the blogs like wildfire. I have no idea what it means, but it doesn't really matter to you when you're listening to it and getting caught up in its craziness. Kicks off like one of the bands titular klaxons, demanding your attention as it pounds forward, then

77. Rilo Kiley - Smoke Detector (Rapidshare link)
Album: Under the Blacklight

I have to admit, as a Rilo Kiley song, this is disappointing; in fact, the entirety of Under the Blacklight was. It should have crammed itself all into my Top 20 instead of straggling down here in the 70's. That said, if I forget what this should be, I enjoy Jenny Lewis' fun vocals and the not-bad lyrics.

76. Bowerbirds – Human Hands (Rapidshare link)
Album: Hymns of a Dark Horse

Another quiet Bowerbirds song, wonderful in its simplicity. They showcase their environmental focus here again, speaking about how despite the danger nature may pose, there is no hate; that is unique to humanity, a fact we should be both ashamed and proud of. We are different, Bowerbirds tell us, and it's up to us to realise how to use it for good and not evil.

75. Spoon - The Ghost of You Lingers (Rapidshare link)
Album: Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga

Unlike Spoon's usual style, this song is genuinely creepy, with vocals quite and sounding distant and far away like a ghost's, while the music itself pounds on relentlessly. Impressive atmosphere used here, to great effect. Few songs do creepy well, and I like how this one does it.

74. Mgmt - The Youth (Rapidshare link)
Album: Oracular Spectacular

From intriguing newbies to my collection, Mgmt (sometimes called 'The Management') bring a song with layers that is quite mysterious as to its meaning. I believe it's about the core value differences between our generation and those before us, though I can feel a note of paranoia here as well. It makes me curious, and either way it's a fun listen.

73. Tegan and Sara - Soil, Soil (Rapidshare link)
Album: The Con

For a long time 'The Con's redeeming note in my eyes, a really sweet song about waiting on a call from someone important. 'Buried in my yard, a letter to send to you. And if I forget, or God forbid die too soon, hope that you'll hear me, know that I wrote to you." Those lines, the desperation and sadness within them, caught my heart in a big way and held there whiule the rest of the album grew on me.

72. Remi Nicole - Go Mr. Sunshine (Rapidshare link)
Album: My Conscience & I

Bookending young Ms. Nicole's oddly similar spots on this section of this list is this wonderful anthem to summer, the song that introduced her to me and got me excited for her debut (which I ended up loving). It's full of just those little details you love about summer. I'm expecting this song will be on every commercial imaginable.c

71. Modest Mouse - Little Motel (Rapidshare link)

An oddly tender, if at first seemingly nonsensical, song from a band I often associate with, well, songs I don't like too much. The self-perspective the protagonist shows here is impressive, and it's a nice song about the regret of the destruction of a relationship. Regret fills every word of this song, pours through it. It seems remarkably mature for a band that too often fills their songs with screaming and/or whining.

Just remember, if you love any of this music, I urge you to check it out elsewhere! A lot of these artists are still growing, especially Dragonette, Bowerbirds, Remi and Mgmt, who all just released their debut albums in 2007. Apologies for posting this section late. I may post the next today to catch up.

When the Garbage Beasts Eat

by Jordan Hyman

I am with chagrin on how long it is taking me to produce my top 10 of '07. First off, number 10 is under conflict between Rasputina's Oh Perilous World and Electric Wizard's Witchcult Today. They're going at it in a cage-match to the death right now, and Electric Wizard has the brutality, agression, and Satanic integrity to certainly destroy whatever comes near it, but does that fair out when placed against Rasputina's razor sharp wit? Tune in on my top 10 post to find out.

Basically what occured is a common hazard of my lifestyle, which is simply my time getting hijacked by group enthusiasm and spotaneity to i.e. randomly driving to Kansas one weekend on 7 hour notice. We went to vist a friend whom I still love, but the love did not defeat the great dread of being in environmental poison-clog of Kansas City. The garbage-beasts have made that location both their playground and their cafeteria. This is perhaps one of the first times in my life I'm actually glad I live in St. Louis.

Here's some music to keep topic at hand. These are the albums played throughout our travels, in chronological order.

Ross Ouroboros - Safe as Fuck
Aesop Rock - None Shall Pass
King Black Acid - a 96 album in which I have forgotten the title
Koxbox - Dragon Tales
(it gets a bit hazy after this....)
Primus - Frizzle Fry
Colonel Claypool's Bucket of Bernie Brains - The big
Electric Wizard - Witchcult Today
ISIS - in the Absence of Truth
Clutch - their latest album
That damn Deathklok CD (not my pick)
Sirenia - don't know what album
ISIS - Celestial
Godspeed You! Black Emporer - Yanqui
VAST - uncertain what album
some lectures on the origin of Hinduism
Eminem - the Slim Shady LP (pure guilt)
and of course...
Everything that I've forgotten

All the music news from Jordan today...

Saturday, January 12, 2008

TOP 100 SONGS 0F 2007: 81-90

So, last time around, I gave ya some Jon, some Bird, some Bjork, some Sophie and some identical twins. Trust me yet? If not, keep going, as you've only scratched the bottom of the pile. So, here goes...

90. Brandi Carlile - The Story (Rapidshare link)
Album: The story

Used recently to promote Grey's Anatomy, this was one of the songs that convinced me I'd fall in love with Carlile. That never came to pass, but this is still a beautiful song about companionship. She really does have an amazing voice.

89. Sondre Lerche - Say It All (Rapidshare link)
Album: Phantom Punch

It's hard to describe this song. I like the lyrics, of the perils of trying to 'say it all' and just digging yourself a bigger grave, and the music is generally quite good (though sometimes, in the wrong mood it's pretty annoying). The teasing tone Lerche does at points is often quite amusing, though.

88. Of Montreal - A Sentence Of Sorts In Kongsvinger (Rapidshare link)
Album: Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?

A bizarrely bouncy tune set to the story of feeling imprisoned by one's environment, in this case Norway. "I spent the winter with my nose in a book, trying to restructure my character, because it had become vile to its creator." The lyricism here is utterly brilliant, simultaneously detailing a breakdown and making you bounce along with it.

87. The Bird and the Bee - Polite Dance Song (Rapidshare link)
Album: Would You Please Clap Your Hands?

I originally had another Bird and Bee song here, but another of these such lists turned me onto 'Polite Dance Song', which is hilarious fun. Inara George's debut CD irked me in style, but as the Bird in this pairing she's utterly brilliant, and rarely better shown that here. When 'would you please' and 'apologies' mesh together in the background, the two go together very well, giving a really nice sound.

86. Bowerbirds – My Oldest Memory (Rapidshare link)
Album: Hymns of a Dark Horse

Bowerbirds is a rather obscure band at the moment, though I believe the internet is slowly giving them some press. I'm happy to add myself to that group here, as 'My Oldest Memory' is quite a nice song. It's quiet, vocal-based with a quiet strumming behind-the-scenes and a chorus with a choral sound. It's unassumingly good.

85. Rufus Wainwright – Tulsa (Rapidshare link)
Album: Release the Stars

Reportedly written about a sexual encounter between Wainwright and The Killers' lead singer Brandon Flowers, this song is nice reminiscence even without that. This song is all about the little things, the buildup to the morning described in the early lines. It's hinting, almost mocking while at the same time appreciative. And if it is just bragging about landing one of music's well-known 'indie'-singers, well, for some reason that just makes it even funnier.

84. Gwenno - U & I (Rapidshare link)
Album: U & I EP
"You and I have been running around like headless chickens, and I've had just about enough of it." This excellent song from one of the Pipettes, a pretty singer names Gwenno, is the highlight of what I've heard from her, which has been largely quite good. Not following the 'from another era' feel of her bandmates, she's made a sweet, poppy song here with clear vocals that just rolls from beat to beat.

83. A Fine Frenzy - Let It Snow (Rapidshare link)
Album: Myspace released

I'm not a Christmas music person, as noted earlier on in this list, but two songs blew me away this year and will probably be listened to even as the snow melts away and the presents are all forgotten. The second of these is Alison Sudol's beautiful 'Let it Snow', taking a song I've never particularly loved and making it a beautiful experience.

82. Measured in Angles - The Diderot Effect (Rapidshare link)
Album: History of the Engine

Now, this is odd. An instrumental, very mechanical song that comes in at under two minutes isn't exactly a peer among the rest on this list musically, but I have to say I somehow found the style of Measured in Angles, an instrumental band from both sides of the Canada/US border, mysteriously enchanting. This band, apparent;y while using traditional rock instruments, perfectly recreate a mechanical sound. This band is much better than I'd have expected it to be before listening.

81. Scala & Kolacny Brothers - The Blower’s Daughter (Damien Rice cover) (Rapidshare link)
Album: One-Winged Angel

The original is beautiful. How does one enhance such a song, while abandoning Damien Rice's painful vocals? Scala does the job nicely, taking their generally gorgeous choral style and working it particularly well here. Shivers go up and down your spine as they rise to the climax and slowly bring it down for a denouement.

So, there it is, part two of a rather insane undertaking. Once this list is done, you may never need another song again! However, if you do, I urge you to check them out elsewhere!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

TOP 100 SONGS 0F 2007: 91-100

Everyone has them, those lists of what song rocked the hardest, made your heart beat the fastest, made you grin the longest. The music that made 2007 stand out from any year before or after it. After much deliberation, I'm set to share with you guys my top 100 songs of 2007, piece by piece.

(Also, check out Marelly's list, as there shall be some interesting stuff on it.)

100. Jon McLaughlin - Amelia's Missing (Rapidshare link)
Album: Indiana

A sweet song with an interesting hook, dropping names of famous missing persons to express the difficulty of finding the love of one's life in a sea of possibilities. Not perfect by a long shot, with some parts grating, but a nice, enjoyable song

99. The Bird and the Bee – Carol of the Bells (Rapidshare link)
Album: Internet Release

I'm not a huge Christmas music lover by a long shot, but Inara George and her merry band bring a gorgeous version of the well-known carol. It's a dreamy, sweet version of a song that, due to overexposure, often threatens to grate.

98. Spoon – Eddie’s Ragga (Rapidshare link)
Album: Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga

Though Spoon is a band I've yet to properly fall for, this is one of the songs I really like despite the relatively few times I've listened to it. The classic Spoon sound doesn't interfere with itself here, which makes it quite enjoyable. I expect to like this even more after a few more listens.

97. Bjork - Earth Intruders (Mark Stent Extended Mix) (Rapidshare link)
Album: Volta

Though Volta was, not to mince words, a great disappointment considering how great Bjork can be, it wasn't without its bright spots. Well, one bright spot. An intriguing song pounding forwards, unapologetic about its weirdness. Mark Stent's additions make this a Bjork song to remember, even if Volta was an album to forget.

96. Dolores O’Riordan – Ordinary Day (Rapidshare link)
Album: Are You Listening?

Oddly enough, the solo debut of Cranberries' lead singer didn't get much in the way of buzz, something I found sad considering how much I, personally, loved them. O'Riordan's made a great album here ("Black Widow" just barely missed the list as well), one I've overlooked on many an occasion, and Ordinary Day is a great song, easy to listen to.

95. Of Montreal - Heimdalsgate Like A Promethean Curse (Rapidshare link)
Album: Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?

The song that showed me exactly what everyone saw in Of Montreal, even if I was slow to love it. Desperation coats the vocals of this song, desperation for normalcy and control, a sad state of affairs even as the song throws itself into a beat that makes it hard not to tap your feet along. Somehow, the beat and the melancholy work together instead of odds, giving it a shade of the manic that it needs to properly sell itself.

94. Sophie Ellis-Bextor - Colour Me In (Rapidshare link)
Album: Unreleased

This unreleased track, presumably a b-side from new album Trip the Light Fantastic, is delightfully visual. Ellis-Bextor is remarkable in her ability to make a great dance song with interesting lyrics, and this is no exception as it draws on colour to express feeling. The synthesizers and electric guitar (I believe), the enthusiasm of the vocals, just makes this song exciting, and that's a win for Sophie.

(* Please note that the file is from a collections of B-sides and other songs someone pieced together before 'Fantastic' was released as a sort of guess, and isn't from the actual album despite the mp3's label.)

93. Modest Mouse - Dashboard (Rapidshare link)
Album: We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank

A good beat, nonsensical lyrics declaring "the dashboard melted but we still have the radio", which is some consolation as this reminds why one would enjoy having a source of music despite a melted dashboard. At their best, Modest Mouse can make me move in my seat, and this one does so quite well.

92. A Fine Frenzy - The Minnow & the Trout (Rapidshare link)
Album: One Cell in the Sea

A tender song about acceptance and forgiveness, using (in my mind, Disney-esque) animals as stories to illustrate themes about equality among all who are different, even enemies. No matter how cheesy it sounds, it's a genuinely pretty song, and despite my better instincts hits somewhere deep inside.

91. Tegan and Sara - Floorplan (Rapidshare link)
Album: The Con

A nice T&S song, what could be considered a standard of The Con. While the lyrics don't seem to add up to a specific story, each part of this song ("I want to draw you a floorplan..." / "I'll hold this pain in my heart forever..." / "All eyes are on me now...") works both independently and with the others to make a beautiful song that just flows through you.

That's the beginning of what's been a pretty insane project these past weeks, alongside the Top 10 albums. These are often the tests by which blogs live, and I'm hoping this will properly establish at least my half of tBoS.

And as always, if you like the artists, feel free to check them out elsewhere. And enjoy!

Saturday, January 5, 2008


As you folks seem to enjoy them, and they allow me to showcase songs I love without uploading anything, here's another couple music videos, both from 2007 breakout A Fine Frenzy, stage name of the wonderful Alison Sudol. First off, the song that led to my falling in love with the band, the utterly gorgeous "Rangers", with an enigmatic and quite pretty video:

Next is "Almost Lover", a song I earlier referred to as possibly 2007's most beautiful track, and one I've uploaded for you guys before. The video captures the story and tone of the song perfectly, a wistful and sad look back at a past relationship. Notable is the youth of 'past-Alison' compared to the singing, tragic 'now-Alison'.

Hope you liked those. Maybe, if I find enough good ones, these can become a regular feature! Oh, and make sure that if you liked the music, you buy her album.

I Come from the East, Bearing Gifts

-- Jordan Hyman

Late Christmas perhaps, three drastically different gifts all of great significance. I know you were led to believe there was three wise men, however we found ourselves stuck in mountains and I was forced to eat them. But, in doing so, I got their knowledge, so no worries.

To start off, this is the band that got me into music. They were my first lick of infinity, perhaps even a necessary catalyst to a personal spiritual journey (although I'd rather refer to it as a "cosmic amble"). Here it is: Neurosis -- Belief. Live from the Contamination  festival in 2003, the track from their Times of Grace album in 1999.

Then, a through-the-window glimpse into my favorite hip-hop family of Definitive Jux. In an apartment, three MCs (C-Rayz Walz, Aesop Rock, Vast Aire), apparently in a state of possession by the Ganja-Goddess (or the Devil-Reefer depending upon your disposition to the popular psychoactive's legitimacy), freestyle, spitting improvised rhymes simulatenously dope AND ill. Also: notice that they're playing the beats on a Sega Dreamcast -- I knew there was a reason I loved these guys.

And ultimately, nothing succeeds the great Oingo Boingo. Must I even preface this beauty?

Jordan's top 10 of 07 on its way...

Friday, January 4, 2008


One of the most important things in music is diversity. If every song were penned, played and sung by one band, no matter how great, it would pale in comparison to the world's current set-up, with millions of great musical artists through time and around the globe. And just as there are millions of bands, there are billions of specific tastes, and I am not someone who can cater to even 1% of those tastes.

The Bringer of Song will take one step closer to introducing music to more and more music lovers by inviting a new author to join it: Jordan Hyman, whose name will be known by those joining us from MZP as a brilliant writer and a man of far different musical tastes than mine. However, his passions are just as strong and he has a profound connection to his music. Soon enough he will have the chance to introduce himself, but for now, consider this the official announcement!

Please welcome Jordan to the team.

- Alden

Thursday, January 3, 2008


I'm not a huge one for music videos, but occasionally there are some damn good ones. Case in point, Kate Havnevik's video for "Unlike Me". Gorgeous cinematography here.

Neat, huh? And check this next one out, for one that actually tells a neat story that fits with the song, a trait I've found saddeningly lacking in music videos.Unfortunately, music videos are 90% of the time completely unrelated to the song they're made for. Anyway...

So, there ya go!