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Top 50 Songs Of 2016: Part 5

December 2, 2016

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Here’s the end of my “songs I liked a whole lot this year” list.  Enjoy.

PS – Just a reminder that there are no Austin acts to be found in any part of this list.  I’m going to be doing a two-part year-ender via 101X Homegrown (my radio show) that will detail my favorite local tracks.  Look for Part 1 to air on 12/11, and then Part 2 on 12/18.

Part 1 is HERE.
Part 2 is HERE.
Part 3 is HERE.
Part 4 is HERE.

*Push play to cycle through the songs without having to click on each one

10)  :P.O.S. – Wave (Featuring Moncelas Boston And Sophia Eris)P.O.S. didn’t put out an album this year, but he did release a handful of singles.  This slick-sounding effort finished the year as my favorite of the bunch.

09)  :White Lung – Kiss Me When I BleedWhite Lung’s Mish Barber-Way commands all with her vocal work in this heavy track that aims to pummel.  Turn it up.

08)  :Chance The Rapper – Angels (Featuring Saba)Chance The Rapper and Saba are as pleasant as can be in this joyous track – it’s infectious stuff.

07)  :Whitney – Golden Days:  This song from Whitney was a big go-to for me every time I needed a breather in 2016.  It’s so damn accessible and laid back.

06)  :Coathangers – Squeeki Tiki:  Admittedly, a part of me couldn’t pass up the opportunity to put a squeaky toy-enhanced track in the top 10 of my year-end song list.  Also, it’s scuzzy and creative and perfect and deserving of everyone’s love.  Thanks for the jam, Coathangers!

05)  :Shura – What’s It Gonna Be?:  This one from Shura is easily my favorite straight up pop tune of 2016.  It may also be the winner of this year’s “song that John poorly sang-a-long to the most” award.

04)  :Cymbals Eat Guitars – Have a Heart:  If I were to rank out every Cymbals Eat Guitars song, I’d be tempted to put this one in the top spot.  What a track.

03)  :Frank Ocean – Solo:  This is one seriously hypnotic effort from Frank Ocean.  That fella is a hell of a crooner.

02)  :Angel Olsen – Shut Up Kiss Me:  Every time I hear this song I just want to high five Angel Olsen and go rollerskating.  I love the way she pulls no punches here.

01)  :Kanye West – Ultralight Beam:  Is this song absolutely ridiculous?  Yes.  I mean, it’s Kanye West, so of course it’s ridiculous.  It also happens to be amazing though, and I love it.  Definitely the song I blasted the most in 2016 … probably because it was the most ridiculous year ever and I needed the right song to accompany me through it.

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Top 50 Songs Of 2016: Part 4

December 1, 2016

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And the list continues on.  Enjoy.

Part 1 is HERE.
Part 2 is HERE.
Part 3 is HERE.

*Push play to cycle through the songs without having to click on each one

20)  :Thee Oh Seees – Plastic Plant:  Out of all the music that Thee Oh Sees released in 2016 (two albums worth, to be exact), this track is my favorite.  Total jam.

19)  :King Khan – Never Hold On:  The normally noisy King Khan contributed this gem to the soundtrack for The Invaders.  He should do more slow burners.

18)  :Hazel English – Make It Better:  Here’s one that I’ve been glued to since I first heart it.  There’s just something hypnotic about Hazel English.

17)  :Chook Race – Sometimes:  If you’re all about jangly pop, then this one from Chook Race is a must-listen for you.

16)  :Tangerine – Sunset:  This infectious pop tune from Tangerine is totally something that more people should have been yammering about in 2016.

15)  :Terry Malts – Used To Be:  I’ve jammed the hell out of this Terry Malts song.  Those guys sure know how to write a hook.

14)  :Lucy Dacus – I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore:  I believe this one from Lucy Dacus was actually put out in late 2015, but I didn’t catch it until the re-release this year.  So it counts!  Anyhow, it’s a stellar track that drips with sincerity.

13)  :Car Seat Headrest – Does It Feel Good (To Say Goodbye):  This song by Car Seat Headrest is from the soundtrack for a short film called Loudini.  It makes me want so sit on a porch somewhere with a bottle of whiskey.

12)  :Nothing – ACD (Abscessive Compulsive Disorder):  If you still need to get in some quality shoegazing before 2016 fully comes to a close, I highly recommend doing it with this Nothing song blasting in your headphones.

11)  :Fujiya And Miyagi – Serotonin Rushes:  You’re dead if you can listen to this Fujiya And Miyagi track and not want to dance or at least smile.

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Top 50 Songs Of 2016: Part 3

November 30, 2016

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I was going to stop at #31, but I figured that was silly.  So, the list continues on!  Enjoy.

Part 1 is HERE.
Part 2 is HERE.

*Push play to cycle through the songs without having to click on each one

30)  :Mystery Lights – Follow Me Home:  Daptone launched a rock imprint – WICK – in 2016, and this Mystery Lights single was its first release.  I dig how loud and sloppy it is.

29)  :Weaves – Coo Coo:  If you like things that are clever and quirky, then this song from Weaves will delight you.

28)  :Twin Peaks – Walk To The One You Love:  This might be my favorite Twin Peaks track.  It’s such a breezy slice of garage pop.

27)  :Frankie Cosmos – On The Lips:  I’m all about Greta Kline (aka Frankie Cosmos) and her rather sincere voice here.  Also, I appreciate that this song mentions David Blaine.

26)  :The Tallest Man On Earth – Time Of The Blue:  Kristian Matsson (aka The Tallest Man On Earth) cut this late one night while out on the road.  I think it’s one of his better songs.

25)  :Field Mouse – The Mirror:  Mostly 90s, sort of emo, entirely great.  That’s probably the best way to describe this one from Field Mouse.

24)  :The Hotelier – Piano PlayerThe Hotelier offer up a lot of song here (roughly six swirling minutes worth), but thankfully it’s a great ride that’s totally worth the time and attention it requires.

23)  :Tancred – Control Me:  Here’s one of my favorite 90s-inspired tracks of 2016.  It’s just about perfect.  Good work, Tancred.

22)  :LIV – Wings of Love:  This is a fantastic Fleetwood Mac-like effort from LIV, a “supergroup” that features Lykke Li, Miike Snow’s Andrew Wyatt and Pontus Winnberg, Peter Bjorn & John’s Björn Yttling and producer Jeff Bhasker.

21)  :Priests – JJ:  Frontwoman Katie Alice Greer destroys in this Priests track.  That voice of hers is just so very rad.

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Top 50 Songs Of 2016: Part 2

November 29, 2016

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Here are more songs I liked in 2016.  Enjoy.

Part 1 of this list is HERE.

*Push play to cycle through the songs without having to click on each one

40)  :The xx – On Hold:  I know this track from The xx is only a few weeks old, but I’ve been obsessed with it and I just had to include it on my year-list.  It’s intoxicating.

39)  :Charli XCX – Vroom VroomCharli XCX cranked this out in conjunction with Sophie, and it’s just the most goddamn ridiculous thing.  Please be sure to listen to it as loud as possible.

38)  :Tobacco – Gods in Heat:  I’ve had this Tobacco song on repeat for months.  It’s fairly weird and oddly sexy (it is called Gods in Heat, after all), and I just love it.

37)  :Chaos Emeralds – Animal Kingdom:  I’m not sure why this song from Chaos Emeralds isn’t all over the radio.  Talk about accessible and catchy.

36)  :Thao And The Get Down Stay Down – Nobody Dies:  Here’s one from Thao that I revisited a lot this year.  It’s an attention-grabber.

35)  :Bleached – Keep on Keepin’ On:  This song from Bleached really makes me want to get up and move and because of this it’s what I’m going to hit play on if someone ever starts chasing me.

34)  :The Julie Ruin – I Decide:  If you ask me, this is the best track off of The Julie Ruin’s 2016 release, Hit Reset.  On another note, Kathleen Hanna’s voice is still rad.

33)  :Phantogram – Cruel WorldPhantogram went for (and achieved) bigger and better things in 2016, but this track sounds like the old them and it’s what stuck with me.  Go figure.

32)  :The Range – FloridaThe Range really nailed it here.  I advise that you slap on headphones before you hit play.

31)  :Sheer Mag – Can’t Stop Fighting:  I’m starting to feel like it’s no longer possible for me to do a year-end song list that doesn’t include Sheer Mag.  Here’s hoping they keep on killing it.

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Top 50 Songs Of 2016: Part 1

November 28, 2016

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Hey there!  It’s time to start running down my favorite songs and albums (look for this list next week) of the year.  Below you’ll find Part 1 of my Top 50 Songs of 2016 list.  It (and every part that’s coming after today) consists of tracks that I found myself frequently revisiting throughout the year.  Simple!  Enjoy.

PS – One thing is a little different this year – I will not be including any Austin acts in this singles list.  I’m going to be doing a two-part year-ender via 101X Homegrown (my radio show) that will detail my favorite Austin tracks.  Look for Part 1 to air on 12/11, and then Part 2 on 12/18.

*Push play to cycle through the songs without having to click on each one

50)  :Sia – Waving Goodbye (Produced by Diplo):  When I saw (and loved) The Neon Demon, I found myself really digging this anthemic number as it blasted over the credits.  Oddly enough, I didn’t even realize it was by Sia until I got home and looked it up.

49)  :Big Baby D.R.A.M. – Cute:  This is such a silly song by D.R.A.M., but it’s so damn catchy that I’ve been unable to escape it for most of 2016.  Just let it take you.

48)  :Polica – Lately:  If you ask me, this is the best song off of Polica’s latest album, United Crushers.  It’s hazy and sparse and the line “seems like we’re too comfortable in love” is a sharp one.

47)  :Father John Misty – Real Love Baby:  Whether you’ve ever fully boarded the Father John Misty hype train or not, it’s hard to deny just how charming this track is on all fronts.

46)  :Pity Sex – Bonhomie:  The boy/girl vocals in this Pity Sex track are so on point.  As is the 90s-lean it carries.  And well, everything else about it.

45)  :Screaming Females – Skeleton:  I sure do love me some Screaming Females.  This track was rightfully cut from 2015′s Rose Mountain, but I’m glad to have it now – it’s unhinged and great.

44)  :LVL UP – Hidden Driver:  You could criticize this LVL UP effort as being too Neutral Milk Hotel-esque, but that would be silly.  It’s just a great song.  Turn it up.

43)  :Forth Wanderers – Slop:  This one from Forth Wanderers has a meandering arrangement and lyrics loaded with obviously-youthful musings – “I love too much/Too hurt this bad” – but I dig it.

42)  :Frightened Rabbit – Death Dream:  I loved Frightened Rabbit, then I veered away, and now this song has brought me back to them.  That’s how stellar it is.

41)  :The Blow – Think About Me:  There’s an early-era Rilo Kiley vibe on display here that I’ve been caught up since I first heard this song.  Thanks for that, The Blow.

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Top 50 Songs Of 2015: Part 5

December 3, 2015

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This is it!  The end of my Top 50 Songs of 2015.  Dive into the final 10 tracks and then let me know your thoughts.  Enjoy.

PS – You can check out the entire song list on one page here, or the majority of it (47/50 tracks) on Spotify right here.

PS – Look for my Top 25 albums and my Austin Essentials mix next week.

- 50-41
- 40-31
- 30-21
- 20-21

10)  :Chairlift – Ch-Ching:  I never would have guessed that Chairlift had something this edgy in them.  I hope there’s more of the same to come.  From the land of one-off tracks (though I assume it’ll pop up on an album next year).

09)  :Tame Impala – Let It Happen:  This is such a sprawling, wonderful number from Tame Impala.  If I were to rank out all of their songs, I’d put this somewhere near the top.  From Currents.

08)  :Ratatat – Cream On Chrome:  While I’ve been a fan of Ratatat for a long time, this is the first song of theirs that I’ve truly been crazy about.  It’s so very groovy.  From Magnifique.

07)  :Annabel – Having It All:  Earlier in the year my care-level in regards to the resurgence of emo was roughly a 6/10. This Annabel track is what shoved it to 10/10.  It’s just about perfect.  From Having It All.

06)  :Speedy Ortiz – Raising The Skate:  When I ran into front-lady Sadie Dupuis at Fun Fun Fun Fest I had the urge to nervously ramble about how much I love this track and how I think it’s Speedy Ortiz’s most complete sounding effort, but instead I just played it cool and helped her find the bathroom.  Nailed it!  From Foil Deer.

05)  :Sheer Mag – Button Up:  This fuzzy, Thin Lizzy-esque song from Sheer Mag is just about as infectious as it gets.  I blame Christina Halladay’s rad voice.  And the rad guitar riffs.  And all the other rad bits, too.  From the II 7″.

04)  :Built To Spill – Living Zoo:  I don’t remember the last time that Built To Spill sounded so inspired.  The build-up at the beginning of this is something I’ll never tire of.  From Untethered Moon.

03)  :Ought – Beautiful Blue Sky:  Yes, there’s a strong Talking Heads vibe at play here.  Yes, this song is rather pretentious.  Regardless, not much else has captivated me quite like it has over the course of numerous listens.  Good work, Ought.  From Sun Coming Down.

02)  :Kendrick Lamar – Alright:  If I were to sort this list based on “times played” then it’s likely that this hope-themed track would have landed at #1.  It’s one of Kendrick Lamar’s best. From To Pimp A Butterfly.

01)  :Courtney Barnett – Pedestrian At Best:  I like that most artists these days feel lifted out of the 90s, but it’s probably time for everyone to shift gears.  This Courtney Barnett song is as good as that throwback sound is going to get.  Even the video is 90s perfect.  Also, I think “Put me on a pedestal, and I’ll only disappoint you” might be one of my favorite lines ever.  From Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit.

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Top 50 Songs Of 2015: Part 4

December 3, 2015

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We’re nearing the end of my Top 50 Songs of 2015 list!  Ah!  Check out entries 20-11 down below.  Enjoy.

- 50-41
- 40-31
- 30-21

20)  :FIDLAR – 40oz. On Repeat:  There’s a pretty solid chance that this FIDLAR track is the year’s most relatable song.  Now, let’s have drink some alcohol, it’ll make us who we really want to be.  From Too.

19)  :Screaming Females – Criminal Image:  This is one of my favorite Screaming Females tunes.  It’s got a big, meaty riff and frontwoman Marissa Paternoster sounds indestructible.  From Rose Mountain.

18)  :Modest Mouse – Lampshades On Fire:  Out of all the quality songs on Modest Mouse’s latest album, this one is my favorite.  For whatever reason, I dig that it essentially sounds like Dashboard: Part 2.  From Strangers To Ourselves.

17)  :Conner Youngblood – Stockholm:  This track from Conner Youngblood is hypnotizing.  You just have to love the way he uses the harp here.  From The Generation Of Lift EP.

16)  :Leon Bridges – River:  Leon Bridges absolutely blew up this year, and I like to think it was largely because of this stunning slow burner.  What a song.  From Coming Home.

15)  :Bop English – Dani’s Blues (It Was Beyond Our Control):  James Petralli (of White Denim fame) is Bop English.  There’s a playful, retro pop sound on display here that’s really great.  From Constant Bop.

14)  :Diet Cig – Harvard:  Diet Cig’s front-lady Alex Luciano is in full-on bitter mode throughout this track, and it’s fantastic.  I hope she never loses that sarcastic edge of hers.  From the Over Easy EP.

13)  :Titus Andronicus – Dimed Out:  Whenever I want to jump around like a madman in my living room, I put on this sloppy jam from Titus Andronicus.  It’s such a raucous good time.  From The Most Lamentable Tragedy.

12)  :Mos Def – Sensei On The Block (Featuring Ski Beatz):  This song is vintage Mos Def (in the best of ways), and it totally makes me yearn for his pre-Yasiin Bey days.  From the land of one-off tracks.

11)  :Purity Ring – Push Pull:  I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about Purity Ring’s sophomore album – some of it works for me, some of it doesn’t.  This beautiful number is definitely the best track on it.  From Another Eternity.

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Top 50 Songs Of 2015: Part 3

December 2, 2015

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Here’s the next set in my Top 50 Songs of 2015 list.  Enjoy.

- 50-41
- 40-31

30)  :Chvrches – Never Ending Circles:  This is such an infectious song.  Here’s hoping that Chvrches never ditch their anthemic pop routine.  From Every Open Eye.

29)  :Mas Ysa – Look Up:  I love me some Mas Ysa (aka Thomas Arsenault).  You should slap on some headphones for this ambitious track, which features big vocals and a wonderfully textured arrangement.  From Seraph.

28)  :Julien Baker – Sprained Ankle:  If you like your music to feel as sincere as possible, then look no further than this Julien Baker song.  Her voice here cuts right through me.  From Sprained Ankle.

27)  :Kurt Vile – Pretty Pimpin:  Kurt Vile is such a great songwriter, and he shows it all throughout this silly, but really clever track.  From B’lieve I’m Goin’ Down.

26)  :Yung – Blue Uniforms:  I’m all about noisy, shoegaze-esque indie rock, and this Yung song is six and a half glorious minutes of it.  Had to put it on my list!  From the These Thoughts Are Like Mandatory Chores EP.

25)  :Protomartyr – Why Does It Shake?:  This Protomartyr track is not exactly an easy listen, but it’s totally worth the attention it requires.  Hit play, dial in and get rewarded.  From The Agent.

24)  :Amen Dunes – Song To The Siren (Tim Buckely/This Mortal Coil Cover):  Amen Dunes covered a cover (The Mortal Coil –> Tim Buckley) here, and I just really dig the way it came out.  Be warned, you’ll want whiskey about midway through this.  From Cowboy Worship.

23)  :Girlpool – Before The World Was Big:  Growing up is hard!  This Girlpool song makes me feel nostalgic (not sad, thankfully) about life before adulthood rolled in and took over.  From Before The World Was Big.

22)  :Fred Thomas – Bad Blood:  Fred Thomas and the definition of word vomit go hand in hand in this track, but that’s fine.  If only because the numerous things bouncing around in his head are all interesting and/or relatable.  From All Are Saved.

21)  :Black Milk – I Guess:  This is just an all-out, good time sort of effort by Black Milk.  He will always be one of my favorite voices in hip hop.  From the land of one-off tracks.

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Top 50 Songs Of 2015: Part 2

December 1, 2015

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Naturally, the listing continues on today.  Check out entries 40-31 down below.  50-41 can be found right here.  Enjoy.

40)  :Big Grams – Fell In The Sun:  Just in case you’ve been off on an adventure, Big Boi + Phantogram = Big Grams.  Both are equally great here in this sparkly ear worm of a song.  From the act’s self titled album.

39)  :Kiiara – Feels:  I came across Kiiara over the summer and instantly became a fan.  This song is super hooky and wonderfully dramatic.  From the land of one-off tracks.

38)  :Ringo Deathstarr – Guilt:  This one from Austin’s own Ringo Deathstarr is a big, catchy wave of distortion.  Only listen to it with the volume cranked up high.  From Pure Mood.

37)  :Torres – Special (Garbage Cover):  I’m not even sure how many times I’ve gotten lost in this spacious, six-minute cover of Garbage’s SpecialTorres (aka Mackenzie Scott) really took the song and made it her own.  From the land of one-off tracks.

36)  :Car Seat Headrest – Something Soon:  Car Seat Headrest signed to Matador this year, and then promptly remastered and re-released some older material.  So, technically, this song is only partially from 2015.  Regardless, I think it’s a very inspired tune and I love the angsty lyrics – “I want to sing this song like I’m dying.”  From Teens Of Style.

35)  :Deerhunter – Snakeskin:  It still flips my brain around whenever I remember that the sometimes proggy, sometimes noisy rockers Deerhunter put out this funky, accessible number.  Who knew they had it in them?  From Fading Frontier.

34)  :Bully – I Remember:  This little two-minuter from Bully just rips.  I think singer Alicia Bognanno sounds like a less obnoxious version of Courtney Love (the 90s version, not the currently burned out one).  From Feels Like.

33)  :Lee Bains III And The Glory Fires – Sweet Disorder!:  I’m pretty sure I could toss this on a mixtape of nothing but classic rock tunes and no one would catch it as being from the year 2015.  On another note, Lee Bains III And The Glory Fires is a great name.  From the Sweet Disorder 7″.

32)  :Mikal Cronin – Made My Mind Up:  Another year, another charming pop song from Mikal Cronin that I can’t seem to get enough of.  He completes me.  From MCIII.

31)  :Diane Coffee – Everyday:  Shaun Fleming (Foxygen’s drummer) is the main brain behind Diane Coffee.  This track is as soulful and retro as can be. From Everybody’s A Good Dog.

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Top 50 Songs Of 2015: Part 1

November 30, 2015

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Hey!  It’s time to start counting down my Top 50 Songs of 2015.  As always, the entire list is made up of tracks that have steadily been in my rotation since I came across them.  Enjoy.

50)  :Carly Rae Jepsen – Let’s Get Lost:  I officially boarded CRJ’s bandwagon this year.  Her latest is LP is pretty damn fun, and I think this is the best song off of it.  You’re legit stone cold if you can listen to it and not want to dance.  From Emotion.

49)  :Icky Blossoms – In Folds:  I was all about this driving, synth-filled track from Icky Blossoms before I even finished listening to it for the first time.  It’s an all-around stellar sounding song that just dominates the room.  From Mask.

48)  :Death Cab For Cutie – The Ghosts Of Beverly Drive:  This is the first Death Cab For Cutie single in a very long time that’s stuck with me.  Probably because it moves well and the band actually sounds awake in it.  From Kintsugi.

47)  :Albert Hammond Jr. – Born Slippy:  It’s nice that the Strokes are still working together, but I’d be fine if they called it quits and guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. just went about churning out more solo albums.  As shown here, the guy really knows how to write an inviting pop tune.  From Momentary Masters.

46)  :The Suffers – Make Some Room:  Houston’s The Suffers really took off this year, and I’m so very happy for them.  As for this track, I think it’s one of 2015′s most endearing efforts.  From the Make Some Room EP.

45)  :Sweet Spirit – Babydoll:  I’ve been watching locals Sweet Spirit play this live for a long while, so I love that a recorded version finally came along.  It’s definitely one of those songs that I find stuck in my head seemingly all of the time.  From the band’s self titled EP.

44)  :Jeff The Brotherhood – Black Cherry Pie:  This song from Jeff The Brotherhood features a goddamn flute solo by Ian Anderson (of Jethro Tull fame) and has a chorus that mentions wanting to stab someone in the eye.  Those two things alone should warrant its placement on anyone’s year-end list.  From Wasted On The Dream.

43)  :Desaparecidos – City On The Hill:  The Conor Oberst that fronts Desaparecidos is my favorite Conor Oberst.  I think his emo-y voice is best used in tracks like one, which is an anthemic scorcher.  From Payola.

42)  :Dan Friel – Rattler:  Dan Friel is a master at twiddling knobs (not a euphemism).  I frequently put this inspired tune on whenever I need to rally up for something.  From Life.

41)  :jj – Truce:  The immense amount of attitude that’s all throughout this jj song has entertained me for much of 2015.  The whole thing is just ridiculous (and fun).  From Truce.

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Top 50 Songs Of 2014: Part 5

December 5, 2014

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The end.  If you missed any part of this countdown, I’ve neatly arranged all of the tracks on one page right HERE.  Enjoy.

10)  :Run The Jewels – Close Your Eyes (And Count To Fuck) (Featuring Zack De La Rocha):  Killer Mike and El-P each turn in rad work here, but it’s actually Zack Del La Rocha that makes this Run The Jewels track something worth championing forever.  From RTJ 2.

09)  :FKA Twigs – Two Weeks:  Despite listening to this an enormous amount of times, it’s still a song that forcefully grabs and holds my attention.   FKA Twigs is one of music’s best new voices.  From LP1.

08)  :St. Vincent – Digital Witness:  Annie Clark (aka St. Vincent) is steadily pulling in a more mainstream audience, and I’m all about it.  The world is a better place with avant-pop gems like this one challenging the ears of the masses.  From her self titled album.

07)  :Interpol – All The Rage Back Home:  After Interpol released a couple of mediocre LPs and lost bassist Carlos D, I just knew I was done with them.  Or not.  This track is an inspired effort that has me once again confidently perched on their bandwagon.  From El Pintor.

06)  :Leon Bridges – Coming Home:  Leon Bridges has yet to “officially” put out anything, but he’s already one of my favorite soul artists.  That’s just how amazing this song is.  Keep an eye out for him in 2015.

05)  :Sharon Van Etten – Every Time The Sun Comes Up:  There’s something about Sharon Van Etten being blatantly snarky that I can’t help but find endlessly pleasing.  I’ll never get tired of this slow-burner.  From Are We There.

04)  :Ought – Habit:  Admittedly, this wordy, vocally uneven slice of art-rock is a a bit odd, but if you give it a real shot you’ll find that it’s one of the most engaging experiences of the year.  From More Than Any Other Day.

03)  :Speedy Ortiz – American Horror:  If you ask me, the best of the 90s revivalist bunch is most definitely Speedy Ortiz.  I mean, just listen to this song, it’s perfect.  From the Real Hair EP.

02)  :Parquet Courts – Instant Disassembly:  I know Parquet Courts are adored for blistering faces, but I think this lackadaisically-paced track is the best thing they’ve ever done.  I love the rambly vocals and brainy lyrics.  From Sunbathing Animal.

01)  :Spoon – Inside Out:  Here it is, my #1 song of 2014.  Congrats to the mighty Spoon!  They have a ton of great music in their repertoire, but this immaculate track really is some next level stuff for them.  Good on the two-decade old band for still pushing themselves to evolve and get better.  From They Want My Soul.

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Top 50 Songs Of 2014: Part 4

December 4, 2014

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We’re nearing the end of my Top 50 Songs of 2014 list!  Look for the final ten songs tomorrow.  For fun, here’s parts ONE, TWO and THREE.  Enjoy.

20)  :Cherry Glazerr – Had Ten Dollaz:  Cherry Glazerr are a really young trio (two of them aren’t even 18) who are already way cooler than any of us will ever be.  If you don’t believe me, just listen to this attitude-laced gem.  From the Had Ten Dollaz single.

19)  :Deleted Scenes – You Get To Say Whatever You Want:  This song is so emotive that it’ll either pull you out of a funk or completely toss you into one.  I love it.  Deleted Scenes are the best.  From Lithium Burn.

18)  :Dana Falconberry – Palmless:  Austin’s own singer/songwriter extraordinaire Dana Falconberry collaborated with Spoon’s Jim Eno on this track.  It’s a pretty spectacular listen on all fronts.  From Public Hi-Fi Sessions 02.

17)  :Little Big League – Property Line:  I’m all about the 90s revival that’s currently underway, but even if I wasn’t I think I’d still dig this Little Big League track.  It’s just about as sincere as can be.  From Tropical Jinx.

16)  :Diarrhea Planet – Spooners:  ”It’s all about the drugs, money, power, and getting off.”  Well said, Diarrhea Planet.  Well said.  From the Aliens In The Outfield EP.

15)  :Sheer Mag – What You Want:  I stumbled across this riffy piece of retro rock back in October and I’ve been jamming it (probably too much) ever since.  If you’re not on Sheer Mag’s bandwagon, you should be.  From the band’s debut 7″.

14)  :Tune Yards – Real Thing:  This track is Merrill Garbus (aka Tune Yards) throwing everything at a wall and somehow having all of it stick.  Hard not to be impressed, you know?  From Nikki Nack.

13)  :Dum Dum Girls – Rimbaud Eyes:  I have a variety of mixed feelings about the latest Dum Dum Girls’ album, but I can’t really complain since it features this immaculate pop tune.  From Too True.

12)  :Cloud Nothings – I’m Not Part Of Me:  Here’s my favorite single off of the album that Cloud Nothings put out earlier this year.  The 90s-rock lover in me just can’t get enough of it.  From Here And Nowhere Else.

11)  :Mikal Cronin – Soul In Motion:  Mikal Cronin knew that not putting out any new music in 2014 would hurt my feelings, so he contributed this fantastic song to Famous Class’ 7″ series.  What a guy!  From LAMC #11.

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Top 50 Songs Of 2014: Part 3

December 3, 2014

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We’ve now arrived at the middle section of my Top 50 Songs of 2014.  Check out Part ONE & TWO if you haven’t already.  Otherwise, get on with cruising today’s list!  Enjoy.

30)  :The Dead Space – Behind The Wall:  Pretty much all of my dark-corner-brooding in 2014 was done while listening to this stellar piece of post-punk from Austin’s own The Dead Space.  From Faker.

29)  :We Were Promised Jetpacks – I Keep It Composed:  This swirling song reinvigorated my love for We Were Promised Jetpacks.  I’m honestly not sure they’ve ever sounded as good as they do here.  From Unraveling.

28)  :Angel Olsen – Forgiven-Forgotten:  While I like Angel Olsen’s slower and more intimate material, I found myself coming back to this little rocker of hers the most.  From Burn Your Fire For No Witness.

27)  :Shannon And The Clams – Mama:  This Shannon And The Clams song is splendid and permanently on my go-to list for whenever I’m in the mood for soul/doo-wop-enthused music.  From the band’s split with Guantanamo Baywatch.

26)  :Saint Pepsi – Fiona Coyne:  My “song of the summer” this year was definitely this Saint Pepsi track.  It’s immensely catchy.  And danceable.  And super fun.  From the Fiona Coyne single.

25)  :Tennis – I’m Callin’:  I love this song for two reasons.  1) It’s wonderfully easy on the ears.  2) It fully completes Tennis‘ transition from lo-fi indie band to full on pop act.  Not sure they could have done it any smoother.  From Ritual In Repeat.

24)  :Screaming Females – Wishing Well:  Screaming Females usually go right after your face, but for this track they decided to dial things back a bit.  It worked.  In fact, I think this is probably their best song.  From the Wishing Well single.

23)  :Phantogram – Fall In Love:  Phantogram blew up in 2014, and it was partly because of this single.  To be honest, I think it ranks a little lower than some of their older songs, but I still love it.  From Voices.

22)  :The War On Drugs – Red Eyes:  The War On Drugs really got me with this track.  I had only ever just appreciated them and their Springsteen-ish ways, but this is so damn good that they’re now a favorite of mine.  From Lost In The Dream.

21)  :Future Islands – Seasons (Waiting On You):  This fantastic synth-pop song totally helped Future Islands wrangle in just under a bazillion new fans.  Good for them.  They deserve it.  From Singles.

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Top 50 Songs Of 2014: Part 2

December 2, 2014

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Boom.  Here’s part two of my Top 50 Songs of 2014.  If you missed the first installment, check it out here.  The other parts will arrive each day this week!  Enjoy.

40)  :Braid – No Coast:  It was the arrival of this anthemic track that pushed me from curious to excited about Braid reuniting for a new full length (their first in 16 years).  From No Coast.

39)  :Eternal Summers – Gouge:  I’ve had this shoegazey number on repeat for just about the entirety of 2014.  I definitely think it’s Eternal Summers’ best song (so far).  From The Drop Beneath.

38)  :Letting Up Despite Great Faults – Wrapped:  This fantastic slice of dream pop is from one of my favorite bands in Austin, Letting Up Despite Great Faults.  It’ll make you dance (and maybe cry a little).  From Neon.

37)  :Mas Ysa – Shame:  Thomas Arseneault (aka Mas Ysa) churns out some really interesting stuff.  For instance, this synthy gem is somehow both very calculated and super raw.  From The Worth EP.

36)  :Alvvays – Archie, Marry Me:  Sure, Alvvays is a pretty silly name, but that doesn’t mean this song isn’t one of the best lo-fi pop efforts of the year.  From the band’s self titled album.

35)  :Pillar Point – Eyeballs:  I’m not sure that Scott Reitherman (formerly of Throw Me The Statue and now the main brain behind Pillar Point) has ever made a song that I didn’t like.  The guy sure knows how to craft quality pop music.  From the band’s self titled album.

34)  :Cymbals Eat Guitars – Chambers:  If you’ve ever wanted to hear Cymbals Eat Guitars as a full-on accessible rock act, then this is the song you’ve been looking for.  It’s a good sound for them.  From Lose.

33)  :Ariel Pink – Put Your Number In My Phone:  When it comes to Ariel Pink, I’m always impressed with the way he’s able to craft that one single every release that’s a total ear-pleaser.  I think he does it on purpose so it’s easier to dive into the bizarro creations that usually fill out his albums.  From Pom Pom.

32)  :Sylvan Esso – Coffee:  For a while I thought MS MR’s fancy remix of this track was unbeatable, but in the end I found myself partial to the minimalistic sound of Sylvan Esso’s original take.  From the band’s self titled album.

31)  :Weaves – Shithole:  Every time I listen to this song I immediately want to travel back to the 90s so that I can be angsty about having to exist in the 90s.  Thanks for that, Weaves.  From the Shithole single.

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Top 50 Songs Of 2014: Part 1

December 1, 2014

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Hey there, let’s begin running down my Top 50 Songs of 2014 (there will be one part each day through this Friday).  As is always the case, the list is comprised of music I’ve shared here at SOTO throughout the year.  Enjoy.

PS – If you missed my 2014 Austin Essentials, all three of those volumes are now on one page right HERE.

50)  :Lana Del Rey – West Coast:  Yeah yeah, I know, Lana Del Rey has big lips and no one (publicly) likes her, but I don’t care, this Dan Auerbach-produced track is great.  Total smokey, moody goodness.  From Ultaviolence.

49)  :Slow Magic – Hold Still:  This one from Slow Magic features what’s probably my favorite “wait for it” moment of 2014.  If the final 30 seconds don’t make you want to move, then you might be dead.  From How To Run Away.

48)  :Joanna Gruesome – Psykick Espionage:  Noisy and infectious.  That’s definitely the best way to describe this track from the one and only Joanna Gruesome.  From the band’s split 7″ with Perfect Pussy.

47)  :White Reaper – Half Bad:  There’s so much energy and enthusiasm packed into this ripper from White Reaper that it’s become one of my go-tos for whenever I need a pick-me-up.  From the band’s self titled EP.

46)  :Sleater-Kinney – Bury Our Friends:  Sleater-Kinney are back and they’ve still got it!  Not that I’m in any way surprised, of course – Corin, Carrie and Janet are pure magic when they’re together.  From No Cities To Love.

45)  :Perfume Genius – Queen:  While I didn’t find Perfume Genius’ latest album to be for me, I do love this song.  It’s a powerful listen that grabs you and never lets go.  From Too Bright.

44)  :How To Dress Well – Repeat Pleasure:  This impeccably crafted track is no & It Was You, but I do think it’s the most accessible that Tom Krell (aka How To Dress Well) has ever been.  From What Is This Heart.

43)  :Sophie – Lemonade:  Of all the songs that will appear on my Top 50 list, this pop blip from Sophie is the one I expect to divide people the most.  It’s a weird and obnoxious earworm.  From the Lemonade/Hard single.

42)  :New Pornographers – Brill Bruisers:  There was a stretch this year where I just about wore out this gloriously upbeat track from New Pornographers.  Talk about power pop perfection.  From Brill Bruisers.

41)  :Terry Malts – Let You In:  Another year, another fuzzed out track from Terry Malts that’s really difficult to get out of my head.  Things could be worse, I suppose.  From the Insides EP.

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