Top Ten New (to me) Songs

After resisting an i-pod for years, I got one for Christmas last year. It was time to assimilate my music, and I’m glad I did, an instance where the convenience of technology outweighs my initial reservations about it. Those reservations have faded since. Anyway, this post isn’t about i-pods but about what they contain. In the past year, even before getting the i-pod, I listened to quite a bit of new music per suggestions from friends, favorite bands putting out new albums, and the decision my sister, Beth and I had to share an i-tunes music library, thus my songs were combined with hers, exposing me to bands she listens to I hadn’t. Here’s my official top ten songs from the new music I’ve listened to in the past year — not new music, but music new to me. The time frame is the beginning of last October to this year.

10. “Feel it In My Bones”/ Tiesto ft. Tegan and Sara

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6UcXSBmyZA&feature=related

I don’t know if this is off an actual album or not. The video circulated around the internet. I saw and heard it on Tegan and Sara’s blog. I love Tegan and Sara. They’re music is so emotionally resonant, and they have some of the most compelling lyrics out of any artist working, at least in my opinion. I respect them the most because each album they come out with incorporates a new sound. They’re constantly experimenting and evolving. On their latest album, Sainthood, they brought in different sounds along with their usual indie-alternative folk — almost industrial pop. Seeing them lay down a track like this, one that’s very techno-infused is unexpected and is a testament to the new sound on their latest album.

9. “Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk”/ Rufus Wainwright from Poses

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOkKADCu9WY

I’ve just started listening to Rufus in the last month. This one makes a great opening song for Poses. I think it shows the range of his voice the best on the album. And oh, the coy third or fourth line, “Everything it seems I like’s a little bit stronger/A little bit thicker/A little bit harmful for me.” Thanks for the wink and nudge at the metaphor of the song, Rufus.

8. “Head Full of Doubt, Road Full of Promise”/ The Avett Brothers from I And Love And You

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t43VgJ4U9_Q&ob=av2e

7. “There is a Light That Never Goes Out”/ The Smiths from Greatest Hits

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INgXzChwipY

This one may be cheating. Of course I’ve heard this song well before the past year. I put their greatest hits album on my i-pod, and I hadn’t listened to them in years. I have my favorite Smiths songs, but I forgot about this one and was pleasantly surprised to re-discover it. The verses are filled with such melancholy and longing, contrasted with a chorus that’s so extreme as a result — an undying declaration of love — that it’s almost funny. It’s ironic that this type of chorus is an extension of the genuine feelings before and after it.

6. “5 Years Time”/ Noah and the Whale from Peaceful, the World Lays Me Down

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8YCSJpF4g4

This song makes me smile.

5. “Dance in the Dark”/ Lady Gaga from The Fame Monster

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVCCjSGcnZE

Don’t judge me. I’ve caught Gaga fever after such reluctance. Beth put her double disk (The Fame and The Fame Monster) on our music library, and I started listening. There’s so many reasons I like her I could devote an entire blog post to it, so I won’t make that post this one. The Fame Monster is the most impressive. With only 8 songs, it packs more force than countless other longer albums.

4. “The Mountain”/ Lucero from Rebels, Rogues, and Sworn Brothers

http://www.last.fm/music/Lucero/_/The+Mountain

This link is to a video from the live performance of the song. I couldn’t find any link to the song on the album, but live is better anyway.

3. “Crazy as Me”/ Allison Krauss and Union Station from Lonely Runs Both Ways

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqW1bdkAPek

Again, this comment is about the video link. Sorry about the super cheesy flower background and lyrics. As for the song, I can’t get enough of her voice. Gorgeous. And I can’t believe I’ve just started listening this year.

2. “Left Me in a Hole”/ Yonder Mountain String Band from Elevation

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSMvzoupctE

Again, I couldn’t find a link with the album version, but this is to a live version. I’ve listed a few bands with some bluegrass — The Avett Brothers — or southern — Lucero — influences, but this band is pure bluegrass, which I’ve been getting into a lot of. Sure, living in Murray, KY for four years exposed me to a few bluegrass nights dancing with more than a few drinks in me, but this is the first real bluegrass band I’ve started following regularly after seeing their live show here in Louisville back in February.

1. “The Ocean”/ Tegan and Sara from Sainthood

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_aU2NhzRe7U

I’m ending and closing with T&S. I’m pretty biased. I love them. They opened the concert I saw back in April with this song. It’s the best off of Sainthood, their latest album released last Fall. Their sound pleasantly surprised me. Like I said, it’s borderline industrial. I love how the opening songs from their albums establish the new sound, and “Arrow” does just that. It’s drastically different from their last album, The Con, which was much more indie/alternative. This one doesn’t incorporate any of the new influences; they still stay true to their roots in many of them too, another aspect I like.

That’s all. Thanks for indulging me, if you actually were bored enough to do so.

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