You’ve probably heard of the rootsy Americana band from Athens, Alabama. Their stellar debut Boys & Girls went Gold and it spawned three official singles that made it to some sort of chart; most notably their breakout hit “Hold On.” Plus they were nominated for three Grammys including Best New Artist (which they lost to fun.). They played at those Grammys, they made it onto Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and they even had songs in commercial.
At the end of each month, I’m going to take a look at the current American Top 40 and pick my favorite pop songs of the moment. Just because I really think my opinion is that important (sarcasm) and because I just want more consistent posts here.
I’ll keep this short and sweet. Here are ten albums I dug this year, in alphabetical order by the musician, and why I like them. I’m giving myself a tweet (140 characters) to explain why I like each release.
It’s Valentine’s Day and that means there is a lot of love in the air. With the love comes a lot of music to aid in the wooing of significant others. Instead of putting on classics like “You Are So Beautiful” and “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” here’s a list of modern pop hits and some indie tracks to play instead.
1) “Just Impolite” – Plushgun
This synth-filled pop song has a catchy medley filled with cutesy lines like the irresistible hook “I walk the line like Johnny Cash / I made the bus in seconds flat / I called your line too many times / I’m not owantbsessed just impolite.”
2) “Crush” – Noise Ratchet (Mandy Moore cover)
Originally, I put in Mandy Moore’s original, but remembered Noise Ratchet’s cover from the Punk Goes Pop compilation is actually better. A great song to play for that person you simple have a crush on.
3) “Can You Tell” – Ra Ra Riot
It’s another song about yearning for someone, but still perfect to play for someone you just want to be with. Bonus for the simple, relatable lyrics, including: “What am I supposed to do / It’s hard to stay cool / When you smile at me / And I get nervous every time you speak.”
4) “Head Over Feet” – Alanis Morissette
Here’s one that’s not too lovey-dovey, but explains the feeling of being in love perfectly.
5) “Lovely Cup” – Grouplove
This isn’t a traditional love song, but it’s a unique metaphor. A terrific choice for having a fun dance party with someone you just can’t enough of.
6) “Iris” – Goo Goo Dolls
Movie soundtrack songs are the best. Instead of “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” here’s another choice that will make someone swoon for you. I mean that opening lyric (“And I’d give up forever to touch you”) is killer on its own.
7) “Fix You” – Coldplay
8) “Teenage Dream” – Katy Perry
Seriously what we all secretly want. “Let’s go all the way tonight / No regrets, just love / We can dance until we die / You and I, will be young forever.”
9) “I Just Do” – Dear and the Headlights
A terrific indie song filled with little moments that truly make up loving relationships like, “Calling to say hi on your break / In less than twenty words you made / My whole damn day and / Oh I just love you Oh I just love you.”
10) “Never Had Nobody Like You” – M. Ward
This one is for the one you’ve always wanted, but have never found. Bonus points for featuring Zooey Deschanel on backing vocals.
11) “Your Body is a Wonderland” – John Mayer
12) “I Won’t Give Up” – Jason Mraz
Maybe things aren’t going well, but you just need the other person you’ll love them for always. This is it. It’s all a good song, but the chorus is everything: “I won’t give up on us / Even if the skies get rough / I’m giving you all my love / I’m still looking up.”
13) “The Only Exception” – Paramore
These pop-punkers really nailed it with this love song. We’ve all been hurt and said we’ve given up on love, but once you’ve found the one, you’ll want to play this to let them know.
14) “I’m Gonna Be” – Sleeping At Last
The Proclaimers really nailed it with this pop song, but Sleeping at Last made it into a hauntingly beautiful slow jam. For anyone how has half of their heart across the country.
Richard Edwards has been hard at work recording Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s fifth LP as well as filming an intimate 16 mm film that will give us insight into his life, both personal and musical. The new album, which was affectionately known simply as LP5 for a long time was given a title last week as well as a tracklisting and an album cover.
Update: Childish Gambino has since released a full version of “yaphet kotto (freestyle)” via SoundCloud.
Community for a handful of episodes in the upcoming fifth season to focus on his rap career, Gambino has been relatively quiet.
He released “Centipede” in July and started tweeting and retweeting a lot about something called Roscoe’s Wetsuit. He even launched a website with nothing on it but the name of the site. This was followed by a tweet on October 4 that “the album is done.”
I first met the gang from Grouplove on the sunny beaches of DeLuna Fest in October 2011. I interviewed them under the boardwalk and then watched them from the side of the stage as they melted faces. Afterward they invited me to dinner and beers in the hot tub where we talked about a lot that didn’t really matter to my feature on them, but it was all very interesting. What stands out most from that nearly two year old interview was frontman Christian Zucconi’s infatuation with Kurt Cobain.
Here are five bands that I’m digging now that I feel are worth some of your time.
Wow, I’ve been living under a rock, (okay, I’ve been living on a lake in Maine at a summer camp…) but I’m back with a new playlist. It has some new singles from some of my favorites as well as some newer bands I’ve been digging and deep cuts from not-so-new albums. No gimmick here; just songs to consider. Oh, surprisingly there are quite a few electronic-heavy songs…
Over the course of December, I’ll present a series of my own end of 2012 lists. Unlike many, I won’t give you a best of list because that’s no fun. Instead I’ll give you lists of my favorite things from 2012. Because let’s face it: the best stuff isn’t always what you love the most.
My favorite live bands of 2012:
(Note: I’ve only included bands I’ve seen live this year.)