Here are the songs (mostly new, a couple from a while back) that I’ve been listening to most this February…
Just missed the cut:
Bastille – Requiem for Blue Jeans
Tegan and Sara – I Was A Fool
Clubfeet – Everything You Wanted
Frightened Rabbit – Nitrous Gas
Wave Machines – Ill Fit
The Top Ten:
10. Torres – Honey
A relatively sparse production, “Honey” hits where it hurts, right in the gut.
9. Feathers – Land Of The Innocent
Fantastic new pop song. Slightly dark, mysterious, and full of hooks.
8. Mother Mother – Bit By Bit
Just as strong as “Let’s Fall In Love”. These Canadian alt-pop-rockers have made a supremely gitchy tune in “Bit By Bit”.
7. The Neighbourhood – A Little Death
Really cool, sultry video accompanies this dynamite alt-pop offering.
6. The Lone Bellow – Bleeding Out
I wish there were a studio version of this tune available on Youtube to showcase how bright and compelling this sing-a-long stomper is. As it stands, this live version does just fine. Brooklyn’s answer to Mumford and Sons and Of Monsters and Men.
5. The Joy Formidable – The Leopard And The Lung
Epic. Monstrous. Gargantuan. “The Leopard And The Lung” is probably the best song on TJF’s new album Wolf’s Law. Its soft moments are sublime and its hard ones thrash through walls like Juggernaut’s metallic egg head.
4. Foals – Inhaler/My Number
“Inhaler” finds Foals rocking out more than they probably ever have — and they sound bloody fantastic doing it. For the life of me, I can’t let “My Number” go. It’s an entire song made up of hooks. Two sensational songs.
3. The Knife – Pass This On/A Lung/You Make Me Like Charity
In anticipation of The Knife’s new album (their first in seven years), I’ve been listening to their older stuff. “A Lung”, from their debut album, The Knife, is probably the most menacing song on the LP, a haunting harbinger of things to come on Silent Shout, and it’s incomprehensibly good. “You Make Me Like Charity” and “Pass This On” are both from The Knife’s second album, “Deep Cuts”. The former is an insane, tax-paying obsessed love letter that’s bathed in innumerable hooks. The latter is possibly the catchiest song The Knife have ever done (“Heartbeats” included — it’s close, who the hell knows). I’ve been obsessed with the video (link below) because it features the King and Queen themselves, Olof being the initial victim/dancer who falls prey to the siren’s song, and Karin, whose stoic gaze appears a few times in the video, most notably at the end in the final shot. I’m pretty sure Olof and Karin are the baddest people on the planet. No biggie.
2. Coheed and Cambria – The Hard Sell/Dark Side Of Me
This is alt-rock, and it’s funking fantastic. For me, Coheed and Cambria have never sounded this urgent, and they haven’t had songs as good as these since “A Favor House Atlantic”. “The Hard Sell” is ferocious yet innately catchy. A tough job, but one they pull off with ease. “The Dark Side Of Me” is slightly less ferocious, but more hopeless, more barren, more affecting. So surprised at the quality of these two songs; Coheed and Cambria have made a statement.
1. Chvrches – Recover
It took a few listens. At first, I thought Chvrches new song, “Recover”, was really good but not quite on par with “Lies” or “The Mother We Share”, two already indomitable tunes. Then around the 4th or 5th listen, it hit me, “Recover” is just as brilliant. It’s a soaring, synth-driven song soaking in melody, hooks and electronic mastery, all while sounding undeniably human, irrefutably warm. Then there’s Lauren Mayberry’s vocals. Pristine, piercing, and potent, they soar above the song and prop it up at the same time. I’m absolutely floored at how good the first 3 releases have been from the Glaswegians. It’s a hit or miss game to try to predict if a band is going to break or not, but I really feel that Chvrches will bust through in a huge way. There’s not better pop being made on planet earth right now. This sound will find ears. It’s already found mine and they can’t let it go.