30 Songs That Suggest Music In 2013 Isn’t As Bad As You Think It Is
By Scott Creney
Now there’s a buzz(feed)worthy headline for you. These aren’t in any particular order. The list neither counts up nor counts down. Some of these are from albums I’ve hated; some are from albums I’ve loved. They don’t have much in common besides this idea I have that the creators are in love with sound, manipulating sonics the way we each manipulate our personas online and otherwise. Who do you want to be today?
The other thing these songs have in common is the majority of them are very dark, in some cases oppressively so to the point of suffocation. From a personal standpoint, this doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. But then we all have our days don’t we, and everyone knows that life is more than pink fluffy bunnies and dipshit kittycats.
But as rides go, it isn’t a bad one. Except for Pharmakon, maybe. I’m tempted to call that song a sonic holocaust, but some pretty pictures came out of the holocaust, testaments to the nobility & redeemability of man if you want to see it that way. Pharmakon is a season in hell worse than Milton, let alone Rimbaud, ever imagined. Probably not likely to go over well at a big summer music festival so you might not have heard about it in the places you go to read/hear/learn about edgy, non-mainstream independent music. (I’m teasing of course – Pitchfork gave it an 8.0.)
Albums of the year so far? This kind of thinking is reductive and dumb, but I’d say either Kanye or The Knife, although I’ve probably listened to Pere Ubu and Happy Jawbone Family and Blanche Blanche Blanche more than any of them to this point.
We’re already at 500 words, and if I write about each one of these you can multiply that by about 10. Since I still have to finish that Kanye review, we’re going to leave that particular path untrudged. I would like to say, though, that the Daft Punk song should have more asterisks next to it than the last 15 years of Olympic records. It is so rare that a Top 40 song has more than one great hook, more than one great melody, and any emotion approaching joy, that it makes ‘Get Lucky’ sound better than it probably is. What it actually is, is a great Chic song. As for the rest of the album, it just reinforces my belief that Daft Punk are the Puff Daddy’s of white boy electronic music. They’re more curators than sculptors, more arrangers than artists. But when ‘Get Lucky’ comes on I don’t change the channel, so fuck it. Good for them.
Here’s the playable playlist:
And here it is written out for easy scanning. For your convenience, anything I’ve already written about has been highlighted. The extra reading is well worth your time. I’m way more entertaining than I need to be, given the subject matter.
Girls Names – Pittura Infamante
Foxygen – San Francisco
Pere Ubu – Mandy
Beat Mark – Breezing!
Happy Jawbone Family Band – Fireflies Made Out of Dust
Yo La Tengo – Ohm
Foot Village – New Jersey
Jerusalem In My Heart – Koll Lil-Mali7ati Fi Al-Khimar Al-Aswadi
Fol Chen – The False Alarms
Marnie Stern – Gimme
Fidlar – Cheap Beer
Beaches – Send Them Away
Wampire – The Hearse
Kanye West – Black Skinhead
Baths – Earth Death
Lust For Youth – Vibrant Brother
Steve Gunn – Lurker
Grim Tower – Soft Séance
The Memories – I’m Not Going to Work Tomorrow
Jon Hopkins – Breathe This Air
Vampire Weekend – Unbelievers
CocoRosie – Tears For Animals
John Grant – GMF
Daft Punk – Get Lucky
Pharmakon – Sour Sap
Planningtorock – Misogyny Drop Dead
Deerhunter – Monomania
Permanent Makeup – Death Throes Of A Cockroach
M.I.A. – Bring The Noize
The Knife – A Tooth For An Eye
And here’s five great ones that aren’t on Rdio.
Blanche Blanche Blanche – Ted Talks
Eat Skull – Space Academy
Filthy Huns – Watch of the Bear
Hair Police – Thiefs Spring
Cowtown – Monotone Face