I love music.
That much would be clear when you check my blog which is littered – thoughtfully so I might add – with Sonic Bliss posts which group together my favourite songs for that particular point in time.
(Another tip-off may be my fervent declarations of love to my iPod on tumblr but hey that’s another issue entirely and one we best not speak of here.)
But they are just a very small sample of the hundreds of new songs I listen to in a given month.
The reason I stick to just five?
Partly time of course.
If I wrote about my 50 favourite songs of the week, I would never have time to write about anything else, and you would be driven, dear readers, to come after me (assuming you read the whole post which would be doubtful) and beat me with treble clefs, MP3 players and an old guitar once owned by Jimi Hendrix’s pool cleaner.
See? Not that pretty, and best avoided.
So here among the five songs, among the seething multitude, that were played again and again and again and … yeah you get the picture …
METRIC – “Youth Without Youth”
WHY I LIKE IT: It’s all rollicking punchy baselines and jangly guitars paired with an insistent melody (with a hook big enough to land a marlin) and the growling sexy vocals and yes exuberant vocals of Emily Haines who dares you to ignore her.
It drive and bounce and energetic momentum is the perfect addition to any commute, exercise session or frankly your entire life.
HERE’S WHAT BILLBOARD.COM HAD TO SAY (May 13, 2012):
“On Metric’s new single, ‘Youth Without Youth’, the Canadian electro-rock act embraces its anger with . . . a dance party. ‘Youth Without Youth’ fits in line with Metric’s MO — bold statements backed by synths and sweet female vocals -but this time, the subject matter is more political. Lyrically, frontwoman Emily Haines toys with powerful imagery, using phrases like ‘double dutch with a hand grenade’ and ‘rubber soul with a razor blade’ to describe a young life full of malaise and even criminality. Perhaps it’s fitting that a song about innocence lost and getting stomped on by the Man features a sleazy, sexy beat. Fans may feel bad about dancing along to these sentiments, but beyond the beat lies a simple riff and a high-pitched twinge of feedback, the repetition of which both inspires an eerie vibe and, more importantly, ties the music and lyrics together.”
ICONA POP – “I Love It”
WHY I LIKE IT: Caroline Hjelt and Aiko Jawo, who make Swedish electropop duo, Icona Pop are not happy. They have been wronged by love gone wrong and are determined that the perpetrator of Cupid’s demise will not get away scott free.
So they channel all manner of deliciously appropriate revenge plans into a driving, and I mean seriously fast screaming-down-the-highway-in-a-Ferrari driving piece of perfect electronica that is all anthemic vocals, and enormously catchy melody.
I am in a very happy relationship that is quite likely to stand the test of time which is kind of pity in this one small teeny-weeny instance since this is the best breakup song ever.
WHAT I SAID IN SONIC BLISS #8 ON 15 MAY 2012:
“You want heart-poundingly powerful beats coupled with the most defiant of break up lyrics and want to dance yourself in the process? Then this song from Sweden’s immensely talented Icona Pop, which is made up of Caroline Hjelt and Aino Jawo, is your ticket to dancing over the grave of any and all broken relationships littering your past. (Even if you’re well over them; you can likely find some residue of resentment that will allow you to totally tap into the deliciously angry forcefulness of the song.)
It has attitude and then some which is married perfectly to a beat so all consuming and powerful you wonder just what an ex did to incite some hook-laden vitriol? Frankly I don’t care. All I know is that the song, written by the up-and-coming pop prodigy, Charli CXC, sweeps all before it with blinding passion and unstoppable force.
No word yet on when we can expect a full album from the Scandinavian twosome but if this song is any indication of what they’re capable of, then it’s a high likelihood you won’t see much of me when it is released. I will be the one with the headphones super glued to my head listening to this album on repeat. And repeat. And… you get the idea.”
HOT CHIP – “Motion Sickness”
WHY I LIKE IT: I know this will sound woefully twee and imprecise but it just makes me feel happy. I feel like breaking into a dance – though the unspoken laws of Sydney commuting preclude this happening on trains and buses upon pain of withering and condescending stares – and strapping on some Kangoo Jumps and and exultantly bouncing along every street in my neighbourhood over and over again.
It’s rare to find a dance song like this that still moves me to goose-bumping inducing dance almost a year after its release.
Yes, it is my Happy Song.
Everyone should have one.
HERE’S WHAT MUSICOMH.COM HAD TO SAY ABOUT THE SONG WHEN IT REVIEWED HOT CHIP’S ALBUM, IN OUR HEADS, ON 11 JUNE 2012:
“In Our Heads is Hot Chip’s strongest record to date. It kicks off with the colourful and vibrant Motion Sickness, with stabbing synths on the verse swelling towards an immersive and danceable chorus, as Taylor sings: ‘Remember when people thought the world was round?'”
BEAR IN HEAVEN – “Sinful Nature”
WHY I LIKE IT: This song is rich, luminously trippy electro pop with echoey far off vocals that seem to bounce off a 1000 walls before reaching your eardrums.
Listening to it feels like being transported to a far off place, removed from time and space, and has been played a lot just before bedtime or when I want to escape without leaving the room.
And again it has been looping continuously through my iPod like a burrowing rabbit on speed trying to find its way to the surface.
I will leave you to ponder what that means exactly.
HERE’S WHAT I SAID IN SONIC BLISS #1 ON 8 MARCH, 2012:
“Hailing from Brooklyn, this psychedelic rock/pop quartet pack a punch. But it’s a punch wrapped inside the most intense and seductive of melodies. This song in particular, which is the lead single from their forthcoming album, I Love You, Its Cool, is gorgeous and I can’t stop listening to it.”
P!NK – “We Are What We Are”
WHY I LIKE IT: I am a huge, enduring fan of this feisty lady who tells it like it is, and has a huge amount of doing it.
This song kicks off her reasonably new album, The Truth About Love, and growls and struts in the fine spirit of all of P!nk’s anthemic rock songs.
The lyrics defiantly proclaim the sort of “f**k you” mentality that I heartily embrace these days (in the nicest way possible of course; there’s no point being a jerk about it) after a lifetime spent being ordered around by every Tom, Dick and Harriet in the church (for the uninformed, minister’s kids are regarded as public property by churchgoers).
I had high hopes for this new album and the moment “Are We All We Are” kicked off, I knew each and every one of those hopes were justified.
Plus it did wonders for my bedroom singing stylings.
You can read my full review of her album here.
Honourable mentions must go to …
KYARY PAMYU PAMYU – “PonPonPon”
This is my guilty pleasure.
Actually not guilty at all.
It has colour, kitsch fun and an unexpectedly insanely singable melody.
Cue oddly bouncy dancing.
You can read about my bizarre love affair with PopAsia here.
MNDR – “Draw the Curtain” / “UBCL”
I bought her album on a whim one day because I liked the cover.
I had heard nothing about her or her music and did what I occasionally love to do, and just buy am album on hope and aesthetics alone.
It paid off big time!
Great electro pop, with darker overtones and an pulsating intelligence in every lyric.
Here’s to leaping off the zeitgeist cliff!
LANA DEL RAY – “BEL AIR”
Pilloried at the start of the year and grudgingly lauded at the end.
Franjkly I don’t understand the leevl of vitriol she encountered.
She created a persona (like Madonna, Lady Gaga etc etc etc), reinventing herself in the process and went out to sell herself to the masses with a new sound.
Hardly a sin but you’d have thought she was clubbing kittens to death in her spare time.
It’s a pity because the new EP is superb and this song is hauntingly, gorgeously beautiful.
Here’s what I said in full about the new EP, Paradise.
* Behold an awesome wrap up of the year’s music from the Sydney Morning Herald. (You’re welcome.)
What are you favourite songs for the year and why?