This time of year, I always like to reflect on all of the music I dug and compile a playlist that best encompasses the experiences, great memories, and the bands and artists that have become the soundtrack of my life in the past 365-odd days. I like to pop the older editions into the CD player and laugh/groan to myself in some nerdy form of reminiscence therapy. Plus, the discs make great stocking stuffers!
My criteria were simple: the song didn’t necessarily have to be released during this year (though many were), but if I discovered/rediscovered/liked it this year, it counts. I’ll attempt to give a brief description and justification for each song’s inclusion and provide links and background info whenever possible, should anyone choose to further explore these fine artists.
1) Band of Horses – “Knock Knock“: I love these guys and I was super-stoked to hear they were coming out with a new album. This song was their early-released single and aptly leads off the record. While the rest of Mirage Rock was somewhat of a disappointment compared to their other albums, this song makes a great track one. I love the lyrics, the “ooohs” and the handclaps, and it puts me in a hopeful, anticipatory mood for the rest of my day/life.
2) We Were Promised Jetpacks – “Medicine”: Man, I am such a sucker for Scottish bands, particularly singers with pronounced accents. I had the pleasure of seeing these Edinburghers at an awesome sold-out show at the Bottom Lounge last May, and they did not disappoint. They rock hard with driving guitar riffs and some awesome drumming, but (duh) the vocals are the cornerstone for me. Their latest album, In the Pit of the Stomach, kicks ass and is getting some decent, fully warranted attention, so I hope we continue to hear more from these guys.