Heycoolkid!’s 100 Best Songs Of 2011

23 Dec

Heycoolkid!’s 100 Best Songs Of 2011 (41-55)

.

.

55. Middle Brother – “Me, Me, Me”

What is there not to love when combining key elements of Delta Spirits, Deer Tick, and Dawes?

Me, Me, Me” is an indie honky-tonk set on fire.  Every element from the Jerry Lee Lewis style piano to the Lynard Skynard-esc lead this song comes off as if we’ve heard it our entire life rather than being something new from three relatively new faces.

.

.

54. French Films – “Pretty In Decadence”

French FilmsSomewhere between The Beach Boys and The Cure falls “Pretty In Decadence” the first single from the French Films debut album “Imaginary Future.”

If anything “Pretty In Decadence” has an overall feeling similar to what Robert Smith would have given off if he weren’t constantly obsessing over breaking up with who he’s with or wanting to sleep with who he’s not, which I realize makes as much sense as saying a band sounds like The Smiths if Morrissey had actually gotten the girl (Often I remind myself how lucky we all are that Morrissey didn’t get what he wanted despite how nicely he asked). For the sake of French Films though this is a solidreference point to start with.

The great thing about this song is when you get past the tap-your-feet-and-get-moving vibe and really sink into the lyrics you’ll realize why I get the impression of The Smiths being the cornerstone in the psyche of French Films despite their obvious infatuation with The Cure,

I went to heaven to get advice, I asked for God but he didn’t have time. Hoped I could be happy, I could be free from the gun they keep pointing at me. Cable TV, pills and afterwork to sleep at night. “Son it’s always worse somewhere else” oh what a wonderful, wonderful life. Everytime I walk through the main street, everytime I know I would rather stay this way baby than wave the flag for the bloodsucking blues,”

and this is probably the most optimistic song on the album. – (Via)

.

.

53. Lanterns On The Lake – “You’re Almost There”

Lanterns On The Lake“Hazy, elegant vocals, sombre piano keys, percussive echoes and soaring strings all moulded into a beautiful and intricately arranged 3 minutes 16 pretty much guarantees that Lanterns On The Lake’s latest song ‘You’re Almost There’ will find its way to being one of our favourite tracks of the summer “- The Line Of Best Fit

.

.

52. Scattered Trees – “A Conversatiion About Death On New Year’s Eve”

Sympathy the absolutely amazing album from Scattered Trees, which was penned after the death of lead singer Nate Eiesland’s father, embodies every aspect of emotion possible;  As with some of the greatest art ever created if you give an artist something so powerful they need to find a release, a way to make sense of things uncontrollable, somehow it manifests into something great.

The two stand out tracks from the album are the title track and “A Conversation About Death On New Years Eve,” the later having a somber hook you can’t help but sing along with which shows us that Scattered Trees can channel their own personal turmoil and conflict through lyrics with a rare strength within the honesty. What impresses me so much about this song is that they are able to take those lyrics and show us how creatively talented they are by transforming them into a tangible experience that we’re thankful to share with them.

.

.

51. Sleepy Vikings – “Calm”

I realized when I began going over my best album’s and best song’s lists that Sleepy Vikings have become this year’s “sleeper” band for me (no pun intended). Whenever one of their songs comes on the thought never crosses my mind to skip over it and I almost always find myself singing along yet until I started to work out some sort of hierarchy of which songs meant the most to me this year it never crossed my mind how many Sleepy Vikings tracks I have listened to over and over and over again.

Between the perfect vocal workings in “Calm” and what is probably my favorite guitar solo of 2011, there was no way I could exclude this song from the list.

I rarely break down instrumentation but this is one of the few exceptions. The lead guitar in “Calm” is absolutely ideal. Anyone can practice scales and work on finger tricks so they can fly up and down the neck in blazing sixteenth and thirty second notes but it takes a true skilled musician to hold themselves back and play only what is absolutely necessary to make the song better as a whole rather than using distortion and delay to scream out “Hey look at me”. This lead gives the song exactly what it needs to elevate it at the precise moment necessary, people with horrible tastes can have their Eddie Van Halen I’ll take Julian Conner any day.

.

.

50. Absofacto – “80844264@81 (Love Song)”

I’m a lens broke in two to the tenth power
even through facets i can see, over a kaleidoscopic scene,
your head, your arms, your teeth, your necks,
your rubber checks, your evil eye

I’m still on your side, but out of sight and out of mind

I’d actually forgotten about this song until I looked over Birp!‘s Best of 2011 list. For some reason I was thinking this one came out last year, February feels like a lifetime ago, in a way I guess it was, we’re all in different places now and that’s kind of what this song is about.

.

.

49. The Rural Alberta Advantage – “Stamp”

“It is not a small-sounding song, so start mentally preparing yourself for the inevitable full-venue singalong.”P4k

I feel like 2011 was a strong step forward for The Rural Alberta Advantage.  Putting out a perfectly crafted album helps, putting on an extensive tour, which included a stop in INDY of all places, didn’t hurt either.  This was my favorite song from Departing. If you haven’t given them a chance yet pick the album up for yourself… your life will be better for it.

.

.

48. Summer Camp – “Better Off Without You”

I’m still not completely sure how I feel about Summer Camp.

One thing that I am sure about though is how damn good “Better Off Without You” is.

It’s not the music that keeps me with one toe in the water, they’ve definitely got that under wraps, it’s how they act in interviews and their whole approach to how they put this album out. They seem to almost be TOO “cool,” ya know, I scratch my head in wondering how contrived is this entire process. As with most bands the truth almost always unfolds rather quickly, there are too many camera’s and microphones hanging around to keep who we really are out of the spot light.

I would never put this song up if I didn’t have the utmost respect for where Summer Camp are at this very moment, creating ideal music, so please don’t misinterpret what I’m saying. I just don’t want to put it out there that I’m one hundred percent on board with these guys until we’ve come to know who they are and what they are really about.

.

.

47. Future Islands – “Balance”

I’ve been sitting on this album for a month or so now and if you look at my listening habits in that month, Future Islands are way up there in the upper echelons.

I’ve only been a fan of the Baltimore band since early last year after arriving late on their scene, but being completely enamored with their passion, their sound, and their songcraft I’ve been a huge supporter since.

Now just over a year since their excellent second album “In Evening Air” they’ve followed it up with “On The Water” another stunning listen, and if you’ve heard the songs released from it so far in “Before The Bridge”, and “Balance”, you know I speak the truth. – Listen Before You Buy

.

.

46. A Little Nothing – “White Hill”

A Little NothingA Little Nothing make ideal headphone music. There is a very one-on-one vibration to there songs. Although I’ll concede that the idea of listening to this song on vinyl while hanging out with some crush would probably be one of the better musical experiences since I made-out to Enter Sandman in seventh grade.

White Hill” is an ideal soundtrack song, I can’t believe I didn’t include this one on the Perks Of Being A Wallflower post a few weeks ago… it is more than fitting.

.

.

45. Gem Club – “Twins”

Gem Club’s “Breakers” LP comes out at the end of September, and “Twins” is the second early release from what is shaping up to be a highly enjoyable album, I’m kind of getting obsessed already. The interwoven strings and piano are so fitting with each other that you barely even notice their coexistence, everything blends so well that the thought of one without the other would seem off-balanced.

The vocals that Christopher Barnes gives us are complete and at the same time undemanding, coming across  passively as he sings “just your touch could cure my lonesome blood.You let go of everything you had and everything got left here waiting for what comes next. The state of things leaves time to me and I’ve been careless, I think too much, I want to lie still near you.  The wind shook the kiss from your mouth before I could learn whose twin I was.”

Such a heavy song to feel so weightless, yet it lingers and reminds us that there is something more to this than simple longing if only we ask “what’s he longing for”. (Via)

.

.

44. Cookies – “Wilderness Tips”

I was not prepared when I pressed play on this Cookies track, to say that  “Wilderness Tips” is addicting would be a huge understatement, this song is like one giant hook, ever shifting, so catchy, club ready, scene approved, a song so good we’re likely to be sick of it in four months.

The New York based cookies are Melissa Metrick, and former Mobius Band guitarist Ben Sterling. 

I’ve downloaded a handful of cookies songs and they each deliver the same sugary goodness as on “Wilderness Tips.” I love it when a band’s name actually fits with their sound and there is not a band that comes to mind as more aligned with their name than Cookies which are delicious , sorry I had to say it,  lame+true=FACT. (Via)

.

.

43. Dark Mean – “Happy Banjo”

Simply put Dark Mean could be  good enough that they’re songs will bare significance for the rest of our lives.

Happy Banjo” remains as my favorite track from these guys whose entire sound embodies everything I look for when heading out on a road trip with friends.

.

.

.

42. Absofacto And 10k Cities – “Kiko (103 Words)”

Absofacto wrote some of the best lyrics I heard this year. “Kiko” is my favorite example.

Yesterday I wrote everything I know down in a notebook as a person of the past for future hands to flip through while scraping all the dirt from myincisors
paying more attention to the fine details of the here and the now than anyone who’s actually here now

and one hundred and three words is not enough to get me over that chasm
(that chasm, it’s keeping here from there)
if I can’t fold ’em over I want to smash ’em together

Scurrying around like the ant I am viewed through the window of the first class seat you undoubtedly lucked into .All that extra elbow room is being made poor use of by the boardroom bombshell sitting right next to you,
while counting the weeks till the future comes.

and one hundred and three words is not enough to get me over that chasm
(that chasm, it’s keeping here from there)
if I can’t fold ’em over I want to smash ’em together till they’re just dirt

,

,

41. Old Tapes – “Farewell”

Old TapesFarewell” is one of the most honest and necessary break-up songs ever recorded. I would not be surprised one bit if it ends up on some shitty teen reality show on MTV or some fade out ending on the WB. “Hate the show not the song,” I’m just going to have to repeat that over and over when it happens.

“I only miss you because you left before I did

Let that sink in for a second…some things just need to be said and sometimes other people have to say them for us to realize just how true they are. (via)

.

.

All songs are for promotional use only. If you or an artist you represent would like content removed email me at Heycoolkid@yahoo.com

%d bloggers like this: