Alex Winston – Locomotive
Sounding like a female-fronted Passion Pit, this song has insidiously drilled itself into my head. One of the few songs that plays at work and doesn’t drive me nuts (especially at this time of the year), I can listen to this over and over again. Plus, the repeated refrain, “I wish I cared about the things you care about, but I don’t,” somehow manages to be simultaneously the greatest blow off ever and kind of sexy. Dig.
Lana Del Rey – Diet Mtn Dew
I don’t give a rat’s ass about the hype, or the backlash, or if she’s just a manufactured product for Hipsters or whether she’s had her lips plumped. I just love this song. Yes, this lovely lady has the slow, sultry thing down pat, but as good as “Video Games” is (and it is good, ignore the haters), this song just grooves so well. It’s sexy in the all ways Diet Mountain Dew is adamantly not.
Florence & The Machine – Never Let Me Go
So, no, the new album hasn’t hooked me as effectively as the first, and this probably has a lot to do with the fact that Florence Welch’s quirks have been smoothed over for a much more arena ready album of showstoppers. That much bombast can be a bit of an overkill. But taken as individual tracks, there really isn’t a bad song on Ceremonials. It just isn’t as rich a listening experience as Lungs. That said, there are definite standout tracks on the new album. “Shake It Up” is an absolute stunner, but likely-to-be-a-single “Never Let Me Go” is a wonderful slow-builder that showcases Florence’s voice beautifully. I’m completely guessing here, but I bet this one kills live.
Ryan Adams – Do I Wait
I can’t find a video for this song on Youtube, not even an audio track, but this solo acoustic version captures the intimacy of the song very well. I don’t know why he hasn’t played it much on his most recent tour because this song fits the somber beauty of his stripped down shows. If you haven’t already, track down the studio version of this song (hell, get the whole damn Ashes & Fire album), and just know that being (presumably, hopefully) happily married to Mandy Moore hasn’t dulled Ryan’s ability to craft a heartbreaking love song. “Do I wait here forever for you? Did you ask me to?” If you don’t relate to that sentiment, you’ve probably never watched a good relationship whither.
Belle & Sebastian – If She Wants Me
This is the spot in the post where I might normally throw in a hip hop track I’m digging at the moment to give the list some diversity, but I just can’t deny this song. The harmony, the melody, that delicious Hammond all over it. Belle & Sebastian write amazing pop songs, but I think few hit it as perfectly as this one.
“If I could do just one near perfect thing I’d be happy.
They’d write it on my grave, or when they scattered my ashes.
On second thought, I’d rather hang around and be there with my best friend,
If she wants me.”
Excuse the hyperbole, but choruses don’t come much better than that. Dig!