My Favorite Songs Of 2007

I’ve said this before on this blog, but 2007 was for me, more than any other year, a time of musical discovery. As a guy in my early 30s I’ve spent about 2 decades listening to little else other than white guys with loud guitars. This year changed that (a little bit). Now I listen to white guys with iMacs and drum machines too. No - I hope this list represents some sort of evidence of growth as a music listener and as a music fan. I know this blog isn’t exactly Pitchforkian (or Gorilla vs. Bear-like for that matter) in its diversity, but I like what I like. Here is a legitimate list of my favorite songs of the year….or at least my favorite songs that weren’t culled from my favorite albums. What Top 40 radio would sound like in my perfect world. Thanks for reading, listening.
Secret Hidden Bonus Track (#41) Amasser :: Moonwatcher (mp3)
(from Legal Wall) [myspace]

PHW :: I thought it would be a bit anti-climatic to put this track after #1, so here it is, the secret hidden bonus track to get you started.
40. St. Vincent :: Now. Now. (mp3)
(from Marry Me) [official] [myspace] [youtube]

39. Track A Tiger :: All These Accidents (mp3)
(from We Moved Like Ghosts) [official] [myspace]

PHW :: Songs like “All These Accidents” perfect the Yankee Hotel Foxtrot-inspired laptop folk of their debut record.

38. Maria Taylor :: Lost Time (mp3)
(from Lynn Teeter Flower) [official] [myspace] [youtube]

PHW :: This delicate, beautiful folk song represents one side of her talents, as her album mixes folk with burbling electronics. She’s at her best here though, just that vulnerable voice floating in and out of some simple guitar chords and a lilting piano on the chorus.

37. Ted Leo & The Pharmacists :: La Costa Brava (mp3)
(from Living With The Living) [official] [myspace] [youtube] [original post]

36. Shapes And Sizes :: Alone/Alive (mp3)
(from Split Lips, Winning Hips, A Shiner) [official] [myspace]

PHW :: Elements of rock and folk intersect with wild experimentalism and jarring sound effects to create an enthralling listening experience.

35. The Black Lips :: Cold Hands (mp3)
(from Good Bad Not Evil) [myspace] [youtube]

34. Papercuts :: Take The 227th Exit (mp3)
(from Can’t Go Back) [myspace] [official]

33. Castanets :: This Is The Early Game (mp3)
(from In The Vines) [official] [myspace] [original post]

Bonus MP3 :: Sway

32. Eric Wolfson :: Graveyard Girls (mp3)
(from State Street Rambler) [myspace]

PHW :: “Graveyard Girls”, a song about a drug dealer who also happens to be Buddy Hackett’s niece, is a mash up of clever wordplay, unbridled enthusiasm, and a ripping band that sounds like it’s blowing dust off the dashboard from a Buick 6.

31. Hallelujah the Hills :: Hallelujah the Hills (mp3)
(from Collective Psychosis Begone) [official] [myspace]

30. The Cummies :: White Radio (mp3)
(from The Cummies EP) [official] [myspace]

PHW :: after seeing them perform a few months ago at Pianos I can safely say that they may be more on the angry/aggressive side than most of the music I write about. Whatever though, their songs were full of these dirty little punk rock melodies that sounded like an early Sub Pop Greatest Hits compilation. As if he was a 20 year-old Kurt Cobain fronting The Stooges in 1973, lead singer Joey Tokyo let out some sort of uncontained, primal rage into that microphone that may have given it brain damage.

29. Chris & Mollie :: Transition Trade (mp3)
(from The Palm Tree) [myspace] [official] [PHW Interview]

Bonus MP3 :: Waltz
Video :: Transition Trade

PHW: The music of these two (Chris Donlon and Mollie Hagar, no relation to Sammy) sounds like a free form take on folk-rock, as songs are constantly turning traditional structures on their head. The Palm Tree is a warm, inviting record - a mix of cool California harmonies and lo-fi indie-rock charm - full of beauty, grandeur, and chaos.

28. Soft Black :: Pearl With No String (mp3)
(from Blue Gold) [official] [myspace]

PHW :: although it is specifically unaccredited, either Maya Caballero or Caitlin Jaene provide some fine harmonies on “Pearl With No String”. That song houses the album’s most memorable melody as well - it’s been swirling around my head all week at work.

27. Parts & Labor :: Fractured Skies (mp3)
(from Mapmaker) [official] [myspace] [video - “The Gold We‘re Digging”]

PHW :: It comes racing out of the gates, all sorts of dissonant sonic squeals, uninhibited drumming, and an industrial strength chorus. Better take a deep breath…

26. The Clientele :: These Days Nothing But Sunshine (mp3)
(from God Save The Clientele) [official] [myspace]

25. Studio :: No Comply (mp3)
(from Yearbook 1) [official] [myspace]

24. Capgun Coup :: Bobby Chops & The Do Gooders (mp3)
(from Brought To You By Nebraskafish) [official] [myspace]

Bonus MP3 :: Oh My Mod
Bonus MP3 :: My Tears Cure Cancer

PHW :: “Bobby Chops And The Do-Gooders” may be the best representation of this band on record. The song is upbeat and catchy for an unlikely 7 minutes, with a chorus that will keep you humming long after you’d think it would have grown tiresome.

23. The New Pornographers :: Myriad Harbor (mp3)
(from Challengers) [official] [myspace] [youtube]

Bonus MP3 :: Your Rights Versus Mine
22. David Shane Smith :: Sorry (mp3)
(previously unreleased) [myspace] [Talkin’ NY, Vol. 8] [original]

PHW :: On Angry Earth - It’s as if Radiohead were recording with no budget - with Smith sleep-rapping his nuclear wasteland poetry over bedroom blips and bleeps.

21. Los Campesinos :: You! Me! Dancing! (mp3)
(from Sticking Fingers Into Sockets) [official] [myspace]

PHW :: His voice is like a smoke alarm in the dead of night: huge, dominant, unable to be ignored, maybe even life-saving.

19. Bon Iver :: Skinny Love (mp3)
(from For Emma, Forever Ago) [myspace] [original post]

18. Radiohead :: 4 Minute Warning (mp3)
(from In Rainbows [disc 2]) [official]

17. Wynn Walent & The Folks :: A Question of Water (mp3)
(from Upon Leaving EP) [myspace]

PHW :: Just picked this up after seeing Walent live about 2 weeks ago. This guy has got it. I get the sense from Walent that I get from listening to The Band’s first 2 albums - music devoid of time and space, timeless and essential. Much more to come.

16. The Tragically Hip :: In View (mp3)
(from World Container) [official] [myspace]

PHW :: It’s the first real attempt at a pop song in the band’s long history, and surprisingly, is wildly successful. The keyboard/acoustic guitar driven song is hyper-melodic in a mercurial way , sounding more like The Cure’s “Inbetween Days” or Wilco’s “Pot Kettle Black” than themselves.

15. Earl Pickens :: Can I Turn On The Radio? (mp3)
(from Turn On The Radio EP) [official] [myspace] [youtube]

PHW :: It may be the perfect soundtrack to a long springtime drive - top down, blue skies, holding hands, and singing along.

14. Adam Chandler :: Shine To Me (mp3)
(from Icon T-Shirt) [website] [original post]

13. David Vandervelde :: Nothin’ No (mp3)
(from The Moonstation House Band) [official] [myspace] [youtube]

PHW :: Vandervelde does his best at impersonating him some T. Rex, and fools just about everyone who’s never heard them. This song proves to be its own electric warrior, full of jagged, crunching guitars, and witty phrasings.

12. The Twilight Sad :: That Summer, At Home I Had Become The Invisible Boy (mp3)
(from Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters) [official] [myspace] [youtube]

11. Dinosaur Jr. :: Been There All The Time (mp3)
(from Beyond) [official] [myspace]

Bonus MP3 :: Almost Ready
PHW :: Damn if I don’t feel like me and my buddies ditched our lame prom dates and are hanging out in the back of a limo with the radio turned up really, really loud.

10. Wilco :: The Thanks I Get (mp3)
(NOT from Sky Blue Sky) [official] [myspace]

PHW :: The track is a new recording of a very popular song that has been in rotation live on Wilco/Jeff Tweedy setlists for quite some time, and honestly, is an obvious choice to replace “Shake It Off” mid-Sky Blue Sky. Talk about "making it better"!

9. Rilo Kiley :: Silver Lining (stream)
(from Under the Blacklight) [official] [myspace]

PHW :: It starts with a lilting, George Harrison-esque guitar riff and Jenny Lewis’ gently caressing honey-dripped vocals and builds to a soulful, gospel-tinged finale. Hooray! Hooray! indeed.

8. Matt Singer :: Stacy J (mp3)
(from Cross Pollination: The Mixtape) [official] [myspace] [youtube] [original]

7. Bright Eyes :: Tourist Trap (mp3)
(from the Four Winds EP) [official] [myspace]

Bonus MP3 :: Four Winds
(from Cassadaga)

PHW :: The percussion is like footsteps on a gravel road, somewhere dusty and flat. Conor Oberst sounds tired of the city’s cement walls, imagines them crumbled, and leaves to find his love and bring her home, wherever that is. His heart may be an open door, but the home it leads to has been torn down.

6. The Octopus Project :: I Saw The Bright Shinies (mp3)
(from Hello, Avalanche) [official] [myspace]

5. Gui Boratto :: Beautiful Life (mp3)
(from Chromophobia) [official] [myspace] [youtube]

4. Feist :: I Feel It All (mp3)
(from The Reminder) [official] [myspace] [youtube]

3. Dan Deacon :: The Crystal Cat (mp3)
(from Spiderman of the Rings) [official] [myspace] [youtube] [original post]

2. M.I.A. :: Paper Planes (mp3)
(from Kala) [official] [myspace]
1. LCD Soundsystem :: All My Friends (mp3)
(from Sound of Silver) [official] [myspace] [youtube]

PHW :: There’s a reason this song has turned up #1 on so many year-end lists, a reason that goes beyond it simply being a fucking awesome song. This song is a generational anthem, like “Baba O’Reilly” (thanks CMG), “Teen Age Riot”, or “Smells Like Teen Spirit” were in their day. But this is an anthem for me and you, not the kids. It’s for us, and more precisely me, with memories of friends more than actual ones at this point.

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