Written by: Jimmy Hitt, CC2K Staff Writer
Thus far, 2007 has been, without a doubt, the best year for music I can remember in a long, long time. I can count at least 25 releases that are simply mind meltingly awesome. With that in mind, I thought it would be a good idea to offer a brief recap of the year as of August 27, 2007. The best way to do that is to provide a sweet list of eleven songs by eleven bands that one could easily compile via iTunes or any other source of cheap mp3’s. But, if you can simply take that little mouse pointer thingy there and direct it to THIS LINK, CC2K will handle the leg work for you.
So, in essence, this is the mix tape I would hand you if you were my friend and you were stuck in a Russian submersible all year. And hey, we all need friends around here. I could be a friend to you…hard to get…I like that…
1. Of Montreal – “Suffer for Fashion”
The lead track off of this year’s masterful Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?, “Suffer for Fashion” pokes fun at emo one moment while thoroughly invigorating the jaded indie scene the next. If you can’t get into Of Montreal after hearing this track, just throw the rest of this mix in your recycle bin.
2. Blitzen Trapper – “Wild Mountain Nation”
While this title track is pretty throwback, Blitzen Trapper isn’t exactly a straight bar band. Never afraid to mix up genres—often mid song—those seeking a band to alleviate their musical boredom need look no further. Just make sure to take your Adderall.
3. Liars – “Houseclouds”
Liars just keep getting cooler with each new release. Sounding nothing like the synth wizardry that made Drum’s Not Dead a debatable classic, the band continues to confound on their new self-titled long player, delivering a mix of sonic explorations and songs like “Houseclouds” that could fit into a 1995 top 40.
4. Caribou – “After Hours”
Those who pine for the days of free love and LSD will find a kindred spirit in Canada’s Caribou (formerly Manitoba [link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caribou_%28musician%29]). Sounding less and less like My Bloody Valentine with each ensuing release (thankfully), “After Hours” is one of the trippiest tracks on the masterful Andorra.
5. Interpol – “Pioneer to the Falls”
The opener off of Interpol’s underrated 3rd album, Our Love to Admire, finds the band doing what they do best: pummeling the listener with incessantly gloomy prog-pop. Yet, few bands have the chops to take the same formula through its third run and continue to find ways to make it addictive.
6. LCD Soundsystem – “All My Friends”
James Murphy’s singularly special outfit struck one hell of a chord with Sound of Silver earlier this year, so much so that a few of his contemporaries are already performing covers of his work. Franz Ferdinand tackles “All My Friends”, presumably because it is one of the finest musical documents of what it’s like to be in your twenties anyone’s ever bobbed their head to.
7. M.I.A. – “20 Dollar”
As I said in my last piece, M.I.A. has never sounded better than on “20 Dollar”, a song dedicated to gun running and one hell of a sample/shout out. Fans of politics take note: guns are bad, mmmkay?
8. The Field – “Over the Ice”
I know most people probably don’t listen to much Swedish techno, but I couldn’t resist offering up this little ditty, mostly because it’s spare arrangements manage to fill the room with such raw power, but also because “Over the Ice” features prominently on one of, if not the best electronic releases of 2007.
9. The National – “Mistaken for Strangers”
Anyone who’s taken the time to get a feel for The National can tell you that “Mistaken for Strangers” isn’t their best song ever. Far from it, in fact. But one thing it does well is offer a quick and easy introduction to a band that often gets dismissed for being a little boring. Patient listeners, however, will be thoroughly rewarded for checking out Boxer or Alligator.
10. Feist – “My Moon My Man”
Expanding from folky chanteuse into a straight-up disco siren within the span of one album can be a tricky act to pull off. Leslie Feist manages the feat in one song on her new album, The Reminder.
11. Panda Bear – “Comfy in Nautica”
All the Animal Collective fans who suck at life can surely appreciate what I’m about to say: Person Pitch opener “Comfy in Nautica” is such a great song—on such a sweet album—that it makes me wonder why I ever wasted my time with AC’s largely forgettable back catalogue. Sounding like the best that AC ever had to offer over a convincing 45 minutes, I’d rather sit through another Orioles game than fall asleep listening to Feels.