Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Top 112 Songs of 2012 - #90 - 81

Amanda Palmer and The Grand Theft Orchestra!

#90. Do It With A Rockstar
by Amanda Palmer and The Grand Theft Orchestra

I don't want your body, just a part to listen to INXS...

Anyone who has read this blog on and off or glanced at our facebook page once or twice will know that Matt and I are big Amanda Palmer fans (big is an understatement.) I wasn’t sure what to expect from her album release this year, but I was confident enough in her incredible talent to pledge to her record breaking kickstarter campaign. When the first sounds of her Theatre Is Evil album were released in June this year, I was so, so happy to immediately know my kickstarter funds weren’t wasted, this was inconceivable. For me, this was everything music should be for a little while and there was a long time I had this song on repeat. When I heard this I felt like a child again, like I was hearing music for the first time and it couldn’t possibly be this amazing, could it? I’m so excited at the prospect of seeing this one performed live early next year. I’m looking forward to seeing it all, but especially the end, which is one of my favourite song endings of the year; Amanda’s controlled screaming “I’ll be fine in a minute, fine in a minute, fine in a minute, fine in a minute…” I know you’re not fine Amanda and yet I know somehow you are; that’s one of the reasons I love you. (Jo Michelmore) 

So, I’ve listened to a couple of Amanda Palmer songs now, and they’ve been OK, but this song is by far my favourite! It’s still got that attitude, but it packs a punch. And the film clip is quite amusing. (Katie Langley) 

"That's art, bitch. That's art." Couldn't have said it better myself, hilarious drag queen. 'Do It With A Rockstar' is the most commercial song Amanda Palmer has released and it's still a riot of a singalong, dancealong commentary on the world's obsession with the celebrity. A fun rock anthem, one of the best of the year and one I'll be pre-gaming to for years to come. (Matt Bond) 

#89. Feather
by Nick and Liesl (AUS)

You're mine (do you love me today, will you love me tomorrow?)
You're mine. 

"I know there's no such thing as true love." Liesl's voice breaks your heart in the best possible way throughout 'Feather,' but it's that one line that really sticks the knife in and makes me fall in love with this song all over again. Nick joining Liesl, circling each other through the simple, beautiful chorus remains one of the finest pieces of vocal work this year. There's a sense of ending in those lines that's sad, sweet and hopeful all at once. It's perfect. (Matt Bond)  

There are some songs that just make sense. There are some voices that sound like they were just meant to sing together. There are some musicians that are probably incredible on their own, but as a duet are phenomenal. Nick and Liesl have voices that complement each other so well, it’s hard to imagine one without the other. When Liesl’s gorgeous voice is accompanied by simple keys in the start of Feather, I can’t help but be impressed, but when Nick starts singing “do you love me today, will you love me tomorrow” while Liesl sweetly answers, I get the kind of goosebumps only exceptional music creates. It’s magic and somehow it just makes sense. (Jo Michelmore) 

Liesel’s voice is gorgeous, absolutely mesmerising. And Nick, too. The harmonisation is just perfect. This is a song that goes straight to the heart. You can absolutely feel every shred of emotion. (Katie Langley)

#88. Wild Things
by San Cisco (AUS)

You've got the hatred that you, you always hated,
and you, you've got to face them now. 

Oh yes, I do like this song and its catchy little chorus. It transports me to another era. That guitar makes me feel a little flower power, man. (Katie Langley) 

How can you not want these guys (and girl) to succeed? Everything they do is bouncy, catchy... almost detached from and real sense of reality. It's escapism indie at its very best. 'Wild Things' was a good step away from the amazing yet gimmicky 'Awkward,' showing they have a real future in the industry if they keep delivering music this good. The video is the reason why I don't trust children... or tiny adults. (Matt Bond)

Are San Cisco ever going to stop being so darned cute? This song is full of things I love in a song, including hand clapping, whistling and wait for it; “la la la la la”. It’s uber fun and the clip has a “Where The Wild Things Are” film kind of vibe, which naturally means it’s awesome. (Jo Michelmore)   


#87. Spectre
by Curxes

From skulls and ashes she had made...

When I first heard this track in July this year, I remember wondering how I could ever have thought my music collection was complete without it. When I think about 2012, I am so glad to have stumbled across this delightfully dark duet from the UK as Macaulay Hopwood and Roberta Fidora together have become one of my favourite things about this year. This track is almost everything I adore; a little gloomy and moody and angry and spooky and a little bit frightening and somehow incredibly fabulous and terrifying and gorgeous and-and-and short breaths oh my never let it end and short breaths and oh God don’t stop press play again eyes closed I love I love I love oh fuck short breaths I love this so much. Sorry, excuse me, I may need a moment to myself…. (Jo Michelmore) 

Curxes conjure up an industrial darkness in their music that I'm completely sold on. Right from Fidora's opening salvo in 'Spectre' alongside Hopwood's powerful, attention grabbing music, I feel transported to a different place. A different time. Everything builds to a stunning, sensory assault; Fidora's voice rises above the incredible, almost violent sounds that try to encase it. That's a booming set of pipes you could take into battle with you. These two artists have got a good thing going with Curxes. I think it's safe to say the best is yet to come.  (Matt Bond)

I imagine that this song would be better appreciated in a live setting. (Katie Langley) 

#86. Ghosts
by The Presets (AUS)

Soon I'll be a very old man,
And very old men they dream of summers. 

There’s a lot of singing in this. What’s going on? I thought The Presets were more about the doof, wosh bang, zip zar and noises of a similar nature. I feel like this will be the song I stretch to in my spin class. (Katie Langley)

There seemed to be a bit of a negative reaction to this track when it was first released in August this year. I don’t really understand that because I can’t understand what’s not to love about a retro sounding sea shanty lyric layered with up-tempo beats. It’s The Presets! You weren’t expecting something other than awesome, were you? (Jo Michelmore) 

Yeah. What Jo said. (Matt Bond)  

#85. Perfect World
by Gossip

Don't get mad, you did your best,
And now it's all in the past to stay. 

There's this confusing thing about Gossip. See, Beth Ditto is the master of writing songs that make you want to dance/jump around/dance some more, while also making you have to really listen to the lyrics and think, "oh... I totally get that. Preach!" We all have an idealised version of ourselves that is so much more than what we are now. Most of us will never actually get to be that super douche version of ourselves and that's ok. The world ain't perfect. Thankfully Gossip are as close to musical perfection as anyone needs to be. Forget the lyrics, just sing and dance with Beth and co. Nothing wrong with dreaming. What? (Matt Bond)

In August of this year I was lucky enough to see Gossip at Splendour and Beth Ditto from the very front row is something that I hope I never forget. Hearing Perfect World live was one of the memories that stuck with me after three days of fun and mud and lots of amazing music. Everyone knows what an amazing voice Beth Ditto has, but this track is one of the ones to highlight her incredible sound; that “whoa oh oh oh” just screaming out to be sung and stuck in your head hours after listening is almost perfect. (Jo Michelmore) 


#84. Skin
by Zola Jesus

And in sickness you are free,
And in the thickness you'll find me. 

It’s one of the select few (read: many) songs that Grey’s Anatomy has made famous, but I don’t watch Grey’s, so maybe I can say I fell in love with this song long before the billion people that heard it on the telly did. An almost vacant sound, it’s difficult to describe just how good this song is. Zola’s vocals are haunting and the lingering piano is almost unnerving, while being truly delightful. It’s somehow sparse and intense and most of all, it’s beautiful. (Jo Michelmore)

Yeah... I watch Grey's Anatomy. What of it? I've tried my best to resist the sneaky use of music as an emotional manipulator on TV shows the last couple of years, but using 'Skin' to highlight a character's reaction to her husband's death? Devastating. Amazing. Who's singing the song? Zola Jesus? Who? Must listen to it again... and again... and again and again and again. Grey's wins again. (Matt Bond)

I can’t quite understand what the lyrics are so will just assume that Zola Jesus have cannibalistic tendencies. (Katie Langley)

#83. I Love You Like I Love This Black Eye
by Texas Tea (AUS)

Why do I do these things to you?

Matt and Jo are total tea bags, and have been trying to pour me a cup for a couple of months now. And you know what? Pop on the kettle, I think I’ve joined the tea bags too! Oh, yes, tea bags are the cutesy cute name that I’ve given to all fans of Texas Tea. Tea jokes aside, I absolutely love hearing Kate and Ben’s Australian accent, because; let’s face it, hearing Australian’s sing with an American twang is complete wankery. It’s no surprise from the title of the song that there’s a sadness that radiates. Given this, it feels a little wrong to say I like it… But I do. And I’ve surprised myself with just how much. (Katie Langley) 

Hearing 'I Love You Like I Love This Black Eye' live at The Zoo was one of my favourite music experiences this year. The back and forth between Texas Tea's vocal wonders, Kate Jacobson and Ben Dougherty, stopped an entire room, all eyes transfixed upon the performers. A tale that would hit too close to home for so many people, it shines a light on the very serious issue of domestic violence. Your heart will be torn to a million pieces and scattered on the floor. And then someone will trample on it. And set it on fire. Surprisingly, you find a way to sympathise with both parties involved. I feel like I should hate myself a little bit for that. What a brilliant piece of songwriting, expertly performed. Eminem and Rihanna's 'Love The Way You Lie' ain't got nothing on Texas Tea. (Matt Bond)  

When a song starts with the deliciously sweet voice of Kate Jacobson singing “I love you like I love this black eye, I love you like I love it when we fight” you know you’re going places with this fabulous little band. You’re going to go through love and heartbreak and a whole lot of amazing and then you’ll be dropped back into reality, begging to be taken back to heartbreak again. By the time Ben Dougherty sings “I love you like I’m losing breath” about three quarters of the way through, I gasp and my heart skips a beat; songs like this are exactly the reason I can’t get enough of this beautiful little Brisbane band. (Jo Michelmore)   

#82. Black, White and Blue
by Ladyhakwe

Time is never easy when you're alone...

Like Gossip, I was lucky enough to see Ladyhawke at Splendour this year as well, another from the front row baby! This song is definitely one I remember, because I remember the audience behind me jumping so high and so fast, it was such a fantastic live music moment (and why I love live music so much!) The song is delightful, a bunch of fun and so easy to listen to again and again and again (and maybe again?). (Jo Michelmore) 

How exactly was this song so widely ignored? It's one of the finest pop songs of the year! Ladyhawke deserves better. (Matt Bond) 

I like black. I like blue. I'm not sure about white. (Katie Langley)  

#81. Bottomfeeder
by Amanda Palmer and The Grand Theft Orchestra

Why you gotta be like that,
You're never gonna bring him back,
Big fish, little fish, fixin' in the dark,
If I had one wish, just a wish, throw me in the water,
Cos I wanna be a bottom feeder.

Do you have favourite moments in the songs you really love? I do. In 'Bottomfeeder' it's the first time Amanda sings, "big fish, little fish," detailing her desire to be the lowest of the low in a place so far removed from the rest of the world. I can forget everything else in that moment. It's just me, Amanda Palmer and The Grand Theft Orchestra. Palmer's voice sounds so far away, boxed in, trapped and yet incredibly beautiful. More beautiful that I think it's ever been. All in that one moment which I will cherish every time I hear 'Bottomfeeder.' Don't you just love music? (Matt Bond)  

There are so many things I could say about Amanda Palmer. There are so many things I could say about the Grand Theft Orchestra, who are probably overshadowed by the beauty of Amanda and her existence. There are so many things I could say about this song, about its thought provoking lyrics “why you always dyin' in the bath, dyin' in the bath, it's awful quiet and it makes me miss you”. There are so many things I could say about its incredibly emotional journey of sound, the keys and the massive build-up of percussion and the simple return to keys at the end. There are so many things to say but they’re all said in six minutes if you just press play. There’s not much more to say than that, other than songs like this make me glad to be alive. (Jo Michelmore) 

There’s something really mellow and dreamlike about this song. But by the end Amanda is singing with purpose and giving off a “don’t mess with me” ‘tude. (Katie Langley) 

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