Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Top 113 Songs of 2013, #20 - 11

#20. Leavn It All Behind
by Harts

Can't take me for a fool,
'Cos I'm leavin' it all behind... 

Who picks the songs that get played on radio in Australia? Whoever you are, you suck and you suck hard. Here you’ve got a home grown artist that’s making music so on trend and so well suited to your listeners and you’re not playing it in favour of generic boy band #2743, Miley and X-Factor winners? There’s gotta be some payola shit still going around, right? Anyway, rant over. Harts emerged after his Offtime EP was released earlier in the year with ‘Leavn It All Behind’. The track is a disco/rock infused party starting anthem, so different to everything coming out of Australia right now. It’s like the sonic brainchild of Prince, Daft Punk and Jimi Hendrix, but somehow manages to come across as unique and original. This young Darren Hart fella is beyond talented. I believe he does all of this himself and he does it incredibly well. Between the guitar shredding and vocal work, I’m in music heaven. Well, are you with him for the ride? I certainly am and I’m really, reeeeeeally looking forward to what comes next. (Matt Bond)

Funky! That was my first reaction to this dancey number from Harts. Dust off them dance shoes, practice your best routine and get out on the dance floor. If you need inspiration here’s mine:

Step tap, step tap, step tap, step NOW POWER FREEZE! Hold it for four counts with a head nod and body pulse. And repeat. You will be the hit of the dance floor guaranteed*!

A great track to get any dance floor up and happening. It’s got a retro throw back feel to it with its squealy guitar solos, brassy fills and disco rhythms. And I love it. What is most surprising about this track is that the “band” you hear is in fact one man. Melbourne multi talent Darren Hart has all bases covered (and guitars and keys – boom tish!).

*Lou's dance routine as a 100 % nomoneyback guarantee! (Lou Endicott)

‘Leavn It All Behind’ is all kinds of cool. It’s hard not to move to this song. Suffice to say it well and truly passes my nod test! In fact, it also passes the thrust test, the running man test and the sprinkler test. Those are all my best moves you see. A song that makes me dance always gets my seal of approval. But it’s got more than just funk. There’s also that bass, and man, the guitar! How is this song not absolutely storming the charts? Harts asks “are you with me for the ride?” Oh hell yeah baby! (Katie Langley)

Oooh baby DANCE in the DISCO! It’s been a while since I’ve heard a great pure disco tune. I think the last I really loved was Disco Montego and they’re lonnnnnnnnng gone. But now we have Harts, ‘Leavn It All Behind’ to shake things up again and oooooh girl have they got the glitter ball shining like a supaaa novaaaaaa. It feels like such a classic, polished disco track simmering with youthful intensity and plenty of funk heavy beats.

‘Leavin It All Behind’ is the perfect lounge room, undies clad, lava lamp lit, dance tune, and you know what? I think it would be an even better IMKOS Xmas party song. Hey Matt, Jo, Katie and Lou! The disco undies party is at mine! I guess in regards to clothes we’ll be ‘Leavn It All Behind’ (Nayt Housman)

When I first heard Harts after he first appeared in our weekly top 25 earlier this year, I'll admit I was totally blown away. A bass line to die for, guitar riffs that could be straight outta some of my favourite Prince songs, some killer synths and a vocal smoother than smooth, with lyrics that punch you in the face as you're twirling your hair around a dance floor, Katie Langley style. There are songs that make you wanna smile, there are songs that make you wanna dance, there are songs that make you forget everything, grab a beverage, smile, dance AND text everyone you know while totally under the influence and not even care. This song just makes me happy and a little bit delirious. That's all there is to it. It's disco, it's cool and look, I'm not going to say I'll be the first one at Nayt's disco undies party, but if this is the soundtrack he'll be playing, I'll probably be there second, right after Lou, I suspect. I'm not going to be leaving any clothes behind though, this 70s inspired song is begging for a bright yellow flared catsuit. I know you have one Nayt, can I borrow it? (Jo Michelmore)

#19. Stainache
by Emma Louise

And I want to come home, to you... 

‘Stainache’ is like the musical embodiment of a lovers breath on the back of the neck while lying in bed, or like the space between a kiss, eyes closed, when you can feel the warmth off each others lips. It’s never quite the contact between two beings but the moment just before or immediately after. It’s anticipation and reflection all rolled into five and a half minutes of gentle piano underneath a cloud of soft, craving expression. It’s a calm yet elevated heartbeat. It leaves me feeling unresolved and wanting in the same way as knowing you love someone but you aren’t sure if the words are ready to be spoken. ‘Stainache’ is exquisite. (Nayt Housman)

When I first listened to Emma Louise’s debut album, Vs Head Vs Heart, I must have spent a day listening to ‘Stainache’ over and over again before I could move on to the next track. The song has a hypnotic beauty to it that held sway over me with the opening piano and Louise’s ethereal tones alongside it. Six months or so later and I’m still under its spell, so completely lost in time from beginning to end. Louise continues to prove herself a captivating storyteller. Last year, her words made an impact with the incredibly moving ‘1000 Sundowns’ and does so again in 2013 with ‘Stainache’. While ‘1000 Sundowns’ was heartbreaking in its honesty, ‘Stainache’ takes a more subtle approach. “But I can feel you, chasing me in the dark, wrapped around me, nothing apart, and I wanna come home to you.” It feels both close and distant. Are they together or does she want them to be together? Have they grown apart or does this love story ring true. Is it all imagined in the narrator’s mind? ‘Stainache’ leaves a lot to be interpreted by the listener and there are so many different avenues to approach it from. Perfect in every way. (Matt Bond)

From Emma Louise’s new album comes ‘Stainache’ - a soft and thoughtful little track about missing your beloved. ‘Stainache’ needs a few listens to really appreciate its delicate intricacies. I enjoyed “Vs Head Vs Heart” the album from which this track is from– and in particular the song “Freedom” which has been played over and over in my house. Although that’s not the song I should be talking about. So, yes ‘Stainache’ – sweet song, sweet artist, sweet album. (Lou Endicott)

‘Stainache’ is breathtakingly beautiful. I hear piano and woodwind, but otherwise it is quite stripped back, allowing Emma Louise to really show case her voice. The song itself is a love story with a twist – it describes being so immersed and involved with someone that you lose your own way. It’s moving, but it doesn’t absolutely pang of sadness. The real beauty is in the delivery. (Katie Langley)

#18. In Stranger Times
by Jeremy Neale ft. Go Violets

So stay with me, wait for me,
Oh I can see you coming back to me. 

Look, the song is great and truly one of the year’s very best. But let’s take a moment to discuss how fantastic the budget video is. Are you continuously smiling throughout? You should be and if you’re not, you need to go talk to someone about your feels. You broken! I enjoy how talented Ruby is at winking and eating pizza, my heart breaks for Phoebe and her “pony”, Alice is indeed a pro sk8r and Harriette’s refusal to take her kit off is admirable. And then there’s Jeremy who’s fighting all the time. That kid’s gonna get himself in trouble one day with all that fighting. Not everyone could pull off a dodgey, comical clip. But Jeremy Neale and Go Violets can, so suck it nerds! As for ‘In Stranger Times’ the song, it’s fantastic and so much fun. The 60s surf rock inspired track is, like Harriette, so dreamy. It’s also carefree and fun, pretty gosh darn cute in the lyrics and it’ll make you do the Charleston (however that goes) like it’s 1969. You crazy kids should collaborate again soon because ‘In Stranger Times’ was a whole lot of fun. (Matt Bond)

‘In Stranger Times’ is total click your fingers, bop your head pop music. It feels like the perfect song to play on a road trip to the beach, with the windows down, hair blowing everywhere. Alternatively it could be played at a retro diner while sipping milkshakes. Look, whatever, you get what I’m saying – it’s fun and carefree! (Katie Langley)

#17. You Are New
by The Trouble With Templeton

Did something happen, did something happen to you,
My dear, my love, my only fool. 

Another stand out track this year is ‘You Are New’ from one of my favourite Aussie bands. The talented Tom Calder with his band of music makers just go from strength to strength. ‘You Are New’ is a fine example of how expertly TTWT can create an indie rock ballad with lots of heart as well as a lyrical story. There is floating around the internet a gorgeous acoustic version of this song (that came out before the official film clip). It really gives Mr Calder a chance to showcase the extraordinary power and emotion of his voice. And the beautiful almost angelic vocal backing from Betty Yeowart just sends shivers all over. One of the best tracks of the year: hands down. (Lou Endicott)

Earlier in the year before the release of their album ‘Rookie’, a dark, pokey bar in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley, hosted The Trouble With Templeton when they first became a full 5-piece band. There they debuted a few new songs, one of which immediately wedged itself in my mind but only the lyrics “You are new, never seen that face before” lingered. Those few words felt so compelling; especially experiencing the way Thomas Calder so ardently propels them from his lungs, passed his tongue and out his mouth.

This was to become one of the first singles from their new album and one of my faves. A striking arrangement of rich layered, melodic guitars blanketing the tinny drums that revive the classic waltz timing. Where Calder excels is his ability to connect with his words and deliver them like a controlled explosion of emotion. “Punched in school, I guess that’s what those scars were for, such a fool, you thought those words were yours, quite askew, and so deranged but well assured.” Urrrrrgh these words are so divine. Then there’s the video! It’s as quirky as we’ve come to expect and shows off the wonderful sense of humour, which also resonates in their music, with all the stuffed toys, plastic food and Thomas behaving like a rich eccentric. Is this soft rock at it’s best? A RESOUNDING YES (from me anyway)! (Nayt Housman)

Speaking of songs that can get stuck in my head for ages, it’s ‘You Are New’. Yes, I know we weren’t discussing that at all, but shut up for a second and appreciate how great The Trouble With Templeton are with that whole ‘making music’ thing. Other than the obvious drawcard of Thomas Calder’s voice, I’m captivated by the guitar work on ‘You Are New’. There’s those moments when the guitar seems like it’s sliding up and down as the repeated lines, “did something happen,” are sung alongside it. I’m a big fan of those moments. Well, I’m a big fan of the whole song too and don’t even get me started on the video, one of the year’s best. What an awesome clip, so well put together and the effort put into it is astounding. How it doesn’t have millions of hits is beyond me. I think it’s only a matter of time though before The Trouble With Templeton have no problem at all reaching a much wider audience. With songs like ‘You Are New’ they’re making all the right moves. (Matt Bond)

#16. New Slaves
by Kanye West

My momma was raised in the era when,
Clean water was only served to the fairer skinned...  

Ultimatley, Kanye West has himself a big mouth and we all know he's always putting his foot in it. That's part of why he's so famous. He also married a Kardashian, that made him pretty famous too. He also swore at Taylor Swift a few years ago (hilariously) and that made him pretty famous too. He compares himself to almost everyone, insults almost everyone and as far as I can tell, has a generally good time at it, that keeps him pretty famous. He's Twitter account is notoriosuly funny (read: weird/offensive/angry) and that keeps him pretty famous too. The thing that everyone seems to overlook though? He's a really good rapper, he's certainly got an ear for a tune, he makes songs that make you move and he keeps hip hop fresh and challenges some boundaries with every release. 'New Slaves' is stripped back, but strong, simple and angry and a definite highlight on his seventh album, Yeezus. While Kanye manages to keep so much fame on one hand, on the other, he's kind of talented, kind of great and kind of awesome. (Jo Michelmore)

I know that Kanye West is capable of doing some really… silly… things. You know what I’m talking about; interrupting T-baby Swift, claiming he’s the biggest rock star on the planet and the video for ‘Bound 2’. At least all those things make you laugh. So West is capable of a lot. But this week when the obvious spoof article citing the controversial rapper as claiming to be the next Nelson Mandela went viral, I couldn’t believe the online reaction. So many people seemed prepared to adopt a ‘mental insanity’ defence without a second thought. Kanye West is capable of a lot of things, but saying he’s the next Nelson Mandela is too egomaniacal. Yes, even for him. Race issues are clearly important to West. You only need to listen to much of his back catalogue to get that. Or have a listen to ‘New Slaves’ and tell me that you think Kanye West would be so bold as to claim to be the next Mandela. He couldn’t and he wouldn’t (don’t you let me down now, Kanye!). From, “my momma was raised in an era when, clean water was only served to the fairer skin,” you know you’re about to hear a something pretty powerful. ‘Powerful’ isn’t a strong enough word for ‘New Slaves’. It tackles heavy subject material like racism and materialism, with the focus squarely on Kanye’s performance as a rapper. Backing him is a dark, but simple sample of Omega’s ‘Gyongyhau lany’ and there’s some soulful Frank Ocean magic to take us out, but the bells and whistles are kept to a minimum. This is Kanye West with something to say and despite his ability to fail spectacularly in public, when it comes to his music there’s rarely a misstep. Except for ‘Bound 2’. I’ve got nothing for that. (Matt Bond)

I have tried to challenge myself to write something positive about this song. So here goes, in a roundabout way. As much as the personality that is Kanye really irritates me, and he’s voice grates on my soul, I do genuinely think the dude makes interesting music. And in a world full of bubble gum it’s good that there are still people out there pushing boundaries and people’s buttons (mine included). (Katie Langley)

#15. Howl
by Lester The Fierce

You want me quiet, I don't know how,
My spirit sings, so here I howl. 

Earlier this year I was reviewing a Shelley Segal gig at Bennett’s Lane. In between sets I chanced upon a meeting with a lovely lady called Anita. We got to talking and she told me she was a singer and an illustrator. My kind of person! Anita’s friendliness won me over and I was curious to hear what music she made. She had an EP launch a few weeks later she invited me to. Unfortunately a clash in timetable meant I couldn’t attend. Which was a huge shame as after looking up her music I realised that the petite softly spoken woman I had talked to is an absolute powerhouse of vocal strength and a killer songwriter to boot. All accounts suggest that live she is breathtaking. “Howl” is an epic song with gorgeous build up and layers galore. Is it rock? Is it pop? I don’t want to put this song into a genre. It just needs to be heard. Why it’s not on high rotation on the radio I’m not sure. But if you watch the film clip you’ll understand why Lester the Fierce is a band to watch out for (and request on the radio!) (Lou Endicott)

You know that annoying thing that people say about there being no girls in rock? They all disappeared in the 90s? Yes, well, beside slapping whoever says that and telling them to wake up and while we've already featured numerous on this countdown, if you're not convinced yet, then let us introduce you to Lester The Fierce and welcome to 'Howl'. It's about smashing drums, powerful guitar riffs and a little underrated bass line that drives this song along and I haven't even mentioned Anita Lester herself. Her powerful vocals demand attention, her lyrics letting everyone know she is no gal to be messed with. When I had the pleasure of seeing her in Melbourne earlier this year, her performance was so much more than impressive. It's performers like Anita Lester and bands like Lester The Fierce that remind me how much I love rock and sometimes, songs like this make me think I might like rock girls the best. (Jo Michelmore)

Anita Lester, we are truly not worthy of this kind of rock perfection. And ‘Howl’ is perfect. It champions the sound of 90s post-grunge, a genre we have seen revisited a bit over the past couple of years, but never as confidently as in the hands of Melbourne’s Lester The Fierce. I was blown away by her defiant, howling stance that’s presented in the track the first time I heard it and I still am as I listen all these months later. As has been a running theme in this post with the Australian acts that have released videos to accompany their tracks, I don’t have enough nice things to say about the visually striking clip that’s so incredibly put together. The future of Australian rock, the future of rock itself could very well be right here in Lester The Fierce. (Matt Bond)

Channelling Alanis in ‘Howl’ Lester The Fierce is giving off major ‘fierce yet totally in control’ vibes (living up to the name) and demanding you listen. I’m really loving the 90s rock influences reminding me of being a teen and learning to express and assert myself through the music I was discovering. I would always seek out music that had enough pop awareness to make it accessible yet some drama and edge to make me feel like I was potentially one of the ‘cool kids’. This is something Lester And The Fierce serve up in spades here. (Nayt Housman)

Oh yeah, the kick of the drums in the intro had me ready to un-tie my hair and rock out. And then that voice! BOOM! Girlfriend can sing. I love all of the female singers from the 90’s, and ‘Howl’ is actually what this reminds me of. It’s a big, dramatic song with the vocals to match. Singer Anita has described her sound as gritty and smooth, and although that sounds confusing from the outset, it makes perfect sense when you hear the song. (Katie Langley)

When Matt asked Anita, aka Lester The Fierce a couple of questions a few months ago, she was more than happy with his description of 'Howl' as badass...

Lester The Fierce: Thanks, I love that word to describe Howl! The story is simple. I wrote it at a moment of pure frustration - I felt out of place with everyone around me and didn't know how to let it out. I guess the song is about my family and my love. Most of them are!

#14. Dojo Rising
by Cloud Control

Then I'm gonna break your heart,
Should have probably told you from the start,
But I'm lazy. 

It's just perfect. It's exactly as it should be. It's not depressing, it's not hard, it's not sad, it's not bitter or gloomy. It's melancholy, it's bittersweet, it's perfectly cheerless without being depressing. It's just perfectly introspective, it's perfectly heavyhearted and surprisingly perfectly sombre, which is hard to do successfully. Cloud Control managed it with their single 'Dojo Rising', with it's subtle swirling synth sounds, hyponotic beats and lyrics that invite introspection, self evaluation and a teeny tiny bit of heartbreak. It's that ultimate empty feeling summed up in the last lines; "and I don't want anything, yeah I don't want anything...(repeat)" that get me every single time. I do want something though. I want more Cloud Control. (Jo Michelmore)

That little girl in the video is just too cool for school. And we probably should put a clown warning around here somewhere, because I know how messed up those painted goons can make people, but those scaredy cats should stick around until the end. You’ll find it very satisfying. Much like the girl in the clip, ‘Dojo Rising’ as a song is equally too cool for school. While I can’t appreciate it for the stoner anthem that it is (pay attention to Jeremy Neale, kids – hugs not drugs), I still find myself singing along with glee to how much of a delightful deadbeat with no direction the man behind the song is. And I’m not saying that anyone in Cloud Control fits that mold, but that’s what I’m getting from the story. The production verges on the psychedelic and that’s more than enough for me to, “get, get, get lit, yeah.” (Matt Bond)

Now, here’s the thing, I saw Insane Clown Posse (no judgement, please) last week, so you would think that I should be well accustomed to clowns. Wrong. When the film clip for ‘Dojo Rising’ started and I was confronted with a clown, it made me feel a bit icky. At least with ICP and all of idiotic followers they don’t pretend to be normal. The clown in this clip is going about his business like a regular dude (as regular as a fully grown man in face paint can be) and, well; it just bothers me, okay? Then towards the end of the clip there’s a heap of them hanging out in a park! The song? Oh yeah, it’s good. But the clowns… AHHH. (Katie Langley)

#13. Around
by Ngaiire

What happens when the deluge is over?
When the flag goes down. 

“I want to know if the days are dark where you are.” Ngaiire outdid herself on ‘Around’, delivering unto us this soulful, electronic jam that debates the sacrifices made in the name of love, possibly as a relationship comes to an end. All the questions asked throughout are perfectly constructed, comparing love and war in such a way that I believe in my original review I compared it to ‘Love Is A Battlefield’ if that track was devoid of any cheese factor. There’s many moments on ‘Around’ I would call favourites, but my ‘favourite favourite’ moment comes right at the end as Ngaiire moves her voice into a higher register and it just spirals down and down as the song draws itself to a close. Personally, the track is my favourite on Lamentations and do you know how hard it is to pick a favourite from that album? You don’t? Well it’s very, very hard. Go find out for yourself. (Matt Bond)

‘Around’ takes on that nujazz vibe like Little Dragon with Ngaiire swag. I love Little Dragon, like LOVE and knowing that music of the same calibre is coming out of Aus is extremely stimulating. Ngaiire is so captivating in ‘Around’ and a little idiosyncratic which for me is like that “spoon full of sugar” that makes everything better. “I wanna know if the days are dark where you are (Can you keep it at bay)? I wanna know if you fit into the silence (does it get in the way)? What happens when the deluge is over (When the flag comes down)? What happens when the demon starts to sober, will I see you around?” Man I love these lyrics, I love the questions because it’s so telling of human nature, constantly questioning. When a musician poses questions so elegantly with ample attitude and personality, without alienating listeners I sit up and take notice. If it’s done so to a funky groove like a chanted mantra, then I join the party and chant along. Ngaiire is everything. (Nayt Housman)

Another track by the talented Ngaiire that caught my attention this year is “Around”. Again, it’s the vocal precision of Ngaiire that hooks me in here. “Around” is a laid back little chill out track . But lyrically speaking the themes in this track seem to be a bit heavier than first listen. “When the government calls you to war. Will you go to fight with me by my side? Are you gonna lay your gun on the table? Walk away and give me up to the enemy?” Interesting lyrics indeed. I must say that the video to this clip however is a little bizarre. Ngaiire walks around town wearing all kinds of over the top costuming. This is mixed with Ngaiire dancing around a fire. It’s a strange brew of imagery that for me doesn’t quite mould with the song. It has the distinct feels that the idea behind this clip was an experiment made up on the day as they went along. However, this didn’t stop me listening to this track. (Lou Endicott)

Said to be about a break up, ‘Around’ begins with the thought “I want to know if the days are dark where you are”. Look, if it were me I’d be hoping my ex had darkness, along with thunderbolts and lightning. It’s hard not to be moved by Ngaiire’s vocal delivery throughout the song – it’s genuine and heartfelt. This is a really stripped back track, held up by the soulful power of Ngaiire’s voice. Beautiful. (Katie Langley)

#12. Hide
by Little May

As you take her to the floor...
Think she likes it! 

 I was waiting breath held for the second single from Little May. Earlier in the countdown we looked at the incredible track “Boardwalks”. So the follow up single had high expectations for me. Was I going to be disappointed? I needn’t have worried. “Hide” combines the vocal prowess of the trio with gorgeous rhythmic builds that break over the ears like a much needed summer thunder storm. Little May are bound for amazing things. See them while they are still emerging and you can tell your friends you saw them before they took over the world. (Lou Endicott)

There is a fire that starts burning in my heart when Little May’s ‘Hide’ begins to play and that fire burns stronger and stronger as the track builds to the thundering and exciting choruses. There are songs that make you feel warm, that make you feel happy even when you know they probably shouldn’t, given the actual nature of the song and this is one of them. That key theme of betrayal we’re presented with, sung beautifully and yet almost venomously, is explored through the eyes of a wounded party in a relationship. It’s no surprise the track became a sleeper hit on Soundcloud and peaked towards the top of the all-important Hype Machine chart. Liz Drummond told Lou that the band wanted to, “create something that was dark, delicate, vulnerable, snappy, catchy and powerful all at the same time,” on ‘Hide.’ Their success in this is spectacular. That fire they started when I first heard ‘Hide’ will take a long time to extinguish. It’ll likely burn wilder once we get to hear their full EP, due out in 2014. (Matt Bond)   

I'd say we've probably already said all there is to say about Little May, but when the talent is this amazing, there's always something more to say, something more to hear. The rich vocals of 'Hide' are a perfect example of how good things get once you hit play on any of their tracks. When I first heard those opening notes, the acoustic guitars the rolling drums and the rich, rich harmonies, I was hypnotised, those beautiful sounds are more than I could ever have imagined and the three members of Little May; Liz Drummond, Hannah Field and Annie Hamilton, should be so proud of the sounds they're creating and the future they are creating. This is the type of talent that cannot go unnoticed and I'm going to be so happy for them when we've said all we can say about them and the only thing left to do is press play. (Jo Michelmore)

‘Hide’ has me hooked from the opening guitar which sets the scene for a beautiful but sombre story to follow. This is full of heartbreak and dramatics, but the kick of the drums keep me from reaching for a tissue. After the lyric “you feed me the words while you had her between your sheets” is delivered the drums kick up a notch, providing backbone, strength and most importantly hope. Although there’s a sense of sadness it’s delivered with resilience. This is a song that’s easy to keep on repeat. (Katie Langley)

Little May’s ‘Hide’ is a minimalist event that grows into something lush and involved. It must be the strums and plucks of guitars and galloping chatter of drums but this tune picks me up and takes me for a ride like I’m on a white horse charging through a sparse forest with that desperate gut wrenching feeling that I have to save someone. “Feed me words while you had her between your sheets, bet she likes that.” THAT’S IT! I’m dashing on my white steed to catch my prince charming in an embraces wet with guilt and shame.

I adore it when a song can conjure such strong imagery in my mind. That is what all art is about. The ability to make someone react, feel, reflect and fantasise. What’s even more astounding is I didn’t need to hear ‘Hide’ more than once before I made a connection to it and it began the process of inspiring my imagination. That’s what Little May are great at. Inspiring imagination through the tone of their sound and embellishments that are their lyrics. (Nayt Housman)

We've been lucky enough to chat with the lovely Liz Drummond of Little May a couple of times and she's told us all sorts of interesting things about touring, phobias, the success of 'Hide' and her pyjamas....

Liz: We have been very surprised at how ‘Hide’ has been received. We were beyond shocked when it made the Hype Machine charts. It amazes me how these things work... there was like a 72 hr period where it happened. I find it so weird that I’m waking up and reading emails and notifications from people in other countries.  All the while I am still living with my parents, wearing the ugliest pyjamas ever and unashamedly spooning my dog. The internet is just something else.

#11. Sacrilege
by Yeah Yeah Yeahs

And I plead, and I pray,
And I plead, and I pray... 

Sacrilege is simply a seriously great song, by a seriously great band who have a certain way with rock that is unmistakably Yeah Yeah Yeahs. KO and the boys are getting their gospel on in this volcano of a tune. It begins all sombre with a few spurts and rumbles then by 2:50 the gospel lava begins is flow, bubbling and boiling and spurting all over the place. All the while Lily Cole (famous model) is getting all frisky and married.

What I love about Karen O’s voice is the same thing I love about PJ Harvey (I know I compare everyone to PJ, she is my benchmark after all). They seem to have this tone and attitude present that that really grabs me. Like they don’t rely on classical training and they often have these really guttural sounds (or something) that I can feel more than just hear and then when they get into their higher register “SACRILEGE YOU SAY”, urrrrrgh, so good. “And I pleeeeeeeead and I praaaaaaaaaaay” she sings in desperation like she already knows there’s no one listening but makes her plea to anyone who will hear it. Well I tell you what Karen O. I hear you baby. I hear you loud and fucking clear. SAC-RIL-EGE YOU SAY! (Nayt Housman)

The vocal effect in this song at the beginning immediately caught my attention. Like someone singing through a slightly distorted megaphone (and aren’t all megphones distorted?) my attention was caught by the voice of indy rock idol Karen O. The rhythm and the wavy riff also hooked me. But it’s the gospel style choir like build up towards the end that really gets me with this song and had me hitting the replay button. Much like Madonna’s 'Like a Prayer' this song sticks in the head for its dark epic pop (and church themes) mixed with full ensemble-sounding vocal layering.

I have to say that the film clip I found rather disturbing. Why are people watching that women and why is she kissing everybody and what are they going to do to her if they catch her? The bonfire suggests something altogether unpleasant as an answer to that question. It wasn’t until I watched the clip a second time that I really took in the narrative. The story is well conceived (although still disturbing) and plays out well with spinning the medium of time. So although still disturbing the video really sells this song for the epic story that it is. It’s not surprising that the clip has been nominated by MTV for the years best direction and best cinematography. (Lou Endicott)

Yeah yeah yeah! This is awesome awesome awesome! Karen O set low expectations with the release of album Mosquito, but ‘Sacrilege’ has just blown those expectations out of the water. It’s a pretty clever move on her part, and something that I also like to use in my own personal bag of tricks. Keep the bar low, so whatever you do people will love. But there really is a lot to love about this song. It’s a kind of sound that’s hard to describe with high pitched vocals, killer riffs, and a gospel choir thrown in for good measure. It’s interesting, and that’s not always easy to do. Hallelujah! (Katie Langley)

You never plan the songs that are going to make it to your soundtrack, they just sneak their way in, sometimes unexpected and sometimes on purpose. You never know the bands that are going to hold a special place in your life, sometimes they land there unexpectedly and sometimes on purpose. Like Karen O sings in the opening bars; "fell down from the sky"; 'Sacreliege' is a song that did just that to me this year. It came from nowhere with all it's guts and it's power and I had no say, it made itself a place in my life. I don't know if it was the simplicity of the drums and guitar, like so many Yeah Yeah Yeahs songs that I adore, or maybe it was those all encompassing voices, the gospel choir that wound their way around my heart. Whatever it was, the Yeah Yeah Yeah's this year just proved themselves, again, to be a band that like to push boundaries, explore new territories and with 'Sacrileige', weave themselves into my life soundtrack, once again. (Jo Michelmore)

So you thought those 103 songs were good? Get excited, because tomorrow it's the all important fabulous final ten!  

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