January 4, 2008

Carry You Away's Best Songs of 2007

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It was difficult to narrow down just ten songs out of everything that I've heard this year. But, here are the songs that I feel are the best that I've heard or enjoyed.

10 - Rangers, A Fine Frenzy

From A Fine Fenzy's debut album One Cell in the Sea, this song has a really good sound to it, with a pace and energy that really matches her tone. The chorus is a really good one, followed up with some fantastic lyrics. Everything really comes together nicely here for this tune. This song really turned me onto A Fine Frenzy, and will keep me listening for years to come.

9 - Heart Made of Sound, The Softlightes

The video for this song really got me hooked here, and brought me back time and time again for listen after listen. This song gives me the same feeling that I had on my best summers here in Vermont - sounds weird, but for some reason, I connect this song to walking around Burlington Vermont on a sunny summer afternoon. The sound here is bright, energetic and just fantastic. Even when I'm in a horrible mood, I'll listen to this and it'll bring me right back up.

8 - Seed of Wonder, Jesca Hoop

This song sounds really different, with some absolutely fantastic guitar work and vocals from Hoop. It's unconventional, with influences from Hip-Hop and alternative rock. It's got a lazy beat that's incredibly catchy.

7 - Hard Sun, Eddie Vedder and Everybody Knows, Ryan Adams (Tie)

This is a tie for me, because both songs remind me of the other. Hard Sun is a good, solid rock song, one that reminds me of driving on a highway, while Everybody Knows brings out the same feeling - both have a good beat behind it backed by lyrics and a sound that just works, really well.

6 - Vermont Avenue, Ferraby Lionheart

I didn't take to this song at first, but it grew on me quite a bit as time went on. Lionheart's voice is like gold here, lazy and seductive, with lyrics that match that. The guitar and drum work is wonderful, and I like this song more and more as time goes on.

5 - In the Mausoleum, Beirut

Beruit's back with more of a fantastic Balkan sound. This song starts off with a fantastic beat and sinks in with some fantastic vocals and lyrics. What's really catchy is the use of other instruments, such as their distinctive use of a trumpet and stringed instruments. This song floats along wonderfully through the entire three minutes.

4 - Time Is A Runaway, The Alternate Routes and Who You Are, Cary Brothers (Tie)

This was another tie for me, between Time is a Runaway and Who You Are. Neither song really stands out on a technical level, but both songs really grabbed me for their sound and lyrics. Who You Are has a wonderful LA sound to it with a fantastic beat and energy, while Time is a Runaway has some fantastic lyrics coupled with their vocals and background instrumentation. Both are songs to relax to.

3 - Horse Soldier! Horse Soldier!, Corb Lund and the Hurtin' Albertans

Corb Lund and the Hurtin' Albanians come forth with this fantastic ballad-like song that exhols the wonders of mounted cavelry, looking at their use through history. As a history person, this is just a wonderful song to pull apart line by line, and it's got such a fantastic song to go along with it.

2 - Ah, Mary, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals

I knew that my #2 song would be a Grace Potter song, but it took me a little while to figure out which one. I went with the first one that I heard, Ah Mary, a sort of protest song that pulls you in nicely with Grace's fantastic voice before cranking it up a notch exactly a minute in as it turns to something you'd expect from some of their idols, like Neil Young. Their studio version seems to be a little subdued - go see this live for the full effect.

1 - Boy With A Coin, Iron & Wine

And my number one song of the year - Iron & Wine's Boy With A Coin. Like Grace Potter's album, there were a bunch here that could take the #1 spot, but there's something here. Maybe because this song stands out so much from Sam Beam's other songs and typical sound, or maybe because it falls into a fantastic beat and rhythm, this song just completely blew me away when I first heard it.

There you have it, the top 10... er... 12 songs of the year. Here are the ones that didn't quite make it:

Dreamworld, Rilo Kiley
Sea Legs, The Shins
Down The Line, Jose Gonzalez
Rumors, Josh Ritter
The Pretender, Foo Fighters
Dashboard, Modest Mouse
Keep The Car Running, Arcade Fire
You Ain't Goin' Nowhere, Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova
Love Song, Sara Bareilles
Pressure Suit, Aqualung
Sci-Fi Kid, Blitzen Trapper
Eh Hee, Dave Matthews

There were others, but overall, fantastic year for music. Let's see what's next.