Hmm, the next section of this series seems to be rather…. “indie”-ish. Except for number 20. David Gray’s pop, right?
20. This Year’s Love – David Gray
Though David Gray’s more popular song is Babylon, I have a special connection with this song. Actually, it’s just really nice to listen to. I happen to really dig slow, gentle piano intros and strings, which this song happens to have oodles of. The only thing I have going against this song is the fact that the first time I heard it was in the movie The Girl Next Door, which is a great movie, but the song happens to play when Elisha Cuthbert and Emile Hirsch are having sex in a limo after prom. I guess that’s slightly romantic, but I don’t know. It weirds me out, so I have to make a conscious effort to remove any disturbing images or memories when I listen to this song. Maybe that’s why this song is so great for clearing my mind?
19. First Day Of My Life – Bright Eyes
There’s something incredibly familiar about this song, but I can’t put my finger on it. It probably has to do with the intricate folksy guitar intro that I happen to like in my songs, or maybe I heard it a long time ago but forgot about it until only recently. That also happened to Elliot Smith’s Say Yes, which would have been in my Top 25 had I remembered it earlier. This song makes me feel really happy (while most of the other songs on this list plunge me into crippling depression) in a quiet, woke-up-on-the-right-side-of-the-bed-next-to-a-beautiful-face sort of way. Surprisingly, those kinds of songs are not necessarily appreciated as such when you wake up in the morning. No matter who you wake up next to. Your most likely reaction would be “gnnnhhnn turn off the music!”
18. Flume – Bon Iver
Bon Iver is the musical equivalent to 500 Days Of Summer for me: I discovered it before most other people did and everyone has to try it. It’s quite unlike most other music that’s around these days. If you have the chance, you should definitely listen to Bon Iver. I think he’s the only artist that has more than one song on this entire list. There’s a reason for that. There’s something incredibly lonely about this song, and it makes you feel like you’re holed up alone in a cabin in a blizzard, but there’s a fire and some nice thick blankets, so you feel nice and cozy. But the bone-chilling and lonely cold of winter is definitely the first feeling that you’ll get from this song. There’s nothing really like it.
17. Naked As We Came – Iron & Wine
When you feel like wallowing in your own misery, just some general sort of melancholy with no particular reason, there’s no better band than Iron & Wine to listen to. This song is for the milder melancholics such as myself, who would burst into tears if they listened to lonelier Iron & Wine songs, such as Flightless Bird, American Mouth. That song stops my heart cold. But yes, this is for a more casual moping around when you feel moody on a rainy day.
16. New Slang – The Shins
If you haven’t guessed by now, I have a weakness for acoustic guitar work. The Shins happen to excel in this particular genre, which is why they caught my eye/ear. Of course, later I realized they didn’t do acoustic music exclusively, but I liked their other stuff as well. I also didn’t know that they were that big. Whatever. I really like this song, despite the fact that I have no idea what it means. You will realize that I only pay attention to lyrics in particular songs. Try to find the common themes. I listened to New Slang a lot this year, but I haven’t listened to it recently, perhaps due to a renewed interest in moodier songs. The Shins happen to be a little too bright for my current tastes. Well, sort of bright, in comparison to the Iron & Wine songs, I guess.