You can't deny

Just listening to the new Sweet Trip album, You Will Never Know Why, and my jaw is on the floor. Loved it so much I just ordered it from the Darla site. Healthy doses of shoegaze, c86, electronica and Stereolab are all over this wonderful album. So nice to have a late entry to fave albums of 09 lists, and perhaps even those decade lists upon which we are all working so hard. This track, Pretending, has really caught my ear. I've been repeating it quite a bit so far.

Sweet Trip > Pretending


Decadeology: Bleed you dry

I only recently came across the Twilight Sad, perhaps around summertime. I had liked what I heard from Fourteen Autumns, Fifteen Winters, and then I read that a new album (Forget The Night Ahead) was gonna drop this fall. The first single, I Became A Prostitute, hit sometime in August; it completely blew me away and quickly became a favorite. I love the noise, I love the singer's thick Scottish accent and I love the darkness they conjure up. This song is devastating.

The Twilight Sad > I Became A Prostitute


Decadeology: It's the gift that you're given

Curve's Gift details a controlling relationship. Toni Halliday's voice is as cool as ice as she tells her lover to "do it to please me". The "gift" in the song is the one that she gives to him. She is basically the gift, and she expects him to act accordingly. Do it to please her. I love this song because it's about some totally dysfunctional relationship (as most Curve songs seem to be), to which I can relate. Musically, the song walks in-between electronica and rock. The guitars are fiery, the beats are aggressive and the vocals are coolly detached. I think you might be able to describe a lot of their songs as such. This one is one of my favorites in their catalog, and also of this decade.

Curve > Gift


Decadeology: I close my eyes and I let go

Kaela Kimura's Ground Control is ridiculously catchy. In a perfect world, this would be a worldwide #1 hit. It's the sassiest song of the summer you've ever heard. I almost wish she sang it in Japanese, but it's so much easier to sing along with in English. I love the flow of the song, it's so seamless and perfect. I also love the "HEY!". To me, it's just a song about how someone can send you into orbit and also be your tether to the real world. It never sounded like so much fun. Easily one of my faves of the decade.

Kaela Kimura > Ground Control


Decadeology: Go and come back

A slightly less well known band, Fleeting Joys were recommended to me by a friend. We both share a love for shoegaze and noise pop, he mentioned to me that the Fleeting Joys' album, Despondent Transporter, was reminiscent of Loveless era My Bloody Valentine, which is right up my proverbial alley.

This song, Go and Come Back, is gorgeous. It's like floating on a cloud, while passing in and out of brief thunderstorms. I love the wispy, ethereal vocals; the noisy and vibrating guitars. Yeah, it's a lot like MBV, but but who cares when it sounds this good. They just come off as a band who loves this particular genre and they do it well. Alternatively, it could be that I love this sound so much that I'm probably being a bit forgiving, but hey, it sounds good to me.

Fleeting Joys > Go and Come Back


Decadeology: You gotta give to get

I wasn't very impressed with my first encounter with El Perro Del Mar. It was the song, Candy, which is actually still one of my least favorite EPDM songs. I generally like sad, slow songs but this one was just too mopey, even for me. My opinion of her changed once I heard God Knows (You Gotta Give To Get). God Knows is like a slice of heavenly pop. The horns and strings give the song a sweet and elegant feel while she repeats her mantra. I know some people who have complained that her lyrics are too simplistic and repetitive, but I feel that she's using her words to evoke a feeling rather than try to create a lyrical masterpiece. This especially shows on her first album. I felt the second album, From The Valley To The Stars, wasn't nearly as strong but that's a whole other post.

Back to the song, I love how the sad, guilt-ridden lyrics that are wrapped up inside this gorgeous pop song. Musically, it's a bouncy number that harkens back to 60s girl pop, and maybe even a little ballroom style in the middle section. Easily one of my faves from this past decade, I love this song. The video is very sweet, as well.

El Perro Del Mar > God Knows (You Gotta Give To Get)


Decadeology: Welcome to my life, tattoo

One of the coolest albums of the past decade is Petra Haden's 2005 a cappella album cover of The Who Sell Out, titled Petra Haden Sings: The Who Sell Out. The album sounds like it's borne out of joy or simply, an unabashed love. It's fresh, inspired and thoroughly enjoyable, whether you are familiar with The Who's original album or not. Even the little commercial bits are done with a with a straight face. It's a celebration of art while creating something entirely new at the same time. And I haven't even gotten to her voice yet. You know how you hum different parts (other than the vocals) of a jingle or some song. She does it and makes it sound wonderful. And on top of that, her voice is absolutely lovely. Check out Tattoo, which probably is my favorite song on either album. After you're done with that, do yourself a favor and go get this album.

Petra Haden > Tattoo


Decadeology: I Wish I Was The Moon

In 2002, Ben was obsessing over the then-new Neko Case album, Blacklisted. He burned a copy for me to check out and, to be honest, it really didn't do much for me and I kinda just put it away with little fanfare. A couple months later, Neko was playing and Ben happened to have an extra ticket, so I went along. I probably figured at the least, it's a night out and I could have a few drinks or whatever...no biggie. I think we saw her at the always great Bimbo's 365 Club. Let me tell you, I was blown away, and I walked out of that show a fan.

Hearing her songs live made so much sense to me, I totally connected with them. The power of her voice really shines in a live setting. I think the best description I've read characterized her voice as "golden, burnt honey", which someone posted on a message board I used to frequent. I was also charmed by Ms. Case's sense of humor. You've got to see her if you haven't already, her between-song banter is quite amusing. In the days after that gig, I was able to listen to that burned disc with a new enthusiasm and ended up collecting her other works. So I have Ben to thank for introducing me to Neko Case, as well as Mogwai. I Wish I Was The Moon is probably my favorite song from Blacklisted, it's gorgeousness on a stick and definitely one of my favorite songs of the past decade.

Neko Case > I Wish I Was The Moon