Our first mp3 post: Songs Of 2006

We’ve decided that our first post of 2007 should also be our first ever mp3 post, having been promising to post mp3s for so long but failing to get round to it. So, the following 18 mp3s are all songs that I was obsessed with at some point during 2006. Enjoy.

  • Lambchop – Paperback Bible

    The opening track on Lambchop’s excellent Damaged long player is effectively a list song describing items wanted and offered on an American swap shop style radio show. But a mundane list in the hands of Kurt Wagner and his honeyed croak of a whisper is a wonderful thing indeed and by the time you reach the final verse with its anti-handgun message you find that you’re worrying if the rat terrier pup in verse two ever found a good home.

  • Bishop Allen – Corazon

    Bishop Allen apparently released an EP each month in 2006 and this song was the opening track on their January release. It is a paean to a beaten up piano that the band found abandoned outside their practice rooms in Brooklyn and it’s an incredibly romantic and inspiring story. Nothing I’ve heard from their subsequent EPs even came close to this.

  • Camera Obscura – Lloyd, I’m Ready To Be Heartbroken

    If this list was in order then this song would be at the very top. It’s a classic slice of soulful indie pop with a chorus that positively swoons. It inspired me to buy a copy of Lloyd Cole and the Commotions’ classic Rattlesnakes album on CD, an album I first bought on vinyl way back when it was first released in about 1683 or something.

  • Tapes ‘n Tapes – Insistor

    Tapes ‘n Tapes finest moment thus far begins with a corking piece of Pixie-ish rhythm guitar and is propelled along by an insistent drum beat as Josh Grier treats us to a thrilling chorus and some perplexing lyrics (he wants to be a badger?!). The best is saved till the end as a dynamic last verse starts with a whisper and builds and builds before crashing into the coruscating final chorus.

  • Jens Lekman – Maple Leaves

    The combination of a winsome string loop and the pounding toms of a drum machine form the backbone of this beautifully crafted slice of intelligent Scandinavian indie pop. Jens is having trouble communicating with a girl whose own self-loathing is at odds with his high opinion of her. The song contains the line “And when she talked about the fall / I though she talked about Mark E Smith / I never understood at all.” Genius.

  • Band Of Horses – The Funeral

    This song is huge, with an epic sweep to rival anything from the Arcade Fire album it almost shares a name with.

  • Midlake – Head Home

    While most bloggers picked out “Roscoe” as the stand-out track from “The Trials Of Van Occupanther,” I prefer “Head Home,” mainly for the glory of its singalong chorus that never fails to get me hollering along in the car at full volume.

  • Neko Case – Star Witness

    This song, about a gang murder that Neko witnessed in Chicago, is one of her best, both musically and lyrically. The vocal harmonies on the brilliant line “Hey there, there’s such dandy wolves round the town tonight” was one of the most beautiful things I heard all year.

  • Guillemots – Trains to Brazil

    The Guillemots’ finest moment of 2006 was a genuinely uplifting song about terrorism and how we must rise above it and just be happy that we are alive. I lost count how many times it was released as a single but it deserved to chart much higher than the miserly 36 that it reached in September.

  • CSS – Music Is My Hot Hot Sex

    I don’t usually get on with disco and R ‘n’ B yet this slab of Brazilian disco pop contains some slinky R ‘n’ B guitars as well as a synth riff that is just a couple of notes away from a Jack White royalty claim. It’s as infectious as the common cold and any song that acknowledges the overwhelming power of music usually goes down well in the Indie Cred household. Except that Richard Ashcroft one. That was shit.

  • Destroyer – European Oils

    Rubies was my album of the year and this is the best track on it. As usual I have no idea what Dan Bejar is on about but the brilliant wordless chorus and the way he sounds exactly like Luke Haines when he sings “Her father – the fucking maniac!” make it a joy to behold.

  • Joanna Newsom – Monkey And Bear

    The highlight of Ys was this beautiful tale of a monkey and a bear who escape from the circus. Monkey promises bear “milk and honey” but tells her that she must continue to perform her circus act so the duo can earn money to live. Monkey gets greedy and has no intention of stopping his exploitation of bear. Bear goes off to swim in the seaside caves as an escape which irks her duplicitous partner who plans to shame bear in front of the villagers. Bear doesn’t come back. Newsom’s poetry in this song is astounding.

  • Voxtrot – Mothers, Sisters, Daughters and Wives

    The catchy title track of Voxtrot’s second EP positively bursts with melody and invention and marks them out as having perhaps the greatest potential of any band that came to prominence in 2006.

  • Casiotone For The Painfully Alone – New Year’s Kiss

    This is a recent obsession, a track I didn’t hear ’til just before Christmas. It’s a perfect two minutes of maudlin pop about a girl who wakes up on New Years Day and tries to piece together the events of the night before, unable to remember who her New Year’s Kiss was with. There isn’t a line wasted in the song’s four verses.

  • The Shins – Phantom Limb

    Another recent obsession. Phantom Limb is quite slow compared to your average Shins song and, like all of James Mercer’s best work, it takes its time to reveal its melodic purpose. It has some great woo woo woo’s at the end and the way that the first chorus melts seamlessly into the second verse is a mark of Mercer’s undoubted pop genius.

  • TV On The Radio – Wolf Like Me

    Much has been written in the blogosphere about this song and its parent album in the last few weeks and with good reason. “Wolf Like Me” is a sexually charged musical tour de force played by a band on fire. Listen loud.

  • Part Timer – The Young Knives

    The opening track from Voices Of Animals And Men is a stupendous effort, channeling the singer’s frustrations with his writer’s block and fears about becoming a full-time musician into a hectic, frenzied three minutes of post-punk perfection.

  • Sparklehorse – Getting It Wrong

    Dreamt For Light Years In The Belly Of A Mountain, Mark Linkous’ return to action after five years in the wilderness, sounded pretty much like his previous three albums, which was just a little disappointing. However, “Getting It Wrong,” a Dangermouse collaboration, is Linkous at his languid best and has the greatest vocal effect this side of Broken Social Scene’s “Anthems For A Teenage Girl.”

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