Best Music of 2007, Part III (Best Songs)

Some might say February is a bit late to still be putting out Best Of lists for 2007.  The year’s already underway, and I’ve already got my eye on some new music from 2008.  But the delay notwithstanding, I’m excited to follow up my list of the top 20 albums of 2007 with a few of my favorite tracks from some other artists.  Some, like Jens Lekman’s ” A Postcard From Nina” and Andrew Bird’s “Plasticities,” are standouts from albums that didn’t quite make the cut.  Some are from artists like Battles, White Rabbits, or the Twilight Sad, who deserved more attention – maybe I’ve caught part of a set of at a music festival or heard a couple of quality tracks from the blogs, but haven’t had a chance to check out the album.  A couple, like Julianna Barwick’s “Dancing With Friends,” Gui Boratto’s “Beautiful Life,” or Alex Delivery’s “Sheath-Wet” are singular tracks that speak for themselves, or, like Le Loup’s rounds of “Oh this world was made for ending” on “Planes Like Vultures,” stand out for a few transcendent moments.  Then there are the tracks like Rihanna’s “Umbrella” and Kimya Dawson’s “Loose Lips” (from the movie Juno) which, aside from being severely catchy, actually had something of an iconic presence in the general public.  And, finally, there a few tracks like “Lovers Who Uncover,” “Something Special” and “The Burning Ambition of the Early Diuretics” which just resounded with me personally for some reason.  Behind each of these tracks, I’m sure there’s a lot more good music from each of these artists still to be discovered, and I hope you’ll be inspired to find out for yourself.

Here are the tracks, in alphabetical order:

  • Aesop Rock – “None Shall Pass”
  • Alex Delivery – “Sheath-Wet”
  • Andrew Bird – “Plasticities”
  • Basia Bulat – “Snakes and Ladders”
  • Battles – “Leyendecker”
  • The Black Lips – “Katrina”
  • Blonde Redhead – “23″
  • Child Rebel Soldiers (Lupe Fiasco + Pharrell Williams + Kanye West) – “US Placers”
  • Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! – “Satan Said Dance”
  • Fiery Furnaces – “Pricked In The Heart”
  • Glass Candy – “I Always Say Yes”
  • Grizzly Bear – “Blackcurrant Jam”
  • Gui Boratto – “Beautiful Life”
  • Jens Lekman – “A Postcard To Nina”
  • Je Suis France – “Whalebone”
  • Julianna Barwick – “Dancing With Friends”
  • Kimya Dawson – “Loose Lips”
  • Klaxons – “Gravity’s Rainbow”
  • The Little Ones – “Lovers Who Uncover (Crystal Castles Remix)”
  • Le Loup – “Planes Like Vultures”
  • Magik Markers – “Taste”
  • Minus Story – “Come Into My Arms”
  • Monster Bobby – “The Burning Ambition Of The Early Diurectics”
  • Rihanna – “Umbrella”
  • Sally Shapiro – “He Keeps Me Alive”
  • The Shins – “Sleeping Lessons”
  • Tough Alliance – “Something Special”
  • Twilight Sad – “3 Second of Dead Air”
  • White Rabbits – “The Plot”
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Kiss Kiss”

A zip file with all of the tracks from my series of posts on the Best Music of 2007 should be up on my webfiles later today.  Shortly after, I’ll send out an email with links to the people with whom I’ve been talking about this.  If you want the link and you haven’t gotten an email by this weekend, just drop me a line via email/Facebook/comment fields and I’ll be happy to pass it on.

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~ by Matt on February 4, 2008.

4 Responses to “Best Music of 2007, Part III (Best Songs)”

  1. Ahem. (cough cough cough)

  2. yes…can’t seem to find our old conversation in gmail for your address. por favor!

  3. I love perusing your music lists as I learn a lot about the new indie bands out there, but imagine my surprise to see this: Rihanna – “Umbrella”. Umbrella? Really? Pop music often doesn’t make an appearance on your list, but the inclusion of this song is perplexing as IT IS THE MOST ANNOYING SONG EVER. Surely Justin Timberlake had something better to offer?

  4. Well, my tastes tend to run indie, by I’m not against pop (at least, anymore). When FutureSex/LoveSounds came out in 2006, I still hadn’t come around to Justin Timberlake (or pop, really), but I can enjoy a track or two from him these days – I really like “My Love,” for example, especially because the production is incredible, but I still can’t get behind “SexyBack.” I think pop in general is at a good moment precisely because there’s a revolution in production taking place that’s incorporating a lot of elements that used to be avant-garde. It’s significantly more interesting than what’s going on in mainstream rock.

    As far as Rihanna, specifically, the first thing that comes to mind when you say the song is annoying has to do with the context in which I’m listening to it. I live in a pretty insular world out here these days – I don’t listen to the radio (prefer my iPod 100% of the time) and don’t really go to the kind of bars that blare this stuff incessantly. I think if I did, the mere ubiquity of “Umbrella” would be enough to erase all interest the song has for me. The chorus is repetitive enough that hearing the song over and over again could certainly be mind numbing. I also think the song is much less effective now that Rihanna is one of the biggest pop stars of the year. It’s sung from a position of vulnerability that’s totally lost when she becomes an umbrella corporation of sorts. I even want to say that you can hear the difference in the way she sings it live (I have her performance with the Klaxons at the Brit Awards in mind). But when I first got into the song and fell in love with all those “ella’s,” Rihanna wasn’t really that big of a deal (I had only heard “S.O.S.”, which I think uses “Tainted Love” pretty effectively), and I’ve been insulated enough from her rise to stardom that I can still hear the song the way I first heard it, which is something along the lines of how I hear “if something in the deli aisle make you cry, of course I’ll put my arms around you and I’ll walk you outside, through the sliding doors, why would I mind?” from “Parentheses” by the Blow.

    By the way, Neetu, don’t know if you got it, but there’s a link to the zip with these tracks in a message I sent you on Facebook.

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