Here is the best part of the end of the year: going through my favorite songs. Initially I had wanted this to be a carefree collection of songs. Somewhere along the way I lost that idea and as a result this is an anxious mix reflecting my own year. For if the purpose of a Mix CD is not only for the listener but for the creator, then I guess I have accomplished that minor goal. Going through this mix was particularly nice as it gave me a sense of what songs had been stuck in my head all year.
What is the result of this list? Some of it reeks of nostalgia like Death from Above 1979 which if I didn’t go through that EMO phase in 2004 would have no place here. The same goes for Lætitia Sadier whose work always has a place in my heart. However I’m also pleased with the obscure picks: from Sparklebomb’s bleak track with the focal point being a lonely man paying money to talk on the phone to someone to feel a little less lonely, to the intense hyper-paranoia of TCF’s work (which is a genre unto itself) to the jagged edges of The Feel Bad Hit of the Winter. Not all of it is bleak and violent. Lots of it incorporates a good sense of humor from Black Bananas sleazy work to the pure genius of The Soft Pink Truth transforming metal into dance songs.
Deep in here are true gems, including the desperation of Scammers’ “Cover Me”, serving as a nice sonic approximation of Neal Hamburger’s comedy, pathetic and infinitely entertaining. To help things along there are sweet moments within here, like the charming Comfort Cat and Memory Drawings, recalling lovely pastures. Even Foxygen adds a little to the sense of playfulness that defines the latter half of the Mix CD. I’m pretty happy ending things off with the illustrious New Jersey residents, Real Estate, a band that I saw years ago back when they were in high school and were amazing in their low key sensibilities. As it ends with Real Estate there is an overall sense of ease, like the discomfort of the first half of the Mix CD had some purpose. Maybe it did, maybe all music has a greater narrative knowable only to the listener.
Below are my picks. This has been whittled down extensively and not every band made it. Of course it is incomplete by nature for no Mix CD should be perfect. Every Mix CD needs to by nature leave a lot out. Hopefully you will enjoy this as much as I enjoyed making it and feel free to leave your suggestions for what could have/should have been included.
1. Chelsea Wolfe – Mer
2. Death from Above 1979 – White is Red
3. Sparklebomb – Funeral Beats
4. Scammers – Cover Me
5. Ahnnu – goooochi st00pid
6. The Soft Pink Truth – Let There Be Ebola Frost [written by An, feat. Jenn Wasner]
7. Black Bananas – Physical Emotions
8. Mouse On Mars & Cavern of Anti-Matter – Fertilized
9. TCF – DB 9F 72 A8 B4 1C 62 8A 3C 96 22 8B 5B 03 23 6F 81 16 64 76 3E 0A D8 16
10. Andy Stott – Violence
11. The Shivers – L.I.E.
12. Comfort Cat – nothing matters
13. Memory Drawings – The Island of the Day Before
14. Lætitia Sadier – Release From The Centre Of Your Heart
15. Foxygen – Everyone Needs Love
16. Dicktations – JOSHUA
17. shakusky. – Spring
18. The Feel Bad Hit Of The Winter – So Far No Good
19. Real Estate – Primitive