Tag Archives: The Beths

Paul’s Favorites of 2019

So here we are again at the end of another year.  While I have not been very active in the blogosphere this year, that doesn’t mean I haven’t been listening to music and taking notes!  So, just under the wire, here are my favorites of 2019.

10. Vampire Weekend – This Life

The type of song that can  make you feel like the suns shining and the bird are singing, even if you’re in the middle of a cold foggy rainstorm.

 

9.  Nilufer Yanya – In Your Head

Heard this song on a new music playlist and it grabbed me from the first riff.  Can’t really tell what’s going on in her head, but the song kicks ass.

 

8. Bruce Springsteen – Stones

It took me a while to warm up to Bruce’s latest release, Western Stars, as it was so different from what I would have expected.  But its filled with gorgeous melodies and grand arrangements, and as we have come to expect from Bruce, brilliant characters.  This was one of my favorites from it.

 

7. Amanda Palmer – The Ride

A perfect song for a Sunday morning – a tour de force performance that tells you everything you need to know about this ride called life.  Favorite lyric:

Everyone’s trying to stay on the side where the water’s just boiling more slowly
Frogs in a pot, well that’s one thing I’ve got
At least some of the frogs in here know me

 

6. Better Oblivion Community Center – Dylan Thomas

This out of the blue paring between Conor Oberst and Phoebe Bridgers is the perfect example of a collaboration that you hope isn’t just a one off.

 

5. Leonard Cohen – Happens to the Heart

I didn’t get into Leonard Cohen til towards the end of his life.  After his death, went back and listened to his catalog and wished I had paid more attention earlier.  This posthumous release is one last gift from this master songwriter.

 

4. The Beths – You Wouldn’t Like Me

I raved about this song back in Feburary, and the feeling never faded.  A great song from a great album which hits one of my wheelhouses – guitar power pop with a female singer.  And for some reason, the Southern Hemisphere (in this case New Zealand) seems to have more than its fair share.

 

3. Martha – Love Keeps Kicking

One of my favorite guitar riffs of the year from England’s punk pop masters Martha.  And the video is a hoot to boot!

 

2. Alex Lahey – Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself

You know what I said a bit earlier about guitar pop, female singer, and the Southern Hemisphere?  Exhibit B from Australia.  I could put this song on an extended replay loop and not get tired of it.

 

1. Little Steven – Superfly Terraplane

It was a great year for one of my favorite artists.  Springsteen’s extended break from E St. Bnd projects has allowed many of the band members the opportunity to pursue their own projects, and Little Steven has taken full advantage.  Releasing his first album of all new material in decades, he also toured extensively with the Disciples of Soul and continued to kill it live – definitely one of my concert highlights this year.

If I was king of the universe, this song would be a massive #1 hit worldwide.  Alas, I’m not but its still my song of the year.

 

Wishing everyone worldwide a Happy New Year!  Looking forward to more great music discovery in 2020!

New Music Discoveries

The Beths – You Wouldn’t Like Me

When multiple bloggers I trust start recommending the same band, its time to pay attention.  When I’m in love with a song about 5 seconds into it, time to stop what I’m doing to check them out.  This is what happened with New Zealand band The Beths.  While I missed when their debut album dropped last year, fellow bloggers Steve for the Deaf and Aphoristical both featured them in just the past couple weeks.  Rather than go on too much about them, here are links to Steve and Aphoristical’s posts, which are much more fun to read and erudite than I could ever be.  Just suffice it to say these catchy power pop gems (think Weezer, or Best Coast)will be on serious rotation the rest of the year on my listening device.  There’s not a bad song on the album, so here’s a random cut.

 

Spielbergs – Five On it

I heard this song on a new music playlist and immediately loved the loud, somewhat fuzzy big guitar sound.  And then fellow blogger The Soul of a Clown also featured them recently.  Spielbergs reminds me of bands like Japandroids or Cloud Nothings.  They’re are a three piece indie rock band from Oslo Norway who put out a debut EP last year – this song is from their debut album, This is Not the End, which came out last week.  From the feedback squeals at the beginning and end, this song is two and half minutes of guitar bliss.

 

Tancred – Queen of New York

Ok I’m detecting a theme for this installment of New Music Discoveries – guitar, guitar, guitar!  And fellow blogger recs!  Tancred is the stage name of Jess Abbott, who writes great guitar pop songs like this one.  As with The Beths, this came out last year so not super new (but who cares) – I was alerted to it The Soul of a Clown, who posted this great review of Tancred’s album Nightstand a few days ago.  I’m a complete sucker for these types of bands!