This is part one of my list of favorite songs that I’ve constantly played all year. This does not mean that they necessarily came out this year because I think that - in the current time - it is somewhat counter-productive to make lists that are sorted in that way. Because there is fantastic old stuff, fantastic sorta-old stuff, and fantastic new stuff.
Also - my list is probably a little disturbingly diverse. One thing I pride myself on in music is that I am really open-minded - I know it is easy to sneer at other genres that are out of your comfort zones and artists that rub you wrong initially — but I try to let the music be music. And so, as you meander through this list, I ask one thing and that’s that you listen. And that you- if you’re so inclined - chime in on our Facebook with songs or bands I’ve not yet discovered and things you loved hearing this year or every year.
These are in no particular order.
- The Bonesetters - Savages
I tend not to like much of anything from Indiana, but I do think Dan Snodgress, the frontmandude from Indy’s band, The Bonesetters is pretty darn affable. And this title track off their last record is one I’ve kept on my playlist all year round. This band has already opened a pre-order for their NEXT record with Rhed Rholl, expect to see a post about that release sooner than later (all the info: HERE.)
- Elizabeth Cook, “Heroin Addict Sister”
I saw Elizabeth Cook play for the first time a little over a year ago at The Warehouse at Mt. Victor to a crowd of 30-so people. It was cold as all hell outside (which caused the minimal crowd) and Cook obviously had a cold — but she was undeniable; captivating. When I go see shows, I tend to write down lyrics that ‘got to me in the gut’ to remind myself later if I write about ‘em and that night, I found myself notating like a dang court reporter nearly every line Elizabeth Cook sang. A fantastic storyteller and a great performer - this song, Heroine Addict Sister, did something that happens rarely, and that I admit never, it brought tears to my eyes.
Man, this tune. Undeniable brother & sister group (not the Jack/Meg kind) + super talented musician Tommy Trafton (who I just learned has defriended me at some point on social media … well that’s awkward.) I saw these guys a couple times live and this track burned up college radio, and honey, honey, it has burned up my yearly playlist, too.
- Vern Gosdin, “Do You Believe Me Now?”
Thanks to the territory and the somewhat frightening knowledge of old, sad, and old and sad country music that my boyfriend Jon has spoon-fed me, I’ve learned a lot about country music this year. In my newfound education, Vern Gosdin is truly one of my absolute favorites. I particularly like this track because when I’ve heard the familiar line “It’s the place where losers go…” - I’ve often been IN a place where losers go. And I mean that in the most affectionate way.
- Bircloud, ” I Do What I Want”
I loved this band. Then, I emailed their manager because I wanted to have them at a Young Mary’s Record event. at a local bar, Rocky’s. Then, their manager went around me and Rocky’s went around me and they booked the show on the same day I had planned without me. And that made me think their manager who came off as a fucktard was indeed, a fucktard. And that maybe sometimes the newest, trendiest shit in your town isn’t always going to really value not being fucktards consistently, either.
Anyway, I blame these girls for none of this. And imagine that they’d be totally for me ballsing up about it. Because, I’d hope doing what I want, damnit, would also include saying what I want.
Long story, short — They’re clever as all get out and entertaining as hell, and there’s some really great, smart cultural shit in there lyrically. So, I play them all the time. Still.
(Dig on Young Mary’s Record? Don’t just sit there, bust a like. And don’t miss part 2 & part 3 of this series!)