I used to do end-of-school-year/summer mixes, but then I realized that there would be some songs that would just sort of… keep turning up repeatedly, and they got way too random. Way too sporadic. But this isn’t a mix, this is just a list of tunes that this school year (September-a couple of weeks ago – I like having time to reflect on this sort of thing) has found me around a lot. And yeah, plenty of them are fanmixy, but considering the prevalence with which I listen to those, that’s no surprise.
11. White Rabbit (Emiliana Torrini, Sucker Punch OST)
I kind of adore this whole soundtrack. It was my jam at many lunchtimes, because when one is embracing the semi-antisocial life and spending their lunch breaks on their laptops (at least over in a corner with sunlight… mostly because that was where the electrical outlet was and I cannot run my baby on battery for more than half an hour before she gets twitchy) one might as well pull on their big-ass headphones and blast vaguely industrial soundtracks to movies about whores and insane asylums and ass-kicking repeatedly. But this song always sticks out for me. It could be just that I like the song generally, or that I adore Emiliana Torrini anyway. And she absolutely rips into it. Especially the third Alice, the
Go ask Alice, I think she’ll know
How she sustains that last word. Or it could be that, that, I dunno, the song gives a nice crazy girl vibe. And sometimes it’s fun to go a little mad.
10. You Will Be Mine (The Narrative, The Narrative)
A reasonably recent addition, but I cannot say how many times I adore this song. It’s freaking sexy. And I have a soft spot for songs that I heard first live, because every time I listen to them, I remember the concert, and the lights, and Susie Zeldin’s little be-bopping-ness…es (?) and, well, all of it. And on repeated listens, the part that’s all
And don’t ask what this ring is for
I’ve yet to realize
Well, vocally, it’s absolutely insane. It’s so crazy passionate. And I love passion.
9. Right in the Head (M. Ward, Post-War)
Which could account for why I lust for this song so hard. The passion of it. I like that it’s a song, yes, about… slight moments of crazy. M. Ward is one of those men that I don’t particularly find super physically sexy, but that voice… man. Voicecrush ahoy. Especially during:
‘Cause I lived with many ghosts when I was younger
And I will live with many ghosts until I go
I’m really not sure why. (I’m afraid that’s a theme that will recur here. A lot of these songs are more songs I have vague attachments to than anything else.)
8. Go Away My Lover (Elizabeth and the Catapult, The Other Side of Zero)
And here’s another one of those tl;dromfgseeeeeexxxxxyyy tracks. I’m pretty sure the first time I heard this track, it literally took my breath away. (I can count the number of songs that have legitimately done that on one hand.) Elizabeth Ziman and Dan Molad’s voices on this song. AUGH. The complete way it comes to such a climax and a stop. The instrumentation. The duetty nature of it. The lyrics.
Oh I will give you one last kiss
If it will put your heart to rest
The way she sounds on those lines just. Every single time. Incoherent incomplete sentences. So phenomenal.
7. Going Through the Motions (Sarah Michelle Gellar, Buffy “Once More With Feeling” soundtrack)
Blah, blah, boring personal emotional blah. But I can also say that this is the year that I am finally progressing in Buffy and now this song (and the whole episode) has Way More Context! And that makes me happy. I mean, I got it before, but I get it now, I guess?
Will I stay this way forever?
Sleepwalk through my life’s endeavor
Also, epic car trip singalongs and epic at-the-gym motivational mouth-alongs have bumped this up in the ranks a lot. (And trufax, as they say, I was so very torn between this and “Rest in Peace,” if just because I have a wicked crush on Spike [well, up until about "Seeing Red." Then I get kind of fussy with him. But he can probably redeem himself probably?] — but those blah blahs made this win out.)
6. Rox in the Box (The Decemberists, The King is Dead)
As if I needed another excuse to tl;dr about how much I worship the Decemberists. How much I love this album. How much I fangirl. But this song especially. I love it because it’s got that classic Decemberists quasi-creepy-yet-also-not thing going. I love it because Colin Meloy really gets into it.
So while we’re living here
Let’s get this little on thing clear
There’s plenty of men to die, you don’t jump your turn
I mean, the whole song is sort of… thrilling. With his voice. But for some reason I adore that part especially. Yeah, be looking for this track to appear on an as-yet-finalized fanmix in the future.
5. The Hush (The Spring Standards, Would Things Be Different)
Yes, yes, I know, I’ve mentioned this one before, too. But oh dear sweet lord. When I hear this song, I just want to dance (pardon the being in Spanish). I just get so damn happy. Which is… a little weird, if you really listen to the lyrics, but hey.
And I will bury every thought
Of the way the moonlight laid upon your skin
But the threads unknown don’t hold the sheets above your sin
But it’s just such a jam. There’s so. Much. Fiddle. So much twangy perfection. And anyone who dares to deny that this song makes them at least want to tap their toes or something is lying.
4. Patriarch on a Vespa (Metric, Live it Out)
I know, I said there would be a lot of fanmixy tracks. I wasn’t kidding. But this song is classic Metric, and considering how much I love Metric, well. It’s kind of perfect. I listen to this song on the mix it’s on (“Engagements,” if you remember) and I listen to this song on the album it’s on and I listen to this song when it comes up on shuffle pretty much… any time. It’s one of my gym jams. And I love mouthing the lyrics along while treadmilling or biking, just because I’m a weirdo and like to do that.
Until our faces all resemble dying roses
Stop trying to fix it
Emily Haines is a goddess of song. She’s especially perfect on this track, I think.
3. Smarter (Eisley, The Valley)
I could get exaggerative and put, oh, that entire album on this list. But for some reason, this has always, always been one of my favorite tracks. It’s fierce but not ragey, aggressive but not over-the-top. It’s freaking empowering is what it is. And it’s good for chill moods and workout-y moods alike. Songs like that are precious to me. And damn, Sherri, way to tear into it.
And I apologize for not telling you
That my halo was cut from paper
Also, any songs that contain the words “apocryphal,” “futile,” and “narcissist” (replete with mythological allusions) are winning songs in my book.
2. Remains (Maurissa Tancharoen and Jed Whedon)
More with the fanmixy, yes. Also with the heartbreaking and the I watched this video late one night on YouTube and almost actually literally cried (and that’s magically rare for me; usually I just hyperventilate, which I also did a bit). Also with the tie-ins to pop culture clearly being a big winner for me. Also, after downloading it off iTunes, I taught myself the piano to it. By ear. Which is something I hadn’t done in a while, missed doing, and love doing. And I’m really freaking proud of my ability to do it. Not that it’s probably that hard of a song, but still. Also, I can actually sing (most of) this song. This is a rarity.
Burn down my home
My memories hardened and bright as chrome
Besides all that, it’s just a beautiful song. Definitely my depressing track of choice this year.
1. Black Sheep (Metric, Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World OST)
Not too surprising there’d be two Metric songs here. Especially since one of them is this one. This is somewhat of a holdover from the late summer preceding, but I can safely say this song has been played on my iPod more than… almost anything. It’s my number one jam of all time. It’s my phone ringtone, it’s a song I am physically incapable of skipping, it’s a song I like to pretend I can sing in the shower when I feel brave enough to sing in the shower, it’s pop culture, it’s fierce. As hell.
I’ll send you my love on a wire
Lift you up every time everyone pulls away
I like to hold this song as a goal for how fierce I aim to be in life. If I can be as fierce as this song, it is a good day indeed.
–your fangirl heroine.