So here we are, the penultimate day of our countdown of our favourite 200 songs marking ten years of MM. Today, we’ve hit the top twenty…
20 The Dutchess & The Duke – Reservoir Park (2008)
Wonderfully rootsy swagger of earthy, organic folk-rock set to a loose Stones like honky tonk rumble.
19 Wooden Wand – Winter In Kentucky (2011)
Set against a backdrop of rolling, countrified rock, Winter In Kentucky is peerless narrative songwriting. A story of bone-weary resignation written from the perspective of a meth addict on a reality show after his girlfriend left him for rehab.
18 Emil Friis – Sand In Your Eyes (2015)
Possesses a rhythmic simplicity that transports the listener off somewhere else, and throughout Emil Friis effortlessly orchestrates all this with his lyrics resonating long after the song ends, which is usually when we stick it on again. Just a fantastic record full of little twists and turns with an occasional (friendly) cuff round the ear to keep your attention.
17 We Are Augustines – Juarez (2011)
Much like Airborne Toxic Event before them, We Are Augustines flamed brightest with one exceptional debut album. Juarez comes from it, a beautiful slow burner and impassioned confessional that somehow finds redemption in an epic climax.
16 Dr. Dog – Shadow People (2010)
Perfect blend of sweet Americana, country twang and oddball pop, dashed through with a touch of their hometown Philly soul.
15 Wye Oak – Civilian (2011)
Ah, the echo laden MBV influenced guitar, the pummelling drums, the droning organ, the quiet / loud / quiet structure. Just glorious noise-pop.
14 Fleet Foxes – White Winter Hymnal (2008)
A simple vocal round to start, some trebly guitar and confident percussion, but it is those voices, and those harmonies, that blows White Winter Hymnal wide open.
13 The Amazing Snakeheads – Where Is My Knife (2014)
If a song could musically define menace this would be it. Set to an ominous, tribal rhythm, it thrums throughout with quivering, barely surpressed fury and threat. With vocals that start I’m gonna show you if it takes all night / We’re staying here till you get it right / It’s been three whole days with no end in sight. Things don’t get any better either.
12 Richard Buckner – Willow (2012)
This is a lying-in-a-daisy-meadow-looking-at-the-scudding-clouds sort of song. A gentle guitar arrangement coupled with some tender lyrics and softly sung vocals, all of which appeals to the latent hippy in me. Clippety clop: do you know Mr Buckner, I always remember.
11 The National – Bloodbuzz Ohio (2010)
They have many imitators, but none can ‘do’ the National like the National. Typically hypnotic offering, and with a voice as deep as the night, Matt Berninger’s unmistakeable baritone cuts through this lament, with the drums bringing up the rear. Sad, atmospheric and uplifting at the same time.