Coldplay – Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall
Said soundtrack begins, obviously, with a synth. Everything about Mylo Xyloto was euphoric and celebratory but this track is a microcosm of all the joy and release that Coldplay’s new album sprints through. In 4 minutes it morphs from an innocuous (but still insatiably catchy) beginning to a deafening climax. Every tear, every tear, every teardrop is a waterfall. Denial? Who cares.
The Dangerous Summer – War Paint
Like those intro drums indicate, sometimes it’s better to clench your fists and rise to a challenge; here, it’s the noble cause of laying down your arms. Poltical relevance! But really, nobody pictures a battlefield in the Middle East on hearing the words “Come down; all the fighting’s over!” It’s packed full of adrenaline and conviction in all the right ways, and opens one of the most relentlessly energetic albums of 2011. COOOME DOWWWWWN…
Scroobius Pip – Broken Promise
I hate the notion of “meaning” in popular music, as though now in order to write a profound song all you need is a sort-of-whispery interlude where the drums cut out. But even the narratives of truly powerful songs, with their imagery and precision, don’t quite hit “meaning” in the same way as this song; it’s one of those tracks that would be unspectacular were it not for the eloquent and direct way Scroobius Pip expresses himself. There’s no roundabout lyricism, just a guy questioning and answering himself in order to clear his head of something that troubles a lot of people, but maybe it won’t after they hear his take.
The Midway State – Atlantic
A band I decided to investigate purely on the basis of their album art, here’s a song that’s just pure fucking anthem from start to finish. It’s a love song, I think. Mostly it’s just gorgeous and uplifting. Simple as.
Frank Turner – Redemption
Despite Frank Turner’s numerous assertions that he doesn’t think he can do it, “Redemption” still finds a way around the issue. The issue here is guilt and the burden it leaves you with, and the answer’s in the closing stanza: that each can be redeemed by the courage with which he confesses. Turner takes up that challenge full-on.
The Lonely Forest – Turn Off This Song And Go Outside
Turn off, turn off this song, find someone to love, turn off the song, you can listen to it laterrrrr. Go outside.
Florence And The Machine – Shake It Out
It is hard to dance with the devil on your back. This is a song which addresses the prospect of releasing tension in a pretty direct manner, but it’s so cathartic. The chorus is absolutely stunning, probably one of the most enveloping tracks of the past year in all its facets. It’s about allowing your demons to escape you, but there’s no getting away from this one.
The Dear Hunter – No God
in which Casey Crescenzo makes his arguments for not believing in a higher power at the same time as explaining why that doesn’t make him a sadsack. It’s one of those tracks that, in figuring things out, unfogs the glass a little bit even if you were totally clear about your stance in the first place.
Owl City – Alligator Sky