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07.26.17 Stars of the Lid Top 20

Stars of the Lid Top 20

Ranking my favorite Stars of the Lid tracks. Multi-part suites have been combined into a single track. Maybe getting a little too personal here but oh well. 1 is 1 and the rest could move around a bit. As you can tell from the descriptions, I love SOTL track/album titles. I also love the album artwork. Honorable Mentions: Lagging - Claustrophobic and paranoid, the beginning sounds like something that could me on the soundtrack to the movie Pi. The Evil That Never Arrived - Good piece, probably should have been on the list. Humectez La Mouture - I feel like this had so much more potential but it wasn’t realized Music For Twin Peaks - Part 1 is good, Part 2 is worse than most of the stuff off Music for Nitrous Oxide for me. Didn't like the show. Down 3 - Great sampling. The air decompression of the bus/train scared the shit out of me the first time I heard it. Even (Out)+ - Tape hiss makes me happy. I Will Surround You - Good, but not enough to make it here.
20Stars of the Lid
The Ballasted Orchestra

Taphead - Maybe their best darker track. I picture melting faces for some reason. The name reportedly comes from the Talk Talk track of the same name… interesting rendition.
19Stars of the Lid
Gravitational Pull vs the Desire for an Aquatic Li

Cantus; in Memory of Warren Wiltzie - The soundtrack of sitting on the porch in swampy Mississippi at sundown as the mushrooms kick in. I just love the sounds of the rumbling Earth on this track.
18Stars of the Lid
The Tired Sounds of Stars of the Lid

Fac 21 - That opening drone...
17Stars of the Lid
The Tired Sounds of Stars of the Lid

A Lovesong (For Cubs)+ - Wonderful finish to this album. I’ve often heard this track in the period of post-high relaxation. It feels safe, like bear cubs with their mother in the early spring.
16Stars of the Lid
The Tired Sounds of Stars of the Lid

Broken Harbors - Calming but slightly eerie, like walking through an abandoned city or something.
15Stars of the Lid
Gravitational Pull vs the Desire for an Aquatic Li

Jan. 69 - I was once napping in the middle of the day while listening to this album and woke up in a fog during this track. I hadn’t ever before noticed the buzzing, static noises in the background and hearing those for the first time really rounded out this track for me.
14Stars of the Lid
The Tired Sounds of Stars of the Lid

Ballad of Distances - Part 1 almost sounds like something that might belong on Refinement. It’s a really pleasant contrast to the preceding parts of this album, which is dense and drone heavy (ATMH, Fac 21, The Lonely People). It’s a nice moment of clarity, almost like when the painkillers kick in if you have a really bad headache.
13Stars of the Lid
The Ballasted Orchestra

Sun Drugs - Another wonderfully named track. The pulsating background drone of the first half just makes me think of being under the blistering sun in the middle of a hot summer day in Central Texas. The drone in the second half has hints of so many melodies, my mind just loves to play around with it and try to find something cohesive.
12Stars of the Lid
And Their Refinement Of The Decline

Don’t Bother They’re Here - Who is here? Don’t bother with what? A wonderfully calming piece.
11Stars of the Lid
And Their Refinement Of The Decline

Tippy’s Demise - R.I.P. Tippy
10Stars of the Lid
The Tired Sounds of Stars of the Lid

Mulholland - I would always put on Disc 2 before going out for a smoke and of course this was what played while smoking. I imagine some far away place called Mulholland where all the stress of life is just gone.
9Stars of the Lid
The Tired Sounds of Stars of the Lid

The Lonely People (Are Getting Lonelier) - After one such smoking sesh, the come up was hitting super hard and I was feeling pretty anxious and paranoid, alone in a city full of strangers. With this song playing in my ears I remember returning back to my apartment and going to the bathroom to splash some water on my face. I ended up just staring at myself in the mirror for 10 minutes and realized how much I look like my Dad. My relationship with my family had never exactly been the best and this shook me a bit and resolved to try and spend more time with them.
8Stars of the Lid
And Their Refinement Of The Decline

A Meaningful Moment Through a Meaning(less) Process - Such a nostalgic and melancholy piece. I feel like this would have been better placed at the beginning of Disc 2 instead of at the end of Disc 1, but it’s largely irrelevant. The track title is very tragic and easily evokes my feelings of uncertainty about purpose in this life and the things that make for a truly meaningful life.
7Stars of the Lid
Gravitational Pull vs the Desire for an Aquatic Li

Be Little With Me - Reminds me of being extremely little, where your mother was basically your everything.
6Stars of the Lid
And Their Refinement Of The Decline

Apreludes (In C Sharp Major) - Put on some headphones and turn this up as loud as you can handle. The melody is beautiful and the drone has such a fullness to it.
5Stars of the Lid
The Tired Sounds of Stars of the Lid

Piano Aquieu - The background arpeggios plus melody over top in the second half of this is just so calming and nostalgic.
4Stars of the Lid
And Their Refinement Of The Decline

The Daughters of Quiet Minds - I used to meditate to this every day when I was stuck in Fargo, N.D. in a single person studio apartment. The background drone is so pleasant and textured, while the drone that comes on top of it in the second half is incredibly calming to me. One night I was super stoned and listening to this album while sitting at my desk. When this came on, my mind became totally blank and I “came to” with head rested in hand, finger on temple, during the piece “That Finger On Your Temple Is the Barrel of My Raygun”... scary.
3Stars of the Lid
The Tired Sounds of Stars of the Lid

Requiem for Dying Mothers - Part 2 was the first track I heard from this group, and the sub bass was unlike anything I had heard before. Part 1 feels like I’m flying over grassy hills and cottages to some sort of Shangri’la. Obviously the string “outro”.
2Stars of the Lid
And Their Refinement Of The Decline

Articulate Silences - The melody is exceptional here and the reverberating drones are sonically interesting. This is also the most evocative SOTL track title for me, the strange 5 note looping structure in Part 2 that leads into a moment of silence feels slightly unfinished and as if your brain is filling in the rest. The first time I listened to this I was quite high and remember thinking that the silence was the most interesting part of the whole track (lol music)... then I learned the name of the track and felt it was so perfectly named.
1Stars of the Lid
Avec Laudenum

The Atomium - Listened to this every day for probably a year to fall asleep until my bluetooth speaker went out. Part 2 is just so pulsating and hypnotic it just never fails to calm me down. If I listen to this while napping during the day, it very easily puts me in a half awake/half dreaming state which is always pretty interesting. I was once having this strange fractal visualization while in one of these states and had some sort of thought where, for an instant, everything made sense. I don't remember what it was, but it was enough to snap me out of my sleep with the same adrenaline as if someone had broken into my apartment or something.
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