Monday, 26 December 2011

The Best Songs of 2011

This is, of course, my most humble opinion, but these are the songs that made my year: I listened to them over and over again, watched the clips on YouTube repeatedly, had them stuck in my head for much of the year. I constantly offered my iPod earphones to friends, saying "You have to listen to this!" and presented them with the opening bars of these songs. It will be close to impossible to think of these songs and not associate it with this year, and vice-versa.

1. VIDEO GAMES - Lana Del Rey
I still remember the first time I heard this song, which is unusual for me. I was in the car on the way to my piano lesson and flicked the radio over to Triple J for a change. The dj announced they were playing 'Video Games, Lana Del Rey'. At first I was distracted as I pondered whether Video Games was the song title or the band's name, and then I listened closer and thought, 'Hang on...this is good.' It grew on me slowly, this sad, strings-driven lovesong, and by the time it was on the second chorus, I was turning it up and listening hard, enraptured. I was determined to Google it that night, but, once home, I settled down on the couch to watch Ringer. In the final scene of the episode, a beautiful song started playing, and I realised it was the same song from that afternoon. It was like the universe was telling me to Google it. I did, learnt more about Lana Del Rey, and fell deeply in love with this song.
I've listened to it so many times, yet it never feels old. Each time I listen to it, something new strikes me. This is a song so beautiful, it sounds as magical as it did when I heard it first time around. I've spent so many days and nights listening to it: in bed, on the bus, at school...this is truly the song of my year.

2. DEFEATIST - Cameras
Close runner-up in the most-played stakes is this haunting little gem of a song. It was the video that caught my attention and left me riveted when it first played on Saturday morning Rage, but it would be nothing without this song. The vocals, the instruments, the rueful, broken-hearted lyrics ("For a minute I was wondering if you'd come around...") - it's all stunning.

3. IT'S NICE TO BE ALIVE - Ball Park Music
How much do I love this? It's a song about the end of the world, for optimists. Dark, sad songs might be beautiful (see previous two songs for proof), but sometimes to listen to something that's just full of joy. Joy is something this song has in spades, encouraging everyone to relax and see the brighter side of life. "Chill out, it's alright, kiss me, it's nice to be alive."

Ok, so pretty much everyone in the Western world knows this one, but for good reason, and I'd be lying if I wasn't one of the millions who listened to this over and over and over.
(Should I link it? Should I? Everyone knows it...oh, why not?)

And...yeah. C'est tout!

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