the oh so quiet show

Favorite Songs of 2012

I didn’t listen to much released-in-2012 music last year…which made it very easy to pick my favorite new songs of 2012. Yaaay [throws confetti in your general direction]. I’m a far lazier music listener now than I was when I first started this blog. Gettin’ all old and decrepit. Cancer’s coming.

Here are some of my favorite songs from last year, in no particular order, mostly without commentary because if I try to think of something interesting to say about every song, I’ll never publish this post (I’ve got drafts from as far back as 2011 for that reason). Artists names go to artists’ websites, song names link to Spotify when applicable, and everything’s on YouTube. THANK GOD FOR INTERNETS.

Beach HouseMyth

Glen Check – Racket

Thanks to the unfairly awesome Eat Your Kimchi for introducing me to Glen Check.

Neon BunnyOh My Prince (야광토끼 – 왕자님)

Another Eat Your Kimchi rec! I need to follow South Korean music better.

Delta SpiritCalifornia

First Aid KitEmmylou

Remember when these sisters were sitting in a forest in Sweden and covering Fleet Foxes and it was one of the most beautiful things you’d ever heard?

Young DreamsFog of War

YOUNG DREAMS! THEY SOUND LIKE SUNNY DAYS AND MAGIC.

GrimesOblivion

First time listening to Visions: “Huh.” 50 listens later: “ARRRGH IT’S SO GOOD.” I’m slow.

TanlinesAll Of Me

Alina Devecerski – Jag Svär

I’m a bit torn about Alina; I’m pretty sure if she sang in English, I would find her songs unlistenably annoying. But she sings in Swedish, so I love ‘em instead.

Dustin WongFeet Prints on Flower Dreads

Kishi BashiManchester

Another song that sounds like magic.

Team MeShow Me

More Norwegian goodness! Norway, why are you so awesome. Aside from your expensive dining-out options.

ChairliftI Belong In Your Arms

When the Sign Language Interpreter Is the Star

This sign language interpreter is giving it ALL HE’S GOT. And he’s got a lot. I guess this song by Swedish metal band Dead by April demands it.

The Best Song About Stonehenge You’ll Ever Hear

I must admit I didn’t do any research into other songs about Stonehenge, but it’s really hard to imagine there could be a better one than “Stonehenge” by Vegard YlvisÃ¥ker of Norwegian comedy duo Ylvis. Vegard asks all the important questions—”What’s the meaning of Stonehenge? What’s the purpose of Stonehenge? Who the fuck builds a Stonehenge?”—and gets no answers despite singing them with such intense face-twisting emotions backed by an epic score. Also, there’s a smoke machine, so you know he means business.

Stonehenge…just…answer him, for Christ’s sake.

Star Wars’ “The Imperial March” Played on Floppy Disk Drives

Explanation from silent.org.pl:

Here’s what polish AGH University of Science and Technology students do in their free time. I’d like to introduce my another, totally useless device – a musical floppy drives.

…I want a musical floppy disk drive orchestra, and I want it now.

[via @MyInnerFatty]

Torgny – “The Only Game”

Hello, rarely-updated blog! My friend KÃ¥re just pointed out this video for Norwegian artist Torgny‘s “The Only Game,” along with the description, “This is what it is like growing up in rural Norway and Sweden. A lot of boredom and cars.” And…that’s what you see in this video, but it’s beautifully directed by Emil Trier and the song sung by Torgny and Maria Due is lovely. (Random thing: Torgny used to he the frontman of hardcore punk band Amulet. I’ve never listened to Amulet, but methinks his latest project is probably more to my liking.)

This video came out last year, but Torgny just released his full-length album Chameleon Days this month. According to pechakucha.no, “The Only Game” is the first of three videos about “young, contemporary Scandinavia.” Here’s the second one for “Big Day” (described by KÃ¥re as “what our end of high school partying looks”):

Animated Video for ‘Lion in a Coma’ by Animal Collective

This trippy frame-by-frame Flash animation by Ori Toor is an accurate representation of what Animal Collective does to my brain, except I never…really knew what it looked like. Until now. Animal Collective world = colors and blobs galore. This was Ori’s final project at the Shenkar School of Engineering and Design; I hope it gets him high marks, or makes his professors go, “Whoooaaaaoouhhhooohooooh.” [via Cartoon Brew]

Brodyquest

This is an epic journey set to an epic song. Thanks, Neil Cicierega. And Adrien Brody. And starfish. And the Sun.

First Aid Kit – ‘The Big Black and Blue’

The Big Black and Blue

Last night while curled up in a ball under my sheets in my flu-ridden attempt to fall asleep, I put on my earphones and listened to The Big Black and Blue by First Aid Kit. Did it put me in snooze-land? Not so much—I think my body was way too high strung to be put to sleep by anything. But that late night listening session made me appreciate the album more.

First Aid Kit is the Swedish sister duo of Johanna and Klara Söderberg. Johanna is 19 and Klara is 17. Oh god—what was I doing when I was 17? Nothing this good. (Note to self: Find time machine, tell 17-year-old self to do something awesome.) I first got into First Aid Kit about one and a half years ago when they put up their beautiful cover of “Tiger Mountain Peasant Song” by Fleet Foxes. Just two sisters wearing flannel, harmonizing in the forest (and even though I can’t see what they’re sitting on, in my mind they’re sitting on a giant log). And then I got hooked on their EP, Drunken Trees. And then just a few weeks ago I got their debut album The Big Black and Blue, a few months later than it came out because I’m just not “with it” when it comes to new music anymore, as evidenced by the lack of updates in this blog. Oops.

But better late than never. Initially, the only song that really drew me in was “Hard Believer,” but after repeated listenings I realized, “Oh nevermind, I like the whole thing.” So there’s your review: “I like the whole thing.” Yeah, I’m really selling it. If you like catchy tunes and sweet two-part harmonies and acoustic guitar and autoharp (er, that might only be on one song, but whatever) then you should be down with this.

Here’s another song few yew:

First Aid Kit – Waltz for Richard

They’re touring around North America in June. Perhaps I will be pulled out of my no-concert-zone. (If anyone wants to see them on June 15 or 16 in NYC, let me know!)

Chat Roulette Piano Improv #1

Why would anyone disconnect from this dude? This dude is awesome! You go, Merton. You and your increasingly tightening hood.

Keyboard Cat, Keep Playing Those Awesome Tunes

I haven’t listened to much new music in a long time. Can you tell? Yeeaaaahhh.

So y’all know this kitty:

Fatso the Keyboard Cat!

…Well, he died a while ago (the video was made in 1984). Fatso, you shall always be in my heart.

BUT THERE’S A NEW CAT IN TOWN, ensuring that the glowing torch of Keyboard Cat shall never burn out:

I hope Fatso is smiling down on the n00b.

[Thanks to Charlie Schmidt for going through the trouble of filming his cats while moving their paws so it looks like they’re playing keyboards and then uploading the videos to YouTube so I can be forever amused.]