This edition of The Big Show spins 20 of the coolest songs released so far this year. Well, technically, one was released in mid-December 2013, but its a 2014 song nevertheless.
Most of the songs played from “20 of the coolest” have been discussed on these pages previously. They were great when I first heard them, and they’re still great. The complete tracklist appears below the embed, but I’ll first say a few words about the songs about which I have not previously written.
honeychain, “I’m On Fire”: This particularly rockin’ version of the Dwight Twilley classic begins the festivities propelled by slashing guitars, a non-stop, pounding beat and Hillary Burton’s cool vocals. It can be found on the quite tasty Dwight Twilley Band tribute album released recently by Zero Hour Records.
The Britannicas, “Got A Hold On Me”: The recently released High Tea by this truly international band is one of the best long-players of the year. True to its title, “Got A Hold On Me” is the kind of song that finds its way into your head when you first wake up in the morning. Its a relentlessly catchy piece of jangle pop marked perfectly by the interplay between Herb Eimerman’s lead vocals and the supporting harmonizing.
The Above, “Do You Have A Healthy Mind?”: The band’s recently released Waterbury Street LP is a wonderful romp through everything good and scared in the Nuggets box set. “Healthy Mind” is stomping and melodic garage rock circa 1964, complete with lyrics like “have you taken your medicine lately/I can’t comprehend you, baby.” Yeah, its stridently retro. And timeless.
The Paul & John, “Inner Sunset”: The title track from the duo’s recent release is the feel-good song of the year. It also undoubtedly will place high on my list of the best of the year, as will the album. “Don’t let the darkness drag you down” and “let your inner sunset shine.” Words to live by.
Cliff Hillis, “Dashboard”: This is an immediately captivating song. Its three-and-a-half minutes of understated drama, and makes the case for Hillis as being one of the very best songwriters anywhere. “Put your feet up on the dashboard, I don’t mind/we can talk but if not, then that’s just fine,” it starts, setting the tone brilliantly for everything that follows.
Linus Of Hollywood, “Biography”: This is an understated piece of acoustic pop about memories lingering long after love vanishes and the protagonists go their separate ways. The key lyric delivers universal truth: “You can’t write me out of your biography/you can’t take me out of your memory.”
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That’s just 6 of 20 of the coolest songs released so far this year. You hear the show in its entirety by clicking below. The complete track list follows.
1. honeychain, “I’m On Fire”
2. The New Trocaderos, “The Kids”
3. The Jellybricks, “About The Weekend”
4. Sunrise Highway, “Windows”
5. The Crush, “Around”
6. The Britannicas, “Got A Hold On Me”
7. phonograph, “Don’t Bring Me Down”
8. The Above, “Do You Have A Healthy Mind?”
9. The Legal Matters, “The Legend Of Walter Wright”
10. Nick Piunti, “Believe It”
11. The Paul & John, “Inner Sunset”
12. The Corner Laughers, “Midsommar”
13. Trip Wire, “Stay”
14. Propeller, “You Remind Me Of You”
15. Cliff Hillis, “Dashboard”
16. Linus of Hollywood, “Biography”
17. Phil Ajjarapu, “Sing Along Until You Feel Better”
18. Greg Ieronimo, “Roller Coaster Ride”
19. Dropkick, “Halfway Round Again”
20. Attic Lights, “Known Outsider”