Halfway through month six of 2009 seems like a suitable time to drop some kind of landmark for the year. I will definitely be doing another top 100 tracks of the year come December/January. The kind of exhaustion it made me feel last year was masochistically enjoyable and it was a far more popular and well received exercise than I imagined it would be. But that's for later, just so you know its coming and to prepare yourselves, for now I just want to drop my current two favourite songs so far.
I don't think revealing my relationship with these two songs is going to give too much away at this stage, anything can happen in the next six months, song, album, demo releases and my own opinions, but halfway through the year these are the two songs that for me have, in one instance have distilled and defined the sound of the year so far, and in the other created a whole separate world just a sidestep from this one furnishing it with songcraft of genuine genius and arresting lyricism.
The first 3 months were totally owned by Mount Kimbie's Maybes from the Maybes EP on Hotflush. Ostensibly a soulful dubstep and bass label this branch out in sound totally spun the game around on its head and incorporated some kind of shoegaze element into the continually evolving beast that is dubstep. The track features a rippling echo of a guitar part for half its length before dropping a bassline bomb and shuddering stuttering female vocal hook along with the electronic ornamentation. Simply put; Icy cool.
The second of the two is Sunset Rubdown's Nightingale/December Song from Dragonslayer on Jagjaguwar. For the first few listens it was the first half of this album that I found especially compelling then suddenly I could get past this one song - or rather, I had to skip straight to it: "Let me hammer this point home" - and more than that, the structure of it is the pinnacle of everything the album tries to create (and does successfully across it's entire length), but here it all comes together in the buzzy electronic drum beat and voice of valour and heroism striding across it, the euphoric swell of the verse into the chorus, the sensual eroticism of "sacrificial virgins" and "fast explosions" and the organ breakdown/build up. After all that, I'm not sure whether the ending is a bit of a let down or not but by then it's too late to worry about a simple thing like that.
So far I have about 30 songs vying to get in my top ten of the year, but these two are my current obsessions. Let me know if they become yours.