Buddy Junior, whose song "SLOW92" is on this here Top 40 of 2019. 📸: Alina Celik @alinacelik
21 Hits from the Bay Area, all in a row (accidentally only did 19 last week!).
Special mention should be made for all the great I Luv Mondays bands who aren't on this list. I love playing your songs!
Top 40 of 2019, Part 2:
April Magazine, “If the ceiling were a kite”:Oh, just listening to time itself.
Bells Atlas, “Hazelwood”: The beat of the year carries a rushing cascade of vocal and instrumental shapes and hues.
Cruel Summer, “Goth Lobster”: Starts with a smash and journeys far from there. “Just. Try.”
Field Medic, “Henna Tattoo”: Heartbreaking pathos and a California country voice, I’m in heaven.
Luke Sweeney, “Already Yours”: Sweeney’s finest song set to date, Peace Mealbalances groovy times with greater depth, “Already Yours” weds self-exploration to the shared reality of a relationship.
Dots, “Spinal Tap”: Dots are so bracingly present while also belonging, on some primal level, to the future.
Pardoner, “Sugary + Sweet”: When you’re confused and yearning and it blossoms into commanding recognition, while your band is ruling.
Lofi Legs, “Lifesucker”: There’s a number of things going on in any given Lofi Legs song but I also think that I could just listen to these two voices forever.
Buddy Junior, “SLOW92”: Oh the majesty of this gilded mountain of sound!
The Leave Me Alones, “Race to the Bottom”: A show-stopping torch song, “Race to the Bottom” is candid, funny and affecting, a standout vocal performance on a lo-fi 3-song demo that pulls you close to the speaker to hear the words: “I try to avoid extinction/ but you avoid shame.”
James Wavey aka Alleyes Manifest, “Flower Dance”: James Wavey Roses featured Alleyes Manifest’s most direct expressions of love and its verbal contours, none moreso than album opener “Flower Dance”, a declaration of fealty to a love that is me-you personal, but also universal: “Hands raised/ this is my petition/ hands raised/ love is my religion.”
Marinero, “Flor de Jamaica”: A heightened sanctity of moment, memory and feeling runs through many a Marinero project, and “Flor de Jamaica” conjures the 60’s Columbia Records big band vocal showcase as a trigger to memory and intimacy.
Hectorine, “Another Life”: If album opener “Motel Song” is the film, “Another Life” is the work of short fiction, or non as the case may be.
China, “Crossing the Ohio”: A song about moving somewhere, and life changing, but on a different level than you expected, and then a showstopper of a finale, just for you.
Boy Scouts, “Get Well Soon”: The thing is “Get Well Soon” really does make me feel better about some stuff.
Neutrals, “Technical College”: Kinda makes you want to go to Technical College! Allan McNaughton makes the everyday gamut of life choices feel like opportunities for spontaneous living.
Mayya, “Yearning”: One of our canniest songwriters crafts a compelling multi-sectional tale of nature, sound, and darkness.
Seablite, “Heart Mountain”: On Grass Stains & Novocaine Seablite raised the tempo, and on songs like “Heart Mountain”, deepened the sentiments.
Memory Theater, “Eyes Within Night”: An opening synth lick which by laser gradients measures the heart over and over, and then you clearly hear them sing “Propaganda” and then the solo is so refreshingly maximalist, and suddenly I was listening to this song all the time, as fall turned to winter.
Buzzed Lightbeer, “Hell”: A song that leaps from the speakers, "Hell" a loud-quiet blues about fulfilling desires, and taking you with them.Perhapsy, “The Curse (Is Getting Worse)”: I know from an interview with Derek Barber that the curse in question is not only one’s own sense of what others think, but is also, gloriously, the art tendency itself. For example my goodness this guitar solo!