Answering my own questions since 2001

Five of My Newest Favourite Songs

I recently mentioned my ongoing efforts to discover new music. I continue to have the musical taste of a female college freshman at Brown, but what’re you going to do?

I thought I’d share five songs that I’ve recently come to really dig. I make no hipsteresque claims to newness, obscurity or coolness. If you’re any kind of music fan, I expect you’ve heard most or all of these. These songs are just new to me, and I like them

1. “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” by Vampire Weekend – A jangly Afropop tune by four white kids from New York. The song mentions Peter Gabriel, and he’s actually done a cover version. Honourable mention: “Oxford Comma” by the same band. I, too, don’t care for the Oxford comma.

2. “People Got a Lotta Nerve” by Neko Case – How can you not like a song which includes the lyric “you know, they call them killer whales”. Ms. Case’s voice is in excellent form, and you can always count on her to write a catchy song in about two and half minutes. Honourable Mention: Ms. Case’s “This Tornado Loves You”, live on Letterman.

3. “Cartoons and Forever Plans” by Maria Taylor – A simple, hummable song and straight forward lyrics about love never dying. The backup singer sounds decidedly like Michael Stipe. The video seems to be cynically trading on the current popularity of crafting, but I’m in a forgiving mood. Honourable mention: hmm…how about that charming Lisa Hannigan song I mentioned on this site a couple of months back.

4. “This God Damn House” – The Low Anthem – Band geeks, certainly, but I saw them at SXSW and really liked them. They’re not quite to the video stage yet, I guess, as this is a live recording. If you watch to the end, you’ll see the lead singer whistle through a couple of cell phones. Honourable mention: “Scavenger Bird”, which is a terrific song by the same band. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a playable copy of it online.

5. “Matchmaker, Matchmaker” by Sophie Milman – A lovely jazz cover of the song from “Fiddler”. I’m not a huge fan of vocal jazz, but I quite dig Ms. Milman. Maybe it’s that she was borne in Russia, raised in Israel and now lives in Canada. Honourable mention: “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover”, a cover of the Paul Simon song, off of her latest album.

Other favourites that didn’t make the list include Regina Spektor’s “Riot Gear”, A Fine Frenzy’s “Hope For the Hopeless” and the Great Lake Swimmers’ “Pulling on a Line”.

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