16 Favorite Songs of 2016: #4 “Slow” – Starflyer 59

This post was originally written in February 2017:

“I keep looking for something that I think I have lost.” This line makes my eyes well up with tears when I think of it in the context of this song. That “something” that has been lost is time. I started to notice how fast time was going after I graduated high school. With every birthday I was in disbelief at where the previous twelve months had gone. I could remember snapshots, but for the most part it was work, sleep, and…well, I don’t really know.

It wasn’t until I had my first daughter almost five years ago that time seemed to kick into an even higher gear. It seems like last year she was a helpless baby, but today she’s wiping her own butt and getting ready to go to kindergarten.
Eleven days ago I had my second daughter, and it feels like it’s really only been three or four days. I’m sure that’s partly because I slept in short increments at a hospital for the first three days, but still…”My kids, they grow up fast. I want it slow. so slow.”
It’s not even so much that time needs to slow down, it’s that I need to slow down and enjoy the time I have with my little girls, but at the same time it feels like no matter how hard I try to take it all in, I still can’t hold on to my favorite moments long enough. “I keep looking for something, looking for something.”
Jason Martin here has perfectly captured the elusiveness and helpless that a dad feels watching his kids grow faster than he can control. “I keep looking for something that I think I have lost” is the cry of a man who is trying to go back a enjoy those times he had with his little ones, when they were still little. To play dolls with them. To play catch with them. To hold them in his lap while they’re still small enough. Though I know they will still pass by faster than I wish, I don’t want to take these moments and this time period for granted.
I’m very thankful for this picture from a dad who is a decade or so older than me. He provides a glimpse of how I don’t want to feel ten plus years from now, but how I know I’m gonna feel no matter how tightly I hug my little girls now.

16 Favorite Songs of 2016: #5 “It Was To Be” – Klimt 1918


This band. Goodness, they have an incredible sound. Their guitar tones are among the most beautiful I’ve ever heard. The drummer and bassist play lots of post-punk style rhythms, but with plenty of surprising fills that give them a pretty distinct sound. The vocalist sings with his heart on his sleeve, just the way I like it. Knowing that bands like this are out there is why I’m not content to let American rock radio tell me what rock bands I should listen to.

16 Favorite Songs of 2016: #6 “Nightfall” – Anchor & Braille


Former Anberlin vocalist, Stephen Christian, AKA Anchor & Braille, went with a very chill synth-pop-meets-Washed Out sound on 2016’s Songs For The Late Night Drive Home, and I think it’s fits him perfectly. “Nightfall” would quickly emerge as my favorite track off the album, and then watching my then 4 yr. old dance along with such a care-free spirit to this song in the living room only added to my partiality. 

“Nightfall’ sounds like a track that would’ve hit number 91 on the Billboard singles chart in 1987, and that’s just how I like my pop music–catchy and captivating, but with a tinge too dark for the masses (The hits of The Cure being an obvious exception).

16 Favorite Songs of 2016: #7 “This Deep” – Postiljonen

 

Mia Boe’s vocals + trap beat + “woo’s” + chill guitar and synths = winning combination. This song makes me want to sit back and not do a thing. I should probably not jam this one at work. Postiljonen had another song in my top 16, check it out and read more about the band, if you haven’t already.

16 Favorite Songs of 2016: #8 “Krystal Cove” – Waterfront Dining

“I don’t really like describing my music as any genre. I like to leave that up to the listener. “, the artist know as Waterfront Dining tells me. His sound really could be described as partially fitting into many genres, but he comes away with a sound that is distinctly Waterfront Dining…unless, that is, you thought it was the original performer of the song. Waterfront Dining sample hunts and crate digs until finding a sample he likes, then he edits it, loops it, alters it, and mixes it to make it his own. What it usually comes out sounding like is something extremely nostalgic and relaxing. It acts almost as a time warp for me. It’s like I get to hear new 80s and 90s music, but in the latter 2010’s.

I asked Waterfront Dining what stands out to him about this track and he said “I love the synth sounds in this sample, and the atmosphere and lyrics. This track and album as a whole really marks a turning point in the way I began editing my songs as this album was one of the first where all of the edits were basically transparent.” And it’s true, Melodies & Mermaids was the first release of his where everything sounded perfectly pieced together to the point that you’d have no clue the music was the result of tinkering with old songs.

If you enjoy this song, check out Waterfront Dining’s extensive music catalogue. Go see how many songs you can find that sound like they should’ve been #1 hits in the 80s and early 90s, there’s lots and lots of them.

16 Favorite Songs of 2016: #9 “Russian Dolls” – Weaver At The Loom

By Dan Smith of Weaver At The Loom.
Russian Dolls? I had to think for a moment to find the best way to explain this track. I don’t like to attribute too much objectivity to any one song. I have always loved how songs take on a life of their own when people interpret them from their own unique perspectives. A bit of a rorschach test type phenomenon. The original concept though was about the different degrees to which people connect with each other. Everyone has layers to themselves, from guarded to intimate, we keep people at different proximities based on how well we connect with them. This gave me an image of people as Russian Nesting Dolls, layers of the same person within a person. So, I guess, interpreting relationships through that concept, it seems like a rare occasion when you connect with someone on that inner level, even more so as you get older. The imagery of this song is describing a moment when you get to reconnect with someone who you have one of those deeper-level bonds with; about appreciating that connection and making time for that moment. Less philosophically, it’s about hanging out with a good friend you haven’t seen in awhile, picking things up as if no time has passed, and making space in the busyness of life to let that moment breathe.

 

Keep up with Weaver At The Loom here.

16 Favorite Songs of 2016: #10 “Copter” – S U R V I V E

In 2016 I started to enjoy spending a lot of my free time reading, which resulted in more appreciation for instrumental music. It’s so much easier to have tunes going while you’re reading if there’s no words to the music to distract you from the words in the book.

I’ve loved synth music for several years now, so a four piece synth band caught my attention and appreciation from the beginning. Two members of S U R V I V E are responsible for the soundtrack to Netflix’s popular Stranger Things series, without which I probably never would have known of these guys. Take a listen to my favorite song from their album RR7349.