There is much truth to the musical pendulum of “Sunrise, Sunset” from Fiddler on the Roof; time, like the gold attachment on a grandfather clock, swings back and forth and back and forth and suddenly 2011 turns to 2012 to 2013 to 2014 and now, in one month, 2015. With the perpetual swing of the pendulum is the many moments that make up one’s year. And, within those moments, tucked away like a child in bed, is the music that has stuck with you from the year, nestled comfortably in your mind.
So we have reached the almost-end to another year, and, to stay on the topic of the Music Court, we have seen some transformations. Our kick-ass new writer Zoe Brown has taken an active posting role, and she is doing a tremendous job. Stand up and clap for her; yes, get out of your chairs wherever you are and clap! She has helped establish the Music Court as your source for new, eccentric tunes. Many of those songs might be those nestled in your mind as you reminisce on another year in music. Before we officially kick off the annual top 10 countdown, I thought it might be fun to look back on the winners of year’s past and read a little clip from each post (no 2012).
#1 “The King of Spain” by The Tallest Man on Earth
Before the song ends, Matsson holds out the word “the” in this vocal climax that is shattering. It is also a perfect way for me to end this countdown. There is an animation in Matsson’s croon that is warm, inviting and aggressive. This is a true strength in his music. He is a folk musician who can provide the erupting emotion that Spector’s “wall of sound” does, but with only himself and a guitar. He is a one-man-band who is significantly stronger then mostly all of his five or more band counterparts. That is an impressive feat. Heck, he might actually be the “King of Spain”
#1 “The Afterlife” by Paul Simon
… A hypothetical heaven, though, one scribbled down by the consummate raconteur who knows the meaning of excellent music. “The Afterlife” is a keen, hilarious, zany, unexpected, metempirical, almost practical (I cannot list enough adjectives to describe the song’s utter beauty), take on heaven and dying.
#1 – “Pompeii” by Bastille
“The song begins with a Blue Swede-like vocal rhythm. This rhythmic chanting sets an almost allegorical tone, meaning the melody is representative of intense Roman religiosity. One can almost hear this dark chanting in a temple of worship – overwhelmingly spiritual and subtly lugubrious … While the song is quite literally representative of the destruction of Pompeii, it is difficult not to take it as a metaphorical look at when any unwelcome change occurs in life. Sometimes it is difficult to be “an optimist” and you must “close your eyes” and dream of better days.”
Who will hold the top spot in 2014? You will just have to wait to find out. And, this year, at the behest of Ms. Brown, the Music Court will feature a Top 10 Albums of 2014 list as well, which will directly follow the Top 10 Songs of 2014. Get ready! The list begins tomorrow, and will continue almost every day for the majority of December. You better have your eyes ready for some quality music-related reading. We are counting on you!