Sunday, 2 February 2014

Best of 2013: International Americana/ Alt-Country Songs of the Year

On to my next list, my favourite songs from international artists from the past year. Some are songs that come from albums that were on my best of the year list, some are not. All are great songs.

Mark Knopfler - Privateering

I think people sometimes forget that Mark Knopfler is still making music. This is the title song from the last years double album which encompasses both British and American folk traditions and influences. The song has begins as a soft melody both bursts into life when the backing vocals arrive.

Hiss Golden Messenger - Sufferer (Love My Conqueror)

The second track on last year's "Haw" is one of flawless beauty. The words might be hard to decipher but for me the sentiment of the song is made much stronger by the shimmering effect of the guitars.

Fifth on The Floor - January Louisiana

A straight-up alt-country tune from these guys from Kentucky. Starting off with just vocals and kick-drum, the song retains the high energy throughout with that unexpected rhythm change at the chorus really making it stand out.

Gravy Flavored Kisses - When I Make It To Jackson

Hailing from Louisiana, the Gravy Flavoured Kisses music have all the influences you would expect of a band formed in that hub of american music. Taking their cues from blues, rock n’ roll and gospel, their songs are high-tempo and addictive.

Day of The Outlaw - What I Want

Another straight-up alt-country/southern rock tune. Rough on the edges as proper southern rock should be, this song is a real quintessential Saturday night bar room mosh composition.

Roger Knox (with Andre Williams) - Stranger in My Country

My favourite song from the album of the same name, it has a hypnotic rhythm to it with a powerful message to boot.

Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band - Something for Nothing

Hailing from south Indiana, Reverend Peyton and his Big Damn Band produced one of my favourite big damn songs of the years. Built around a edgy blues riff, it will have you stomping your foot in no time.

Holly Williams - Waiting on June

Based upon the true story about Holly William's grandparents (on her mothers side), the song is a beautiful told tale of love that requires you to be vigilant of every word to digest the full story. A lovely composed piece. An interesting face about the song is that it features Gwyneth Paltrow on backing vocals. One to save for the next pop fact event you attend.

Joe Pug - Hymn #76

I had a radio show this year. It was both exciting and at the same time tough work. Compiling music to play each week is harder than you might think but this track was one that I think I played on the show most often. With a ethereal movement to it, this song from the album "The Great Despiser" contains some of may favourite lines in music ever.

Richard Thompson - Salford Sunday

Now I wouldn't be the biggest Richard Thompson fan but this track off the album "Electric" has been swirling around in my head for the better part of this past year. Why I'm not sure. Partly because of the unusual progression in the song and partly because of the evocative lyrics of the song.

For a nice alternative list, check you the selection picked by the Rex Manning Day Music Blog here. Some nice choices there.

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