2013: My Year in Music


I avoid talking about music save for once a year, and that’s during my annual review of music.  Note that this isn’t about “new” music, or even “new to me” music.  It’s just a collection of the songs that struck me for one reason or another throughout the year.

  1. I found myself obsessively re-listening to the song “Signal Spark” by Seafood from 2006 (released both as a single and a part of the album Paper Crown King.)  I have all of their albums so I must have heard the song before, but for some reason this year I really “discovered” it.  The whole thing feels like the soundtrack to a great, cheesy short movie (well, music video) with tentative, uncomfortable stares in the first minute, a kiss at about 1:15, living life through to 4:00 where bittersweet joy kicks in (along with the chimes.)  I wonder if I could cut the opening of the movie Up! to this song?  Sadly, the official music video is just underwhelming compared to the images in my head (aren’t they always?)
  2. I have an unfortunate affliction of listening to some girly music. I like the female voice more, what can I say? Pop music is not a crime! And I was rather found the short-lived band Saving Jane (now doing more country style music as the Union Rose Band.)  One of my favorite songs was the hidden track (damn, though, I hate hidden tracks) on the 2007 album One Girl Revolution titled “Ohio.” For some weird reason, early this year, I dreamt I was singing that song at a bar.  That’s kind of gay when you consider the lyrics.  My favorite part though is the chorus of the song and its quaint dismissal of what to many would be more desirable places.   Of course, as I drove through the state of Ohio on my way to my new home in Denver, I couldn’t help but think of this song.
  3. It would be a rare year for me not to notice something in a soundtrack that I thought was awesome.  This year it was the main theme for the movie Pacific Rim (which I have to admit, I saw in theaters three times) composed by Ramin Djwadi.   I’m always a sucker for blending traditional orchestration with electronic elements.  The song did a great job of musically portraying the battle between the Jaegers and Kaijus, with somewhat distinct “hero” and “villain” themes woven throughout the piece.
  4. I finally played through Child of Eden this year, a spiritual successor to the awesome techno musical shooting game Rez.  Of course, it featured some terrific pop/techno music with pretty vocals.  Perhaps my favorite moment in the game was at the last part of the first level, with the constant droning guitar riff, underlying the song that’s trying to break free of the techno sounds of the computer virus, and bursts out momentarily as you do well to fight the virus (erupting into the untainted song when you conclude the stage.)  I thought it was great.
  5. While we’re on the topic of video games, I also played Braid, which featured the song Build that Wall (Zia’s Theme).  Just a woman and a guitar … and it’s gorgeous. The same artists who did that song (Darren Korb, composer and Ashley Barrett, singer) also produced the preview song for the upcoming Transistor.  It sounds terrific, too!

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