Monday, December 26, 2011

Shanies: Song of the Year

I had a very tough time with this category... so much so that I'm contemplating writing in a tie right now.

Yeah, screw it... it's my blog and I'm accountable to no one except the pink elephant on my shoulder... we're having a tie. The reason we're having a tie is because this year, I listened to two songs repeatedly which were amazing for very different reasons. One because it was a simple, feel good classic that resonated with my soul and another because of its complex, strange and still catchy arrangement.

Wide Mouth Mason made a resurgence this year with none other than one of my idols, Mr. Gordie Johnson, on bass. The opening track to their new album, No Bad Days, is a soulful, bluesy tune that we've come to know as WMM standard. Why I love this song, and in fact this whole album (foreshadowing!) is because of its simplicity. The band recognizes their strengths and plays to them. Verreault supposedly only used one guitar to record the whole album and the entire process avoided layering and splicing when possible. What results is a perfect blend of unique styles.  'More of It' kicks off with some bluesy slide guitar accented by Javed's groovy, jazz-inspired drumming. Gordie eventually kicks in with his reggae-loving bass styles and finally the whole song is capped off with Verreault's massive, soulful voice.  4 layers which alone stand so uniquely yet together blend into one hell of a song.

But being greedy like I am (read: indecisive), I also had another pick for song of the year.

Pomplamoose doesn't really release albums... they just finish songs every now and then and present them to you in one of the most unique formats possible. Their 'video songs' are strange compilations of video clips from the recording process which show every bit of instrumentation that goes into their mix.  As such, when you get to see just how much they put into these seemingly cacophonic mixes (which still end up sounding catchy and smooth), it boggles the mind. In June, they released the video song, 'River Shiver' much to my delight which features, among other things: a horn section, inverted crash cymbals, a rewinding tape recorder, an old electric organ and enough layers of vocals to create a small choir.

-And on that note, I run away, and you wait for tomorrow's Artist of the Year!