Last week The Civil Wars released a limited edition photo book, that documents the past year since the release of their debut album Barton Hollow, on February 1st 2011. The photography was done by Allister Ann and Tec Petaja and depicts the life on the road for this crazy busy duo that has been selling out shows all over the US and Europe for the past 12 months. You can purchase the booklet here: To Whom It May Concern
Our favorite folk-rock duo recently paid a visit to the fellas over at Daytrotter and delivered a pretty stellar performance, as has become expected. Over six months after its release, I still can’t get enough of their debut album, Barton Hollow. If you still haven’t listened to this record, you can get it for only $6 on AmazonMP3 right now. The highlight of their Daytrotter session is their incredible, stripped down and intimate version of The Smashing Pumpkin’s rock hit, “Disarm.” You can listen to that song below. Head over to Daytrotter to hear the rest of the session.
The Civil Wars – Disarm (The Smashing Pumpkins) (removed 7/21/12)
So it’s time to bring you the final installment and my absolute favorite songs of the year so far. I hope you guys have enjoyed listening to this list as much as I enjoyed putting together. Again I want to remind you that if you enjoy these songs, please go and purchase some of these albums.
5. The Decemberists – Down By The Water (removed 7/21/12)
It’s no sea shanty or civil war folk-lore, but this R.E.M. influenced rock tune is pretty incredible. I just can’t get enough of this entire album. While most everyone seems to be going back to the 80′s for inspiration this year, these guys seem to have found the early 90′s early enough for them, and it really works.
4. The Head and the Heart – Lost In My Mind (removed 7/21/12)
Great harmonies, great lyrics, great melody, and with a fantastic continuous build and crescendo. This song is just darn-near perfect.
3. The Civil Wars – I’ve Got This Friend (removed 7/21/12)
This entire album is absolutely phenomenal, but I keep going back to this particular song over and over. If you just sample this song, you won’t get it. Just trust me. Download this song, let it get under your skin. Then go and buy the rest of the album.
2. Sarah Jaffe – A Sucker for Your Marketing/Vulnerable (removed 7/21/12)
This is a bit of an unorthadox choice for this list, especially to be this high, but I just couldn’t ignore it. I usually don’t take the time to listen to very many live recordings, but this is just an absolute masterpiece. The range and control she has over her voice is unbelievable and is showcased really well in this recording, not to mention the flawless and beautiful transition between the two songs. This whole session is worth checking out.
1. Adele – Rolling In The Deep (removed 7/21/12)
This girl’s on fire and there ain’t nothing able to put her out. Another album that could have had any number of songs on this list. As much of an affection I have for other songs on this album such as “Someone Like You” or “One and Only”, it had to be this song. It is just so unbelievably catchy but has so much depth and character at the same time. This is an absolutely epic song that will last for decades. It is the perfect opening track that sets the tone for one of the best records of the year. A testament to the strength and power of this song is the numerous amount of covers that have already popped up from the unknowns to the legends, John Legend that is (more to come on that matter in future posts).
So there it is. My personal favorites of the year. I am sure that I have missed some great ones. So please comment and let me know of the egregious errors in musical judgment that I have made. What song do you think deserves that #1 spot?