I hate to do a bait and switch, but only a few of these songs were actually released this year. But I did notice them for the first time in '11, and sung them over and over. Not a best from the year list, more like a short stroll through the moods of the last twelve months.
"Don't Leave Like That" from Les Surfs, a family soul group from Madagascar. Don't miss our lead singer fighting for composure as the song commences and stomping with passion as it comes to a climax.
More Robyn. Two drummers! The dancing! The anguish!
The dearest, loveliest and most moving song sung to a dog, ever. Joanna Newsom's triple album was my soundtrack in '10, but last year I went back to her first label release, Milk-Eyed Mender, and played that set 'til it sweat.
You and I and a love so tender/Stretched on the hoop where I stitched this adage/'Bless our house and its heart so savage...'
From Tom Waits's new Bad As Me release. The entire album is great.
Would it be TMI to confess how sexy and sweet I find the Lady's PG-13 thrashings and SFW bondage fantasies? Yes? Don't be put off by her edgy posturing; the Halloween costumes make it all more romantic than disturbing. Let's just move on to how great the song is - a good ol' rollicking sing-along with a joyous chorus in the happy vein of Elton John's "Country Comfort." I can't resist a song that mentions DH's Nebraska like seven times.
And who can forget the thrilling performance of Mumford and Sons, the Avett Brothers and Bob Dylan at the Grammys?
Also, goosebump-inducing every single time: Christoph Willibald Gluck's Orphee et Eurydice, Luke Kelly's classic version of "Raglan Road" and "Walls of Time" by the magnificent Peter Rowan, who wrote the tune with Bill Monroe.