Monday, December 26, 2016

Top 25 Songs of 2016: #12-11

12. True Love Waits - Radiohead: Written in the late 90s around the time of my favourite Radiohead album The Bends, "True Love Waits" went on to be played live for the next two decades - before receiving new studio treatment and turning up on their latest, A Moon Shaped Pool. In what will likely be its final and most beautiful format, the song is stripped down to Yorke's aching vocals and piano, making for the saddest, most ethereal iteration yet. Sounding his frailest as he pleads "just don't leave," this version was likely recorded around his 2015 split from longtime partner and mother of his two children Rachel Owen, who shortly thereafter was diagnosed with cancer. She passed away last week.

11. 22 (OVER S∞∞N) - Bon Iver: Justin Vernon is not an artist you get mad at for experimenting. It's literally his best feature, his ability to innovate. He plays freely with genres, instruments and electronics, almost as if he gets bored easily, yet always manages to create something that still sounds distinctly his. On his most experimental album to date, Bon Iver blends unusual production elements, warped vocals and his coined wintery folk to pose pretty big questions around existence. With the stunning album opener, Vernon wants his existential thoughts ("it might be over soon") to really marinate, so the feeling isn't lost on us. He does this through distorted vocals, drawn-out buzzes, the sound of broken tape, strums, horns and other quirky bits - setting the tone for a weird, magical album that doesn't sound like anything else, but is so uniquely his.

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