APPARAT – ASH/BLACK VEIL CLASS ACTRESS – KEEP YOU
Image from Lost in the Cloud website - http://lostinthecloudblog.com/2011/11/22/best-songs-of-2011/
Some people laugh at the trivial year end addiction of making best-of lists. I don’t. I love it, I absolutely love it. To me the endless supply of musical favourites is a virtual goldmine of new tracks to discover. Of course, the quality of the aforementioned lists are varied, depending on the age, taste, and musical scope of the writer. Pitchfork generally has the gold standard of year end lists. However, because I don’t always agree with their choices, and because I am far too familiar with their choices, I find myself digging for better sources. After scouring the internet for a month in late 2011, I came across the Lost in the Cloud website, and the greatest year end list ever to grace the World Wide Web. I knew immediately I would find stellar music when I noticed they put up songs I had felt a strong connection with over the year. Favourites like The Antler’s No Widows, Radiohead’s Codex, Bon Iver’s Wash, Lana Del Rey’s Video Games, and The Drums’ Days. I listened to every track that made the cut, and through that developed new favourites. Songs like Elbow’s Lippy Kids, Phantogram’s Don’t Move, and Jeremy Messersmith’s Tatooine have now become staples in my iTunes library. It was clear that writers Elijah and Greg had not only a great knowledge of music, but excellent taste as well. The standouts from the post that didn’t make it over to my Best Songs of 2011 list were the two below. German electro artist Sascha Ring (a.k.a. Apparat) built a charging masterpiece with Ash/Black Veil. Although it powers forward with strings that are reminiscent of Kronos Quartet’s Different Trains: I. America – Before the War, it is accompanied with the delicate piano work fitting the intro credits for Good Will Hunting. Ultimately, it takes off into its own world, letting you move a million miles a second with it. Class Actress’s Keep You is pure synth pop throwback fun. The Cocteau Twins warmth cuts through any retro cheesiness ensuring it is an enjoyable nostalgic experience. Pop gold. So a big thank you to Elijah and Greg for the good work you do, and all the music you have shared with us. I guarantee you Lost in the Cloud will be the first site I check next December in my ritual year end mining for great music.