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1. 'WordsAboutMusic' is a static playlist with songs added periodically. Read and understand why I love each song below.

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State Of The Art deserves to be the signature tune from Gotye’s recent album ‘Making Mirrors’, but for many it won’t be. It’s the artist and his album left to boil at a low heat for years, leaving the rich essence of a body of work sunmarised in 5 wonderful minutes of music. We begin with a […]

I’ve always thought that the sound of the record crackling at 36 seconds and beyond, was actually the sound of fireworks erupting to an unobservant crowd. It’s not, obviously, but there’s something in this image that seems to fit. Conor Oberst is debating the virtues of performing, and of the way he lives his life. He […]

The 1960’s was a time of questions. The young had the time and freedom to question all they were told, be it by world leaders, society or religious institutions. 1968’s ‘Sympathy For The Devil’ is an extension of this desire to pose questions, but The Stones twist the idea on its head by taking the […]

Gospel is often the forgotten musical bridge between then and now, and its continued influence on todays sounds should not be overlooked. Sister Wynona Carr’s 1952 hit ‘The Ball Game’, a warm, innocent lesson on life played through by biblical figures on a Baseball Pitch, is a perfect example of this. Arriving two full years before […]

Little is known of Kendal Johansson, the latest signing to Swedish label Sincerely Yours. But her rendition of Blue Moon, a Big Star track from the overlooked ‘Third/​​Sister Lovers’ album, stands out as one of my songs of 2010. Whereas the original is a simple heartfelt prayer to a loved one, here Johansson’s distant vocal […]

The keyboard gives it the pop hook that propelled it to the top of the US charts, but it’s everything else that won the hearts of those who listened to it incessantly upon it’s arrival last year, and still are. The vocals are a desperate plea for the end of routine malaise. Ed Droste is actually […]

Here’s another new track from Noah and the Whale, from next years album ‘Late Night On Earth’. This track begins with an unnerving loop that reappears throughout the track, a style they’ve explored in the past but never perfected. The story of a tearaway young girl never sounded so romantic, but through some deft use […]

There’s no beating a perfect melody, and Saint Simon has several, all of which are delivered through a set of lyrics packed with more rhymic flow than on your average Kanye track. The spacious instrumentation allow the lyrics to breathe and sweep you away in a breathless tide of nonchalent musings, some of which hold […]

It begins with a smiling child playing a glockenspiel. It ends with a glockenspiel playing a smiling child, beating him to a pulp in the process. The idle afternoon in the sun of the first 2 minutes is interrupted by the vocal entrance and the keyboard, and we begin to suspect that things won’t always […]

The first time I heard this song, I physically couldn’t sit still. It shows that when executed well, rhythms can build tension equally as well as melody or lyrical content. It doesn’t matter what he says, it’s when he says it that’s important. The drum sets the standard, with each subsequent addition coming at it’s […]

Many artists have perfected the art of sounding this desperate, aching and battered. But ‘Early Spring Till’ somehow avoids passing those emotions on to the listener, resulting in a strangely uplifting song. It’s the transparent sound of a man with nothing left to give but the tale of his own experiences. So why does it […]

To bear the weight of repeated listens requires the song, not the performance, to transcend throwaway pop with a knowing wink of recognition in its direction. ‘Act Of The Apostle’ originally formed part of a duo of songs on Belle and Sebastian’s ‘The Life Pursuit’, but here it is reused to open Stuart Murdoch’s attempt […]

One of the most criminally overlooked songs of all time is, in my opinion, one of Bowie’s finest. He doesn’t even remember recording this album, ‘Aladdin Sane’, which makes this song’s genius even more mystifying. The lyrics seem to be arranged solely for alliteration, but soon a pattern emerges that let’s you into Bowie’s warped […]

This exploration into what it is to have, and to subsequently lose, a Plus One packs a lyrical punch that’s easily missed. Your Plus One, aka your companion, your lover (and yes, perhaps your Plus One on a guestlist, probably the source of this title) has been mentioned in songs many times before. But are […]

Isimply haven’t stopped listening to ‘Taste’ since it was released almost 2 years ago, and I am still discovering new things about it to obsess over. Thanks to topping the end of year lists, Animal Collective’s 2009 album ‘Merriweather Post Pavillion’ started to spill over into the mainstream at the start of 2010. Since then […]

The strings that weave their way through  the very fabric of this song make this the intense listen it is, and the first time I heard that bass I realised what the bass guitar was actually used for. I will never tire of listening to this combination of instruments shuffling their way through a great […]

The first song on the first album should be an announcement of arrival or a statement of intent. This is both. If you never paid attention in history class, here is Craig Finn’s version of the 20th century condensed into two lines per decade. Reaching the present day (as it was in 2000) the Hold Steady […]