Jeff McCord is KUTX’s Music Director and is on air 6 – 9 a.m. Friday. These are his top 5 songs of the year:
1) Arcade Fire – I Give You Power (ft. Mavis Staples)
The #resist era has brought with it a lot of protest songs, but none has a message more simple and eloquent than this funky romp, released on inauguration day: “I give you power/I can take it away.””Watch me,” adds Mavis.
2) Grandaddy – Way We Won’t
This was going to be Grandaddy’s year, after a long layoff, a reunion and a new record that ranked among their best. Then in May, founding member Ken Garcia died suddenly of a stroke, and plunged the band into limbo again. “Way We Won’t”, one of many highlights from “Last Place”, is vintage Grandaddy, an off-kilter pop earworm expressing disbelief that, somehow, the Modesto-based group was back in action in their hometown.
3) Third Root – Kawhi (ft. Trizzol)
Sports songs usually fall flat, too of-the-moment, and sure enough, the Spurs superstar Kawhi Leonard has yet to play this season. No matter. San Anontio’s Third Root are well educated in old-school hip hop gymnastics, and have crafted an homage as thrilling as Leonard himself.
4) Jen Cloher – Forgot Myself
A simple, evocative rocker, if a bit whiny, about being left behind by a more successful spouse (Closer is married to Courtney Barnett). “When you’re gone too long I become an idea.”
5) Sneaks – Look Like That
There’s nothing to it, really – bass, drum machine, vocals, no chorus, no hook to speak of. Yet this became a song you could not stop playing. Clocking in at 3:15, it’s easily twice as long as most of the DC songwriter’s recordings. Hypnotic doesn’t begin to describe it.