It is time. 2011 is coming to a close and thus the entire internet MUST make a bunch of lists. Luckily, I really like lists. Especially music related lists (playlists?)
Anyway, everyone’s making a lot of year-end lists with a bunch of Bon Iver nonsense on them, so I thought Po & Molly could bring you some best-of 2011 that is a bit more dancey and scandinavian. The rules are:
1) Song must be awesome and have impacted at least one of our lives in 2011
2) Song must have a music video
3) Song/artist must NOT have yet been featured on Po & Molly (sorry, Rebecca & Fiona)
Omg, you know what’s even better than a list? A challenge list.
They’re sort of in chronological order of when they made an impact on our year(s), but since there’s two of us, the ordering is gonna be a little whatever. Now let’s start off with the first one which is just above this text:
I listened to this song more than ANY OTHER in 2011. 168 times. In a ROW. No, just kidding, but almost. First of all, it’s amazing, and second of all, I was abroad, and studying abroad in Sweden is the absolutely ideal time to enjoy this song because a) you can actually romanticize ‘home’ (since it’s far away for a change), b) because I had my own room (and bathroom, let’s not forget) that was inexplicably soundproof so most of my party nights would end with me dancing like a maniac in my underwear alone in my room with the volume cranked up and this song on repeat… and then going and raiding the fridge for some ridiculous Swedish midnight/5 am snack.
LALALA/LALALA/LALALA/LALALA/LALALA/LALALA/yeahyeah/yeahyeah <— great lyrics.
I don’t think it’s too farfetched to say that I can pretty much visualize exactly the whole scene Mo described above.
Even the underwear. ESPECIALLY the underwear. #swedishsaunatime
While I didn’t manage to top Mo’s 168 possibly consecutive plays of At Home, I did listen to it (quite a lot, actually) the week before I flew back to California in August, a time when I was feeling more than slightlybummed about leaving Sweden. I may even have shed a tear or two at some point while listening to this song. So at that point I basically thought of Sweden as my home and all my friends as, well you get the idea. /meltedRöyksoppflavoredsyrup
I cried too. Probably multiple times. And I didn’t even cry during Up.
Now I got that off my chest we can move on to:
Where would this list be without at least one FM Belfast track? Obsessive and undying love for this Icelandic collection of geniuses is pretty much essential to the Po & Molly brand. Life would not be complete without experiencing at least one live rendition of Underwear, preferably in their hometown of Reykjavik but as we well know, Huskvarna also works.
You haven’t lived until you’ve danced topless in the front row of an FM Belfast concert while they’re playing Underwear. Quite seriously, that was one of the best moments of my life.
This track is a nod to our hardcore festing lifestyles in Sweden, and it could apply to both the winter months, when the nights are ridiculously long (=plenty of time for not sleeping), or the spring/summer, when the sun just will not go to bed.
The video features the (probably sleepless) members of FM Belfast wreaking havoc and is self-explanatorily amazing, but it also gives you a pretty good idea of the group’s personalities and their usual mode of performance.
T-rex doesn’t want to go to sleep either, and neither do I.
I used to have a rule — no going home until the sun comes up. This usually meant waiting from 2:45 AM until 3:15 AM in Polly’s bedroom, and then wandering in the daylight the 30 minutes back to my place, and occasionally finding some randos in a parking lot to hang out with instead and staying out until 7 AM.
It was like every day was a competition between me and the sun,
to find out who could stay up longer and who could have more fun.
Along with the likes of Digitaria, The Asteroids Galaxy Tour, Tove Styrke and Acid House KingsandNon Tiq, this song was a staple on the soundtrack to our decadent, epic Swedish spring days spent lying in the sun and partying all night long, so it totally made the cut onto this list. The VHS-style video and awkward dancing is an added bonus.
It’s as if their video to Gio Gio is the sexy, non-80’s, non-awkward response to this. Also with possibly more salmonella.
LCMDF, or Le Corps Mince de Françoise if we want to be technical about it, are a couple of adorable girls from Helsinki who make amazing music (Check out their entire album, Love Nature, please). Future Me is a perfect summer tune, and it defined my summer because
1) it was some Scandinavian music that I started listening to after I returned from Sweden, so it helped bridge me over from svensk life to amerikansk again
2) This was during the first month or so I was working at Facebook, which meant I had 8 or 10 or 12 hours a day to work and listen to music, so I literally did put this on repeat and attempted to listen to the song telling me that the Future Me would tell me not to stress. Because yeah, I was kinda stressed. And the Future Me (which is now the current me, I suppose) would, in fact, like to tell the June 2011 version of me, “Yeah, yeah, don’t stress.”
I’m pretty sure that’s what the Future Me would tell the Current Me every day, guess I should listen to this song more often?!
(I sort of cheated with this one. I recommend not watching the video above, which is a relatively underwhelming live performance and not an actual music video, and please just listen to the embed below instead)
This track comes from the album that initiated me into the cult of witchhouse, which if you don’t already know, is fucking skitbra, but not for everyone. For me, it has turned into a full-blown obsession. If you’re interested in the genre, it’s best to start with something more on the witchhouse-lite side like Ritualz. They’re total BAMFs from Mexico.
While witchhouse is probably a little bit #dark-er than I normally listen to, I definitely can’t deny that this album sums up the side of Polly that’s sort of spiritual/magical/witchcraftery. Or maybe I only think of that because of Harry Potter related things? I am definitely a muggle when it comes to all the crazy symbols in Ritualz’s name, but I love the opening to this song for reals, and I hope that Polly’s expertise in this genre helps save me from any dark magic, because while she was getting super into witchhouse I was gushing over the way more silly and ridiculous genre of swinghouse.
Okay, so this is gonna be the one on everyone else’s year-end lists, and I had to resort to YouTube here…but it’s worth it, because Midnight City REALLY IS one of the best songs this year.
For me, this song/band and Twitter are responsible for a brand new friend I made, Haley, when she tweeted that m83 was playing in Portland the night we were there for the same conference, but alas, tickets were sold out.
We tried to find a scalper but in the end we were standing out in the rain in front of the door of the concert, where we could hear very clearly, as long as someone had just opened the door. We were pretty sure that the doorman wanted us to run in past him, but didn’t quite have the balls to do so in case it would end with us getting beaten up by a large man with a british(ish?) accent.
Then we went to the Barcade and drowned our sorrows in Pacman, DDR, Centipede, and pinball.
Portland + M83 sounds like an excellent way to start a new friendship. Though given Mo’s track record with bouncers, backing off was probably a good call. Also, I highly recommend Trentemøller’s remix of Midnight City.
Next up is Woodkid’s mindblowing/#canteven Iron which is amazing even without the stunningly choreographed video but together they are unstoppable. The film shows Agyness Deyn and several other hot young things fleeing the scene as giant black ink blots spill from the sky like Death Eaters in a universe populated by mysterious key tattoos, German Shephards, Vikings, meat cleavers and Twin Peaks-esque owls.
It could just as well be a guide to surviving the impending apocalypse in slow-mo style. Nothing else could make even dog saliva seem so incredibly dramatic.
If I ever make music videos, I promise they’ll be like this.
So the guy behind Woodkid, Yoann Lemoine, is a French music video maker / filmmaker and that makes this video / song make SO MUCH MORE SENSE — even the music is just movie-soundtrack level epic/dramatic, so it’s not surprising that the person behind it is a film guy. Also kinda convenient that he can make his own music videos!
A multitalented fellow, just 5 years my senior, Yoann also directed the music video for Teenage Dream (yes, Katy Perry).
Polly is fully responsible for the fact that I can’t hear this song or even think about the concept of disco anymore without seeing this man prance around in his teal silky getup. His image has been burned into my brain and I am SO VERY GLAD.
I’m so happy Mo included D.I.S.C.O. on this list. It’s just so wonderfully lulzy and yes, CAN’T UNSEE #inagoodway.
This last track seems to be popping up on every mix I make lately, maybe because it’s so very me. As in, it’s probably the type of stuff I would make if I did make music. In any case Austra’s witchhouse-influenced Feel It Break is inseparable from this autumn for me, given the number of times I listened to it. Especially while wandering around SF at the end of October.
While I don’t feel the video really encapsulates the dark beats and absorbing lyrics of the song, the moody voyeurism, boob obsession and webbed fingers are pretty interesting.
I like boobs and lingerie too, so I endorse this video!
Also, since that’s the end of our list, all I can say is GOOD LUCK 2012 at outdoing this year, because there was some pretty great stuff. I anxiously await the new Asteroids Galaxy Tour album, a bunch of awesome concerts in San Francisco, an whatever it is Lady Gaga is going to do at the VMAs to outdo BOTH the meat-dress AND Jo Calderone.