Year in Review: Top 100 Lubbock Songs of 2013: 40-26

Printby: Thomas D. Mooney
Editor-in-Chief

We’re switching things up a bit and only giving you 15 songs today. But don’t fret, we’ll be posting our Top 25 Lubbock Songs of the Year tomorrow. If you’ve missed the previous installments in our list, click the links below. 

DAY I: 100-81
DAY II: 80-61
DAY III: 60-41
DAY IV: 40-26 (Today)

ErickWillisSpring40. “She Already Knows” Erick Willis
Spring EP ’13

Erick Willis’ mastery of the simple love song is most evident with “She Already Knows.” Fresh off his second EP release, Spring EP ’13, this particular recording features a satisfying duo between acoustic guitar and voice, which gives the tune its most perfect setting. This song is all about the songwriting. It’s about the message and everything Willis does in this song supports that message. The understated guitar and the simple melody all highlight the songwriting style, the lyrics. That is what makes this song an instant add to anyone’s favorite love song playlist. It seems that everyone likes to talk and compare Erick’s voice to this artist or that artist, but his ability to simply speak to the heart of a subject is what truly sets his songwriting abilities apart.–ERICK WILLIS, Hogg Maulies

GreenHouseSummerNights39. “Disco Dreaming” Green House
Summer Nights

 This. This is why Peter Longno and company need to continue making electronic gems. This genuinely sounds most connected to Longno’s The Sun & The Shadows project’s “Constellations.” It’d be one of the most laid back m83 songs. It feels like something that’d have originated from NYC or hell, a metropolitan area that had at least a decent skyline. With lines like “down town city in my eyes” it’s obvious GH aren’t exactly singing about Lubbock’s down town. that’s besides the point though. We’ll take it since it’s the most chill wave Lubbock is probably ever going to get. –THOMAS D. MOONEY, NS

HoggMaulies38. “Voodoo Girl” Hogg Maulies
Single

I just listened to “Voodoo Girl” from the Hogg Maulies again. I’ve heard this song at tons of sound checks and street concerts across West Texas, and it always makes me want to dance. It takes me back to country music of the ’80s, but it’s refined and written to a style only these guys can perform. The keyboards and guitars create a playful setting, unlike their ballads which can be very serious. I like the way this song just bounces through the lyrics, and everything just seems like it’s okay…even though you’re about to run off with a crazy chick…Classic Hogg Maulies. Buy the whole album! It’s great.–BRANDON ADAMS, singer-songwriter

MohicansSTFU37. “STFU” Mohicans
Single

You can’t write a song if you don’t have something to say and I think it’s safe to say The Mohicans have something to say. Obviously they’ve said plenty before, but “STFU” is really saying something. You can’t help but hear glimpses of Killer Mike, Public Enemy, and Talib Kweli. If they were “bigger” or had a larger footing or following, I’m convinced this would be considered one of the most polarizing songs since Killer Mike’s “Reagan.” When someone releases a song even remotely political, people begin to write them off with the backhanded compliment of “backpack rap” or “conscious rap.” While they don’t go full Dead Prez, they do bring something worth chewing on.  Hopefully this hints at bigger things to come from the duo.–THOMAS D. MOONEY, NS

AlexSanchezEmotionControl36. “Death From Above” Alex Sanchez
Emotion Control

 I just hope that’s a Death From Above 1979 reference there. Like I said yesterday, Alex Sanchez is a genuine talent. The multi-instrumentalist surprisingly played everything on his  debut, Emotion Control, which, I know a lot of artists have done so in the past. But, this isn’t exactly a lo-fi record. The guitar work on “Death From Above” is some of the best I’ve heard in some time. It’s not overpowering but is a definite force. Sanchez’ is voice isn’t your typical croon either. It’s a little rough and isn’t polished by any means, but it’s filled with emotion and is probably the most underrated aspect in his work so far. But by and far though, what makes “Death From Above” work is its’ laid back guitar groove.–THOMAS D. MOONEY, NS

DanielMarkhamRuinedMyLife35. “Favorite Band” Daniel Markham
Ruined My Life

Daniel Markham is a cool guy. Matter of fact, bare bones, honest, real, cool. His Ruined My Life is an audible testament to this coolness. “Favorite Band” is possibly one of the best songs released this year, nationwide or local. Acoustic guitars and steel guitars collide with Markham’s lyrics to create a eulogy to his favorite band (REM, in case you don’t know)? a broken relationship? his own broken spirit? Only Daniel can know for sure, but the almost painful intimacy of the lyrics bleed through the speakers with emotion that few can rival. Markham tells you how much he loves, then tells you how much that love has hurt him in the span of two lines, ‘Now, I’m sitting in the front seat, you’re passing out behind me. I guess you never cared to ride…just want to play.’ He closes with the lines ‘Get a new tattoo to show, everyone around will know.’ It’s not closure, but it’s permanent like an ending. It will never leave. For pride, for pain, for approval, for happiness, whatever breaks you or makes you, you will carry around for the rest of your days and you can’t hide it from anyone.–RONNIE EATON, singer-songwriter

zacwilkerson234. “Hold On” Zac Wilkerson
Single

Zac Wilkerson has a way with words. A way that can paint you a picture, frame it, hang it on your mantle and make you stare for hours. “Hold On” is a perfect example of it. In this song he shows you a couple, like many, struggling with the financial uncertainties of life. With all the doubt, and worry, he embodies the spirit of strength in the man’s wife. She fills him with positivity, support, and love. Telling him that just maybe tomorrow will bring a different a new kind of hope. One line that really sticks with you in this song, and sums up a beautiful message: “they’ve got love, they’ve got everything. ” Songs like “Hold On” are what make Wilkerson such a strong force as a songwriter, and it’s a blast watching his growth.–RYAN SUMMERS, guitarist

AmandaShiresDownFell33. “Deep Dark Below” Amanda Shires
Down Fell the Doves

An Amanda Shires’ record wouldn’t be an Amanda Shires record without at least one good murder ballad. “Deep Dark Below” pretty much raises the bar. It’s probably her most gruesome and quite frankly, includes some of her most macabre lines to date. The one that I just can’t get out of my mind is “You can slip your way carefully in, even stand inside the tape and lay in the shape of her chalk outline.” It’s not blood and guts or overly gruesome, but if that doesn’t send a chill, I’m not sure what will. “Monsters are men that the devil gets in.” Once again, Shires’ proves that the scariest thing that goes bump in the night is other our fellow man–THOMAS D. MOONEY, NS

Outlier32. “The Devil’s Waltz” Outlier
Outlier

“The Devil’s Waltz” feels like it came straight out of a Cormac McCarthy novel. It’s just so beautiful, dark, and rich with several textures of heightened senses and sounds. With it being nearly eight minutes long, it goes through several stages of emotion. The intro sets the stage. Anthony Garcia then begins his mariachiesque Calexico tune before finally giving way to Melanie Lenau’s elegant violin. The latter end of the song would truly be a great stand alone instrumental piece. Garcia and Lenau’s arrangements feel as though they could be inserted into just about any southern gothic western. They just continue to build profound tension before letting off into a somber fleeting exit–THOMAS D. MOONEY, NS

WadeBowenSongsAboutTrucks31. “Songs About Trucks” Wade Bowen
Single

In a world where mainstream country is brimming over with cliché songs about tailgates, dirt roads and rowdy rednecks, it would be easy for Wade Bowen’s “Songs About Trucks” to be washed away in a sea of less than mediocre truck songs. Written by two well-respected Nashville songwriters, Brandy Clark and Shane McAnally, who have been kicking down doors this year with several heavy-hitting singles between the two, this isn’t your typical “truck song.” In fact, it’s been nicknamed the “anti-truck song.” While it may come across as a heartbreak tune, it’s obvious that there is an underlying message to the rest of country music. The message in the song is executed perfectly and the video, which is being played nationally on CMT, supports the message as well.–HALLIE BERTRAND, The Arrogant Texan Music Blog

RonnieEatonMoth30. “Smile & Nod” Ronnie Eaton
The Moth Complex

Singer-songwriter Ronnie Eaton’s  “Smile & Nod” is actually one of my favorite songs this year. I was thrilled when I saw it was on a list of songs I could review. I am someone who revels in sad music. I also appreciate the artists who are able to open up and write music that way. The angst, frustration, feelings of failure, feeling out of place, are all raw human feelings. “Smile & Nod” is a bare all song. It’s the kind of song that while sad, also lets you know that you aren’t the only one feeling that way. Really, music is powerful because it makes so many things relative to people who might not feel relative at all.  Songs like this are songs that should be heard and shared with friends.–CHRIS RICHBURG, Fuck Yeah Alt Country Boys Music Blog

WilliamClarkGreen29. “She Likes The Beatles” William Clark Green
Rose Queen

t’s been a banner year for Lubbock artists, and none more so than William Clark Green. “She Likes the Beatles”, which was recently named the Dallas Observer’s #1 Texas country song of 2013, is Green’s ode to a frustrating, pull-your-hair-out, can’t-stand-you-but-I-love-you-anyway type of love that the listener can’t help but envy, especially when he sings the lines “It never bugs me that she’s always wrong/As long as she’s wrong with her hand in my hand.” The song’s success is well-deserved. It’s got all the makings of a great Texas country song that will no doubt be covered by up-and-coming artists at open mic nights for years to come. It’s incredibly catchy, and the lyrics manage to be sweet and funny without being cheesy–a rare find in country music these days.–LESLIE HALE, NS

David Ramirez The Rooster28. “The Forgiven” David Ramirez
The Rooster

“The Forgiven” is a pretty honest song. Ramirez does a great job of defining and explaining the line which a songwriter must walk. By his own admission in the song, he brings up Jesus and the reaction it brings upon the crowd, and goes into detail in the chorus describing the experience of having the crowd define you based solely on a song. He hits the nail on the head with the line “we came to mourn you, not look in the mirror” and sheds light onto what some songwriters go through on a regular basis.–DAVE MARTINEZ, singer-songwriter

WilliamClarkGreen27. “Take Me Away” William Clark Green
Rose Queen

“Take Me Away” was written just a few months after William Clark Green released his sophomore album Misunderstood. It’s clear to the listener in lines like, “Every goddamn thing I’ve done, I’ve done it wrong” that Green was afraid that he might never leave Lubbock. Anybody can relate to the ‘back against the wall’ frustration that comes with an uncertain future. Everybody at some point asks themselves, “What the hell am I doing with my life??” It’s a heavy question, and Green gives it the proper weight in “Take Me Away.” If you ask Green, he’ll tell you he doesn’t remember writing it. He just woke up one morning after a night at the Blue Light and found “Take Me Away” recorded on his phone. Word for word, what he found that morning is the same song you’ll find on iTunes today. As Green would say, “When you’re drunk, the truth comes out.”–BENTON LEACHMAN, singer-songwriter

NatalieMainesMother26. “Silver Bell” Natalie Maines
Mother

I’m so glad Natalie Maines just lets things nearly go unhinged and off the rails here. It really becomes a clear standout on Mother. The guitars, which were done by Ben Harper and Jason Mozersky, are just relentless and drive Maines vocals. The song, which was written by fellow female singer-songwriter Patty Griffin is a bit of a “lost” gem. It was originally recorded by Griffin back in 2000 when she was recording her follow-up to Flaming Red. The record was eventually shelved and just actually was released this year in October. Maines does in many ways keep it pretty close to the original, but you can’t fault her for changing an already damn good song.–THOMAS D. MOONEY, NS

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One response to “Year in Review: Top 100 Lubbock Songs of 2013: 40-26

  1. Pingback: Year in Review: Top 100 Lubbock Songs of 2013: 25-1 | New Slang·

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