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Animal Collective

Hey there. Have you heard this little piece of magic yet?

I know It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a song of the week but I think this is a perfect opportunity to renew the tradition. I am kind of obsessed with the song “My Girls”, which is the 2nd song on Animal Collective’s excellent new album, Merriweather Post Pavilion. To me this song is a modest plea for a simple, quiet life with a humble home and family. It has one of the catchiest hooks I’ve ever heard from Animal Collective and the sort of hypnotic affect that is common in many of their songs. There is just something so innocent and lovely about this song and the way it is sung that makes me want to listen to it over and over again, as I have been doing for the past few days. The song ends, “I don’t mean to seem like I care about material things like a social status. I just want four walls and adobe slabs for my girls”. Lay back and listen…

Animal Collective – My Girls

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Written for the Yellow Bird Project:
December 1st, 2008 by themiddledistancerunner…

Well folks, the year is winding down once again. I feel like just a few months ago we were ringing in 2008, but the truth is that another year has passed us by. This will be my first post in a series of posts celebrating “The Best of 2008”. To start off the series, I’d like to talk about my favourite EPs of the year. There have been quite a few EPs released this year to keep us going while we await new full lengths from our favourite artists. Artists such as Andrew Bird, Final Fantasy, The Decemberists, Antony & the Johnsons, Animal Collective and Coldplay have all released EPs this year. Some have been better than others, but they have mostly been solid. So here is my list of the Best EPs of 2008:

5. Animal Collective – Water Curses EP

Starting out the list is Animal Collective’s Water Curses EP. The first two songs on the 4 song EP are amazing and the last two are just so so, but what makes this EP so special is the title track of the EP, “Water Curses”. This song is among my favourite all-time Animal Collective songs. They could have just put out the EP with this being the only song on it and I would still consider it a great success. I may be building this song up too much. You’re probably going to listen to it and be like…”Ok it’s not that good”. So forget what I just said. This EP is terrible. “Water Curses”? Awful, Awful song….

Animal Collective – Water Curses

Animal Collective Myspace

4. Andrew Bird – Soldier On EP

Next we have the brilliant multi-instrumentalist/whistler extraordinaire, who is back with this excellent little EP to tide us over until his next full length album, which will be entitled Noble Beasts and is slated for a January 27th, 2009 release. I have this feeling that nothing Andrew Bird puts his hands on can turn out bad. I have loved pretty much everything I have ever heard from him and this EP is no exception. “The Water Jet Cilice” is pure beauty in song. Check it out.

Andrew Bird – The Water Jet Cilice

Andrew Bird Myspace

3. Stars – Sad Robots EP

I absolutely love this EP. Stars have always brought the drama and this EP is no different. It is comprised of 5 new songs and a new live version of the Stars classic, “Going Going Gone”. I was also lucky enough to be able to see Stars perform some of the songs from this EP live in New York City a few months ago. I am really eager to hear what the next Stars album will sound like. I really hope it goes in the same direction as this excellent EP.

Stars – Undertow

Stars’ Myspace

2. The Decemberists – Always the Bridesmaid (A Singles Series) EPs

This is a series of 3 EP’s of odds and ends that obviously wouldn’t fit on the new album that the Decemberists are working on entitled Hazards of Love, which will be released in March 2009. Colin Meloy has always been a fan of the EP, releasing a number of them before this one, including his Colin Meloy SIngs series, in which he covered songs of Morrissey, Shirley Collins and Sam Cooke on three EPs. This series of EPs is quite spectacular if you ask me. I really like every song on them. My favourites would have to be “A Record Year” off of Volume 3, and the cover of the Velvet Underground’s “I’m Sticking With You” off of Volume 2. Valerie Plame is also a pretty awesome song. You can find that one of the first volume.

The Decemberists – Record Year

The Decemberists Myspace

1. Fleet Foxes – Sun Giant EP

And the winner is….of course! This one’s a shoo-in. Just an amazing EP from start to finish. “Mykonos” is still arguably my favourite Fleet Foxes song period. It looks like Fleet Foxes are going to clean up this year in most of the “Best of 2008” lists. Check in soon to see if they top the list of best song of the year, or best album of the year.

Fleet Foxes – Sun Giant

Fleet Foxes Myspace

Honorable mention goes to the Another World EP by Antony & the Johnsons, the Plays to Please EP by Final Fantasy, and the No Way Down EP by Air France.

So Fleet Foxes take best EP of the year…what a surprise. These guys are just amazing. I really hope they keep it up on whatever they decide to release next. The next thing I’m working on is my list of the top songs of the year. After that I will reveal my list of the top 20 albums of the year. It’s actually quite fun to look back and see what you really listened to a lot of during the year. You should do it too.

What are your favourite EPs of the year?

Until next week…

The Middle Distance Runner

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Well hello there kind fellows. I have finally found a few seconds to take a few of the songs that I have been listening to a lot this past month and putting together a monthly mixtape for your listening pleasure. So here it is. I hope you like it. I think it’s got some very nice songs if I do say so myself.

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1. Dr. Dog – The Old Days
This is the perfect song to kick off my July mix. It is off of Dr. Dog’s brand new album, Fate. It sort of has a reggae vibe to it. Really nice song that I’ve been listening to on repeat.

2. Elliott Brood – Write it all Down For You
I came across this band while I was perusing the July edition of Exclaim Magazine. I decided to check them out, and again my instincts were correct. I have been listening to their excellent new album, Mountain Meadows, a lot lately.

3. Middle Distance Runner – The Sun and Earth
Well guys, you made it! Haha, just kidding. I just feel stupid for not knowing about you sooner. I’ve been listening to this band’s Self Titled EP and first full length album, entitled Plane in Flames, a lot lately. This song is my immediate favourite, but check out the song “Naturally”, which you can hear on the bands Myspace Page.

4. Bowerbirds – In Our Talons
I just saw these guys open for Bon Iver last week and was really impressed! They have a nice sound to them.

5. Crystal Castles – Untrust Us
Sometimes it takes me a while to listen to bands that have a lot of hype. I’ve been hearing about Crystal Castles everywhere lately so I just had to check them out. And I am very glad I did because they are pretty friggin awesome. If you like electronicky stuff, this song is for you.

6. Caribou – After Hours
I could have picked any song off of Caribou’s new album. But I was listening to this song last night so I chose it for my mix. There is a good chance that his new album, Andorra, will win this year’s Polaris Music Prize.

7. Ratatat – Montanita
Probably one of my favourite songs ever. Don’t know why.

8. Au – rr vs. d
They kind of have that off the wall, Animal Collective kind of feel. Except they don’t really sound anything like Animal Collective. I dunno, I’m just always looking for stuff that’s new and exciting and that’s exactly what Au give us.

9. Kathleen Edwards – Buffalo
Pretty song. Her new album, Asking For Flowers, is also among the final 10 nominees for this year’s Polaris Music Prize

10. Fleet Foxes – Mykonos
No secret here. Saw Fleet Foxes Live this month. Obsessed with Mykonos. Nothing I can do about it. Perfect song to close out my second monthly mixtape.

Hope you enjoyed it. Let me know what you think.

Also, I am leaving for London tomorrow. I will be there for a week. Hopefully I will have internet access there and I will be able to update my blog. But if you don’t hear from me, don’t send out a search party okay?

Take care of yourselves!

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