OMI Song of the Year 64 songs, one winner. Here are the Group 7 comments and results.
Everybody's Cool - Two Door Cinema Club
To Feel Young - The Tennis Courts
Suhas: One thing I love about the Two Foor Cinema Club is no matter how vague their lyrics seem to be, the song always has a deeper meaning along with an upbeat melody. In “Everybodys Cool” the singer describes what it's like to put on a facade of coolness and how empty it actually is. “Everybody’s Cool” gets my vote.
Old Man: “Everybody’s Cool” is a fun Second British Invasion-style dance tune from North Ireland’s Two Door Cinema Club. “To Feel Young” is a seize-the-day rock tune from Charleston rockers the Tennis Courts. I love the way the song builds up the sound so that by the three-minute mark there is a full wall of sound. My vote goes to the Tennis Courts.
Dane: “Everybody’s Cool” is a clean, polished indie dance hit. I feel cool bobbing my head along to its catchy chorus. “To Feel Young” is begging to not overthink the love in your life and to enjoy things while you can…. I feel like this theme has popped up in every other round so far. I choose Everybody’s Cool.
“Everybody’s Cools” moves into the top 32.
Closer - JODA vs.
Splinter - FIG
Dane: “Closer” was one of my nominees for the top 64. I originally chose “Closer” because it’s one of my favorite songs of 2022, but also because I thought the group of 64 would need some house music for a change of pace. I love the JODA project and “Closer” is a beautiful piece of progressive house. “Splinter” is a sad song dressed up with some happy synth lines and drumbeats. I like the duality of “Splinter” and choose it to move on.
Suhas: Choosing between these two was actually hard for me. “Splinter” was a very relatable song, I’ve also been a bit addicted to electronic synth-pop melodies. “Closer” starts out as a traditional love song and the beat drops and it turns into a catchy pop song. I choose “Splinter.”
Old Man: “Closer” is a full-on digital-synth disco tune. The song slows, builds, and has a nice drop that repeats a couple of times on the track. “Splinter” opens with what I can only explain as music that sounds like Atari game music. But by the 40-second mark, when the background vocals hit, I’m kind of hooked. I’m all about “Splinter” in this paring.
FIG takes her song to the next round.
Summertime Blues - Zach Bryan vs.
Madison - Drugdealer
Dane: 2022 was the year of Zach Bryan. He started the year as a relative unknown and ended as one of the top-selling and most listened-to country artists of the year. “Summertime Blues” is a great tune that highlights his ability to tell a story that everyone can believe. “Madison” sounds like Elvis Costello “Alison” mixed with Looking Glass’ “Brandy.” All great lady name songs. I’m intrigued by Madison, but choose “Summertime Blues” to move on.
Suhas: “Summertime Blues” is a really good sad song. In some ways, it sounds like its “Summertime Sadness” (which sounds more country). I had to go with “Madison” because of the background vocals, they have a very vintage sound to them and really make this song catchy. It makes me feel nostalgic.
Old Man: Zach Bryan is a gift. I need more of his music in my life. “Summertime Blues” is a stripped-down singer/songwriter tale that is full of remorse. It’s great when Bryan sings his own music. He conveys such emotion. On the tune “Madison” Drugdealer brilliantly channels Steely Dan. This is a close your eyes and let the cool just turn in your head. Super tough decision here. But I have to go with “Summertime Blues” here.
“Summertime Blues” moves on!
Stress Dreams - Greensky Bluegrass vs.
Sunday Morning - The Main Squeeze
Old Man: “Stress Dreams” is an eight-minute folk track backed with steady rhythmic banjo plucking. Unlike a lot of folk tracks of this length, there really isn’t a breakdown in this tune. This is more like a laid-back jazzy version of folk that includes a synth solo around the five-minute mark. After a few listens I decided this might be called psychedelic folk. “Sunday Morning” kicks in on the first beat with a chilled falsetto and soulful groove. The guitar work in this track is easy to lose under all the great elements of the production but pay close attention to it. It’s so good. I choose “Sunday Morning.”
Dane: We had to include a pandemic song in the list! “Stress Dreams” explores the restless nights experienced during 2020 set to beautiful improvisational, progressive bluegrass. “Sunday Morning” is as fun as it is sweet. I choose Stress Dreams to move on to the next round.
Suhas: I have to say I really like the light guitar riffs going into jazzy piano solos. The sound is lovely. It’s a nice way to start the morning and a perfect romantic song. I select “Sunday Morning.”
The Main Squeeze makes it into the round of 32.