OMI Song of the Year 64 songs, one winner. Here are the Group 8 (final group) comments and results.
Expert in a Dying Field - The Beths
Liquid Spells - The Great Leslie
Suhas: In “Expert in a Dying Field” The Beths’ lead singer, Elizabeth Stokes, cleverly describes her and her ex trying to move on from a breakup in a soft and angsty way. They’re not first-timers, having learned the lesson of heartbreak many times, and therefore “experts” in their romance (a “dying field”). For this pairing, I choose the heavier-handed “Liquid Spells for having the catchier hook of “I’m reeling I’m feeling.” The theme of alcoholism which I assume is the “Liquid Spells” made a definite impression.
Dane: “Expert in a Dying Field” asks what someone is supposed to do with the shared knowledge that is gained over time, in a relationship, once the relationship comes to an end. Really clever lyrics and a great all-around tune. “Liquid Spells” brings a party atmosphere to a song that’s all about… partying too much. Interesting juxtaposition between the song’s energy and lyrics. I choose “Expert in a Dying Field” for having the cleverest lyrics of the year.
Old Man: New Zealand rockers The Beths have taken a bit of their edge off on “Expert in a Dying Field” and turned out a terrific track that features the softer side of Elizabeth Stokes’ vocals. Not many songs get me pumped like “Liquid Spells.” Just love Ollie Travers’ voice and what he does with this song. I’m all in on “Liquid Spells” for the next round.
“Liquid Spells” seeps into the next round.
Stevie - Warpaint
C'mon Baby, Cry - Orville Peck
Dane: Warpaint always delivers moody rock tunes. “Stevie” walks the line between grooviness and delicacy in a way that is something I think only Warpaint is capable of. I used to go back and forth on Orville Peck, but I really think his sound works best on a major label. Columbia really did a good job rounding out Peck’s sound and finding tunes that better showcase his singing abilities. “C’Mon Baby Cry” is a classic Peck tune, bridging the gap between classic country and modern flare. It also has one of my favorite videos of the year. I choose “C’mon Baby Cry.”
Suhas: For me, the very hippie-like dreamy song, “Stevie”, is the choice here. I like how the singer describes how her life has changed forever from a crush that slowly develops into true love.
Old man: “Warpaint” is a breathy slow jam. The production is spot on and background vocals give the tune a full mesmerizing sound. In “C'mon Baby, Cry” by Orville Peck is such a great sixties throwback. Peck channels a little Elvis and a lot of Roy Orbison. Along with Ollie Travers’ from The Great Leslie, Peck is one of my favorite male vocalists. My vote goes to “C'mon Baby, Cry.”
Orville Peck ascends to the round of 32.
Love On the Run - Broken Bells
Teenage Overpopulation - 2nd Grade
Dane: When the first Broken Bells album came out in 2010, I thought that James Mercer (The Shins) and Danger Mouse (the guy that produced every other record in the 2010’s) immediately found a sound that was different enough from their day jobs while retaining enough of the unique characteristics that made them so successful. I think the band really evolved its sound with songs like “Love on the Run.” The track is different from anything either artist has done in the past. “Teenage Overpopulation” is one of the most fun and funniest songs of the year. I just feel better after listening to it. I choose “Teenage Overpopulation to move in.”
Suhas: Love on the run is simply a beautiful song. I know that 2nd Grade was trying to go for a satirical angle with “Teenage Overpopulation,” but for me, the well-produced well performed “Love on the Run” gets my vote.
Old Man: “Love on the Run” is my favorite arrangement of the year. Brian Burton (Danger) Mouse is brilliant. This production would have done Isaac Hayes proud. James Mercer handles the vocals surprisingly well. 2nd Grade’s “Easy Listening” is one of my favorite albums from 2022. “Teenage Population” is the ninth track on the album and such an ironic joy. The lyrics are gold. “Teenage Overpopulation” gets my happy vote.
2nd Grade move up!
live from the ufo - Origami Angel
Chapstick – COIN
Suhas: “live from the UFO” describes a lot of the anxiety we feel when we go through hard situations. How we can lose or gain faith in God and religion as we go through turbulent times? It also takes a humorous twist as the singer thinks that the divine source controlling him may be an alien controlling him from inside a UFO. It works for me. Origami Angel gets my vote.
Old Man: I’m quite a fan of both of these bands. “live from UFO” is such a change-up for punk rockers Origami Angel. It just shows talented the band is. The stripped-down “live from the UFO” show Ryland Heagy has the ability to appeal to more listeners than just punk rock fans. COIN’s “Chapstick” is the best American example of Post-Brexit New Wave I’ve heard this year. The song is catchy and shows this synth-rock band can lay down some mean guitar licks as well. I select “Chapstick” to move on to the round of 32.
Dane: I really hope that “live from the ufo” is meant to be a funny song. If not, then the guys from Origami Angel might need some help. Either way, I really like Ryland Heagy’s voice and enjoy the genre-bending between emo, pop, and prog in this song. “Chapstick” belongs on one of those old iPod commercials, the ones that had vibrantly colored silhouettes. I pick “live from the ufo” to advance.
“live from the UFO” makes it to the next round.