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KTW vs. ETC: etc’s Top 5 Downloads


A versus by Ernessa T. Carter and Kyle T. Wilson

First the setup:

Neither of us were super-excited about any one album or EP, this week, so we decided to review Ernessa’s Top 5 Download List.

Then the songs:

And now our opinions on all of the above after the jump:

ETC’s Take:

An exact transcript of the email I got from Kyle after the big announcment: “Okay, since you’re pregnant, are we still doing a column this week?”

So obviously Kyle done bumped his head. Of course we’re still doing a versus this week. Got to start teaching the dot in my womb about good music sooner than later.

And to that end, I decided to choose 5 great songs that I downloaded on Tuesday as opposed to our usual EP or album:

First up, “The Chain (Live at the Webster)” by Ingrid Michaelson. I’m mad at singer-songwriter-self-starter for getting rid of her glasses for the cover pic for her latest album, Be OK. Four-eyes represent! But she kind of makes up for it with “The Chain,” which reminds me of lying in my college dorm room and listening to The Indigo Girls, and wanting to be desperately in love, before I truly knew what love was.

Next up, as many of you know, the only thing I adore more than effed-up love songs is this new wave of Swedish acts (Lykke Li, Robyn, Adam Tensta). So Ane Brun (who was born in Norway, but lives in Sweden now) hit both of my sweet spots with “The Fall.” And the unbelieveably angsty “Lullaby for Grown-Ups” is like a lost cut from the soundtrack to my 20’s. “The Puzzle” didn’t make my Top 5, but it’s worth a listen as well. Her voice is gorgeous yet different, and I could listen to her all night (but probably not without slitting my wrists).

Last but definitely not least, more Swedes — though I swear I didn’t know they were when I downloaded them. I mean they are called I’m From Barcelona. With 30 members, this group is more of an eclectic collective than a band, and their album reflects that fun spirit. “Paper Planes” actually references The Cosby Show w/ a laugh track! And every music junkie needs to download “Headphones” yesterday, because this is like our theme song. Also recommended, super-breezy runner-up “Mingus.”

Kyle, please tell me that you also think that these songs are beyond brilliant. Otherwise we’re going to have to talk.



KTW’s Take:

Keep talkin, Ernessa.  Brilliant is not a word I would use to describe anything I’m hearing here.  Here’s my breakdown.

Ingrid Michaelson: “The Chain” has a nice build at the end, and feels like a bittersweet descendent of Joni Mitchell’s “My Old Man,” which, incidentally, I always thought would be cute to have a soloist sing during a gay wedding ceremony, at least before it was legal in California (and it should stay legal, FYI; vote no on prop 8).  You know what I’m talking about — that great line where Joni sings “We don’t need no piece of paper from the city hall,” etc.

But you didn’t ask me to write about Joni, did you?  I guess the difference between that song and this one is the metaphorical significance of the title and the conflict between intimacy and self-protection. But does it have a good beat, Ernessa?  Can I dance to it?

Oh, and another thing:  Indigo Girls, Ernessa?  Really?  I’m going to blame that on Smith College and move right along to–

I’m From Barcelona: In theory I should be really intrigued by this band, as it’s cheery and it rocks a little bit and the songwriting is catchy and a little bit eggheady.  I don’t dislike the songs Ernessa mentions, but I guess I’m feeling about these guys like Ernessa felt about Spinto Band last week.

Ane Brun: Did I listen to these?  I’m not sure…did I?  No, wait, I must’ve because….  Hmm….  I’ve got nothing here.  Sorry.


Both Kyle and Ernessa want to hear what you think, though, so let us know in the comments!