We didn’t have to go very far to put together this week’s countdown. In fact, we never have to go anywhere. We just sit and the songs come to us. That’s the brilliant part about the Internet that so many modern music fans take for granted. I’ve talked to early Gen Xers who remember dreaming of a time when you could access copious music accessibly. Not only did that happen, but we’ve now reached a point of extremity where it sometimes seems like there are too many songs available, and certainly not enough time to listen to them all, much less a need to. So, every week we try to filter that mass down to the 10 best, from any and all genres, doom metal to art pop. This week’s countdown epitomizes that goal, a particularly varied playlist for riding out this lingering winter weather. We had to scrape the sides of the barrel, but that’s why we do this: the thrill of the hunt and to quench the thirst for new sounds.
10. Nativity Beds – “Beaulieu River”
2013 was a good year for folk experimentation, like Mutual Benefit’s natural landscapes and Local Natives’ matured ease. Nativity Beds, solo project of Chicago’s Kyle Maurisak, infuses drum glitches and rattling bass foundations into the mix. Not only does his extensive creativity show on “Beaulieu River”, but also strong, concise songwriting. It’s single verse gets the point across that he’s a scarred lover, but the twinkling bells and hand-woven guitar contribute some much-needed tranquility. –Sam Willett