I’m kind of a relic in that I’m much more of an album person than a song person. If I hear a song I like, I always do my best to check out the entire album from which it comes before making any judgment. I don’t know how this happened — maybe it was being raised on cassette tapes where the idea of listening to a single song over and over again involved far too much button-pushing — but it’s the way I consume music.
For whatever reason, it’s often true that the first song I hear from an album is the one I like the most. My guess is that this is because it’s both the point of entry and first impressions are crucial, or else it’s because artists usually release their bests songs first as singles and hope to reel you in for everything else they offer.
Here are a few of the songs that grabbed me from the get-go and led me into the excellent albums from which they came. I hope they can do the same for you. (And if you’ve heard ‘em already, well, they’re all worth another play.)
Also, for further exploration, feel free to check out (and/or subscribe to) my favorite songs of 2012 playlist on Spotify.
Father John Misty, “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings” off of “Fear Fun”
Japandroids, “The House That Heaven Built” off of “Celebration Rock”
Jack White, “Sixteen Saltines” off of “Blunderbuss”
JEFF the Brotherhood, “Sixpack” off of “Hypnotic Nights”
Yeasayer, “Reagan’s Skeleton” off of “Fragrant World”
The Walkmen, “Heaven” off of “Heaven”
Sharon Van Etten, “Serpents” off of “Tramp”
Hospitality, “Friends of Friends” off of “Hospitality”
First Aid Kit, “Emmylou” off of “The Lion’s Roar”
Bad Books, “Forest Whitaker” off of “II”
–Shane Nyman, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @shanenyman