Top 30 Songs for January 16-22, 2022

I just can’t get enough of those exuberant jangly guitars, driving beats and soaring vocals on the marvelous “Good Friend” by Canadian artist dwi, and it remains my favorite song for a second week. Closing in at #2 is “Crutch” by Band of Horses, and climbing four spots to #4 is the beautiful “Time in Disguise” by Kings of Leon. It’s not doing particularly well on the Alternative charts, which is perplexing to me, especially given that “Bandit” was the top song of 2021 on the Adult Alternative Airplay chart. The ebullient dance-pop tune “Starts With You” by L.A.-based singer-songwriter Shimmer Johnson climbs three spots to #6, and Tears for Fears’ “The Tipping Point” also climbs three spots to #7.

Three songs debut on this week’s chart: Though it’s been out for over three months, “INDUSTRY BABY” by Lil Nas X featuring Jack Harlow finally enters my chart at #28. Bringing up the rear are new songs by two of my favorite acts from London, England – “Just Like Always” by Oli Barton & the Movement and Maella, and “Redchurch Street Blues” by Philip Morgan Lewis, which enter at #29 & #30, respectively.

  1. GOOD FRIEND – dwi (1)
  2. CRUTCH – Band of Horses (3)
  3. I DON’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE – The War on Drugs featuring Lucius (2)
  4. TIME IN DISGUISE – Kings of Leon (8)
  5. LOVE LOVE LOVE – My Morning Jacket (4)
  6. STARTS WITH YOU – Shimmer Johnson (9)
  7. THE TIPPING POINT – Tears for Fears (10)
  8. BEGGIN’ – Måneskin (5)
  9. I DON’T WANNA TALK (I JUST WANNA DANCE) – Glass Animals (6)
  10. LOVE IN OCTOBER – Ships Have Sailed (7)
  11. I SEE THE SUN – Solar Eyes (12)
  12. TWO CAR FAMILY – Apollo Junction (13)
  13. LEFT BEHIND – a million rich daughters (14)
  14. SMILE – Wolf Alice (15)
  15. JOURNEYMAN’S BALLET – Sam Rappaport (17)
  16. U&ME – alt-J (18)
  17. ONE AND THE SAME – Future Theory (19)
  18. WAKE ME UP – Foals (20)
  19. THE HARDEST CUT – Spoon (22)
  20. UNTIL I COME HOME – Two Feet & grandson (23)
  21. CHAPSTICK – COIN (24)
  22. HEAD IN THE CLOUDS – Thunder Fox (25)
  23. THE OUTSIDE – twenty øne piløts (26)
  24. DON’T BRING ME DOWN – Two Feet (11)
  25. THE ONLY HEARTBREAKER – Mitski (30)
  26. JUSTIFIED – Kacey Musgraves (16)
  27. KALEIDOSCOPE – Soda Cracker Jesus (21)
  28. INDUSTRY BABY – Lil Nas X featuring Jack Harlow (N)
  29. JUST LIKE ALWAYS – Oli Barton & the Movement & Maella (N)
  30. REDCHURCH STREET BLUES – Philip Morgan Lewis (N)

Top 30 Songs for January 9-15, 2022

I’m thrilled to place the lively but poignant song “Good Friend” by Canadian artist dwi at #1 on this week’s Top 30. The music project of insanely creative and talented Vancouver-based singer-songwriter Dwight Abell, dwi was one of my favorite new music discoveries of 2021, and his brilliant debut album Mild Fantasy Violence is among my favorite releases of the year (read my review here). “Good Friend” is about discovering after the fact that a friend had been going through some hard times, and wishing you’d known more at the time so you could have helped them through it. I love the song’s infectious hard-driving melody, colorful guitar work and dwi’s expressive vocals lamenting about his shortcomings as a friend: “Had I known you were broken inside. Had I known you were empty inside. If I was a good friend, I’d a known better. If I was a good friend, I’d have done better./ I’m done with the drugs, but there’s still some left inside.”

In other chart developments, “Crutch” by Band of Horses jumps four spots to #3, Tears for Fears’ “The Tipping Point” enters the top 10, and Mitski debuts with “The Only Heartbreaker”, her first-ever appearance on my Weekly Top 30 chart.

  1. GOOD FRIEND – dwi (2)
  2. I DON’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE – The War on Drugs featuring Lucius (1)
  3. CRUTCH – Band of Horses (7)
  4. LOVE LOVE LOVE – My Morning Jacket (4)
  5. BEGGIN’ – Måneskin (3)
  6. I DON’T WANNA TALK (I JUST WANNA DANCE) – Glass Animals (6)
  7. LOVE IN OCTOBER – Ships Have Sailed (8)
  8. TIME IN DISGUISE – Kings of Leon (9)
  9. STARTS WITH YOU – Shimmer Johnson (10)
  10. THE TIPPING POINT – Tears for Fears (12)
  11. DON’T BRING ME DOWN – Two Feet (5)
  12. I SEE THE SUN – Solar Eyes (13)
  13. TWO CAR FAMILY – Apollo Junction (14)
  14. LEFT BEHIND – a million rich daughters (15)
  15. SMILE – Wolf Alice (16)
  16. JUSTIFIED – Kacey Musgraves (11)
  17. JOURNEYMAN’S BALLET – Sam Rappaport (19)
  18. U&ME – alt-J (20)
  19. ONE AND THE SAME – Future Theory (21)
  20. WAKE ME UP – Foals (22)
  21. KALEIDOSCOPE – Soda Cracker Jesus (18)
  22. THE HARDEST CUT – Spoon (25)
  23. UNTIL I COME HOME – Two Feet & grandson (27)
  24. CHAPSTICK – COIN (28)
  25. HEAD IN THE CLOUDS – Thunder Fox (29)
  26. THE OUTSIDE – twenty øne piløts (30)
  27. ALL TOO WELL (10 Minute Version) – Taylor Swift (17)
  28. SURVIVOR – Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats (23)
  29. EASY ON ME – Adele (24)
  30. THE ONLY HEARTBREAKER – Mitski (N)

Top 30 Songs for January 2-8, 2022

Happy New Year! For my first Weekly Top 30 of 2022, The War on Drugs hold the top spot for a second week with “I Don’t Live Here Anymore”, featuring backing vocals by Lucius. Climbing three spots to #2 is “Good Friend”, one of the many wonderful songs from the brilliant album Mild Fantasy Violence by Canadian artist dwi. Entering the top 10 this week are “Crutch” by Band of Horses and “Time in Disguise” by Kings of Leon, and the lone debut is “The Outside” by twenty øne piløts.

  1. I DON’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE – The War on Drugs featuring Lucius (1)
  2. GOOD FRIEND – dwi (5)
  3. BEGGIN’ – Måneskin (2)
  4. LOVE LOVE LOVE – My Morning Jacket (4)
  5. DON’T BRING ME DOWN – Two Feet (3)
  6. I DON’T WANNA TALK (I JUST WANNA DANCE) – Glass Animals (6)
  7. CRUTCH – Band of Horses (12)
  8. LOVE IN OCTOBER – Ships Have Sailed (7)
  9. TIME IN DISGUISE – Kings of Leon (11)
  10. STARTS WITH YOU – Shimmer Johnson (10)
  11. JUSTIFIED – Kacey Musgraves (9)
  12. THE TIPPING POINT – Tears for Fears (15)
  13. I SEE THE SUN – Solar Eyes (17)
  14. TWO CAR FAMILY – Apollo Junction (18)
  15. LEFT BEHIND – a million rich daughters (19)
  16. SMILE – Wolf Alice (20)
  17. ALL TOO WELL (10 Minute Version) – Taylor Swift (8)
  18. KALEIDOSCOPE – Soda Cracker Jesus (21)
  19. JOURNEYMAN’S BALLET – Sam Rappaport (22)
  20. U&ME – alt-J (23)
  21. ONE AND THE SAME – Future Theory (24)
  22. WAKE ME UP – Foals (25)
  23. SURVIVOR – Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats (13)
  24. EASY ON ME – Adele (14)
  25. THE HARDEST CUT – Spoon (26)
  26. REARVIEW – G. Samedi (16)
  27. UNTIL I COME HOME – Two Feet & grandson (27)
  28. CHAPSTICK – COIN (29)
  29. HEAD IN THE CLOUDS – Thunder Fox (30)
  30. THE OUTSIDE – twenty øne piløts (N)

Top 30 Songs for December 26, 2021-January 1, 2022

The War on Drugs take over the top spot on my final Weekly Top 30 of 2021 with their bittersweet “I Don’t Live Here Anymore”, featuring beautiful backing vocals by indie pop band Lucius. Canadian-born and now L.A.-based singer-songwriter Shimmer Johnson enters the top 10 with her lively dance-pop song “Starts With You”, and debuting this week are “Chapstick” by Nashville pop-rock band COIN, and the delightfully funky “Head in the Clouds” by Sydney, Australian band Thunder Fox.

  1. I DON’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE – The War on Drugs featuring Lucius (2)
  2. BEGGIN’ – Måneskin (1)
  3. DON’T BRING ME DOWN – Two Feet (3)
  4. LOVE LOVE LOVE – My Morning Jacket (5)
  5. GOOD FRIEND – dwi (8)
  6. I DON’T WANNA TALK (I JUST WANNA DANCE) – Glass Animals (4)
  7. LOVE IN OCTOBER – Ships Have Sailed (7)
  8. ALL TOO WELL (10 Minute Version) – Taylor Swift (6)
  9. JUSTIFIED – Kacey Musgraves (9)
  10. STARTS WITH YOU – Shimmer Johnson (12)
  11. TIME IN DISGUISE – Kings of Leon (13)
  12. CRUTCH – Band of Horses (15)
  13. SURVIVOR – Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats (11)
  14. EASY ON ME – Adele (10)
  15. THE TIPPING POINT – Tears For Fears (16)
  16. REARVIEW – G. Samedi (14)
  17. I SEE THE SUN – Solar Eyes (19)
  18. TWO CAR FAMILY – Apollo Junction (20)
  19. LEFT BEHIND – a million rich daughters (21)
  20. SMILE – Wolf Alice (17)
  21. KALEIDOSCOPE – Soda Cracker Jesus (23)
  22. JOURNEYMAN’S BALLET – Sam Rappaport (24)
  23. U&ME – alt-J (25)
  24. ONE AND THE SAME – Future Theory (26)
  25. WAKE ME UP – Foals (27)
  26. THE HARDEST CUT – Spoon (29)
  27. UNTIL I COME HOME – Two Feet & grandson (30)
  28. NEVER LOOKED BACK – The Zangwills (18)
  29. CHAPSTICK – COIN (N)
  30. HEAD IN THE CLOUDS – Thunder Fox (N)

Top 30 Songs for December 19-25, 2021

Sexy-beautiful Italian rockers Måneskin remain in the top spot for a second week with “Beggin'”, while the War on Drugs’ “I Don’t Live Here Anymore”, featuring Lucius, closes in at #2. Otherwise, all the songs in last week’s top 10 remain in that rarefied group, with a bit of shuffling around of positions here and there. As we approach the end of 2021, two new songs debut this week: “The Hardest Cut” by veteran art-rock band Spoon, and “Until I Come Home”, a wonderful collaborative single by Two Feet and grandson.

  1. BEGGIN’ – Måneskin (1)
  2. I DON’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE – The War on Drugs ft. Lucius (3)
  3. DON’T BRING ME DOWN – Two Feet (2)
  4. I DON’T WANNA TALK (I JUST WANNA DANCE) – Glass Animals (4)
  5. LOVE LOVE LOVE – My Morning Jacket (6)
  6. ALL TOO WELL (10 Minute Version) – Taylor Swift (7)
  7. LOVE IN OCTOBER – Ships Have Sailed (9)
  8. GOOD FRIEND – dwi (10)
  9. JUSTIFIED – Kacey Musgraves (8)
  10. EASY ON ME – Adele (5)
  11. SURVIVOR – Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats (11)
  12. STARTS WITH YOU – Shimmer Johnson (14)
  13. TIME IN DISGUISE – Kings of Leon (15)
  14. REARVIEW – G. Samedi (16)
  15. CRUTCH – Band of Horses (19)
  16. THE TIPPING POINT – Tears For Fears (18)
  17. SMILE – Wolf Alice (17)
  18. NEVER LOOKED BACK – The Zangwills (12)
  19. I SEE THE SUN – Solar Eyes (22)
  20. TWO CAR FAMILY – Apollo Junction (23)
  21. LEFT BEHIND – a million rich daughters (24)
  22. TAKE THE L – Roadkeeper (13) 20th week on list
  23. KALEIDOSCOPE – Soda Cracker Jesus (25)
  24. JOURNEYMAN’S BALLET – Sam Rappaport (26)
  25. U&ME – alt-J (27)
  26. ONE AND THE SAME – Future Theory (28)
  27. WAKE ME UP – Foals (30)
  28. MINE FOREVER – Lord Huron (21)
  29. THE HARDEST CUT – Spoon (N)
  30. UNTIL I COME HOME – Two Feet & grandson (N)

Top 30 Songs for December 12-18, 2021

One of the hottest acts to burst onto the global music scene in 2021 has been Italian rock band Måneskin. Though they’ve been around since 2016, it was their win this past May of the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest for their song “ZITTI E BUONI” that catapulted the exciting and sexy band into superstardom. That song entered my Weekly Top 30 in mid-June, and they’ve remained on my chart every single week since with a run of singles – “ZITTI E BUONI”, “I WANNA BE YOUR SLAVE” and “Beggin'”. “Beggin'”, their fiery remake of the 1967 Four Seasons song, takes over the #1 spot this week, dethroning Two Feet’s “Don’t Bring Me Down” after a four-week run. “Beggin'” was a top 20 hit for the Four Seasons, and was reimagined 40 years later by Norwegian hip-hop duo Madcon, who had a #1 hit with it in several European countries. As I write this, Måneskin’s version has been #1 on the Billboard Alternative Airplay chart for 10 weeks.

In other chart developments, the War on Drugs climb to #3 with their beautiful “I Don’t Live Here Anymore”, featuring added vocals by Lucius. Entering the top 10 are “Love in October” by the immensely talented L.A. duo Ships Have Sailed, and “Good Friend” by Canadian artist dwi, whose marvelous album Mild Fantasy Violence I reviewed in October. The lone debut this week is “Wake Me Up” by British band Foals, currently one of my top 10 favorite bands in the world.

  1. BEGGIN’ – Måneskin (4)
  2. DON’T BRING ME DOWN – Two Feet (1)
  3. I DON’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE – The War on Drugs featuring Lucius (5)
  4. I DON’T WANNA TALK (I JUST WANNA DANCE) – Glass Animals (3)
  5. EASY ON ME – Adele (2)
  6. LOVE LOVE LOVE – My Morning Jacket (6)
  7. ALL TOO WELL (10 Minute Version) – Taylor Swift (7)
  8. JUSTIFIED – Kacey Musgraves (10)
  9. LOVE IN OCTOBER – Ships Have Sailed (11)
  10. GOOD FRIEND – dwi (12)
  11. SURVIVOR – Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats (13)
  12. NEVER LOOKED BACK – The Zangwills (8)
  13. TAKE THE L – Roadkeeper (9)
  14. STARTS WITH YOU – Shimmer Johnson (16)
  15. TIME IN DISGUISE – Kings of Leon (17)
  16. REARVIEW – G. Samedi (18)
  17. SMILE – Wolf Alice (19)
  18. THE TIPPING POINT – Tears For Fears (20)
  19. CRUTCH – Band of Horses (21)
  20. CAN YOU HANDLE MY LOVE?? – WALK THE MOON (14)
  21. MINE FOREVER – Lord Huron (15)
  22. I SEE THE SUN – Solar Eyes (24)
  23. TWO CAR FAMILY – Apollo Junction (25)
  24. LEFT BEHIND – a million rich daughters (26)
  25. KALEIDOSCOPE – Soda Cracker Jesus (27)
  26. JOURNEYMAN’S BALLET – Sam Rappaport (28)
  27. U&ME – alt-J (29)
  28. ONE AND THE SAME – Future Theory (30)
  29. COLORADO – Milky Chance (22)
  30. WAKE ME UP – Foals (N)

100 Best Songs of the 2010s – #46: “Mountain At My Gates” by Foals

The song at #46 on my list of 100 Best Songs of the 2010s is the gorgeous anthem “Mountain At My Gates” by British alt-rock band Foals. They rank among my current favorite bands and I passionately love their distinctive sound, characterized by uniquely beautiful guitar work and lead singer Yannis Philippakis’ rich vocals that make their music instantly identifiable. The group was formed in Oxford, England in 2005, and their current line-up consists of the aforementioned Yannis Philippakis (I love that name!) who also plays lead guitar, drummer and percussionist Jack Bevan, rhythm guitarist Jimmy Smith and keyboardist Edwin Congreave. Their previous bassist Walter Gervers left the band in 2019 to pursue other interests.

From their stunning fourth album What Went Down, “Mountain At My Gates” was released as a single in July 2015. The song peaked at #1 on the Billboard Alternative chart in early 2016. The lyrics seem to address perseverance and overcoming life’s obstacles, although in a 2015 interview with NME, Philippakis said the lyrics just came to him spontaneously in the studio: “The central image – ‘I see a mountain at my gates’ was from me getting more interested in seeing what would come out lyrically where there wasn’t a pre-conceived idea. Normally I write voraciously in books and journals, then harvest a lot of that for the record. This, though, came out instantaneously in the room.”

I see a mountain at my gates
I see it more and more each day
And my desire wears a dark dress
But each day, I see you less

Oh, gimme some time
Show me the foothold from which I can climb
Yeah, when I feel low
You show me a signpost for where I should go

The dramatic and powerful instrumentals – highlighted by those beautiful guitars – are fantastic, and Philippakis’ fervent vocals smolder and soar to impassioned wails as the song builds to a climactic flourish, leaving me covered in chills every time I hear it.

The interesting video produced for the song is a spherical video filmed with a GoPro omnidirectional camera. You can rotate the imagery with your cursor.

Top 30 Songs for March 1-7, 2020

1. EVERYTHING I WANTED – Billie Eilish (2)
2. MIGHT BE RIGHT – White Reaper (1)
3. NOVOCAINE – The Unlikely Candidates (3)
4. WARS – Of Monsters and Men (5)
5. THE BEST – AWOLNATION (6)
6. ORPHANS – Coldplay (4)
7. USED TO LIKE – Neon Trees (9)
8. DON’T START NOW – Dua Lipa (12)
9. DANCE OF THE CLAIRVOYANTS – Pearl Jam (13)
10. LIFE IN THE CITY – The Lumineers (14)
11. UNEVENTFUL DAYS – Beck (8)
12. 2ALL – Catfish and the Bottlemen (7)
13. YOU? – Two Feet (10) 20th week on list
14. HOW WE LIVE – Mandalan featuring Cadence XYZ (15)
15. VAN HORN – Saint Motel (16)
16. MARINERS APARTMENT COMPLEX – Lana Del Rey (17)
17. ADORE YOU – Harry Styles (19)
18. LOVE YOU FOR A LONG TIME – Maggie Rogers (20)
19. WHITE LIES & PALM TREES – The Lovepools (11) 21st week on list
20. CAN’T STOP – Vox Eagle (21)
21. UNCHAINED – Devon Gilfillian (22)
22. BLACK MADONNA – Cage the Elephant (23)
23. LOST IN YESTERDAY – Tame Impala (26)
24. COLORS – Black Pumas (27)
25. TEXAS SUN – Khruangbin & Leon Bridges (28)
26. HERO – Michael Kiwanuka (29)
27. THE RUNNER – Foals (18)
28. REASONS I DRINK – Alanis Morissette (N)
29. SHINE A LITTLE LIGHT – The Black Keys (N)
30. OH YEAH! – Green Day (N)

Top 30 Songs for February 23-29, 2020

1. MIGHT BE RIGHT – White Reaper (1)
2. EVERYTHING I WANTED – Billie Eilish (4)
3. NOVOCAINE – The Unlikely Candidates (3)
4. ORPHANS – Coldplay (2)
5. WARS – Of Monsters and Men (6)
6. THE BEST – AWOLNATION (9)
7. 2ALL – Catfish and the Bottlemen (8)
8. UNEVENTFUL DAYS – Beck (10)
9. USED TO LIKE – Neon Trees (12)
10. YOU? – Two Feet (7) 19th week on list
11. WHITE LIES & PALM TREES – The Lovepools (5) 20th week on list
12. DON’T START NOW – Dua Lipa (19)
13. DANCE OF THE CLAIRVOYANTS – Pearl Jam (20)
14. LIFE IN THE CITY – The Lumineers (15)
15. HOW WE LIVE – Mandalan featuring Cadence XYZ (16)
16. VAN HORN – Saint Motel (17)
17. MARINERS APARTMENT COMPLEX – Lana Del Rey (18)
18. THE RUNNER – Foals (11)
19. ADORE YOU – Harry Styles (21)
20. LOVE YOU FOR A LONG TIME – Maggie Rogers (22)
21. CAN’T STOP – Vox Eagle (24)
22. UNCHAINED – Devon Gilfillian (25)
23. BLACK MADONNA – Cage the Elephant (26)
24. REWARD – Paul Iwan (13)
25. BLIND LEADING THE BLIND – Mumford & Sons (14)
26. LOST IN YESTERDAY – Tame Impala (28)
27. COLORS – Black Pumas (29)
28. TEXAS SUN – Khruangbin & Leon Bridges (30)
29. HERO – Michael Kiwanuka (N)
30. NIGHT TIME – Isolda (23)

Top 30 Songs for February 16-22, 2020

1. MIGHT BE RIGHT – White Reaper (2)
2. ORPHANS – Coldplay (1)
3. NOVOCAINE – The Unlikely Candidates (4)
4. EVERYTHING I WANTED – Billie Eilish (14)
5. WHITE LIES & PALM TREES – The Lovepools (3)
6. WARS – Of Monsters and Men (8)
7. YOU? – Two Feet (5)
8. 2ALL – Catfish and the Bottlemen (10)
9. THE BEST – AWOLNATION (11)
10. UNEVENTFUL DAYS – Beck (12)
11. THE RUNNER – Foals (7)
12. USED TO LIKE – Neon Trees (13)
13. REWARD – Paul Iwan (6)
14. BLIND LEADING THE BLIND – Mumford & Sons (9)
15. LIFE IN THE CITY – The Lumineers (16)
16. HOW WE LIVE – Mandalan featuring Cadence XYZ (18)
17. VAN HORN – Saint Motel (19)
18. MARINERS APARTMENT COMPLEX – Lana Del Rey (20)
19. DON’T START NOW – Dua Lipa (21)
20. DANCE OF THE CLAIRVOYANTS – Pearl Jam (24)
21. ADORE YOU – Harry Styles (22)
22. LOVE YOU FOR A LONG TIME – Maggie Rogers (23)
23. NIGHT TIME – Isolda (15)
24. CAN’T STOP – Vox Eagle (25)
25. UNCHAINED – Devon Gilfillian (27)
26. BLACK MADONNA – Cage the Elephant (28)
27. DISSOLVE – Absofacto (17) 25th week on list
28. LOST IN YESTERDAY – Tame Impala (30)
29. COLORS – Black Pumas (N)
30. TEXAS SUN – Khruangbin & Leon Bridges (N)