The Ghost 101 Countdown of 2016: #10-6

Photo of Vanessa Peters by: Brent Baxter

Did you catch yesterday’s post featuring songs #20-11?  I did a recap of all the songs from #101 all the way up to #11.  Yes, that’s right, that list goes to 11.

All cheesy Spinal Tap references aside, I encourage you to look here for your recap before beginning the bottom half of the Top 10.  And now, on with the countdown…

  1. The Quaker City Night Hawks, “Mockingbird”
    The Ghost won’t lie; I’ve been a bit slow to jump on the QCNH bandwagon. That situation was remedied pretty much immediately upon the release of El Astronauto, easily the band’s tightest album to date. Of all the songs on the album, the solid guitar riffs found in “Mockingbird” made it the stand out track on a truly stand out album. And as if the song isn’t bad ass enough on its own, check out the video that premiered this June on Rolling Stone Country
  2. True Widow, “Theurgist”
    For better or worse, there’s not really a lot of variation from one True Widow album to the next. Fortunately, the band has so mastered their brand of gloomy, sludgy, metal-shoegaze hybrid that it more than makes up for the lack of musical variety. True Widow remains one of the most solid and consistent Dallas bands over the last ten years, and “Theurgist” is essentially one more fine argument the band has made in defense of that statement.
  3. Blue Healer, “Only the Rain”
    Some songs can serve as time capsules of an era or year, even if that’s not the true era for the song. For some reason, this song feels like it belonged in 1988. Perhaps it’s the nicely polished production of the track, mixed in with the synthesizer sounds and earnest vocals of David Beck. There’s a temptation to read the description given thus far and view it as done an some ironic hipster fashion, but nothing could be further from the truth. There is a beauty and genuineness to the emotional impact that this song brings which holds up upon every listen.
  4. Vanessa Peters, “206 Bones”
    For most songwriters, they are lucky to manage a line or two in a song that so resonates with the listener that it speaks a core truth to them. Then, there are songwriters like Vanessa Peters, who are capable of writing full songs that speak such truth. “206 Bones” is undeniably such a song. The first verse in particular weighs as heavy on my heart as the spare keys she sings of. Even the simplistic chorus of “206 bones, only one heart”, under Peters’ engaging voice (which earned her a Reader’s Ghosty for Best Female Vocalist), becomes a surprisingly powerful statement.
  5. Siberian Traps, “Stray Dogs”
  6. News flash: Siberian Traps are not the first band to play jangly rock with hooks, nor will they be the last. There are also acts that have done in better than the Fort Worth band: R.E.M., The Byrds, and Matthew Sweet are perfect examples. Here’s the catch: you pretty much have to list acts as iconic as those I mentioned to outdo Siberian Traps at this game. Just the intro of this song alone would be enough to warrant this song charting on the countdown. The fact that the rest of the track maintains the energy found in the intro over the course of 5+ minutes (an usually long song for jangle pop), and that’s more than enough to earn Siberian Traps the #6 slot on the countdown.

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