The Top Songs of 2020: #50-41

Tradewinds2020

Previously, on the Ghost of Blind Lemon Blog:

Songs #101-81
Songs #80-71
Songs #70-61
Songs #60-51

Yeah, that “Previously on…” introduction works so much better on screen with a voiceover than in print.

In today’s photo, I pay tribute to Tradewinds Social Club, which had remained open for over fifty years before falling financial victim to the pandemic. The venue was the home of the 4th Annual Ghosty Awards, and I must say that it was my favorite ceremony of the bunch. Tradewinds provided an ambience which was comfortable and intimate. Of all the venues that closed its doors for good this year, it is the one I will miss the most.

And now, on with the countdown. And this time, with a tiny bit of commentary…

  1. Cryptolog, “Drink Deeply”
    One of the great mysteries of the year is wondering how certain artists would have fared in an environment that allowed for live performances. Cryptolog is high on the list of curiosities. All I can say for sure is they released some truly well crafted songs that deserved more attention that they received.
  2. Jessie Frye, “No Sleep”
    Ms. Frye has been a pop chameleon of sorts, ranging from piano singer-songwriter a la Tori Amos to indie rock vibe to straight ahead rock girl.
    She seems to have settled on riding out the synth wave, as she did so adeptly on this track. On a side note, Kiss Me in the Rain just might be my favorite local album cover of the year. Bonus points to the photographer for choosing the cool neon sign of the Dougherty’s Pharmacy as the photo backdrop.
  3. Uh Oh Jiminy, “Blackeyed and Bulletproof”
    I don’t have much to wax poetic on this song about, and that’s kind of the point. It’s good, catchy, straight ahead rock and roll, and not rocket science. And sometimes, that’s good enough.
  4. Van Darien, “American Steel”
    Van Darien has been a fixture around these parts for nearly a decade, but the songstress is finally getting some well deserved national attention.
    The entirity of Levee is solid, but the gorgeous “American Steel” is undoubtedly the album’s standout track.
  5. The Texas Gentlemen, “Easy St.”
    I mean, it’d be wrong of me not to have some Texas Gentlemen on the countdown, right?
  6. Bree & the Fellas, “Man of the Sun”
    A later release than most on the countdown, Bree and the Fellas put out a fabulous album with It Be Like That Sometimes, combining pop, funk, soul, and jazz into an irresistible musical package. The complex melody of “Man of the Sun” is my favorite, but truth be told, you can put the album on shuffle and be guaranteed to land on a winning track
  7. Glenda, “Voices”
    Fans of early Belle and Sebastian will likely find this emotionally intimate track very compelling. It’s an honest examination of anxiety of Glenda’s lead vocalist, Emma Fox.
  8. Lorelei K, “Dragon Slaying Mythic Girl Singing Hymns”
    I am convinced Lorelei K could grab a keyboard, mic, and phone book, and I’d be utterly captivated by how she delivers every address and phone number. This is just another piece of evidence is to how immensely talented Lorelei K is.
  9. Garrett Owen, “These Modern Times”
    On the surface, this song seems to be more slickly produced than most of Mr. Owen’s other output. But the strength in this song is Mr. Owen’s ability to communicate the disconnect in our physical lives juxtaposed against our hyperconnected digital lives. Put down your cell phone and listen, really LISTEN, to this song.
  10. Mountain Natives, “Silent Hour”
    Simply put, Mountain Natives’ most complex, powerful, and breathtaking song to date.

And don’t forget to tune in to Deep Ellum Radio this Wednesday at 7 PM for the big Top 40 reveal!

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