It’s time for a special, year-end edition of the TS10, or TS2016, if you will. These songs represent the Tomme Suab journey for the past year. To be clear, it’s not a “Best Of 2016” playlist. In fact, several of the songs are from previous years (one from over 20 years ago). No, it’s more of a “ten songs that most influenced Tomme Suab this year” playlist. These songs all have made an impact on me this year and this playlist is full of personal emotional stimuli. The TS2016 includes the following:
To Be Free by Sarah Krueger from The Gibson Sessions (2015)
This was included in the The Broken Heart Edition of the TS10 back in June, which was a response to the senseless shooting at a club in Orlando. This was the first track in that playlist and I still associate it with that tragedy, as well as the desire to see us move beyond such inane hatred.
Lover, You Should’ve Come Over by Jeff Buckley from Grace (1994)
Though, like so many, I’ve been well aware of Buckley’s haunting cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah for quite a while, I had never become acquainted with any of his other music before the last couple of years. This song, in particular, captivated me in 2016. It is full of prolific soul. Beautiful.
Little Mercy by Doomtree from No Kings (2011)
There may be just a little too much talent packed into the Minneapolis rap crew, Doomtree, and that talent, as well as a welcome vulnerability, is on display in Little Mercy. TS fave, Dessa, is a prominent piece of the Doomtree puzzle and her skills are on display here along with the rest of the crew.
Modern Soul by James Blake from The Colour in Anything (2016)
Oh my… this song. So captivating. And it doesn’t hurt that it carries some very pleasant vibes with it from my experience of James Blake’s show at Eaux Claires in August. I still vividly recall being swept away by Blake’s electronic soul as the raindrops drenched us all. Goosebumps.
29 #Strafford Apts by Bon Iver from 22, A Million (2016)
So here’s the problem: I would, in the past, have hated this song, along with most of 22, A Million. I have never liked electronic manipulation of music or sounds to make them intentionally sound “glitchy”. And then there’s this song, in which the climactic third chorus is ALL glitched up. I should hate it, but I love it. A lot. And, frankly, the intentionality of the glitchiness is part of what draws me in (and makes me angry at the same time). Well done, Mr. Vernon.
Better Look Back by Lucius from Good Grief (2016)
Ahhhh, Lucius. I’d never heard any of their music until I learned they would be playing at Eaux Claires. I found them on Amazon Music and haven’t looked back since, which is ironic in light of the name of this song… I adore this catchy and yet unpredictable track. Also, I happen to adore some of the sentiment it shares about “cookie cutter” art.
Post by Andrew Howie from The Great Divide (2015)
This song, whenever I am listening intently, gets me every time. Howie’s expression of breaking free from the walls of modern day evangelicalism resonates deeply with my own journey. I wrote a post about this one and its impact on me called Walking the Post-Evangelical Path with Andrew Howie.
Space Song by Beach House from Depression Cherry (2015)
This is one of those songs that captured a special moment in time for me. As this old man’s body was breaking down late on a Saturday night in August after two days of walking around, climbing hills, and being emotionally bombarded at Eaux Claires, this was my swan song. Beach House was playing this one as I walked away that night. Its specialness only increased when a couple of dear friends used it as their recessional at their wedding in October. Plus, and not coincidentally, it is just a really cool song.
Beneath the Brine by The Family Crest from Beneath the Brine (2014)
Liam McCormick’s vocals on Beneath the Brine would be enough by itself to make it a contender for this playlist, especially when he starts hitting some crazy notes as this sweeping epic of a song hits it’s climactic moments. It is a gorgeous song, telling a story with passionate sorrow.
Be Brave by My Brightest Diamond from All Things Will Unwind (2014)
Oh, Shara Nova, you diminutive, flaming red-haired dynamo, you… My Brightest Diamond’s performance at Eaux Claires was incredible, and Nova’s bombastic soul drove the show. However, my love for this song came after the festival. When I listened closely and began to understand the lyrical dynamics in play and how well the instrumentation and movements in the music matched the deep emotional undertow of those words, I was hooked. The grief of growth. The growth in grief. The pain of growing into what we are intended to be. Deep, hard, and beautiful stuff.
So, here it is friends: the TS2016. Listen, enjoy, and feel!