The 30 Day Song Challenge: Day 24

Today’s category is…

A Great Song You Just Discovered.

Here are the staff picks:

Leeann Ward: “The Last Bus” – Zoe Muth and the Lost High Rollers

One of my favorite moments is when I put my iPod on shuffle and discover a song that I’ve never heard before and fall in love with it. Such an occasion occurred a few weeks ago. I’ve had this Zoe Muth album for quite some time, but as often happens, I bought the album and hadn’t gotten around to listening to it yet.

The song has my favorite kind of gentle instrumentation and Muth’s performance exudes the kind of melancholy that is easy to get wrapped up in, which is a testament to a well interpreted and well crafted song.

P.S. The whole album is highly worth checking out.

Dan Milliken: “Lost Horizons” – Gin Blossoms

I knew them as the band behind two of my favorite 90’s singles, “Found Out About You” and “Follow You Down,” but I’d never listened through one of their albums until I happened upon a used copy of New Miserable Experience a few weeks ago. “Lost Horizons” is the opening track, and it’s a killer marriage of depressive angst and jaunty power-pop: “I’ll drink enough of anything to make this world look new again / I’m drunk, drunk, drunk in the gardens and the graves.”

Tara Seetharam: “One and Only” – Adele

Love this album, love this song. The lyrics are simple and its sentiment isn’t groundbreaking, but its vocal nuances and gorgeous throwback arrangement make it an instant favorite for me. I can’t get enough of the fierce tenacity in Adele’s performance and how sweetly it contrasts with the song’s soothing vibe.

Kevin Coyne: “Racing the Angels” – Matraca Berg

From her exquisite new album The Dreaming Fields, this is the highlight among highlights.  A real heartbreaker, Berg is mourning her husband’s death alongside the death of the woman that she used to be.  Enjoy it by the songwriter now, and by a nineties artist with great taste on some future album.  My money’s on Yearwood.



  1. As a die-hard country fan, I don’t listen to pop music all that much. So I recently discovered Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep” and Muse’s “Uprising” through American Idol.

    But a really great song I just discovered is “Boulder To Birmingham” by Emmylou Harris. I got into her after MKoC’s spotlight artist reviews and was led to this little gem.

  2. Also:

    Kevin – I love Matraca Berg’s new CD as well (I even reviewed it on my blog). I could see Trisha Yearwood singing every song on this album, besides the title track which she already covered. There isn’t one song that isn’t exceptional and it just might be my favorite country album of 2011 thus far.

    This is the kind of country music we really need right now, and the reason I fell in love with the genre in the first place.

  3. “Hard Time Movin on”, a single by David Bradley (featuring Rodney Crowell). It was reviewed by J.R. Journey over at MKOC on 3/9 and given an “A”. The song was written by Rivers Rutherford and Gordie Sampson. As far as I know, it never made the top 40. I’m curious as to whether it charted at all and, if so, its peak position. Regardless, it’s one of the best new songs I’ve heard this year.

  4. Like Jonathan, I’ve also been listening to a lot of Emmylou lately since she was spotlighted at My Kind of Country. One track in particular that I’ve found myself replaying a great deal is “If I Could Only Win Your Love” from Pieces of the Sky. I love how Emmylou’s performance conveys the longing emotions of the lyrics, and yet the melody is so infectious.

    I’ve also been loving the new Berg album. I was listening to it just earlier this afternoon. I often have to pay very close attention to get the full sense of the lyrics. That title track just gives me chills, whether sung by Berg or Yearwood.

    I haven’t heard Zoe Muth’s first album, but I loved her recent release Starlight Hotel. I love her music for the same reasons as Leeann. I hope to get a hold of the other album soon.

  5. Dan you are speaking my language with that selection there. Seeing as I’m about to turn 30- I grew up listening to the alternative genre extensively in my middle and high school years. Gin Blossoms are a band that I latched onto during that time and they are legitimately one of my favorite bands ever. I say that with no qualms whatsoever.

    I love pretty much everything they’ve ever done.

  6. I to Am gonna have to go with Emmylou! I have owned all her albums for a few years now and bought them before the remastered ones were released. Luck would have it a friend had the re released “Blue Kentucky Girl” and I discovered the wonderful “Cheatin’ Is ” Boy do I love that song!

  7. “Underneath the Sycamore” – Death Cab for Cutie

    I bought their new album on Tuesday, and this is the song that I’m latching on to from it. I love Ben’s voice, and his songwriting rarely disappoints.

  8. “Me and the Radio” by Deanna Carter from her 2003 album is one I just discovered. I remember hearing it when I was a kid but didn’t realize who or when the song came out till now.

  9. I recently discovered “Lipstick” by Jedward. Apparently it placed 8th in the Eurovision Song Contest 2011. There is nothing that is particularly remarkable about it. But once I got it stuck in my head, it’s was all over for me. It’s dangerously catchy and addictive. So if you like catchy, poppy dance music, then this song is for you.

  10. This is going to sound terrible…”Uncle Pen” by Ricky Skaggs. I know, I know.

    On a separate note, I really like the Gin Blossoms and Matraca Berg albums mentioned. It’s hard to pick a highlight from either ‘The Dreaming Fields’ or ‘New Miserable Experience,’ but I might go with “If I Had Wings” from the former.

  11. I have a habit of discovering awesome music weeks, months, or years after they’ve become generally popular. Recently, my landlord has started listening to a soft rock station after having listened to a “golden oldies” station for several years (which introduced me to such gems as Dean Martin’s “Sway”, and the oft-covered “Portrait of my Love”, but that’s another story), so in very short order I’ve been exposed to “new” songs I find very enjoyable:

    Cee Lo Green – !@*# You
    A fun update on classic Motown sounds. If you can stand the profanity, I highly suggest listening to the uncensored version; the uncensored Forget You is decaf by comparison.

    Adele – Rolling in the Deep
    An absolute joy to listen to.

    Miley Cyrus – Party in the U.S.A.
    I’m not big fan of Miley. I’ve heard very little of her music, and haven’t been fond of any of it, with the somewhat compromised exception of this song. I don’t like auto-tune, but I recognize that it is well-used here, and indeed seems integral to the character of the song. It’s certainly worlds better than the horrid monotony of Rebecca Black’s internet meme “Friday”

    Christina Perri – Jar of Hearts
    I find this song interesting for its aggressively plodding tempo. That, and the singer’s strong and shrill voice briefly made me think I was hearing something new from Alanis Morissette.

  12. My pick is “Shanghai Cigarettes” by Caitlin Rose, from her CD Own Side Now, with its fuzz-guitar throwback to the late 1960s California country-rock movement, and some very mature lyrics from someone who is only 24 years old, and whose parents (Liz and Johnny Rose) are Nashville industry veterans.

  13. I have to agree with “Rolling in the Deep”, “Jar of Hearts”, and “!@#$ You”. All are interesting songs in their own way. I especially like “Rolling in the Deep”. It’s not normally my style of music, but it really didn’t matter in this case. It’s very catchy, and even more well sung.

  14. I’ve really been enjoying “When I’m Alone” by alt. pop-country singer Lissie. It’s definetly more on the pop side but is none the less a moving and emotionally gripping song with excellent pop smarts.

  15. This is an album cut from a couple years ago, but one of the commenters on this feature mentioned Gary Allan’s “Like It’s a Bad Thing” a few days back and I went and listened intently for the first time, and I am hooked on it. Love it.

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