Oh, and of course, I can't start a playlist without the standard disclaimer: any artists, record labels, etc. who do not wish to be on the playlist for any reason whatsoever, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will gladly remove the track. And if you'd actually like to be on the playlist, you can use the same email addy to email me mp3's, and if I like the song then odds are it'll wind up on a playlist.
Get Your Own Free Hypster.com Playlist.
- "Get Used to Disappointment", Sara Radle
Two years ago, I declared this track to be the best song about heartbreak to ever emerge from the metroplex. There's another song on this list that is now rivaling Ms. Radle's tune for the number one spot, but there's no denying the power of this story of a woman afraid of falling in love. And based on the ending of the song, those fears are well based. Any mixed tape of heartbreak songs is incomplete without this track.
- "Every Time I Get Close to You", Eleven Hundred Springs
It's quite a stark contrast from "Get Used to Disappointment" to this track, a honky-tonk celebration of love. This is as certain to put a smile on your face as the previous track was likely to have you feeling down.
- "Beg You to Stay", Smile Smile
It's hard to discuss the band's new CD, Truth on Tape, without going into the personal lives of Ryan Hamilton and Jencey Hirunrusme. Listening to the songs make you feel like you're eavesdropping into personal conversations between the former husband and wife. The tension between the two onstage is often very visible, yet musically the band is as solid as ever. This particular tune is a perfect blend of sweet pop melodies combined with Mr. Hamilton's earnest plea.
- "Salome", Old 97's
I suppose I could do a Valentine's Day playlist of songs without any Old 97's. But really, what would be the fun in that? The band's success is due to their energetic delivery of their tales of heartbreak that are always authentic without ever being maudlin.
- "Romance Tried to Kill Me", Cocky Americans
Have you checked out the video for the song? If not, do so now!
- "I Still Wait", The O's
The opening line of this tune, "I broke my heart in Arizona waiting on a train/I stood alone for several hours but you never came" is so perfect that it almost seems archetypal of country music. And when the duo hits the chorus, well, it's pretty darn awesome.
- "Echo and the Pass", Hendrick
If any song could dethrone Ms. Radle's track for best heartbreak song, this would be the one. Although the story is not as clearly laid out as it was by Sara, the vocal performance by Josh Hendrick is so powerful that I believe that the emotions are communicated far beyond what mere words can do. Also, more props to guitarist Hans Grubein, who is quite possibly the most underappreciated guitarist in the metroplex. Oh, and I'll bet they'll play this song Friday at House of Blues. Tickets are as cheap as $20 for a group of four (in advance).
- "Breaking up the Love Scene", Summer Ames
I finally received her latest EP, Complicated Daydream, which was recently reviewed in the Dallas Observer by Alan Ayo. I agree with his statements that she is indeed "above average" in her vocal talent. I also think that she has yet to reach her full potential. Still, I never felt that the CD had the "customary coffeehouse sound", and in fact, in many tunes, she defiantly breaks that mold. Anyways, I figured this song fit in quite nicely on the playlist, as it's sweet sounding enough to appeal to the hopeless romantics, yet there's a definite feeling of frustration coming from the lyrics, which the cynics will enjoy.
- "It's Over", Danny Balis
This song, unlike the previous, falls exclusively into the heartbreak category. I cannot think of another person in the metroplex with a voice suited better for country than Mr. Balis, and I love the steel guitars on this track. If you like your beer laced with tears, this track will do the trick.
- "Posterchild for Tragedy", Sugarbomb
Back in the day, few bands had as energetic of a performance as Sugarbomb, with each show feeling like the perfect party. Yet strangely enough, the band never wrote a better song than this tale of a man who loses his lover - permanently. If only the band stayed together longer, it would have been interesting to see if the band would have explored this more introspective side.
- "Sun Rain Love", Rahim Quazi
I wanted to place Mr. Quazi's "Coffeebreak" in last year's V-day playlist, but the song was not on his MySpace playlist (an example of why I prefer Hypster). Anyways, he suggested this track as a less depressing alternative, and I figured I'd use it this year. Next year, however, it's back to the downer of "Coffeebreak". You've been forewarned.
- "Lies", Fishing for Comets
"Got lost on the drive home/It's useless I suppose to hold on to something that's not there." I don't think Ms. Cortinas has written a finer line than that.
- "The Ocean", Sara Donaldson
There have been two times in my life where the sheer beauty of a vocal performance leaves me speechless and choked up. The first was when I heard Kate Bush's "This Woman's Work" the first time, and the second was when I heard this song. The story she tells is equally beautiful and, as risk of sounding corny, it's quite touching. By the way, I usually don't post MySpace links for the singers, but Ms. Donaldson has been sneaking underneath the radar for WAY too long. Listen to more of her stuff, or better yet, buy her newest album, Leaving Winter, on iTunes. ("The Ocean" is off her first CD, ...The Beginning, which isn't on iTunes yet.