20 Mar 2016

Top 5 LCD Soundsystem songs

I'M STRESSING FROM THE START: this is unordered. It's almost upsetting to pick my favourite five songs, and I'm really here because it's a challenge to snip out five cuts from the most formidable discography from the past 10 years. LCD Soundsystem are amazing, and if you're familiar with them you'll probably have your own bunch of songs you love to fucking pieces already. If you're not familiar with them, here's five of the greatest songs ever written, and here's the facts: 10 years, 3 perfect albums, enough great songs to fill a 3 hour set to the rafters with bangers and a colossal farewell show.

Anyway, here's my top 5 songs by one of my favourite bands there ever was, and favourite band that now is.

LOSING MY EDGE (single, 2002)
8 minutes of distress through a snarky, caustic filter, this is a song that came about when LCD mastermind James Murphy (notorious on the NYC club scene for playing a combination of dance, punk and post-punk gems) noticed that lots of the kids using the internet and all that were learning quickly about all these weird bands that Murphy was playing as a DJ. Sarcastically he leads us on a journey: "I was there in 1968 at the first Can shows, in Cologne" and "I was there in New York City [1970's] at the first Suicide practices", he says, channelling the notion that no matter how 'there' you were, the better looking people with new ideas are always gonna try turf you out. Thing is though, LCD Soundsystem and James Murphy are still the coolest people in the whole world, and this - especially the live at madison square garden version with the Daft Punk and Suicide /samples/ - is such a fucking banger.

ALL MY FRIENDS (Sound Of Silver, 2007)
The cliché favourite song of all time for the sensitive indie boy with long hair, eh? This is the most stunning, perfect song you'll ever hear, life-affirming is an understatement. From the "that's how it starts" to the hectically escalating conclusion, for every second in this 8 minute work of genius something is happening and that something is so emotionally moving that it'll bring me to tears when I see it live this summer. There's no words in the English language to describe just how perfect a work of art this is, and how moving it is, and how it gets more perfect with every listen. This song is just so phenomenal that I think it might be one of the greatest pieces of music ever written.

DANCE YRSELF CLEAN (This Is Happening, 2010)
9 minutes long, this is a dance song that actualises the notion of dancing away life's troubles, etc. It's got so many great lyrics in it, and is laced with the sincerity that graces all of LCD's work. But of course, it's structure is the main point here, isn't it? Slow-building, slow-burning, before BAM! The louder than loud drop. This is such a fucking incredible set opener and album opener, and just an incredible song... Murphy's delivery is incredible and everything about it just surges with power from start to finish. The little synth flutters are beautiful, the drum sounds 8 minutes in are so outta the blue you just get disarmed every time, and every second of it's winding, wounding duration is INCREDIBLE.

GET INNOCUOUS! (Sound of Silver, 2007)
The sprawling opener to LCD's masterpiece, this is a song that's most notable for it's pummelling invasive synth, it's teasing structure and it's drum loops that'll leave you on edge for 8 minutes. It's what I'd describe as a grower, but once you get it, you'll be completely smitten, utterly in awe. It starts off with a regular drum-based loop, before an analogue synth comes in invasive as all hell. Invasive I tell you. This band are a fucking force here, and the song just sounds massive.

GIVE IT UP (single, 2003)
Before they released their first record, James Murphy basically just put out single after single as an exercise in seeing how big the band could get just putting out 12's. This is an anomaly for LCD, it's a 3 minute pop song, but a rip roaring banger, feeling like it's about to fall apart any second but remaining airtight right til the end. It pops and hollers through a pounding few minutes, and is the best of these kinda songs that Murphy and co have ever penned. Better than Daft Punk..., better than North American Scum, better than Dru- WAIT, maybe this isn't my fifth favourite, in an unordered list. But yeah. This is a banger, a banger in the purest terms and it's just unavoidably intense.

This concludes my whistle stop tour of LCD, but if you need more, here's an unordered list of my favourite LCD Soundsystem songs that I haven't mentioned here (it's almost all of them): Someone Great, New York I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down, Tribulations, Movement, Great Release, Yeah (Crass Version), Drunk Girls, Home, Yr City's A Sucker, You Wanted A Hit, No Love Lost (cover), Jump Into The Fire (cover)

(written by calum cashin)