Thursday, August 20, 2015

Top 100 Songs From the 1990s (No. 24)

24. "Sea Song"
Artist: doves
Year: 1999

As far as the decade goes, this song just creeps in under the wire. "Sea Song" was part of the "sea ep" in 1999. I'm not too sure how many are familiar with that three-song set, but there is a good chance you heard the song when it was included on doves' debut long player 'Lost Souls' in the spring of 2000. If I created a top 100 songs for the decade of the 2000s, doves would have the dubious distinction of cracking the top 25 of both lists. "There Goes the Fear" is an all-timer for me (actually, "N.Y." is too), but there has always been something about the atmosphere of "Sea Song" that tugs at me... excruciating and beautiful all at once. I don't think there have been many weeks in the past 15 years that I haven't listened to this one at least once. It's one of those songs that seems to find its way on nearly every mix I make.

One of my fondest memories of a live performance was seeing doves at Chicago's Vic Theatre on June 13, 2002. A few weeks before the show I was shopping at my neighborhood Tower Records. While being rung up I filled out an entry to win free tickets. I stuck my name in a big box on my way out and never gave it another thought. The night before the show I got the call. My wife and I were going to have to leave the show early, and I was disappointed at the prospect of "There Goes the Fear," the band's current hit, closing the show after we departed. The gods continued to smile on me. "There Goes the Fear" and "Sea Song" were the second and third songs played. I don't want to give in to hyperbole, but I would put those 15 minutes among the best concert-going moments in my life. Pure euphoria.


Echorich said...

Ugh, this is a hard one...Doves is very much a band of the 2000's for me, BUT two of their songs that came out gave a lot of hope for music at the end of the 90's - that the morass was finally left behind. Those two songs are Rise - which I hear first on the Cedar EP in 98 and Sea Song which came out on The Sea EP in 99. Can I pick one over the other - IT'S HARD! I think I would have to go for Rise because there is such a feeling of release and positivity I get from it. Sea Song is brilliant song craft. It's only a hair below Rise for me.
Sea Song is a great choice Brian!

Brian said...

I respect your choice as much as you seem to respect mine. Although Rise came out even before Sea Song did, I'm certain I didn't hear it until it came out on Lost Souls. If I had heard it, I would have bought it and, sadly, I don't own the Cedar EP. While we are on the subject of that EP, The Cedar Room should probably deserve at least some mention for a '90s list. I didn't say anything about doves after the Last Broadcast, but I stuck with them through all four albums. How far did you go?

The Swede said...

A beautiful song enhanced by your brilliant memories of that special 2002 gig. Doves are a band who completely passed me by initially, until Mrs S pointed out the error of my ways a few years ago. I'm still way out of touch with much of their output, but now always enjoy every new tune I hear.
I sincerely hope that you do get around to compiling that top 100 of the first decade of the noughties one of these days.

Echorich said...

Yup Brian, I stuck with them as well. I rate all their releases with some level of excellence. That they shimmied around with their sound and production style I took as a positive. 2009's Kingdom of Rust is gorgeous widescreen music. The title track, House Of Mirrors and Winter Hill are favorites.