The Singles File

The Singles File

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A weekly playlist for the listener with a one-track mind.

Martin Craft: "The Soldier"

Is there anything more heartbreaking than a soldier in love? How about a lovely folk tune about -- guess what -- a soldier in love? This British singer isn't afraid to get sentimental as angel-voiced women in the background vamp on Ennio Morricone's theme from "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly." It's great, it's sad, it's incredibly gorgeous.

Thao With the Get Down Stay Down: "Beat (Health, Life and Fire)"

Washington, meet your new hometown hero. Thao Nguyen, a local singer-songwriter, often splits the difference between Sufjan Stevens and Cat Power, but with this imaginative tune, she seems to be dashing off into a territory all her own.

Twilight Singers: "Down the Line (Live)"

Anyone who's heard Jos¿ Gonz¿lez strip Massive Attack's "Teardrop" down to a gorgeous skeleton of a song should appreciate the inverse switcheroo Greg Dulli pulls off here. Adding strings, pianos and a rumbling drumbeat, the former Afghan Whigs yowler inflates Gonz¿lez's nimble tune into something beautifully bloated.

Cat Power: "Song to Bobby"

With an anticipated covers album on the way, Chan Marshall teases fans with an original tune about Bob Dylan -- which actually sounds more like Nico doing Zimmy karaoke. Heads up for the D.C. reference.

Airbourne: "Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast"

Or too late? The sarcastic metal train left the station a few years ago (remember the Darkness?), but this Aussie quartet pantomimes AC/DC with enough vigor to earn a late pass.

-- Chris Richards

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