Will Sprott, a solo artist and member of the Mumlers, shares his favorite songs from 2012, a mix of retro soul, modern R&B and songs from his comrades in the Bay Area music scene.
Bobby Womack – “Please Forgive My Heart”
This one gets me every time. “Please forgive my heart. It’s not that the problem lies anywhere in there. I’m a liar. I’m in a dream. Going my way. Nothing to rely on.”
Plantain – “Talk Like a Mouse”
I played music with two of the guys in this band from San Jose for several years, JF Holmes & Andy Paul. This is my favorite song from their album that came out in July. I like how languorous it is.
R. Kelly – “When a Man Lies”
I saw R. Kelly play on Halloween night. He played over 40 songs & completely destroyed it. This song felt like a classic the first time I heard it. He’s just telling the truth.
Ugly Winner – “Secret Song”
For most of the time I played music in San Jose, the bass player of this band, Todd Flanagan, pretty much single-handedly created a underground clubhouse that fed local music by opening his house for bands from around the world to play in. In the context of Ugly Winner’s new record, which is a a pretty aggressive guitar record, this song feels like a similar hidden fort.
Family Room – “Us, Free”
Plantain, Ugly Winner and Family Room all put out records within a couple weeks of each other over the summer. Plantain and Ugly Winner played release shows to celebrate but Family Room just slapped this album up on the internet and receded back into the woodwork, mostly because the singer Evan Jewett, has moved away to New York. It’s a good record, though, and this is a good song.
Upside Drown – “Castles”
Upside Drown is a two-lady operation based in Oakland comprised of Colleen Johnson and Rosie Steffy. On this song they are joined by Matt Montgomery on bass and saxophone. Over the last couple years, I’ve played more music with these three than I have with anyone. They are all extraordinary talents and this is my favorite song of theirs. I don’t think I’ve ever heard another song like it. It’s alien & beautiful.
The Fresh & Onlys – “Long Slow Dance”
This title track from San Francisco band the Fresh & Onlys new album. I enjoyed the whole record.
The Dodos – “Companions”
This one came out in 2011, but nobody asked me to make a list last year. I did a tour with this band from San Francisco and this was my favorite song to hear every night. It still sounds good.