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12 by Sloan (2006 - 2018)

Here's the drill: 12 songs to summarize an artist's career, in chronological order (of course). This one features...

Sloan released a compilation of singles called A Sides Win in 2005, so our purpose here is summarize what they've been up to since then (drawn from six albums, two EPs, and smattering of one-offs they've released in the last 17 years). Since each member of Sloan writes and sings, I've made every effort to create a balance of their songs. 

If you have Amazon Music Unlimited, you can listen along here.

1. "Can You Figure It Out?" (from Never Hear the End of It, 2006)
Okay, I'll admit my bias right away. Jay Ferguson is my favorite Sloan member. Songs like this - aching, ultra-melodic, bouncy - are why.

2. "Set In Motion" (from Never Hear the End of It, 2006) 
Chris Murphy's sequel to 1996's "Autobiography" finds his life story being turned into a movie. He's reluctantly been cast in the lead, but has lost all creative control.

3. "I've Gotta Try" (from Never Hear the End of It, 2006)
One of the best moments of every Sloan concert is when Andrew Scott comes out from behind the drums to front the band, Chris takes his place at the kit, Jay hops on bass, and they play a song like this one.

4. "Burn For It" (from Parallel Play, 2008)
This song (by Patrick Pentland) is fire.

5. "Witch's Wand" (from Parallel Play, 2008)
Like all of Jay's best songs, "Witch's Wand" sounds like a tune you'd find on a compilation of lost hits of the '70s.

6. "Where Are You Now?" (from Hit & Run EP, 2009)
Andrew really brings a circa-1978 Tom Petty energy here.

7. "The Answer Was You" (from The Double Cross, 2011)
Harmonies are a hallmark of Sloan's work, but it's always a treat when they share lead vocals, as Chris and Jay do here. (See also "Beverly Terrace" from this same album, where all four guys trade off singing a line).

8. "Unkind" (from The Double Cross, 2011)
Patrick penned this stompy kiss-off. 

9. "Shadow of Love" (from The Double Cross, 2011)
Chris has an affection for hardcore and punk, and you can hear it in this speedy rocker.

10. "Keep Swinging (Downtown)" (from Commonwealth, 2014)
The boys split this double album into fourths and each took a "side." Jay's is fantastic, Andrew's nearly 18-minute tune can't be missed, and Chris contributed some fascinating story songs, but we'll go with the catchy single by Patrick as a representative. 

11. "December 25" (from "Kids Come Back Again At Christmas" single, 2016)
A Christmas song in theory, Jay's tune is a story song about a slow-burning love affair that may or may not be about to take off.

12. "Spin Our Wheels" (from 12, 2018)
This swift, harmony laden song from the band's twelfth album is also about a romance, but from the perspective of having spent many many years together and needing to reaffirm that commitment to one another. 


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