The Best Songs in Dallas Music, 2009: Sunnybrook's "Waving Hands" Motions Toward A Promising Future at No. 16

[Editor's Note: Over the next couple of weeks, I'll be presenting my favorite local songs of the year, counting down from No. 25 to No. 1, one track a day. Today, we take an in-depth look at song No. 16 on the list--and click after the jump for a free download of the track. Lastly, keep checking back to see how the list pans out, and, also after the jump, check out songs No. 40-26 in the Top 40 list that will update as it grows...]

No. 16: Sunnybrook -- "Waving Hands"

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There comes an inherent pressure with being a younger sibling. A path, in some ways, has already been paved before you. And for Paul North, younger brother of Sleep Whale co-founder Joel North, the path already blazed by his family was something of an intimidating one: Sleep Whale, after all, since its debut under the name of mom, has always been something of a critical darling, both around these parts and beyond. If Paul was supposed to make a name for himself musically (beyond simply being Joel's younger brother), he had his work cut out for him.

With his Sunnybrook project, though, the younger North ended up turning heads on his own merit. And, at least partially, he did so by expanding upon the work of his older brother.

Turns out he may have ended up influencing him, too.

Bonus mp3: Sunnybrook -- "Waving Hands"


By combining elements of folk, pop and twee, co-opting his older brother's band's found-sound affection and giving the whole thing a oh-so-current lo-fi wash, the younger North's very first song release, "Waving Hands," immediately found him standing quite comfortably on his own legs. (Seems the song's been something of a slow-play for North, too: Long before this most recent version of "Waving Hands" popped up on Pitchfork in August of this year, an earlier demo was promoted by local tastemaker GorillaVsBear as early as May 2008.)

Almost tailor-made for a slow-motion film montage of a hippie colony skipping about and frolicking in a meadow on a cool summer day, the song has a powerful, transporting effect. Impressive stuff for a 21-year-old still "growing, budding and blooming" himself.

So, on many levels, it makes perfect sense that, when the elder North's band changed its name from mom to Sleep Whale, one of its official tasks included welcoming the younger North, a former backing player in the outfit, into the formal lineup. Sonically, his influence there is already clear. Here's hoping, though, that his duties with Sleep Whale won't derail his promising efforts as Sunnybrook.

Something tells us, though, given the prolific productivity already displayed by each of Sleep Whale's members, there's not much need to worry about that...

The Top 40 Local Songs of 2009 (Links to music videos and free song downloads available where applicable; links to streams where neither a download nor video exists.)
40. The Wax Museums -- "Safety in Numbers"
39. Macon Greyson -- "Pushing Strings"
38. The Burning Hotels -- "Austin's Birthday" (video)
37. The Riverboat Gamblers -- "DissDissDissKissKissKiss" (video)
36. Salim Nourallah -- "Endless Dream Days"
35. The Phuss -- "Preacher, Preacher"
34. The Southern Sea -- "These Things Always End Badly"
33. Fungi Girls -- "Pacifica Nostalgia"
32. Giggle Party -- "Jason Bought a Hatchet" (video)
31. Carter Albrecht -- "Country Living" (stream)
30. This Old House -- "At Risk"
29. Occult Detective Club -- "You'll Follow Me" 
28. Bad Sports -- "Nothing But Agitation"
27. Darktown Strutters -- "Quakertown"
26. The Crash That Took Me -- "Patricia Lynn" (stream)
25. Red Monroe -- "Pat Mayse Lake"
24. Danny Balis -- "Tethered"
23. Sleep Whale -- "Cotton Curls"
22. PVC Street Gang -- "Cutlass" (video)
21. Air Review -- "Jura"
20. Xrabit & Damaged Good$ -- "Follow the Leader" (video)
19. Doug Burr -- "The Righteous Will Rejoice"
18. Seryn -- "We Will All Be Changed"
17. galleryCat -- "Say Say Say"
16. Sunnybrook -- "Waving Hands"
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...and be sure to keep checking back, as this list will update daily
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