I was a really late bloomer as a Starflyer 59 fan. I discovered Tooth & Nail Records when I was in high school and was quickly drawn to heavier bands like Project 86 and Stavesacre. A couple years later I would get really into the emo and metal core stuff like Further Seems Forever, Living Sacrifice, Mae, Anberlin, and Norma Jean. It really wasn’t until the late 2000s when the emo and metal core scenes died down that I really sat down with Jason Martin’s work. I had a used CD addiction for most of my life and had accumulated several Starflyer CDs despite being largely unfamiliar with the music. When I did decide to give Starflyer a fair listen, I had copies of Everybody Makes Mistakes, The Fashion Focus, Fell In Love At 22 EP, and the Can’t Stop Eating EP, so this is where my journey began. Those releases hooked me with Jason’s beautiful guitar playing and soothing melodies. From then I would try to acquire as much Starflyer music as possible, as this was before streaming was a thing yet. I’d eventually buy and love all of the Starflyer stuff.
Now we’re about 15 years on from when I first gave Starflyer 59 a real good listen. It only keeps getting better. It all keeps growing on me more and more. As I get older, the songs about nostalgia and getting older hit even harder. This is music that grows with you, as most of the truly great music does. Starflyer 59 is now one of my favorite bands, so I wanted to pay tribute with a list of my 100 favorite songs. Enjoy (don’t be too hard on me fellow Starflyer lovers)!
100. “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want”
A nice cover of The Smith’s classic that Jason Martin sings about in “Minor Keys”.
99. “Guitar Man”
A solid cover of a song originally by Bread.
98. “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”
Martin takes on a Christmas staple in a style not too far removed from the sound of The Fashion Focus
97. “A Holiday Song (Happy Holidays)”
Essentially a Christmas song on a non-Christmas album is a brave choice, but I think it worked out just fine.
I like the kinda creepy choral voices in the background of the verses.
I don’t know who Shane is, but seems like a solid dude.
94. “Hazel Would”
I have a feeling that huge fans of Silver and Gold are not going to love my list, but this is a list of my favorites and not necessarily “the best”, so keep that in mind.
93. “Night Music”
This song has kind of a creepy vibe that I dig.
92. “No More Shows”
“I try to sleep, but I think a lot”
91. “The Zenith”
That guitar part that comes in a 2:23 is so good.
90. “Softness, Goodness”
You’ll find from my list that I REALLY like the slow jams.
Another cool, creepy sounding jam.
88. “The Dungeon”
Even though Silver isn’t one of my favorite Starflyer albums, I do still love it a lot. The riffs are so heavy.
87. “E.P. Nights”
Every song from the Fell In Love At 22 EP made this list. It was one of the first Starflyer releases that I owned, so it means a lot to me.
86. “My Name”
An upbeat jam with great guitar and synth. Very pleasant.
“maybe my star’s not bright but it’s still on”
84. “The Translator”
It took quite a long time for me to see Americana as more than a mid-tier Starflyer album, but that’s obviously not the case anymore as every song from the album made this list.
I love the change of pace to end this song.
82. “When You Feel Miserable”
A good reminder that taking walks outdoors is good for depression…over a killer riff.
81. “A Good Living”
A meditation of whether life is worth carrying on with when you’re lonely and broke.
80. “Coconut Trees”
I think this is one of the funnest sounding songs in the Starflyer catalog, but in true SF fashion Jason Martin still has troubles on his mind in the midst of the fun.
79. “My Light”
Great music, great melody.
78. “First Heart Attack”
Is that a David Gilmour guest appearance in the middle of the song, haha? I love how Jason stuck that part in there.
77. “A Dethroned King”
“This is how you know when you can’t do right
Think you should have gone for a country life”
Considering Jason isn’t 61 yet, I like to think of this as him projecting his typical nostalgic outlook onto himself when he’s older.
I’m a sucker for electronic drums, I suppose.
Such a killer bassline from Steven Dail.
73. “Happy Birthday John”
I prefer the Starflyer version, but here’s a link to the original by Damien Jurado: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIL_sOLpMpI
A great rocker.
71. “Stop Wasting Your Whole Life/Messed Up and Down”
Masterful shoe gaze guitar-playing
70. “The Brightest of The Head”
A super-catchy tune from Dial M, possibly Starflyer’s most underrated album, in my opinion.
I love the chorus melody to this one.
68. “The Boulevard”
The guitar playing is so interesting on all of Americana.
“I know we all pretend
But you take it to far”
66. “Everyone But Me”
A surprising pop song to close out Americana.
65. “The Longest Line”
I told you I was a sucker for electronic drums. The melody is also fantastic in this one.
64. “Ideas For The Talented”
As someone who isn’t the most talented at anything, I can relate to feeling like I have pretty good ideas that I can’t bring to life.
63. “Le Vainqueur”
62. “W.S. 2005”
The slide guitar sounds so good in this.
61. “The Birthrite”
An excellent hard rocker.
60. “Is This All There Is”
“Who’s in the stars with different cars
They’re probably like me
With love and loss and rising costs”
59. “Like To Lose”
Beautiful music to accompany an interesting thought.
I don’t dance, but this song makes me want to.
57. “Next Time Around”
Excellent slow-builder of a song.
56. “Traffic Jam”
14 minutes of brilliant guitar-playing.
I’m a big Miami Dolphins fan, so maybe this one got some bonus points?
54. “We Want It Bad”
Such a shame that the Fell In Love At 22 EP isn’t on streaming services.
53. “I Had A Song For The Ages”
“Come here. I’ve got something to say
If you’ve heard it already
You can go out and play”
Fantastic dance tune.
A song about how all the little disagreements take us further apart over time.
50. “The Party”
A beautiful song about a party-pooper.
49. “Can You Play Drums?”
I might be wrong, but is this a song about Jason wanting to go play shows? Very out of character for him, if so.
47. “Red Tide”
A song about a loved one on their death bed.
46. “All You Want Are The Things I Need”
Killer guitar in this one.
45. “Blue Collar Love”
Is this the heaviest shoe gaze song of the 90s?
I used to listen to this one a lot when I first started getting into Starflyer.
43. “I Win”
42. “Something Evil”
I could go for a Starflyer album of nothing but creepy-sounding stuff like this.
41. “Hey John”
This one recently snuck up on me as a favorite. Not sure why I didn’t notice how great it was as soon as Vanity came out.
40. “The Starflyer 2000 Reprise”
Ugh, so gorgeous.
39. “The Voyager”
The guitars just sound so great on Americana
38. “For Us”
“Misery is no company for us
Not for us”
37. “A Housewife Love Song”
The guitars sounded so insane on early Starflyer stuff.
Maybe the most standard shoegaze song on Silver and also one of the best on the album.
35. “20 Dollar Bills”
It’s just really pretty.
“Seems like I haven’t changed at all”
33. “Your Company”
Probably the catchiest chorus on Leave Here A Stranger.
32. “West Coast Friendship”
A nice cover of a song by the band Jason was in with his wife, Bon Voyage.
31. “Young In My Head”
It’s interesting how, at least for me, I don’t *feel* my age mentally. It seems Jason doesn’t either.
30. “Minor Keys”
Jason singing about how he wants to write a song as good as “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want”.
29. “No New Kinda Story”
The breakdown at 1:39 is so rad.
28. “Hey, Are You Listening”
“I wear my heart
On my sleeve for anyone to see”
27. “Life In Bed”
This seems to me to be a song about depression or mental illness or some kind of sickness that caused someone to either be bed-ridden or want to be in bed all day. This song reminds me of The National, which certainly isn’t a bad thing.
I could be wrong, but I think the songs on the Fell In Love At 22 EP were recorded at the same time as The Fashion Focus. In that case, I cannot for the life of me understand why “Samson” wouldn’t have made the cut to be on the album.
25. “This Recliner”
Is he saying he doesn’t like his recliner? Cause I absolutely love mine. It’s where I go to not be tired.
Everyone can relate to songs about getting old.
23. “Goodbyes Are Sad”
A pretty song about how goodbyes are, indeed, sad.
22. “Bicycle Rider”
A great pop song about family drifting apart and questioning why we live where we do.
21. “Time Machine”
I can relate to this song so much, having kids that are just growing up so fast.
20. “We’re The Ordinary”
I love the unexpected heavy ending.
19. “Play The C Chord”
One of the first Starflyer songs that made me realize that I wanted to hear more.
18. “You Don’t Miss Me”
Sounds like a perfect pop song drenched in heavy guitars.
17. “The Hearttaker”
Great music, great melody.
16. “Too Much Fun”
The last great heavy Starflyer 59 song?
15. “Remind Me”
A beautiful song that finds Jason Martin reflecting on his music career and pondering his place in music now.
14. “I Drive A Lot”
I love synth-pop and I love dream pop, so of course this is one of my favorites.
Again, being a dad. This stuff just hits hard.
12. “All My Friends Who Play Guitar”
I think this is one of the most unique and soothing songs that Jason Martin has ever done. One of those songs that you want to put on a sundown on a summer day and drive around on a country road with the windows down.
11. “You Think You’re Radical”
Just a gorgeous slow jam. Check out the fantastic Medical Morning cover if you haven’t heard it: https://open.spotify.com/track/25P0pMSuhzCGB2y1XF9dTR?si=3161548e81204393
10. “I Love You Like The Little Bird”
This seems to me to be a song about making the music you want to make versus the music that would pay the bills. Being that I’m a non-musician, I find Jason’s perspective and thoughts on this quite interesting.
9. “Just Try”
One of the most beautiful songs in the Starflyer arsenal is just a simple song about how much loneliness sucks.
8. “I Was 17”
From an objective perspective, I don’t think this is anywhere close to the 8th best song in the Starflyer 59 catalog, but it reminds me of a very specific situation in my life when I was 17 and it’s nice to kind of have a soundtrack for that time.
I tend to be a very nostalgic person and I think that’s a big reason why I relate so much with Jason’s lyrics. Here he ponders if the past was really better or if maybe we just felt deeper when we were younger. It’s an interesting thought and it’s something that I think about often.
6. “Fell In Love At 22”
Ah, probably the quintessential Starflyer 59 song. It really is beautiful and moving and elegant. I don’t know if I can trust someone who doesn’t like this song.
Being a Christian, this appears to me to be a song looking forward to our final redemption. Being someone who is also “tired” and “worried”, one of the things that gets me through is knowing that Christ is returning to make all things new.
I can’t quite tell if this is a song about death or simply missing someone, but I love how the lyrics talk of “something stopped, and I missed it” and “like something moved, and I missed it”. This is exactly how I feel about people who I used to be close to, but are no longer due to the passage of time and change in responsibilities. It feels like parts of these people are still with me, but just not exactly where my life is got used to them being.
3. “Help Me When You’re Gone”
My favorite song from what might be my favorite Starflyer album, “Help me…” is a soothing, chill slice of dream pop. My dream Starflyer 59 albums would consist of nothing but songs similar to this and “All The Time”.
2. “All The Time”
The songs by this band that I love the most are the slow songs with beautiful guitar and soothing vocals. “Pretty soon we’ll go home and find some real love” is as comforting as the music. I was so close to putting this song at number one, but…
1. “Give Up The War”
This is the first Starflyer 59 song that I truly fell in love with, and though I strongly considered “Help Me When You’re Gone” and “All The Time” at number one, “Give Up The War” comes out on top. The lyrics about wanting to be like Paul and “pressing on” and wanting “to be things”, they all put me in my feels. Musically it’s just so relaxing and chill. It puts me at ease and makes me feel very peaceful. All in all, this is the Starflyer song that connects with me most and therefore my number one.