Weekly Spotify Playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/0CG5JwwpS7LriFvDXP4dIj?si=02cxS8V6QkGJW8sTo1l6NQ
- Paper Kites – “Never Heard a Sound”
- Kurt Vile – “Feel My Pain”
- Grand Lotus – “Move!”
“Never Heard a Sound,” from The Paper Kites’ 2013 album “States,” is packed with acoustic guitar and dreamy harmonies. The Paper Kites are an indie-folk band known for their whimsical acoustic guitar riffs and their discography will make you nostalgic. If you need to listen to music while you work or study, this is the band to keep in mind.
Kurt Vile is an alternative indie singer-songwriter and former guitarist for the mid-2000s rock band War on Drugs. “Feel My Pain” is from Vile’s 2013 album “Walkin On A Pretty Daze” [Deluxe Daze (Post Haze)].” The song is just over six minutes long and features a finger-picked guitar melody, smooth drums and Vile’s bass vocals. The lyrics of “Feel My Pain” seem to invite someone to know your flaws and bad traits – but only if they want to and think they can handle it.
Alternative pop group Grand Lotus has around 30,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, and “Move!” is the band’s fifth most popular song with just over 90,000 streams. “Move!” opens with a brilliant guitar riff and the song remains upbeat throughout its entirety. The song’s lyrics are about getting to know each other before a new relationship begins, with the singer asking the other to make a move.
- Talking Heads – “This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)”
- Animal Collective – “Guys Eyes”
- Bladee and Ecco2k – “White Meadow”
While it’s certainly not a deep cut, I’ve been mesmerized by the Talking Heads 1983 funk-rock record “This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)” since my sophomore year of high school. Its self-proclaimed naïve melody wraps around my body like a weighted blanket, its lyrics cheerful and comforting. It’s such a fun song that I can’t help but smile when I listen to it. Singer David Byrne is famous for his creative but sometimes nonsensical lyrics, although the thesis of this song is clear: there’s no place like home.
Animal Collective’s 2009 “Guys Eyes” is equal parts Talking Heads and Beach Boys, blending ’70s psychedelic beats with lush, Brian Wilson-esque vocal harmonies. Singer Noah Benjamin Lennox sings about himself, layering his voice once, then twice, then three times. This vocal arrangement symbolizes the song’s theme of someone pulled every which way, torn between staying true to their partner and indulging in lust and desire. This idea is exemplified in adjacent bridges that loop through the phrases “need her” and then “what I want.”
I first heard “White Meadow” over spring break the day after it was released at their New York concert and it’s absolutely amazing. I caught COVID-19 presumably from the moshpit immediately afterwards, in which I lay in bed all day listening to Bladee and Ecco2K’s 2022 hyperpop collaboration album, “Crest,” for a week straight. “White Meadow” is by far my favorite track, and dare I say it, their best song, period. Neither artist writes verse, but each phrase is sung as a line in a stanza of a poem: “Blue light siren call, behind the city wall. Asphalt, acid wash, rock wash.
- Fleetwood Mac – “Rhiannon – Live 1977”
- The Beatles – “Get Back – Rooftop Performance / Take 2”
- Bruce Springsteen – “Badlands – Live at Madison Square Garden, New York, NY 09/22/79”
Although it’s not a popular opinion, I like live albums as much as studio recordings. Hearing a large band perform on stage creates a lively atmosphere that simply doesn’t exist in the studio. Some of the greatest albums of all time were recorded from live concerts and these songs, while great as studio recordings, take on new life when performed in front of an audience.
“Rhiannon” proved Stevie Nicks to be a mainstay of Fleetwood Mac and the mystical lyrics Nicks penned make it one of the band’s best songs. While the track sounds great on 1975’s “Fleetwood Mac” album, it takes on a whole new life on this recording, taken from the 1977 Rumors tour. Not only is it three minutes longer than the studio recording , but Stevie Nicks delivers a powerful voice that further cements her as a rock legend.
One of the best parts of the Disney+ series “The Beatles: Get Back” was the full screening of the famous rooftop concert on January 30, 1969. Seeing the Beatles’ last live performance in its entirety was wonderful and even more fantastic. when the band released the concert audio as an album. In about 40 minutes, the Beatles played five songs, with some playing multiple times. “Get Back” has been played three times, with the second take being the best. The camaraderie and charm of the Fab Four can be felt strongly in this track and it is an important part of music history.
From the live album “The Legendary 1979 No Nukes Concerts”, “Badlands” is one of many songs on the album that showcases what a live powerhouse Bruce Springsteen is. The Boss is one of the greatest live performers of all time and all that energy shines through in this live recording of the first song from the 1978 album ‘Darkness on the Edge of Town’.
- Harry Styles – “As It Was”
- Bon Iver – “Beth/Rest”
- Manchester Orchestra, Phoebe Bridgers – “The Gold – Phoebe Bridgers Version”
“As It Was” is Styles’ latest single from his upcoming album “Harry’s House.” The single has only been out for a week but has already broken Spotify’s record for most streamed track in 24 hours for a male artist. This song is different from his previous works as we hear him experimenting with a groovy 70s beat and Christmas church bells sounding weird at first, but that makes the song fun.
Justin Vernon, lead singer of Bon Iver, talks about clinging to the person you love, but ultimately chasing them. The voices of “Beth/Rest” are distorted. It’s normal for Vernon, but it doesn’t hide the pain and emotion of the song. The last two minutes of the song are just the instrumental, but it keeps you thinking about the lyrics and what Vernon is trying to say to his lost partner.
“The Gold” was originally performed by the Manchester Orchestra, who wrote it from the perspective of a miner’s wife. With Phoebe Bridgers’ version, you can really feel what the miner’s wife is trying to portray to her husband. Bridgers’ voice further gives the song a sense of melancholy.
- Kodaline – “All I Want”
- The Lumineers – “My Eyes”
- Saint Motel – “Getaway”
Kodaline is an Irish pop-rock band whose song “All I Want” was featured on Season 9 of “Grey’s Anatomy.” It describes the heartache singer Stephen Garrian felt when his girlfriend went on a trip without him, then returned home with another man. One of the most agonizing lines in the song is, “When you said your last goodbye, I kinda died inside. I lay in my bed crying all night, alone without you by my side. But if you loved me, why did you leave me?
The Lumineers have been producing music since 2002 and have written a long list of meaningful music. “My Eyes” is the one that has always marked me. Presumably the subject of this song is heroin: the lure of the drug, all the things an addict thinks it can offer them, but also the innocence that is lost. The chorus depicts it beautifully: “What have you done in my eyes? What did you sing to that lonely child? Promised everything, but you lied. You better slow down, baby, soon. It’s all or nothing for you. It’s as if he was singing directly on the substance itself.
This upbeat song that is “Getaway” just makes you want to dance to the beat or drive around with your windows rolled down on a hot summer day. It’s about taking your valuables and the one you love and running away, escaping the two of you. No regrets, just freedom.
- Fresh Hops – “The Phone Call”
- Silverchair – “Miss You Love”
- Something Corporate – “Only Ashes”
Fresh Hops are a funky band with a sound that’s hard to put into a specific genre. They have hints of bluegrass, rock and funk. This song is about one of the band members’ grandmother calling him and telling him he has to write a reggae song. The lyrics are fun, the violin is a cool addition to the sound. It’s a total dance song.
Silverchair has many heartbreaking songs. “Miss You Love” is a beautiful song about conflicted feelings and heartbreak. It has soft melodies with grunge sounding instruments. The line that gets me every time is “I love the way you love, but I hate the way I’m supposed to love you back.”
Something Corporate never fails to create jamming songs. “Only Ashes” has great guitar riffs and even better lyrics. If you like pop-punk or alternative bands, Something Corporate is a band you have to check out. You can hear the inspiration Something Corporate gave to current pop-punk or alternative bands.