Let's go for something fun on this slow, rainy Wednesday here in Providence. Super catchy and springy, I chose not to go out and see Kentucky-indie band Sleeper Agent when they were recently touring with Magic Man and New Politics, and I'm kind of kicking myself - it would have been a good time!
The ultimate dreamy, acoustically beautiful song from the band's 2001 release Oh, Inverted World (one of my favorite album titles). I love how, nearer to the end, James Mercer's vocals fade out, the delicate piano and French horn come in, and then the vocals loop back again. Gorgeous. And "The Past and Pending"contains one of my all-time favorite lyrics ever:
"Loiter the whole day through and lose yourself in lines dissecting love."
This post was born from an attempt to do a entry about just one CHVRCHES song (and yes, that's how they spell it, with a V), but I couldn't decide which one to pick. I like a bunch of them! So let's spotlight this Scottish band's groovy synth-pop and their super cute, pixie-esque lead singer.
I really like this cover of "Do I Wanna Know?" by the Arctic Monkeys - not even a cover, really. It's got the bones, but it sounds utterly like a different song.
Fresh from the MockingJay Part One soundtrack, curated by Lorde, here's the newest release, "Dead Air."
And if you like them enough to see a whole performance, here's 30 minutes:
Been listening a lot to this two-girl duo from Sweden lately - lovely harmonies, very 60s/70s sounding. "Stay Gold" is referencing, I believe, a Robert Frost poem, and the chorus has been resonating with me lately, with my ongoing, low-key worry over what all my ambition will amount to in the end:
What if our hard work ends in despair?
What if the road won't take me there?
Oh, I wish, for once, we could stay gold
What if to love and be loved's not enough?
What if I fall and can't bear to get up?
Oh, I wish, for once, we could stay gold
We could stay gold
We go local this week: the Kid picks Providence band Zox, whose 2008 single "Goodnight" seemed to foreshadow serious potential for the band to hit the mainstream. Self-described "violin indie-rock," "Goodnight" is a dreamy, uplifting, hooky composition, and one that I sometimes adopt as a lullaby when singing the Kid to sleep at night.
I just heard this for the first time five minutes ago, here at work, listening to Spotify streaming radio. I instantly fell in love. The bells are magical, I love the little backbeat and whispery lyrics, how romantic and utterly sad the lyrics are. So different from other Bloc Party songs I've heard!
Dreamy, trippy, psychedelia 70s/80s rock sound. Comparisons to Velvet Underground, Echo and the Bunnyman and the Cure. Love the infusion of the horns in the end. Enjoy.
I've been in a valley for the past week. It happens. So here I am, crawling out, resuming life routines that I like, and I want something that makes me laugh, so how about the fact that my Kid likes this classically-dumb song from the 1990s, sings under his breath as he colors: "movin' to the country / gonna each a lot of peaches," and then ends with a bunch of "wha!! hooa!" sounds, aka kung-fu battling, as shown in the video? I like bands that have a sense of humor. And EVERYONE still knows this song, twenty years later. So funny, what lingers in your brain.
Tomorrow, I take to the road, en route to Canada to take advantage of the American Thanksgiving long weekend and see my huge family. Eight hours of driving alone = lots of time to listen to dumb, but awesome music like this.
Stream-of-consciousness lyrics, Aussie accent, rolling guitar licks, sharp drums, and slacker-rock singles, with comparisons to everyone from Bob Dylan to PJ Harvey to Pavement.
Conclusion: Courtney Barnett is so freaking cool.
Another Soundtrack pick, this one attributed to one of my main guys, Theron. Suitably dramatic, I think, particularly as his story goes along; BUT, rather than being some morose piano lament, it's a fast-paced, fuzzy guitar fest with a driving beat and some great riffs:
I caught a glimpse of professional evil on the day our poor hearts died
I fell in love with professional evil on the day you left my side
I seen tons of people, looking lost and lethal, and I think we're all the same
So I scale the steeple and I take a leap, but I just can't keep the stain from my soul....