Friday, May 24, 2024

The Beatles - i'm only sleeping, 1966

"The first draft of Lennon's lyrics for "I'm Only Sleeping", written on the back of a letter from 1966, suggests that he was writing about the joys of staying in bed rather than any drug euphoria sometimes read into the lyrics. While not on tour, Lennon would usually spend his time sleeping, reading, writing or watching television, often under the influence of drugs, and would have to be woken by McCartney for their songwriting sessions.[9] In a London Evening Standard article published on 4 March 1966, Maureen Cleave, a friend of Lennon, wrote: "He can sleep almost indefinitely, is probably the laziest person in England."

David Gilmour - there's no way out of here cover, 1978

"Stepping out of Pink Floyd’s shadow, Gilmour had championed the British folk-rock band Unicorn, around the time of Wish You Were Here, producing their very good third album Too Many Crooks (1976). One of the tracks on it, ‘No Way Out of Here’ penned by Unicorn bandleader Ken Baker, impressed Gilmour so much that he covered it for inclusion on his solo album, modifying the title to ‘There’s No Way Out of Here’, but preserving the feel, structure and tone of the original. It was even released as a single and Gilmour staged an excellent live performances to help promote it, however without the Pink Floyd ‘handle’, it flopped in the charts."

The Triffids - blinder by the hour, 1986

"It's the weight of lyrics which have been far more personal now... so intensely personal you can almost feel the pain"

Prince Far I - ten commandments, 1999

"Before the album was finished he was shot at his home in Kingston, Jamaica, during a robbery, allegedly relating to a dispute over money, and died later in hospital. Adrian Sherwood, deeply upset by the murder of his friend, took a production hiatus from his beloved reggae genre and in 1983 recorded with his group Circut and Neneh Cherry, "Dead Come Alive". Prince Far I is also referred to by The Clash in their single "Clash City Rockers" and also by The Mountain Goats in the song "Sept. 15th 1983", a reference to the date of his death."

The Radio Dept - against the tide, 2002

"The person is questioning what they’re doing in life so they want to take a risk but they’re afraid of the outcome it might have so they opt-out to “falling against the tide” which means they’re gonna stick to what they’re comfortable with and familiar with."

Pete Astor - model village, 2024

"2024 marks 40 years of Pete Astor making records, a suitable anniversary point at which to take stock and double back on songs that first appeared on records by Astor-fronted combos such as Creation Records trailblazers The Loft and The Weather Prophets and Matador recording artists The Wisdom of Harry, as well as selections from solo albums that appeared on labels such as Danceteria and Static Caravan. Astor’s motivation for Tall Stories & New Religions, his new album, which will be out on Tapete Records March 15th, 2024, is manifold: some songs are effectively re-examined in the way one might linger over a resonant picture from a box of old photographs -connecting with the essence of a younger self-, other songs are newly recast in wiser and more reflective hues, while others simply demanded exhumation from wilfully opaque, lo fi non- production."

Justice And Tame Impala - one night all night, 2024

"We wanted ['One Night/All Night'] to sound as if a dark / techno iteration of Justice had found a sample of a disco iteration of Kevin Parker. Kevin has a sense of melody that’s fascinating in the sense that he manages to write melodies that feel both simple and natural, but very peculiar at the same time. This song oscillates between pure electronic music and pure disco but you never really get the two at the same time. This very idea of switching instantly from a genre to another within a song runs through the whole record, and is maybe showcased the clearest in ‘One Night/All Night.’ [...] To us, ['Generator'] sounds like ‘Getaway’ by the Salsoul Orchestra, but with gabber and classic ’90s hardcore techno sounds. Disco / funk and electronic music at large have always been core elements of the music we make as Justice. In Hyperdrama, we make them coexist, but not in a peaceful way. We like this idea of making them fight a bit for attention."

Bee Gees - heartbreaker, 2001

"The Bee Gees' own version, with Barry Gibb on lead vocals, was recorded in 1994. It was originally planned for an album called Love Songs to be released in 1995, but was eventually released in 2001 on Their Greatest Hits: The Record.[6] "Heartbreaker" was originally recorded as a single released on the Yep Roc label in 2019. Later it was released on a full length (Walkabout) originally released in Australia to commemorate their tour of the continent. Eventually it was released for the rest of the world as well.

Black Box Recorder - the deverell twins, 2000

"In St Bartholomew's Churchyard at Lower Basildon, there is a joint tomb for two sons of Edward and Priscilla Deverell. Both boys drowned together bathing in Thames. The tombstone reads "They were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their death they were not divided."

Tilly And The Wall - fell down the stairs, 2004

"Tilly and the Wall are an indie rock group which formed in Omaha, Nebraska, United States in 2001. The band consists of Derek Pressnall (vocals, guitar), his wife Jamie Pressnall (tap dancer), Neely Jenkins (vocals, bass), Kianna Alarid (vocals, recorder, bass) and Nick White (keyboards). The band has gained notoriety for having a tap dancer provide percussion instead of a drummer (although drums and drum machines are occasionally used on some of their recordings, and Pressnall is usually complemented by Alarid and Jenkins stomping on the floor)."

Neva Dinova - tryptophan, 2008

"Tryptophan affects brain serotonin synthesis when given orally in a purified form and is used to modify serotonin levels for research. Low brain serotonin level is induced by administration of tryptophan-poor protein in a technique called acute tryptophan depletion. Studies using this method have evaluated the effect of serotonin on mood and social behavior, finding that serotonin reduces aggression and increases agreeableness."

Thursday, May 23, 2024

The Beatles - she's leaving home, 1967

“She’s Leaving Home” produced a brilliant set of lyrics addressing the impact of depression on the psyche. It tells of a young woman who tries to cope with loss of identity while finding the courage to run away from home, “leaving the note that she hoped would say more.” Resulting in confusion from the well-meaning family left behind. So often experienced when necessary moments of change arrive."

James - sound, 1991

"Doubtless this will infuriate James pop fan contingent expecting another ‘Come Home’. Instead James do the decent thing and spread their wings with a grace and elegance which – despite what people say – saves them from stadiumitis. There are stadium-guitar traits here, but thankfully, they don’t come wrapped up in the bombastic shroud widely reported of their recent live shows. Sound (even the title works on various levels) is a layered number with a nice urgent bassline and flickering guitars. Tim Booth, meantime, sounds less fraught than his ‘Gold Mother’ era, though still uncomfortable with the world in general. I like him."

The Embassy - it's always a new thing, 2013

"Melodic, beat-driven, and shiny enough to scan as commercial pop, but with wounded vocals and occasionally sloganeering lyrics that do, indeed, blur the line between innocence and a giant put-on, the Embassy inspired other artists with its iconoclastic spirit as much as its ecumenical anorak-house sound."

Damien Jurado - return to maraqopa, 2014

"The album detailed his character’s emergence from a car crash only to wander back into Maraqopa. Upon his return, the denizens of the town, all named Silver, began to allude to the character being a sort of prophet or “beacon between Heaven and Earth,” as Jurado once said."

Prefab Sprout - goodbye lucille one, 1985

"When Thomas Dolby began working with Prefab Sprout, McAloon played him a number of songs without telling him what period they belonged to. McAloon felt that because he had played the songs live so many times, he could no longer be objective about them. "Goodbye Lucille #1" is one of three songs included on Steve McQueen dating to the band's initial lineup, the others being "Faron Young" and "Bonny". According to Ian Pye of Melody Maker, "Goodbye Lucille #1" features "a beautifully haunting vocal from Wendy Smith"."

Bee Gees - holiday, 1967

"We were kids together, and teenagers. We spent the whole of our lives with each other because of our music. I can't accept that he's dead. I just imagine he's alive somewhere else."

Black Box Recorder - gsoh qed, 2003

"So exquisitely English that they make Radiohead, Coldplay and even Her Majesty the Queen seem like Bud-guzzling rednecks, Black Box Recorder are the pop project of Luke Haines, whose other band, the Auteurs, is a kind of hate-filled version of the Kinks. In this case, pop means honeyed synthesizer melodies acting as a Trojan horse for splendidly seedy lyrics about classified-ad dating, teenage lust and the horrors of the British school system."

The Smile - teleharmonic, 2024

"This is the track that sticks out the most because it can appeal to many people of different tastes. If you were to leave this review listening to only one song on this album, I would advise you to choose “Teleharmonic” because it is simply just a good song."

The Radio Dept - bachelor kisses cover, 2008

"Swedish band, The Radio Dept., recorded an exclusive cover of "Bachelor Kisses", for the August 2007 issue of the Swedish fanzine I Godan Ro. Only 10 copies of that issue were printed. The track was subsequently included in their compilation album Passive Aggressive: Singles 2002–2010."

The Cranberries - animal instinct, 1999

“It’s like a hearty song, and it’s about a hearty thing. It’s just about love that comes when you’re carrying a child, when you give birth to a child and stuff when you become a parent. It’s the animal instinct, it’s a protection feeling that you’ve never felt before for anything […] I am a different person than I was two years ago. Women are extraordinary creatures really, you know, I mean the fact that we can give birth, what the bodies can do is pretty amazing, and feed, feed children with your own body […] It’s a pretty cool thing really, and it does change you, it makes you a lot more confident and happy in yourself makes you more thankful.”

Beach House - beyond love, 2015

"It's probably Beach House's most raw and emotionally potent song. If any track were to perfectly encapsulate the essense of Depression Cherry, Beyond Love is that song."

The Lightning Seeds - bound in a nutshell, 1990

"Cloudcuckooland was an antidote to the brewing Alternative Rock / Grunge of the then new decade. It opened with the bubbly Pop of “All I Want,” which Broudie co-wrote with the similarly silky-voiced Peter Coyle – the vocalist of the classic English New Romantic band The Lotus Eaters (“The First Picture of You”). The bright mood immediately turned gloomy with the heartrending sentiments of the piano-led, jazzy Baroque/Synthpop ballad “Bound in a Nutshell,” which exuded echoes of China Crisis (“Black Man Ray”), Frazier Chorus (“Dream Kitchen”), and The Blue Nile (“Tinseltown in the Rain”). This was then followed by what has become The Lightning Seeds’ anthemic single—the candy-cane sweet and marshmallow soft “Pure,” which is a concoction of synthesized flutes, horns, and other orchestral instruments of wonder."

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Camel - sanctuary, 1975

"Absolutely beautiful is the best way to describe The Snow Goose. It’s about a lonely disfigured man (Philip) who buys an abandoned lighthouse among the salt marshes of Essex, a wild but beautiful landscape. It’s here that Philip provides a sanctuary for birds who seek shelter during the winter months."

Black Box Recorder - weekend, 2000

"The Facts of Life is a new wave, synth-pop and psychedelic-lounge rock album that took elements from the works of elements from the works of Momus, Pet Shop Boys and Saint Etienne. Alongside this, the Saint Etienne comparison extended to the lyrical style and frontwoman Sarah Nixey being seen as a counterpoint to that band's Sarah Cracknell."

Mew - behind the drapes, 2002

"i love this song. mew always makes me cheer up with these lonely songs. as the title 'behind the drapes' suggests, we as individuals feel all left out. like in a stage when all the attention is on the actors on stage, the ones working hard behind the drapes don't get so much credit at all."

Jome - hollow, 2017

"Everything we’ve put out so far is fairly mellow and has lots of subtlety but there is stuff on the album that is far more aggressive and energetic."

Mew - comforting sounds, 2000

"hearing that song was demonstrably a "my-life-has-been-leading-up-to-this-moment" event. Experiencing the instrumental buildup in person was one of my all-time greatest concert experiences; I could have been liquefying and I doubt I would have noticed."

Tilly And The Wall - brave day, 2006

"There’s just nothing better than being able to travel, and I think many of our favorite moments involve seeing some new wonderful parts of the world."

Black Box Recorder - when britain refused to sing, 2003

"Singer Sarah Nixey has never regretted taking up the invitation from Luke Haines (The Auteurs) and John Moore (The Jesus and Mary Chain) to form Black Box Recorder—even if the band never achieved the level of success of some of their other turn of the millennium peers. And it’s questionable if they ever made good on the promise that “they would make her famous.”

The Lightning Seeds - a small slice of heaven, 1992

"Can't say why this wonderful Lightning Seeds song suddenly came to mind, bringing such unexpected tears. The idea of a small slice of heaven waiting for us all?"

Metronomy - right on time, 2022

"a summer/spring infused song"

Marillion - jigsaw, 1984

"When you watch kids doing jigsaws, they'll always take the eye of the koala bear or whatever and sit on it, just for the dominating factor of putting the last bit in. You get to the point where you lie about the last piece, you deny that you've got it. The other person is aware that you're lying and they hold back four or five pieces so that you can't put in the last piece. Eventually you tear up the jigsaw and say ' We'll do it another day'. That can grow into relationships - where no matter how important that piece is to the other person or the relationship. In general, the song is about the relationship that splits up and forever comes together again. It gets worse because each time it comes back together, more pieces of the jigsaw have got lost, and you can't get them back."

Silver Liz - high at the gym, 2022

"The cure for the increasing artifice of the internet age is unabashed honesty. Good art makes a space for us to feel like ourselves."

Neva Dinova - she can't change, 2005

"Neva Dinova, an interesting name for a band with a wholly unique sound. Mellow yet active, sweet yet bitter, and altogether original, this Nebraska band shares it’s title with lead member Jake Bellows late grandmother."

Editors - blood, 2005

"Tom's favourite album is R.E.M.'s Murmur, so they were his favourite band whilst growing up and I think they've always maintained a certain cool vibe about everything they've released. They haven't sold out at all, so they're big influences not just in songwriting, but the way they've protected themselves as musicians and as a band."

Carla Dal Forno - come around, 2022

"Carla dal Forno is an Australian electro-pop singer and multi-instrumentalist. Formerly of the groups Mole House (2010–2013) and Fingers (2013–2017), dal Forno has issued three solo studio albums You Know What It's Like (2016), Look Up Sharp (2019) and Come Around (2022)."

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Neil Young And Crazy Horse - cinnamon girl, 1969

"Cinnamon Girl" is a song by Neil Young. It debuted on the 1969 album Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, which was also Young's first album with backing band Crazy Horse."

Moby - living, 2000

"my living room is quite simple, with lots of light, and scandinavian furniture from the early 1960’s. the atmosphere is…clean and simple"

Beach House - ten thirty-seven, 2015

"Yeah shutting the eyes, I always feel that our band isn’t playing a good show if anybody has their eyes open."

They Live By Night - standing by the sea, 2008

"At times it feels like a time-machine back to the Sweden's 90's pop-scene, for example, I find the song "Standing by the sea" similar to Staffan Hellstrand's 1993 hit "Lilla fågel blå". TLBN's new release is high-quality pop and it sticks to you, for a while."

Sufjan Stevens - saturn, 2017

"The lyrics of the song reference the ancient Greek god Cronus (Saturn in Roman mythology). According to Greek and Roman mythology, after Cronus overthrew his father, the god Uranus, it was prophesied that Cronus's own sons would overthrow him. To prevent this eventuality, he devoured his newborn children, the gods Demeter, Hestia, Hera, Hades, and Poseidon. Cronus was eventually overthrown and imprisoned by his youngest son, Zeus."

The Thrills - the irish keep gate-crashing, 2004

"The album is unlike its predecessor in that it’s both short on hit singles but also, mercifully, on fillers, with every track earning a deserved place. The highlight for this reviewer, hard as it was to choose one specific track, is The Irish Keep Gate Crashing, which manages to be melancholic, melodic, and eminently pop at the same time – no mean feat."

The House Of Love - you don't understand, 1992

"The House of Love were formed in 1986 in Camberwell, London by former Kingdoms singer and guitarist Guy Chadwick: he had been inspired to start a new band after seeing The Jesus and Mary Chain in concert at London's Electric Ballroom. He wrote a new song called "Christine", which gave him ideas for progress: "The idea of the sound of the group and what kind of musicians to look for... female vocals... a good take on the Velvets' sonics... and of course the image." Chadwick teamed up with an old friend, drummer Pete Evans, and recruited the rest of the initial House of Love lineup via an advert in Melody Maker. This brought together an international band of London-born lead guitarist Terry Bickers (ex-Colenso Parade), German rhythm guitarist/co-singer Andrea Heukamp and bass player Chris Groothuizen (from New Zealand). Chadwick opted to name his new band The House of Love after Anaïs Nin's book A Spy in the House of Love. There was a considerable age differential in the band: Chadwick, by now aged 30, was nearly ten years older than Terry Bickers."

Low - disarray, 2018

"the song sounds as much decomposed as it is composed, as though the original tracks they laid down in the studio had been irretrievably corrupted. Its foundation is a gravelly, pulsing set of tones with all trace of their origins (bass? guitar? piano?) lost beneath the all-encompassing fuzz."

Saint Etienne - the clothes show, 1999

"Commissioned track for BBC Clothes Show program (unfortunately used for Wild About Wool segment)"

The Chameleons - second skin, 1983

"Over six minutes long, "Second Skin" was nearly an epic. It's all jangly right-angled, with sounds shifting through the ether, as drums and singular guitar riffs drift into focus, while Mark Burgess' vocals are mostly underneath the heady mix. It was easy, too, to see where the band drew inspiration. But, good as Second Skin is, and it's still one of the band's best, what made the Chameleons so precious was their ability to make anything completely, uniquely their own."

Green Day - scattered, 1997

"Nimrod is more musically diverse than previous Green Day albums. Armstrong noted that with the album, Green Day went down "different avenues," adding: "Each song has its own character and identity so we wanted to be able to bring that out as much as possible."

Monday, May 20, 2024

Paul McCartney - i've just seen a face live, 2005

"Although the song is credited to the Lennon–McCartney songwriting partnership, John Lennon and Paul McCartney each identified "I've Just Seen a Face" as having been written entirely by McCartney. McCartney recalled writing it in the basement music room at 57 Wimpole Street in central London. The house was the family home of his girlfriend, actress Jane Asher, where McCartney lodged from November 1963. Working on a piano, he composed the melody first, beginning it as an uptempo country and western-inflected piece. After he played it on the piano at a family gathering, his aunt Gin enjoyed the tune, prompting him to give it the working title "Auntie Gin's Theme". He added fast-paced lyrics which may have been inspired by his relationship with Asher, turning the song into a cheerful love ballad."

Electronic - some distant memory, 1991

"Penultimate song on the debut album by Electronic, the duo of Bernard Sumner (Joy Division/New Order) and Johnny Marr (The Smiths). A bit of a melancholy song, with some nice but simple Sumner lyrics, which he is great at writing. And of course that great oboe section in the last part of the song."

Seapony - into the sea, 2011

"The breezy, jangling rock tunes located here could easily garner comparisons to Best Coast due to their corresponding guitar pop mannerisms, uncomplicated drum patterns, and summer night arousal. It’s in the lyrics, however, sung by vocalist Jen Weidl and contributed by songwriter Danny Rowlands, where Seapony branches away, as they are certainly less redundant and don’t even begin to address the marijuana happiness, or relationship-abandoned woes of Bethany Cosentino."

Del Amitri - last cheap shot at the dream, 2002

"by the turn of the new century their music company was turning weary, the band were inclined to excess and in 2002 the released their last cheap shot at the dream “Can You Do Me Good”.

Broome - winter sun, 2021

"Brooklyn, New York"

The Go-Betweens - head full of steam, 1986

"Head Full of Steam" is a song by the Australian alternative rock band The Go-Betweens that was released as the second single from their fourth album Liberty Belle and the Black Diamond Express. It was released as a 7" and 12" vinyl single on the Beggars Banquet label in the United Kingdom in May 1986, with "Don't Let Him Come Back" as the B-side. In Australia it was released in 1987 by True Tone Records, with "Little Joe" as the B-Side."

Michael Head And The Red Elastic Band - kismet, 2022

"‘Kismet’ – written about the kindness of strangers and based on a real-life experience, when Head found himself stranded in the middle of nowhere with a dead phone – is joyous and jangly guitar pop"

Laurent Voulzy - all i have to do is dream cover, 2006

"French singer Laurent Voulzy recorded a version of the song in a duet with Andrea Corr. It was featured on his album La Septième Vague, recorded in 2006 and on the Corrs album Dreams: The Ultimate Corrs Collection, also recorded in 2006."

Vansire - every time around, 2020

"Tuning in to Vansire feels more like you’re dreaming than listening to music. Their music paints pictures, soundscapes that wash through synth loops, propulsive bass lines, and watery guitar arpeggios. Within these ambient, often dance-y textures, their lyrics offer an authentic view into relationships, coming of age, and escapist dreams all set over a backdrop of Midwestern geography and life in a late-capitalist state."

Of Monsters And Men - king and lionheart, 2012

"King and Lionheart" is a song recorded by Icelandic alternative folk band Of Monsters and Men, written by co-lead vocalist Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir and produced by the band with Aron Arnarsson and Jacquire King for the band's debut studio album, My Head Is an Animal."

The Thrills - the curse of comfort, 2004

"What’s missing from The Thrills is trust that their internal lives, unobscured by secondhand imagery and legs up from heroes for hire, will be enough to sustain us. Of course it will! Internal lives are amazing, intriguing things. Ulysses is just a Dub talking to himself for the day. We are all endlessly mysterious and complex from the moment of birth. Sing about that. A key line: “The curse of comfort has plagued your artistic life” (‘The Curse Of Comfort’). Maybe Conor Deasy thinks he hasn’t suffered enough. Bono, who said he would carry The Thrills’ luggage, worked with Van Dyke Parks once, on ‘All I Want Is You’, on an album also too heavily in debt to history."

I Break Horses - denial, 2014

"I Break Horses' promising debut, 2011's Hearts, found Swedish duo Maria Lindén and Fredrick Balck working extensively with shoegaze's oily swarm, embracing the genre's more digitally frizzed tics to create something that sounded both familiar and overwhelming. A proper follow-up to that LP hasn't been announced yet, but for now we have "Denial", the A-side of a white-label 12" that's seeing release soon on Bella Union. "Denial" is a change-up for Lindén and Balck, a glistening slice of synth-pop that retains the pair's tendency to create sweeping, epic gestures but casts that ability in a different, more explicitly pop-friendly light. The crashing synths that enter in and out are reminiscent of M83's all-encompassing flair, suggesting that there's more sides to I Break Horses than they initially displayed."

Det Vackra Livet - askan, 2011

"Det Vackra Livet was formed in Gothenburg by brothers Henrik and Philip Ekström. The brothers are also founding members of Swedish dreampop group The Mary Onettes, with whom Det Vackra Livet shares much of its sound and influences. By contrast, The Mary Onettes' lyrics are performed in English, whereas Det Vackra Livet's lyrics are sung in Swedish. Inspired by his grandmother's memories and Finland Swedish poet Claes Andersson, Philip Ekström wrote fifteen songs which would become material for the band during a creative outburst in late 2010. The group's first single "Viljan" was released digitally on Labrador Records in January 2011. The group released a ten-track self-titled debut album in May 2011. Det Vackra Livet translates to The Beautiful Life in English."

Mike Oldfield - let there be light, 1994

"Let There Be Light" is a single by musician Mike Oldfield, released in 1995. It is from the album The Songs of Distant Earth and uses audio from the Apollo 8 space mission. For the intro, the single uses the Apollo 8 Genesis reading."

Cocteau Twins - lazy calm, 1986

"The album title refers to the part of Antarctica known as Victoria Land, after Queen Victoria (and forming the British claim to the continent, currently dormant under international treaty). Some of the track titles were borrowed from passages on the Arctic and Antarctic in David Attenborough's The Living Planet: A Portrait of the Earth"

Suzanne Vega - rosemary, 1998

"I was there for a couple of weeks in May of 1995, and yes, I did meet someone in that garden, though if anyone were to have watched the scene, nothing exciting happened – he was someone who lived in Granada, and he was showing me the town. That is, nothing happened on the surface. El Carmen de los Martires is a garden near the Alhambra in the south of Spain, in Granada. It is one of many gardens near the main one. In this garden are statues of saints. Many (if not most) of them are missing their heads and their hands because people have stolen them. I guess they feel it brings luck to take these pieces of the statues home."

Headlights - put us back together right, 2006

"When the first song on the Headlights' debut full-length, "Your Old Street," begins -- a string group pulling and bowing in melancholic unison, a soft, plaintive cymbal, a lonely guitar -- it seems as if the tone -- sad, pretty indie pop -- has been set for the rest of the album. Yes, there are some hints of electronic instrumentation in the tinny keyboards and the guitar even gets aggressive as the song comes to a close, but mostly it's just another well-crafted pop song, sung perfectly by Erin Fein and Tristan Wraight, with the right mix of orchestration and empty space, of despair and joy."

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Scott McKenzie - san francisco be sure to wear flowers in your hair, 1967

"One thing is certain: the new pop music that emerged from those times was indeed wonderful. Never before or since, with the exception of rap, has popular music contained such sheer poetic and social power. Even at the end of the decade, when so many of us had lost hope, when the summer of love had turned into a winter of despair, our music helped keep us alive and carry us forward into a world we had hoped to change. And so it still does."

Edward II And The Red Hot Polkas - lovers two step, 1989

"Edward II (known also as EII, and previously as Edward the Second and the Red Hot Polkas and e2K) are an English band which play a fusion of world music, English folk and reggae. Active from 1980, the band broke up after losing several key members in 1999, relaunching as "e2K" in 2000. In 2003, the band dissolved once more, but have since reformed for a one-year reunion tour in 2009 under the "Edward II" name, celebrating the tenth anniversary of the breakup of the original band. They reformed in 2015 specifically to produce the Manchester's Improving Daily project, which includes the release of new recorded material and a book. The project is designed to celebrate a collection of tunes written in Manchester during the Industrial Revolution, published as Broadsides and currently held in Manchester Central Library. In 2021 Edward II released the album "Dancing Tunes", bringing their own unique style to a collection of traditional and historic Jamaican calypso and mento songs that pre-date reggae as we know it today."

CD Ghost - i don't wanna live forever, 2022

"Night Music is their debut with Born Losers Records, expanding their dream pop palette toward the edges of dark wave, avant-pop, and shoegaze. The LP was conceived as an ode to the musical tradition of nocturnes – songs written about or for the night. Observe the changes of the moon as cool air begins to surround you, and you pass into the astral plane."

Tilly And The Wall - the ice storm big gust and you, 2004

"we didn’t want to limit ourselves to a tap dancing beat as the main percussion. We didn’t feel like doing that. For me, I wanted to challenge myself and do different things. I wanted to incorporate other kinds of percussion. We all talked about it. It was a way for us to do something new and interesting to us. So we’ve got drums"

Black Box Recorder - the art of driving, 2000

"The whole experience felt like a dream – I wish I could relive it and take it all in properly."

The Thrills - not for all the love in the world, 2004

"Not for All the Love in the World" is the second single from the album Let's Bottle Bohemia by Irish Alternative Rock band The Thrills. It was released on 15 November 2004. The single marked a significant change in the band's direction as a slower, more melancholic release."

Beach House - wildflower, 2015

"I'm really glad nobody came to our shows at the start, because we had no idea what we were doing."

The Radio Dept - liebling, 2002

"The song was ‘Liebling’, a 3-minute blast of lo-fi pop in the vein of Jesus and Mary Chain; fuzzy, fast and utterly fantastic."

Sambassadeur - between the lines, 2005

"The breakdown on “Between the Lines” — the snare hit, the ethereal “ahs,” the chord progression — is completely irresistible to simple minds and hearts such as mine."

Renaissance - love is all, 1971

"Thatcher's friend Liz Kellett introduced her to Kellett's school friend Jane Relf, the younger sister of ex-Yardbirds singer Keith Relf. When Keith and Jane formed Renaissance, they asked her to be the lyricist, Relf having read Thatcher's letters to Jane. When Betty moved to St Ives, Cornwall, she sent her lyrics from there to Jim McCarty who would write songs around them, including "Love Is All" and "Past Orbits of Dust" from the album Illusion, produced by Paul Samwell-Smith and released in Germany in 1971, but not released in the UK until 1976."

Zach Schimpf - ten whole years, 2022

"St. Louis based artist Zach Schimpf has produced music since receiving his first audio recorder at 13. After stints in several bands and many amateur projects while in high school, he began a serious pursuit of songwriting and audio production while in college."

Jimmy Clanton - venus in blue jeans, 1962

"In 1962, Jimmy Clanton went to New York after pausing his career to serve with the National Guard, and got in touch with Greenfield and Sedaka to record some songs. He found "Venus in Blue Jeans" in a pile of rejected demos and liked the chord changes of the opening bars, although Greenfield dismissed it because it had been rejected by other artists. Clanton, however, failed to find other suitable songs, and so he chose to record "Venus in Blue Jeans" as a throwaway."

Surf Rock Is Dead - so comfy, 2022

"Brooklyn-based duo, Surf Rock is Dead combines the musical stylings of Kevin Pariso and Joel Wittenberg. Their airy harmonies and smooth synths are best listened to while driving down a long California highway or escaping the cold in a cozy Boston apartment. Their music transcends genres and transports you to a land of mellow bliss."

The Triffids - goodbye little boy, 1989

"I remember one night at the Burswood Casino, it must have been in about 1990. The Western Australia Music Industry had this big event at the showroom and someone announced the winner of the most outstanding WA contribution to the national and international music scene. It was The Triffids. There was a young woman who was working at the show serving drinks. All of a sudden, she put down her tray, walked up on stage in her Burswood uniform and collected the prize. It was Jill Birt, the keyboardist. While the rest of the music industry was sitting around in black ties and tuxes, the only person from the band who was there to accept the award was serving them drinks. It was very telling."

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Pink Floyd - wish you were here, 1975

"It was ironic that my father became well known as a family psychiatrist, when, in the meantime, he had nothing to do with his own family"

Beach House - levitation, 2015

"To begin the band’s 5th studio album, Depression Cherry, is a melancholic, eerie, and dramatic song, “Levitation.” The song maintains a few repetitive synth cords that echo throughout the song. Sometimes I find that repetition in songs can be a huge deterrent for me, but in “Levitation,” I feel it helps illuminate the lyrics and provides a deeper meaning to the song."

Bear's Den - fickle love, 2013

"For ten years now, Bear’s Den have poured their own unfiltered humanity into their songs, treating audiences around the world to an array of warm, tender, and achingly intimate indie folk-rock confessionals that make the heart flutter and skip a beat or two."

Tame Impala - let it happen, 2015

"The song centers on accepting personal transition, and was worked on in various locations around the world. The song runs at nearly eight minutes long, and its second half contains a section of the song repeating akin to a scratched Compact Disc, and stripped-down lyrics consisting of gibberish. It also has vocoded-like vocals in the second half, which were actually manipulated with a keyboard sampler."

Stars - the maze, 2017

"Does no one fall in love under fluorescent light? Pretty sure that's not true, as many an office romance could attest. But as a statement in support of love's delusions, we will stand by it. In love, the lights are different, softer; the air has more oxygen in it; and for a second, all you need is a good chorus to believe this might be the one."

Friday, May 17, 2024

Paul McCartney - let it be live, 2024

"McCartney said he had the idea of "Let It Be" after he had a dream about his mother"

The Triffids - a trick of the light, 1986

"Written one morning in the company of Bleddyn Butcher, in the woolshed where In The Pines was recorded, while waiting for the band to arrive. I can't for the life of me think what it's about. If anyone wants to know the juicy personal details that inspired these songs, please write to Mr Toby Creswell. He has a much better memory for these things than I."

The Innocence Mission - i would be there, 2020

"It ultimately has to do with the ability of kindness to transcend language, and also my coming to peace with the “unknowableness” of the internal life. I don’t know if there are themes, but those are trains of thought."

The Durutti Column - jacqueline, 1981

"I think once a week I just throw on Durutti Column for the entire evening and every time a different track stands out for me. I’d say my most played songs are The Missing Boy, Sleep Will Come, Jacqueline, and Bordeaux."

House Of Shem - let it be cover live, 2014

"He played funk, rock and roll, jazz and reggae. Perkins wasn’t classically taught and he admits he “wasn’t really taught how all genres were different like that” But he credited his father and uncles for showing him how to play across all kinds of music “even heavy metal. I played a bit of Deep Purple.”

Beach House - wishes, 2012

"I’ve been listening to it religiously for years and it still strikes the same emotional chords for me as it did the first time I heard it. I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of it and I can’t say that about any other song. Its truly magical."

Genesis - heathaze, 1980

"the guy is a legitimate giant of music and in centuries to come will be talked of like the great western classical composers of history are in this era."

The Cure - charlotte sometimes, 1981

"This song is based on one of Robert Smith's favorite books: a 1969 novel called Charlotte Sometimes by the British author Penelope Farmer. In the book, the title character finds herself transported 40 years back in time. Smith wrote this song using the same themes of time shifting and displacement."

Tom Waits - alice, 2002

"adult songs for children, or children's songs for adults. It's a maelstrom or fever-dream, a tone poem, with torch songs and odyssey in dream logic and nonsense."

Cher - believe, 1998

"Believe" is an upbeat dance-pop and electropop song and represents a complete musical departure from Cher's previous efforts. It featured a pioneering use of the audio processing software Auto-Tune to distort the singer's vocals, which was widely imitated and became known as the "Cher effect".

Talking Heads - road to nowhere, 1985

"At our deaths and at the apocalypse... (always looming, folks). I think it succeeded. The front bit, the white gospel choir, is kind of tacked on, 'cause I didn't think the rest of the song was enough... I mean, it was only two chords. So, out of embarrassment, or shame, I wrote an intro section that had a couple more in it."

Thursday, May 16, 2024

The Radio Dept - david, 2010

"somebody who has failed to launch their life, and they are stuck living at their parents' house while feeling very sorely about it" 

Such a great song!

New Order - as it is when it was, 1986

"a melodic rose between 4 faster punk-esque thorns, it's the highlight of Brotherhood for me. It's about attaining the thing you have always desired then being disappointed with it. Then yearning for the desire to return."

Gorillaz - feel good inc, 2005

"Gorillaz are an English virtual band created in 1998 by musician Damon Albarn and artist Jamie Hewlett, from London. The band primarily consists of four fictional members: 2-D (vocals, keyboards), Murdoc Niccals (bass guitar), Noodle (guitar, keyboards, vocals) and Russel Hobbs (drums). Their universe is presented in media such as music videos, interviews, comic strips and short cartoons. Gorillaz's music has featured collaborations with a wide range of featured artists, with Albarn as the only permanent musical contributor."

Beach House - irene, 2012

"this individual is not yet aware of “Irene,” who stands to bring a substantial amount of light and compassion to their world."

William Fitzsimmons - i am easy to find cover, 2020

"William Fitzsimmons is an Illinois-based singer/songwriter specializing in a gentle mixture of folk-rock and electronica applied to carefully written and often autobiographical songs that deliver a quiet emotional power."

Renaissance - opening out, 1978

"A Song for All Seasons is the eighth studio album by the English progressive rock band Renaissance, released in 1978. It marked the return of electric guitars to the band's music after several years of absence."

Editors - munich, 2005

"The Back Room is the debut studio album of British rock band Editors; it was released on 25 July 2005 through Kitchenware Records. The Editors formed while attending university and later moved to Birmingham, where they played club shows and made demos. After signing to Kitchenware in late 2004, the band recorded their debut album at studios in Lincolnshire, London and Wolverhampton. Jim Abbiss produced all but one of the tracks; the exception was produced by Gavin Monaghan. The Back Room is a post-punk revival, gothic rock and indie pop album that has been compared to the works of Echo & the Bunnymen, Elbow and Interpol."

Crystal Castles - black panther, 2008

"Crystal Castles was a Canadian electronic music group formed in 2006 in Toronto, Ontario, formed by songwriter-producer Ethan Kath and singer-songwriter Alice Glass, who later left and was replaced by Edith Frances. Crystal Castles were known for their chaotic live shows and lo-fi melancholic homemade productions."

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Camel - la princesse perdue, 1975

"La Princesse Perdue is one of the most nostalgic beautiful pieces of music Camel have ever written. A must for all enthusiasts of progressive music."

Fleet Foxes - sunblind solstice version, 2021

"In his artist’s statement, he said he “wanted to make an album that celebrated life in the face of death,” and he did so by conjuring globality through the spirits of deceased musicians—David Berman, Richard Swift, Judee Sill, John Prine—whom he loved greatly, in juxtaposition with that seminal Fleet Foxes self-contained heartache and fits of momentary, geographical joy. “I think, with Swift and Berman passing, [their deaths] made it clear to me how important community is and how music is a binder and how these people could bring so many others together,”

The Radio Dept - we climb the wired fences, 2003

"This track stands out after dozens of hours of listening to The Radio Dept. as one of my favorites. It's sweet with a slight overcast of sadness, washed in a blissful numbness. This (and everything I project onto it) leads me to believe it's a song about a relationship that is enjoyable and comforting but also uncertain, as it also carries uncomfortable aspects. The first verse conveys a fond vignette of walking through a park and 'climbing wired fences', but there is a hint of tension as one person senses "something outside". The use of 'outside' is discomfiting, as the setting is already established as outdoors, in a place of comfort and safety. This ill-fitting context creates a form of dischord that makes sense as the song continues. Fences are boundaries, 'wired' could be a shortening of 'barbed wire', meaning these boundaries must be carefully negotiated in order to avoid injury - much the same with the boundaries between most people. The second verse introduces a feeling of unease or dissatisfaction, of coping with what is being negotiated while avoiding barbs. The line "I must be ill" represents the questioning of our own mental state or emotional stability that can occur when struggling with understanding a troubled relationship. The following lines, "Keep thinking we pretend / And 'how long before this has to end?'" is a continuance of this line of thought, realizing that the relationship may not be sustainable over time. The line "on self-medication ambition fails" suggests that the speaker may be using substances to cope with the uncertainty and anxiety from the sense of erasure of the self in order to sustain the relationship. "Or can you set me free?" speaks to the reluctance to be the one who decides to end the relationship while struggling with this anxiety. This relationship has aspects that are pleasurable and others that are troubling. To me, this is a beautiful reverie of ambiguity and uncertainty in the future of the relationship, as well as a struggle to maintain one's sense of self and purpose within. This circles back to the odd redundancy of the word "outside" - a subtle introduction to the theme that permeates the whole piece."

Tindersticks - here cover, 1995

“I believe, it’s easy for people to think about me as a singer. And then, think about written words as some kind of a poetry. But for me, it’s like “forever”. Working in a studio, creative environments, creative atmosphere, creating songs, it’s the thing that drives me first. I kind of learn to sing. And I think, words are the easier thing to disturb the thing I’m looking for. And so, my work with words becomes very careful."

Pet Shop Boys - it's alright cover, 1989

"The classic house-music track "It's Alright" was originally performed by its co-writers, Sterling Void and Paris Brightledge (along with co-producer Marshall Jefferson, the latter now widely regarded as one of the chief originators of house music), although their original version is spelled "It's All Right." (See more about this below.) Neil and Chris heard it, loved it, and decided to cover it. A powerful song about the immortality of music, its vision is on nothing less than a cosmic scale. Music is sustained "on a timeless wavelength," whereby it asserts and helps to maintain human hope and dignity in the face of overwhelming obstacles."

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

The Moody Blues - the night nights in white satin, 1967

"Days of Future Passed is the second album and first concept album by English progressive rock band the Moody Blues, released in November 1967 by Deram Records. The album represents a significant creative turning point for the band. The album is their first with guitarist and singer Justin Hayward in place of Denny Laine and bassist John Lodge in place of Clint Warwick. The album is also their first to feature longtime producer and collaborator Tony Clarke and the first to feature keyboardist Mike Pinder on Mellotron. These changes, combined with a shift away from R&B covers toward original compositions and a thematic concept, helped define the band's sound for the next several albums and earned the group new critical and commercial success."

Low - rome always in the dark, 2018

“disconcertingly pretty in the way some terrifying images can be disconcertingly pretty, like the vivid colors in an all-consuming wildfire, or the lacerations that particularly vicious storms cut across the sky”

Beach House - troublemaker, 2012

"At first I loved the transition the hours to troublemaker then to new year, then it was the chord progressions within the song, then the lyrics, and then the vocals had me sold by the fifth listen."

The Triffids - bury me deep in love, 1987

"Between 1978 and 1981, the Triffids recorded six collections of original songs at The Cliffe. The house remained a sanctuary and source of inspiration throughout their career. Its peculiar location, an eyrie on Devil's Elbow overlooking Freshwater Bay, gave David a startling perspective as well as a beautiful view. When he became interested as a teenager in forming a band, he and the future Triffids would gather in the cellar at The Cliffe to practise, the size of the grounds ensuring there were few neighbours to disturb."

Hooverphonic - club montepulciano, 1998

"The band Hooverphonic recorded a song called "Club Montepulciano". It was inspired by a visit to the club (then resident at Dingwalls) while the band were recording their debut album for Sony in a nearby studio. When their album was later launched, it was done so at a private version of Club Montepulciano at Dingwalls in Camden."

Rufus Du Sol - simplicity is bliss, 2013

"Embodying into the healing energies of electronic music on the new record, Surrender’s raw, organic, ambient electronic atmosphere is rooted in Joshua Tree’s natural landscape, while tapping into each members most natural, raw, and instinctive emotions."

The Cult - rain, 1985

"Despite the song's popularity with the band's audience, and it being one of its more commercially successful single releases, after performing it on 24 November 1989 at Wembley Arena Astbury asked the crowd: "So you like that one?", and after it cheered in response, he responded with "Well, personally I don't but there you are..." although as he laughed when saying this, he may not have been serious."

Morrissey - sing your life, 1991

"one of Morrissey's subtler pieces, and also one with a more upbeat and straightforward message than most."

Bear's Den - think of england, 2014

"Taken from that album is the bands new single, Think of England, which drops on February 2nd next year, via Communion Records / Carloline, and was, like the rest of the record, produced and mixed by Ian Grimble (The 1975, Daughter). It opens up with this tumbling percussion, handclaps and atmospheric guitar sighs, as Davie delivers this folk based vocal, the emotion in his voice only heightened with the evocative accompaniment. As the track progresses so it gently starts to unravel, almost unnoticed at first till, with the addition of strings, it builds to its climax."

Monday, May 13, 2024

Bee Gees - ioio, 1970

"I.O.I.O." is a song by the Bee Gees, released on the album Cucumber Castle. It was written by Barry and Maurice Gibb. The song was released as a single in March 1970, and was also one of the highlights of the album."

Franz Ferdinand - twilight omens, 2009

"I don't have a classical music background, so when I read about music theory sometimes it spurs me on to write in a different way. I was reading about modes, and I realized you can write in these modes just by choosing what note you start on and restricting yourself to certain notes. So I was going through this experiment of trying to write on just the white keys on the keyboard, and that's how the melody came about. In the clubs of '94, I'd fallen asleep on my hand. They'd write something on my hand or put a stamp on my hand, and it was on my face the next morning. And I thought, 'Wouldn't it be wonderful if someone had written their name on your hand, and it was backwards on your face but then forwards on your mirror.' Something like that would be an omen—and I do love omens."

Easterhouse - out on your own, 1986

"Easterhouse’s original incarnation — a Manchester quintet led by argumentative brothers Andy (vocals/lyrics) and Ivor (guitar) Perry — turned strident leftist rhetoric into bracing, cathartic music before predictably imploding over ideological conflicts. The band’s demise was a shame, since Easterhouse seemed well on its way towards perfecting a brand of explicitly political rock that compromised neither music nor message."

"Here Comes an Union leader with a Brand New Deal
To save the industry talking profitability
What does that mean to me?
Whether a profit or a loss
I'm just working for the boss
It's only foolishness to speak your massive words "

Death Cab For Cutie - codes and keys, 2011

"Ten years ago this month, Codes and Keys (the seventh Death Cab for Cutie studio record) arrived to a tepid reaction. In my case, my vinyl preorder arrived on a day before the release date, and my buddy Neil came over to my college apartment to drink beer, play video games, and listen to the record. We’d loved the sensational music video for the lead single, “You Are a Tourist”, and hoped that song was a good indication of how the other ten tracks would fare. Similarly, Gibbard had performed a solo rendition of “Codes and Keys” for NPR on just a piano and the track, despite its jaunty rhythm, had a haunting quality that teased the best of their earlier work."

Beach House - new year, 2012

"Everything about this song is extremely addicting. The intro draws you into the world of the track so beautifully, then you get Vic’s amazing vocals. However, my favorite part of the song is the bridge(?) (“all you ever wanted”). The guitar has this very melancholic sound in between the rest of the instrumentation. The synth is beautifully calming yet a little sad. It’s the chord progression that does it for me."

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Electronic - time can tell, 1996

"Inspired by contemporary dance music like Italo house and acts such as Technotronic, their initial concept was to release white label records on Factory and remain an anonymous entity, in contrast to their considerable reputations with The Smiths and New Order. The track "Lucky Bag" and the name Electronic itself are two of the vestiges of this initial approach."

The The - this is the day, 1983

"I was 21 and going through various life changes. I was in a new relationship, with Fiona, my first proper girlfriend. I’d come off the dole, signed to CBS and had been recording in New York, which all felt very exciting. My ex-manager and I ended up smashing up hotel rooms and misbehaving, all the stuff you feel you’re supposed to do when you’re 21 and signed to a record company and abroad. Drugs were involved, of course. The record company had loved Uncertain Smile so I was under a lot of pressure to come up with another single."

Moby - slow light, 2009

"favourite philosopher, i sort of answered this earlier, but i would have to say ludwig wittgenstein. in part because of his work, but also in part because he led a really interesting life. i’ve thought about writing a book, but i think i’d rather focus on making music."

The Lightning Seeds - all the things, 1999

"With their sunny hooks and loosely psychedelic take on melodic indie pop, the Lightning Seeds emerged at the tail end of the 1980s as the solo venture of Liverpool producer and musician Ian Broudie."

Alvvays - tile by tile, 2022

"It was my song of choice today. I listened to it A LOT. By nature I enjoy melancholy, nostalgia, wistful, or songs of longing or sadness. I really love this song. Love the instrument choices for this one and the melody is very haunting."

Luke Sital-Singh - pure cover, 2016

"It's a real beauty, and especially impressive in that it approximates the choral sound of Fleet Foxes' white winter hymnals, only those tremulous voices are presumably all just him, multi-tracked. It's like hearing a bunch of Neil Youngs circa After the Goldrush, harmonising together."

Ride - taste, 1990

"hazy, textural music; but there is a purity and an innocence, a bravery almost to be vulnerable… musically, it would be something where the beat or the vocals aren’t particularly prominent."

The Triffids - save what you can, 1987

"Calenture is the fourth studio album by Australian rock group The Triffids, it was released in November 1987 and saw them explore themes of insanity, deception and rootlessness—the title refers to a fever suffered by sailors during long hot voyages."

Pet Shop Boys - a different point of view, 1993

"despite the song's downbeat theme, the music is anything but depressing. In fact, this stylistically exuberant track was at one time seriously considered as a candidate for single release"

Such a great song!

William Fitzsimmons - weird fishes cover, 2023

"Does a broken heart heal easier with a certain age? Probably not. But there are other aspects that help to set things in perspective. The beloved bearded songwriter knows a thing or two about that issue and now has to face it again on his upcoming album, almost exactly ten years after the last time. Time for a reflection about the past, present and maybe also the future."

Beach House - lazuli, 2012

"the word itself can give me such a feeling-- looking at it, saying it. I fall in love with words. I felt like it had a real imagination to it. I had written it down a while ago and always thought I'd love for this word to be in the Beach House world. It was only a matter of time before the music of "Lazuli" was erupting. That word and the feeling completely merged and became one. It's not about the meaning, or the actual stone."

Moby - why does my heart feel so bad, 1999

"Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?" was originally written by Moby in 1992 in an iteration that Moby would describe as "really bad techno... Just mediocre, generic techno." Years later, Moby revisited the song, reproducing it as a considerably slower and more "mournful and romantic" song, which he eventually included on his fifth studio album, Play after being encouraged to do so by his manager, Eric Härle. The track is based on the samples from the Banks Brothers' "He'll Roll Your Burdens Away" (1963)."

Texas - inner smile, 2000

"Inner Smile" is a song by Scottish alternative rock band Texas, originally released on their greatest hits album, The Greatest Hits (2000)."

Fazerdaze - winter, 2022

“Winter is a song about hope and disappointment. It’s about striving to see the best in someone, and choosing to believe someone’s words over their actions. This song makes me think of what Maya Angelou said; “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time”. This is something I have had to learn the hard way repeatedly, and these lyrics show me going through that lesson."

New Order - times change, 1993

"I always loved the pre-apocalyptic vibe of the song. Some kind of life-shattering earthquake seems to be on the way in the god-forsaken town of Port Royal, while Barney finds solace in detached existential musings."

Saturday, May 11, 2024

The Shadows - apache cover, 1960

"Apache" is a song written by Jerry Lordan and first recorded by Bert Weedon. Lordan played the song on ukulele to the Shadows while on tour and, liking the song, the group released their own version which topped the UK Singles Chart for five weeks in mid-1960. The Shadows' guitarist Hank Marvin developed the song's distinctive echo and vibrato sound. After hearing the Shadows' version, Danish guitarist Jørgen Ingmann released a cover of the song in November 1960 which peaked at number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US. A 1973 version by the Incredible Bongo Band has been called "hip-hop's national anthem". Although this version was not a hit on release, its long percussion break has been sampled countless times on hip hop and dance tracks since the 1980s. In March 2005, Q magazine placed "Apache" by the Shadows at number 96 on its list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks."

Club 8 - the beauty of the way we're living, 2003

"Club 8 is a nice indiepop band from Sweden released under Labrador Records, after their release with FFWD Records a few years ago in Indonesia, they become a very influential indiepop sound here in Indonesia. We are lucky to catch their live in Bandung a few months ago. And now I’m trying to catch them again to answer some short questions"

Beach House - wild, 2012

"When something happens, I am fortunate enough to be one of those people who just let it go. My teenage years were made up of nagging thoughts that I was sure would haunt me forever; they thankfully leave in time. Those nagging thoughts were replaced with something else. They were replaced with just attempting to take it easy on myself. I have good days and bad days. My own worst critic. It’s alright. But something happened exactly two weeks ago at about 9pm. Something happened that just will not leave me alone. You know who is to blame? Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand. Beach House."

Keane - crystal ball radio session version, 2006

"We then ended up having a massive row about something a couple of days later and it came out of that that we were all feeling this sense of numbness, this feeling of kinda fading away as people. And I just tried to write about that, and it ended up becoming Crystal Ball."

El Perro Del Mar - people, 2006

"Sarah Assbring, the sole member of Swedish musical project El Perro del Mar, doesn’t shy away from darkness. Rather, it intrigues and soothes her — especially in the form of music. She describes melancholic sound as a place to go to, for relief and respite, and perhaps, spiritual salvation. While each of Assbring’s enigmatic albums have showcased shapeshifting new sounds, the throughline has always remained an incredibly analytical air of melancholia. There are no tropes in the work of El Perro del Mar — no sense of sorrow just to be sorrowful."

The Cranberries - every morning, 2001

"O’Riordan died in January 2018 at the age of 46. Fortunately for fans, she had recorded an entire album’s worth of vocals back in late 2017 in her New York City apartment. The support of the O’Riordan family over the past year inspired the rest of the band to build new music around those vocals, in order to finish what they consider to be “one of the best Cranberries albums that [they] could possibly do.” Thanks to their songwriting capabilities and English producer Stephen Street, The Cranberries will deliver O’Riordan’s parting gift in complete to the band’s longtime fans — one they hope will serve as both a worthy goodbye and a fitting tribute to the late legend."

Belle And Sebastian - night walk, 2002

"I just like reading history on wikipedia"

Friday, May 10, 2024

Don McLean - vincent, 1971

"In the autumn of 1970 I had a job singing in the school system, playing my guitar in classrooms. I was sitting on the veranda one morning, reading a biography of Van Gogh, and suddenly I knew I had to write a song arguing that he wasn't crazy."

Marillion - he knows you know, 1983

"He Knows You Know" is a song by the British neo-prog band Marillion. It was their second single, with "Charting the Single" as the B-side. It was released from their first album, Script for a Jester's Tear, and peaked at number 35 on the UK Singles Chart. The song's theme is drug abuse, and alludes particularly to intravenous drug use."

The Waterboys - it should have been you, 1983

“This feels wrong to me. It should be the Waterboys. The musicians should have the status of being Waterboys.”

Junip - line of fire live, 2013

"Junip, the Swedish rock band that counts indie-folk star José González as a member, released their song “Line Of Fire” back in 2013; it was the opening track on their self-titled sophomore album."

The Flaming Lips - do you realize, 2002

"Whenever I analyze the scientific realities of what it means to be living here on Earth – in this galaxy – spinning around the sun – flying through space – a terror shock seizes me!!! I'm reminded once again of how precarious our whole existence is..."

REM - i believe, 1986

"If R.E.M. has a credo, it is most certainly “I Believe.” Though the song has its share of self-deprecating jokes and baffling Michael Stipe-isms, it is essentially a litany of virtues and aphorisms that inform the band’s outlook on politics and life in general. It’s earnest, but it’s also rather playful. One of the best tricks in the song is the way Stipe strings together aphorisms until they collapse into nonsense, which has the curious effect of making the listener reflect on the actual meaning of cliches that normally go in one ear and out the other."

The Triffids - hometown farewell kiss, 1987

"The Triffids were never labeled as a Christian band, but there's an undeniably spiritual feel to several of the songs on Calenture. Moreover, vocalist David McComb spews his words with the fiery passion of a backwoods preacher. The orchestral sweep of "Bury Me Deep in Love" recalls the Waterboys' expansive sound; the lyrics are unmistakably religious as McComb looks for salvation in a chapel."

Thursday, May 9, 2024

Moby And Damien Jurado - helpless cover, 2023

"if I have to pick two biggest influences on this record it would be Neil Young and the Marianne Faithful song “Broken English”. Considering “Broken English” was written and recorded like 30 years ago, and the Neil young songs I was listening to were like “After the Gold Rush”, “Helpless”, and “The Needle and the Damage Done”

Genesis - down and out, 1978

"And Then There Were Three has a distinct sort of sound to it that pervades every song. Fittingly, that exact sound, that distilled “Essence of Three,” if you will, is the first thing you hear when you spin up the album. It’s not just the instrumentation, but the way it’s played. There’s something almost-but-not-quite otherworldly about it. And then that riff kicks in, and you think you’re maybe getting something a bit different, but a few measures later you’re firmly entrenched in that inescapable “Three” sound, crawling up your spine in lockstep with Tony’s keys crawling up the melody during the second half of the verses."

Headlights - tv, 2006

"nostalgic? We love good melodic music. We love pop music. We don’t have rules or pursue specific guidelines in our song writing, it just comes out the way it does. Sometimes we try to make people dance."

Neva Dinova - the tin man, 2002

"Neva Dinova's music contains elements of folk, psychedelia, rock, acoustic, and country. They are known for having small and intimate live shows."

Bear's Den - elysium, 2014

"'Elysium' was one of those tracks that became very personal to me very quickly. It made me think about my younger brothers and their transition from kids to adulthood — how they are carving out their individuality and quickly leaving youth, innocence, and wide eyes behind. "Brother don't grow up.... /Just hope that age does not erase all that you've seen/Don't let bitterness become you/Your only hopes are within you."

Still Corners - welcome to slow air, 2018

"Still Corners is the musical project of Tessa Murray and Greg Hughes. The group formed shortly after Murray met Hughes by chance at a London train stop in 2009. For over a decade, the band has delivered a steady stream of music that is at once reflective, searching and romantic. Sub Pop quickly signed the band after their first few singles and went on to release their debut album Creatures of an Hour in 2011 and followed that with Strange Pleasures in 2013. Shortly thereafter the band started their own record label Wrecking Light Records and have gone on to release albums Dead Blue in 2016 and Slow Air in 2018 to critical acclaim."

Saint Etienne - french detective, 1999

"The Misadventures of Saint Etienne (1999) is an album by Saint Etienne. Released only in Japan, it served as the soundtrack to a British indie film called The Misadventures of Margaret, starring Parker Posey. The soundtrack was recorded during winter 1997 just before the period when the band were starting to promote the Good Humor album, Sarah Cracknell said in an interview with Melody Maker that "Saturday" was being remixed by Trouser Enthusiasts as a possible single release. The single and remix never appeared, and the film itself was only released in Spanish cinemas."

Beach House - the hours, 2012

"Across all time and space, all across the hours. This first verse is to me climbing this tower of a conversation so that the deeper truth of the matter can be expressed like a beautiful sunset seen from a higher vantage point. The second verse is getting into the biblical idea of being made in the reflection of God. I think this could be taken in a few different ways but I think it's a reference to love itself."

The Lightning Seeds - fishes on the line, 1996

"When I started, with ‘Pure’, I mainly recorded it in my house. The whole of the Sense album was recorded in my brother’s front room, where I set some stuff up. Now I have a similar thing on the top floor of my house – a room with some stuff in it. I did most of the new album there, but I did the bass and drums in Liverpool, and a little bit in Zak Starkey’s studio, in Henley."

Alvvays - lottery noises, 2022

"So what is the song "Lottery Noises" about? Because when I first listened to it all I could think is that it's literally about someone lost in the woods who gets found. Weird I know, but this is from the same band that wrote "Next of Kin." I'm probably wrong, and it doesn't really fit with what I understand the other songs in the album to be about."

Rita Redshoes - once i found you, 2008

"Rita Pereira (born 10 July 1981), known by her stage name Rita Redshoes, is a solo musical artist from Portugal. In 1996 she sang with her first band, Atomic Bees, releasing an album in 2000 entitled love.noises.and.kisses."

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

George Harrison - my sweet lord, 1970

"Harrison wrote "My Sweet Lord" in praise of the Hindu god Krishna, while intending the lyrics as a call to abandon religious sectarianism through his blending of the Hebrew word hallelujah with chants of "Hare Krishna" and Vedic prayer. The recording features producer Phil Spector's Wall of Sound treatment and heralded the arrival of Harrison's slide guitar technique, which one biographer described as "musically as distinctive a signature as the mark of Zorro". Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Gary Brooker, Bobby Whitlock and members of the group Badfinger are among the other musicians on the recording."

Bright Eyes And Neva Dinova - rollerskating, 2004

"‘Rollerskating’ comes with that long-time staple of Bright Eyes records: a weird opening sample. This time round it’s spooky pre-pubescent ramblings which, coupled with the old dude at the start of ‘Tripped’ rattling on about time looping in on itself, means that the record now possesses not one but two weird opening samples, and yet doesn’t quite grate. Perhaps mindful of the pitfalls inherent in such things, neither of the two are more than a few seconds long, and being familiar with its original incarnation makes ‘Tripped’ difficult to contemplate without said old dude at its fore."

The Durutti Column - requiem for a father, 1980

"When you think of 80s Manchester you tend to imagine the dark post-punk synths of Joy Division and the proto-acid-rave music of the Happy Mondays. Not the instrumental etherealism of The Durutti Column. Largely the project of the composer, guitarist, synthesiser programmer and arranger Vini Reilly, The Durutti Column was one of the first acts signed to Tony Wilson’s Factory Records label in 1978. Recorded over a period of a week, their 1980 debut instrumental album The Return of The Durutti Column is probably the best place to start with their music. After the producer Martin Hannet spent two days doing nothing but creating noise tracks on the synthesiser whilst Vini sat pissed in a chair shouting at Martin and occasionally playing some notes on the guitar, the pair stumbled across the bird noises that form the first twenty seconds of The Return‘s opening track, Sketch for Summer. Probably the band’s most famous song, Sketch for Summer is a winding soundscape that combines Vini’s ambient jazz guitar arpeggios with Martin’s darker electronic synth beats. It’s ridiculously dreamy and the kind of song you want to preserve exclusively for long hazy days in the sun. It also only took two run-throughs and 5 minutes to produce, a monumental and, arguably crazy, feat. Later tracks on the LP liked Requiem for a Father and Conduct are chant-like and transcendental. Conduct in particular continually repeats the same cosmic refrain, slowly introducing an array of percussion instruments until gently petering out after five minutes."