Saturday, March 16, 2024

Paul McCartney - uncle albert admiral halsey, 1971

"Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey" is composed of several unfinished song fragments that Norwegian engineer Eirik Wangberg stitched together in a similar manner to the medleys from the Beatles' 1969 album Abbey Road. The orchestral arrangements by George Martin were recorded in New York at A & R Recording, along with other instruments by McCartney and his new band. The project was moved to Los Angeles where vocals were added by Paul and Linda McCartney—her first experience of recording in a professional studio. The song is notable for its thunderstorm and environmental sound effects added by Wangberg in Los Angeles; he had been invited by McCartney to mix and sequence the Ram album in any way he saw fit, and he copied the thunder from a monaural film soundtrack, then fashioned an artificial stereo version of it for the song. McCartney stated that "Uncle Albert" was based on his uncle: "He's someone I recall fondly, and when the song was coming it was like a nostalgia thing." He also stated: "I had an uncle – Albert Kendall – who was a lot of fun, and when I came to write 'Uncle Albert'/'Admiral Halsey' it was loosely about addressing that older generation, half thinking, What would they think of the way my generation does things? That's why I wrote the line 'We're so sorry, Uncle Albert.'" McCartney also told an American journalist, "As for Admiral Halsey, he's one of yours, an American admiral", referring to Fleet Admiral William "Bull" Halsey (1882–1959). McCartney has described the "Uncle Albert" section of the song as an apology from his generation to the older generation, and Admiral Halsey as an authoritarian figure who ought to be ignored. McCartney additionally explained: "'Hands across the water/Heads across the sky' refers to Linda and me being American and British."

Simon And Garfunkel - the sounds of silence, 1964

"The Sound of Silence" (originally "The Sounds of Silence") is a song by the American music-duo Simon & Garfunkel, written by Paul Simon. The duo's studio audition of the song led to a record deal with Columbia Records, and the original acoustic version was recorded in March 1964 at Columbia's 7th Avenue Recording Studios in New York City for their debut album, Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M., released that October to disappointing sales."

Mount Eerie - real death, 2017

“She died at home with me and her parents holding her, hopefully having reached some last minute peace. It’s all very sad and surreal. So much is left unfinished for her. She was a firehose of brilliant ideas that never turned off. We loved her and everything is weird now.”

Morrissey - speedway, 1994

"Speedway: One of the songs that got me through high school. Spoke to me on every level in my mid-teens."

Purple Mountains - all my happiness is gone, 2019

"The warning signs were all over Purple Mountains"

Father John Misty - two wildly different perspectives, 2017

"It doesn't tell you what to think, it gives you a view in a window of the world, and will likely make you start to think about what you are seeing."

U2 - city of blinding lights live, 2005

"The earliest incarnation of the song was developed during sessions for the band's 1997 album, Pop. The lyrics were written by the band's lead vocalist Bono, taking partial inspiration from his recollection of his first trip to London, and from the band's experience playing in New York City in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks during their Elevation Tour in 2001. Other lyrics refer to Bono's relationship with his wife Ali. The song's underlying theme reflects lost innocence and was inspired by an image Bono saw of himself from the early 1980s. The sound has been compared to the tone of U2's 1984 album, The Unforgettable Fire and their 1987 single "Where the Streets Have No Name"."

Belle And Sebastian - my wandering days are over live, 2015

"What to Look for in Summer has time for more moody offerings, with "Little Lou, Ugly Jack, Prophet John" from Write About Love being a real down-tempo gem here, and an oddly crowd-pleasing one, enough that a listener almost wishes there was less audience noise on this one. "The Fox in the Snow" from If You're Feeling Sinister is elegantly peformed here, with Stuart Murdoch's vocals adding a kind of maturity and world-weariness to the tune that it may have been lacking in its earlier versions. Similarly, his performance on "My Wandering Days are Over" is just as warm and engaing."

The Smiths - ask, 1987

"Its lyrics discuss shyness and encourage listeners to overcome their inhibitions. Its multiple guitar parts and complex production led to disagreements regarding its final mix. Craig Gannon, who at the time was rhythm guitarist for the group, has claimed he wrote – and was denied credit for – the song's chord structure."

REM - every day is yours to win live, 2011

"they discover the glow of middle age, warmly acknowledging the past — hello again, Peter Buck’s mandolin — while realizing that the present can feel just as comforting. The sober, pretty “Uberlin” sounds like a happier cousin to “Drive.” Twinkling ballad “Every Day Is Yours to Win” updates “Everybody Hurts” for the other side of despair, when optimism seeps back in. “Discoverer” and “All the Best” deliver sexy crunch for Monster fans. It’s R.E.M.’s many faces, collapsing into now."

Father John Misty - so i'm growing old on magic mountain, 2017

"I’m someone who struggles daily with an overwhelming fear of death and I’ve never heard anything capture exactly what that feeling is like other than this song. “That was the last New Year I’ll ever see” feels pretty unambiguous to me - the protagonist will die this year. Either that or it’s the last time he is celebrating it, but I lean towards the former interpretation."

Billy Bragg - why we build the wall cover, 2017

“I first heard Anais Mitchell sing ‘Why We Build The Wall’ at Occupy London in November 2011, standing on the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral. The power of the lyrics struck me then and, in the intervening years, the song has become even more powerful as the mass movement of people from Africa and Asia into Europe, North America and Australia has forced migration onto the political agenda. In 2016, matters came to a head when anti-immigrant sentiment was identified as a prime mover in Britain’s vote to leave the European Union and Donald Trump was elected president after promising to build a wall along the Mexican border. In the coming years, driven by climatic changes in their home countries, more and more people are going to be on the move, looking for a better life for their families. Our children and our grandchildren will judge us on our response to those who come to our door looking for shelter.”

Beirut - landslide live, 2019

"Surround that by bright and uplifting harmonies – like ones from No No No – and what is created is a gorgeous combination of new and old, showcasing a maturation of sound that one would be hard-pressed not to have chills when listening to."

Del Amitri - spit in the rain, 1990

"Del Amitri's founding member and main songwriter, Justin Currie, explained in 2010 that the band's name "was invented to be meaningless – basically a corruption of the Greek name 'Dimitri'." In 2018, Currie clarified that 'Del Amitri' is a bastardisation of the name of a film producer who appeared in the closing credits of a film he saw in 1979: "probably Dimitri-something, but we couldn't remember... so eventually through osmosis or maybe Chinese Whispers 'Dimitri' became 'Del Amitri'." Many sources have repeated a claim that the name was chosen because it is Greek for "from the womb", but this is untrue."

Pet Shop Boys - se a vida é that's the way life is, 1996

"Neil says that this song was written to cheer up a depressed friend. The melody, much of the arrangement, and even the title was adapted from a Brazilian song—"Estrada Da Paixão" by the group Olodum—that the Boys had encountered and enjoyed during their South American tour. Hence they properly gave that song's composers a co-writing credit. The intensely rhythmic percussion was provided by She-Boom, an all-woman drum corps. The words "se a vida é," meant to be translated "that's the way life is," actually means "If life is." It's therefore an instance of bad Portuguese and borders on nonsense within the context of the song. But Neil never claimed to be fluent in the language. Nevertheless, it sounds good. And the song itself has emerged as a latter-day PSB concert staple, never failing to spread its infectiously cheery air through a crowd."

Ride - clouds of saint marie, 2019

"More than any of the other new Ride songs, “Clouds Of Saint Marie” shoots for straight-up effervescence. It’s got a chiming, almost Byrds-ian guitar riff, a lead vocal that sounds like a sigh, and a central melody that’s triumphant and wistful in equal measures. It’s a song that seems custom-built for festivals, or for sunny afternoons."

Clouds of Saint Marie I see Clouds of Saint Marie She's over me A memory A remedy A melody Clouds of Saint Marie Make me feel Clouds of Saint Marie Nothing's real (deleted) A memory (is needed) A remedy (repeated) A melody She reigns over me

In Tall Buildings - curtain, 2018

"In Tall Buildings, the music project of Erik Hall is about to release his newest album Akinetic"

Spain - spiritual live, 2012

"Well singing and performing can be two different things. On stage there’s a level of adrenaline that just isn’t there in the studio. Also I’ve learned over the years there’s a obligation to be entertaining that isn’t so immediate in the studio."

Friday, March 15, 2024

The Moody Blues - to share our love, 1969

"On the Threshold of a Dream is the fourth album by The Moody Blues, released in April 1969 on the Deram label. The album reached the top of the album charts, the group's first No. 1 album in the UK. According to guitarist Justin Hayward, "I think Threshold is the defining album for the Moody Blues. And it's the one in the '60's that you would find in people's homes when you went, they would have that album."

Billy Bragg - the red flag, 2006

"Singing songs won’t change the world, no matter how much we might want it to. Music can bring us together in common cause, engage and inspire us, focus our anger, and raise funds and awareness, but ultimately the only people with the ability to bring about real change are in the audience, not on stage. Tomorrow, the singer will be gone, bringing his or her music to another town, but those who were in the audience will still be there."

Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark - forever live and die, 1986

"it "achieves [the Beatles'] Magical Mystery Tour spirit with '80s tech"

Nada Surf - cold to see clear, 2016

"Since 1992, Caws has fronted the indie/alt-rock band Nada Surf, which similarly saw the height of its commercial success in the ’90s. Their peak came with the single ‘Popular,’ which hit No. 11. Though the band hasn’t had a single chart in the U.S. since then, they’ve found a diehard, adoring indie fan base and received critical acclaim for their string of early-'00s albums. ‘Let Go’ (2002), in particular, is often cited as the band’s high-water mark and seen as one of the top indie albums of the era."

The Style Council - it's a very deep sea, 1988

"Therein, in 2019, Lee, her former husband and bandmate Paul Weller, keyboardist Mick Talbot and drummer Steve White reunited to play 1988 cut It’s A Very Deep Sea. “I’d forgotten how beautiful that track was,” says Lee, “and it was lovely to do it. It got the old juices going again."

Pink Floyd - stay, 1972

""Stay" is one of the most beautiful Pink Floyd ballads. Rick Wrights bittersweet lyrics, uplifting piano playing and tender vocal delivery makes this track easily one of the best on Obscured by Clouds, and one of the most underrated Floyd songs. Also, David Gilmour's guitar work is sublime."

Johnny Marr - getting away with it live, 2014

"Getting away with it happened because Pet Shop Boys and Bernard and I had some mutual friends. And the word kind of got around that Bernard was doing something aside from New Order, and he was doing it with me."

Neil Young - hitchhiker, 1975

"Hitchhiker" dates from 1975, from the sessions for Zuma. The song chronicles various life changes and drug experiences of Young's life up until that point. Young jokes in a contemporary interview that "if it was a TV show, it would be called The Drug Chronicles, T.M.I.", or too much information. Young memorably recalls performing the new song for Bob Dylan and hearing his reaction in Special Deluxe: "One night, Dylan came by and I played him a couple of new songs, "Hitchhiker" and "Cortez the Killer." When he heard "Hitchhiker," a confessional about the progressive history of drugs I had taken through my life, he told me, 'That's honest.' That moment still crosses my mind. It makes me laugh every time I think of it because Bob's humor is so wry. I think it was his way of saying kindly that the song was not very inventive as far as creating a story goes, just that I was following a history and not making up anything new. It's still funny to me, at any rate, the way he put it." Young would revise the song and add a new verse during the sessions. He explains in Waging Heavy Peace: "We hit a groove and recorded "Love and War" and "Peaceful Valley Boulevard," two songs written in Hawaii, and an older song called "Hitchhiker" that I hadn't cut yet. The previous night I had added a couple of new verses and changed some words to make it more relevant to me now, and it was "a good 'un," as Ben used to say. I did that song on Old Black through some amps Daniel had set up, and it sounded rockin'!" An acoustic take of the song from August 1976 would later be released in 2017 on Hitchhiker."

Jeff Tweedy - laminated cat, 2006

"Not for the Season works better. Laminated Cat is a novel reinterpretation but it lacks the punchiness of the original (which is more power pop) and becomes more of a stoner dirge."

Prefab Sprout - all the world loves lovers,1990

"A 19-track album encompassing a variety of musical styles and themes, Jordan has been considered by the band and critics alike to be Prefab Sprout's most ambitious project. The album was produced by Thomas Dolby, who had helmed the band's acclaimed 1985 album Steve McQueen but had been unable to commit to the entirety of its 1988 follow-up From Langley Park to Memphis."

Robert Forster - let me imagine you, 2015

"there isn’t a great deal of melody, unlike the songs of Forster’s former songwriting partner in the Go-Betweens, the late Grant McLennan, who wrote the majority of that band’s better-known, poppier material"

Thursday, March 14, 2024

The Beatles - now and then, 2023

"Now and Then" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles, released on 2 November 2023. Dubbed "the last Beatles song", it appeared on a double A-side single, paired with a new stereo remix of the band's first single, "Love Me Do" (1962), with the two serving as "bookends" to the band's history. Both songs were included on the expanded re-issues of the 1973 compilations 1962–1966 and 1967–1970, released on 10 November 2023. "Now and Then" is a psychedelic soft rock ballad that John Lennon wrote and recorded around 1977 as a solo home demo but left unfinished. After Lennon's death in 1980, the song was considered as a potential third Beatles reunion single for their 1995–1996 retrospective project The Beatles Anthology, following "Free as a Bird" and "Real Love", both based on two other Lennon demos of the same name. Instead, it was shelved for nearly three decades, until it was completed by his surviving bandmates Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, using overdubs and guitar tracks by George Harrison (who died in 2001) from the abandoned 1995 sessions. The final version features additional lyrics by McCartney. Lennon's voice was extracted from the demo using the machine-learning-assisted audio restoration technology commissioned by Peter Jackson for his 2021 documentary The Beatles: Get Back. Jackson also directed the music video for "Now and Then". The song received acclaim from critics, who felt it was a worthy finale for the Beatles. It topped the charts in the United Kingdom, Germany, and Austria, and reached the top ten in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States. It is the only Beatles UK number-one single not attributed to the Lennon–McCartney songwriting partnership."

The Blue Nile - tomorrow morning, 1996

"The members of the Blue Nile seem to have taken seriously all those articles and reviews about what audiophiles and technicians they are, and this time around they've spent a half-dozen years concocting an album that sounds like they made at least some of it in their living rooms rather than their space-age studio. They achieve the appearance of simplicity and humanity by foregrounding either an acoustic guitar or piano on most tracks, by restraining other instrumentation, by making their synthesizers sound like strings most of the time, and by using real strings on occasion."

Fleet Foxes- montezuma, 2011

"His voice is simply perfect, and his lyrics are pure poetry. They really spoke to me and continues to. It’s definitely one of my better songs to play on the guitar, and to sing it really takes stress away. Fleet Foxes are amazing, and I will talk more about them and why they are so incredible in perhaps a week or two. “Montezuma” is from Fleet Foxes’ third album, Helplessness Blues."

Wim Mertens - struggle for pleasure live, 2005

"Struggle for Pleasure" is a musical piece released in 1983 by Belgian composer Wim Mertens."

Etienne Daho - saudade, 1991

"Combining West Coast-style surf rock, Velvet Underground-like urban verse, stylish synth pop, and the romanticism of French singer Françoise Hardy, Algerian-born singer/songwriter and producer Étienne Daho has been a gold- and platinum-selling artist in France since breaking into the Top Five there with his fourth album, 1986's Pop Satori."

Elbow - all disco, 2017

"Elbow's seventh studio album, Little Fictions, harks back to those simpler times when the band were first beginning, before the stadium tours, and the Mercury Prizes, and truckloads of records sold. It's slower, and more personal, swapping the grandiosity of, for example, tracks like "One Day Like This" off the their platinum-selling album The Seldom-Seen Kid, for quiet introspection."

Sufjan Stevens - carrie and lowell live, 2017

Club 8 - just like heaven, 2024

"it's pretty much impossible to listen to a Club 8 release without getting completely lost in their back catalogue, and it's a place definitely worth escaping to."

Johnny Marr With Tim Burgess - getting away with it live, 2023

"Introducing Burgess, Marr told the crowd, “We’re going to play a disco song from Manchester, from the Haçienda.” He added, “What’s even better, we’re going to be joined by my friend — he’s a national treasure — Mr. Tim Burgess from The Charlatans.” After the show, Burgess posted footage of the moment, calling it “such a thrill.”

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

The New Pornographers - whiteout conditions live, 2017

"Songs about depression, society and the environment sound euphoric, with elements of 80s synth pop and 90s fuzz and the racing tempos only slowing slightly for evocative closer Avalanche Alley."

The Smiths - stop me if you think you've heard this one before, 1987

"I was really pleased that the first solo as such on a Smiths record was one you could sing... I liked the melody at the end of 'Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before,' but it just felt a little too accomplished. I wanted it to sound like a punk player who couldn't play, so I fingered it on one string, right up and down the neck. I could have played it with harmonics or my teeth, or something clever, but the poignancy would have gone out of the melody."

Luke Sital-Singh - strange and beautiful i'll put a spell on you cover, 2019

"Like a lot of people I first heard the magical tones of Aqualung on that VW advert way back when, and ever since Matt Hales has been one of my favourite modern day singer/songwriters”

Thomas Dybdahl - moving pictures, 2017

"To feel totally immersed in the soul of an album is something that I seldom experience of late. However, in Thomas Dybdahl’s latest record, ‘The Great Plains’, I find my soul submerged in a sonic ocean, caressed by waves from an ethereal plane of reality hitherto uncharted. It may sound pretentious, but bear with me."

Johnny Marr - there is a light that never goes out live, 2015

“For a long time I worked on the premise that we should always have a song on each album that people said, ‘That should be a single.’ But in fact really wasn’t,” he said. “‘Reel Around the Fountain’ was that for the first album and ‘There Is A Light That Never Goes Out’ for The Queen Is Dead.”

Bonnie Prince Billy And Matt Sweeney - i gave you, 2005

"No matter your tastes, somewhere there's a Will Oldham record waiting just for you: Superwolf sees Oldham's Bonnie "Prince" Billy incarnation pairing with Chavez guitarist Matt Sweeney to crank out grim, skeletal gothic folk that's alternately absurd and heartbreaking. For the most part, Superwolf is so bare-boned it feels spontaneous, looping around a stark guitar melody or a bit of nonsensical wordplay, and eventually oozing into something so weird and beautiful it's almost hard to hear."

Club 8 - shape up, 2010

"Johan Angergård has been like a musical sponge soaking up his current interest, whether it was noise pop, synth pop, or post-punk, and then re-creating it with uncanny precision."

Wim Mertens - no testament live, 2015

"Wim Mertens continues to perform and record in different formats: solo piano, duo (violin or clarinet/saxophone, piano), trio (violin or clarinet/saxophone, cello, piano) with different ensembles and also with a symphony orchestra."

Pet Shop Boys - being boring, 1990

"Not just one of the greatest songs about the Aids epidemic, but one of the greatest songs written about mortality and memory, Being Boring was a lightning bolt even amid Pet Shop Boys’ imperial phase (the imperial phase for which that phrase was coined). The lyrical evocations of impetuous youthful optimism and painful reflection are magnificent, the lines about bolting through a closing door a perfect example of their ability to turn something specific – the loss of innocence and carefree hedonism wreaked on the gay community by HIV – into something universal about youth. The music perfectly mirrors them, its melodic shift from melancholy to warmth, midway through the verses, understated but extraordinarily powerful."

The The - the beaten generation, 1989

"Instead of the darkly polished dance-pop styling of earlier albums Soul Mining and Infected, Mind Bomb opens up the music to reveal a slow, winding textured world of sound, thanks in no small measure to Marr. Lyrical subjects include politics, religion, and romance."

Elbow - seven veils, 2019

The title itself invokes a sense of mystery and intrigue, hinting at layers waiting to be uncovered. As the song unfolds, lead singer Guy Garvey's soulful vocals draw listeners in, painting a vivid picture of introspection and longing. "The album has a darker lyrical tone than previous Elbow albums, with singer Guy Garvey's lyrics relating to Brexit, the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy and the deaths of his father and two close friends. It was widely praised by critics, and entered the UK Albums Chart at number one, becoming the band's third consecutive chart-topping studio album."

Kevin Morby - dorothy, 2016

"Kevin Morby's "Dorothy" is an ode to his guitar (in turn, named for his grandmother), which he serenades like a lover overcome by gratitude."

Thomas Dybdahl - three mile harbor, 2017

"Three Mile Harbor" is a song by Thomas Dybdahl, a Norwegian singer-songwriter known for his introspective and soulful music. The song is from his album "The Great Plains," released in 2017. Dybdahl's music often blends elements of folk, pop, and jazz, and his lyrics often explore themes of love, longing, and self-reflection. "Three Mile Harbor" is a poignant and atmospheric track, showcasing Dybdahl's distinctive vocals and emotive songwriting style.

Outros olhares: ilha de Suomenlinna, Helsinquia, Finlândia, Outono a começar, em 2023

The Jesus And Mary Chain - almost gold, 1992

"Honey's Dead is the fourth studio album by the Scottish alternative rock band The Jesus and Mary Chain, released in 1992 on Blanco y Negro Records. It marked a return to a more abrasive sound for the group, as well as incorporating elements of alternative dance. The title refers to one of the band's early hits, "Just Like Honey", and is intended to demonstrate a complete departure from their earlier musical style."

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Lee Scratch Perry - enlightened, 2019

“Him white, but him think black. And he’s not a bad-minded person neither. So me choose good-minded people to work with, people with scientifical mind, educational brain, arts and craft, because he’s a scientist, doing music science and music obeah. The album was a display of some magical vibration like curse and healing. I like the album, because me speak my mind, talk what me want to talk and speak the truth; there’s nothing funny about it. I talk about how people funny and we’re supposed to love one another but we can’t love one another because we’re too grudgeful. Individually, people don’t want nothing else but what the other man have and the Devil makes them, because the Devil copy and make people too. The Devil want to be God, so the Devil form a gang with gangsters, killers, murderers, thieves and fakes to trick the wise people. But most of the people, it’s not God make them, it’s the Devil make them.”

REM - electron blue, 2004

"Electron Blue" is a song by American alternative rock band R.E.M. It was released as the third single from their thirteenth studio album Around the Sun on February 28, 2005. Written by group members Peter Buck, Mike Mills and Michael Stipe, the song features a synthesizer-heavy arrangement. Its lyrics describe an electric hallucinogenic drug made of light, a concept which was developed from a recurring dream of Stipe's. Upon release as a single, "Electron Blue" peaked at numbers 43 and 26 on the singles charts of Ireland and the United Kingdom respectively. Michael Stipe performed on the Around the Sun tour with a blue band painted across his eyes as a reference to the song, his personal favorite from Around the Sun."

 Such a great song!

Johnny Marr - the messenger, 2013

"When you're away from your home city you're more compelled to write about it. Growing up in the city influences you, and as I've grown older I've continued to see beauty, energy and stories in it."

Nada Surf - out of the dark live, 2016

"They have every right to feel that they're a bit special. While their melancholy mix of harmonies, minor chords and the occasional rush of power-guitar is also practiced by every Tom, Dick and Dandy Warhol, Nada Surf's version of it is especially captivating. The voices of guitarist Matthew Caws and dreadlocked, chain-smoking bassist Daniel Lorca melted together, the hypnotic effect amplified by reverb-laden guitar and drums."

Sufjan Stevens - with my whole heart, 2019

"Even more surprising than the lyrical shift, however, is the music: five minutes of unabashed and (relatively) unadorned inspirational soft rock. On 2010’s The Age of Adz, Stevens embellished these types of simple pop melodies with queasy, complex arrangements that made it sound like the songs were spontaneously combusting beneath a heap of sputtering machinery. Now, he lays it bare, daring you to hold eye contact. There are rolling toms, glittery keys, call-and-response choruses, and a legit guitar solo to close things out. Love is a familiar subject, he reminds us, but it can also be radiant."

Damien Jurado - cloudy shoes live, 2010

"When we were figuring out the sequence, he suggested we open the album with that song because it really captured the spirit of the album. That song changed my life. I was never the same after that recording session. It plays such a significant role and symbolizes how I’d approach songwriting and recording from there on out. There was no time to edit or second guess and it was all about living in the moment."

Stars - fixed, 2010

"Stars have cited a wide variety of musical influences ranging from Berlioz to Outkast, citing among others Paddy McAloon, New Order, The Smiths, Brian Wilson, and Momus. They covered The Smiths' "This Charming Man" on 2001's Nightsongs and The Pogues' "Fairytale of New York" in 2005. Other indie artists have been guest collaborators on many of their tracks, especially for an early period including the release of their first LP."

Jeff Tweedy - i know what it's like, 2018

"I've been a big Wilco fan for the past few years and picked up Jeff Tweedy’s album Warm after Brendan had played it in the car a few times – “I Know What It’s Like” really stood out to me as a great pop/rock song that I could put my own spin on the minimal structure of the original gave room for creative license. I sped up the original recording a decent amount so I'd have something to play along to and off I went. We decided it'd be fun to present the finished product as an interim release; post-Collector and pre-whatever's next."

Pete Yorn - can't stop you, 2019

"On “Can’t Stop You,” Yorn sings of a prominent figure in his life drawn to self-destructive behaviors; his rhythmic guitar playing lays the foundation for a disruption from Phillips as the song builds toward its pensive climax. As the song crescendoes, Phillips adds layers of synths and strings, adding sonic chaos to Yorn’s lyrical despair."

Prefab Sprout - desire as, 1985

"I don’t say many songs are perfect, but this song is perfect. The production is amazing, the main synth is beautiful and shows that synthesizer based music can portray human emotion as well as any “natural” instrument. Not to mention the perfect sprinklings of saxophone, guitar, breathy harmonies. It’s a painting in deep blues and purples."

Youth Lagoon - raspberry cane, 2013

"'Raspberry Cane' garnered nods of approval from Rolling Stone, Vice and Vimeo Staff Picks, amongst many others. A psychedelic trip through an ethereal, dreamy landscape populated by majestic monsters"

Monday, March 11, 2024

Bear's Den - the star of bethnal green, 2019

"I know that there are many of you out there that have been caught by a song, you were caught and taken along a spiritual journey. It can happen in a wide variety of ways, driving in your car, sitting on a bus with music in your ears or just sitting and quietly listening. There are times when music can simply transport you and take you through a thought or emotion, it can ease a pain or bring it to bear for you to be challenged and learn from. If that isn’t spiritual, I don’t know what is."

A Place To Bury Strangers - it is time, 2024

"A Place to Bury Strangers are an American rock band formed in 2002, in New York City. The trio is currently composed of Oliver Ackermann (guitar/vocals, bass), John Fedowitz (bass guitar) and Sandra Fedowitz (drums). Commonly known by the initials APTBS, the band plays a heavy, atmospheric Wall of Sound–influenced blend of noise rock, shoegaze and space rock."

Robert Wyatt - the internationale, 1994

"The Internationale" is an international anthem that has been adopted as the anthem of various anarchist, communist, socialist, democratic socialist, and social democratic movements. It has been a standard of the socialist movement since the late nineteenth century, when the Second International adopted it as its official anthem. The title arises from the "First International", an alliance of workers which held a congress in 1864. The author of the anthem's lyrics, Eugène Pottier, an anarchist, attended this congress. Pottier's text was later set to an original melody composed by Pierre De Geyter, a Marxist."

The Smiths - heaven knows i'm miserable now, 1984

"The music was written by Johnny Marr in an hour in a New York hotel room on 2 January 1984, using a red Gibson ES-355 guitar that was bought for him that day by Seymour Stein. After finishing the song, he wrote the music for B-side "Girl Afraid" the same evening. Marr considers the two songs "a pair"."

Damien Jurado - south, 2019

“’South’, like most songs that I write, is a collage of sorts, or collection of snapshots, that center around two characters. One could even presume me, or me as an alternate self. Dark, isolated, and slightly menacing in tone for a waltz number.”

Thomas Dybdahl - this love is here to stay, 2013

"Like the tragic folkie, Dybdahl combines acoustic guitars, gently brushed snare drums and ghostly orchestrations. However, he's not that easily pinned down."

Counting Crows - round here, 1993

"Round Here" is a song by American rock band Counting Crows, released as the second single from their debut album, August and Everything After (1993), on June 20, 1994, by Geffen Records. The song's origin predates the formation of Counting Crows, when the band's future frontman Adam Duritz wrote the song with The Himalayans members Dan Jewett, Chris Roldan and Dave Janusko."

Drive-By Truckers - what it means, 2016

The Drive-By Truckers have never been afraid to tackle heavy topics, and they're doing just that with their new song "What It Means." "What It Means" reflects on racism and the political turmoil facing the United States following numerous recent shootings of Black men by police. The Truckers don't veil the subject of the song, either, with lyrics that include specific references to the 2012 death of Trayvon Martin and the 2014 shooting of Michael Brown.

Pete Yorn - calm down, 2019

"Peter Joseph Yorn (born July 27, 1974) is an American singer, songwriter, and musician. He first gained international recognition after his debut record, Musicforthemorningafter, was released to critical and commercial acclaim in 2001. He is known for playing the bulk of the instruments on his records. Spin magazine, in a career retrospective article dated March 26, 2021, recognized Yorn as one of his generation's best songwriters. Yorn’s 10th full length album, Hawaii, was released on June 17, 2022."

Father John Misty - do you realize cover, 2021

"Father John Misty, American folk singer-songwriter and former member of indie rock bands Saxon Shore and Fleet Foxes, performed a version of the song in July 2012 for The A.V. Club's A.V. Undercover series."

Oh Wonder - high on humans, 2017

"High On Humans was inspired by a tube journey. On the way back from Heathrow Airport, I eavesdropped on a conversation between two girls who worked in a sunglasses shop at the terminal. They were happily going back and forth discussing their favourite foods. When one girl declared that she didn’t like hot sauce, I rudely interrupted and said, ‘What do you mean you don’t like hot sauce?!’. We then proceeded to have a twenty minute conversation about food, and the three of us exited the carriage high on adrenaline having connected with strangers."

Gorillaz - don't get lost in heaven, 2005

"Don't Get Lost In Heaven", the first part of "Demon Days" ending statement, started out as a weird experimental country and bluegrass piece involving James Dring's simple drumming, Jason Cox's bouncing distorted bass guitar and Damon Albarn playing a diverse range of banjos, synthesizers and acoustic guitars. The original lead vocal was done by Damon Albarn in what I can assume is him doing a cross of both Brian Wilson and Bob Dylan accompanied by happier sounding harmonies meant to invoke the other members of The Beach Boys."

Youth Lagoon - afternoon live, 2011

"July", the first song we heard from Youth Lagoon bandleader Trevor Powers' debut The Year of Hibernation, was filled with emotional surges, a seemingly modest tune that made a small racket with a big-hearted finish. "Afternoon" from Year also builds gradually, but right from the opening whistled riff, it's obvious that the stakes aren't as high. Which is not a bad thing: "Afternoon" bounces and stomps along, Powers' wavering, occasionally wordless vocals constantly present throughout. It's not always easy to make out his lyrics, but that's okay-- the feeling in his music is easy to find."

Monsters of Folk - dear god, 2009

"Terrible name, super group. Monsters of Folk are a US indie dreamteam comprised of Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis, My Morning Jacket's Jim James and Matt "M. Ward" Ward. It's enough to make you grow a beard with excitement."

The Jesus And Mary Chain - head on, 1989

"Head On" is one of those joyous, fist-pumping pop songs that's weirdly juxtaposed with a dark lyric about inertia; it's taken from the Jesus and Mary Chain's Automatic (1989). Could the singer simply want to muster the courage to talk to a girl, or is it a paralysis-making decision about whether to cop some drugs? No matter, the lyric is craftily universal/ambiguous. With its poppy, lightweight beat, "Head On" falls into the revved-up/amped-up Beach Boys-style song the Mary Chain made (they also specialized in Spector-ish Wall of Sound and pure noise). There's an incessant new wave snare beat, a snarling, teenage vocal, and a drum and bass breakdown. It is blueprint post-punk in the tradition of Joy Division/New Order; around the time of its modern rock radio popularity in the early '90s, alternative band of the moment, the Pixies, were already covering it."

Bonnie Prince Billy - i see a darkness live, 2012

"Oldham exploits a salty freedom and an epicurean brio; on this album, his least "country," he was a bulimic Falstaff milking medieval dread/mirth. Sung sans-warble, these non-sequiturial folk anthems, seasoned with Robotussin Skynyrd licks, confirmed that Oldham is indie's detached and brilliant DeNiro."

Gang Of Four - paper thin, 2019

"It’s this combination of electronics and the jagged guitar lines pursuing 21st century grooves that achieves a striking balance between the band’s fundamental sound and its restless embrace of the now and the new. Exemplified by the first single – the pulsating 6 Music championed ‘Paper Thin’ - the result is a body of anthemic songs of modern confusion, and ‘Happy Now’ a record for our times."

Editors - smokers outside the hospital doors live, 2018

"singer Tom Smith tempers his constant anxiety with flashes of optimism, his brittle nihilism with gooey sentiment"

Wim Mertens - often a bird, nature by numbers, 2010

"Wim Mertens is a well known Belgian composer whose international reputation for progressive classical music has inspired equally innovative film makers to use his creative sound for their film scores. He is one figure in a vanguard of progressive composers using classical music as their inspiration."

Sunday, March 10, 2024

Devine And Statton - bizarre love triangle cover, 1989

"Cardiff-born singer Alison Statton’s first group, Young Marble Giants, lit and carried a bright torch for the lo-fi indie scene that would flourish in the ’90s. Her subsequent group, the coolly jazz-inflected Weekend, anticipated the suave cocktail pop that Everything but the Girl, Sade and others would popularize. After the end of Weekend, Statton went back to university, but re-emerged near the end of the ’80s in a duo with Manchester guitarist/songwriter Ian Devine (ex-Ludus). The pair made two albums of spare, Celtic-flecked folk-pop, covering tunes by New Order (“Bizarre Love Triangle” on The Prince of Wales) and Crystal Gayle (“Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue” on Cardiffians) in the process."

Such a great song!

Lankum - the young people, 2019

"The chorus of ‘The Young People’ first appeared as a kind of Scottish singalong in Daragh’s head one morning as he woke up, and not sure whether it was a traditional song he’d heard before, a composite of folk songs and melodies from his subconscious, or a completely original piece, he sang it into a dictaphone before it disappeared, like so many before it."

Everything Everything - r u happy, 2024

"Lead vocalist Jonathan Higgs explained that the album revolves around a simple concept, taking place in a fictional world "wherein all of society is consumed with the building of a giant mountain". However, the twist in the story is that the people would have to dig a deep hole and live in it in order to build the mountain."

Hamilton Leithauser And Rostam - a thousand times, 2016

"The musical partnership between Hamilton Leithauser and Rostam Batmanglij began, as so many do, by disturbing the parental peace. The former lead singer for the Walkmen and the now-former multi-instrumentalist for Vampire Weekend are both originally from Washington, D.C., and they’d meet up when they went home for the holidays. “Two years in a row at Thanksgiving and Christmas we would be up in Rostam’s high school bedroom,” Leithauser recalls to Pitchfork now. “The first time we were out there, I was just wailing away and singing so loud, and then you heard this voice from the bottom of the stairs, and it’s Rostam’s dad. He’s yelling from downstairs, like, ‘Rostam, are you OK?’ It was like we were teenagers up there.”

Michael Stipe - old man cover live, 2015

"Stipe has laid low in recent years and grown a boss beard, but couple years ago took Neil Young’s “Old Man” out for a spin."

The New Pornographers - you'll need a new backseat driver, 2019

“There are so many songs like ‘the something of love’—you know, there’s ‘The Book of Love,’ ‘The Freeway of Love’.... Then I thought of ‘falling down the stairs of your love,’ and I thought, that kind of works. I think it has that element of how do you deal with the ideas of love and happiness in this world right now? When current events are stressful, that makes a stress on people’s relationships, and you’re trying to figure out how to be happy in this loving relationship in this world that seems ugly at every turn.”

Trying to be a less shit parent to your own kids than your parents were to you

"But that’s what parenting is about, isn’t it? Trying to be a less shit parent to your own kids than your parents were to you."

Tall Ships - meditations on loss, 2016

"No time for reflection, no space to clear heads, it’s full steam ahead into the great unknown."

Luke Sital-Singh - hunger, 2017

"Essential, once more we're subject to unfeigned lyricism and intricate guitar melodies as its thundering percussion rumbles beneath."

Cemeteries - sodus, 2015

"The first time I listened to Sodus by Cemeteries, I knew it was going to be one of those songs I wouldn’t be able to shake off my soul. Okay, I know what you’re thinking, is it really that dramatic? The truth is in the tune! It’s in the lyrics and melodies. It paints a picture of a summer night you spent as a teenager wondering when your life was going to turn into something spectacular. I’m sure we’ve all had some kind of revelation like this. If I was to collect all these fantasies of mine and turn them into some tangible form of expression, it would be through this song. All the places I’ve never been to. All the people I haven’t met. All the good and bad experiences that I cannot call my own, but have a longing to understand. I have an everlasting nostalgia for things I’ve never grasped in physical form, sprouting from a genuine admiration of the things in life that are the most raw and passionate, thriving off of possibility for a world of new doors to open."

Morrissey - everyday is like sunday, 1988

"The song's lyrics, which commemorate the dreariness of a seaside town in the off-season, were reportedly inspired by Nevil Shute's On the Beach, a novel about a group of people waiting for nuclear devastation in Melbourne, Australia. Of the song's lyrics, Morrissey commented, "The British holiday resort is just like a symbol of Britain's absurdity really. The idea of a resort in Britain doesn't seem natural."

Peter Bjorn And John - one for the team, 2018

"Peter Bjorn and John are a Swedish indie pop/rock band formed in Stockholm in 1999, named after the first names of the band's members: Peter Morén (vocals, guitar, harmonica), Björn Yttling (bass, keyboards, vocals) and John Eriksson, known in his solo work as Hortlax Cobra (drums, percussion, vocals). Yttling also worked as producer for the band's first four albums."