Wednesday, August 3, 2011

brought to you by the letter "S"

Only two songs for this week, and they both start with that somber, sweet, spectacular, stupendous letter, "S" (same letter as my first name!!) So here goes:

"Sophia" by Laura Marling: Laura Marling's been a prominent member of the indie-folk scene ever since 2006, but it's only been recently that she's gotten the attention she has probably deserved for quite a while now, perhaps because of her work with other London indie-folk acts that have now become major among indie fans across the globe, such as Mumford & Sons and Noah & The Whale. "Sophia", perhaps Laura's first major song so far, reminds me of Simon and Garfunkel for a couple reasons. First off, the main riff of the song has similar notes to the chorus of "Bridge Over Troubled Water", and also, "Sophia" tends to give off a vibe that suggests something somber but still soothing and gentle to the ears. Lyrically, though, "Sophia" is a very depressing song, especially with its recurring line, "I'm wounded by dust". For some reason, though, I often view "depressing" songs as "romantic" if their melodies come across as being mellow enough, and "Sophia" is no exception!

"Stay Young, Go Dancing" by Death Cab for Cutie: Now why wasn't THIS the first single off of Death Cab's latest release, "Codes and Keys"?!? It's so much better than their first single of 2011, "You Are A Tourist" (though that song seems, so far, like it's MUCH more likely to win the title of "song of the year" for 2011!) Where "Tourist" boasted U2-style guitar riffs and an earnest but energetic sound, "Stay Young, Go Dancing" tends to have the opposite effect. Its sound is more suggestive of the "tragic folkie" sound of artists like Nick Drake, Elliott Smith, and Jeff Buckley. Oddly enough, in spite of its bittersweet, yearning sound, "Stay Young, Go Dancing" is one of the most astounding love songs (WITHOUT any "downer" lyrics) that Death Cab has ever done!! When Ben Gibbard sings, "when she sings, I hear a symphony" in this song, I can't help but think that him and I are thinking of the same girl!! (Zooey Deschanel, to whom he is married now)