here they are:
"Calamity Song" by The Decemberists: From the epic indie-folk band's latest couple of songs they've released, I've come to the conclusion that at least one (if not all) of the members of The Decemberists are HUGE R.E.M. fans!! "Down By the Water" had almost identical chords to R.E.M.'s "The One I Love", and in "Calamity Song", traces of quite a few early R.E.M. songs ("Catapult", "Talk About the Passion", "Gardening At Night", and "7 Chinese Brothers", to name a couple), can be heard. Interestingly, R.E.M.'s own Peter Buck plays guitar on BOTH of the aforementioned Decemberists tracks! Since this is a new song in which the lyrics are sung at a rather fast pace, I don't know if I can analyze the lyrical aspects of the song well quite yet. But the song itself is fantastic! R.E.M. is my absolute fave band, and this is a great imitation!
"Hearts On Fire" by Scars on 45: One of the very first songs of 2011, "Give Me Something", was released by Scars on 45, and has since become one of THE most successful adult alt/indie pop songs of the year!! Now, in the second half of the year, Scars have come back a second time around with "Hearts On Fire", a remarkably similar song to "Give Me Something" with its melancholy, yearning sound, acoustic guitars in the forefront, and smooth vocals. The piano in this song (and the guest female vocalist during the second verse) help to distinguish this song from Scars biggest (and previously, their only) hit. Somehow, it seems to help when melodic, moody British alt-pop bands use guitar instead of piano (the latter of which is pretty much now defined by Coldplay and Keane). In "Hearts On Fire", Scars manage to pull off the use of both instruments, and STILL make their song sound sincere enough for an audience whose taste for British alt-pop bands runs closer to Travis than it does (later) Coldplay!
"Na Na Nothing" by Mike Doughty: Na na no, this is na na not Mike Doughty's debut children's song about how "nothing" starts with the letter "N", and na na nor does it indicate that Doughty has trouble saying the word "nothing" (both comments that Doughty himself would probably appreciate given his wry, off-the-wall sense of humor). Doughty, the former lead singer for quirky '90s alt-pop band Soul Coughing, has made a surprisingly successful solo career for himself on adult alt radio ever since the mid 2000's, and deservedly so, too! Most of his solo songs have a sound that somewhat suggests what it might be like if Beck (of "Loser" fame) fronted The Dave Matthews Band. An odd sounding combination, to be sure, but Doughty manages to make it work each time, and his latest, "Na Na Nothing", is na na no exception!! It's a na na negative song lyrically, about Doughty feeling cheated in a relationship, but musically, it's very na na nice!! Chances are I'll na na never find a song quite like this one!