here they are:
"All Your Gold" by Bat for Lashes: Natasha Khan, better known as "Bat for Lashes", could be called a 21st century Bjork. She is a mysterious, but strangely charming figure in the music world, whose music is both dark and unpredictable. Her last big song, "Daniel", was a moody, hypnotic combination of electronica and rock, with some classical violins tossed into the mix for good measure. "All Your Gold" retains the mystique that Natasha put into "Daniel", but with even more of a sense of unpredictability. During the first minute or so of "All Your Gold", the listener is led into thinking that he/she won't get much more than a faintly thumping bassline and a light, ticking percussion sound. As "All Your Gold" progresses, though, more instruments (both acoustic and electric guitar, synthesizers, and string sections) get thrown in, and Natasha's voice gets increasingly higher and more dramatic. You never know what you're gonna get in a Bat for Lashes song, and "All Your Gold" continues to prove this!
"Default" by Django Django: And the weirdness continues in our second song of the week, "Default" by Django Django. It isn't just the repetitive name repetitive name of Django Django that makes them "weird". Their song "Default" also has some of the most bizarre mix of instruments (and even vocals) since some of Beck's songs from the mid-'90s! The lyrics don't seem to make a lot of sense either (e.g. "Forget about the cause, press rewind then stop and pause"). Yet, like Beck, Django Django are as out there as they are catchy! "Indie" doesn't always mean "quirky" like it used to, but Django Django are determined to put the "independent" back into "indie". And how!!
"Flavor" by Tori Amos: Been waiting for Tori to put out a song that's both tender and haunting like she did throughout the '90s! She put out quite a bit of material in the '00s, actually, but most of it was largely unnoticed in comparison to gems of hers like "Silent All These Years" and "Cornflake Girl". Tori's inner poet seems to be largely rejuvenated in "Flavor". Instead of writing almost embarrassing attempts to be sexual (like the "M-I-L-F, don't you forget" part of "Big Wheel"), or lyrics that are angst-y but generic ("Welcome to my world of hurt", from "Welcome to England"), Tori is now waxing philosophical about God ("Whose God, then, is God? They all want jurisdiction in this Book of Earth. Whose God spread fear, spread love?"), much like she did in some of her more classic songs like "Crucify" and "God". Unlike some of her peers from the '90s (i.e. Alanis Morissette, Sarah McLachlan, etc.), Tori has continued to attempt to straddle the line between "alternative" and pop music even after the '90s, instead of just going straight for pop. She has struggled along the way, but now, with "Flavor", it seems as though she has finally come full circle!
"Midnight On the Interstate" by Trampled By Turtles: Trampled by Turtles tugged at quite a few heartstrings earlier this year in spring, with their bittersweet song, "Alone". Their second big song, "Midnight On the Interstate", isn't exactly "bittersweet", but it still has the tender, mellow feel of "Alone". There aren't a lot of lyrics in "Midnight On the Interstate", but its beautiful melody and harmonies speak for themselves. Somehow, TBT are able to paint a picture of traveling down the highway in the dead of night just by playing their instruments in "Midnight On the Interstate". The lyrics, of course, are important in the song, but "Midnight On the Interstate" seems like the kind of song that could function just as well with lyrics as it could without.
"Picture This" by Rhett Miller: Whether he's singing about losing his cat ("Murder Or A Heart Attack") or losing his girlfriend ("Every Night Is Friday Night Without You"), the Old '97s frontman never seems entirely happy with anything he sings about, and is often snarky in the process of delivering his lyrics. "Picture This" is a departure from this. The lyrics are completely sincere, and they revolve around "living together happily, never a dull moment" with his girlfriend. The gentle, swaying melody of "Picture This", combined with its earnest, heartfelt lyrics, make the song seem almost nostalgic in a way.
"Santa Ana Wind" by Everclear: Much like Alanis Morissette, Everclear are '90s rockers that usually sound better when they're angry than when they're not. "Santa Ana Wind" is a notable exception to this. Art Alexakis and co aren't trying too hard to be pop-y in "Santa Ana Wind" like they did in "Wonderful" and "AM Radio". It has a catchy enough guitar hook that you would almost expect Art to explode with fury like he did on some of Everclear's best known material like "Santa Monica (Watch the World Die)" and "Father of Mine". But no, "Santa Ana Wind" is mellow throughout. The weird thing is, it actually WORKS here!! No lyrics about "watching the world die", arguments with parents, or "making me feel like a whore" here. Instead, they revolve around things like "Sunshine and Mexican food on a Christmas day", and "almost see(ing) the blue sky in the middle of the day". Some classic Everclear lyrical themes, like escapism from the frustration of everyday life, are present in "Santa Ana Wind", though, and the music, while not "hard" rock, is still rock enough for Everclear's original fans to enjoy it.
"Waiting" by The Whigs: Not to be confused with proto-grunge group The Afghan Whigs, The Whigs are also an interesting brand of alternative rock, but more in the power pop-y direction of Fountains of Wayne or Dandy Warhols (albeit a bit harder edged than both of them). "Waiting" is a pretty simple song, built mostly around A major and D major chord progressions, and not much else. While its nothing new, it doesn't mean that "Waiting" isn't an enjoyable song! It still boasts an incredible riff and passionate vocals, enough to get stuck in one's head at the end of the day!