Wednesday, February 3, 2016

New songs for the day after Groundhog Day

Stuck in a continuous time loop? Not to worry. We have 6 songs that'll get you through it!

"Gardenia" by Iggy Pop: David Bowie and Lou Reed may not be around anymore to grace us with their presence, but at least ONE punk rock forefather is keeping things alive for us, and that man is Iggy Pop! If you're expecting something with manic reckless abandon like "I Wanna Be Your Dog" or "Lust For Life", you'll be sorely disappointed. "Gardenia", instead, is one of the few calmer songs in Iggy's catalog, in fact it kinda sounds more like David Bowie than Iggy Pop, both musically and vocally. I wonder if the "Gardenia" mentioned in the song is Bowie himself?! Could be! One gets the hint that Iggy wants to continue to impress today's "alternative" crowd, just as he did in days of old, as this song seems to be slightly influenced by groups like The Walkmen and Modest Mouse.

"No Love Like Yours" by Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros: Musically, Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros still sound a little like a modern day Mamas and Papas, but vocally, that seems to be lost in this song. That's because the female harmonies supplied by ex-Magnetic Zero Jade are no longer there. Female vocals are present on "No Love Like Yours", but they're not as distinctive as Jade's voice. Nonetheless, ESATMZ fans will probably still be wowed by "No Love Like Yours", as it does have the typical upbeat, post-hippie-folk-rock sound that the group usually have. The tinkly pianos in this song tend to make it distinct from other Magnetic Zeros songs, despite the fact that they've used pianos before. It is also one of their shortest songs, at only 2 minutes and 57 seconds.

"Run Or Hide" by Run River North: Here is yet another indie-pop song in which piano is a defining feature. However, it sounds far too modern to be mistaken for a song from the 1960's, which is funny for a band whose first major song, "Monsters Calling Home", sounded a bit like Mumford & Sons or Of Monsters & Men. "Run Or Hide" definitely has a more modern sound than one might expect from Run River North. Perhaps that's why it's gotten more attention than their other songs have. The shout-y vocals, slightly reminiscent of songs like Imagine Dragons' "Radioactive", might also be a bit jarring for people who originally got to know Run River North through "Monsters Calling Home". However, Run River North seemed to have gained a new fanbase in the process of this song, and they seem to like it, too, especially judging by how much Run River North seem to like interacting with their fans through their YouTube page. Nerds, rejoice! Apparently Run River North are fans of "Pokemon" and "Firefly" according to one YouTube comment they made!

"Spirits" by The Strumbellas: How many people thought that their name was actually "Strumbrellas" instead of "Strumbellas"?! Well, I did. Apparently there's only one "R" in their name, not two. Anyway, The Strumbellas' debut song, "Spirits", is an interesting song. It is an indie-folk-rock song backed by an upbeat drum section and (once again) piano. The paranoid lyrics of the song, "I've got guns in my head and they won't go. Spirits in my head and they won't go" are offset by how happy the song itself sounds. The song seems to be a pretty big hit so far. The secret to their success? Probably just making the song sound as fun and catchy as it does!

"Thank God For Girls" by Weezer: WEEZER?! Some of you probably spit milk through your nose if you know me well enough, as I'm really not a big fan of Weezer ordinarily. However, there are some times where I make an exception to the rule, and this is one such case. Here is yet ANOTHER song where piano takes a central role. (Billy Joel, are you listening?! Take note!) Weezer have made an interesting transformation from self-loathing nerds in the '90s, people questioning their social identity in the '00s, and nerds who are more proud of their nerdiness in the 2010's. This song is pretty quirky, really. I mean who ELSE would use the word "cannoli" in a song even once?! They use that word repeatedly here! I'm not sure that half of this song is even ABOUT girls. "Thank God for girls" just seem to be four words they use here to drill into peoples' eardrums for days upon end.

"Wolves Without Teeth" by Of Monsters and Men: Yet another OMAM song with strange and mystical metaphors for the ups and downs of relationships. I'm sure that's why a lot of their fans (including me) like their music, though. Even their name has an aura of mystique that's just as alluring as the songs they perform. "Wolves Without Teeth" is a light folk-rock affair like a lot of OMAM's songs tend to be, but the distortion of the backing electric guitar here seems to be a bit more noticeable here than it is on their other songs (one YouTube commenter even referred to this song as "Of Mumford and Bastille" - a pretty apt and somewhat funny description, if I do say so myself!)