Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Forever Young!

The words "youth" and "child" appear in the only two songs I have for this week. Therefore I thought "Forever Young" would be a clever title for this week's blog. Anyway, on with the show!

"Fountain of Youth" by Local Natives: Whenever a new political age is ushered in, new songs are ushered in to go along with that. The '60s saw many such songs, and even the era of Bush the younger got an entire Green Day album in protest of it in response. Not a whole lot of songs have been written yet about Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, or Bernie Sanders, but Local Natives address the first of these three in their latest song, "Fountain of Youth", referring to her as "Mrs. President", perhaps in a tongue-in-cheek manner. The song's chorus of "We can do whatever we want. We can say whatever we need" seems like an accurate representation of the disillusionment a lot of young people (and quite a few older ones, too) feel about the current political climate. The new revolution has just begun. There is more of it to come, I'm sure of it!

"If I Ever Was A Child" by Wilco: At long, long last, Wilco return to their roots as a folk/country-rock group after quite a few albums with a feedback drenched psychedelic rock influenced sound. The lyrics and mood of this song are both bittersweet, something Wilco haven't really touched upon in their music since their 2009 song, "You and I", which was a duet with Feist. "If I Ever Was A Child", as its title seems to imply, is a sweet, nostalgic sounding song that also has an air of sadness to it. The song's chorus expresses that Jeff Tweedy was "never alone long enough to know if (he) ever was a child." Perhaps Tweedy is pining for simpler times on this song, and the entire album, at that, which is largely composed of folk-rock and country-rock tunes that lack the distortion present on so many other recent Wilco songs.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

New songs for July 20th 2016

here they are:

"I'm Not the One" by Pete Yorn: The three main chords of this song, F, G, and A minor, make this song very similar to what an indie-pop version of Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams" might be like, though the chorus is different in this song in that it resolves in C major. "I'm Not the One" does indulge itself in the same sort of melancholia that "Dreams" did, but instead of being a revenge song disguised as something bittersweet, "I'm Not the One" really is bittersweet. No blaming or finger pointing in this song, just a simple way of saying "I'm sorry, but you're not what I'm looking for" in 3 and a half minutes. Simple premise, but still an effective song.

"Numb" by OJR: The sound of this song is strange, but kinda cool. It takes the sound of the typical "unplugged" Nirvana song and makes it sound like roots-y country-rock. How that's possible is anyone's guess, but it actually manages to flow pretty well here. The lyrical mood of the typical Nirvana song seems to prevail on "Numb" as well, telling the story of a man who just feels tired of his life and how much people are pushing him around. And what does "OJR" stand for, you ask? The singer's initials, Oliver John Rodgers, that's what!

"San Quentin" by Nahko and Medicine for the People: Nahko and Medicine for the People?! Now THERE's a cool name if I ever heard one!! The song itself is just as cool! "San Quentin" is a song in which jazz, Latin, blues, world music, and rock fuse into a single genre! And that's not all, folks. On NAMFTP's YouTube page for "San Quentin" is a description for what the song is about. Apparently it is about a trip Nahko made to the titular city to meet the man who killed his father. Pretty daring move, there, but if you can get a song as catchy and meaningful as this one out of it, I guess anything's possible!

"The Changing Man/While It Still Beats" by Ray LaMontagne: By far the strangest and most adventurous track of the week, "The Changing Man/While It Still Beats" is one part psychedelic rock, one part prog-rock, and in all, is a song that just doesn't seem to know which direction it's going in! I'd expect something like this from Tame Impala, but not Ray LaMontagne! The former folk-rocker has now gone OFF his rocker in this song! There hasn't been a song quite like this so far in 2016, and I doubt there will be for a long time!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

New songs for July 13th 2016

here they are:

"I Know" by Shovels and Rope: So far, this is both the most vengeful ("I know exactly what you think you are") and the most rockin' song in S & R's catalog. The once quaint little country-rock group has suddenly gained a dirty, blues-y edge on this chug-along track. Amidst the grimy sound and scathing lyrics, however, Shovels and Rope still have the trademark harmonies they have become known for among their fanbase. S & R have made little dents here and there before on adult alt stations (perhaps most notably with their jaunty, clap-long ditty, "O Be Joyful"), but so far they haven't had a song that's been as popular with the format as this one has. With its distinctive flavor among the other songs in S & R's catalog, it's no wonder this one has gotten so much attention so far!

"Umpqua Rushing" by Blind Pilot: Our only other entry for the week, Blind Pilot hasn't strayed too far from the quiet, reflective folk-rock sound they have become known for with "Umpqua Rushing". However, it does contain more electronic percussion than "We Are the Tide" and "Half Moon" did (it bears remarkable similarity with the latter of these two songs). A fluid, buoyant acoustic guitar sound can still be heard beneath "Umpqua Rushing"'s artificial drumbeats. Nothing really to write home about with this song, but it can still be nice to hear a song like this one for the sheer relief and comfort factors it provides. Chicken soup for the indie soul!