These are some songs that I haven’t been able to stop listening to from all ends of the musical spectrum. Some of you may say this is one of the most oddly constructed playlists ever but keep in mind that I listen to a lot of music. For me, these are the songs that have been sticking out the most. From the upbeat, fast-paced folk-music personalities of Andrew Jackson Jihad to new material from indie legends Death Cab for Cutie, I tried to provide you with a mixed variety.
Andrew Jackson Jihad “People II: The Reckoning”
One of the many great bands to come out of Arizona in the past decade, Andrew Jackson Jihad was formed in 2004. Very similar to the sounds of their associated bands Bomb the Music Industry! and Ghost Mice, AJJ offers a great new take on the folk genre. Their party sound mingles ironically with their bitter lyrics that I think everyone can relate to. This song is off of their 2007 release, People
Who Can Eat People Are the Luckiest People in the World.
The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble “Shadows” and “Cocaine”
Formed in 2000 with the original intent to compose music for silent films that have already been released, KDE was created by cellist Nina Hitz and guitarist Gideon Kiers. They create genre-clashing music that echoes a progressive jazz, glitch, and gothic mix. Much of their material relates to the effects of cocaine and heroin use, but that doesn’t deter from the greatness of their compositions. The self-titled and Here Be Dragons albums have achieved recent fame in the UK, ranking closely to James Blake.
Sunset Rubdown “Idiot Heart”
SR began as a solo project by Spencer Krug, best known as the vocalist for Wolf Parade. When he met Camilla Wynne Ingr in 2005, it wasn’t long before they had an entire band with her friends Michael Doerkson, Marc Nicol, and Jordan Robson-Cramer. They sound very similar to Wolf Parade but are seemingly less experimental. In place of that abstract instrumental quality that Wolf Parade has, Krug wanted to give Sunset Rubdown a more carefree, “summer indie” sound. “Idiot Heart” is from their most recent album, Dragonslayer.
Starfucker “Hungry Ghost”
In much of the same style that MGMT and Empire of the Sun have been pursuing, Starfucker achieves a similar electronic indie pop sound. Mixing acoustic guitar with keyboards and communal vocals, SF transcends their contemporaries by their descriptive narrative lyrics. “Hungry Ghost” is from the album Reptilians.
Between the Buried and Me “Lunar Wilderness”
Young progressive metal masters with six albums under their belt, bring that same calculated power to their newest three-track EP. However, BTBAM has had a certain confluence and sequence to their previous albums that isn’t really evident in these new tracks. Each of them stand alone with the most popular track from the Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues EP has been “Augment of Rebirth” since it’s release. But I feel like “Lunar Wilderness” captures some of the bands better sounds and moments from their previous albums. It has ambient as well as metal progressions, which I think the band balances really well, i.e. “Selkies: The Endless Obsession,” from their third album, Alaska.
Alison Krauss & Union Station “Paper Airplane”
Folks, this is what country is supposed to sound like. Hands down, AKUS has some of the best instrumental work that I’ve heard from a country song in a long time. Union Station compliments Krauss’ voice so well that it’s almost reminiscent of when country flourished in the 1940s/50s. Now that modern country constantly sings about beer, trucks, and fishing, it’s refreshing to hear a sound like AKUS. “Paper Airplane” is from the recent album of the same name.
TV on the Radio “Will Do”
Often compared to a decade-crossing combination of Marvin Gaye and Radiohead, TV on the Radio was formed in Brooklyn in 2001. Lead vocalist Tunde Adebimpe’s vocal and lyrical personality is often compared to the legendary soul singer, Marvin Gaye, but the instrumental accompaniment from his band is much more reminiscent of a jazz-laced Radiohead. Probably most famous for their song, “Wolf Like Me” which appeared on Letterman in 2006, “Will Do” is from TVOTR newest album, Nine Types of Light.
Panda Bear “Last Night at the Jetty”
Founding member and vocalist of Animal Collective, Noah Lennox has had Panda Bear as a side-project for over ten years now. He produces an album, he says, when Animal Collective seems like it’s on autopilot. PB has produced four albums, the most recent being this week’s Tomboy, featuring the single “Last Night at the Jetty.” Lennox mixes so well and his vocals ring of the familiar experiments of Animal Collective. “Last Night at the Jetty” is the fifth track from Tomboy.
My Morning Jacket “Circuital”
Somewhat reminiscent of Bon Iver’s sound combined with the Americana sound of Bob Dylan, vocalist Jim James leads My Morning Jacket to their sixth studio album, Circuital. Probably most famous for “Touch Me I’m Going to Scream Part II” which was featured in a sequence of the television show, American Dad. That track actually reminds me of Animal Collective a bit, but “Circuital” is much more folk-based and straight-forward. I picked “Circuital” closely from several other tracks on Circuital, but the entirety of the ablum is great.
Death Cab for Cutie “Home is a Fire”
Seemingly with a greater emphasis on guitar progressions and general arrangement of the songs altogether, Ben Gibbard and Washington natives Death Cab for Cutie bring their seventh studio album since 1998. Undeniably, the band is maturing both lyrically and instrumentally. “Home is a Fire” is the second single released after “You are a Tourist,” both from the upcoming release, Codes and Keys. The album is set to be released on May 31 of this year.