10 Songs to Wean You Off Radio Music
1. TV on The Radio: Wolf Like Me
"Brooklynites' third full-length and major label debut is dense, kaleidoscopic, and challenging, both the band's finest record and a highlight of 2006." - PitchforkBut this sense of despair isn't here from the beginning from the song. Song begins with a short tingle and an almost optimistic drum beat. However transition into the darker half is done so masterfully its impossible to notice and looking back, when you listen to the song for the third or the fourth time you notice the first signs of forthcoming mood already entwined with the very first notes.
2. The Decemberists: Mariner's Revenge Song
|By Sage Ross - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0|
Mariner is the best example of the Decemberists' delicate handling of sharp contrast between the topic and the mood of the song. The lyrics describe to you an utmost tragedy in vein of Pinocchio and Moby Dick, majority of which happens inside whale's belly. All of this is accompanied by a cherfull melody of accordion, which reminds you more of an old seaside tavern than of the grave tale of revenge.
"Upright bass, steel guitar, accordion, and piano all weave their way into their sound, and that versatility is something they rely heavily on." - Punknews
This contrast isn't jaring however, even though it is explicit. You don't even notice it until you pay it some attention and this noticing gives many depths to this song.
3. The Flaming Lips: Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Part 1
Now this is a genuiely cheerful song, filled with hope. It's also quite actual, not due to inevitable robotic apocalypse (which, lets face it, is impossible at best/worst), but due to panicky anticipation of it, which isn't going to bear any fruit.
"Yoshimi is a delightful iridescent bomb of buoyant electronics, imaginary Japanese animé and plaintive vocal surrender." - Rolling Stone
But even if next few years prove me wrong and evil robots start waging war against us, some Yoshimi will probably rise up to the task (sadly quite possibly leading to atomic winter).
4. Lo Tom: Covered Wagon
Even though the music is good it's topped in greatness by the minimalistic and visibly artifical album cover, cuteness of which luckily doesn't wander too far into the uncanny valley."A loveless couple sits in a hotel room with champagne and a joint, wondering where everything went wrong but unwilling to say a word to each other." - Pitchfork
5. Dillon: Thirteen Thirtyfive
Narrative is occasionally broken in almost post-modernist fashion by a line or two, for example with "you turn my legs into spaghetti", which forces you to see that this narrative is still art, that it's still artifical."The implicit moody balladry in a song like Thirteen Thirty-Five is balanced by how the feeling of finger snaps gives a warm, fuzzy kick," - AllMusic
6. John Frusciante: Wayne
|By Edimilson Neto, CC BY 2.0|
Imagine a 10 minutes long guitar solo, which without words captures an entire symphony of feelings. This is Frusciante's Wayne, a loving tribute to a friend.
"John Frusciante has released a lengthy, darkly emotional rumination, written for a friend that went back to the guitarist’s days in the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Wayne Forman, tragically, died before he could hear this tribute." - Something Else!
Give it a listen if you ever believed that you need words to express emotions, or even if you believed that words are better for this porpuse than just notes, connected together in deep insightful sequnces, entwined into a complex net of a life-long affection, coloured by a melancholic anticipation of loss.
7. Neutral Milk Hotel: In The Aeroplane over the sea
This NMH's song can best be described by just two words: carpe diem, live in the moment, for the moment before you didn't have what you have now, and in the next one you will already lose it.
"In the Aeroplane Over the Sea is a personal album but not in the way you expect. It's not biography. It's a record of images, associations, and threads; no single word describes it so well as the beautiful and overused 'kaleidoscope.'" - Pitchfork
It isn't pure carpe diem however, for it is a bit retrospective, cherishing the previous moment, which was and reliving it.
8. Mogwai: Take Me Somewhere Nice
Another overused word is "atmospheric", but this song can't be described by any other word.
"it can be magical, the mood is set with the first few notes then sent off in different directions without ever telling you that its doing so." - Sputnikmusic
It's overaching feel is the one you feel when you are doubting the reality of your memories, when you are imagining them as false. It's a deeply melancholic feel, yet sweet, for when all your memories are (imagined as) false anything is possible.
9. Alvvays: Archie Marry Me
|By Paul Hudson, CC BY 2.0|
Magical, just magical is probably enough to describe this song.
Alvvays truly knows how to capture the deeply contrasting nature of our generation(s)."Such quarterlife-crisis concerns—the bane a generation that, as one song puts it, feels like it’s “too late to go out, too young to stay in”—are natural preoccupations for a band of twentysomethings that is the very product of upheaval and a clean-slate reset. " - Pitchfork
10. Gogol Bordello: Undestructable
"In many ways, the fact that they ooze the same kind of stinky, trash-soaked, Greek-pizza-joint-coffee-tastin, Canal Street-on-a-high-summer-afternoon aroma through just a band in a room is even more amazing than the cut-and-paste J.U.F. record. (If not quite as thrilling.) Gogol don't play funk, but they sure are funky. And no one, not even Greg Norton, has a better mustache in rock than Hutz." - Pitchfork