5 Songs We Can’t Stop Listening to is a collection of our newest favorite songs. And Every week we ask an artist that we love to tell us about the music they love.
Listen to the whole thing in the player below.
1. Fleet Foxes picks “Isn’t It a Pity” by Nina Simone
This is 5 Songs We Can’t Stop Listening To. Every week we kick off the week with a song picked by an artist that we love. Fleet Foxes are from Seattle, Washington.
We had absolutely loved their first two albums. Their new album Crack Up is scheduled to be released on June 16. I am here with Robin Pecknold, lead singer of Fleet Foxes.
Justin Barney: Robin, what is one song right now that you have been listening to a lot or one song that you can’t stop listening to?
Robin Pecknold: Oh, it’s the Nina Simone version of “Isn’t It A Pity.” It’s like a live version, of her covering that George Harrison song and it’s just a trance-like/amazing kind of endurance version of that song. Like, it’s just kind of this billowy piano and she’s kind of just ad-libbing some lyrics and changing lyrics and it’s just this kind of epic odyssey through that, through that song.
Justin Barney: What… There’s a point in my life where I was obsessed with that song too. Not too long ago.
Robin Pecknold: Really?
Justin Barney: Yes, I got that whole album and man it just blew me away. What do you like about Nina Simone’s version, or what edge does she have that’s different from the George Harrison version?
Robin Pecknold: Well she just has that singular gravitas and authority. I think I was listening to it after the election a little bit. The woundedness of it but like just so beautiful and so kind of almost hopeful in its take of it.
Justin Barney: Absolutely!
Robin Pecknold: Yeah, it just really does the trick for me haha.
Justin Barney: Same, ugh, such a great pick. “Isn’t It A Pity” Nina Simone.
- “Isn’t It A Pity” was released in 1972 on Nina Simone’s live album, “Emergency Ward!”
- Listen if you like: Fleet Foxes, jazz improvisation, piano
2. Walter Martin – “Hey Matt”
“Hey Matt” is a song that will be on Walter Martin’s third studio album, called “My Kinda Music.”
I find Walter Martin’s music to be so incredibly charming.
Every time he releases an album I am shocked that he is not as critically acclaimed and revered as Father John Misty or Mark Kozelek.
Really the only difference between their music is Martin’s harmless innocence. Maybe it’s his childlike playfulness that critics don’t see as being “serious music” but I sure think it is. I think he is right up there with any other contemporary songwriters.
And I think that we should take him seriously even if his songs aren’t serious.
This song is a conversation with Matt Burninger of The National about Walter Martin’s voice. It’s clever, it’s meta, and it’s fun. It’s my kinda music.
- “Hey Matt” is off Walter Martin’s newest album, “My Kinda Music” which is out now.
- Listen if you like: little ditties, The National, Randy Newman
3. Kane Strang – “My Smile Is Extinct”
This is one of those songs that sounds happy, but is really very sad.
If you don’t listen to the lyrics you might hear this and be bopping around to the beat and you’ll have a great time.
And then you start to say the lyrics our loud, and find yourself happily singing, “Kill me now, I want to die.”
This song is the embodiment of pretending like everything is great when the truth is that you are dead on the inside.
- “My Smile Is Extinct” will be on Kan Strang’s new album, “Two Hearts and No Brain” due out June 30th via Dead Oceans.
- Listen if you like: sad songs that sound like happy songs, brit pop, misery
4. Hall & Oats – “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)”
Justin Barney:This is 5 Songs We Can’t Stop Listening To and I’m here with your hostess with the mostest Dori Zori
Dori Zori: Before I tell you what song I can’t stop listening to, I think I need to tell you why I can’t stop listening to it.
Justin Barney: Please.
Dori Zori: May 13th, right around the corner, Hall & Oates is coming to town.
Justin Barney: Yes!
Dori Zori: And although I couldn’t be more excited, I have uh, a DJ gig that night so I won’t be at the show.
Justin Barney: Awww, no.
Dori Zori: Which is fine because it’s for some really great friends at Turner Hall Ballroom across the street so I’m’ hoping maybe Hall & Oates will make an appearance.
Justin Barney: Yeah.
Dori Zori: So they’ve been on my mind and i’ve been listening nonstop to “I Can’t Go For That” from Hall & Oates.
Justin Barney: Yes, and what do you love about that or what do you like about Hall & Oates?
Dori Zori:Well, I’m an 80s girl so, they were on MTV all the time. Uh, we had gotten this really cool stereo system in the 80s where I would listen to all my moms vinyl with headphones which kind of took my listening experience from music to a whole new level. And then it’s like the korg keyboard that’s in there that kind of imitates a hammond organ I’m crazy about and then it’s Darryl’s voice most and foremost in my head. My first crush on a ginger was probably Darryl Hall.
Justin Barney: Oh that’s great. Um, and what do you like about this song, why this one?
Dori Zori: I think it’s because um, you know it might not be the best written, there’s some deeper songs, cooler stuff but it just has that dancy beat. It’s a little bit um funky and although it’s not written about a person I think it’s meant to be about the music industry. I always acquitted it to uh that person in my life. So..
- “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)” was released in 1981 on Daryl Hall & John Oates album, “Private Eyes.”
- Listen if you like: 80’s pop, white boy soul, Dori Zori
5. LCD Soundsystem – “American Dream”
For me LCD Soundsystem reminds me of going to school in Madison. Summer nights on the porch, dance parties on the jukebox of our favorite bar, and laying down on the ground with my best friends and tearing up as we listen to all 8 minutes of “All My Friends.”
For me this song certainly takes me back to the feeling of hearing LCD Soundsystem for the first time. I didn’t know that an electronic band could have so much heart. I didn’t know that a synthesizer could have feeling. Or James Murphy’s voice downing in sound waves can make you well up.
Well here we are again, after a long goodbye, welcome back into our hearts LCD Soundsystem.
- “American Dream” will appear on LCD Soundsystem’s new album which will be out sometime this year.
- Listen if you like: electronic sadness, feeling stuff with your feelings, laying down on the ground and listening to sad songs