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. Japandroids pick “House of the Rising Sun” by The Animals
Every Week we ask an artist that we love to tell us about a song that they love. The band Japandroids is from Vancouver, British Columbia. They make anthemic, sing-a-long, guitar-based songs that we love. Joining me on the phone from Vancouver, British Columbia, is lead guitarist and lead vocalist Brian King of the band Japandroids.
Justin Barney: Brian, what is one song you can’t stop listening to?
Brian King: I might pick House of the “Rising Sun,” the Animals version actually. Because, that’s a song when I was really, really young I had a Fischer-Price record player that like, you know, you buy for kids. My mom gave me her old collection of 7-inches that she had from when she was young. And it was in a little case and everything and that was one of my favorite songs and I used to play that song on a Fischer-Price record player in my room when I was really young and I loved it then.
JB: Why do you think as a seven year old that that song stood out among the other ones?
BK: I mean I think probably because it’s really catchy, you know? And it’s also very simple. It’s actually a very interesting song on drums because the drums are essentially just the cymbal. And it’s like, try to think of another rock and roll song where the drumming is exclusively hitting the cymbal. It’s a very kind of unique recording and every time I hear it I’m like “Damn, what a great song and what a great recording.”
- “House of the Rising Sun” was released as a single in 1964.
- Listen if you like: Japandroids, british invasion, the blues
2. Mac Demarco – “My Old Man”
Mac Demarco is this whole persona. A gap toothed, a self-proclaimed cigarette enthusiast, playing out of Jizz Jazz Studio in Brooklyn New York, and always cracking jokes. I’d say that most Mac Demarco fans love his music, but equally love him for his personality. He’s funny, easy going, and easy to love. Last time he was in Milwaukee he put on lipstick, joked with the crowd, and played Reeling In the Years by Steely Dan in the middle of the set. His humor is kind of built on fart jokes and self-deprecation. All in all, he’s a goof.
But his music shows this other side of Mac Demarco that is kind of soft and sweet. Yes, there is a lightness there that reflects his humor. Like on this song with the Casio keyboard. But overall it is very tender. And I think that completes the personality. He’s funny, but he’s also got a heart in there, and it just makes him more likeable than he already is.
- Mac Demarco’s new album, “This Old Dog” will be released on May 5th via Captured Tracks.
- Listen if you like: Easy going guitar, reflective lyrics, a general chilled-out vibe
3. Future Islands – “Ran”
I feel like there is this theme that has come up a lot recently in musicians that I’ve talked to, where they wrestle with being on the road because a lot of musicians are in serious and committed relationships. And when they go on the road its tough on that relationship. They are playing in front of thousands of people, they are doing what they love, they are professional musicians, but they can’t share any of that with the person they love.
Future Islands is a band that has been active for 10 years, and just now they are really picking up steam. If they do it right, it will be a lifelong long-distance relationship.
So it can be a real give-and-take for a relationship and for a profession. Sam Herring wrestles with his desire for life on the road and his desire to settle down and settle down with the person he loves in this song, “Ran.”
- Future Islands new album, “The Far Field” will be out on April 7th via 4AD.
- Listen if you like: mid-80s synth stuff, Sam Herring’s beautifully low voice, a certain tinge of sadness
4. Bleached – “Can You Deal?”
Justin Barney: This is 5 Songs We Can’t Stop Listening To and I’m here with our Digital Content Coordinator, Amelinda. Amelinda, what is one song you can’t stop listening to?
Amelinda: Well okay, so Bleached has a new track out called Can You Deal? And Justin here knows about my obsession with Bleached since our desks are right next to each other.
Justin Barney: Yes! All the time. Loves Bleached.
Amelinda: So sisters Jennifer and Jessica Claven are a few of my musical heroes for their ability to express relatable, personal lyrics and fuzz-out guitars with driving drum beats that are also super catchy anthems.
Jusin Barney: Yes, and this is a super catchy anthem.
Amelinda: Haha, when I found out about this new EP, I pre-ordered it on white vinyl and this title track for the upcoming EP Can You Deal, I’ve listened to probably at least 20 times in the past 24 hours since it came out. Yeah, when it hits the first chorus it goes into double time, I just crank it up and I just want to shout/sing it from the top of my lungs.
Justin Barney: Yes. Superfast, super loud, super fun.
Amelinda: Yes, and also the sentiment of this song hits home a little for me as well. They wrote their previous album, “Welcome the Worms,” which we play “Wednesday Night Melody” from that album. They wrote it to kind of work through these deeply personal issues that they were going through at the time. And it was received with just generic labels like “Girl Band” and “Female Fronted” reducing all the coverage of that album to gender instead of the art itself. So this song is about that experience. They also have a zine that goes with it with the same name, it’s a collection of shared experiences from artists and bands like Lizzo, Hole, Bully, All Dogs, Tegan and Sara, and like a ton more awesome ladies. So, like the lyrics of this track say “Yeah, I’m a girl and I play in a band. Can you deal?”
- Bleached’s new EP, “Can You Deal” will be out on March 3rd via Dead Oceans.
- Listen if you like: All Dogs, Lizzo, Black Sabbath
5. Sam Roberts picks “Pretty Pimpin’” by Kurt Vile
Every week we ask at least one artist to tell us about a song that they love. This week we have two artists and coincidentally they are both Canadian. Earlier in the week we had Japandroids from Vancouver, British Columbia, and today from Quebec we have Sam Roberts of The Sam Roberts Band.
Justin Barney: Sam Roberts, what is one song that you can’t stop listening to?
Sam Roberts: Lately it’s Pretty Pimpin’ by Kurt Vile.
Justin Barney: Oh, I love that song. What do you love about Kurt Vile?
Sam Roberts: I love that song. I just-that song in particular, there’s just really this relentless rolling feeling. We call them rollers for lack of a better term. When a song just seems to cycle over the same-there’s development but it doesn’t necessarily go anywhere at a sharp angle. And it sort just keeps you engaged in this relentlessness of the beat, of the lyrics. And that song just has this amazing flow.
Justin Barney: That’s perfect. I love that song too. What do you like about Kurt Vile?
Sam Roberts: I just like his-he just seems like, I don’t know him, he’s a real mama’s boy. *laughter* No, I just think he keeps putting out consistently great records all the time, he’s got a really unique voice that kinda doesn’t really sound like anyone else, and also his delivery is different, you know?
Justin Barney: Totally
- “Pretty Pimpin” was released on Kurt Vile’s 2015 album, “B’lieve I’m goin Down…”
- Listen if you like: The War On Drugs, Kevin Morby, Sam Roberts