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. Maggie Rogers picks “With You” by Waxahatchee
From the music desk at 88.9 Radio Milwaukee, I’m Justin Barney. This is five songs we can’t stop listening to and at the beginning every week we ask an artist, one person that we love, to talk to us about a song that they love. We discovered Maggie Rogers as a lot of people did, when a video of Pharrell Williams getting emotional when hearing Maggie Rogers, a student at NYU, music for the first time went viral. That was when we heard Maggie Rogers for the first time. We have been playing her music and her song, “Alaska,” ever since. I am here, with Maggie Rogers.
Justin Barney: Maggie Rogers, what is one song you can’t stop listening to?
Maggie Rogers: One song I can’t stop listening to is Waxahatchee cover of Jessica Simpson’s “With You.”
JB: That is fantastic. What is your favorite part of the song?
MR: The chorus. Duh!
JB: What do you like about the chorus?
MR: The whole sort of like rhythmic motion of the way Katie Crutchfield’s guitar just slows down and she just sinks into the groove and, I just, I love the lyrics to “With You.” I can let my hair down, I can say anything crazy because you catch me right before I hit the ground. Like it’s so silly and so good and I just…sorry I got a little giddy taking about it! I just love this song.
JB: That is fantastic, I just love hearing that.
- “With You” was released in 2016 on “Girls, Vol.3 (Music from the HBO Original Series)” soundtrack.
- Listen if you like: Jessica Simpson, Girls, feelings
2. Father John Misty – “Pure Comedy”
No one could do a song like this but Father John Misty. He takes on the entire human condition in a song. Deliberately. There are a lot of artists, and people who try, but it’s hard to talk about the biggest topics there are without sounding like a total idiot. But somehow Father John Misty emerges unscathed. Not only unscathed, but imbued with knowledge.
Here he is finding the humor in the idea that mankind creates meaning where there is none. And this is what FJM does best. This whole song is incredibly dark, cynical, and focused on tragedy. YET it ends with a glimmer of hope. And when he finally arrives at an appreciation for all life, saying, “Each other’s all we got.” It’s not a blind bumper sticker message of mindless optimism, it’s a conclusion that has been reached after seeing the totality of humanity.
- Father John Misty’s new album, “Pure Comedy” will be out on April 7th.
- Listen if you like: think pieces in song, thesis statements, total brilliance
3. Young Fathers – “Only God Knows (feat. Leith Congregational Choir)
Trainspotting, the novel was written by Irvine Welsh in 1993. It’s a collection of short stories about drug addicts, drop outs, fetishists, thieves, and those who are generally up to no good.
It falls in the cannon of Kerouac, Farlinghetti, Burgess, and the clinically maimed yet critically acclaimed authors that have received that almighty “cult status.”
Of course, it was made into a movie as well, which was equally as fast paced, drug addled, and lauded amongst arbiters of cool as it’s paperback counterpart.
This year Trainspotting will be revisited with a sequel that continues the narrative. This song will be the centerpiece of the soundtrack.
Director, Danny Boyle said that amongst the disconnected narrative of Trainspotting, you’re always looking for the heartbeat of the film. This song, he says, is that heartbeat.
- Trainspotting 2 will be out on March 17th. The soundtrack will probably be available then too.
- Listen if you like: Children’s choirs in songs, TV On the Radio, Trainspotting
4. Animals as Leaders – “Physical Education”
JB: From the music desk at 88.9 Radio Milwaukee, I’m Justin Barney.
JS: And I’m Julian Singh.
JB: This is Five Songs We Can’t Stop Listening To. Next week Radio Milwaukee will be hosting SoundBites. At SoundBites we have auction items, and one of the auction items is a chance to be a guest on this show. Last year, Suzanne Singh won and she nominated her nephew, Julian Singh, to be our guest today. Julian Singh goes to school at Whitefish Bay Middle School, he’s thirteen years old, and an aspiring musician. I’m here with Julian Singh. Julian, what is one song you can’t stop listening to?
JS: Uh, well I can’t stop listening to Physical Education by Animals as Leaders.
JB: Animals as Leaders. I don’t know that band.
JS: Yeah, they’re like a uh, it’s like a style of heavy metal called djent where, it’s like, really like it requires you to think more about the style. It’s very technical. So yeah, I like that a lot.
JB: Why do you have to think about the style? Explain djent to me.
JS: Well, djent is in like a lot of odd time signatures and a lot of odd stops and changes. And it require you to think a lot more about the song. And the drumming is just very technical, and very mathematical and stuff so, yeah.
JB: And you’re a drummer too, right? Does it challenge you as a drummer?
JS: Oh yeah, this song challenges me like a lot. Like I’ve been working on this song for like three months and I still haven’t gotten it down.
JB: But you like the challenges, yeah?
JB: Awesome! Let’s hear it. What’s the name of it?
JS: Physical Education by Animals as Leaders.
JB: Perfect, let’s do it.
- “Physical Education” was released in 2014 on Animals as Leaders’ album, “The Joy of Motion.”
- Listen if you like: progressive metal, odd time signatures, melodic instrumental metal
5. Mount Eerie – “Real Death”
The idea that I could have a self or personal preferences or songs eroded down into an absurd old idea left over from a more self-indulgent time.
Mount Eerie is the artist name of musician Phil Elverum. Sadly Elverum’s wife, Geneviève Castrée passed away last July after a year of battling pancreatic cancer and two years after giving birth to their child.
With that said “Real Death” is a very sad song, but it doesn’t beg for sympathy. It doesn’t necessarily offer hope either. Rather it plainly explains Elverum’s perseverance. Documenting it the way that he does, through song.
For me it reminded me of how ugly it is that music and art often romanticizes death. And his song shows that it’s quite different when it’s real.
- “Real Death” will appear on Mount Eerie’s new album, “A Crow Looked At Me” which will be out on March 24th.
- Listen if you like: a look at the way death really feels, plainly spoken songs, sad songs