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. Peanut Butter Wolf picks “My Brother Woody” by The Free Design
Every week we ask a gust to talk about one song that they love. This week our guest is the founder of Stones Throw Records. Peanut Butter Wolf is an artist in his own right, and has signed artists such as Madlib, J Dilla, Aloe Blacc, and NxWorries.
Justin Barney: Peanut Butter Wolf, what is one song you can’t stop listening to?
Peanut Butter Wolf: I’m going to say “My Brother Woody” by Free Design because its in my head right now because I played it at (Rhythm Lab Microfest) sound check.
It’s a song that I discovered in the early 90’s from 1960’s bubblegum pop, psychedelic whatever.
Justin Barney: What do you like about that song?
Peanut Butter Wolf: Well, I like that whole album actually. At that time I was really into a lot of Larg Professorr and Pete Rock and 90’s Golden-Era, digging in the crates kind of hip-hop. And I noticed they were using a lot of what I would consider “hippy music.” When I discovered that album I was just kind of blown away. I found it at the thrift store for like a dollar or two and it became this collectors record, I guess, years later.
Yeah, that was the first thing that came to mind, because it literally was in my head right now.
- “My Brother Woody” was released in 1967 on The Free Design’s album, “Kites Are Fun.”
- Listen if you like: hippy music, airy harmonies, golden era samples
2. Hundred Waters – “Show Me Love” (feat. Chance the Rapper, Moses Sumney & Robin Hannibal) [Skrillex Remix]
In this song Hundred Waters singer, Nicole Miglis, asks to be shown love.
But, when she asks, she is asking it of herself. It’s not a demand, it’s a devotion. She whispers
“Don’t let me know cruelty, though I may make mistakes.
Don’t let me show ugliness though I know I can hate.
And don’t let me show evil though it might be all I take.
Show me love, show me love, show me love.”
It reads like a prayer, her hands on the beads, asking to be shown the love within.
And that’s before an all star cast of Chance the Rapper, Moses Sumney, Robin Hannibal, & Skrillex get in the mix. Each of their parts doesn’t serve to stand out, but compliment each other. Together they take this song to church. They add their own little parts and prayers.
They take this single devotion, a prayer said in a closet, and make it into a spiritual experience.
- Listen if you like: modern gospel, The Life of Pablo, Chance the Rapper
3. Foxygen – “Avalon”
With an almost 40 piece orchestra this song feels like it’s back in the studio days in the early 70’s when records labels would just give artists a string section and full brass, even if it wasn’t necessary.
And it’s really the extravagance that makes the song.
It starts as what could be a Randy Newman or Harry Niellsen song, then it cabarets up to a shimmering Elton John number, and progresses so theatrically and so lavishly that it almost folds in on itself, and then like Willy Wonka, falling to the gate, it tucks in to a full summersault, jumps up, and takes a bow.
- Foxygen’s new album, “Hang” is out now.
- Listen if you like: Randy Newman, Harry Nilsson, Kyle Craft
- THIS SONG IS NOT ON THE INTERNET. Listen in the player at the top of the page at the 10:00 mark.
4. The Modern Lovers – “I’m Straight”
Justin Barney: I’m here with our Marketing and Promotions Manager, Peter Adams. Peter, what is one song you can’t stop listening to?
Peter Adams: A song called “I’m Straight” by Jonathan Richman.
Justin Barney: And what do you like about Jonathan Richman?
Peter Adams: I discovered this song a long time ago and just recently came back to it. I just really like his playfulness. He writes a lot of songs about just personal weird issues mostly pertaining to girls and his crushes. And this monologue that you have that’s going on in your head, he puts down to words in his music.
It’s sort of like a “soft punk” kind of vibe. Like I’m not all that into punk necessarily or garage rock, but he’s kind of a nice go-between. It reminds me of kind of a mash up of The Velvet Underground and Ween. So it’s playful, fun, smart, witty stuff.
- “I’m Straight” was released in 1981 on The Modern Lover’s album, “The Original Modern Lovers.”
- Listen if you like: The Violent Femmes, The Velvet Underground, Ween
5. Gorillaz – “Hallelujah Money”
Gorrilaz have broken a six year silence with this new song, “Hallelujah Money.” The song was released on the eve of last week’s presidential inauguration.
In the song, English composer, poet, multi-instrumentalist, and Mercury Prize winning singer, Benjamin Clementine, acts as the voice of our President. He gives a dystopic imagined speech, with the line, “Love is the root of all evil.” At the heart of the speech.
Clemintine’s voice adds a level of severity and depth to the character. The video was shot to look like it is in Trump tower and uses some controversial images thorough out.
Since Gorillaz was formed in 1998 as a “virtual band” they have never been afraid to go places others wouldn’t dare. Gorillaz continues to push into new boundaries with this new song, “Hallelujah Money.”
- “Hallelujah Money” is the first release from an upcoming Gorillaz album.
- Listen if you like: political satire, dystopia, Benjamin Clementine’s haunting voice