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. Chicano Batman picks “Blood, Milk and Sky” by White Zombie
This is 5 Songs We Can’t Stop Listening To and every week to start it off we ask one artist that we love to talk to us about a song that they love. The band Chicano Batman is a four piece out of Los Angeles. They blend music, that is, they blend Brazilian music with psychedelia, with soul, all in this great mixture that we absolutely love. I called up Eduardo Arenas, who is the lead singer of the band Chicano Batman.
Justin Barney: Do you remember the first record that you ever bought?
Eduardo Arenas: I think it was Astro Creep: 2000, White Zombie.
Justin Barney: Really? Why that album?
Eduardo Arenas: Because, I think at the time I was thirteen years old, I just wanted to identify with people who don’t fit in. And Rob Zombie did not fit in. And he made an industry around not fitting in. I’m thinking, “Wow, this guy has no intention of letting people know that he wants you to love him.” There’s enough people out there that don’t want to be loved, but love each other. [laughter] There’s a community of people out there that don’t fit in. And we can fit in together; we all have something in common that we have no idea about.
Justin Barney: Yeah, Rob Zombie. What’s one song off that album that’s your favorite?
Eduardo Arenas: Oh, man.
Justin Barney: Do you remember?
Eduardo Arenas: “Blood, Milk, and Sky.”
Justin Barney: Why that one?
Eduardo Arenas: Because, I feel like he falls off the grid. It goes into a deeper level of the subconscious. It’s like he’s not even trying to be catchy. He was like we’re going into the depths of obscurity and I’m not going to apologize for anything.
Justin Barney: I love that.
- “Blood, Milk, and Sky” was released in 1995 on White Zombie’s album “Astro-Creep 2000 – Songs of Love, Destruction and Other Synthetic Delusions of the Electric Head.”
- Listen if you like: Rob Zombie, mid-90’s hard rock, not fitting in
2. John Darnielle – “The Ultimate Jedi Who Wastes All the Other Jedi and Eats Their Bones”
John Darnielle is the lead singer and songwriter of the band The Mountain Goats. In addition to writing 15 albums, he’s also released several novels. He’s the kind of musician who is a writer first and a musician second. One of the key traits of Darnielle’s songwriting is how microscopic his focus can be.
For example, last year he wrote an album about the semi-professional wrestling circuit of the Southwestern United States in the mid to late 80s.
And here the subject of his songwriting becomes even more acute. Here he writes hypothetically about a Jedi in the upcoming Star Wars film and a position that the ultimate Jedi might find himself in.
It’s a mixture of fantasy, silliness, and novelty.
The thing that I like most about it is that it’s not a shameless pander to Star Wars fans, knowing that anyone will click on when they see Jedi, it shows understanding of the cannons of Jedi belief system and offers a legitimate possible plot line to the film.
That’s such a great touch.
- This song is not part of an album or anything, it’s just a one-off single
- Listen if you like: The Mountain Goats, novelty, Star Wars
3. Noga Erez – “Pity”
In Tel Aviv, Israel where Noga Erez lives, she is at the forefront of the electronic scene, which, in Tel Aviv is dominated by female artists. She considers herself a producer first, which you will hear on this song. It’s beats are huge and then they’re tiny, they’re constantly moving and unpredictable. It’s cutting edge stuff.
And lyrically she is political. And I always think it’s interesting to hear political songs from other countries, because you don’t have an established side,
global politics is so interesting.
This song, titled “Pity” is about a specific incident in Tel Aviv of a woman who was brutally abused while bystanders allegedly watched and filmed, but did not help her.
- Noga Erez new album, “Off the Radar,” will be released on June 2nd.
- Listen if you like: Sylvan Esso, Marian Hill, global music/politics
4. Neil Sedaka – “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do”
Justin Barney: I’m here with our very own Makenzie Boettcher. Mak, what is one song you can’t stop listening to?
Makenzie Boettcher: One song that I legitimately can’t stop listening to is the 1975 hit “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do” by Neil Sedaka.
Justin Barney: Me too.
Makenzie Boettcher: Was I right on that year by the way?
Justin Barney: I have no idea. Fact checkers: check it! Why can’t you stop listening to this song, Makenzie?
Makenzie Boettcher: There are a few reasons. But I guess, for starters, growing up if I was in high school or middle school or wherever I was, if you ever mention break-ups, my father, Steve Boettcher, will always start singing this song. On repeat.
Justin Barney: What a comforting thing. Like, “Dad, I think I’m gonna break up with this guy.” And he breaks into song.
Makenzie Boettcher: That’s how a lot of things went in my family. But I never actually listened to a recording of the song I just knew it as the song my dad sings.
And so the other day my friend was going through a break up and I immediately started singing this song. And then listened to the song and realized that it really is a heartbreaking song with a really up-beat, sweet tune.
Justin Barney: Yeees
Makenzie Boettcher: If you listen to the lyrics he is singing that breaking up is really difficult. And it hurts. And it sucks. And it going to hurt you. And it’s going to hurt me. So let’s just not do it.
Which are really heart felt lyrics.
Justin Barney: Right? But it’s like the most bubble gum of bubble gum songs that there is.
Makenzie Boettcher: Yes! And there are like the singers in the background doing the shoobie-doos. But it’s such a sad song.
- “Breaking Up” is hard to do was originally recorded in 1962 and was also re-recorded in 1975. This is the 1962 version.
- Listen if you like: old bubble gum pop songs, American Bandstand, back ground singers that do the shoobie-doos
5. Charly Bliss – “Glitter”
Charly Bliss wrote this song as an angry break up song. Then she read the lyrics back to herself and realized that everything she wrote could equally have been said about her too in that relationship.
I think it takes a big person to admit that and it brings this brilliant double meaning to the song and I think shows some kind of truth in a lot of relationships, that the same things could be said about each person.
So imagine this song being sung by both sides at the same time. Each person fed up and yelling at the other person, saying the exact same things.
- Charly Bliss’ new album, “Glitter” will be out on April 21st, via Barsuk Records.
- Listen if you like: Bleached, That Dog, The Rentals