The internet is a big place. Thousands of songs are released EVERY DAY, and we sift through them all to find those rare gems and beauties that we love. We also talk to artists, journalists, and musicians about the songs that they love. This week we talk to Cloud Nothings and LEON, and we hear music from Gillian Welch, Matthew Squires, Blaze Foley, Liniker e Os Carammelows, and ABBA. Listen to the whole thing in the player below.
1. Cloud Nothings pick “Orphan Girl (Home Demo)” by Gillian Welch
Every week we ask an artist that we love to tell us about a song that they love. This week we ask Dylan Baldi, lead singer of Cloud Nothings to talk about one song that he loves.
Justin Barney: Dylan, what is one song you can’t stop listening to?
Dylan Baldi: Umm, there is this Gillian Welch, Revival bootleg re-issue thing that just came out. There is a demo version of the song “Orphan Girl” which is my favorite song off that record.
Justin Barney: What do you like about that song?
Dylan Baldi: I like a lot of country music, but I really like a lot of sad country music…
Justin Barney: So do I!
Dylan Baldi: Yeah, that’s the best kind. The happy ones are a little, “Meh” but real sad song are where it’s at. And that is a sad song. Even the title is sad.
And the recording quality of that is just perfect sounding. I love the lo-fi kind of stuff.
Justin Barney: Yeah. I like sad songs, and sad country songs in particular. I’m always trying to figure out why that is. Do you have a theory?
Dylan Baldi: I just think it’s cause we’re probably just sad guys from the Midwest. *laughs* We can really relate to being in a bar, alone.
Justin Barney: *laughs* You know, I always want to give it up to something greater than that, but that’s probably what it is.
I always want to say that it’s me empathizing with somebody else who is also lonely and so then I feel less lonely…
Dylan Baldi: Yeah, that’s a more positive outlook. *laughs* That’s better. I’ll use that next time.
- “Orphan Girl (Home Demo)” by Gillian Welch was released on November 25th on the album, “Boots No.1: The Official Revival Bootleg”
- Listen if you like: Sad ass country music, a song that The Decemberists might cover, Song 3 from this week
- The video below is the album version because the Home Demo doesn’t exist on the internet. To hear the Home Demo version, listen on the player at the top of the page.
2. Matthew Squires – “Shape of Your Heart”
In Leonard Cohen’s song “A Singer Must Die” Cohen sings of singer, on trial for spreading an untruthful version of a romantic love that doesn’t exist through his song. Cohen says, “The singer must die, for the lie in his voice.”
If Matthew Squires was on trial by the same court, I think he might get off scott free, or at least a hung jury. In his song the rose colored glasses are off. He leads with the ever romantic line, “I am the Anti-christ” followed by “I am mother Theresa too. I am everything to you.”
I think that that is a very pragmatic way to look at youself and what you are to someone else in a relationship. And relationships in general. If I’m on the jury of song, I’m giving Matthew Squires a pardon.
- Shape of Your Heart” by Matthew Squires was released on Matthew Squires new album, “Tambaleo.”
- Listen if you like: The Moldy Peaches, Frankie Cosmos, Jeffery Lewis
3. Blaze Foley – “Clay Pigeons”
I’m cheating this week. Ususally 5 Songs is a vehicle for discovering the best in new music. But were getting to the end of the year when artists just don’t really release new music, and I am sure that there is plenty of great new stuff out there, but I have to go with an oldie today. And I just discovered it, so it’s new to me.
It’s a song called Clay Pigeons by Blaze Foley. Blaze Foley was born in 1949 in Arkansas, died at age 39 in Texas. Outlaw country kind of guy. In the music video for this song he has a cigarette behind both ears.
And I just love this song. It’s about Blaze Foley just wanting to live a normal life. Being content, and happy. Doing boring things, like sitting next to someone on a bus. To just be content. What a feeling.
- “Clay Pigeons” was officially released posthumously in 1999 on the album, “Live At the Austin Outhouse.”
- Listen if you like: Sad ass country music, Townes Van Zandt, John Prine
4. Liniker e Os Caramelows – “Zero”
Justin Barney: I am here with Midday host Marcus Doucette. Marcus, what is one song that you can’t stop listening to?
Marcus: Gosh, when you ask a DJ that question it’s always a tough one. But one that has been getting to me every time is a tune by a Brazilian singer.
And I’m a big big fan of Brazilian music in particular. Been a big fan of the samba soul sound for a long time. Perhaps a good example of the Samba Soul sound from a modern singer is Seu Jorge, who was in “The Life Aquatic” and just has a smooth mellow voice. On the one hand it’s more Samba, and on the other hand also soul music.
There is another artist that has also popped up on my radar. He’s a real intriguing guy, I don’t know a whole lot about him. I do say that he’s a guy. I do say that because when he performs he performs in a really sort of androgynous way. He doesn’t hid the fact that he’s a man, but he also wears a dress, and often dresses like a woman, complete with dress, blouse, and also sports this turban. So he has this really androgynous look, and right off the top you’re like, “Man this guy is intriguing, so what’s he all about?”
As it turns out he’s got a sound that is a lot like Seu Jorge. His name is Liniker. E Os Caramelows is the band. And, man, I can’t get his haunting melodies out of my head. They’re just beautiful. Particularly on this song called “Zero” which is about being love struck, or being bitten by the love bug, and you can really just feel it in the song. It’s really dynamic. It builds and builds and builds only to come crashing to a stillness. Hence that “zero” point.
- “Zero” by Liniker e Os Caramelows was released in September on the album, “Remonta.”
- Listen if you like: Seu Jorge, Sound Travels, Samba Soul
5. LÉON picks “Dancing Queen” by ABBA
This week we have two guests! Our second guest artist this week is LÉON.
Justin Barney: LÉON, what is one song you can’t stop listening to?
LÉON: Well, I think this might be a little, off, but it’s “Dancing Queen” by ABBA.
Justin Barney: Yes!! Why that song?
LÉON: Because every time I hear it, and I listen to ABBA a lot, I always feel pumped. It’s a song that I have been listening to since I was a teenager. I was really bummed actually when I turned 18. I remember I was walking home from a night out when I turned 18 and you can legally go out to a club in Sweden. And I was walking home, it was like 5AM, and I listened to this song in my headphones and remembered, I was like “Oh sh*t, I’m not 17 anymore.” Cause they are singing about being 17 and I was 18 and I was like, “Darn it! I’m 18 now.”