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. Yes picks “Cocaina” by Captain Cuts (feat. Rich the Kid & Daniels)
For every song this week we’re going to be talking to a different national artist about one song that they love. This is one of the biggest bands I’ve ever had on this show.
Then band, Yes, from London, England has been around since the late 1970’s, and they’ve had global hits with the songs, “Roundabout,” “I’ve Seen Good People,” “Owner of a Lonely Heart,” just to name a few. I’m here with Trevor Rabin of the band, Yes.
Trevor, what is one song right now that you can’t stop listening to, or one song that’s your jam?
Trevor Rabin: Well this is going to sound self-serving, but my son has a new project called, Captain Cuts, and they’ve just written and released a song called, “Cocaine,” and I can’t stop listening to it.
Justin Barney: Is that the son that’s in Grouplove?
Trevor Rabin: Yes, and this is an extra project he’s got. They wrote the song, I heard it, and then they released it. Everyone I see, I play it to them. It’s pretty cool.
Justin Barney: How do you feel about your son singing a song about cocaine?
Trevor Rabin: Well it’s more of a joke thing. The good news is he’s about as straight as they come. As far as it impacting on young kids, it’s really more of a comment rather than an endorsement of it, so I’m okay with it.
Justin Barney: Alright I like that. Do you think that his music has a big influence on you, or that you have a big influence on him?
Trevor Rabin: Oh of course me on him. I’m the dad. From the age of three until fifteen, I was the wisest man he’d ever met, and then suddenly I had turned really stupid, you know?
Justin Barney: Naturally. Does he come to you for advice on songs, or not so much?
Trevor Rabin: Well he comes to me for advice, I’ll give him some, and then he’ll tell me why I’m wrong. Though at the end of day, when he walks out the door, he’s taken that advice. He won’t admit it, but I think he uses some of it.
Justin Barney: Even if he doesn’t admit it?
Trevor Rabin: Exactly. His reaction would be, “Well dad, your information is a little discardable, but okay.”
Justin Barney: Did you ever get help from your dad on songs? What did your dad think of your music?
Trevor Rabin: Well my dad was a phenomenal classical violinist. He was the lead violinist of the Johannesburg Symphony Orchestra, and we were best friends as I am with my son. His input was more as kind of just someone supporting it. He didn’t pretend to know what I was doing with regard to the rock and roll stuff, but he loved it and came to all the shows.
He instilled in me a real love for classical music, and if it wasn’t for him I don’t think I ever would’ve been able to get into film scoring because you’ve got to be able to conduct and write for orchestras. He helped me a great deal in with that.
Justin Barney: So you’ve gone from classical, to Yes, to Grouplove. You’ve got three generations of music there. That’s fantastic; I love that.
Trevor Rabin: Yeah, a little eclectic for us.
Justin Barney: For sure. Could you say the name of the song, and the group one more time?
Trevor Rabin: The new Captain Cuts song is “Cocaine.”
Justin Barney: Thanks so much for talking, Trevor. This has been wonderful.
Trevor Rabin: Alright Justin, thanks so much. Good talking to you.
- “Cocaina” was released as a single from Captain Cuts this year.
- Listen if you like: Grouplove, pop, your next party jam
2. Rakim picks “Nautilus” by Bob James
Here we are in the presence of Hip-Hop royalty. From the Boom Bap Era, from the Golden Era, from New York New York, I am here with Rakim. He’s been around since the late 80’s and he’s still making and influencing music today. You know his classic work with Eric B., “Paid In Full.” I’m here with Rakim.
Justin Barney: Rakim, what is one song you can’t stop listening to?
Rakim: That’s a hard question, man.
I think one of the songs I love to play is Bob James, “Nautilis”
Justin Barney: I don’t know if I know that song. What do you like about it?
Rakim: What I like about it is that it’s an instrumental song. It’s something I can listen to and kind of vibe out to and put my own words to whatever I’m thinking about, how I’m feeling.
You can play it when you’re chilling with your girl, and get inspired to say something to her.
It’s just one of those songs that has every feeling in it.
- “Nautilus” was released in 1974 on Bob James’ album, “One.” It has been sampled by Run-DMC, Slick Rick, A Tribe Called Quest, Ghostface Killah, Lupe Fiasco, Wu-Tang Clan, Freddie Gibbs, and others.
- Listen if you like: a background song for literally anything, Rhythm Lab, the Rosetta Stone of Hip-Hop
3. Grizzly Bear picks “Она ушла” by Aleksandr Gum
The band Grizzly Bear is one of the biggest names in indie rock. They formed in the early 2000’s, formed beloved such as “Yellow House,” “Shields,” and their most recent, “Painted Ruins.” It is my honor to have Chris Taylor of the band Grizzly Bear here.
Justin Barney : Chris what’s one song you can’t stop listening to?
Chris Taylor : Oh man, it’s a pretty out there one. There’s a couple that I’m really excited about. I’m going to throw out something really weird.
Justin Barney : DO IT those are my favorites.
Chris Taylor : Yeah, you’re going to have to look it up but it’s a Russian pop star and his name is Aleksandr Gum and the song is called oh man I can’t pronounce Russian but it’s ohayw… I mean you can find it on iTunes.
Justin Barney : How did you find this?
Chris Taylor: I don’t know it gets good it really gets my spirits up these days when I’m feeling like I need a little excitement.
Justin Barney : What does it sound like? I can’t even imagine.
Chris Taylor : It’s almost kind of got a reggae feel and this guy’s voice is just wild sounding and it’s … I don’t know.
I really don’t know what he’s singing about, I heard it actually in a cab ride in Berlin and the way to the airport like at 4 am. The cab driver was just blasting it and I was like, “Man, I am down with this song.”
Chris Taylor : It’s just the sort of bravado of this guy’s vibe. It’s just so proud.
- “Она ушла” was released in 2015 on Aleksandr Gum’s album of the same name.
- Listen if you like: Gogol Bordello, pride, Russian music
- LISTEN TO THE FULL INTERVIEW HERE
4. Waxahatchee picks “Up the Junction” by Squeeze
Katie Crutchfield is Waxahatchee. From Birmingham Alabama, Katie Crutchfield was in the band P.S. Eliot with her twin sister Alison Crutchfield before going on to so her own solo work under the moniker Waxahatchee. Her new album is “Out in the Storm.” We are playing the song, “Never Been Waiting.” My guest today is Katie Crutchfield, AKA Waxahatchee.
Justin Barney: “Katie, what is one song that you can’t stop listening to?”
Waxahatchee: The song “Up the Junction” by Squeeze. I’ve been really into that song. Lately I’ve been going through this phase. I think it relates to my own music.
People always ask me about my music being so melodic and poppy but the lyrics being so intense and heavy. And that juxtaposition. I’m into that. That song is such a great example of that. Because it’s the poppy-ist, most catchy song in the world.
Actually, the reason that I paid attention to the lyrics is because we were going to cover it. And the lyrics are so depressing.
Justin Barney: Really?
Waxahatchee: Yes! It’s about a guy who falls in love. And then his girlfriend gets pregnant. And then he becomes an alcoholic. And then she dumps him and marries a soldier.
It’s really sad! And it’s the catchiest song on the planet. So good. But I remember paying attention to the lyrics and just being like, “I don’t think we can cover this.”
- “Up the Junction” was released in 1979 on Squeeze’s album, “Cool for Cats.”
- Listen if you like: Waxahatchee, Elvis Costello, sad songs that sound happy
- Full interview with Waxahatchee
5. Violent Femmes pick “A Distant Land To Roam” by Hazel Dickens and Alice Gerrard
Violent Femmes are Milwaukee’s most famous band and arguably the greatest. Their 1983 self-titled album didn’t go gold until four years after it was released and then went platinum four years after that without ever having been on the Billboard Top 200. We all know their songs: “Blister in the Sun”, “Gone Daddy Gone”, “Add It Up”…we could go on forever here. They are Milwaukee’s seminal band. I’m here with Gordon Gano, lead singer of Violent Femmes.
Justin Barney: What’s one song you’ve been listening to recently?
Gordon Gano: Well recently I’ve listened a number of times to “A Distant Land To Roam.” So many of bluegrass and older country people have done this song. Hazel Dickens and Alice Gerrard – particularly I was listening quite a bit to that version.
It is one of those songs that just flows and just seems right but then if you try to play it, you go, “Wait a minute…how long do I hold that chord before I say this other thing!?” It has its own rhythm and it absolutely makes sense but it’s such where maybe even the more trained you as a musician, the more apt you are to fall into changing the chord where actually it doesn’t change there.
I just love the plaintiveness of this song and I’m just stopping myself from playing it right here, right now.
Justin Barney: Do it!
Gordon Gano: No…because I’ve got to do something real soon (laughing).
Justin Barney: Alright.
Gordon Gano: Wait! Well it starts… (singing) “I remember very well on one dark and dreary day. Just as I was leaving home for a distant land to roam.” And that’s not even going into the chorus.
- “A Distant Land To Roam” was originally written and performed by The Carter Family and has turned into a classic American folk song done by dozens of performers throughout the years.
- Listen if you like: classic American folk music, harmonies, the Anthology of American Folk Music