5 Songs We Can't Stop Listening To is a collection of our newest favorite songs. Every week we ask an artist that we love to tell us about the music they love.
Listen to the whole segment and all the songs below.
1. Johnny Marr picks "Juice" by Lizzo
Johnny Marr could be the greatest living guitarist. He was guitarist for The Smiths. He was also in Modest Mouse and The Pretenders. He's also had a fantastic solo career and we play a lot of his music including his most recent single, "Armatopia." My guest today is living legend, Johnny Marr.
Justin Barney: Johnny, what's one song you can't stop listening to?
Johnny Marr: You know, it might surprise some people, but have you heard that song called, "Juice" by Lizzo?
Justin Barney: Oh my god! Yeah, I saw her perform it at South By it was NUTS.
Johnny Marr: Yeeeees. You know, every so often a real kind of right-across-the-board, undeniable, great, what I call "pop" record comes along.
It reminds me of, like, Outkast, "Hey Ya!" You know? You first hear "Hey Ya!" you're like, "Whoaaaaaaa." This really does tick a lot of the boxes. So, yeah man, that Lizzo song is great.
2. Julia Jacklin picks "Everyday" by Weyes Blood
My guest today is Julia Jacklin. Julia Jacklin is Australian born singer who has just released the album "Crushing" and it is crushing. It is a fantastic album that is full of personal stories and also just has this really beautiful sound to go along with her voice. We've been playing her song "Head Alone" and I set up this interview last week because she was in New Zealand, so she is a day ahead of us, bit of a time difference and we recorded it then. My guest today is Julia Jacklin.
Justin Barney: What I want to do is learn a little bit more about you and the kind of music that you're listening to. What is the last song that you really dove deep into and couldn't get off your head?
Julia Jacklin: Oh, probably the new Weyes Blood song "Everyday."
Justin Barney: I love that song too! It came out and I was like, "Wow, this is something else."
Julia Jacklin: Yeah.
Justin Barney: What do you like about it?
Julia Jacklin: It's one of those songs where I heard it and I was like, "Oh, that's cool," and then I watched the music video and played it again. I was like, "Damn that's good." And every time I listen to it I'm like, "Oh, that's an incredible song."
It's just one of those songs that hit me and made me go, "Ahhh, I want to write more songs." I haven't felt that in a while, I've felt pretty, "Oh gosh, I don't know if I ever will write a song again." It's very tiring and then I heard this song and I was like, "I love writing songs!"
Justin Barney: Yeah, that's great!
3. Andrew Bird picks "Chickasaw County Child" by Bobbie Gentry
Our guest today is Andrew Bird. Andrew Bird has been making thoughtful and delightful music for over a decade. His newest album is called, "My Finest Work Yet" and I've got to say I agree with him. It is funny, it is thoughtful, it is witty, it is excellent. We've been playing the song "Sisyphus" from the album. Andrew Bird is also coming to town. My guest today is Andrew Bird.
Justin Barney: Andrew, what is one song that you can't stop listening to?
Andrew Bird: Uh, Bobbie Gentry's "Chickasaw County Child."
Justin Barney: And who is Bobbie Gentry? I honestly don't know.
Andrew Bird: Bobbie Gentry had some hits in the mid to late '60s. She's an amazing guitarist and singer. She wrote "Ode to Billie Joe" which is her most famous tune. But then there's this tune, "Chickasaw County Child" which from a song writing point of view it's really cool how she works the syllables on it. Like it's, "Papa won't you let me go to town... with you. Bum bum... Feeling so down... and blue."
It's just a really interesting song and the production and the arrangements are just out of this world. You can tell she's playing live. Which, of course I appreciate. She's just playing guitar and singing and then you hear the bass, upright bass behind her. You can hear spatially what's going on in the room and then there's this harmonica that was pervasive in the late '60s, early '70s and these horn blasts that just kind of pop out of nowhere.
It's just something that you could not possibly ever recreate and I'm kind of into that.
Justin Barney: I love that. Um, what's the song about?
Andrew Bird: It's just her, I think she grew up in um rural Mississippi. It's her as a child begging her father to take her to town and all the things that she would get him to buy her.
4. American Football's Mike Kinsella picks "It's Okay" by Land of Talk
Our guest today is Mike Kinsella, lead singer of American Football. American Football is band that was formed in Urbana, Ill., in 1997. In 1999, they released their self-titled album which has become a cult classic. It was kind of responsible for starting the genre of emo. It was right at the beginning there and they have continued to be extremely important artist, not only in the genre but in music at large.
Mike Kinsella also has ties to Milwaukee with the band Promise Ring and he toured with Maritime as well. American football just released their third self-titled album, "American Football." My guest today is Mike Kinsella, lead singer of American Football.
Justin Barney: Mike, what's one song you have been listening to a lot recently?
Mike Kinsella: The band Land of Talk who, Elizabeth sings on one of the songs on the new record, what's it called ... [laughs] Oh yeah, "Its Okay" is the song that I find myself going back to every couple of weeks sort of like whenever I have alone time and I'm not sort of, doing chores around the house or something and I have time to reflect, it's my go-to song.
Justin Barney: What do you like about the structure of the song or how it sounds?
Mike Kinsella: It sounds like it was painful to record even, like her voice on it.. There's a moment, it's just a couple bars on the song, you just hear her exhale, sort of in like.. Ahh it's unbelievable, it's crushing. It's like you put mics in front of her and somebody is gonna make you document this thing you don't even want to sing about. That's how much it hurts. Yeah, it's incredible.
- Check out our full interview with American Football.
5. Sharon Van Etten picks "Gladly" by Tirzah
Our guest today is Sharon Van Etten. She is a singer from New Jersey who's just released this incredible string of albums: "Tramp" in 2012, "Are We There" in 2014 and her new album "Remind Me Tomorrow" is out now on Jagjaguwar. We've been playing her song "Comeback Kid" on 88Nine.
Justin Barney: Sharon, what's the last song that you couldn't stop listening to?
Sharon Van Etten: The last song I couldn't stop listening to... there's been a handful but I guess, do you know Tirzah?
Justin Barney: I do not.
Sharon Van Etten: She has a song called "Gladly." I think she is or she's about to be a new mama and I think she's from from the UK. That song "Gladly" has just been in my head.
Justin Barney: What do you like about it?
Sharon Van Etten: It's got a cool beat, but it's super minimal and you can hear the nuances in her voice and her phrasing and it's optimistic but it's kind of heavy. It's a feel good song with a deceptively simple riff. I don't know, it's just a good jam.
- Check our full interview with Sharon Van Etten here.