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. Dr. Dog picks “Make a Heaven out of Hell” by Floating Action
This is 5 Songs We Can’t Stop Listening To, and my guest today is Dr. Dog
Dr. Dog is a band from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We’ve been playing Dr. Dog since day one on 88Nine. They have a new album out that we’re playing called, “Critical Equation.” The song that we’re playing is called “Go out Fighting.” I’m here with Scott McKinnon, who is lead singer of Dr. Dog.
Justin Barney: Scott, what is one song that you can’t stop listening to?
Scott McKinnon: As of recently, one song that I can’t get enough of is a song by a band named Floating Action. One of his most recent albums is called “Is it Exquisite?” He’s got a ton of albums and they’re all exquisite, including that one.
There’s this one song on the album called, “Make a Heaven out of Hell.” It’s just this glorious, beautiful song.
Justin Barney: What do you like about the song?
Scott McKinnon: Well, it’s really slow, ethereal and beautiful. It just has this feel to it. One of my favorite songs ever is “Whiter Shade of Pale.”
Justin Barney: Procol Harum?
Scott McKinnon: Yeah! It’s that undeniable transcendent feel to it. It’s like, no matter when you hear it or where you are, it feels like the credits are rolling or something. There’s some punctuality that comes with that song, it makes all of life afterwards hard to imagine. It’s just this all-consuming feel, not to be too lofty about it, but it just has this quality to it.
There are very few songs that touch on that particular feel. That slow, but really open and large ethereal feel. That was the first thing that stood out in this, “Make a Heaven out of Hell” song by Floating Action. It’s just a beautiful song, a beautiful sentiment.
- “Make a Heaven out of Hell” is on Floating Action’s 2017 album, “Is it Exquisite?”
- Listen if you like: Dreamy, literate, trance-like indie pop. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the trip. It IS exquisite.
2. Cut Worms – “Cash for Gold”
Cut Worms has this sound that sounds reminiscent of mid-60’s pop. Think Beatles, Roy Orbison, Buddy Holly…It also sounds very modern as well, but what I love about that sound, and those songs, is that so many of them are about innocent love. That is the thing, at its core, that I love about this song.
You don’t have to listen to the lyrics, and you don’t have to really know what it’s about. You know that it’s a love song, and that early 60’s swimming guitar, background singers, it’s got a harmonica, and it just exudes this feeling of innocence. That really captures me, and here, you can hear it in his voice. You don’t have to know the lyrics, you just know that this is a song about innocent love.
- “Cash for Gold” was released on Cut Worms 2016 album, “At Home”
- Listen if you like: The Beatles, The Growlers, Buddy Holly, King Tuff. It truly is a mix-up of 60’s and modern indie jams.
3. Belly picks “Motion Sickness” by Phoebe Bridgers
This is Five Songs We Can’t Stop Listening To, my guest today is Belly.
Belly formed in Rhode Island, in the early 90’s. They’re debut album in 1993 was huge, monumental. The song “Feed the Tree” was on MTV, it was everywhere. They released another album in ’95, and then they broke up. And now, twenty-three years later, they released a new album. It’s called “Dove,” we’re playing the song, “Shiny One.” My guest today is Tonya Donelly, lead singer of Belly.
Justin Barney: What’s one song right now that you’ve been listening to a lot recently?
Tonya Donelly: Right now, I’m kind of into Phoebe Bridgers, “Stranger in the Alps,” the whole album.
She just a great songwriter. I love it when there’s a young woman out there that I can connect with.
I just find her stuff really smart, funny, and exciting. It was the lyrics for “Motion Sickness.” It has real emotion depths, and it’s really an intelligent song, but it’s also funny and that’s really hard to pull off.
Justin Barney: I agree!
Tonya Donelly: So respect, major respect for her.
Justin Barney: I feel like that’s the hardest thing to do in songwriting, to have something that is deep and meaningful, but also light. You know, to have a sense of humor about it.
Do you keep that in mind when you’re writing?
Tonya Donelly: I don’t keep anything in mind when I’m writing. I’m a much more visceral writer. So, I’m somewhat unplugged when I write.
Justin Barney: Well, we could talk all day, but we should get to the song. This is “Motion Sickness” by Phoebe Bridgers.
- “Emotion Sickness” is off of Phoebe Bridgers’ 2010 album, “Stranger in the Alps.”
- Listen if you like: Lucius, Julien Baker, and The Staves. Humorous, emotion-filled, rich, and catchy tunes from an indie-pop idol.
4. Connie Constance – “Yesterday”
This is Five Songs We Can’t Stop Listening To, our guest today is Tarik Moody, aka The Architect.
Justin Barney: What are you listening to?
Tarik Moody: An artist I’ve been playing for a while now, since 2016, she just dropped a new single from a forthcoming debut album. Her name is Connie Constance, and the name of the song is “Yesterday.”
Justin Barney: I don’t know anything about Connie Constance.
Tarik Moody: This is why I’ve been thinking of how to describe her. If UK had its own Solange, she would be it.
Justin Barney: What is it about UK’s music that you love so much?
Tarik Moody: They really, truly broaden their horizons of what soul music can be, sonically and lyrically. It’s not always about the same instrumentation, the same beat. They bring in rock, indie, folk, and even emo elements. It’s such a rich tapestry of tones and sounds in their soul music that I feel like America doesn’t have.
Justin Barney: Totally, I feel that. And we just feel like we have to do that same sound?
Tarik Moody: It feels like the same sound, or at least a couple of sounds. Maybe because of the African immigrants, it’s a little more closely directed. So you hear a little more of a direct influence from that.
In America there’s not much, because there was mostly slaves. That’s probably why the UK has a little more variety in their soul.
Justin Barney: What do you like about this song?
Tarik Moody: Everything I love about what soul music can be, she embodies it. She’s definitely a star to watch.
- This is the single “Yesterday” off of Connie Constance’s upcoming debut album.
- Listen if you like: Soulful, emotional, indie rock-influenced soul music with UK roots. You just don’t get this unique sound from American artists.
5. Mitski – “Geyser”
I love Mitski’s music because you can feel the emotion in her music. She shows that emotion in her lyrics, and also in the structure of the song itself. Particularly in the building of this song. It starts with almost nothing and at the end it become so climactic that you can actually feel the swell of emotions rising up.
That swell is paralleled by the lyrics in this song where she likens her feeling to a geyser rumbling below her. So she portrays that feeling through the lyrics and then mirrors them in the build of this song. You will feel it in your gut.
- Mitski’s album, “Be the Cowboy” will be out on August 17.
- Listen if you like: Middle Kids, songs that build, real feeling