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. Mitski picks “Just What I Needed” by The Cars
My guest today is Mitski. Mitski is one of my favorite artists right now. I am just so connected and in love with her music. She released her first album, “Bury Me At Make out Creek” a couple years ago and then followed it up with Puberty Two. On August 17, she’s going to release her third album, “Be the Cowboy.” And she just released the first single “Nobody.” I am so excited, my guest today is Mitski.
Justin Barney: Mitski, what is one song right now that you can’t stop listening to?
Mitski: Um.. Oh my God I can’t believe I’m- I’m gonna regret saying this but, this is just the first song that came to mind. The Cars- “Just What I Needed.”
Justin Barney: Yes, and why that song?
Mitski: I think it’s just a perfect pop song, its checks all the—as a, as a songwriter myself, I listen to it often thinking oh my gosh this just checks all the little check boxes, you know? And my favorite f*ckin’ lyric- oh my God I’m sorry you can edit that out right?
Justin Barney: Yes
Mitski: Oh my god thank god. So my favorite lyric in that song and in general is “I don’t care about where you’ve been as long as it was deep.” And that was just like such a good lyric. And I’m sure what’s-his-face the writer wasn’t thinking too deeply about it. He was just like “what ends with –eep? Oh…deep.” But, I think that’s just such a good line.
Justin Barney: That is. Alright, so what is the name of the songs and the name of the artist?
Mitski: The name of the song is – I believe it’s called “Just What I Needed,” or that’s how the chorus goes?
Justin Barney: That’s what we all know.
Mitski: And that’s by The Cars.
- “Just What I Needed” was released in 1978 on The Cars’ eponymous debut album.
- Listen if you like: Mitski, classics, those drums
2. “A Perfect Miracle” by Spiritualized
Spiritualized is a band that has been around since the 90’s. Lead singer Jason Pierce was in Spancemen 3 and then they broke up. The Spriritualized album, “Ladies and Gentlemen, We’re Floating in Space” is kind of like an indie cult classic.
Spiritualized is going to release a new album, “And Nothing Hurt” and they’ve just released two songs off of that album, so I’m choosing the song, “A Perfect Miracle.”
“A Perfect Miracle” kind of embodies the thing that Spiritualized does super well in that when you hear this song there is this ukulele that is kind of at the center of it, and I know some roll their eyes at the idea of a ukulele, but it’s there, it’s simple, it’s kind of the heart of the song. And then, Jason Pierce builds all of these elements around, and there is everything. So it starts off with this little tiny kernel of a song, the song’s heart, and around that is built this swirling universe of instruments, and feelings, and sounds, that all culminate in the song, “A Perfect Miracle” by Spiritualized.
- “A Perfect Miracle” will appear on Spiritualized’s new album, “And Nothing Hurt” due out on September 7.
- Listen if you like: songs with everything in them, sweet songs, orchestras
3. Jeff Ament of Pearl Jam picks “Walk the Walk” by Gaz Coombes
Our guest today is Jeff Ament, bassist and founding member of Pearl Jam. Pearl Jam needs no introduction: from Seattle Washington, in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, one of the greatest rock bands of all time. And bassist and founding member Jeff Ament has a new solo album out called “Heaven/Hell.”
Justin Barney: What’s one song right now that you have been listening to a lot, maybe obsessing over?
Jeff Ament: Well, you know, one record that I downloaded about three weeks ago is the new Gaz Combes record. He was the singer in a band called Supergrass.
Justin Barney: Okay
Jeff Ament: But his new record, there is a song called “Walk the Walk” that I think is one of the singles off the record. And it is sort of in the same – I mean, he would probably hate that I am comparing it to, like, a U2 song, but it is in sort of the same sonic space as a newer U2 song, or like, a Radiohead song, kind of a mid-career Radiohead song. There are real pop elements but there’s weirdness. He’s a really amazing singer. That record is a little less punk than the Supergrass records. So, I can’t take it out of my car right now. And that only happens to me two or three times a year, a record you just get stuck on.
- “Walk the Walk” was released this year on Gaz Coombes album, “World’s Strongest Man.”
- Listen if you like: U2, The Beatles, Supergrass
4. “Midnight City” by M83
Justin Barney: I’m here with our summer intern, Dani. How are you doing Dani?
Dani D’Alessio: I’m swell. How are you?
Justin Barney: I’m good.
Dani D’Alessio: Good.
Justin Barney: What’s one song you can’t stop listening to?
Dani D’Alessio: Midnight City by M83.
Justin Barney: A song that I love and that we play all the time and that is wonderful. What do you like about this song?
Dani D’Alessio: I just like the dreamy vibe that it has. It just gives me this energy that – I don’t know how to describe it. I kind of feel inspired when I’m listening to the song. It’s definitely a song to listen to in the car.
Justin Barney: Why is that?
Dani D’Alessio: I don’t know. It’s all about the city and the lights. And I also read that Anthony was inspired when he was driving through the city in LA when he was writing the song.
Justin Barney: Oh, okay.
Dani D’Alessio: And that kind of connects with me because I have a lot of family living in LA, and so I find myself kind of like thinking about that.
Justin Barney: Have you listened to it driving through LA?
Dani D’Alessio: No, I have never driven through LA. But when I move there, then I will.
- “Midnight City” was released in 2011 on M83’s album, “Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming.”
- Listen if you like: classic indie tunes, cinematic songs, songs to listen to while driving
5. “You’ve Got A Friend In Me” by Rex Orange County and Randy Newman
This is the song “You’ve Got A Friend in Me,” and it has Rex Orange County, so it’s kind of a cover, but it also has the original composer and musician, Randy Newman, on it.
I unapologetically love Randy Newman. I think Randy Newman is a genius, one of the best songwriters of our time. And he does not get his due, so I’ve gotta give it to him here. It also features Rex Orange County, who I just think is this rising star. We’ve just heard a couple songs from him, and this guy’s got staying power.
Then they come together on “You’ve Got a Friend in Me”, which works really well as a duet. In the movie it was Woody singing this to Andy, but if you think about it as them singing it to each other, kind of as Randy Newman and Rex Orange County singing this song, it adds a level that is a little deeper and even a little more touching.
I’ve been smiling my face off the whole time listening to this, so just let yourself enjoy it.
- It appears as though this is a one off single from the two, sadly no collab album in the works.
- Listen if you like: Toy Story, friendship, duets