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5 Songs We Can't Stop Listening To with Benjamin Booker

Trying to keep up with the mountains and mountains of music that is released every week is tough. It’s our full time job, and still, it’s a lot to keep up with. But we do it, for you. (And because we love it, who are we kidding?) So we’ve taken all the hundreds of songs that we listened to, cut the fat, and put the best five right here.

Hear all 5 Songs We Can't Stop Listening To:


1. Eskimeaux – “Broken Necks”

When you’re going through a hard time, it’s tough to figure out what’s going on and even more difficult to keep in mind what’s really important. This song is such a perfect reflection of that. It starts by saying that something’s wrong. Then more and more voices come in, as if echoing in her head. Layers and layers of sound enter, driving everything yet adding confusion and drowning her out as she repeats the problem over and over, her message becoming more diluted with every refrain. Finally, she gets to the end and there is a total moment of clarity. The music cuts out, and she realizes, “Nothing in the world is holier than friendship.” But at that point, it’s too late. The song’s over.

  • Eskimeaux’s debut album, O.K. will be out on May 12.
  • Listen if you like: dreamy vocals, vulnerability, friendship.


2. Benjamin Booker picks S.E. Rogie – “Do Me Justice”

Every week we have a guest artist come on and pick one of the 5 Songs of the week and tell us why they love it. This week, we have Benjamin Booker. Booker stopped by our studio recently to perform in our space and in between songs we talked aboutbeing rejected as an NPR intern, having a parent as a judge and turning punk, and people puking at Swans concerts. He also told me about S.E. Rogie, the prototype for Vampire Weekend. Listen to him talk about the song in the mixcloud link above.

  • S.E. Rogi’s, Palm Wine Guitar Music,  was recorded from 1960-1969, and released as a compilation in 1988.
  • Listen if you like: Vampire Weekend, palm wine guitar music, happiness.


3. The Yetis – “Mysterion”

There is this thing I like to call the girl on the bus effect. There is a girl.  She’s on the bus. She’s mildly attractive. She’s mysterious. And I’m interested. What is she doing? Who is she? Does she like all the same things as me? Would we get along? We make eye contact. I’m in love. But what I’m really in love with is the mystery. That’s what’s really attractive. Because, when you don’t the answer to those questions, you get to make up the answers. And of course, there a perfect match. She likes all the same weird artsy fartsy movies that I like, she holds a great conversation, and our cats get along. And that’s the fun of it. Usually those questions don’t get answered, and that’s okay, because I can live in my fantasy world. This song is about what happens when those questions start getting real answers.

  • Listen if you like: Burger Records, lo-fi, surf rock.


4. Sufjan Stevens – “Death With Dignity”

There is power in Sufjan Stevens’ whisper. It’s courageous. Most singers will grab that microphone and turn it up to 11, insisting that you hear everything that they say. But Sufjan Stevens does the opposite. He turns the volume down, and asks you to listen. He inverts the power dynamic. And once you’re in, once you’ve agreed to listen, you are in his safe space. Alone with Sufjan Stevens and his song.

  • Sufjan Stevens’ new album, Carrie & Lowell is out now, and it’s wonderful.
  • Listen if you like: old Sufjan, Elliott Smith, Nick Drake.


5. Young Fathers – “Shame”

I feel like this song is running. I don’t know if it’s running to something or away from it. But, it’s on a path. And all these things are coming in, from the left and from the right, these monsters in the night, clawing at it as it keeps going. There is this moment where it gets to this point. It reaches the precious, and it stands up, and leans over with its eyes closed, and yells off the cliff screaming into the wind. A moment of absolute fearlessness, daring that unknown to lean back. And then it turns around and starts running back. It found whatever it was looking for, or got away from whatever it was running from.

  • Young Fathers’ new album, White Men Are Black Men Too, will be out on April 7.
  • Listen if you like: TV On The Radio, Raury, weird percussive elements, screaming off cliffs.