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5 Songs We Can't Stop Listening with Alvvays

Every week, a stunning amount of amazing releases come out. A STUNNING AMOUNT. There is no way that anyone could keep track of all of them. But we do our best to reach to the furthest depths, to listen to the songs that are barely getting any attention, ones that are getting the most attention, and everything in between, so that we can give you the 5 Songs We Can’t Stop Listening To.

Hear all 5 Songs We Can't Stop Listening To:
Maritime - "Milwaukee" - 0:00
The Sonics - "You Can't Judge A Book By The Cover" - 5:45
Alvvays picks The Magnetic Fields - "Strange Powers" - 9:55
Towkio feat. Chance the Rapper, Lido, Eryn Allen Kane - "Heaven Only Knows" - 13:44
Sick Sad World - "Skateboarding Girl" - 17:53

1. Maritime – “Milwaukee”

Milwaukee actually had a theme song. It was written by a guy named Frank Gari in 1977 for channel 12. He said it’s a love song to Milwaukee. I’m actually going to play it right here.

That song is great, and I love it. But, I mostly love it because it’s so corny and over the top. It doesn’t feel real. But this song about Milwaukee does. It’s so sincere. You can tell, in his voice that he really loves this city. So do I. And I know you do too. So let’s make this the new song of our city. Our new anthem.

  • Listen if you like: Milwaukee.


2. The Sonics – “You Can’t Judge A Book By The Cover”

I was first introduced to The Sonics by LCD Soundsystem. I had written down every band that James Murphy mentions in “Losing My Edge” and I was systematically making my way through the list. And I fell in love with the Sonics. I bought Introducing The Sonics. And I would sit on my porch in Madison, turn the speakers in my room out toward the street and listen to it all day long. I still play that album every time I have a DJ gig. I thought that was it for the Sonics. One album in 1965, one in ’66, and one in ’67. But then, This Is The Sonics landed on my desk last week. Honestly, I almost threw it in the trash. I was thinking, “Oh man, this kind of thing never works out.” But then I gave it a shot, and it rocks. These guys have not missed a beat, and I even think they got faster. They are rocking twice as hard as they did in their 20’s and Gerry Roslie turned 70 last year. So now, it’s my chance to introduce The Sonics.

  • Listen if you like: rock ‘n’ roll, blues, Third Man Records stuff.


3. Alvvays picks The Magnetic Fields – “Strange Powers”

Every week I invite a guest to pick one song for the week. Two weeks ago, Molly Rankin, lead singer of Alvvays, talked about Todd Terje. In that conversation she also talked about someone else. I asked her if there was a songwriter she really loved. Without hesitation she said, “Stephin Merritt” of the Magnetic Fields. “He’s just so pathetic” he noted.  She admired the way that Merritt does not claim to be the victim of love and that he can laugh at his own loneliness. At the end of her description she sang the first two lines of “Strange Powers.” Listen to it in the Mixcloud link at the top of the article.

  • Listen if you like: a dry, unaffected delivery, pathetic songwriters, Alvvays’ songwriting.


4. Towkio feat. Chance the Rapper, Lido, Eryn Allen Kane – “Heaven Only Knows”

Chance the Rapper seems to take over every song that he does a guest verse on. It becomes his song, weather that is the intention or not.  He is a force. And in this song he creates that force through perpetual forward motion. He starts fast, but then he works himself into a frenzy. Gaining momentum, faster and faster, filling the space with as many syllables as he can, daring himself to move faster, like a jet on the runway, and then, whoooosh, it takes off.

  • Listen if you like: SAVEMONEY crew, so much joyous energy, Chance the Rapper & the Social Experiment.


5. Sick Sad World – “Skateboarding Girl”

A lot of songs think they will be successful by taking things as far as they can go. Being “edgy” is always in. Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘N’ Roll, am I right? But those old tropes have never really appealed to me. I’ve always found just the opposite more attractive. Total innocence.

And this song is just that. It’s sweet and it’s innocent. It’s about a boy and a girl, skateboarding to the store together for the very first time.

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