5 Songs We Can't Stop Listening To with Unknown Mortal Orchestra
1. Unknown Mortal Orchestra picks “Some Sunsick Day” by Morgan Delt
Every week we ask one artist that we love to tell us about one song that they love. We are here with Ruban Nielson, of Unknown Mortal Orchestra.
Justin Barney: Ruban, what is one song you can’t stop listening to?
Ruban Nielson: There is this song by a band called Morgan Delt. The song is called “Some Sunsick Day.” It has this keyboard hook in it that just like, it just gets stuck in your head. It’s one of those things that gets stuck in your head that is really welcome. It can kind of get you through a day with this thing looping in your head.
*hook plays* *laughter*
Ruban: That goes through the whole song. And the song is really awesome, but it’s this one particular thing.
Justin: What do you like about the hook?
Ruban: What do I like about it? It makes me feel happy and good.
The song itself is cool, but its just this one hook is so crazy that it overshadows everything, but that’s fine.
- “Some Sunsick Day” was released on Morgan Delt’s album “Phase Zero” which is out now via Sub Pop.
- Listen if you like: Unknown Mortal Orchestra, hooks that won’t quit, welcomed earworms
2. Gringo Star – “Get Closer”
Every person has a wall. An emotional wall. Some are very high, some are low. I don’t think that you can be in a relationship with someone without getting over and living within that wall.
And that is what this song is about. Lead singer says “You look nice, but you’re cold as ice.” The rest of the song he is chipping away at that ice, scaling that wall. It’s a plea for this person that he is singing to to lower that wall and let him in.
- Gringo Star’s new album, “The Sides and in Between” is out now via Nevado.
- Listen if you like: sun soaked guitars, Burger Records, garage rock
3. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds - “Jesus Alone”
Nick Cave’s music has always been defined by how great of a writer he is. He’s a storyteller. He writes stories and they’re dark, and they’re beautiful, oftentimes there is a touch of loneliness and sadness.
Last year Nick Cave’s 15 year old son fell off a cliff to his death. And Nick Cave, who has written about tragic characters in his songs has been met with true tragedy himself. One can’t even imagine.
This is the first thing that he has written since that incident.
It’s a dirge. It’s dark. It’s Nick Cave reaching out in the only way he can, with his voice.
- Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds new album, “Skeleton Tree” will be released on September 9th via Bad Seed Ltd. It will coincide with a film, “One More Time with Feeling” that will screen at The Oriental on September 8th.
- Listen if you like: poetry, tragedy, grief
3. Adia Victoria picks “Dollars and Cents” by Radiohead
This week we have TWO of our favorite artists telling us about music they love. Here we ask Adia Victoria.
Justin Barney: Adia Victoria, what is one song you can’t stop listening to?
Adia Vicoria: I am a huge Radiohead fan and I’ve gone back and listened to “Amnesiac” and the one song I really can’t stop listening to is “Dollars and Cents.”
Justin Barney: Why that song?
Adia Victoria: I think just getting into the music industry. Monetizing your art can have really harrowing effects on the artist. Unless it’s just your thing. But I feel like it’s a really cautionary tale by Thom Yorke about “Hey man! This stuff is real!” So he’s like my big brother.
Justin Barney: What are some difficulties you’ve had with that?
Adia Victoria: I mean, as a woman people think they can take the liberty of telling you like, “Hey you should look this way. You should wear this or wear that. And I had some issues with a certain person on my team, who is no longer on my team, who thought that they had the right to tell me what to wear on stage. And I was like, “We now have a huge problem between us.” So I think for me any time someone comes and tells me how to appeal to more people I’m just like, “Ya gotta get out of here. You gotta go.”
Justin Barney: Yeah, because we want you. I feel like that never works when someone else comes in and tells you what works, because we want you as an artist and that’s what is going to come through.
Adia Victoria: Right, well you give up so much control when you allow people to start playing those games with you because your sense of value and worth is predicated upon other people approving of you. So that’s a very dangerous game for me personally and I can’t do it. I will refuse. If it comes down to that I will just go back to my regular life in Nashville and “This was fun, okay bye.”
- “Dollars and Cents” was released in 2001 on the album, “Amnesiac.”
- Listen if you like: not-selling out, staying true, Adia Victoria
4. Mild High Club – “Homage”
Justin Barney: This is 5 songs we can’t stop listening to and I’m here with my boss and our Program Director, Jordan Lee.
Jordan there is a song that we were just bumping to. We both love this song. The song is Mild High Club doing “Homage.” What do you love about this song, J?
Jordan Lee: The first thing that I love about it is that I had never heard of them until our music meeting on Monday.
And this album sound like we stole it from your dad’s record collection and it had maybe some tie-dye cover art that was real trippy.
Justin: Yeah, every time I hear it I’m like This is Tame Impala meets Mac Demarco, and I love everything about it.
Jordan Lee: In 1974!
Justin: *laughs* Yeah! Super spacy, super fun. Just having a good time.
Jordan: And the effortless drum fills in a true Ringo drumming style? Love it
Justin: Love it.
- Mild High Club’s new album, “Skiptracing” is out now via Stones Throw Records.
- Listen if you like: Tame Impala, Mac Demarco, Ringo drum fills
4. LVL Up – “Pain”
What is the guitar solo in 2016? I think that guitar solos can be cheesy and self-gratifying. I’ve never really been into them, until recently. I’ve found myself loving them. I think it’s because guitars are no longer ubiquitous and guitar solos aren’t the end-all-be-all in music. Nor are they shows of technical perfection. Pay attention to the guitar solos in this song. They are super loose and kind of lazy. It’s a comma, not an exclamation point. They are there to remind you that they are fun and they add to the understanding of the message of the song.
- LVL UP’s new album, “Return to Love” will be out on September 23rd.
- Listen if you like: great guitar solos, classic indie stuff, fuzzy guitars and distortion
5. Moses Sumney - “Worth It”
There is an auto-tune conspiracy. There is this idea that everyone is using auto-tune and it’s ruining music. I’ve heard music fans say that artists should be banned from using auto-tune because auto-tune it’s not “pure” or “real.” But the thing is auto-tune is a technique. If you are against using auto-tune on a voice, you must also be against electric guitar or using a distortion pedal. It’s the same thing. I know the human voice is a sacred thing, but you can have a beautiful voice and use auto-tune. Just listen to this song by Moses Somney. The song is almost nothing but his voice and the beautiful effect of auto-tune.
- Listen if you like: auto-tune, a very simple song, powerful vocals
5. Jonwayne – “Wonka”
Justin Barney: I’m here with our intern Eddie, AKA Fast Eddie. Eddie you have been haranguing me about playing one artist and a song in particular. Could you tell me what is the song and artist you can’t stop listening to?
Eddie: First of all the artist is Jonwayne. And the song that I really want to listen to is “Wonka”
Justin Barney: Why Wonka?
Eddie: So basically the little history is that Jonwayne was allegedly retired. He put out an album saying that Jonwayne is retired so he hadn’t talked to anyone in like two years, and then all of a sudden he comes out of nowhere at the beginning of the summer with “Wonka” which is the single. And “Wonka” is basically an ode to the new Jonwayne, and kind of a scathing review of everyone who doubted him. It’s like a diss-track but in like a really powerful way.
Justin Barney: Like an affirmative diss-track?
Eddie: It’s an affirmative diss-track, but in his own manner. He did an interview right before he dipped out on the public and he was like, “I hate rap. I hate hip-hop. I’m not rap. I’m not hip-hop. I’m my own person. I’m a musician and I don’t care about what you want to say about me. I’m here doing this self-gratifying level of music, and if you’re gonna disrespect me for being a hip-hop artist I don’t care because I’m not a hip-hop artist. I’m a musician.”
And I love that.
- Jonwayne’s single “Wonka” is out now.
- Listen if you like: MF DOOM, dogma rap, affirmative diss-tracks