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5 Songs We Can't Stop Listening To with guests Sylvan Esso, Sonic Youth, Electric Guest, and more

5 Songs We Can't Stop Listening to is a collection of our newest favorite songs. And Every week we ask an artist that we love to tell us about the music they love.

Listen to the whole thing in the player below.

5 Songs We Can't Stop Listening To with guests Sylvan Esso, Sonic Youth, Electric Guest, and more

1. Sylvan Esso picks “Conceptual Romance” by Jenny Hval

We always kick off the countdown by asking one artist that we love to pick a song. Sylvan Esso is a band that met right here in Milwaukee WI, at the Cactus Club. They released their self-titled debut a couple years ago, and their new album, “What Now?” is out now.

I’ve talked to them a couple times and every time I talk to them it’s just so apparent how legitimately in-love they are and how well they know each other. So when we were at Eaux Claires recently I asked each of them what song the other one couldn’t stop listening to.


Justin Barney: What is one song that Nick can’t stop listening to?

Amelia Meath: “Conceptual Romance” you’ve been listening to a lot.

Nick Sanborn: Yes.

Justin Barney: By who?

Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn: Jenny Hval

Justin Barney: What do you like about it?

Nick Sanborn: It’s just…Have you listened to that album? Blood Bitch?

Justin Barney: Yeah!

Nick Sanborn: I think that record as a whole is one of the greatest pieces of conceptual album art that I have ever listened to.

Justin Barney: What’s the concept?

Nick Sanborn: She’s discussing contemporary womanhood…through the lens of vampires.

I mean, it’s a very out, beautiful about her being a woman.

There is a number of times where the whole pastiche collects together in these moments of genuinely focused pop, and this is one of them. The minute it starts it’s like you have just been waiting for it to congeal this entire time and it’s just absolutely gorgeous.


  • “Conceptual Romance” was released in 2016 on Jenny Hval’s album, “Blood Bitch.”
  • Listen if you like: Concept albums about contemporary womanhood, Jesse Lanza, Sylvan Esso

2. Sylvan Esso picks “Green Light” by Lorde

Justin Barney: What is a song that Amelia can’t stop listening to?

Nick Sanborn: That’s a good question…um…what song can’t you stop listening to?

Amelia Meath: There is one that you don’t know about yet.

Nick Sanborn: Really?? You think I don’t know about it…well, I would have guessed something by Kendrick Lamar, but now I’m curious. I feel like it was “DNA” for a while there.

Amelia Meath: It was “DNA” for a while there, but now it’s Lorde’s “Green Light.”

Nick Sanborn: That makes total sense to me!

Justin Barney: Why “Green Light?”

Amelia Meath: You know…

Justin Barney: Because it’s a banger?

Amelia Meath: Yeah because it does that thing where it feels like you’re melting and also solid at the same time when you’re hearing it.

Nick Sanborn: That is one that didn’t speak to me at first and has grown on me so gradually and so steadfastly and now I like love it.

Amelia Meath: She like actually sounds like that girl in Willy Wonka that’s like, “I waaaaant it”

I do too, Lorde.


  • “Green Light” is on Lorde’s new album, “Melodrama” which is out now.
  • Listen if you like: Sia, pop bangers, Sylvan Esso


3. Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo picks “Keep Your Name” by Dirty Projectors

Lee Ranaldo is a solo artist in his own right. You might know him as co-founding member of the band  Sonic Youth. He is going to have a new solo album out on September 15 th called “Electric Trim.” He has a new song called, “ New Thing.” My guest is Lee Ranaldo.   Justin Barney: Lee Ranaldo, what’s one song that you can’t stop listening to?   Lee Ranaldo: In the last couple months, I’ve been kind of enraptured by this album that just got put out recently by the band Dirty Projectors.   Justin Barney: Oh yeah!   Lee Ranaldo: I just really couldn’t stop listening to it both because I was fascinated by how they put it together in terms of the technique and also because I thought that David Longstreth’s singing was really great on the song and on the whole record.   Justin Barney: Was there one technique where you were like, “What is that?”   Lee Ranaldo: Well I guess it was the fact that they were slowing down the voice and building the melody around a slowed down voice, especially at the very beginning. It has a really interesting atmosphere to it. It’s very empty and it’s very evocative in a certain way and it just works so well. I really thought it was very striking.  

  • “Keep Your Name” was released this year on Dirty Projectors self-titled album.
  • Listen if you like: blips and bloops, interesting studio production, vocal distortion

4. Danny Brown picks “After Forever” by Black Sabbath

Every week we start off by asking one artist that we love to talk about a song that they love. At Eaux Claires last week me and my co-worker Makenzie Boettcher got to talk to Danny Brown.

Danny Brown, from Detroit Michigan, has this nasally, erratic delivery and the production on his songs defy and challenge genres. He is entertaining, thoughtful and original. I was so pleased that we got to sit in his dressing room and talk with Danny Brown.


Makenzie Boettcher: What’s a current song that you’ve been listening to? Or one song you can’t stop listening to?

Danny Brown: I’ve been listening to a lot of Black Sabbath lately.

Makenzie Boettcher: Really?

Danny Brown: Yeah. Just discovered it. You know, going back and studying, that’s my thing. I love going back and just get into stuff that I haven’t gotten into. And Black Sabbath been my new thing lately.

Justin Barney: What do you like about Black Sabbath?

Danny Brown: I mean, I’ve always been into rock music. My favorite band is System of a Down. Like I can see where they got influenced from them. Like with the transitions and stuff like that.

I love Korn too. Well, Korn up to “Issues,” you know?

So those two are my go-to bands.


  • “After Forever” was released in 1971 on Black Sabbath’s album, “Master of Reality.”
  • Listen if you like: System of a Down, Korn, Danny Brown

5. Slaughter Beach, Dog – “Building the Ark”

I love having bands that are like, my band. You know what I’m saying?

You feel like no one else in the world knows about this band but you and maybe a small group of loners and weirdos that are like you.

Slaughter Beach, Dog is one of those bands for me. Their music is specific and has feeling, but their lead singer delivers it so plain and monotone.

Others might hear it and say it’s too slow or boring, or that he can’t sing. And that’s fine with me because I love it.

This song won’t be everyone’s favorite song, but it’s mine. And maybe it will be yours too.


  • “Building the Ark” will be released on Slaughter Beach, Dog’s new EP, “Motorcycle.Jpg”
  • Listen if you like: Modern Baseball, low key deliveries, great songwriting

5. Electric Guest picks “Lying Has To Stop” by Soft Hair

This is 5 Songs We Can’t Stop Listening To. Every week we kick it off by asking one artist that we love to talk to us about a song that they love. Electric Guest is a band out of LA. They’ve only got 2 albums out but we’ve played songs from both and we love both of them. They are on tour with Portugal. The Man right now. Their new album is Plural. I’m here with Asa Taccone, lead singer of Electric Guest.


Justin Barney: Asa, what is one song that you can’t stop listening to?

Asa Taccone: Terrible question. It’s crazy how difficult that is.

Justin Barney: Dude, I know, I know. You can take your time.

Asa Taccone: Can I look at my phone?

Justin Barney: Yeah, I’d like to see what’s last played on your Spotify.

Asa Taccone: Oh, you know what? A group called Soft Hair – “Lying Has to Stop”

Justin Barney: What does it sound like?

Asa Taccone: I mean, it’s kind of his take on 70s soul, drippy funk stuff, but it’s done in really good taste.

Justin Barney: What’s the part of the song that really gets you?

Asa Taccone: We were just in the car yesterday and we were listening to all of these classic songs and how difficult it is to just get a groove that just is compelling…people are like, “Oh you just play the drums”…it’s extremely difficult even to get 3 people in there killing bass, drums and a shaker part and just, it’s super groovy. I think he does it well.

Justin Barney: Totally. Sometimes I’m thinking, like, you know songwriters – you just write songs and you know, there’s so many songs. Once you get into the craft of making a song it’s like, dude, it is hard.

Asa Taccone: Oh yeah. Like, literally 99% of my stuff is terrible and the world will never hear it. You pick the 10 best songs from the 45 that you wrote and they were mostly subpar. It’s a trip.

Justin Barney: And so this is in that, like, 0.1% that makes it?

Asa Taccone: It’s a solid song. It’s the last thing on my Spotify. It’s the last thing I was “feeling”.


  • “Lying Has To Stop” was released in 2016 off Soft Hair’s self-titled debut.
  • Listen if you like: Tame Impala, Electric Guest, groovy grooves

5. Girlpool – “123”

Girlpool’s music is like an inner voice externalized. Part lullaby and part anthem, “123” bass line humms you off into a dream as its guitar twinkles over your head and the drums, a new addition for Girlpool, crash in and throughout giving a heartbeat to a song that already has so much heart already.

Girlpool reaches perfection in “123”


  • Girlpool’s new album, “Powerplant” will be out on May 12th.
  • Listen if you like: Frankie Cosmos, Alvvays, the song “Only In Dreams” by Weezer

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