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5 Songs We Can't Stop Listening To with guest Aldous Harding

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.

5 Songs We Can't Stop Listening To with guest Aldous Harding


1. Aldous Harding picks "Holiday" by Bee Gees

Aldous Harding recently released her new album "Designer." I like Aldous Harding's music because there is a slight, off-kilter weirdness to each song. We've been playing her song "The Barrel." My guest today is Aldous Harding.

Justin Barney: What is one song you can't stop listening to?

Aldous Harding: Probably, “Holiday” by the Bee Gees. Do you know that song?

Justin Barney: I do not, but tell me why.

Aldous Harding: Alright, I’ll tell you why. I love the way it starts. It goes very quickly from a major feeling to a minor and it has this organ. You think you’re going somewhere and then the chord changes. And then he says, “Ooh, you’re a holiday.” Over and over again and then there’s this break where the music stops and they all just sing, “De dee de de dee de.” It’s kind of spooky, I like it. So it’s that song and another song called “Right Down the Line” by Gerry Rafferty.

Justin Barney: Oh I know that one. For the Bee Gees, I never really imagined them as being spooky as you described.

Aldous Harding: Really? I think Barry Gibb is the scariest man on the planet earth


Justin Barney: 

Why is that?

Aldous Harding: One of the funniest things I’ve ever seen is him at a Bee Gees tribute concert. Watching all of these artists get through his songs. I don’t know it’s his voice, it’s his honor, it’s his teeth, it’s all of it, but I love the Bee Gees.

Justin Barney: What was he doing at the concert that struck you?

Aldous Harding: I may have read it wrong, but I don’t want to be told otherwise. He just looked like he wanted to perform, but was being made to sit and watch. I have a feeling that he’s a bit of a perfectionist, and I perceived a workaholic’s rage behind his glasses. I could feel his glutes tense as we arrived in a different section, and I could see him kind of going, “Now push it. Let it go and blow it all away.” Though maybe he was really enjoying it. I don’t know there’s something about that song, and I like the lyrics as well.


2. Mike Doughty picks “This Could Be Us” by Rae Sremmurd

Our guest today is Mike Doughty. Mike Doughty was the lead singer of the band Soul Coughing. He has also had a very long and storied solo career. In addition to being a musician he has written a book; a memoir called “The Book of Drugs.” He has also written a play for the stage based on the book of revelation called “Revelation.” He’s a true renaissance man. My guest today is Mike Doughty.

Justin Barney: Mike, what is… What’s the last song that you couldn’t stop listening to?

Mike Doughty: Oh, I think it was um… “This Could Be Us” by Rae Sremmurd. I love that song.

Justin Barney: Wow, I love that pick!

Mike Doughty: Yeah, yeah it’s a great song. That particular chord progression, “bum Bum BUM BUMP” is just one of the classic chord progressions and one that like, you use sparingly in your career. And like, Portishead uses it and Ray Charles uses it and… You know, it’s just this very sort of basic popular unit. It’s such a beautiful song and so dark. And you know, I kind of like this self lacerating vibe. The "you don’t really love me" vibe. Especially for rappers like, being vulnerable and being like really kind of very self-destructively vulnerable. Which, is like a thing now. I just think there are some very beautiful emotions coming out of that.

Justin Barney: Perfect, what is the name of the song and the artist?

Mike Doughty: “This Could Be Us” by Rae Sremmurd. R… a… e, space, s, r… It’s ear drummers spelled backward.

Justin Barney: Thank you for that.

3. Weyes Blood picks “Midsummer Nights” by Barry Gibb

My guest today is Weyes Blood. Weyes Blood is Natalie Mering. She just released her new album “Titanic Rising.” And I am obsessed with it. It has this big, amazing sound. She is a great songwriter. Each song is like a play in itself. It is an absolute marvel of an album. This was part of a larger conversation. My guest today is Natalie Mering.

Natalie Mering: There is this one Barry Gibb demo called “Midsummer Nights.” Speaking of songs I cannot stop listening to, that was a very serious can’t stop listening to that song.

Justin Barney: Why were you obsessed with that song?

Natalie Mering: It’s got a super good feel. It’s got the country, it’s got the pop, it’s got the crazy Bee Gee’s chord changes, and really incredible lyrics. It’s one of those big ones.

Barry Gibb wrote “Islands In The Stream.” Which was a really big song. It was right around that time that he also wrote “Midsummer Nights,” but “Midsummer Nights” wasn’t covered by a really big artist and turned into a big hit. But it has that same kind of quality to it which is larger-than-life monument to love in the ’80s or something.

Justin Barney: What is it about?

Natalie Mering: It’s about how this guy loves his midsummer nights, naked with his girlfriend, just hanging out.

Justin Barney: Sounds great.

Natalie Mering: Yeah. My favorite lyric in it is, “You gotta learn to be lonely to find what you’re livin’ for.”

Justin Barney: That’s a great line!

Natalie Mering: It is. We need to experience the rough times to really appreciate the joyful times and vice-versa.

Listen to our full conversation here.

4. Valerie June picks “I’m Going Through” by Six Voices

My guest today is Valerie June. Valerie June was born in Jacksonville, Tenn., listening to blues and soul music. In 2013, she released the album “Pushin’ Against a Stone” and in 2017 the album “The Order of Time.” She’s got a new song out called “Love Told A Lie.”

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

Valerie June:  So the last song I couldn’t stop listening to was a gospel song and it’s called, “I’m Going Through.” And it’s on this collection of songs from “The Pitch/Gusman.” I just love the voices in it and the physical. You can almost feel like, you’re in the room it’s a very visceral type of song. You just feel it all over. And so I listen to it on repeat. You know, generally I listen to songs on repeat I’ll find one song and listen to it for like, six months

. I’ll be wearing that song out. So now I’m working on different layers and textures of songs. So I’ve been listening to a lot of my own new songs again and again. So by the time a song comes out on a record people will be listening to it, but I’m not listening to that anymore, because I’m listening to my next new song.

Justin Barney: Right.

Valerie June: So, that’s why this was a hard thing to answer, because I didn’t want to be like, “My new stuff! Just listen to only my stuff!” Because I heard Neil Young only listens to Neil Young songs


Justin Barney: I did not know that.

Valerie June: He’s probably always working on ’em. You know how brilliant he is.

Justin Barney: That’s true.

Valerie June: Shoot, I love Neil Young.   

Justin Barney: Me too.

5. Mac DeMarco picks “Heart’s Desire” by Don Blackman

Justin Barney: Our guest today is Mac DeMarco. Mac DeMarco I’d say is one of the most influential musicians making music today. He had just released his new album “Here Comes The Cowboy” last week. And he will be coming to Milwaukee on Oct. 1 playing the Riverside Theater. My guest today is Mac DeMarco.

Justin Barney: The question that has been really fun for me to ask has been what song is on pause for you on your phone right now?

Mac DeMarco: Ohh, what song is on pause for me right now? I’m going to look up my YouTube app and see what I have.

Justin Barney: Do you listen to things on YouTube? Is that your streaming service?

Mac DeMarco: Yeah, I only use YouTube pretty much. I don’t have any other streaming apps or anything like that. Aha, OK, I see. Ever heard of an artist called Don Blackman?

Justin Barney: No.

Mac DeMarco: Yeah, the song is called “Heart’s Desire.” That’s the thing that popped up on my YouTube. Nasty track.

Justin Barney: Who is Don Blackman?

Mac DeMarco: Don, I mean I don’t know too much about him. I really love… there is this one record, I think it’s a self-titled record. I could be wrong, but it’s the big picture of him on the front. Got beads in his hair, he’s looking good. Blue background behind him.

Justin Barney: What era are we talking?

Mac DeMarco: This is probably early '70s I think, or maybe mid-'70s something like that. But he is a wild, wild piano player. Don is kind of like, see I don’t know enough about him to really say he’s a pioneer of this or that, but I do know he was a crazy piano player. The arrangements, the production on this record are nuts. The players are like so so so good! It’s really funky. It’s really… yeah it’s insane. I think I keep coming back to it because it’s just like, well, it’s a really high bar to set. Like every element of this music including the song writing and the feel of it and everything,  you know, very next level. You know? It’s a treat for your ears, that’s all I’m trying to say.

Justin Barney: Sure! It is like funky and upbeat?

Mac DeMarco: Oh yeah, oh yeah.

Justin Barney: Yeah.

Mac DeMarco: It’s almost Prince-y at times. It’s kind of Funkadelic-y at times or even Sly Stone kind of vibe but it’s high tech sounding for its time. I mean even for today it's high tech sounding. But there’s thing he uses kind of like you see I’m going to step over myself saying this too.

Justin Barney: Go ahead.

Mac DeMarco: The dissonance, or the harmony he decides to use, it’s almost like disharmony, I don’t know if that’s the word. There’s lot of moments. The song I’m talking about is “Heart’s Desire” and on the record throughout there are a lot of moments. He feels like... you know there’s this one song in particular I don’t remember what it’s called but the beat and groove it kind of feels like you are on a school bus or a city bus. It’s very uplifting like, “Hey sunshine, I’m on the bus” and then the vocals come in and they are like all the way in this other place that you didn’t know he was going to take it. And then all of the sudden you kind of feel like you’re riding this school bus with a bunch of demons or something. You know what I mean?

Justin Barney: That sounds rad!

Mac DeMarco: Yeah, it’s really a good record.