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.
1. Grizzly Bear picks “Она ушла” by Aleksandr Gum
Every week we start by asking one artist that we love to tell us about a song that they love.
The band Grizzly Bear is one of the biggest names in indie rock. They formed in the early 2000’s, formed beloved such as “Yellow House,” “Shields,” and their most recent, “Painted Ruins.” It is my honor to have Chris Taylor of the band Grizzly Bear here.
Justin Barney : Chris what’s one song you can’t stop listening to?
Chris Taylor : Oh man, it’s a pretty out there one. There’s a couple that I’m really excited about. I’m going to throw out something really weird.
Justin Barney : DO IT those are my favorites.
Chris Taylor : Yeah, you’re going to have to look it up but it’s a Russian pop star and his name is Aleksandr Gum and the song is called oh man I can’t pronounce Russian but it’s ohayw… I mean you can find it on iTunes.
Justin Barney : How did you find this?
Chris Taylor: I don’t know it gets good it really gets my spirits up these days when I’m feeling like I need a little excitement.
Justin Barney : What does it sound like? I can’t even imagine.
Chris Taylor : It’s almost kind of got a reggae feel and this guy’s voice is just wild sounding and it’s … I don’t know.
I really don’t know what he’s singing about, I heard it actually in a cab ride in Berlin and the way to the airport like at 4 am. The cab driver was just blasting it and I was like, “Man, I am down with this song.”
Chris Taylor : It’s just the sort of bravado of this guy’s vibe. It’s just so proud.
- “Она ушла” was released in 2015 on Aleksandr Gum’s album of the same name.
- Listen if you like: Gogol Bordello, pride, Russian music
- LISTEN TO THE FULL INTERVIEW HERE
2. Big Thief – “Mary”
In my line I don’t have lot of room to look back at music. This is an album that came out three months ago. Songs that have been around for half a year, But this peculiar thing has been happening with this album, it keeps popping back to the surface.
Three bands have picked songs off this album as selections for songs that they cant stop listening to, for this segment. This Shins, Hippo Campus, and Deer Tick. No other album this year has even had a double yet.
This is an album with staying power. It has eternal beauty. When our kids, or our kids kids dust this album off our shelves in twenty years and spin it they are going to hear something that sounds beautiful and new. Big Thief has picked up on a timeless essence.
A song of friendship. One that’s as timeless as the song. I could imagine this being sung in ancient Greece, on an American plain in the turn of the century, or at some time far off into the future.
This song makes me want to memorize all the words so I can sing them out loud with her and feel the weight of the song.
- “Mary” is on Big Thief’s 2017 album, “Capacity.”
- Listen if you like: Leonard Cohen, timeless songs, the most beautiful song of 2017
3. The Weeks pick “The Ballad of Curtis Loew” by Lynyrd Skynyrd
The Weeks are a band that is headlining Rock the Burbs, a concert benefiting the MACC Fund this Saturday at the Sharon Lynn Wilson Center in Brookfield. You’ve heard their songs “Talk Like That” and “Buttons” on 88Nine, I’m here with Cyle Barnes, lead singer of The Weeks.
Justin Barney: What’s the first style of music that really took you?
Cyle Barnes: Um, as far as what made me and my brother, who plays drums, really latch onto music in any sort of way was that we lived with our aunt and our uncle.
We are from Mississippi originally so we would go hunting with our uncle and would leave super early in the morning, before the sun came up. He’d be driving and he’d put on Skynyrd or the Allman Brothers. Our uncle was very sweet, but he wasn’t a very talkative guy, but if you put on like Curtis Loew or something like that he would be like, “You gotta listen to these lyrics.” Or “Listen to this guitar part here.” And he would hum along.
It was one of the things where it was like, “Man, I can clearly tell that you’re into this.”
And he woke us up really really late one night because “The Last Waltz” was on TV. And he was like, “Come out here and see this.” Me and my brother were excited because we were up past our bed time but I also thought it was amazing.
Justin Barney: That is so awesome. I remember listening to that song cutting the grass when I was a kid. Good grass cutting song.
- “The Ballad of Curtis Loew” was released in 1974 on the album, “Second Helping.”
- Listen if you like: slide guitar, Southern Rock, nostalgia
4. Grant Hart – “2541”
Justin Barney: This is “5 Songs We Can’t Stop Listening To,” and I’m here with your host with the most, Mr. Ken Sumka.
What’s up, Justin Barney? How are you?
Good. What’s one song you can’t stop listening too? You know the deal.
I know the deal, and Wednesday of last week we learned that Grant Hart died.
To those who don’t know, Grant Hart was one of the founding members of pioneering punk trio, Husker Du out of Minneapolis.
They actually started in the late 70’s but their hay day was throughout the 80’s, and they broke up in the late 80’s. They did bunch of records on SST, the venerable label out of southern California, home to Black Flag and a bunch of other great bands, but then made the jump to the major labels. They signed to Warner Bros. and put out a couple of great records on Warner’s before they broke up in 1987.
Bob Mould launched a fairly successful solo career, and then was in Sugar, and then went back to solo. Grant was also a solo artist, and he formed a band called Nova Mob, but has not enjoyed the success that Bob has despite, I think Grant’s every bit the songwriter that Bob is.
Grant was sort of the hippy, long-haired, barefoot drummer that was way into The Beatles, and brought a sense of humor; Bob wrote songs about fury and madness. He was the serious side of Husker Du, and Grant wrote a song called, “Books About UFOs,” he wrote a song about a woman floating away called, “She Floated Away.”
So he was kind of the sense of humor for a band that desperately needed a sense of humor.
When he put out his first solo record, it was a song called, “2541” it was just a single, and then an EP. It’s written from the perspective of a couple getting their first house, and getting the keys.
But if you read just below the surface, it could also be a thinly veiled account of Husker Du, and even though it was a trio, the sometimes pleasant, sometimes acrimonious mix of people, and how they bought this house, and they got the keys, and it didn’t work out so well.
There’s a great line, “It was the first place we had to ourselves, we didn’t know it would be the last.” It’s a great song. Like I said, it’s written about a couple, but it could also be read into as a song about the band.
- “2541” was released in 1988 on Grant Hart’s first solo EP.
- Listen if you like: the lighter side of Husker Du, The Replacements, Ken Sumka
5. King Krule – “Dum Surfer”
I fee like British hip-hop can be a difficult genre to get into. Unlike British singers who, somehow, suddenly lose any semblance of a British accent, British hip-hop digs into that accent. And I’ve had friends tell me that it can be a barrier for them. And I get that.
But don’t let a preconceived notion get in the way of British rapper King Krule. Dude has been making music on and off for a while, all of which me and Tarik really vibe with. And now he’s back with a new album in the future titled “The OOZ”
Just listening to King Krule, you’d think that he is enormous with how much reverberation and tone is in his voice, but don’t let that fool you, King Krule is tall gangly, redhead, and I love that it’s a shock to hear this voice come out of him.
Here he is using that great tool, his voice to its full potential, going dark, real dark, in this song, “Dum Surfer.”
- “Dumb Surfer” will be released on King Krule’s forthcoming album, The OOZ, due out on October 13th.
- Listen if you like: British hip-hop, goth stuff, Rhythm Lab