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. Michelle Branch picks “The Man” by The Killers
This is 5 Songs We Can’t Stop Listening To and every week we start off by asking an artist we love to tell us about a song that they love. Michelle Branch had a bunch of pop hits in the early 2000s – “Everywhere”, “All You Wanted”…and then she was in this “thing” with her record label and then she got out of her record contract. She met Patrick Carney of The Black Keys, they recently got engaged and she made a new record…and it’s fantastic. We’re playing the song “Best You Ever”. My guest today is Michelle Branch.
Justin Barney: Michelle Branch, what’s one song that you can’t stop listening to right now? What’s your jam?
Michelle Branch: Let’s see…I actually (laughs)…can’t stop the new Killers song, “The Man”.
Justin Barney: Yeah! What do you like about it?
Michelle Branch: It’s kind of been my jam lately. My friend Jacknife Lee produced it and I think he wrote it as well and our friend Jake Blanton, who sometimes plays in this band that played on my record, plays with The Killers.
So, I heard it and was interested because I have friends involved and it started initially as a, “Oh this is kind of a fun song”. I was kind of not sure if I liked it or not and it cut to me listening to it constantly. Like, blasting it and dancing along to it. I’ve been listening to it before show, back stage to get ramped up.
I love his vocal in it. His vocal is very Bowie-esque in it and it’s like a disco-jam in a way. I think the lyrics are really funny and funny in a good way – not funny in a bad way. I love the whole vibe about it so it’s been on repeat.
- “The Man” will be released on The Killer’s new album, “Everything Everything” which will be out this September.
- Listen if you like: new Arcade Fire, Bowie-esque vocals, rock disco
2. milo – “Magician (Suture)”
milo. Milo is poetry.
milo. The prodigal nomad. Milwaukee’s forgotten son.
milo. Rolling Stone’s top 30 rap albums of 2015
milo. Rolling Stone’s 24 most anticipated rap albums of 2017
milo. Began a poet and ended a rapper
milo. Spoken word over jazz
milo using spaces as inflection
- This song was performed entirely in one take, with vocal effects in real time, voice as an instrument to create the experience of being there.
- Milo’s new album, “Who Told You To Think??!!?!?!?!’ will be out on August 11th via Ruby Yacht.
- Listen if you like: genius, poetry, some of the most interesting music being made right now
3. Comedienne – “Hideout”
Hinting at hard boiled and softly cinematic. “Hideout” is like a Roy Orbison song sung at a dystopian dive bar.
The arrangements in Hideout are done by Jherek Bischoff, who has worked with David Byrne, Amanda Palmer, among his own work as a composer.
Here he takes a simple drum machine and guitar pattern, puts against a beautiful string section, adding up to a booming Greek chorus singing the rising refrain of “Hideout.”
The lyrics and vocals are done by Zac Pennington. Pennington and Bischoff were collaborators previously in the bands Paranthetical Girls and Xiu Xiu.
Pennington describes the lyrics of “Hideout” as, “a gas-lit love ballad that imagines Springsteen-style romantic escapism as a minefield of co-dependency and paranoia.”
- We’re not sure if “Hideout” is a one-off single, or part of a full length to be released at a later date.
- Listen if you like: Perfume Genius, Roy Orbison, crooning
4. Simon and Garfulkel – “The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)”
Justin Barney: From the Music Desk at 88Nine Radio Milwaukee, I’m Justin Barney.
Kat Froehlich: And I’m Kat!
Justin Barney: This is 5 Songs We Can’t Stop Listening To and I’m here with our weekend DJ, Kat.
Kat Froehlich: Yes sir.
Justin Barney: What is one song you can’t stop listening to?
Kat Froehlich: The one song I can’t stop listening to, you might know as “Feelin’ Groovy”, but it’s “The 59th Street Bridge Song” by Simon and Garfunkel.
It is my horse’s song and every time I see my horse, I just start singing it to him. He comes trotting up to me and then I’ll say, “Hey County Boy!” (singing) “Slow down, you move too fast – you gotta make the morning last!” We just, you know, feelin’ groovy. That’s my homeboy!
Justin Barney: How did that song pop into your head?
Kat Froehlich: He’s a little bit nuts which is kind of common with the thoroughbreds. They’ve got their quirks. He’ll jump anything in the world in front of him and he’s amazing in a show ring. You could put him anywhere but if he sees a rabbit, he’ll have a panic attack and just freak out, rear up, and you know, twist his butt all over the place. So, whenever he starts freaking out over something silly, I’ll go (singing), “Slow down, you move too fast,” and I just burst into song and I think he’s used to it now. I think it’s soothing to him so now I just sing it to him every day. He’s my baby.
Justin Barney: That’s so cute.
- “The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)” was released in 1970 on Simon and Garfunkel’s album, “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme.”
- Listen if you like: calming down, things that are pleasant, folk
5. Protomartyr – “A Private Understanding”
“A Private Understanding” is a plunge into nihilism and despair.
The song is primarily inspired by the book, “The Anatomy of Melancholy” by Robert Burton, originally published in 1621. “The Anatomy of Melancholy” is a medical textbook that sought to answer the question, “What causes sadness?”
Burton’s conclusion: helping others makes us sad, caring makes us sad, thinking makes us sad, ultimately, everything makes us sad. Book. Why are we all sad? Coming to the conclusion that everything makes us sad.
It’s that premise that sets the tone for the album and this song.
In this song, Joe Casey is part Nick Cave, part Craig Finn, and part Grim Reaper.
He writes that in this age of blasting trumpets, he doesn’t want to hear those vile trumpets anymore. So he becomes an instrument in himself. Whereas trumpets are bright and loud, Casey is like the drums in this song. Low, dark, and constantly rumbling under the surface.
- “A Private Understanding” appears on Protomartyr’s upcoming album, “Relatives in Descent,” out September 29th via Domino Records.
- Listen if you like: Nick Cave, Craig Finn, Scott Walker