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. Sleigh Bells picks “Tire Me” by Rage Against the Machine
Every week we ask one artist that we love to talk about a song that they love. Here we catch up with Sleigh Bells.
Justin Barney: From the music desk at 88Nine Radio Milwaukee I’m Justin Barney. This is 5 Songs We Can’t Stop Listening To. Every Monday we ask one artist that we love to come on and talk about a song that they love. Today I am here with Derek Miller, he is one half of the band Sleigh Bells they have been making music since 2008 out of Brooklyn, New York. This is Sleigh Bells.
Justin Barney: Derek we were talking a little bit off-mic before about the song “Tire Me” from Rage Against the Machine. How has Rage Against the Machine inspired you or the music that you make?
Derek Miller: Um I saw Rage Against the Machine at Coachella in April of 2008 and uh definitely stole a lot of ideas from them for Sleigh Bells. Mainly just sort of coming up with one or two hopefully rememberal riffs and just sort of riding those for an entire song. Um, that was definitely where a track like “Crown on the Ground” came from. It’s literally like a riff for four minutes and vocal creates the dynamic. But, I think this track actually won a Grammy which is kinda insane, for like Best Rock Performance when it came out. Anyway, yeah this is a great track um from “Evil Empire” one of my favorite bands Rage Against the Machine.
- “Tire Me” was released in 1996 on their album, “Evil Empire.”
- Listen if you like: Sleigh Bells, Primus, pent up anger
2. Big Thief – “Mythological Beauty”
This is the song that everybody wishes that somebody wrote about them. Lead singer Adrianne Lenker, lays, breathy, on the corner of a bed, stares into the celieng and sings almost to herself, tender meditations of thoughtful admiration.
Mythological Beauty isn’t so much a love letter as it is a letter to love.
A mothers love, an admirer’s love, a broken love, a human love.
It’s “Mythological Beauty” by Big Thief.
- “Mythological Beauty” will be released on June 29th, on Big Thief’s new album “Capacity.”
- Listen if you like: whispery confessionals, thoughtful lyrics, love
3. Jack White “Battle Cry”
This is the first thing we’re hearing from Jack White since “Lazaretto.” It has been very interesting to follow the trajectory of Jack White.
You get this sense that in his music he is trying to make everything as minimal as it can possibly be.
I mean that’s the way that it started out with the White Stripes, just Jack White and Meg White, guitar and drums as minimal as it gets. But through his career he’s kind of increased the instrumentation and still managed to make it minimal in this song by removing the vocals. So, he removes the vocals but he keeps it minimal by concentrating on this rhythm and this song is straight up primal.
He is getting down to the essence of what music is.
I mean I think that his next album he could be writing it on the wall of a cave. This is cave man Jack White stripping music down to its bare essence, getting totally and utterly primal.
- Listen if you like: primal music, field recordings, minimalism
4. Andy Hull & Robert McDowell feat. Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe – “Montage” from the Swiss Army Man sountrack
Justin Barney: This is 5 Songs We Can’t Stop Listening To and I am here with the best Makenzie Boettcher.
Makenzie Boettcher: Hi Justin.
Justin Barney: Hey, what is one song you can’t stop listening to?
Makenzie Boettcher: Okay, one song I cannot stop listening to is the song “Montage” by okay it’s a mouthful, “Montage” by Andy Hull, Robert McDowell, Paul Dano and Danielle Radcliffe.
Justin Barney: Yes.
Makenzie Boettcher: Believe it or not.
Justin Barney: Why so many artist on this song?
Makenzie Boettcher: So many artists on the song so I, I recently watched for the first time I know Im super late to the party, I know but I finally watched Swiss Army Man.
Justin Barney: No I think that you will be, I think that there are plenty of people that have not seen that movie.
Makenzie Boettcher: That’s fair.
Justin Barney: Yeah.
Makenzie Boettcher: Either way.
Justin Barney: I saw it. I loooooooved it.
Makenzie Boettcher: It’s incredible. And I think the movie itself is just stunning it’s gorgeous. My favorite part by far was just the soundtrack.
Justin Barney: Yes.
Makenzie Boettcher: So, um Andy Hull and Robert McDowell actually made the soundtrack for the movie. And if those names sound familiar, I was like “how do I know the name Andy Hull”? Cause that two guys are from Manchester Orchestra.
Justin Barney: Oh I did not know that.
Makenzie Boettcher: So Andy Hull is the lead singer and Robert McDowell is the lead guitarist of Manchester Orchestra. So they actually met the film directors too because I guess the directors directed all of um Manchester Orchestras music videos. And then when they were thinking of scoring the soundtrack and what they wanted to do they just contacted the guys and were like hey you guys wanna do this fun project and they were like yes.
Justin Barney: Wow, I had no idea.
Makenzie Boettcher: It also shocked me that for such an incredibly well done, beautiful soundtrack like it’s their first time ever scoring a film.
Justin Barney: That’s awesome. And I feel like this song kind of carries the spirit of the movie where it’s like uh Swiss Army Man is about adventure and it’s kind of going along and doesn’t know what it’s doing but it has this like incredible sprit of wonder, and of saying, “It’s okay.”
Makenzie: Right. I also love that when you think of soundtracks you think of instrumentals, but in this song there are vocals. In many of the songs there are dialogues and they use the actors dialogue in the song. And they use it musically as a tool. And I love the film. Swiss Army Man. It’s awesome.
- “Montage” was released on the Swiss Army Man soundtrack.
- Listen if you like: swelling montages, sountracks, meta songs
5. John Prine – “That’s the Way the World Goes Round”
With the announcement that Justin Vernon will present John Prine and the American Songbook for his performance at the Eaux Claires Music Festival, I’ve heard a couple people say, “Who’s John Prine?”
So, I wanted to talk about John Prine, and also I’ve just re-fallen in love with the song “That’s the Way the World Goes Round,” so I wanted to talk about it.
So, John Prine, the singing postman, starting making music in the early 70s in Chicago. He was part of the folk revival scene there; he was discovered by Khris Kristofferson when he was performing with Steve Goodman, and broke out since then.
In 1973, he won a Grammy for best new artist, has won six Grammys, American Honors, Nashville Singer Songwriter Hall of Fame, you name it, he’s won it as an acclaimed singer songwriter. He’s sort of flown under the radar of some of his contemporaries, despite that he is a world-renowned singer songwriter. So that’s John Prine.
This song: “That’s the Way the World Goes Round.” I love the second verse in this song. It is surreal, he talks about being in a bath tub that’s an ice cube, the line “naked as the eyes of a clown,” I love it. And I love the spirit of the song, the feeling of being in a half inch of water and feeling like you’re going to drown, sometimes life is bad, sometimes life is good, sometimes you catch a break, that’s the way the world goes round. So, if you’re hearing John Prine for the first time, or you’re a lifelong John Prine, I think you’re going to like this song.
- “That’s The Way The World Goes Round” was released in 1978 on his album, “Bruised Orange.”
- Listen if you like: folk music, great lyrics, a laid back attitude