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. Strand of Oaks picks “Higher Than the Sun” by Primal Scream
Every week we ask one artist that we love to talk about one song that they love. This guy is from Philadelphia, PA by way of Indiana. He has long black hair, tons of tattoos, he looks like he could beat you up, but he would never hurt a fly. We love the music he makes as Strand of Oaks, we are here with Timothy Showalter, of Strand of Oaks.
Justin Barney: Tim! What is one song you can’t stop listening to?
Timothy Showalter: The one song I can’t stop listening to and for the past three years haven’t been able to stop listening to is “Higher Than the Sun” by Primal Scream.
Justin Barney: Really? I don’t know that song.
Timothy Showalter: Well the whole album you have to listen to. “Screamadelica” is like the Sgt. Peppers of the late 80’s rave culture, birth of brit-pop, all that.
But the song “Higher than the Sun” they called it a hymn to hedonism.
*laughs* It’s so awesome. It’s so dreamy. And perfect.
Justin Barney: Do you remember the first time you heard it?
Timothy Showalter: I probably heard it too young because I didn’t get what they were singing about.
Justin Barney: What are they singing about?
Timothy Showalter: Drugs. Just Drugs.
*laughs* Not just that, but that thousand yard stare that you get.
Justin Barney: That headspace.
Timothy Showalter: Yeah. But I heard it really young because there were these cool older kids that loved like Primal Scream, Stone Roses, early Butthole Surfers, and Flaming Lips. And they would wear triple XL Flaming Lips t-shirts and I would think, “These are the cool kids.”
Justin Barney: So how did you come back to it?
Timothy Showalter: Well I never stopped listening to it. It’s always been on of my favorite albums. And little known fact, Daft Punk have been quoted as saying that without this album, “Screamadelica”Daft Punk wouldn’t exist.
Justin Barney: “Whoa!”
- “Higher Than the Sun” was originally released in 1991 on the album “Screamadelica”
- Listen if you like: Stone Roses, Flaming Lips, Daft Punk
2. Weird Darryl & the Gusty Winds – “Chicken and Waffles”
So last week I got this text from our DJ Makenzie that just said, “Listen to this song.” She had seen our friend post a cover of this song on Instagram and she tracked down the original by Weird Darryl. When we got together she asked if I knew about Weird Darryl and I said “no,” so she got all excited and told me the story of Weird Darryl, and it goes like this:
Weird Darryl is a country music legend that never recorded an album.
He is a legend. Willy Nelson says he’s one of the greats, Johnny Cash admired him, I mean, Ringo Starr played drums in his band in the mid 80’s.
Embroiled in a contract dispute with Columbia Records, Darryl was never permitted to record even a single in his lifetime. So instead of recording he just toured. All around the US, over and over for thirty years straight. Bob Dylan’s “Never Ending Tour” was modeled on Weird Darryl.
His road dog attitude and outlaw country style made him famous and respected among his peers, and created an underground outlaw legend. Because of that pesky contract with Columbia no recordings ever existed of Weird Darryl, until now.
Archivist and Weird Darryl enthusiast Freddie Keane recently unearthed and released, for the first time, a soundboard recording of Weird Darryl and the Gusty Winds’s last show at Crazy Creek.
- “Chicken and Waffles” was finally released in 2016 on the album, “The Last Boogie at Crazy Creek.”
- Listen if you like: Old country music, Johnny Cash and June Carter, country legends
So, you know all that stuff I said about Weird Darryl being a country legend and never releasing anything, and the dispute with? After listening to the album a bunch of times I texted my friend who originally posted his cover to Instagram to thank him for showing me the world and story of Weird Darryl, and he responded by saying, “You know his whole persona is made up, right?”
I had no idea. I fell for it hook line and sinker.
That archivist, Freddie Keane, is Weird Darryl, and recorded the whole album in his bedroom, and made up the corresponding 17-page history of Weird Darryl. Just for fun.
Does that change how you see it? It changes the way I see it too. But it doesn’t make it any less magical. I actually think it’s pretty brilliant.
Anyway, that’s song two this week on five songs we can’t stop listening to.
3. Perfume Genius – “Slip Away”
We are at this point in music where any sound is possible. The sounds that you make are not limited to differences in the brand of guitar you bought at the music shop. Now, any sound can function as an instrument of it’s own.
So in this song you hear all of these sounds, and you are not sure what they are or what instrument is making them. They become separated from an instrument and live as their own, only functioning to make this song awesome.
And Perfume Genius takes these crunches and blasts, and bangs and builds them into this symphony of song.
Perfume Genius takes the structure of what a song would be and it has all these sounds in there. And I don’t know what they are, what instruments are being used, or where the sounds are coming from. But I like that. It makes the music more mysterious. It creates an abstraction. To where “this is sound” this is music. The music is just there. He uses all these sounds to build this song.
- Perfume Genius’ new album, “No Shape” will be released on May 5th via Matador Records.
- Listen if you like: Weird percussive instruments, ANOHNI, anthems
4. Earl St. Clair – “Good Time”
Justin Barney: This is 5 Songs We Can’t Stop Listening To and I’m here with our morning host, Dori Zori. Dori! What is one song you can’t stop listening to?
Dori Zori: As we’re headed out of winter and the days are getting longer, and the days are heating up, I’ve just been into dance music. Songs that have fun dancy vibes.
Justin Barney: You say that like you’re not always into that. *laughs*
Dori Zori: That’s true. Good point. But maybe just a little more once the weather starts to pick up.
So I’ve been playing this song “Good Time” by Earl St. Clair over and over and over again. He’s a soul singer from Ohio. He is influenced by everyone from James Brown to Outkast.
Justin Barney: What do you like about this song in particular?
Dori Zori: Well I like some great poetic freaky lyrics, but once in a while, just tell me how it is and I’m okay with the facts.
So this song contains, “I work hard all week/I put in 50 hours with no sleep/ So when Friday comes I might just go out, put on my Sunday best, and show out.”
It’s got soul, a funky beat, and dance hooks ALL DAY.
- Listen if you like: to dance, St. Paul and the Broken Bones, dance music
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