It feels like every week is a special week for music. I am continually blown away by artists who have capacity to express themselves so beautifully and how their expression moves me. And I hunt, song, after song, after song, to find those couple that really hit me in the ribs. The ones that knock me down and drag me out. And then I get to share them with you and hope that you feel the same way. So take these in and love them as I do.
Hear all 5 Songs We Can’t Stop Listening To:
Mitski – “First Love/Late Spring” – 0:00
Jeff Rosenstock – “Nausea” – “5:52
Desert Noises picks Tobias Esso Jr. – “Without You” – 9:42
Rich Robbins – “Play Me” – 15:47
Father John Misty – “I Love You, Honeybear” – 21:22
1. Mitski – “First Love / Late Spring”
Musical success has a lot to do with image. I’m not saying that it’s good, or bad, I’m just saying that’s how it is. Artists that fall along the dominant culture of traditional beauty tend to have greater success. If you are not young, slim, white, attractive. It’s more difficult. And, it’s more difficult for women than it is for men. The standards are higher. The guidelines are stricter. They shouldn’t be, but they are. And that can be really difficult if you feel that you don’t fit into those guidelines. It’s an issue that Mitski considers. She says it would be easier if she fit the engrained ideals of beauty, if she looked a certain way, or if she was a certain heritage, but she also says, in some sick way, it’s what truly drives her to make something that’s actually good, that actually makes people forget that she doesn’t adhere to those standards. To make something pretty.
The best part about hearing this song blindly, is that it stands out on its own, and you can hear its true beauty.
- Mitski’s album, Bury Me At Makeout Creek, is out now.
- Listen if you like: Meredith Graves attitude, Monica Martin’s voice, lo-fi aesthetics
2. Jeff Rosenstock – “Nausea”
Jeff Rosenstock used to be in a ska band called Bomb the Music Industry! (whom I loved). Third wave ska had great run, Pick it up, pick it up, etc. But music trends come and go, and last year Bomb the Music Industry! hung it up, leaving Jeff Rosenstock as a 30 someting former lead singer of once semi-popular ska band.
So, what’s he do? He goes solo, and he releases this awesome album, with this killer track.
It’s so personal and sad, and lonely, lyrically, but he takes that and gives it this really powerful energy. A sing-along. So we all can yell together about being alone. I love, there’s this He can’t quite hit this note in the middle, but, like, who really cares when everyone is singing along with you? Plus, there is a reference to Southern Wisconsin in the first line. So, here we go. Pick it up pick it up pick it up.
- Jeff Rosenstock’s album, We Cool?, is out now.
- Listen if you like: Bomb the Music Industry!, honesty, a mid-30s life crisis.
3. Desert Noises picks Tobias Jesso Jr. – “Without You”
Every week I have a guest artist pick one of the 5 Songs. This week, it’s Kyle Henderson, the lead singer of Desert Noises. Henderson’s band makes music that is loud, full, and guitar heavy. So I was surprised that he picked Tobias Jesso Jr.’s, “Without You,” a song that is stripped down to just a piano and drums. He was very open and honest with me about his experience with this song, and I appreciated that. You can hear his words in the Mixcloud link at the top.
- Tobias Jesso Jr.’s album, Goon, is available now.
- Listen if you like: Desert Noises, John Lennon, piano ballads.
4. Rich Robbins – “Play Me”
Rich Robbins is Batman. He’s black, he’s strong, he’s confident, sometimes he does bad, to defend the good, he’s misunderstood. Rich Robbins is also Bruce Wayne. He’s white, he’s well off, intelligent and tasteful. And all the while Batman has to choose one of those personas. He has to choose to be just one of his identities. And at times Rich Robbins feels that he has to choose one of his identities too. But in this song, he realizes that this isn’t a comic book. He can be both at the same time. He can be better than just Batman, or just Bruce Wayne. And he is better. He is Rich Robbins.
- Rich Robin’s album, Nimbus, is available now.
- Listen if you like: Identity, hip-hop, the world.
5. RECORD STORE DAY SPECIAL – Father John Misty – “I Love You, Honeybear” RSD exclusive release
Tomorrow (April 18) is Record Store Day! Record Store Day is one day a year, where they print rarities, exclusives, and one off recordings printed for one day and one day only, and only sold in independent, local record stores. And that’s the point. Record Store Day wants to get you out to your local record store, talk to those guys behind the counter, and get together with your community of fellow music freaks. I love it. I’m at the front of the line every year.
This year, there is one item that is the apple of my eye. A 7” single of Father John Misty’s “I Love You Honeybear” And I’m freakin’ out about it. It is a Record Store Day exclusive; never to be printed again. It’s on red, heart-shaped vinyl, with an unreleased b-side, and it’s limited to under 6,000 copies world wide. Oh. My. God. It feeds all my collectors neurosis, and I need it. Tomorrow. I’ll see you there.
- Father John Misty’s “I Love You, Honeybear” 7” single, on red heart-shaped vinyl, is available only on this Saturday (April 18) at your local independent record store.
- Listen if you like: sarcasm, wit, full orchestration.