Hear all 5 Songs We Can’t Stop Listening To:
1. Death Cab For Cutie picks Kendrick Lamar – “King Kunta”
Every week we have an artist on 5 Songs to pick a song that they love. This week we are lucky to have Jason McGerr, drummer for Death Cab For Cutie.
McGerr on Kendrick Lamar:
“Kendrick Lamar’s new album, To Pimp A Butterfly, is pretty sick. I feel like the first two tracks take the listener and forces them to make a decision about whether or not they are going to continue on with the record. I mean, it’s such a challenging record. But, you know, George Clinton and Miles Davis also challenged the world and they became famous for it.
I just feel like that guy is unstoppable and fearless. Every time I see a live performance of him it’s mind-blowing how much he’s got an audience and a band in his hand, willing to go wherever he needs them to go.
“King Kunta” the third track on the record is such a sick groove. So sick. So heavy. And, you know, I’m a drummer. Rhythm section guy, so it doesn’t get much better than that.”
2. Leisure – “Got It Bad”
“Got It Bad” is cool and it knows it. It’s like that person at the party that is perfectly dressed. Not over done, but everything just goes together in that way that really only a couple of people know how to do. It’s got perfect posture. It’ll catch your eye, and you’ll feel a smile even if you don’t see one. It draws you into it’s presence, but makes sure that you make the first move. It will flirt without saying a single word. It’s got cool confidence. It’s got style.
Poet and author Charles Bukowski said, “Style is the answer to everything.” So, as long as you’re listening to this song, you’ll have the answer to everything.
- Listen if you like: cool bass lines, dreamy vocals, confidence
3. Elvis Depressedly – “N.M.S.S.”
N.M.S.S. stands for No More Sad Songs. But I am here to say that it’s okay to write sad songs. In fact, I encourage it. Sure, some people will complain about hearing another sad song, but who cares? We need sad songs. We need sad songs because they will empathize, when people won’t.
There’s just not much that someone can tell you when you’re are sad. If you’re talking about it to someone, it’s more than likely you just want someone to listen and understand how you feel. And sometimes people just have a tough time doing that. We all want to say, “Oh, you should do this, and then you’ll feel better.” But you’re not talking to someone because you don’t have enough to do. You just want someone to listen, and be there for you. And that’s what sad songs do. They are just there. They say, “I know how that feels, I get sad too.” And that’s it. They empathize. And that’s why I love sad songs. A sad song is a friend that is there for you whenever you want, just to listen, and all you have to do is press play.
- Listen if you like: slower acoustic indie stuff, small string sections, sad songs
4. Alabama Shakes – “The Greatest”
The Greatest is a really great reminder that we shouldn’t take ourselves too seriously.
Brittney Howards voice is amazing and dynamic. She’s got so much range and so much power. But she doesn’t use it in this song. She could. In a lot of this album she does. There are big highs, and big lows. Lots of heavy moments. But then we get to this song. At the beginning of the song she’s away from the mic and you can hear her say, “Check this out” and goes into this this song where her voice is light, and it’s super playful. It just sounds like she’s having fun. At the end she laughs. The whole thing was just silly. And it kind of is, but that’s the point. It’s just plain fun.
- Listen if you like: carefree garage rock, Tacocat, just havin’ fun
5. The Chemical Brothers feat. Q-Tip – “Go”
This song is the result of two influential artists who have transcended the boundaries of their sub genre and really lifted their genres to popularity.
First is The Chemical Brothers. The Chemical Brothers shaped what we know as electronic music today. They were pioneers of the Big Beat genre starting in 1989. You are probably familiar with their song “Galvanize.” The Chemical Brothers are one of the few groups that have made house music popular outside of the club. They provide the beats on this song.
Q-Tip provides the lyrics. Q-Tip, “the abstract poetic” was emcee of the foundational hip-hop group, A Tribe Called Quest. Formed in 1985, Tribe was part of the Native Tongues Posse that brought Afro-centrism and a jazzy style to define east coast hip-hop.
In this song the two forces collide, to transcend both genres in one perfect song.
- Listen if you like: A Tribe Called Quest, mid ‘90s electronica, golden era hip-hop