At the end of the year the tide of new music that rolls in turns to a trickle. But, if you look hard enough there is still amazing music being released. This week we give you three of our favorites, and we have guest DJ picks and introductions from First Aid Kit AND Greylag. Take this playlist and take it into the New Year.
First Aid Kit picks Silver Jews- “Random Rules”
Sisters Johanna and Klara Soderberg were sitting on the ground and drinking tea in our dimly lit Studio B when I asked them about one song that they can’t stop listening to. When Klara said that there was this song by Silver Jews that she has loved for many years, Johanna rolled her eyes and said, “and I don’t like Silver Jews. But I think I only don’t like them because you like them so much.” I loved that little aside. If you have a sibling, you probably know that feeling.
Although Klara is Sweedish, there isn’t a trace of accent in her voice. Her English is better than mine. Listen to it in the link below.
- Silver Jews album, American Winter, was released in 1998.
- Listen if you like: sprawling narratives, sing speaking, great lyrics.
Band Practice – “Theme Song”
I think that everyone should have their own theme song. But, as non-musicians, we have to borrow them from others. Mine is “My Way” by Frank Sinatra. I sing it, constantly. Every time I do karaoke “My Way” is happening. The Frank Sinatra version, the Sid Viscous version, and occasionally, the Japanese version. People know that I love that song, and it is my theme song. But, its not a perfect song. As Ira Glass said, “its bombastic” and it’s over the top (which I secretly love), and it’s sung by Frank Sinatra and written by someone else. So it can never really be mine. I can’t will it to do so.
So I love when artists make a theme song. It’s their chance to declare who they are, what they stand for, it’s so much personality in one song. This is Band Practice.
- Band Practice’s album, Make Nice, is out now on limited edition cassette and bandcamp via Chill Mega Chill records.
- Listen if you like: Strong declarations of self, propulsion, garage rock.
Greylag picks Nick Drake – “Place To Be”
Every week day here we do the 5 o’clock shadow. It’s two versions of one great song. Usually it’s a cover. Greylag came into our studio for a mini performance and performed a live 5 o’clock shadow. They played “Place to Be” by Nick Drake. It was the end of a stressful day for me and I was hustling to get out, and thinking about a million things. When I heard them playing this song everything calmed down. I just stopped, closed my eyes, and took in the beauty of this song. Afterwards I had to ask them what the song meant to them. Listen to their explanation and the song below.
- Nick Drake’s album, Pink Moon, was originally released in 1972.
- Listen if you like: calm and tranquil music, folk, Greylag.
Father John Misty – "Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins)"
In this song Father John Misty is a true romantic, at least, he tries to be. With lines like “Most people are boring/ but you’re something else,” “I wanna take you in the kitchen and lift up your dress that someone was probably murdered in,” and my favorite, “I haven’t hated all the same things as somebody else since I can remember.” How sweet.
But it is actually kind of romantic in the way that romance really happens in our lives. He said that he is writing this album through the eyes of someone that loves him. Which makes total sense because, you know, I would identify myself as romantic person, but I’m sure if you asked someone that loves me if I’m romantic, they would say that I sound as misguided and off the mark as Father John Misty does in this song. And you might be the same way.
- Father John Misty’s new album, I Love You, Honeybear, will be out on Sub Pop Records on February 10, 2015.
- Listen if you like: the meta-modern idea of Father John Misty, off-beat lyrics, great instrumentation.
YACHT- "Where Does This Disco?"
When you are DJing a dance party, be it a wedding, a house party, or an just afternoon in your kitchen, there always is an arc to the party. It starts at the bottom. Nobody starts dancing right away. Unless you got that aunt, or friend that just wants to dance. Every DJ loves that person. But most people need to be warmed up. And after the warm up there is a crucial period, just under the tip of the bell curve, where a lot of people are on the dance floor, but not the majority. And you need to play that song. That one song that pushes the party over tipping point, bringing more people onto the dance floor than are not on the dance floor and solidifying it as a true dance party. This is the song that takes you over the edge.
YACHT’s new EP, Where Does This Disco? is out now.
Listen if you like: dancing, outer space music, electronic pulses.