This past weekend was Valentine’s Day, and don’t think we forgot about you. We made you a mixtape of love. This may not exactly be the 5 Greatest Love Songs of All Time, but this is five songs that fill our hearts with love and happiness. This is 5 Songs We Can’t Stop Listening To. Consider it our Valentine’s Day Mixtape to you.
1. Son Little picks The Chambers Brothers – “House of the Rising Sun”
Every week we ask an artist to bring a song they love to 5 Songs, this week Son Little picked, “House of the Rising Sun” by The Chambers Brothers.
Son Little really hit the nail on the head with his reasoning for choosing the Chambers Brothers’ version of “House of the Rising Sun.” Their version is just slightly different from the famous Animals version, but that little change makes a big difference in the message of the song. Listen to his great insight in the SoundCloud link below.
- The Chambers Brothers, Feelin’ The Blues, was released on Liberty Records in 1970.
- Listen if you like: the other side of the story, classic songs, a strong deep voice
2. Alabama Shakes – “Don’t Wanna Fight”
James Brown’s scream was a revolution in music. A similar vocal technique was used in country music before it, called the cry break. James Brown gave the cry break guts. It didn’t happen when he was at a loss of words, it happened when he was overwhelmed. It’s the soul break.
The soul break has since been used by Wilson Pickett, Charles Bradley, Lee Fields and others who have been overcome with emotion.
In this song Brittany Howard starts the song off with a soul break. She continues to sing about a relationship that is worn down and failing. It’s at the end and she doesn’t want to fight anymore. But she doesn’t really even have to say all that, because she says it all right at the start.
- Alabama Shakes’ new album, Sound & Color, will be released on ATO Records on April 21.
- Listen if you like: James Brown, heart, soul.
3. Colleen Green – “I Want To Grow Up”
As a 23-year-old adult, I had to move back into my parents’ house after graduating from college. I thought that college was where I was supposed to learn how to grow up. And there I was, sleeping in the same bed that mom tucked me into when I was 5 years old. I didn’t know what I was doing with my life. I was helpless and it was a terrible feeling. For as much freedom as my youth provided me, I just wanted to grow up.
But, like, what even is growing up, man? You might ask. In this song, Colleen Green defines it as being mature, comfortable, secure, thoughtful, and in control. And that’s what I wanted. I have those things now, I think. And I think by just being able to admit that in a song, that Colleen Green has grown up too.
- Colleen Green’s album, I Want To Grow Up, will be released on Hardly Art on February 24.
- Listen if you like: Sleater-Kinney, maturity, drony guitars.
4. Ibeyi – “Ghosts”
The rest, is an interval of silence in music. In sheet music, of course it’s demarked by that little squiggly line, or something that looks like a top hat. Music comes from eliminating the empty space, and sometimes I forget just how powerful silence can be…
In this song the rests give the song space. It breathes. Whole ideas start, stop, turn around, drift up, and dance around each other. Sometimes the most powerful thing to do is to do nothing at all.
- Ibeyi’s album, Ibeyi, will be released on XL Records this Tuesday (February 17).
- Listen if you like: Non-traditional song structure, a balance of delicacy and power, world music influence.
5. Hot Chip – “Huarache Lights”
You know you can be struck in a rut, or you can be in the groove. Really, they’re exactly the same thing. The same exact visual metaphor for being in a situation that you can’t get out of. The rut is bad. The groove is good.
Listen to this song and you will be in the groove. Literally, this song’s beat is a stone cold groove. It’s positive, upbeat, and warm. Get locked in it. Even if you think you are in a rut, put this song on, just change the words, and you’ll be in the groove.
- Hot Chip’s new album, Why Make Sense?, will be released by Domino Records on May 19.
- Listen if you like: The 2 Bears, LCD Soundsystem, emotional intelligence