5 Songs We Can’t Stop Listening To Artist Takeover with Iron & Wine, Diet Cig, Frightened Rabbit, Andrew Bird, and Parquet Courts
Usually we only ask one artist to talk about one song that they love. This week, we’re bringing in five of our favorite artists to tell us about songs that they love. We’ve asked Iron & Wine, Diet Cig, Frightened Rabbit, Andrew Bird, and Parquet Courts to tell us about the music that influences them.
To hear all of the conversations, click the player at the top, or read along below.
1. Iron & Wine picks “Beat It” by Michael Jackson
Justin Barney: Sam Beam, what is one of your first memories that you have of listening to music?
Sam Beam: When Thriller came out, I hadn’t heard it. I didn’t know who Michael Jackson was, ‘cause I was like 7 or 8. So my buddy next door had a cassette and he said “Man, I wanna play you this song. This is gonna be a number one song” and I was like, “Oh, that’s cool.” So what he put on was “Beat It.” I never heard anything like it. I still remember, to this day, sitting on his couch and him saying “Take a minute. We’re gonna sit and we’re gonna listen to this song.” And it was, in fact, amazing.
Justin: What was amazing about it to you?
Sam Beam: You know, in your little kid brain, I had heard my parent’s records and what was on the radio, but I didn’t really absorb music that way, and the fact that he had to like climb up on the counter and get this tape off the top shelf… It was like dipping into the liquor cabinet. It was like this forbidden thing, until we sat down and took a moment to say “I’m gonna share this with you.” And it still sits in my memory.
Justin: That is awesome. I love that.
Sam Beam: I think it’s because that recording was given its place. It wasn’t just a passive, it wasn’t on in the corner while we were doing something else.
Justin: Sit down and listen.
Sam: Yeah. And you rarely get to do that.
Justin: And you had to climb on a counter to get it. There’s an element of danger there.
Sam: I know! You had to sacrifice something.
- Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” was released on his monumental album, ‘Thriller’ released in 1982.
- Listen if you like: Elements of danger, one of the most iconic songs of all time
2. Diet Cig picks “Desire” by Dilly Dally
Justin: Alex, from Diet Cig, what’s one song you can’t stop listening to?
Alex: I can’t stop listening to “Desire” by DILLY DALLY. It’s like my go-to when everyone’s like buggin’ in the van, I’ll put it on. Like, when no one can decide what to listen to, I did that today. I was like, “You know what, this has been stuck in my head all week and I never get to DJ. I’m putting this on.
Justin: Why does that song get stuck in your head?
Alex: It’s just, like, so catchy. Like, the chorus part, her voice is so unique and her tone of her voice in the chorus just gets stuck in my head so easily.
Justin: Do you have a favorite part of that song?
Alex: It’s like the chorus is just like “DLKJFLKSJHDKJH!!!!” It’s like, her voice is just so raw and I just think it’s really dope.
- “Desire” was released on Dilly Dally’s 2015 album, ‘Sore.”
- Listen if you like: Heavy guitars, Bully, Alvvays
3. Frightened Rabbit picks “Streets of Philadelphia” by Bruce Springsteen
Every week we ask an artist that we love to tell us about one song that they love. This week, I’m here with Scott Hutchinson from Frightened Rabbit.
Justin Barney: Scott, thanks for being here. What’s one song you can’t stop listening to?
Scott Hutchinson: One of my favorite songs ever, which is “Streets of Philadelphia” by Bruce Springsteen. When I was quite young, it made me feel something. You know, before you understand why you’re feeling something. I think everyone as an adult knows that “This song makes me sad” or “This song makes me elated.” But I was kind of confused at the time, because you’re not really in touch – I was maybe, like, 10 at the time. And so it was a strange feeling. I was like “this song does something to me that I don’t quite understand. And now I understand that it was a mixture of sadness and – as there is always with Bruce Springsteen – a beautiful strength or togetherness.
Justin: That’s one of the keys for Bruce’s music to me. I love sad songs, and he really takes that sadness and flips it on its head. Instead of being like “I’m sad and you should feel sad for me”, he’s like “I’m sad, but I’m working through this.”
Scott: Yeah, exactly. And I think that’s something we employ in our music as well. You can’t offer a song without having hope. And hope is something that Bruce is incredible at sort of giving his audience. The simplicity, even sonically, of this song is admirable. There’s almost nothing in it. There’s what sounds like a drum machine, a synthesizer line, and then there’s maybe some bass and Bruce’s voice. It’s one of the simplest songs he’s ever produced. The sparseness of it is perfect for the sentiment.
- “Streets of Philadelphia” was released as a single on the Philadelphia soundtrack in 1994.
- Listen if you like: Frightened Rabbit, movies that Tom Hanks did in the 90’s, devastaters
4. Andrew Bird picks “Linus and Lucy” by the Vince Guaraldi Trio
Every week we ask one of our favorite artists to tell us about one of their favorite songs. This week we talk to Andrew Bird.
Justin Barney: This week, we have the one and only Andrew Bird. Andrew Bird, is there one song you can’t stop listening to?
Andrew Bird: My son is nuts about the Peanuts, the Vince Guaraldi Trio record, the classic. I don’t know if it’s called the “Charlie Brown Theme Song”, but he’s been learning it on piano and he’s just obsessed with it and we sing it together and make up words to it. I never get tired of that. We listen to it every morning before school
Justin Barney: That’s so cute. Let’s hear it.
- “Linus and Lucy” was released in 1965 on “A Charlie Brown Christmas” from The Vince Guaraldi Trio on Fantasy Records
- Listen if you like: Childhood, cute stories of a father and son, bouncy piano
5. Parquet Courts picks ‘If I Were with Her Now’ by Spiritualized
Justin Barney: Sean Yenton, what is one song that you can’t stop listening to?
Sean Yenton: It is the second song on “Lazer Guided Melodies” by Spiritualized. It’s called “If I Were with Her Now.”
Sean: It’s just the perfect song to me. I’m obsessed with that album in general, but that one song is so much different than the rest of the songs he writes.
He is a musician that I really admire. He’s obsessed with music and obsessed with other songs. And I think that he has a lot of other music in his music.
For some reason, when I listen to this song the whole thing to me just feels like a lot of songs at the same time. And even though it doesn’t stand out as sounding like this song or that song, or whatever, it feels like a song that was really put together with a love of music and wanting to write a song about someone by saying so much with so many other sounds.
I listen to it probably every day. It’s a record that’s always happening in my life.
- “If I Were with Her Now” was released in 1992 on Spiritualized debut album, “Lazer Guided Melodies.”
- Listen if you like: art bands from Athens GA, space rock, The Flaming Lips