The Bones of What You Believe may be a better break-up anthem than any Taylor Swift album. Recover is my personal favorite song from the album, as it epitomizes the feelings of someone who is facing the seemingly inevitable end of a relationship and realizes she has no control over what happens next. CHVRCHES is a trio from Glasgow that drenches its music in synth-pop and emotion. Recover shines in the moments where everything comes together in perfect indignation.
If you’re familiar with Atlas Genius, it’s likely due to their debut single, Trojans. In the same vein as Trojans, If So is a catchy song that is perfect for summer drives down the coast in your drop-top. Atlas Genius, comprised of Keith and Michael Jeffery, hails from Australia and will be at next month's Outside Lands music festival in San Francisco.
If So embodies the spirit of pop with upbeat music and a fun tune - add a decent amount of Keith Jeffery’s vocals, a ton of repetition, and a bit of lyrical imagery (with just a touch of “yo mama” - you’ll see what I mean), and you’ve got a song that you don’t mind getting stuck in your head.
I also highly recommend checking out the acoustic version of If So at the end of Atlas Genius’ album When It Was Now (Deluxe Version), which is available on both Spotify and Rdio.
Singing to Elvis, a song by Paper Aeroplanes on Spotify.
Krysta Gahagen's insight:
Paper Aeroplanes is a Welsh alternative pop group whose newest album, Little Letters, is easily one of the most listenable things I’ve stumbled across lately. This song, Singing to Elvis, is a quintessential folk pop tune with uncomplicated melodies that avoids being too simplistic. Singer Sarah Howells’ lilting vocals and rich lyrical imagery remind the listener of artists such as Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks and The Civil Wars’ Joy Williams. The entire album is worth checking out, with each song telling a unique story - perfect background music for the rest of your week!
Off to a mellow start, City Tribe’s latest single, Silver Lining, is another wonderful example of the intricate and poignant sounds coming from San Francisco’s live music scene these days. Like many other songs by City Tribe, Silver Lining is harmony centric and driven by clean vocals, lush instrumentation, and impassioned lyrics. The intensity of the lyrics and instruments are in direct correlation throughout the song.
Upon first listen, Silver Lining is a laudable exemplification of expression rooted in nuance. As the song progresses, a subdued tone creates a profound moment as the listener awaits the upcoming lyrics in hopes that they will resonate the imagery provided by the song’s name.
City Tribe relies on harmonies to drive the song forward and repetition as a main rhetorical device. Silver Lining is the kind of song that can awaken a memory that may never have actually existed.
The title track to The Band Perry's sophomore album, Pioneer has a less edgy sound than most other songs on the album. (The band appears to be leaning more towards country-rock than folk music these days.) Harkening back to the lighter, almost whimsical sound of their first album, The Band Perry asks the question "Where are we going?" - a question may come to mind any time you turn on the news. Pioneer is somehow light and melodic, as well as profound, eventually layering in snare drums to create a Revolutionary War-esque sound (a motif the lyrics reflect). As with many patriotic country songs, Pioneer culminates in an unyielding bridge, but it is unique within that subgenre for not mentioning God or the USA (though they do specifically mention bullets, which almost took away from the imagery of the rest of the lyrics).
Erase Me - Main, a song by Kid Cudi and Kanye West on Spotify.
Krysta Gahagen's insight:
A great alt-rock leaning hiphop song, Erase Me features the appealing vocals of Kid Cudi and a clever verse by Kanye West. This is the ultimate breakup song if you're a star or live in a city like San Francisco, where your ex is going to be constantly reminded of you (and your startup) by TechCrunch articles, mobile advertisements, etc.
If you say haven't listened to Daft Punk's latest album, I recommend giving it a listen. If you say haven't heard the hit single, Get Lucky, then I simply don't believe you. Get Lucky is a song that gets people out of their seats and moving around, but it's more than just another feel-good summer song. This Daft Punk song was written by the French house music duo, Pharrell Williams, and Nile Rodgers and has been one of the most successful singles across several nations since it's April release. Fans of disco and funk have found a renewed hope in the way future generations will pay tribute to these genres of music. As for me, I keep hearing remixes and live covers of this song and somehow still can't get enough. (I also suggest checking out the 10 minute long Daft Punk remix of their own song - available on Spotify.)
Common Reaction is a guilty pleasure throwback to the 80s. A great addition to Monday morning’s soundtrack, Uh Huh Her delivers a catchy pop tune in the title track of their 2008 album. If you’re looking for a song that delivers a deeper meaning or has a more complicated progression, look elsewhere. This earworm is simply feel-good music.
St Lucia is a one-man band known for catchy and airy pop tunes. All Eyes on You is pretty much everything that is right about 'shamelessly appealing pop music' - from the synth, to the lyrics, to the general danceability of the song, All Eyes on You does not disappoint. This song requires no deeper analysis, just turn up the volume and give it a listen. I would drop this under the category "songs that remind you of someone".
“'Cause I hope/ We will never have to take back/ What we said in the night/ I hope that I will always have/ All eyes on you/ Know that I will take what I can/ When you are there standing by/ Soft, spoken in the dead of night/ All eyes on you”
Blurred Lines, a song by Robin Thicke, T.I. and Pharrell on Spotify.
Krysta Gahagen's insight:
Robin Thick, T.I., and Pharrell have created one of the most danceable songs of 2013. Sampling Marvin Gaye's Got to Give It Up, Blurred Lines has a funky feel while maintaining a modern flair. This song has garnered a lot of attention from the press lately, after YouTube banned the music video on account of nude dancers. Robin Thicke's Prince-like vocal qualities, T.I.'s syrupy smooth (and provacative) verse, and Pharrell's beat are an exemplary combination of fun, sensuality, and wit. Blurred Lines gets four out of four stars for my inability to sit still while listening to it.
Lost That Easy, a song by Cold War Kids on Spotify.
Krysta Gahagen's insight:
Indicative of their recent genre-bending albums and change in musical motif (from the band's original bluesy tone to a more middle of the road indie with electronic influence feel), Lost that Easy is a song with three key components: Nathan Willett's voice, electronic undertones, and a catchy hook. While diehard Cold War Kids fans may accuse this album of being underwhelming, there is something undeniably familiar about this song.
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