What I’m Listening To – Fall 2013

Guilty Pleasures

Robyn – “Call Your Girlfriend” 

My best friend and far superior DJ Greg Harding introduced me to this incredibly Swedish artist and her then hit song nearly a year ago. I purposefully didn’t wear it out at the time, and now it’s striking a chord all over again.  I particularly love the hauntingness of the melody to the 2nd half of the chorus. Don’t let the genre for which the production was suited spoil how good of a songwriter she actually is, and this being maybe her best example of such. The video is worth a looksy too.

Jessie J – “Domino” and “Price Tag”

I’ll admit I was ready to not give the writer of Miley’s “Party in the USA” a second thought as a solo artist, especially once I heard “Price Tag” for the first time. Then I saw her perform it live on The Graham Norton Show, in her flesh-toned body suit, and I decided, okay, this girl F***ing ROCKS it! Big time! You be the judge. The song is still just okay to me, but even listening to the record version reminds me of how bad@$$ she is at it live, and thus I find myself playing along! Between her trademark bangs wig, her animal printed onesies, and her often indecipherable cockney accent, Jessie J makes me want Miley to put her freakin’ clothes back on, get the giant ball out from between her legs, and get back to making absolutely terrible television and movies.

Lana Del Rey – “Lucky Ones”

Thanks to my friend Nate, this song became the theme to our Italian Villa Vacation this past August. For about the first month after we got back, I couldn’t listen to it without weeping and dreaming of life in the Italian countryside. But recently I’ve revisited this ballad and am happily reminded of how lucky I am to have had that experience. Lana is a super attractive lady and everything, but the more you delve into her body of work, the more you come to realize, she’s completely insane! And I don’t mean like, everybody look at me, Miley Cyrus crazy, I mean certifiable, padded cell, straight jacket nutso! While that level of craziness often makes for the most original of artists, I find the majority of her songs to be not really my thing. But there are a few gems in the mix, none greater than this one. And the best news of all is, like the rest of the artists in my Guilty Pleasures section this season, she is the primary songwriter on most of her stuff, for better or for worse.

Stuff That’s Actually “OK” to Dig

This season’s playlist falls almost entirely in the Indie Rock genre, but my taste in Indie Rock music drastically differs from, most likely, anyone else you know. If you think you’re not a huge fan of the genre, I encourage you to give a few of the tunes on this season’s list a once over anyway. My taste in music is based on an initial, visceral reaction I have to a song, and strong, melodic choruses are an absolute MUST. Therefore, my taste often follows a more “poppy,” less “indie” sort of pattern, or as I often like to say, “universally appealing.” Tell me what you think, and please enjoy:

Electric Guest – “This Head I Hold”
Thoughts: Never heard of these guys before this week. Thank you Spotify!

Various Cruelties – “If It Wasn’t For You”
Thoughts: Cool band name.

Grizzly Bear – “Two Weeks”
Thoughts: The missing Beach Boys song.

Harper Simon – “Wishes and Stars”
Thoughts: The missing Simon and Garfunkel song.

The Drums – “Let’s Go Surfing” and “I Don’t Know How To Love”
Thoughts: Surf-rock meets Indie-rock meets 80’s New Wave a la New Order.

BOY – “Little Numbers”
Thoughts: I can hear the Go-Go’s influence all over these gals.

Young the Giant – “St. Walker”
Thoughts: A MUCH better song than their hit, “My Body.” I really dig this guy’s voice now that I’ve heard this song.

Atlas Genius – “If So”
Thoughts: I’m yet to hear a song from these guys I dislike.

Phoenix – “The Real Thing”
Thoughts: The first song I’ve dug off their follow up record to 2009’s Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix.

Band of Horses – “How to Live”
Thoughts: Have been told I should be into Band of Horses. Now I’ve heard a song of theirs I like.

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