Quick Hitters: The ABC’s of non-singles F-K

Best be packin’ your beats for these tracks

 

 

~F~

Foo Fighters-Halo

Again, probably my favorite song on the album and most of the general public hasn’t heard it. Although, I’ll add that part of the allure of a great song that most people don’t know about is…the fact that most people don’t know about it. It almost makes the track have a more personal feel when you discovered it on your own without the help of the radio/web. One could argue this is a knock-off of “Times Like These”, another great song off the album. But “Halo” boasts some great verses and some very good lyrics.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-cih9ofVrs

 

~G~

Green Day-Letterbomb

Track number ten on their legendary album, American Idiot, “Letterbomb” is yet another great song that made the album the 2005 rock album of the year (along with getting ALBUM of the year nominations as well). It’s a fast paced, peppy song that still has a heavy side to it. As always, Billie Joe’s enthusiastic and energizing vocals are the mainstay of this song, it features many exhilarating guitar riffs. My favorite part starts @2:42, a killer bridge that leads into the final chorus.

 

~H~

Hoobastank-Disappear

Even though this song somewhat reeks of mainstreamedness, it’s has an obscure sound to it at the same time. The song did receive a little airplay but most people probably haven’t heard it in a long time. The lyrics are nothing are nothing special but the vocals are great. Doug Robb’s is at his best during the woah-woah-woah-oh-oh-oh’s and subsequent chorus roughly around the 2:03 mark.

 

~I~

I Break Horses-Load Your Eyes

 

This is going to surely be one of the more lesser known bands on this post. Unless you keep up with the indie/electronic scene, then there is zero chance you’ve heard of I Break Horses. Lucky you, as you are about to be exposed to a stream of awesomeness the likes of which have never been seen before! Okay…I may over-hyping them just a tad. I’ll let their music do the talking, the sequence that begins @the 3:00 mark is unparalleled. Enjoy the trip

 

 

~J~

Jimmy Eat World-Authority Song

 

An fun, upbeat song that features vintage Jimmy Eat World guitar riffs. I’ve always enjoyed the backing vocals of their songs as well. The female whose name I haven’t been able to pinpoint, has a voice that contrasts/complements lead vocalist Jim Adkins exceptionally well. This was on one of the bands first albums, self-titled. It also has some funny lyrics, and is worth a look.

 

 

~K~

The Knife-We Share Our Mothers Health

 

An indie-electronic staple, The Knife makes their appearance on this list. A Swedish group, they have a knack for taking quirky sounding instrumentals and mixing them together for an invigorating melody. While they have almost a tropical island beat to them because of the different percussion elements, “We Share Our Mothers Health” has more of an industrial feel to it. I think you’ll see what I mean after listening. The vocals aren’t all that inviting, but after a few listens, you’ll realize that that’s the beauty of it. That combined with all of the other vocal effects makes for an obscure ride into indie electronic greatness.

 

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What I’m Listening To…

1. I Break Horses-This Swedish duo is becoming one of my favorite groups very quickly. They are able to produce some of the best beats and rhythms I’ve ever heard. They’re truly a unique group and the following song shows exactly why. It’s called “Faith” and carries a positive message while still containing some chilling lyrics. My favorite of those lyrics “Faith, the only thing you cling on to”. While the lyrics are good, the instrumentals combined with the vocals are nothing short of mesmerizing. It features a layered,  pulsating beat at the beginning and continues throughout. The keyboard playing and synths provide for an exceptional listening experience. THEN you throw in Maria Lindén’s vocals and you have something beyond description, at least by me anyway. This group is going to be big…

2. Death Grips-Whatever I want (Fuck who’s watching)

I haven’t listened to the entire album yet, but their latest release, Government Plates, has received a lot of buzz for the enigmatic group Death Grips. You can listen to it in its entirety here. This track grabbed my attention the most. While many other tracks on this album appear to be all over the place, this one seems to do that while maintaining some semblance of structure. MC Ride’s vicious vocals are the typical in-your-face variety that he’s known for but the rest of the song is quite inviting.  The highlight of this song is the dramatic transition from poppy rap song to a chill, trance-like excursion that hits at 1:25. It goes back and forth two times and it makes for a worthwhile listening experience. Check it out for yourself

3. Jagwar Ma-Come and Save Me

This is a fun and exciting new group. They are another group in the class of bands that are able to have a vintage indie sound while using technology to their advantage by mixing in some electronic effects. This song is one of their more old school offerings with the way the delivery of vocals enter to a 60’s band drum beat. The backing vocals are also a strength of this track, I feel. The “Ah’s” during the verses are harmonic and pulled off well. The female who chimes in during the chorus complements that line perfectly. All of their work on their  latest album, Howlin, is worth giving a listen. But for now, feel free to get lost in the delightfully campy dreamscape that “Come and Save Me” creates.

What I’m listening to: Chillwave out, bro

Chillwave is a term coined by the great Carles of Hipster Runoff. If you’re not familiar with that individual, please visit his blog here (WARNING: this site should not be navigated from your workplace). I find his blog posts to be full of humor and insight you cannot get anywhere else. As defined on his site, “Chillwave” is a sub-genre of indie rock where synthesizers/electronic effects are used predominantly over guitars. There’s almost always mellow vocals and it usually features ambience. It has quickly become one of my favorite styles. It doesn’t take somebody with a degree in rocket appliances to figure out that this is great music to unwind to. My introduction to it was through a Clams Casino mix-tape track that featured Imogen Heap (I did a post on them awhile back that can be viewed here). It really takes you to another place, it does.

I was totally into this chillwave music but it was so deep I ended up in this ocean and then I was just like...Woah

I was totally into this chillwave music but it was so deep, I ended up in this ocean and then I was just like…woah

1. Washed Out-All I know

Washed Out has truly become the face of chillwave. I cannot think of a band that more epitomizes the genre than this project led by Ernest Greene. I first heard of them on Portlandia as their track “Feel it All Around” is played during the title credits. “All i Know” is a newer track off their latest album Paracosm. It features a long, flowing intro that assures you will be listening to something pleasant. After that, Greene’s vocals kick in and the ride begins. Green’s vocals are good at times, and definitely sub-par for others (I think the vocals are the weak point of “Feel it All Around”), but they are stellar during this track. It is my estimation that you will further look into this group after enjoying this moderately-paced, quaint gem of a song.

 

2. I Break Horses-Denial

In case you have fallen out of the loop on the Swedish indie scene, I’m happy to introduce you to I Break Horses, a wondrous electro group that has produced a variety of tunes I’ve come to like in the recent weeks. They are composed of Maria Linden and Fredrik Balck. These two know how to incorporate electric themes and influences about as well as any more well-known electronic artists such as Daft Punk or Chemical Brothers. What I like about this music is the lack of uptempo beats that techno music features. This isn’t music you can dance to but I think that was far from the intention when it was written. There are plenty of catchy effects both instrumentally and vocally (@ 1:58). I’m going to shut-up now so you can get to listening to this remarkable track. Be sure to check out their work if you liked this one, you can play it right off their website of which the link is provided above.

 

3. Neon Indian-Sleep Paralysist (Com Truise “Eyelid” Remix)

This last song is a Com Truise remake of a popular Neon Indian track called “Sleep Paralysist”. While I think the original is a good song itself, this remix is an improved effort. The haunting intro is the highlight of the song for me. The bass-sounding synths are also heavily available throughout the song.  The chorus is underwhelming and the vocals are just a notch above serviceable. Nevertheless, I generally like Alan Palomo’s vocals, they complement this type of music very well. This is the darker side of chillwave and has a little bit more going on than most tracks of this genre but this does not equate to a less enjoyable listening experience whatsoever.