5 Songs is a weekly series where we point out the strange, the grand, and the unique connections between our favorite songs. Let’s get weird.
Words by Chris
Welcome to a special edition of 5 Songs. I wish these could be more frequent, but you know every time I write one, my strength wanes like Spawn’s cloak (that was today’s I Love the 90’s episode). Because of forces beyond my control, I welcome you into 5 great opening tracks from 2012 to open the fall that also serve as a precipice to something fierce… get it? To gather any loose ends or quell any weird opinions you disagree with, I will also end every blurb with the indomitable phrase of similitude to any reader’s attitude: “Dude, seriously.” Dude, seriously.
Nick Zammuto’s new outfit plays like a different version of the Books er uh, well it’s comprised of exactly half of the Books. Without the vocal sampling and humorous oddities that make the Books what they are, you are left with a charm that leans solely on instrumental composition and much more singing and traditional songwriting. For a lack of explaining everything and/or nothing to you now, the kind of texture provided in “Yay” is that kind of cyber-tribal celebration perfectly reserved for deep, contemplative bedroom apocalypses. Dude, seriously.
There should be a genre somewhere in Paul’s [Ed. note: Ahem, Sound Cat] called, “Sensitive Male Reserve Strength Bands”. Bands that write songs that feel like marches for self-preservation and self-sacrifice that both contemplate AND celebrate romantic doldrums, but really boil down to, “Let’s all take it easy.” (The National have cornered the market on this). This glorious first song from The Walkmen’s new record Heaven seeks no perfection in “golden dreams that lose their glow,” and pleads brilliantly, “Give me a light that needs correction.” The shuffle-claps and Hamilton Leithauser’s howl in this song inspired me to write this blurb. Dude, seriously.
Before the Internet creams its jeans about Grizzly Bear’s overrated (still very good) album, take a detour to Daniel Rossen’s E.P. Silent Hour / Golden Mile and this absolutely perfect piece of dreaming folk. God damn it, just read this lyric: “With your mouth full of stones grinding your teeth, speak for me.” That is the pitch of beauty right there: yearning mixed with vulnerability. What starts as an unaccompanied acoustic song morphs into string sections that soar like magnetic streaks against the night sky, only to calm back down at the song’s close, affirming both the destructive nature of reality and its endless cyclical movement. Dude, seriously!
The part of me that worships Peter Murphy wants to hand this band’s kick-ass new record Worship to children and old people to help explain what the fuck to do on Saturday nights. My only complaint about this song (and this record) is that these songs should be at least 7 minutes-long each. It should be punishing. If you’re going to kick ass this loud and fierce and try to channel all the goth-poison this band strives for, GO for it all the way. That is the most reasonable thing I’ve said in weeks. Of course, this is also a reason to see them live. Do you know how good it feels to hear a band that incorporates electronic textures and WANTS to rock? If so, do you want to roll some fat j’s and listen to In the Flat Field with me tomorrow? Dude, seriously?
Here we go: more electronic music that has some complex texture and command of a tasteful aural palette. Chris Clark’s music exists in transformation, from slinky eastern vibes to hushed hand clapping to dazzling echoplexes. The recording has depth because of its adherence to both board-sampling and actual recording. Get the record, Iradelphic, and witness the transition between this first track and the second, “Com Touch”, which is akin to jumping off the grassland plateaus in central Africa into a video game. Dude, seriously.