We've hit the double digits! Welcome to our ten-week anniversary! To keep this article going, I need your songs and your reasons for liking them or wanting people to hear them! Submit them in the comments or to my email. The Spotify playlist can be found here and the archive playlist here.
Cold War Kids - First
I like this song because it's so lyrically deep.
The Heavy - Short Change Hero
I like this song because it's a good song to listen to when you're on a road trip.
Arctic Monkeys - From Ritz to Rubble
This song is wicked awesome to jam out to.
Red Sun Rising - The Otherside
What's funny about this song is that the singer and the guitar player, who wrote the lyrics together, interpret them completely differently. The singer views it as a song about fighting through ones troubles and reaching the "other side" of ones problems. The guitarists view is that it is a song about how our actions throughout our lives don't matter because we all eventually reach "the other side". I think this shows the beauty of the art form, that two people, who wrote the lyrics together, take away two completely different meanings.
El Ten Eleven - My Only Swerving
I feel as though I'm being lazy by not writing much about this song, but there isn't much I feel I can say to do it justice. It's a laid back, instrumental journey through a really calming theme, but not in the least boring.
Marconi Union - Weightless Pt. 1
I saw this song a while ago in an article where neurologists tested the most calming songs they could find, and this song was listed as the #1 most calming song. I took it for granted at the time, but when I came across it again, I felt the truety of the title. If you can take the time to isolate yourself from sound and light and immerse yourself entirely in this song, I think you'll agree that science has prevailed yet again.
Elbow - New York Morning
This song, in its purest form, is a praise of New York City. The band holds the city in high regard, as a hub of culture, ideas, and humanity. It discusses the idea of a big city, and what is behind it. One of my favorite lines "so you and I could live together", is offered as a reasoning behind the bustling metropolis. It exists to bring people together.
Deceit, the final studio album by This Heat, a band that was at the forefrunt of post-punk, is a quite complex and highly political album. According to Wikipedia, it was written as a way of expressing the band members' anxiety towards nuclear armament and impending global destruction during the Cold War, which certainly shows through how distressed everything about the album feels - the lyrics, the compositions, and even the packaging reflected this. S.P.Q.R. focused on humans' tendencies for imperialism - a tendency that continues to persist with no signs of stopping - and the consequences of it, comparing the world's as-of-then current nations to the Roman Empire. The song opens with "Amo, amas, amat, amamus, amatis, amant," which are different conjugations of "amare", Latin for "to love" (disclaimer: I'm going off of Google Translate as I don't know Latin); later, this part of the refrain is replaced by "bella, bella, bella, bellorum, bellis, bellis," which are conjugations of "bellare", Latin for "to fight", possibly a commentary of how unquestioning love for one's country to the point of nationalism is one of the primary triggers for conflicts. To further drive home the point, the line "Veni, vidi, vici, I came, I saw, I conquered" is appended to the conjugations of bellare, the pronouns "we" and "are" are used exclusively. The song then begins to draw parallels between countries like the United States and United Kingdom to ancient Rome with the lines, "We organise via property as power / Slavehood and freedom, imperial purple / Pax Romana / Suckled by a she wolf / We turn against our brother." The first line - "We organize via property as power" - is an increasingly relevant issue in today's times, with a growing global awareness and disposition against things like the Trans Pacific Partnership, the collective Wall Street, and increasing corporate influence over first-world countries' governments in general, all of which are supportive of the ideology of material inequality being unavoidable, necessary, or even beneficial. "Slavehood and freedom" and "Pax Romana" refer to the claims that the world is a better place with relatively few superpowers in charge, with our own Pax Romana being sponsored by the United States (Pax Americana) that leaves the publics of our nation and friendly nations at relative ease, the ugly side being that foreign nations' citizens are leeched in a manner that is essentially slavery; that the previously mentioned spread of Western markets has suffocated the globe; that war continues to rage on in the background and by states that are sometimes even supported by the United States. "Suckled by a she wolf / We turn against our brother" refer to the less relevant Roman mythology of its two "founders" - Romulus and Remus - being rescued by a wolf, with Romulus later killing Remus and founding Rome, which I suppose could be interpreted as United States' conflicts with and oppression of the natives that helped make this country possible in the first place. As usual, the song's sonic structure serves to augment its message as well. The entire song is sung as a three-part vocal harmony, emphasizing the theme of nationalism, and every instance of "Pax Romana" explosive drums, serving as a contrast between the phrase's literal meaning and its real-world application. The entire thing is very creative and engaging and the beat is pretty fun and fast-paced. What's not to love? The rest of the album, which I highly recommend checking out if you enjoy S.P.Q.R., is just as interesting, if not more so. It starts off with a fairly conventional song (Sleep, about the blinding nature of consumerism) and gradually leads into more complex compositions.
Viet Cong - Bunker Buster
Viet Cong's Bunker Buster is a more modern example of post-punk, released in January of this year. Bunker Buster is a lot more similar to a conventional post-punk song than S.P.Q.R., which makes sense since This Heat wasn't a very conventional band; thumping drums and a very prominent bass share the stage with the equally visible, dissonant riffs of a bright electric guitar, very typical of the genre. What isn't typical, though - and what are, in my opinion, the song's most interesting feature - are the intermittent high and low notes of the electric guitar. It's something I don't hear too often, and it's one of the song's strong points. The contrast between the notes has a very fun and energetic feel. The somewhat monotonous vocals, also very typical of a post-punk song, march on along with the very steady drums. However, the way that they move up and down in a very rigid, sawtooth-like manner adds to the song's novelty. As for what they're saying: they're a bit vague, but it's clear that some kind of conflict is going on. The rigid nature of the instrumentation suggests this, as well. The song's title and some words in the first few lines - "neon screens that scan" - suggest being aboard a bomber jet fitted with radar. After that, the song starts to become ambiguous, though - lyrics about scanning for "Japanese ships" on an album named "Viet Cong" by a band of the same name seem a bit anachronistic (second disclaimer: I'm not a big history buff, so I could be wrong).
The Raincoats - Fairytale in the Supermarket
Post-punk doesn't always have to be political and mildly cold-feeling; this song proves that. Like much of the rest of the album, Fairytale in the Supermarket feels very upbeat and cheerful. Some of the lyrics to those songs aren't as upbeat and cheerful, but at least their delivery and the supporting instruments feel like it. As for the lyrics to Fairytale in the Supermarket: they're fairly ambiguous. Some are even a bit surreal and nonsensical, such as, "Cups of tea are a clock / A clock, a clock, a clock / The times I forgot but never forgot." However, the lyrics do feel a bit patronizing, as if the speaker is talking down to someone without as much experience. For example: "You're rereading a book / To feel reassured / By the life / Of your favorite hero" has a very matter-of-fact tone, informing whoever the speaker is addressing of something that they presumably don't already know. There's also the lines, "But don't worry, honey don't worry / This is just a fairytale / Happening in the supermarket," which also feels a bit surreal at the same time. The song overall seems to have meant to be enjoyed rather than analyzed, and the melody alone is certainly nice enough on its own to make that possible.
Streetlight Manifesto - Toe to Toe
This is one of my favorite Streetlight songs. It's about religious identity and disbelief. It talks about how people shouldn't force their religion on others.
Moby - Wait for Me
The song is great. But one of my favorite parts is the video itself.
*This song is not in the Spotify playlist because it is not on Spotify.