Sorry for the delay! There weren't enough songs last week to make it happen. Please submit if you want these articles to keep happening! Submit here and listen here(Article Playlist) and here (Archive and Top Contributors). Get ready for the Teachers' Edition next week!
Disco Inferno - In Sharky Water
Despite what the name of the band and album, D.I. Go Pop, may suggest, In Sharky Water and other songs on the album are not remotely disco or pop. D.I. Go Pop is unique in its use of sampled environmental noises, like those typically heard in field recordings and musique concrete, as primary instruments of its largely post-punk-sounding tracks. The last song on the album, Footprints in the Snow, uses a recording of someone running across grass as the song's beat-setting percussion while other things like airplanes landing and wind chimes provide additional atmosphere. That song ends by transitioning from a studio recording to a live recording of the band playing and being stopped by the landlady for being too loud.
In Sharky Water is a little less ambitious in its sampling, featuring only a recording of water flowing whose pitch is modulated after every two loops, joined by bassy drums and an electric guitar with heavy reverb playing a repetitive tune, creating a dank atmosphere a bit similar to that of Boris's Flood. This sound makes up the entirety of the first and third movements; the second and fourth segment are a lot more energetic with the gentle flow of water changing into that of a running stream and featuring thumping drums, guitar chords instead of single notes, and Ian Crause's talking. In the fourth segment, Ian Crause's voice is both shouting and talking, with the shouting voice emphasizing points of the talking one.
The lyrics are a bit hard to work out among the chaos and seem to be unavailable online, but short, coherent segments seem to hint that the song may be a commentary on violence and war in the world; in the first lyrical segment, references to death are made, and in the second, a calmer, less emotive voice reads off historical dates followed by brief descriptions that sound like paragraphs from a history book, sometimes mentioning scenes of violence like the first. In one paragraph, "September 1995: American human rights..." can be made out, and a bit of searching around led to the "Draft of the Inter-American Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples," so perhaps the song may be a commentary on American or, more generally, Western imperialism.
Wire - Two People in a Room
From the landmark post-punk/art punk band Wire's second album, Two People in a Room is one of the standout tracks off of the album 154. The song carries with it a sence of urgency and the broody, dark atmosphere typical of music of the post-punk genre. Two People in a Room is fairly fast-paced and unrelenting, consisting mainly of a thumping drum beat and heavily overdriven guitars that never cease in their procession. Colin Newman's voice is also present, alternating between calm talking and shouting like in the Disco Inferno song. The somewhat vague lyrics appear to concern a domestic dispute, possibly an argument, whose relatively calm and passive-aggressive nature contrasts with the relatively upbeat one of the song itself.
Merzbow - Worms Plastic Earthbound
One of my favourite noise pieces, Worms Plastic Earthbound is a noise composition featuring an exploration of the various textures of Akita's array of electronic instruments. A relatively tame noise piece, Worms Plastic Earthbound can sometimes sound like a conglomeration of smaller drone pieces; after an exploratory period, the soundscape is sometimes frozen for several moments as the electronics output a relatively consistent, flat signal. Both the volume and intensity vary significantly throughout the piece, but the variations aren't as abrupt or extreme as you might expect.
Aaron Tveit - Run Away With Me
This is from a musical that I hardly know anything about. But I found a video of Aaron singing it and then I fell in love with this song. It's so romantic, Aaron sings it so well. Michael Arden also has a version of this song, but I haven't listened to it as much as Aaron's, even though Michael's is supposed to be amazing as well. Ugh Aaron Tveit. So amazing.
The cast of The Hunchback of Notre Dame Musical - God Help the Outcasts
This song is in the movie. The scene is so beautiful. But the musical version has more of the choir in it, and it makes it even more beautiful. I also love Ciara Renée's voice, so that adds to it. This song shows how Esmeralda really is the best character, because although her life isn't the best, she doesn't even want help. Instead, she wants to help others. Like seriously every main character in this novel, movie, and musical has done bad things, but Esmeralda hasn't (that I know of). I also just really love this song.
Churchill - Change
This was a free song of the week a while back on iTunes, so I got it. Nobody knows this song, but I really love it. So, here it is. Enjoy it.
Reel Big Fish - She Has a Girlfriend Now
One of my new favorites from Reel Big Fish. I can’t say I relate to the song but that doesn't take away from how fun this song is too listen to.
Dead Workers Party - Minecraft’s Ending
Something I just happened to find from a long time ago. The lyrics segments from Minecraft’s end text. The one that no one really read or could understand if they did. One of the main reasons I still like this song is that It’s still great if you remove minecraft from it. A great, happy, and inspiring song.
Keep Singing - Rick Astley
You read that right, Rick Astley. The man behind the oldest internet joke in the book. I loved the joke but I never realized just how talented he is. His voice is just fantastic. He never gave up on us and didn’t let us down. The song might have had him running around but he never deserted us.
Elbow - Starlings
If there ever was a song that made me feel, it's this one. DISCLAIMER: This song has a few very loud and startling parts, be careful when cranking it up. Those parts of the song are hugely important towards the feeling. The beginning is soft and understated, with no percussion but a soft and steady timpani hit. Guy Garvey comes in after a few loud, startling brass hits, and sings about reluctant love. It builds and crescendos until it drops off and you're left with a burning longing in your chest. The background from the beginning starts up again, with the loud, startling hits over it a few more times, milking the feeling and then letting you calm down before softly ending in one last timpani hit.
Pile - idiot the chef
This is an interesting blend of grunge and punk that reminds me a lot of Toadies and Soundgarden. I found this album on Bandcamp when I was looking through the record label that Palehound signed with. The album was free, but I would totally pay for it now, and I actually might buy it again so I can pay them. The song seems to be an account of a kind of strange, crazy relationship. It's hard to tell with the exteremely surreal lyrics, though. I feel like I get the gist of it anyway without fully understanding the lyrics.
Alice in Chains - Don't Follow
Huge change of pace for Alice in Chains, but in this case, it really paid off. This seems at first like a very folky song, and for the most part it is. In the middle it turns into something more like western rock, though. This is another one of those Rock n Roll lifestyle songs like "This Time Tomorrow". From almost every rock band that charted between 1960 and 2000 one of these songs can be found. This one is particularly beautiful as it's personal to Layne Staley, referencing his drug problems and his poor self-image.