List 10 songs that you’re loving right now.
Some people are more into the lyrics of songs and some people are more into how the song sounds. I fall into the latter category. I have a friend who actually pays attention to lyrics and I’ll tell him a song I found and after listening to it, he’ll immediately comment on how dark the lyrics are or how nonsensical they are and I won’t even have noticed. I mean, I do pay attention to lyrics, but usually way after I’ve gotten into the song. Not all of these songs are necessarily new songs, just songs I’ve been listening to a lot for whatever reason. I lit-tra-lee listen to all kinds of music, and I think this list reflects that.
1. “Let It Happen” – Tame Impala
Why I like it so much: This is just an epic song. I hadn’t heard of Tame Impala until recently when they played at Coachella and I saw them play this song live on the live YouTube stream – and the song sounded even more epic live (you can see a shortened live version from when they performed on Conan). It clocks in at nearly eight minutes, but it’s always an eight minutes well spent.
Thing to be doing while listening to this song: Riding a unicorn
2. “Feeling Ok” – Best Coast
Album: California Nights
Why I like it so much: Even with driving guitars and beat, this song manages to feel chill. I’m imagining this band playing in some small venue while all the kids are just bobbing their heads in chill agreement.
Thing to be doing while listening to this song: Bobbing head in chill agreement
3. “Do You – Spoon
Album: They Want My Soul
Why I like it so much: Of all the bands I’m a fan of, they put out the most consistently great music with every album. I’ve yet to see them live, but videos of them performing live makes me wish I could. This is a good road trip song that makes the drive feel a little more purposeful and cool.
Thing to be doing while listening to this song: Driving on any open road
4. “Can’t Deny My Love” – Brandon Flowers
Album: The Desired Effect
Why I like it so much: If you listen to this album, it sounds like Brandon Flowers was influenced by everything ever – synths, percussion, carefully placed drum machine sounds, great bass lines, staccato, and martial arts movie flute sounds. Most songs have just one of those characteristics, but this song has all of them. Usually, that would just mean a cacophony of instrumentation, but somehow, he pulls it off here.
Thing to be doing while listening to this song: Interpretive dance
5. “Wild” – Beach House
Why I like it so much: Whenever I hear this song, I kind of zone out. Listen to it and you’ll know what I mean. I listened to this album a billion times when it came out three years ago, and I just started listening to it again. All the parts of the song blend together into an ethereal mix of dreaminess and puts me in a state where my wife would say “Hellooo….It looks like there’s nothing going on up there…(pointing to my forehead)”
Thing to be doing while listening to this song: Zoning out, but in the best way possible
6. “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” – Santa Esmeralda
Album: Kill Bill Vol. I Soundtrack
Why I like it so much: I recently re-watched Kill Bill Vol. I (and Vol. 2), and I had totally forgotten about this song. Quentin Tarantino is a master at pulling the perfect song out of obscurity and thrusting it into the pop culture mainstream (the Jackie Brown soundtrack is full of them) and this song is no exception. When you hear the soul clap right when O-Ren Ishii pushes off her sandals and steps to fight Beatrix you’re like, “It’s about to GO DOWN.” The original version clocks in at 10 minutes, so even if you can’t listen to the entire thing (even though at one point I was repeatedly), try to find something badass to do while you’re listening to it.
Thing to be doing while listening to this song: Preparing to eat a massive breakfast burrito
7. “Human Nature” – Michael Jackson
Why I like it so much: Since Michael Jackson is G.O.A.T. status, pretty much any of his songs are awesome, but I never get sick of listening to this one. I don’t know what it is, but this song is somehow tied to my memories of being 8 years old and sitting in my parents’ car driving somewhere around LA at night.
Thing to be doing while listening to this song: Anything
8. “Times of Your Life” – Paul Anka
Album: The Best of the United Artists Years 1973 – 1977
Why I like it so much: There was a promo for the final episode of Mad Men which used this song and for some reason I got obsessed with it and started listening it to a lot. For one, it was the perfect song to use (it was originally a song for a Kodak TV ad in 1975 and became so popular that Paul Anka recorded the full song). It also reminds me a lot of the kind of music my dad loved, so whenever I find a song from this era that I also like, I hang onto it for dear life.
Thing to be doing while listening to this song: Looking through old photos and sobbing uncontrollably
9. “Gun” – CHVRCHES
Album: The Bones of What You Believe
Why I like it so much: I recently came back to the songs on this album after not listening to it after listening to it a lot and this is the song I came back to the most. Lauren Mayberry’s voice kind of floats over the punchy ocean of synths and I haven’t tired of it even after a good year of listening.
Thing to be doing while listening to this song: Trying to pronounce “CHVRCHES”
10. “When I’m Away” – The Colourist
Why I like it so much: It took a little time for me to warm up to it, but the intro manages to work its way through this song and pulls you into the other parts and then you’re hooked. Like “Can’t Deny My Love”, this song includes everything I like about music. The Colourist are really good at combining upbeat sounds with lyrics of sadness or longing, a trick that all great bands master.
Thing to be doing while listening to this song: Driving to the beach on a weekend this summer (because you work during the week)