After last week’s hiatus, I was very happy to make a new acquaintance in The Mountain Goats and their pro wrestling themed album Beat The Champ. The song writing is inspiring, and the mixture of skilled instrumentation and whimsical lyrics is genius. This particular track features some nice brass that makes things even better, and the line “I personally will stab you in the eye with an foreign object” which could very well be one of the best lines ever written.
If you’d have told me when I started this project that I’d feature a track by Mark Knopfler released in 2015, I would not have believed you, and it goes to show how exciting and surprising music can be. This is one of the more up-tempo tracks on the album. It has great lyrics, delivered by Mr. Knopfler’s great voice, and coupled with music that puts me in a great mood every time I hear it.
This song wasn’t available on Spotify at the time of this post, sorry.
Having been featured before, it’s not a secret I enjoy the music Death Cab for Cutie puts out. This track, which is taken from their upcoming album Kintsugi, is my favorite so far of the singles that they have released leading up to the new album. Apart from what usually makes a track by Death Cab for Cutie great, such as captivating lyrics and thoughtful instrumentation, this has a few interesting quirks added throughout that I find functions as the cherry on top of an already great track.
The second album from the folk rock band Seryn, Shadow Shows, has a lot of strong tracks, but this one instantly became my favorite. I had never heard of this band before, and their energy and delivery really grabbed me. This track has a lot of strong points, from the instrumentation with a prominent banjo to the vocals delivered by a male and female singer in great harmony. There are also some less expected layers of sound with I think elevates this track further.
The early trend for 2015 continues with another strong track from a very talented male singer and guitarist. This track, which I found on the EP Other Sides, features the strong vocals of James Bey and a very nice sound with a guitar that is borderline blues. At times, the singing reminded me a lot of the way Michael Jackson would use his voice to convey emotion, especially around the 2:15 mark. It’s not a complicated track, but that’s pretty much the whole point.
I thought it’d be very fitting to wrap up this year with one of the best tracks by one of the best bands of all time. The fact that the title is The End is just an added bonus. The track was recorded in a single take, which with today’s standard is an amazing accomplishment. Is this the end? I’m not sure yet. I might continue in 2015 with in a slight tweak. For now though, this is The End.
There are a lot of great tracks by The Smashing Pumpkins, and even tho this is likely the most commercially successful, it’s still the one I have to include as track of the week simply because of when it was released and what it meant to me at the time. I think a lot of people who were the same age as me when this track was released have the same relationship to it. Billy Corgan’s somewhat unpolished vocals coupled with heavy guitars and really grungy drums is such a fantastic combination.
I recently started listening to Tenacious D more frequently again, and this track in particular. It’s fun, well written and performed with a lot of energy which makes it stand out. Kyle Gass is a very talented guitar player and the acoustic guitar parts are simply amazing.
Manchester Orchestra is a fairly new acquaintance to me, but when the band released an acoustic version of their latest album I was definitely hooked! The original version of this track is also very good, but the reimagined version is a step up, and perfect for the season we currently find ourselves in on the northern hemisphere.
Apart from having an amazing trumpet solo the track this week has some of the best lyrics ever written. For a track that starts out very innocent, it quickly escalates into something frantic that describes the destructive nature of humanity. This track also has a great flow and rhythm, which together with everything else makes it pretty darn good.