Poetry in Tune

Music is the sister of poetry, and poetry has always been a love of mine. But when a song has exceptional lyrical value, that song always wins me over. Here are some of my favourite tracks, all that have managed to impress me lyrically. It was a difficult list to compile, because some artists like Radiohead, Bright Eyes and Sufjan Stevens are so impressive in all their tracks that it is difficult to pick one. Yet I have, and I hope it is worthy enough to make it into someone’s music. Forgive me for the length of the list.

How to disappear completely (Radiohead)

I cannot praise Radiohead enough. If someone has not explored their music yet, Kid A is the album to start at. I am afraid of listening to this song too many times, lest I lose what I feel while it plays in silence. How to disappear completely is filled with so much pain and desperation, just like so many of songs, and is by far the best song I have ever heard, no competition. For someone who likes this, Morning bell (also from Kid A), is also lyrically horrifying and will send chills up your spine with the words, “Cut the kids in half, cut the kids in half.” I cannot put enough Radiohead suggestions here. From their rock sound in Creep and Anyone can play guitar, to their more electronic rock sound in the recent Lotus Flower, they have been creating exceptional music ever since they started. With every song they just prove that they are, in fact, one of the best bands of their time.

I can feel a hot one (Manchester Orchestra)

Manchester Orchestra is predominantly an indie rock band, but this song has much different sound when compared to alternative. The lyrics are absolutely brilliant, and so gently and heartbreaking at the same time. This song is one of my favourites simply because of the lyrics and how masterfully they have been written. Listen to this song only if you want your mind to be touched and toyed with.

Peter (Daughter)

Daughter is probably the most underrated artist I have listened to. Her music is simple, as is quite evident from this song. The song can be interpreted as Wendy singing to Peter, long after they have quite finished their adventure accusing him of still being a child. It is a beautiful and sad attempt by Wendy to break free from the chains that childhood fit on her. Or so I thought. Until I checked the song out on YouTube and the top comment was one by JackRosiesMusic, and he had written a song just as Peter would have replied. I thought it couldn’t get any better, but it just had.

Easy/Lucky/Free & Poison Oak (Bright Eyes)

“Another century of pointing guns

At anything that moves.

Sometimes I worry that I’ve lost the plot

My twitching muscles tease my flippant thoughts

I never dreamed of heaven much,

Until we put him in the ground.”

(Easy/Lucky/Free)

The lead of Bright Eyes, Conor Oberst, is an extremely talented songwriter and writes particularly intimate songs. He has been criticized at not being a good singer (his voice and singing are very crude and untrained) but he has always claimed he was into music because of the poetry, and he has proved himself right. Easy/Lucky/Free was misinterpreted by me as a positive song, but later I realized how horribly cynical it really was, which made me love it even more. Poison Oak is about a person who has lost a dear friend to suicide. Neither of the songs should be taken lightly, and should not just be songs one listens to once and hides beneath layers of other music. Either it should be listened to with dignity for the artist, or not at all.

Lover, you should have come over (Jeff Buckley)

Looking out the door, I see the rain fall upon the funeral mourners

Parading in a wake of sad relations as their shoes fill up with water

And maybe I’m too young to keep good love from going wrong

But tonight you’re on my mind so you never know.”

Jeff Buckley made me fall in love with his music the day I listened to his cover of Hallelujah. I had been skeptical, Hallelujah has been brilliantly performed by both Leonard Cohen and John Cale, but Jeff Buckley’s version was so private and beautiful, that I almost forgot it wasn’t the original. And then the title of the song drew me to it, and I discovered a song lyrically as perfect as its music. Jeff Buckley will not let you down, least of all with this song.

Casimir Pulaski Day (Sufjan Stevens)

“On the floor at the great divide

With my shirt tucked in and my shoes untied

I am crying in the bathroom

In the morning when you finally go

And the nurse runs in with her head hung low

And the cardinal hits the window

In the morning in the winter shade

On the first of March, on the holiday

I thought I saw you breathing…”

I had the hardest time trying to pick a Sufjan Stevens song for the list; I knew I could pick only one. All his songs just tell you how exquisite of a songwriter Stevens is. He wrote a song about the serial killer John Wayne Gacy which was new and very well composed as well. My favourite song of Stevens is Chicago though; it is very catchy and sweet. Casimir Pulaski Day is the work of a lyrical genius, though. The whole album Illinoise is beautiful and perfect for a listen on a warm October night.

Passing afternoon (Iron & Wine)

I cannot quote the lyrics of this song as the song is one long poem. Iron & Wine is a gentle artist, he tugs slowly and simply. There is much pain hidden in this song, and the more you think about the reason why he must’ve written the song, the worse it gets.

Seventy times Seven (Brand New)

“So is that what you call a getaway?

Tell me what you got away with

Cause I’ve seen more spine on jellyfish

I’ve seen more guts on eleven-year-old kids

Have another drink and drive yourself home

I hope there’s ice on all the roads

And you can think of me when you forget your seat belt

And again when your head goes through the windshield!”

I love this song simply because it is so angry and frightening. The writer wishes nothing but the worst for a friend who just broke his heart. Calling them cowardly is just not enough, he wants them to suffer and he puts it into words which are as acidic as it gets. Brand New is, after all, an alternative rock band and their sound has always been true to that. Limousine is about a a little girl who died in a drunk-driving accident, and is so full of angst and painful elaboration that the six odd minutes of the song will fly by in your mind.

Not a pretty girl (Ani DeFranco)

“What if there are no damsels in distress?

What if I knew that and called your bluff?

Don’t you think every kitten,

Figures out how to get down,

Whether or not you ever show up?”

I have had an overdose of feminist ideologies, and I am not complaining, but this song was the start of it all. Ani Defranco is clear and solemn, and is the poor person’s feminist. The lyric of this song (all acoustic) makes it nothing less than an anthem.

Mykonos (Fleet Foxes)

“The door slammed loud and rose up a cloud of dust on us

Footsteps follow, down through the hollow sound, torn up.

And you will go to Mykonos

With a vision of a gentle coast

And a sun to maybe dissipate

Shadows of the mess you made.”

Fleet foxes have impressed me time and again with every song they have made.  This song is such a refreshing and surprising listen, it blows me away every time I listen to it. The sound and tune change in the middle of the song, catching me off guard (pleasantly, of course) every single time. The lyrics of song make me want to take a vacation at a beach like nothing else does.  The songs they write are no different than poetry. The song Lorelai is also the work of a very talented group of artists.

Wake up (Arcade Fire)

“If the children don’t grow up,

Our bodies get bigger but our hearts get torn up,

We’re just a million little gods causing rain storms,

Turning every good thing to rust.

I guess we’ll just have to adjust.”

I had been suggested Arcade Fire numerous times before I came across it on one of my main music related threads on a community. Listening to Wake up was insightful and hit me hard, the chorus will move you. Arcade Fire is heavily underrated; they make rock sound like folk and folk like rock. Very few artists have the ability to transit between sounds so effortlessly. Granted, the lyrics of the music they make are quite dark, but you will find that most artists on this list have darker lyrics. The album Funeral is a great listen, all the songs.

Seven Nation Army (The White Stripes)

Every time I listen to this song, I am torn by the realization that this amazing band no longer makes music. It is a shame because I have been enjoying their music since years. The three albums that won the Grammy for Best Alternative album, deserved it, and deserved it well. I am approaching a cliché in this list as I say that each song on each of these albums was a great, great success. Elephant is my favourite album of The White Stripes and Ball and Biscuit is also very fun to listen to. Jack White has been pursuing music still, and I have followed every band he has formed.

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Hospice (The Antlers)

Hospice refers to care that is given to terminally ill patients. This care may refer to physical, mental and psychosocial needs that the patient has developed through the course of the illness. Coming across this album, one can only assume that it has to be yet another sensitive album about death and the sense of loss that drags along with it. The Antlers is one of my favourite bands after listening to this album. The Antlers is an American indie rock band that released their third album Hospice in 2009 as it saw critical acclaim soon after its release. I only came across the album (and the artist) recently. It interested me that it was a concept album, meaning that unlike normal albums, all the songs in the album were not disconnected. The album is a full-weave, each song a request to hear what comes next. There are many interpretations of the album and its autobiographical nature, but I can only write about mine.

Prologue: The introduction to the album struck me as vague. I was advised to listen to the album closely and carefully, which made me feel that the sounds in this short track made me imagine being inside someone’s lungs. I already knew this album was about hospital care, and it was disturbing to imagine the way that I did. I hope other listeners did not go through the same. Or I hope they did.

Kettering: Doing a quick Google search will tell you that ‘kettering’ is not a meaningful word at all. It is, in fact, a cancer centre in a place called Kettering. This is where the true nature of the music begins to faze over oneself. Peter Silberman is a talented vocalist. His voice is calm and generously quiet in this song, as it begins to tell the story. I assume this song is from the perspective of the nurse that works in a hospice facility. The patient (a woman) already seems an abusive and intolerant person, sickened by her proximity to death. I cannot even begin to describe how destructive this song can be if listened to in the right way.

But something kept me standing

By that hospital bed

I should have quit but instead

I took care of you”

Sylvia: This song starts again with a weird sound and calm vocals. The sound was, and this is true for the whole album, extremely disturbing. The patient (who has a name now) is being addressed in the song, and I assume this time it is more personal than just the nurse tending to her. This time, I think it is the husband of the patient, and this makes it even more moving for me because he keeps repeating “Let me do my job…” in the verse of the song. It may as well have been the nurse. The name Sylvia also refers to the poet Sylvia Plath who committed suicide by sticking her head in the oven. This is one of favourite songs on this album. It is vocally an achievement that few vocalists can produce.

“Sylvia, can’t you see what you are doing?

Can’t you see I’m scared to speak

And I hate my voice because it only makes you angry…”

Atrophy: The truth about the song is plain and simple. The patient is the victim, but that has not stopped her from being abusive and paranoid. Death is an experience no one should have to have dragged through life. The husband, who I assume is the protagonist of the song, is torn by his inability to act for his own welfare because of the sense of commitment for his wife. His self-esteem is atrophied. Helplessness is so tenderly captured in this song that it is almost too clear to the listener the quality of life the husband is reduced to. Midway in the song, there is a strange build-up, the ending to which really surprised me. After a continuation of yet other strange sounds and noises, the song ends with lines that have been etched in my mind.

I’ve been repeating your speeches, but the audience just doesn’t follow

Because I’m leaving out words, punctuations, and it sounds pretty hollow.”

Bear: This song stands out in the album as one of the three singles of the album. The most upsetting idea about this song is that it is about abortion. The “bear” being referred to is the unborn child of the couple. It only vaguely fits into the whole theme of the hospice care and the patient’s misery which is why I assume it is about various trials that the couple has to go through and is not chronologically arranged. I have used this word to describe several songs in the album, and this song will not be an exception. It was immensely disturbing to hear him sing,

“We are not scared of making caves, or finding food for him to eat.

We are terrified of one another and terrified of what it means.”

The melody is upbeat and catchy, and if one does not know the lyrics, it is a perfectly happy song. And it must be. I do think it has been written by a younger protagonist, and the naiveté of the boy is clear and evident. This is the point in the album that the album loses its pace, and slows down to just a trickle of melancholy.

Thirteen: Sharon Van Etten is an introspective vocalist and has always been one of favourite female musicians. She is dreamy and surreal, and she contributes that to this song which I assume is from the perspective of the patient. This is the first, and the only, time that we see real vulnerability, the patient’s. She is distressed and emotionally shaken, begging to be saved and disappointed that no one can really help her. The lyrics and the vocal part is too short, but it is so hauntingly beautiful that for really long three minutes, you will forget that she is an abusive spouse and not a loving woman and that she reduced her husband to a commitment he is supposed to support.

Two: As aforementioned, this album is completely open to interpretation. This is the first time that I imagined that probably; the nurse and the husband were, in fact, the same person. If this is true, the album takes a newer form, the nurse met the patient in hospice. He already knew the state of her body when he married her. He did marry her; it is evident from the lyrics of the song. This song gives us a much more in depth understanding of the patient herself and we realize the fact that she is heavily disturbed and has been sick since she was a young kid. Her illness has always been a part of her, has always kept her from being who she was, and this has led to her being exceedingly paranoid. The husband is devastated, and this song is not much different from Atrophy because here, too, the husband is making it very clear that he has stuck by her side even with the state of her mind. It might also not be surprising to learn that the patient also probably has bi-polar disorder, a mental illness that makes it very difficult to stay around. Like Bear, the song has a buoyant melody and the true nature of the song is only revealed in the lyrics. The ending of the song is sudden and distressing, and I assume here that the patient has finally passed away.

Shiva: The song was extremely difficult to understand but after much thought I realized what imagination the lyricist has used in writing it. The patient is dead, but the protagonist is imagining that he is dead, and that his own face is turning into the face of his dead lover. It is reprehensibly disquieting that one can actually feel that way, and the singer has resigned to exhaustion. He gave up too much to be with his lover, and now that she is gone, his helplessness is of a varied kind. I was surprised that Silberman took so long to reach the sorrowful stage of the album, that I misinterpreted the songs several times.

“Well, I was lying down with my feet in the air

Completely unable to move

The bed was misshaped, and awkward and tall

And clearly intended for you.”

Wake: When I listen to this song, all I can see is the protagonist passing his time through the place that the lovers called home. It is hard for him to explain why he never left her, why he stuck with her even though he knew that he could not save her, as her husband or as her caretaker. The relationship has taken toll on his mind, and his weakness is bare in the song. The last few lines of the song are said to himself as he tries to convince himself that he did what he could but that none of it was really his fault. He repeats one line several times and it is sad that the line is, “Don’t let anyone tell you deserve that.”

Epilogue: This is the last song of the album and my favourite from the album. It’s melody is unmistakably beautiful, and a final goodbye to the woman that he loved, the woman who probably destroyed him. Even after her death, he is disturbed that she has buried him with herself and he tries to save her, but all she wants is to be buried in the ground together.

“I’ve woken up, I’m in our bed, but there’s no breathing body there beside me

Someone must have taken you while I was stuck asleep

But I know better as my eyes adjust

You’ve been gone for quite a while now, and I don’t work there in the hospital.”

The album has caused me ample depression and disturbance, as surprising as that was for me. Listening to the whole album was difficult, and I really do think there is some science involved in making it a particularly unsettling album in general. Very few pieces of art have the ability to really unsettle you, and I think that considering how refreshingly amazing this album was, it was worth it.

Wild Hope (Mandy Moore)

Mandy Moore has disappeared off charts for some time now, and not without reason. Her first six albums, cover and compilation included, had the bubblegum pop sound that everyone tries to escape once they find their branches in the various genres of music. Very few artists have, though, ever really escaped it themselves. And for this, it is worthwhile listening to Wild Hope, Mandy Moore’s seventh album.

Wild Hope is not a recent album, it released in 2007, which, as difficult as it is to believe, was over half a decade ago. For any young artist, a change in record labels is a sure sign of impending breakthroughs, good or bad. Moore signed with Sire Records, but eventually ended up recording with EMI USA, citing “creative differences” as the reason. Not only did she co-write all songs on the album, she worked with artists like Rachel Yamagata, Michelle Branch and The Weepies, all of who are my favourites and extremely versatile song-writers.

Moore changed her hair, and more importantly, her music and the way she viewed it. Her original sound had been what had brought her fame almost a decade prior to the release of the album, and as proud as she must have been of it, she commented that anyone who bought that album should be given a refund. The release of Wild Hope created a newer image for Moore, who was critically lauded for her music and was compared to the likes of Regina Spektor and Fiona Apple, even Joni Mitchell. The album may not have been as successful as her albums before, but it spoke a great deal about Moore’s maturing into a more sophisticated vocalist and artiste as opposed to a teenage starlet.

Speaking of the album itself, it had three singles as part of the release

  1. Extraordinary
  2. Nothing That You Are
  3. All Good Things

All three of the singles were exceptionally made, with superior vocals and intimate lyrics. They are introspective and do not lack the depth that most of her work before did. “Extraordinary” is especially pretty, with a catchy tune and a very optimistic, upbeat meaning to it. “Nothing that you are” is an emotionally charged break-up themed song, as a lot are in the album, but it is one of my favourite tracks on the album. The songs that also caught my attention were:

  • Most Of Me: This was one of my favourites because of its introspective quality and the vulnerability in the song. This song must be the top priority in the album.
  • Gardenia: Another song that is quiet and thoughtful. The only difference is, unlike the whole album, drums do not play a major role here. This song is only vocals accompanied by a piano.
  • Slumming In Paradise: This song is cheerful and upbeat, and the vocals are backed by Jason Mraz, which should be a reason, if nothing else, to listen to the song.
  • Ladies’ choice: I love this song because it was co-written by Rachel Yamagata and she is one of my favourite female musicians. The mix of her melancholy sound and Moore’s optimism is a flavor that I will not soon forget.

It takes a great deal of effort to move from one genre to another, especially when one gives you the prospect of assured fame. Not only was this album, and her consecutive work, a bold step, but also a fascinating album at that. Do not judge pop artists so; after all, even The Beatles made songs like “I want to hold your hand” before they created an “Eleanor Rigby”.

Bossa Nova

Bossa Nova literally means “new trend” and so it is. It is kind of Brazillian jazz that gained popularity in 1960s amongst younger listeners. It is a genre that I only recently discovered and have been listening to since. Here are some songs that I think every person who is interested in exploring it must listen to:

Nouvelle Vague

There are very few remarkable cover artists these days, as most cover artists do not add value to an already successful song. Nouvelle Vague means “new wave” in French, and they have covered punk-rock and new wave music into a bossa nova style. They have had various lead singers over the years and those individuals have also made it on their own as solo singers, but the band has created exceptional music along the way.

Songs to listen to: Ever fallen in Love [originally by Buzzcocks], Heart of Glass [originally by Blondie]

Hollywood, Mon Amour

Hollywood, Mon amour is also a French band that is almost identical to Nouvelle Vague. They, like Nouvelle Vague, cover popular new wave music, and enrich them with a bossa nova experience.

Songs to listen to: Together in Electric Dreams [originally by Phillip Oakey], Call me [originally by Blondie]

Beth Rowley – You got me wrapped around your little finger:

This song is the typical jazzy love song, but Beth Rowley has a much more raw voice than most jazz singers. It is a short song, and not nearly as lyrically terrific as I generally prefer, but it is one that is definitely worth listening to.

Coralie Clement – L’ombre et la lumiere

The name of the song means “Shadow and Light” and even though it is in French, its translation is the most pleasurable to read. The song is classic bossa nova style, mixing samba and jazz to create a song rich in beats and smooth saxophonist sounds alike.

Dee Dee Bridgewater – J’ai Deux Amours

This song has more French elements than pure bossa nova style, but it had to be a part of this list as a change in an otherwise similar list. Dee Dee Bridgewater has a strong, sensual voice, and reminded me subtly of a singer much like her – Nina Simone.

Girl from Ipanema – Astrud Gilberto

This is one of my favourite songs in the list, and also the most popular. Astrud Gilberto has a whole identity built around this song, and she became famous because of it. The song won a Grammy in 1964 for the Best Song of the Year. It has since featured in many films, and has been covered enough number of times. In addition to that, it has been the typically been said to be default elevator music.

Django Unchained Original Soundtrack

Note: I have tried my best to stay away from spoilers for the benefit of the people who have not yet watched the film, but I insist that even if you are not a film person, please do watch this movie. It should not be missed.

I am personally a Tarantino fan because of his ability to instill drama into otherwise bleak scenes. And I cannot stress enough that the soundtrack of his films aids in achieving the final result. The soundtrack of Kill Bill, and Inglourious Basterds was exquisite, and the fact that the music was not synchronous as such only added to the effect that makes Tarantino’s movies seem different. Django Unchained was no exception.

The film opens with a spaghetti western track called “Django” by Rocky Roberts and Louis Bacalov, which was originally written for a western film called Django. Here we first see our protagonist walking in the sourthern American heat, feet held by metal rings, while we see Tarantino’s classic dramatic credits. This track is closely followed by Ennio Morricone’s “The Braying Mule”, which only makes me love his music more, which makes it difficult to hear that Morricone expressed his displeasure at how Tarantino used his music in the film and would “never like to work with him again.”  The thing about music in Tarantino’s films is that it is placed exactly after a scene of tension and/or action, which makes the viewer realize the intensity of the drama, and enjoy it. And so it is with another western sounding track composed by Luis Bacalov called “His Name was King”, the female vocalist of which has a really clear, and strong voice, and only adds to Django’s glory as he rides on a horse amidst black slaves, even though that was against the law. We first see Bromhilda in an antagonizing scene, interlaced with Django and Hilda running away from their master. This scene is accompanied by the the song “Freedom” by Anthony Hamilton & Elayna Boynton. And this is where the music begins to take a nice, fresh turn. This song is indie soul by genre, lacks the previous western theme, and does not fit with the theme of the movie at all, and yet it only adds feeling to the conceptualization of Django’s need to free his wife.

Luis Bacalov composed music for the 1966 film Django, a movie that shares a lot of music with Django Unchained. “La Corsa” is only one such track. Without stepping on the story for the people who are yet to watch the film, the scene is a scene full of vengeance and anger, and the music reminded me of Kill Bill strongly. The next is again a deviation from the general theme of the movie, and is a folk rock song by Jim Croce called “I got a name”, the lyrics to which are really positive as the singer expresses pride for his family name. We hear this as Schultz and Django ride on a horse and towards the mountain after a deserved act of vengeance. The instrumentals, even after this point, remain strongly western and almost all have been a part of other film soundtracks as well. This includes I Giorni Dell’ira” [Days of anger], taken from the film Days of Anger. The music is powerfully victorious and dramatic.

The next song is probably my favourite song off the soundtrack and so out of place with the setting of the film that it was very bold, much like what Tarantino always offers. This song is a western style rap song by Rick Ross called “100 black coffins”, and had specially been produced by Jamie Foxx [who plas Django in the film] for the film. Next is my favourite instrumental of the film – “Nicaragua” Jerry Goldsmith featuring Pat Metheny. The track is again glamorously dramatic, and I especially love the generous use of horns in the music. “Sister Sara’s theme” is too sentimental as Django’s wife is first seen by him after such a long time, and he is pained to see her suffer and not be able to do much about it as of that moment. Ennio Morricone, I repeat, has done a great job in creating the tracks that fit in with the most emotional scenes, and “Ancora Qui” is another such composition sung by Italian singer Elisa and has a very strong Italian feel to it, and the vocals are very moving and gave me goose bumps the first time I listened to it outside the movie.

In the movie, there is a musical gap of a while after this particular composition, something that I think was very well places because of the bleakness of the circumstances. That said, the next song changes the mood of the movie almost completely. This song is “Who did that to you?” by John Legend, and it is so jazzy and upbeat that you feel very hopeful about how the movie is going to turn out. Also, the lyrics of the song talk strongly of vengeance, a recurring theme of the movie and the soundtrack. And then there is another spaghetti western composition by Ennio Morricone called “Un Monumento”.

The movie finally closes with another western vocal track called “Trinity” by Annibale EI Cantori Moderni, a song which had such a catchy whistling tune, that I fell in love with it immediately. Plus, it came at a point in the movie when the story finally wounded up into what couldn’t have been a better ending.

Overall, the soundtrack was extremely surprising and varied, and is a definite treat to someone who would probably enjoy jazz or western-sounding music.

 

 

 

Alt-J

With an endless music overflow, it has become exceedingly difficult to obtain good music as opposed to repetitive and unoriginal music. Amongst such times, Alt-J comes as a fresh albeit classic sound that will appeal to a lot of people who prefer alternative and psychedelic rock. This is an English indie rock band that was formed in 2007 and released their debut album An Awesome Wave in 2012 and this has been one of the most wholesome albums I have listened to. The album is named after the symbol delta, which can be typed on the Apple Mac OS by pressing alt + j. The band has also been called “Daljit Dhaliwal” and “Films”.

Alt-J has a sound that I hadn’t really explored before, and An Awesome Wave was a welcome surprise. The use of upbeat drumming and similar keyboard playing, but soulful vocals and really, really bizarre lyrics add to the fact that some of the band’s music is, in fact, psychedelic rock. The lyrics barely made sense to me initially, but eventually I realized they were ridden with too many metaphors and needed some analyzing, or they might actually be meaningless. Regardless, I do not think there a lot of lyrical value to the band’s songs, but it may be perceived as otherwise by lots of people who may listen to its music. What I really loved about the band were the vocals. The lead singer of the band has probably the newest way of singing. Forgive my illiteracy when it comes to describing music since I have no training whatsoever, but his suppressed singing is something that I had never heard before.

Nokia used one of their songs “Fitzpleasure” in the advertisement for Lumia 925 and the song got popular because of it. Another song “Breezeblocks” which has one of the most creative music videos I have seen, and the drumming in this particular song is exceptional. Other songs by this band that I would recommend are “Taro” (this song has a very obvious Indian element in it which I loved), and “Mathilda”. But I would suggest that the entire album An Awesome Wave needs to be given at least one listen.

So if you would like to explore a band that sticks to its psychedelic rock base but also provides a very innovative vocal handling and melody changes, then this is the band for you.

Random Access Memories (Daft Punk)

So the other day I saw a lot of tweets raving about ‘Get Lucky’ a new single by the French Electronic Music duo Daft Punk. I had listened to ‘Harder, Faster, Stronger’ before and was feeling adventurous, so I opened a new tab and listened to it on YouTube. I wasn’t disappointed, the song had a very funky and disco-ish feel to it and the lyrics were catchy. Pharell Williams’s cool laid back voice provides a perfect setting to the steady drum beat and electronic instruments wizardry that Daft Punk is so famous for. The song was encouraging and I downloaded the album soon.

Lasting for a total of 74 minutes, the album features 13 tracks. The track I was most impressed with was ‘Instant Crush’, sung by Julian Casablancas (former lead of ‘The Strokes’),the song is about a love triangle and expresses the guy’s take about their friendship gone wrong. I especially loved how they auto-tuned Casablancas’s voice, which made it sound very different.

‘Motherboard’ is an interesting instrumental track which is really groovy and grows on you with time. ‘Doin’ it Right’ is another song that I liked. It is very ‘electronic’ and features vocals by Panda Bear. ‘Fragments of Time’ features vocals by Todd Edwards which is unlike other songs from the album. It is clean and catchy and sounds like a recording for an advert or a sitcom. Other songs worth a mention are ‘Contact’, ‘The Game of Love’ and ‘Touch’.

Not everyone takes to Electronic Dance Music easily and I thought I was one of those people, however Random Access Memories left me wanting for more and I am surely checking out some of the other Daft Punk Albums.