“The World’s a beast of a burden….”

4 01 2012

Everyone has a song or two (or if you’re like me, about 50) that when they listen to it, there’s always a specific part in the song that just hits them. It wraps itself around your soul, makes your heart beat double and you just lose your mind. This part of the song is the reason why you’re glad to be alive. This part of the song makes you feel alive and untouchable. You play this song, and nothing can get to you. No negative vibes stick to you. You feel like a Superhero or something. This song makes you feel like you can take on the world. That specific breakdown, that one lyric- it hits you right in the gut. I’ve narrowed mine down to 10 songs that, at the moment make me feel like this. However, as soon as I’ve posted this, I will probably want to change my mind. I’ll try stick to it this time, and I’m not sorry for how much I’ll rant. You don’t have to read this. As you were….

Florence + The Machine- What The Water Gave Me. With this song, I’ve got more than one part that sends me into some kind of frenzy. An outer body experience. You know how religous people go on about having some kind of religious experience? That’s what I get from Florence. Especially with the second record. Ceremonials feels like some kind of ritualistic cleansing of the soul. After you listen to it, you feel pure and free again. It just enlightens you in so many ways. If you’ve ever felt trapped and frustrated-play this record. It will blow all of those taunting feelings away from you. At around 2.14 in this song, that’s when it first hits me in the gut. I cannot put it into words, but the build up from there on just sets my soul on fire and throws me into an outer body experience. The chorus at just 3 minutes when it is pretty much acapella and the music kicks in again at around 3.28, when Rob’s guitar just throttles you and makes you want to shake every limb, and move in ways that look like you are having a fit- THAT is the best part of the song. This overwhelming sense of euphoria Florence creates is SO good. It’s a rare thing to find, so when you find it- hold onto it with all you have. I could quite happily write thousands and thousands of words about this song, but just listen to it and let yourself feel free- and be overcome with a wonderful euphoric feeling. I know most of Florence’s songs make you feel this way, but What The Water Gave Me is on a different level completely.

Patti Smith-Frederick. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not really a fan of lovesongs. However, I do believe that this is the greatest ode to love, devotion and admiration I have ever heard. And will ever hear. The way she sings, “Frederick, name of care” at around 26 seconds in, you can just sense how much she loves him. I can safely say that this is my favourite Patti song. Don’t get me wrong, I adore her politically charged songs; but this one is everything a lovesong should be. It just oozes dedication and pure love. It takes time to find a love like this, Patti was one of the lucky ones to experience this feeling. That feeling that makes you feel this way. The feeling that is blanket of care and a beacon of hope. That’s what love should be, yet most of us take it for granted. Or most of us just haven’t felt it yet. You’ll know when you feel it though, because you will feel exactly how Patti feels in this song. It’s a feeling that cannot be rushed, but to feel it like this-well it is utterly sacred. Cherish it my loves, because some may try to take it from you. But don’t worry if you haven’t found it yet. Don’t let society force you to fall for just anyone. You’ll meet your very own Frederick or Patti one day, for sure.

Foals-Spanish Sahara. This was probably one of my favourite songs from 2010. The stunning build up in this song just made you feel like you were stood right in front of Yannis as he poured his heart out into this song. You felt each fragment of fury and every haunting aspect of the horrors that can consume you- when you are least expecting it. You felt comforted by this song, because you felt like you could leave your horrors and nightmares behind and just carry on. I’ve never seen Foals live, but to see this song live, I’d imagine it’d be one of those life changing moments that cause something in your brain to click. It just makes you think, “Fuck it. I can do this.” A song like this is one that most spend their career trying to write. Driving themselves insane just to touch on something even slightly as moving as this. This song, I’ve used many times to just make sense of everything. You know what it’s like. You have a shit day and feel like there is really no point. Music is my only constant. It’s the first thing I go to when it all gets too much, and Spanish Sahara is one of the songs that gives me, strength I suppose. Their song, After Glow also does the same.

Dum Dum Girls-Coming Down. I remember falling in love with Dum Dum Girls a long time ago. Their first album had this sound that I adore. A surfer pop/lo-fi feel mixed with a Wall Of Sound vibe. A lot of bands I listen to have this sound. I personally thing it is stunning. Mixing a garage rock sound with what Phil Spector created just shows how timeless certain genres immediatley became decades and decades ago. I didn’t think I could love their second record as much as I loved their first. So, I sat down and listened to it. I listened to it with no distractions. I was in awe of everything I was hearing. Dee Dee Penny is evidently one of the best front-women around right now. There’s a part in Coming Down that anyone who’s listened to it, will know EXACTLY which part I am going to mention. The song is quite sad and my lord, it really tugs at your heartstrings. The song lasts 6 and a half minutes, and is 6 and a half minutes of utter beauty and brilliance. However, at 3 and a half minutes- Dee Dee hits this note that just makes you freeze. You shut your eyes and nod in agreement. She’s letting it all out for you. You cannot let it out yourself, she is doing it for you on this song. Everything you feel that’s been building up for so long just comes out in this song. That note she clings onto and lets out- you cling onto it with her. It’s like your safety net. I’m not ashamed to admit that this song is my safety net, my crutch. When I listen to it, every sense is heightend and things do not seem that bad anymore. I’ve cried to this song, and I’ve been wonderfully joyful whilst listening to this song. It’s just everything to me, and honestly- it made 2011 a lot easier to drag myself through.

The Horrors-Sea Within A Sea. I would’ve picked She Is The New Thing, but you really cannot deny that this song is a stroke of genius. A masterpiece- much like the whole album if I’m honest. I know exactly where I was when I first heard Sea Within A Sea. If memory serves me correctly, the video to this was launched on The Horrors website at 8pm one evening in 2009. I remember sitting in front of my computer hitting refresh on their site waiting for this to appear. There was a countdown to something. Most of us knew it would be something to do with new material. 8pm came, and the shadows of The Horrors was there. You knew what was about to happen. The song is just under 8 minutes long, and just reinforces my belief that songs that last over 5 minutes are the best. Easily. The euphoric part comes in just after 3.40. The synths really really kick in, and Faris’ voice captivates you more than it ever has done before. The build up as he sings, “So you may think the path we share, is one of danger and of fear….” is so amazing, it creates this wonderful tension between you and the song. You wonder what will happen next. Will there be another build up? Will it smack you in the face? YES. Yes to all of it. If you’re one of those who are only just getting into The Horrors (you’re late. You’ve really missed out, seriously. Go listen to Strange House. PLEASE) then hopefully you will see just how amazing The Horrors have always been. They’re a band that no one can predict their next sound. That is why I adore them, with all I have. The Horrors have captured every sound I love, and created their own- but changing on very record.

Warpaint-Lissie’s Heart Murmur. Every song by Warpaint makes me feel content and glad to be alive, so picking just one song was enough to cause a slight headache…and having to listen to Exquisite Corpse and The Fool a few times before I picked a song to stick with. Sure I could’ve chosen Stars, Billie Holiday or Warpaint. But, I had to go with Lissie’s Heart Murmur because let’s face it, it’s my favourite Warpaint song. For me, listening to Warpaint is a sacred experience. The intro to this song, the piano sounds like tears falling free from your face. At the end of crying, that feeling you get when you realise it’s all going to be okay- that’s what this song feels like to me. It feels like the aftermath of crying your heart out. I can’t pick out a set euphoric moment in this song, the whole song is just a beautiful experience. It is so perfect, to the very core. I could quite happily play this song, and never listen to anything else. Emily’s voice is so haunting and mesmirising on this song, more than on any other song. So many times I have just laid on my bed and played this song over and over through headphones. It’s one of those songs where you have to listen to, on your own- with no interruptions. I don’t think I’m doing this song any justice, so I’ll just link you to it. Hopefully you’ll understand why I love it so much.

The Cure- A Forest. Like my view on the song above, I can’t possibly pick a moment in this song that makes me feel so happy. I love The Cure, and Seventeen Seconds is my favourite album by the band. I remember hearing it and feeling like I was in some kind of trance. I felt like I was in a permenant dreaming state, I didn’t want to wake from it. I still feel like that when I listen to the album now. They created  a sound on that record that has evidently influenced so many, Warpaint being one of them. Personally, Jenny’s bass playing always reminds me of The Cure. That wonderful, floating feeling you get. You feel like you are drifting off into someone so pure and perfect. A Forest is probably my favourite song by The Cure. I love the slight distortion on Robert Smith’s voice in this song, you really have to listen hard to hear what he is saying as the music creeps in and takes over. It is a chilling and eerie song, much like the whole album really. Some say this song and album define The Cure. But let’s be honest not, you can’t ever define a band like The Cure. I feel that, no matter what I say about this song it really won’t show it in the light I want it to. But any genuine fan of The Cure (as in someone who doesn’t just like Friday I’m In Love) can see just how inspirational they ae. Not to mention ahead of their time with all their records. They were the blueprint of this sound. Utter perfection.

The Kills-Superstition. Attempting to pick one song by favourite duo EVER was a chore. I couldn’t do it. I left it for ages, wrote down some idead. Scribbled them out, wrote new ones. A mini riot occured inside trying to figure out which song I could use. I wanted to use The Last Goodbye, then Pots And Pans. Then I wanted No Wow. Then I wanted Cat Claw. I settled finally with Superstition. When Alison lets out that scream in Superstition, it is just so electrifying. You feel like she is right there, in your face letting out this gnarly growl that actually, sounds so heavenly. I could pick any song by The Kills. With all their b-sides and four records, it was difficult. I could’ve gone with their cover of Pale Blue Eyes; but that song is too precious for me to even touch on. Their version of it gets at your heart, well and truly gets at you. Superstition shows The Kills at their rawest and most brutal. Jamie absolutley slays the guitar here, and Alison’s voice..well, what can one say. They both have a chemistry that sucks you in, and once you’ve been captivated by it-nothing else seems relevant. You’ll base all relationships and friendships on their connection. If you don’t feel how they do about each other towards a person; then it isn’t meant to be. The Kills are rage, passion, angst, fury, frustration and raw. All brutal things done in such a beautiful way. They’re more than just a band to me, they’re life.

Scott McKenzie-San Francisco. For sentimental value, I’ve chosen to put this song here. It’s a pretty short song I guess, and the whole song just makes me close my eyes- thinking I’m wandering around San Francisco, taking everything in. Are the people still gentle there? Do they have flowers in their hair? Let’s hope they do. This song reminds me of my childhood, it just makes me happy. It makes me want to live in San Francisco. Then again, it doesn’t take much for me to want to leave where I currently live! This song makes me think of summer, even if it is like hurricane season outside. I know I could’ve picked other songs instead of this one. But, a song doesn’t have to have a grand build up in order for it to give you a sense of euphoria. That comes from within, what you take from the song is a bonus.

Morrissey-Speedway. My final choice is of course, Morrissey. Is this my favourite Moz song? Oh of course. It just defines my life and how certain people are. You know, the ones who are petty towards you and what you do- but they’re just projecting. It’s best to ignore such fuckbags isn’t it. Oh, and ignore I do. The lyrics are so beautiful. What I’ve always loved about Moz is that he has NEVER had to use grand words in order to make you connect with him. He doesn’t have to polish his words in order for you to relate to him. When he sings the word “Forever” at around 2.48, the song pauses, then a few seconds kater kicks back in. The build up is incredible. You will only appreciate this if Moz is your saviour. Seeing this live last year just completed me. It came at a time when it was much needed. You know the deal. Shit happens, people act like wankers, you don’t know what to do- you then find yourself in a song. This song has always played an important role in my life, but moreso last year. However, that is in the past. This is just Moz at his finest, I adore the line, “In my own strange way, I’ve always been true to you.” I guess we all know of a few who we can attach that lyric to. But, they don’t deserve to have such a song related to them now do they.


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