18 September 2021 – Need Your Love by Tennis

Tennis cropped up on my Release Radar this morning. They had a song on the Rick and Morty soundtrack. I remember watching it and being intrigued by the song but then I forgot about it. Then when “Borrowed Time” showed up in the playlist today it all made sense. I really like that song and it sent me down a Tennis rabbit hole.

“Need Your Love” is a cool song. It’s got a flipped, anti love song kinda vibe.

I need your love and I need your touch
Like I need a bolt of lightning from the sky above

The chorus leads in with a traditional love sick line, but follows it with a turn around that counters that. There’s a choppiness to the timing of the song. It moves along and then slows down and gets back going before slowing all the way down. The drumming has a relaxed feel to it that I like. It suits the vocals. They’re sweet and effortless. The whole song has a very laid back 70s vibe and reminds me of what I would call “disco ballads”, things like “How Deep Is Your Love” by the Bee Gees.

You can listen to “Need Your Love” by Tennis here.

18 September 2021 – Need Your Love by Tennis

16 September 2021 – Phantom Limb by The Shins

“Wincing The Night Away” is a wonderful album. We had visitors from America at one point when I was a kid and they brought it and it has become one of my favourite albums. I return to it every few years and it’ll have a week or two of being the only thing I listen to.

“Phantom Limb” is the song that’s been stuck in my hear this time around. I think it’s the best example of everything that I like about the album. I like the vocal melodies a lot. It’s not a case of an incredible voice as much as really nice ideas for where the vocals go. I like the buzzy bass sound. It’s got a melancholy kinda folk sound which I find quite peaceful.

The Shins are a funny case of a band that I might not have given a chance at another time. This album came out when I was around 14. I don’t think I was as culturally aware as I was later in my teens. I wasn’t really aware of any buzz around them and I missed the later weirdness around the band’s line up changes. To me, this was this nice chill album that reminded me of the calmer Beck albums and frequently took very nice little melodic turns.

You can listen to “Phantom Limb” by The Shins here.

16 September 2021 – Phantom Limb by The Shins

14 September 2021 – Make It, Take It by Amanda Blank

When I was doing my leaving cert in 2011 I listened to Amanda Blank’s “I Love You” album a lot. I distinctly remember putting it on and dancing to the whole album straight through.

“Make It, Take It” is such a cool opener. It sits in that sweet spot between indie, dance and hip hop. It’s high energy. It’s got a great bass line. The vocals are super slick. The chorus has a layered harmony and the repetition fits perfectly with the quite modular production. It’s just a cool, very danceable track.

You can listen to “Make It, Take It” by Amanda Blank here.

14 September 2021 – Make It, Take It by Amanda Blank

13 September 2021 – WWW by STS feat. Count Justice

A few weeks ago I had a short lived dive into my iPod Classic and a look at (and listen to) some of the old tracks from my days scraping blogs. One of the tracks that I rediscovered was “WWW” by STS. It was always one of my favourites. I’m not sure where I first heard STS, but I downloaded quite a lot of his music.

I like “WWW” a lot. It’s a very solid song. It has what I would think of as quite an Atlanta type sound. The piano and harmonies combo would sound at home on a Big Boi album. The beat is punchy. I like the vibe of the lyrics. It’s kinda like Marie Condo’ing your conversations. There’s a million conversations we could have that wouldn’t bring us joy, but why bother? STS wants to talk about “Women, weed and what to wear” and so he does. It’s a bit facetious, but I think as I get older and more comfortable in myself, this makes more and more sense. I’d rather hear another person talk about something they’re passionate about than make small talk. And STS is good at talking about his passions on “WWW”. There’s two very smooth verses and the hook is very catchy. The word play is clever. The flow between the topics is seamless.

It’s a fantastic song and finding it again has encouraged me to bring the iPod for the walk to work tomorrow to see what else I’d forgotten about.

You can listen to “WWW” by STS feat. Count Justice here.

13 September 2021 – WWW by STS feat. Count Justice

10 September 2021 – Nighttiming by Coconut Records

I can’t say I expected Jason Schwartzman to reappear in my song of the day list but here we are. “Nighttiming” appeared on some Spotify playlist and I liked it and added it to my liked songs so I’ve been listening to it on my way to and from work this week. I didn’t realise it was our pal J_Schwartz (that’s the K-Fedification of Jason Schwartzman in case it wasn’t obvious) until I did my little bit of research before this post. I’ve very fond of him in general and, relistening with the knowledge that it’s him, it all kinda adds up.

I was already gonna write about this song anyway. Sometimes the reasons that I like a song are kinda vague and a bit handwavy when it comes down to the explanation. “Nighttiming” has three distinct things that I really like. I like the verb “nighttiming”. It’s imprecise but implies a lot. Contextually, it’s clear that it’s seen as a negative, but it could cover the full spectrum of night time activities that would give a partner anxiety- partying too much, infidelity and just generally not being around at night. Getting into bed and the time before sleep is quite an intimate time as a couple. Having to go to bed while a partner is out leaves plenty of time for lying in the dark and thinking about what they’re up to. “Nighttiming” is a wonderful word and conveys those feelings really well.

The other two are quite trivial. The intro reminds me of “Apocolypshit” by Molotov, which appeared in Breaking Bad and was in the ads for the show on Channel 6 way back in the day when it first appeared. I didn’t watch Breaking Bad when it came out first so my mind goes more to the ad than its appearance in the show. I like that the intro brings up such a distinct memory.

Finally, when J-Schwartz opens with “Hey” it reminds me of this Vine where the little girl says “Hey, I want to be famous”. I love that Vine.

You can listen to “Nighttiming” by Coconut Records here.

10 September 2021 – Nighttiming by Coconut Records

07 September 2021 – Abracadabra by Steve Miller Band

When I started going to parties back in 2010, we used to ruin a lot of people’s birthdays by playing “Abracadabra” by Steve Miller Band. We had a synchronised “dance” and we’d sing it as loud as we could and that would generally be the point in the night when the music would have to be turned down or turned off. It’s a daft song really. The synths are real blocky and the riff is kinda lame. At the same time there is something fantastic about it. It’s an earworm and a stomper. More than anything it always reminds me of that great pocket of time when I was drinking but still acting like a child.

You can listen to “Abracadabra” by Steve Miller Band here.

07 September 2021 – Abracadabra by Steve Miller Band

06 September 2021 – Hounds of Love by The Futureheads

Something in my hipster being makes me feel like picking a cover of a classic is kind of gross but I think The Futureheads cover of “Hounds of Love” deserves a spot on my infinite list of songs of the day. Kate Bush is a genre unto herself so it’s difficult to cover one of her songs without it being a poor imitation. The Futureheads take the song and make it very 2004/2005.

There’s lots I like about the Kate Bush version and it could easily reappear at a later date as a blog post, but I like the changes in the version of The Futureheads. I like that they sing in their own accents. The song is about being afraid of falling in love and I think they manage to create a totally different version of the same feeling as Kate Bush does. Kate Bush’s version feels more internal, whereas The Futureheads version feels more physical. It’s more energetic and hectic because of the layered vocals and that post punk guitar sound, so it feels like there’s an actual chase involved. At the same time it manages to encapsulate what’s so powerful about the original. There’s this cocktail of fear and excitement. I think that’s what makes this one of the best covers. It does its own thing but keeps the soul of the original.

You can listen to “Hounds of Love” by The Futureheads here.

06 September 2021 – Hounds of Love by The Futureheads

02 September 2021 – GOMF by DVBBS feat. BRIDGE

When we went to California in 2019 we stayed around Oakland and Berkeley. We rented a car and drove out to Yosemite. We had no mobile data so we just had what I had downloaded from Spotify. The song that I’ll always associate with that part of the trip was “GOMF”. I’m pretty sure it drove Shóna insane.

I first heard “GOMF” from the incredible Casey Frey viral video. That video is a work of art so I think I was positively disposed to the song from the off. It’s a banger with big bass. It just makes me want to do the dance from the end of the video.

You can listen to “GOMF” by DVBBS and BRIDGE here

02 September 2021 – GOMF by DVBBS feat. BRIDGE

31 August 2021 – Running Red Lights by The Avalanches feat. Rivers Cuomo and Pink Siifu

We started watching “Nine Perfect Strangers” on Prime last night and “Running Red Lights” was featured at the end of an episode. It felt like a song that I knew but I’m not sure I’d ever heard it before. It felt familiar, like a song that I knew and loved.

It is a perfect combination of things to make up a song that I’d love. Rivers Cuomo is responsible for so many formative songs for me. I feel like his voice and song writing are the embodiment of the teenage boy, sometimes problematic, but mostly naïve and childlike. The intro reminds me of the album “Wincing The Night Away” by The Shins, which is a really nice album, and “My Girls” by Animal Collective. The vocal melody is very sweet but incredibly catchy, it sounds a bit like something from Dominic Fike. It’s funny to describe something in terms of other things that it reminds me of, but these are all things that I really like so it is intended to be complementary.

I’ve had a bit of a zoned out day and I’ve been listening to “Running Red Lights” on repeat. I’ve had a stressful few weeks and I’m coming out the other side of it. I’ve needed some quiet “me” time so walking to and from work and my little walk at lunch, with this as my soundtrack has been kinda therapeutic. There’s a very full and rounded sound to the production. It feels a bit like being immersed. It’s a super relaxing banger.

You can listen to “Running Red Lights” by The Avalanches feat. Rivers Cuomo and Pink Siifu here.

31 August 2021 – Running Red Lights by The Avalanches feat. Rivers Cuomo and Pink Siifu

31 August 2021 – The Bare Necessities from The Jungle Book

“The Bare Necessities” was stuck in my head today. I didn’t have earphones with me in work so I just had to roll with whatever soundtrack my brain came up with. I think it was inspired by the fact that I had a very disappointing pear for breakfast and that made me think of the prickly pear and then here we are.

I loved “The Jungle Book” and “The Bare Necessities” is just such a banger. It’s a hardcore wiggler of a song. There’s something magical about it that makes it appeal to little kids. It chugs along with the bass and tuba and then the trumpet zips along on the top of it. The solos are incredible – particularly the trumpet, which might be my favourite solo of all time. Phil Harris has such a smooth deep voice and it has permanently decided the voice that I imagine bears have. It’s such a happy and hopeful song. It’s a nice outlook to take, to be content and fulfilled by having what you need to get by.

You can listen to “The Bare Necessities” from “The Jungle Book” here.

31 August 2021 – The Bare Necessities from The Jungle Book