Top 10 Interesting and Unique Songs
"Songs are really just very interesting things to be doing with the air"
- Tom Waits
I've put together this list of some of the most interesting songs I've heard. It was pretty painful, because there are so many other songs that should have, or could have been, included but weren't. I will probably be losing some sleep over it, but I hope you enjoy it regardless. Maybe you'll even find some great new music.
Coffee & TV - Blur
With a chord progression that changes keys like this one, you wouldn't think it would turn out being all that appealing, but this song reminded me of why i first loved music. The vocals on the verses have an almost deadpan delivery which serves the lyrics up in exactly the way they should be. When the chorus comes in though, it takes a shift into a pop-sounding falsetto that digs some glitz out of the glum...and then the noise-driven guitar solo splatters it back to a beautiful black, blue and brown again.
(oh, and the music video features the cutest, most adorable milk carton you ever will see, watch it!)
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Featuring Coffee & TV
Anonanimal - Andrew Bird
Andrew is one of those rare artists who can build a good chunk of his music of off two instruments which AREN'T guitar or piano. Here he displays his violin skill along with his prowess on a loopstation. Although he loops quite a bit in his work, it is never redundant; the man seems to condense orchestral and pop/indie music into something both accessible and out of somewhere left field wishes it could be. Tip: Listen to everything of his that you get a chance to.
When the hand clap and violin section comes in, you'll think the song is just about over...but when the drums batter through into the final part of the song you may want to hide your credit card for an hour or two so as not to impulse-buy a drum set on amazon.
So Real (Acoustic, Live) - Jeff Buckley
Hallelujah, hallelujah. Let's just put the amen on it already. Jeff is very well known for his (amazing) cover of Leonard Cohen's classic, which showed everyone that he could sing. He could really, really sing. Opera, Jazz, Death Metal, whatever. I'm pretty damn sure he could have done anything with his voice, and there are songs other than "So Real" that display this as well, but not as many that had the qualifications for our list: slightly (or drastically) differing from the norm. The first four lines or so always remind me of that girlfriend I had when I lived in the big city, which is strange, because I've never lived in a big city in my entire life. Nonetheless, this song makes me nostalgic for my previous incarnation, or whatever it was. My favorite part, which I'm sure will be yours as well, is 3/4 of the way through. Jeff hurls his voice over a cliff and we get to sonically witness it's fall, and then, the inevitable crash. All I'll say now is - wait for the whisper.
Featuring the acoustic version of "So Real" i was referring to above.
Greatest hits type deal here. Own it, and love it.
I Am Trying To Break Your Heart - Wilco
Yankee Hotel Foxtrot seemed to be an album based off taking the best parts of a Guitar Center, a Home Depot, and Jeff Tweedy's lyrical thought process, putting them inside a recording studio, and hoping for an earthquake. This little theory of mine is best exemplified by "I Am Trying To Break Your Heart". Circular saws cut out melodies on the tops of steel barrells, discordant piano notes add some (more) atmosphere, and even the xylophone (I think) has a place in the track.
Did I mention that after the 40 second or so intro, this all blends together into a catchy, wonderfully weird love song?
Another favorite album of mine. Listened to it for 2 months straight, was disappointed by various other albums that I bought afterwards.
God's Away On Business - Tom Waits
I was a little bit nervous to write this section. Tom Waits has made a ridiculous amount and variety of work, mostly all of which I consider some of my absolute favorite music ever made. That being said, he's almost always sounded unlike he did before. Things you should know:
1) Tom's voice is another part of him that changes from album to album, even song to song.
2) One of the greatest singer songwriters of any time.
3) If you don't like this song, you will find one of his that you do.
"God's Away On Business" seems to be vocalized not by Satan himself, but by a man who may or may not profit from his works.
"Killers, Thieves, and Lawyers"
Barbarella - Scott Weiland
It's pretty clear this song was based on a Jane Fonda movie from the late '60s of the same name. The basic premise is this: a hot chick goes on a space adventure to rescue a dude, and stuff. Another thing that's pretty clear (besides the movie being sort of crappy..it was research, I swear!) is that this is a sad, sad song about a sad, sad man, and this movie is being used as a form of escape. Everyone can relate to that base need. Scott's solo stuff is truly well written, and he is another example of an artist who can simply make odd things sound good.
Heroin - The Velvet Underground
"I don't know just where I'm going
But I'm gonna try for the kingdom, if I can
'Cause it makes me feel like I'm a man
When I put a spike into my vein
And I'll tell ya, things aren't quite the same
When I'm rushing on my run
And I feel just like Jesus' son
And I guess that I just don't know
And I guess that I just don't know"
If I have to say any more than that to get you to listen to this song, then you don't need to hear it.
If you're a Velvet Underground fan, you will probably appreciate this. Great prose tucked into interesting stories.
Sweet Euphoria - Chris Cornell
Since I can't think of any technical terms at the moment to describe this song, you'll just have to follow my stream of consciousness. The guitar is huge, open, and pointed. Atmospheric where it can be, dissonant where it needs to be. It sounds like Bach, if he grew up listening to a little bit of opera, and some pink floyd. And it has Chris's voice.
Each song is different, but you can hear the source in all of them.
King's Crossing - Elliott Smith
There's been about as much said of Elliott's songwriting abilities as there has been about the Beatle's, so I really shouldn't have to venture there. But just in case you don't believe me, I present you with King's Crossing: A movie made frame by frame with paintings of mental image's of a man who didn't get dizzy anymore on the downward spiral.
skip to around 1:45 if you want to get straight to the meat of it.
Out of all the albums I've recommended here, this would be the one I would want you to experience most.
The Smoke Will Lead You Home - Logh
I have absolutely no idea how I heard of Logh. They're a band from Sweden, and not a well known one, at least not in the states. They seem to breathe lyrics even when the singer isn't singing, there is always a rhyme, a rhythm, a reason. I'm not sure how they do it, but I do know that I'm going to start looking for more Swedish bands in the future.
"She's wild, like fire
The smoke will lead you home"