If you’re anything like me, you like to stay in on a cold winter night, with the candles lit, curled up underneath your favorite blanket, also accompanied by the sound of music, NEW music, that you’re always open to discover. This playlist will help you to do just that, discover new music as you cozy up with some hot cocoa (if that’s your thing and if not, perhaps a nice glass of wine) and the aromatic goodness of scented candles in the air. Here are a few songs I think you’ll be able to vibe to as the snow falls. Baby, it’s cold outside. Warm up with this playlist.
All My Friends Hate Me – “Stay Up”
In order to keep my attention, lyrics need to grab me right away and if the song is also a kickass, rockin’ good time, I’m smitten. I fell in love with All My Friend’s Hate Me’s “Stay Up” right away and I’m not ashamed to say it. Off their recently released album, Metal Butterflies,the song opens with frantic and catchy strumming, which reminded me of dare I say it, a sped up and punk-ish Pink’s “Who Knew.” I happen to love her, so this comes as a huge compliment.
These Los Angeles based boys bring this pop-like fire and fervor and deliver it with angsty ease. With lyrics like, “it’s been a long f*cking year, I’m staying sober now, I can’t deal with the stress I get from going out,” I got the sense that Bobby Banister (vocals/guitar) needed to change his ways, until he counters with, “I had too many drinks, the bar is spinning now, somebody get me a car, I think I’m freaking out.” He seemed to quickly fall off the bandwagon. Bandmates Xander Burmer (bass) and Beau McCarthy (drums), help to round this song out and make it the catchy, “I’m messed up and it’s all this chick’s fault,” anthem that it is.
Kira Metcalf – “Cheap Kind”
A mixture of Liz Phair and PJ Harvey, “Cheap Kind,” is a creation by Brooklyn, New York’s Kira Metcalf, and it’s the kind of tune that could’ve been written back in the early ’90’s. The past decade has dealt with watered-down pop music with no shortage of non-sensical lyrics. Even though she sings whimsically, “this is why we don’t have nice things, you know you’re only going to lose them,” there’s still more substance here than amongst the current Top 40 solo acts. The song’s production is killer and the drums really sound sharp and help drive the song, along with crunchy and distorted guitar.
Songwriting like this is a breath of fresh air, at a time when a lot of artists seem to sound the same.
Self Help – “Get On With It”
Instantly causing me to bop my head with the fuzzy, opening guitar riff, “Get On With It” combines nuances of old school punk along with a Strokes kind of sound. It’s upbeat, catchy, gritty and distorted.
Self Help hails from Oxford, United Kingdom and consists of Danny Jeffries (vocals/guitar), Sean Cousins (guitar), Lizzie Couves (bass) and Silke Blansjarr (drums) and they combine to create a feel-good vibe, with lyrics that encourage you to move along and get on with life and not sweat the small stuff. You’ll want to chant along with Jeffries to “let go of it.” Life is too short. Keep listening to good music like this.
Husbands – “Mexico”
This low-fi power pop duo have created an upbeat and airy tune that you could easily put on at any pool party or beach in “Mexico,” for that matter. It’s easy to listen to and the production is just right, with the drum machine carrying the ambient layers to a beat you can tap your feet to.
Husbands are Will Norton and Danny Davis, who call Oklahoma City their home base. They’ve come together to create some guitar driven duo-pop that works well with their melodic vocals and catchy lyrics like, “you took the words, right out my mouth, do it again I said, without any doubt. You know I want you to.” You’ll find yourself wanting to sing along while clapping and snapping your fingers. Please do so.
Beeef – “Slide”
Got Beeef? Well, “Slide” on over. This indie rock band from Boston kicks into overdrive from the opening note. The subject matter of this song touches upon not being sure of where you fit in this world with a cheery kind of feel, which contradicts the lyrics. It’s honest and relatable to anyone who has felt like they’ve been left behind and long for better days ahead. Perry Eaton (vocals/guitar) opens up a bit more when he sings, “If there’s a way to get out alive, I wanna know, but I stumble every time.” I certainly hope that Eaton, Josh Bolduc, Neil Patch and Daniel Schiffer will be able to look on the bright side, as they have created a damn good tune for those who feel like outsiders and maybe a bit misunderstood. Some songs are like therapy and this is one of them.
“I want to know why the young at heart always find another way to fall apart. I wanna go where the days move slow, searching for the afterglow.”
Colatura – “Sweet Misery”
New York City’s Colatura have spun together a mixture of magnificent vocals along with a bass and drum-driven ensemble. Guitars lightly play over the production during the verses as the bass drum keeps pace and then really go full force during the choruses. One can lose track of time while getting lost in Jennica (bass/vocals) and Digo’s (guitar/vocals) harmonies and slight call and response. The rest of the group consists of Meredith (synth/guitar/vocals) and Victor (drums), who help to create the feel of this song, which is haunting and alluring at the same time.
You’ll find yourself wanting to listen again immediately to make sure you picked up on all the poignant lyrics that might’ve been overshadowed originally by the arrangement. Both equally as beautiful and meaningful.