CHATEAU

Artist: Angus & Julia Stone

Genre: Electronic/Travel

Notable lyrics:

I don’t mind if you wanna go anywhere,

I’ll take you there

We could go to the Chateau Marmont

And dance in the hotel room

Thank goodness for the existence of this wonderful song; it is a cherry on the top of my travel playlist.

Julius and Angus Stone are a pair of really attractive Australian siblings who formed their own indie pop duo back in 2006. They mostly make songs with sensible and timid Electronic music incorporated. Somehow, they remind me of ‘oh wonder’, the popular indie duo. Julius is a sexy dude, and his pronunciation of ‘Chateau Mormont’ does unimaginable things to me.

Chateau (Castle) Mormont happens to be a very famous hotel in sunset Blvd, Los Angeles. The song has some really mellow beats. It’s an enthusiastic fusion of electronic music and indie music, all very shrewdly arranged, basically resulting into a perfect mixture of both genres. The music is innately travel oriented; definitely sounds like something you’d play on a very long drive across the country, on deserted highways or such. There’s something about this song that plays out like a frozen fragment of the warmest sunset. The music video is also very complementary, portraying what the song actually means – promises made to your lover about travelling the world with them, and living your life like there’s no end to it. The music revolves around a similar idea – 2 young couples, one of them travelling around, and the other getting married – possibly the same couple, before and after, in the Chateau where it all began. Julia and Angus themselves make a guest appearance in the video.

Also, can we just take a moment and appreciate how accurately the music video fits the song? Lord only knows that’s happened so few times in the history of making music! And here’s a thought that just crossed my mind: are there any cat-fights involved, during the making of a song?

MEN’S NEEDS

 

 

Artist: The Cribs

Genre: Indie rock

Notable lyrics: 

I’m not bothered, what you say or how you dress
I’m a mess, so you’ve always seemed inviting
But really, this all seems quite meaningless
And I remember that you never seemed to see
The fact that man’s needs
Man’s needs are full of greed, are full of greed
A man’s needs, man’s needs
Are lost on me

Here’s a good ‘I didn’t know I needed this until now’ song. This one’s a major stress-buster, take my word for it.

‘Understanding a woman is hard, but so is understanding a man’ is basically what I’ve learnt from this song. People in general are confusing. They say something, but mean another. To make sense of every word will leave you in a state of dilemma. So kids, let go and screw people, you don’t need ’em. (In case it was unclear, I was kidding. You obviously need someone to save you while you drown or someone to give you a CPR).

‘The Cribs are an English indie rock band originally from Wakefield, West Yorkshire. The band consists of twins Gary and Ryan Jarman, and their younger brother Ross Jarman. They were subsequently joined by ex-The Smiths and Modest Mouse guitarist Johnny Marr who was a formal member of the group from 2008 until 2011.’ HEAR THAT? THE FAMOUS JOHNNY MARR WAS A PART OF THIS BAND, HOW COULD THEY NOT BE AWESOME!

Although Marr only joined the band after the release of this song in 2007, this song is exceptional in the way only a true 2000’s song could be. This song was released at the time of rediscovery of punk-rock, hence the overused theme of a woman being a pain in the arse was used. The song speaks about the enlightenment the singer had about how toxic his girlfriend is. Basically, the singer was just too desperate to be alone. It’s all quite evident from the music video, with the woman going berserk and destroying all the instruments.

While the theme isn’t all that worldly, the excellent use of resources at hand, is. The music is so fresh and authentic; it sounds nothing like a modern-day rock song. The electric guitar track has lost its hard-rock essence and has been turned into something more melodramatic and attractive. The vocals are in-the-face, and suitable for a song which is essentially grunge-meets-funk-meets-pop. All in all, the song is very catchy indeed. There was a time when I just couldn’t stop listening to it. Thanks Spotify! (Not an Ad. Seriously, try it for yourself and see).

Also, is it weird that I find the twins sexy, despite their terrible dressing sense?

 

 

MAGIC WAYS

Artist: Tatsuro Yamashita

Genre: Kayokyoku (J-pop)/ lo-fi pop

Notable lyrics: 

The way you whisper in my ear
To make my troubles disappear
It’s magic

The way your little fingertips
Make my heart do double flips
It’s magic

And when you smile at me that way
Well you can warm the coldest day
It’s magic
(It’s magic, magic)

And even when you’re gone I find
I hear you laughing in my mind
It’s magic
(It’s magic, magic)

And all I have to do is think of you
To make the music start to play
Then I dance down the street
And the people I meet stop and say.‥hey hey

Magic ways my friend
You love the girl with magic ways, and it’s true
I might as well give in
You cast a spell on all my nights and days
With your sweet magic ways

Sigh, could a song be more perfect? Me thinks not.

Tatsuro Yamashita, a Japanese singer-songwriter, rose to prominence in the early 80’s when Japan decided to expand its musical expertise as well. J-pop was hugely inspired by western music, with a few Japanese artists even singing in English. Among the lot, Yamashita and his pop-singer wife, Mariya Takeuchi, were among the most popular singers. Japan’s style of making music involved using a lot of eccentric music, which included electronic music, and was known as Future pop, which is a very popular genre in Japan till date. Amidst all the troubles Japan has borne, it’s bound to never give up on its art and entertainment industry, which is worth a whopping 2 trillion yen, or more. Also, without anime, half the world would crumble in dismay.

This song came to me like a dream, from the less credited corners of YouTube with its anime versions of beautiful songs like these. At first, it seemed nothing special, until I listened to the original song to discover that it’s not been electronically altered at all. Released in 1982, the song is well beyond its years. The use of electronic music is very clever and artistic, adding more allure to the song than hostility. The lyrics are just so captivating, innocent and beautiful; talks like a man completely consumed by love. He sings about how in love he is with the girl’s magic ways, and the little things that make her up, that makes his life. He’s so in love that everyone he meets stops him to say that he loves the girl with the ‘magic ways’, which is basically talking about how charming and perfect she is. There’s also an inconspicuous guitar hidden among all that jazz, and the back-up vocals which make the song seem fuller. The tiny attributes gives the song its cheerful demeanor; The whispers of ‘magic’ in the background, are just so endearing. This is the shortest time within which I’ve fallen so madly in love with a song so wonderful.

If I hadn’t known any better, I would’ve mistaken Tatsuro for an American or an English man. The Japanese were extremely patriotic, have always been so, and don’t welcome the domination of English over their beautiful language. Tatsuro has basically broken all conventions for the sake of art. I’m convinced that Tatsuro Yamashita himself is a magician, producing such striking songs. If I had it my way (and I do), I’d plug-in the earphones, play this song, and dance all my troubles away. No kidding, this song also acts as a great stress-buster. There’s no way even the coldest man in existence, could sit through this song without a grin and a whistle, and a occasional tap of his feet.

Bonus: the video that essentially made my life better.

 

 

EMPTY

Artist: Ray LaMontagne

Genre: Folk

Notable lyrics:

She lifts her skirt up to her knees
Walks through the garden rows
With her bare feet laughing
I never learned to count my blessings
I choose instead to dwell
In my disasters
I walk on down the hill
Through grass grown tall
And brown and still
It’s hard somehow
To let go of my pain
On past the busted back
Of that old and rusted Cadillac
That sinks into this field
Collecting rain
Will I always feel this way
So empty
So estranged?
And of these cut throat busted sunsets
These cold and damp white mornings
I have grown weary
If through my cracked and dusty
Dime store lips
I spoke these words out loud
Would no one hear me?
Lay your blouse across the chair
Let fall the flowers
From your hair
And kiss me
With that country mouth
So plain
Outside the rain is tapping on the leaves
To me it sounds like
They’re applauding us
The quiet love We’ve made
Will I always feel this way
So empty
So estranged?
Well I looked my demons in the eyes
Lay bare my chest
Said do your best to to destroy me
See I’ve been to hell and back
So many times
I must admit
You kinda bore me
There’s a lot of things
That can kill a man
There’s a lot of ways to die
Yes, and some already did
And walk beside me
There’s a lot of things I don’t understand
Why so many people lie
It’s the hurt I hide that fuels
The fire inside me
Will I always feel this way
So empty
So estranged?

If being in love hurts a man enough to etch something so beautiful in our minds, hearts and ears, I wouldn’t mind falling in love at all.

Ray LaMontagne is an American singer-songwriter, who specializes in writing in Folk and Country songs, and has the hands of an angel and Wordsworth’s brain. He’s got the perfect hipster look, except he’s quite attractive and is a lyrical genius.

‘Empty’ is a romantic song about mourning the loss of a lover, either due to separation or death. The singer feels ’empty’ and ‘estranged’ after he’s been left behind with nothing but the memories of them. He goes to the places they’ve once been, and talks about how the weather that once seemed beautiful when she was around, is killing him now. Basically, he feels left out and is questioning us, the experienced, if he’s always going to feel empty. The answer is – yes. Sorry Ray, the after-effects of love are complicated. What is particularly interesting is the last verse, where he talks about how he’s so accustomed to being in pain that her abandoning him doesn’t affect him all that much. The use of words and the language is all really intricate and ambiguous.

Most folk songs have very few instruments, the most common one being the acoustic guitar, which is what is used here as well. A violin has also been used to accentuate the mood of the song: melancholy. LaMontagne’s raspy, country voice basically complements the song all too well. The song is an excellent song, fairly speaking, and deserves to be awarded with more recognition, if at least not a Grammy. Hopefully, Ray will rise to the top of the charts in the upcoming years; I’m definitely here rootin’ for mah boy!

LA JAVANAISE

Artist: Madeleine Peyroux

Genre: Jazz (French)

Notable lyrics:

J’avoue
J’en ai
Bavé
Pas vous
Mon amour
Avant
D’avoir
Eu vent
De vous
Mon amour

Ne vous déplaise
En dansant la Javanaise
Nous nous aimions
Le temps d’une chanson

A votre
Avis
Qu’avons-
Nous vu
De l’amour
De vous
A moi
Vous m’a-
Vez eu
Mon amour

Ne vous déplaise
En dansant la Javanaise
Nous nous aimions
Le temps d’une chanson

Hélas
Avril
En vain
Me voue
A l’amour
J’avais
Envie
De voir
En vous
Cet amour

Ne vous déplaise
En dansant la Javanaise
Nous nous aimions
Le temps d’une chanson

La vie
Ne vaut
D’être
Vécue
Sans Amour
Mais c’est
Vous qui
L’avez
Voulu
Mon amour

Ne vous déplaise
En dansant la Javanaise
Nous nous aimions
Le temps d’une chanson

Translation:

I had
A few
Tough years
Didn’t you
My true love
Until
At last
You crossed
My path
My true love

If you don’t mind
While dancing the javanaise
Our love lasted
As long as a song

What do
You think
That we
Have seen
Of true love
Let me
Tell you
I was
Deceived
My true love

If you don’t mind
While dancing the javanaise
Our love lasted
As long as a song

Alas
April
In vain
Draws me
To true love
I was
Willing
To see
In you
This true love

If you don’t mind
While dancing the javanaise
Our love lasted
As long as a song

Life is
Pointless
When it’s
Devoid
Of true love
But that’s
The choice
You made
For us
My true love

If you don’t mind
While dancing the javanaise
Our love lasted
As long as a song

The combination of French, the language of love and Jazz, the music of love, has to be one of the most magnificent creations of mankind.

Originally written by Serge Gainsbourg back in 1962, this song happens to be a cover by Madeleine Peyroux, an American jazz singer and songwriter who began her career as a teenager on the streets of Paris. She is known for her vintage jazz and blues songs. When Peyroux was just 13, she moved to Paris with her mother, where she began singing, ‘inspired by the street musicians of Paris’ Latin Quarter. By 1989, she was performing as a member of the old-timey jazz band the Riverboat Shufflers. Around age 16, she joined another vintage-inspired ensemble, the Lost & Wandering Blues & Jazz Band, and spent several years touring Europe performing jazz standards by such legends as Fats Waller, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and others’.

While Gainsbourg’s version of the song, which is the original one, is sensual and authentic, with perfect 60’s French music, Peyroux has brought out the sheer delicacy in the song. Even though the two versions don’t necessarily contradict each other, they’re not that similar, save for the same lyrics. Why I have chosen this version is because I was more drawn to the innate authenticity that persists, even with the progression in the art of Jazz. When I first heard the song, Madeleine was mistaken for a 50’s Jazz artist, such is her vocal charm. Released in 2006, the song retains the timelessness a jazz song is entitled to have.

The elegant, pared-down arrangements are all brushed drums, acoustic guitars, and cool organ licks. But of course it’s Peyroux’s voice that brings it all home–preferably one where the shades are drawn, embers are smoldering in the fireplace, and the white wine is kept dry.

What a perfect way to describe the song. Also, the soft and toned music makes is especially pleasant, like something you’d play in a very nice restaurant, or to accentuate your lover’s voice as you have a candle-lit dinner on the terrace on a warm evening, or even on a beautiful cruise across the Pacific. Her perfect pronunciation, The sweet music of the violin and the piano swipe are all beautiful attributes of the song.

The Javanaise is made to seem like a dance the lover’s asking his beloved to remember they had on an evening, on a street with the street band playing this song (the latter half of this story is all made-up). That’s the beauty of French Jazz music when it’s played in every nook and corner of Paris – it’s mind-numbing and mesmerizing. One quiet walk through Paris on a lovely summer’s night will fill your life with so much bliss that you’ll never be worried about the little things again. That is, of course, if there’s no threat of robbery.

 

 

YOU SPIN ME ROUND (LIKE A RECORD)

Artist: Dead Or Alive

Genre: 80’s pop

Notable Lyrics:

If I, I get to know your name
Well if I, could trace your private number, baby

All I know is that to me
You look like you’re lots of fun
Open up your lovin’ arms
I want some, want some

I set my sights on you
(And no one else will do)
And I, I’ve got to have my way now, baby

All I know is that to me
You look like you’re havin’ fun
Open up your lovin’ arms
Watch out, here I come

You spin me right ’round, baby, right ’round
Like a record, baby, right ’round, ’round, ’round
You spin me right ’round, baby, right ’round
Like a record, baby, right ’round, ’round, ’round

I, I got to be your friend now, baby
And I, would like to move in just a little bit closer

If there were 2 words to sum the 80’s up, they’d be ‘fabulous’ and ‘interesting’.

Not to be confused with Florida’s track ‘you spin me right round’ (which is just a remixed version of this song), this classic tune was made famous by the hit Adam Sandler-Drew Barrymore film ‘the wedding singer’. The song has further been used in several movies and T.V. shows. The band, ‘Dead or Alive’, was an English band which was formed in the high-rise of 80’s pop music. The front-man, Pete Burns, was mainly known for his eccentric outfits and his effeminate dancing style.

The 80’s had its fair share of ‘songs meant for a crush’, and this one’s quite popular in that sphere. Being one of their more popular songs, the song speaks about the desires one has for the ‘objects of their affection’ and the feelings thereby ensured. It’s an authentic 80’s tune with grooves and funk in all the right places. The 80’s style of experimenting with music videos is also quite apparent, with Burns dancing his way through your heart (and into your pants. kidding. or not.).

The song might not be desirable to everyone, owing to the coarse singing and the aged beats, but that’s therein lies the entire charm of the song. The drums, the disco themed costumes, the big hair and the shrill tunes, all form essential parts of a typical 80’s song. What’s also endearing is the blatant lyrics and Pete’s glamour, paving way for more ‘fabulousness’ than what’s usual. Be what may, this song rightfully has earned its position on the list of ‘best of 80’s’, and I’ll stand by it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RIVER

Artist: Leon Bridges

Genre: R&B

Notable lyrics:

Been traveling these wide roads for so long
My heart’s been far from you
Ten-thousand miles gone
Oh, I wanna come near and give ya
Every part of me
But there’s blood on my hands
And my lips aren’t clean
In my darkness I remember
Momma’s words reoccur to me
“Surrender to the good Lord
And he’ll wipe your slate clean”
Take me to your river
I wanna go
Oh, go on
Take me to your river
I wanna know
Tip me in your smooth waters
I go in
As a man with many crimes
Come up for air
As my sins flow down the Jordan
Oh, I wanna come near and give ya
Every part of me
But there’s blood on my hands
And my lips aren’t clean
Take me to your river
I wanna go
Go on,
Take me to your river
I wanna know.

Leon Bridges is a young Gospel singer who rose to fame in 2015. Born and brought up in Texas, Leon stuck to making Gospel and soul songs. Apparently, The Wall Street Journal described him as a “throwback to ’60s-soul a la Otis Redding and Sam Cooke.”

The song is basically about redemption, or plainly salvation. Whether or not this song is an ode to Jesus is debatable. Since Leon’s popular with making Gospel music, it’s safe to assume that the song is a kind of prayer. That being said, it can also be interpreted as a love song, or simply a song about going back to ones’ roots. But what’s enthralling is the symbolism in the music video and the metaphors used in the song. It all truly is a work of art.

Being the simple and melodious song it is, River is supported solely by the guitar for a beautiful tune and the strong voice of Leon himself. The song also uses back-up vocals, which happens to be a prominent part of most gospel songs. What’s even more beautiful is when Brittni’ Jessie’s voice is stripped off any mechanical adjustments, and all that remains are raw emotions and the purity of it all. There are a few theatrical aspects to it, which would otherwise be considered redundant. Pertaining to the music video, everything was well calculated and fitted to the design. The video is mainly about the daily riots in the neighborhoods, be it a fight against racism or police brutality. Despite there being many liberals in a country like America, the African-Americans still face racism on an everyday basis. The video captures the issue perfectly. Since breaking it down to its bits and pieces is a tedious process, all I can say is each scene speaks a different story (beautifully). Anybody that’s ever denied that music and music videos are works of art, can be rightfully shut down now.

Recently, there’s been a stereotype floating around – that all 21st century music is distasteful. Only arrogant and pretentious snobs can come up with something so crude and untrue. While most modern-day pop songs fail to meet the standards once set up by the music lords, there definitely exist a million artists who are very self-efficient and talented, once of such being Leon Bridges. There are thousands of songs being released everyday that are better than any that’s ever been created; all you really have to know is where to look.

PICTURE FRAMES

Artist: Rei Brown

Genre: Indie

Notable lyrics: 

Love, I don’t know what makes you move
I don’t know what makes you move in these photographs
Love, I stare at these polaroids
I stare at these polaroids and you’re staring back

Deep sleep aviations, in conversations with constellations
Midnight trepidations, the detonations of self-deprecation

Ooo I don’t need you anymore
Ooo I don’t need you anymore

But love, when I close my eyes
I’m lying next to you
And I don’t want memories
To fade like pictures do
In these picture frames

Love, I don’t know what makes you laugh
I don’t know what makes you laugh in these sepia tones
Love, I can’t help but make believe
I can’t help but make believe that you’re coming home

White noise meditation, the hesitation to change the station
Radio resuscitation, suffocation in contemplation

Ooo I don’t need you anymore.

Do you ever get slight tremors in your body after listening to an insanely good song? I do, and this song fits in the ‘body-quake’ category, because of how overwhelmingly wonderful it is.

Rei Brown, formerly known as Raybaboon, keeps a very low-profile; his whereabouts are quite unknown and he’s an indie artist on Soundcloud. Who knew Soundcloud had so many wonderful artists?

An amazing song must be able to transcend tangible boundaries and help you float through the realms of virtual heaven; at least that’s what an amazing song is to me. If it has the ability to help you lose yourself, you’re on the right track with your music. Don’t let anybody tell you any different, be what may the genre. This is inconsistent with my previous rigid beliefs, but I’ve matured a lot since then.

This song is an intricate work of an artist who knows what he’s doing. To transcribe this song would be hard, since its got so many complex layers and such. According to what I could make out, no actual instruments have been used, save for a single guitar strum. However, it all worked out for the best, since the song has resulted into something very miraculous. The lyrics are so beautiful, the meaning behind it being more beautiful. The artist talks about how he still remembers his lover when looking at their pictures, and how he so dearly misses them. It’s simple, crystal-clear but efficient, sitting right in with the whole idea of the song. The voice complements the song very will; it’s a little drowsy and docile but absolutely gorgeous. I haven’t feel the absence of a stranger’s dreamy voice until I heard this one.The video is an animated footage of a train moving through a monochromatic scene, with the snow falling in the background; simple but consistent.

Everything about the song is so pure and innocent, with the calming sound of a type-writer and a pager(?) in the background. Listening to this song sometimes makes everything better for 3 minutes. I just hope there’s an endless stream of talented artists putting out such beautiful songs everyday.

 

LOVE ME

Artist: Shiloh Dynasty

Genre: EDM

Lyrics: 

Won’t you be me baby ?
If I had the money, love.
Would that make you love me ?
Oh..
I can’t, I can’t love.

I’ve never been a firm believer of love at first sight, sound or anything as such, but this voice has dipped me into the shallows of heaven and brought me back, wanting for more. Shiloh Dynasty as he calls himself, happens to be a mysterious musician who’s active on Soundcloud and YouTube, with the voice of an angel who sings the world to sleep. If anything could come to being as beautiful as his voice, I’d have a hard time buying it.

Shiloh only uploads snippets of covers or originals. This is a good marketing strategy, especially when you’ve got such a mellifluous voice. This aroused curiosity among many indie music fans and hence, led to collaborations with various EDM artists. Now, I’m not a walking EDM encyclopedia, but if there’s any song I could listen for a whole day, I’d choose this without hesitation. The beautiful guitar tune, the mesmerizing voice, the beats, as it’s called, and your own nostalgia make the perfect combination for a rainy day playlist. For the first time, I don’t find the necessity to elaborate about the beauty of a song, since it speaks for itself.

Also, here’s a really cute pink panther edit:

 

 

NEW SLANG

Artist: The Shins

Genre: Indie

Notable lyrics:

And if you’d took to me like a
Gull takes to the wind
Well, I’d a-jumped from my trees
And I’d a-danced like the kind of the eyesores
And the rest of our lives would have fared well

I’m looking in on the good life I might be doomed never to find
Without a trust or flaming fields am I too dumb to refine?
And if you’d ‘a took to me like, well
I’d a-danced like the queen of the eyesores
And the rest of our lives would have fared well

According to popular belief (ironically), if you claim to be a fan of Independent music but don’t associate with The Shins’ music, you’re not a fan of independent music. If you ever happen to come across an idiot who gives you this piece of advice, tell him that the beauty of indie music or any music, for that matter, is to be free from all the constraints already imposed, and that nobody can dictate your music taste for you. ( I might seem like a hypocrite because of my previous accusations against popular music, but I still stand by it because the facts are right.)

The Shins are an indie rock band formed in New Mexico, in 1996. Their twisted, complicated lyrics are what sets them apart from normal indie rock bands, essentially making them a somewhat proper indie band. If anything, The Shins started the fad of writing cryptic lyrics and using finely aged tunes.

The tune is sullen and smooth, free from any figurative bumps. In a way, it is almost nostalgic, even when you’re only listening to it for the first time. The back-up vocals and the muted guitar tune is so wonderfully attributed here that it manages to stand-out, all the while being in the background. Also, the song very intelligently uses layered vocals. Factually, most of the band’s songs have a similar and a distinct theme of making music. The music video is an intimate, less edited recording of the band members having fun while being their weird selves (what more can you expect from an indie band hehe). There are several shots with the lead-singer wearing headphones. The video could either be an effortless, home-made project or a puzzle. Seemingly, the song speaks about jumping out of one’s comfort-zone as a sacrifice made to a loved one and the video embodies it accurately, since the band members are also doing the same. Also, there are several sepia, black & white, and blue-black shots, amidst the colored ones. The change of colors talks about the inconsistencies in the singer’s life, and how everything isn’t as clear as a day.

When deciphered, the lyrics turn into something beautiful. Genius lyrics genius-ly decodes the entire song, but the here’s the gist of it: the singer tells us that he hasn’t been the most outgoing, sane, or socially comfortable person, but would’ve gone out of his way to make himself feel warm and happy. New Slang might actually be the act of developing a whole new mind-set, after much deliberation.

The Shins’ front-man James Mercer stated that when he wrote it “he wanted to get out of his hometown, job, relationship, and life,” something one can easily feel when listening, especially if they relate.

Basically, the song is about growing up, fitting in your skin and letting go of your inhibitions because you can. You only grow to become a joyful person when you realize that there’s nothing holding you back but yourself.