FLOAT ON

Artist: Modest Mouse

Genre: Rock/Alternative

Notable lyrics: 

I backed my car into a cop car the other day
Well, he just drove off – sometimes life’s okay
I ran my mouth off a bit too much, ah what did I say?
Well, you just laughed it off and it was all okay
And we’ll all float on okay
And we’ll all float on anyway, well
A fake Jamaican took every last dime with that scam
It was worth it just to learn some sleight of hand
Bad news comes, don’t you worry even when it lands
Good news will work it way to all them plans
We both got fired on, exactly, the same day
Well, we’ll float on, good news is on the way
And we’ll all float on okay
And we’ll all float on alright
Already we’ll all float on
Now don’t you worry we’ll all float on alright
Already we’ll all float on alright
Don’t worry we’ll all float on
Alright, Already
And we’ll all float on alright
Already we’ll all float on alright
Don’t worry even if things end up a bit
Too heavy we’ll all float on alright

If the going gets tough, this song will have your back. It’s the therapy you never knew you needed.

Modest Mouse is an American rock band formed in 1992 in Issaquah, Washington. The popular members, among the 15 who have come and gone, include Isaac Brock (lead singer and guitarist) , Jeremiah Green (Drummer), Eric Judy (bassist), and the fabulous Mr. Johnny Marr (guitars). If Johnny’s in a band, you know it’s a great one.                          Modest Mouse is one of the most popular indie bands (oh, the irony) you’ll hear one speaking about. Among Alt-J, Mgmnt, Arcade Fire, and The Shins, Modest Mouse has established itself as an indie mogul. With 12 albums out, each album having a weirder name than the previous one, ‘Float On’ appears on their 9th album, ‘Good News For People Who Love Bad News’ released in 2004. Emerging as one of the most famous indie songs in existence, ‘Float On’ has won a Grammy for the best rock song in 2005.

In an interview with The A.V. Club, lead singer Isaac Brock discussed the song’s positivity, a turn from the band’s earlier, more dour material.

I was just kind of fed up with how bad shit had been going, and how dark everything was, with bad news coming from everywhere. Our president [George W. Bush] is just a fucking daily dose of bad news! Then you’ve got the well-intentioned scientists telling us that everything is fucked.

I just want to feel good for a day. I’d had some friends die, and with Jeremy kind of losing it… After we got out of that dark spot with everything melting down with the band, I just wanted to make a positive record. I think we managed to make a quarter of the record positive, and the rest is either kind of dark or more just relaxing into things being how they are, resigned

The song talks about how having a shitty day, or a week, or a month, or a year, isn’t too bad, as that too, shall pass. For the first time, a song about Optimism hs been created that’s not entirely out of everyone’s level of comprehension. It’s brilliant in a way that it’s literally helped thousands deal with bad times, which is what music in itself must do. The simplistic and relatable makes it all the more comforting.                                                          There’s absolutely no impediment in the way of the efficient usage of drums, and the characteristic indie guitar tune which was originally introduced by the underground bands of the 80’s, and is still put into use. The occasional guitar strums and the Windows XP noise is a bit annoying, and that’s that. As a whole, the song is very catchy and spirit-lifting, with an inherent sense of enthusiasm expressed well enough.

The music video is also rather artistic, with the band members being represented as paper puppets putting on a show in front of a barn. According to Songfacts, ‘The video takes place by a sheep slaughterhouse. As the sheep get rounded and get taken to the slaughterhouse they become scared. The song seems to be reassuring the sheep that it’s OK and that even if they die, they’ll “All float on.”‘ Pretty self-explanatory.

Needless to say, this song is one of the very few songs I almost never skip when found on a shuffle. Never fails to lift my mood, and remind me that ahead of shitty days lie the ones with rainbows and butterflies everywhere. In the end, it’ll all be worth it.

TWO WEEKS

Artist: Grizzly Bear

Genre: Rock

Notable lyrics: 

Save up all the days
A routine malaise
Just like yesterday
I told you I would stay

Would you always?
Maybe sometimes?
Make it easy?
Take your time

Think of all the ways
Momentary phase
Just like yesterday
I told you I would stay

Every time you try
Quarter half a mile
Just like yesterday
I told you I would stay

Would you always?
Maybe sometimes?
Make it easy?
Take your time.

Happy seeming sad songs are a popular trend now, I see.

Grizzly Bear is an American rock band from Brooklyn, New York, formed in 2002. The band consists of Edward Droste, Daniel Rossen, Chris Taylor, and Christopher Bear. Grizzly Bear, along the likes of Beach House, Vampire Weekend, and so on, is also an acclaimed alternative band.

‘Two weeks’ was released in 2009, in the album ‘Veckatimest’, named after a small island in Dukes County, Massachusetts. The album was further nominated for the ‘Danish Music Award for International Album of the Year’. The song, even after failing to climb the mainstream charts, was featured in various ads and T.V. shows, and has been sampled by popular artists like Childish Gambino and G-Eazy.

‘Dreamy and eccentric’ is what describes the song best. The vocals are unnaturally airy, and the music surreal. The electric piano, electric guitar and drums, with a soft and gradual jingle during the chorus, gives the song a very transcendental, yet edgy ethos. Written about the gradual rupture of a relationship, the song masks the pain hidden in the lyrics with the beautiful, wholesome music. Lead singer Ed Droste writes:

“Take your time” is not sarcastic — it’s serious. Slow down, take your time. It is about reassuring someone who you are with, telling them that you are going to be there even though you are both bored of it. Would you just sometimes take your time, would you make it easy, can you just not stress?

Although the music video appears to be a bit unsettling, what with the overly googly eyes, and the firecrackers bursting out of their heads in a church (is that what it feels like to be in a terrible relationship?), the savvy composition of the song makes up for it. With Background vocals from Beach House’s Victoria Legrand, the song takes you into another dimension, the one you never knew existed, but once had a dream about (oddly specific, I know). What’s wonderful is how good of a travelling song this is. ‘Two Weeks’ also apparently is Grizzly Bears’ most popular and widely listened-to song, and it rightfully deserves that acknowledgement.

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?

 

 

THE LESS I KNOW THE BETTER

Artist: Tame Impala

Genre: Psychedelic pop

Notable lyrics:

Someone said they live together
I ran out the door to get her
She was holding hands with Trevor
Not the greatest feeling ever
Said pull yourself together
You should try your luck with Heather
And I hope they slept together
Oh the less I know the better
The less I know the better

In a weird, ultra dimensional way, I feel a strong connection to this band since the songs are so akin to the stories of my life.

Tame Impala happen to be one of the most sought-after indie rock bands, right beside the Arctic Monkeys, Vampire Weekend, et al. The band is distinctive due to its psychedelic style of making music. Formed in Perth, Australia in 2007, the band has risen to fame in the realms of unconventional music.

The song is highly illusionary, complete with an eccentric music video which is a perfect duo of weird, hallucinogenic music that pieces through your ears and the rest of your senses. Highly creative and artistic, the video fits in perfectly with the rest of their projects. Psychedelic music traces ts origin back to the 70’s, with its cosmopolitan hippies and hallucinogens. Seemingly, the band has drawn influences from several low-lying, homemade music from the 70’s; a slightly inane comparison to Pink Floyd won’t be too unassuming either. Here’s a little fact file about the song:

Anchoring itself thematically from the synth-washing “Gossip”, “The Less I Know the Better” mixes lyrics describing the painful moment of a Bermuda love triangle, with a groovy bass-line and 80’s Napoleon Dynamite’s synths.

Tame Impala lead-singer Kevin Parker said that the song doesn’t belong on the album “because it has this dorky, white disco funk.” However, using “Gossip” as a prelude to this, it is highly needed.

To be fair, it does sound a lot like a disco song, albeit a brilliant one with its funky beats and groovy music. The song is basically about a love triangle, as described, from the perspective of the hopeless romantic that yearns after a girl who no longer or never belonged to him. Essentially, Trevor is the hopeless romantic, the blonde is his object of affection and the gorilla hers. Basically capturing the essence of most normal love stories, the gorilla is a metaphor for the standards constructed by a person when they think their love interest is out of their league. ‘The less I know the better’ is a common phrase used by a person while refraining from gathering information about a crush’s romantic affairs. The song is a clever anecdote about countless relationships that happen to be along the lines of having low-self esteem and considering oneself luckier to have another.

Everything about this song is mesmerizing and dazzling. Evidently, a lot of effort goes into composing a tune of such complexity. Only after deconstructing a song will you discover the layers that have been merged to form an extraordinary product. Further, a lot of effort goes into making the music video, with the insanely vivid colors and razzmatazz. The true value of art always lies within its tiniest components because they form the big picture.

VENUS AS A BOY

 

Artist: Björk

Genre: Alternative

Notable lyrics: 

His wicked
Sense of humor
Suggests
Exciting sex

He believes in a beauty
He’s Venus as a boy

Oh Björk, why are you so wickedly (pun intended) charming, captivating and quirky?

Never heard of this little angel before? Björk Guðmundsdóttir is an Icelandic beauty who’s always had a congenital passion for music and joined a band at the age of 11, progressing to become a very influential singer-songwriter in the early 90’s. If anything, she can be described as a ‘female David Bowie with an inclination towards the colors of life and not space’. She’s always been endearingly dedicated to making audaciously colorful and eclectic songs and music videos, each very vivid but more quirky than the last. Her larger than life approach to making music has made her a very prominent persona in the music hall of fame.

‘Venus as a boy’ is a direct reference to the infamous Greek goddess of love, sex and fertility, Venus. Bjork speaks about her excitement to get laid, in a nutshell. Just kidding (SHE isn’t, however). In a way, this is a more classy, alluring version of Despacito. ‘Venus as a boy’ was released first in 1993 and Björk had immediately captured the attention of thousands, with her very distinctive voice and mannerisms. The video is but a simple footage of her being all lovely in her kitchen, making eggs and day dreaming about this particular male embodiment of Venus, with a gecko on her shoulder. The theme to be explored here is the innocence of a very young couple who fantasize about making love to each other, for the very first time. According to popular analyses, the eggs symbolize a girl on the brink of her sexual maturity (as in actual ovum a woman produces). What’s more mesmerizing, however, is that this song has derived inspiration from the authentic Indian way of making music, with the instruments being Indian string instruments and was recorded in Bombay when she was largely obsessed with Indian culture. In a way, the song feels more intimate to me now.

Björk has somehow come to be the face of Iceland now, (at least for me) and if you delve into her history and music, you’ll learn about what an inspirational and intellectual young woman she was, and what a true idol she is. She defied the clichés of popular music and rose to be a distinct personality of an interesting and tastefully bizarre kind (a hard find that can be). Also, if this adorable footage of her talking about the components of a TV doesn’t lighten your world up, what truly ever will?

Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You Baby..

Artist: Cigarettes after sex

Genre: alternative

Notable lyrics: 

Whispered something in your ears

It was a perverted thing to say

But I said it anyway.

Made you smile and, look away.

Boy am I gonna be in trouble for this *nervous laughter*. Thanks for naming your band that. Also, the original video had a very ”erotic” cover *nervous laughter* so here’s a music video for the movie ‘Lost in Translation’. Yes, that is Scarlett Johansson, she wasn’t always Black Widow, guys.

Man, there’s probably never a time this song doesn’t bring me to me knees. It hits closer to home in a way I never thought it would. Love is a very strange, incoherent feeling; you won’t notice until after it’s vanished into thin air.

This particular song is just so tainted with long-lost emotions and tears of everyone that’s lost someone significant in their lives. It’s just so sensual and melancholic, there’s no way you won’t try hard to relate to it, regardless of whether you’ve actually felt so strongly for someone. the voice behind the song is so exhausted, like they’ve seen things you wouldn’t expect an average person to see but still prefers to lay beside the person they desire the most, just to make sure they don’t see the same fate. In a very twisted manner, this is love at its purest; you don’t need money or riches to have fun or be in love, you just need another person worth loving. well, here comes the waterworks as I torture myself listening to the song on repeat, to decipher very word in a way I couldn’t before.

It’s got a very, very, VERY intimate and humanly touch to it, almost as if you listen to the song every so often and you get a peek into the songwriter’s personal experiences on which the song could or couldn’t have been based. The beautiful, frayed sound of the guitar makes it so impossibly spectacular and heart-rending. the tune is slow and sultry and makes a perfect song for when the rain’s pouring and the heavy blues from the past come flooding in. get a candle, grab a partner (optional) and slow-dance to this song. why? because life is just too short not to. Also, if you’ve never had any such experiences (in reference to the song), were you ever truly in love?

STUCK ON THE PUZZLE

Artist: Alex turner

Genre: indie

Notable lyrics: I’m not the kind of fool
Who’s gonna sit and sing to you about stars, girl
But last night I looked up into the dark half of the blue
And they’d gone backwards

Fingers dimming the lights
Like you’re used to being told that you’re trouble
And I spent all night
Stuck on the puzzle

This song, the solo work of the same Alex Turner of the ‘Arctic Monkey’s fame, is the opening OST from the movie ‘Submarine’. the plot revolves around a Welsh teen, with his slumped life and depressed parents, approaching his classmate in order to lose his virginity before his sweet 16th (teenagers, am I right?). Jordana, the aforementioned girl, is a very feisty girl, very keen on going about the whole town with a familiar hand in hers, preferably Oliver’s. He, Oliver, later gets cold feet and cuts his ties with he- you know what, watch the movie. I highly recommend it. It’s a very modern and strange outlook on love; teenage love. there’s no chance for you to get out some yawns, though.

The best part about the whole movie? the savvy decision of choosing dear Alex to make the music, which he has done so brilliantly and meticulously, each song better than the last. of all the 6 songs, this one’s my favorite. Far from his usual style of strict indie rock, Turner has approached the audience with more appropriate ballads which definitely captures the essence of the movie. Alex and his beautiful, intricate style of writing pleases everyone, all the god damn time. from ‘Arctic Monkeys’ to the ‘The last shadow puppets’, he has never failed to impress a wide variety of the listeners. With the ’70’s rock star meets a modern hipster rocker’ éclat,the young James Dean is a proper heart throb, that goes around stealing hearts and capturing smiles with his wonderfully crafted music.

With as little as a single instrument, the guitar, he still manages to outshine most meaningless performers these days.if that doesn’t highlight his talent and his ability as a proper musician, I don’t know what does or what will.

 

AFTER THE STORM

Artist: Mumford & sons

Genre: Folk/alternative

Notable lyrics: I won’t die alone and be left there.

Well I guess I’ll just go home,

but God knows where.

Because death is just so full and man so small.

Well I’m scared of what’s behind and what’s before.

And there will come a time, you’ll see, with no more tears.

And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.

Get over your hill and see what you find there,

With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.

 

Mumford & sons are a folk band from Britain who have made the headlines quite a few times. their music is what can be described as ‘neo-folk’ or modified folk. they’re apparently not a family band, contrary to the name (most band names don’t make acute sense anyway). however, they definitely are a talented bunch of blokes.

this song is one of their less accredited ones. it is what can be described as ‘leisurely’ but meaningful. at first, you’ll hear a single instrument (probably an ukulele), which is unusual, owing to the usual string quartet accompanied with a majority of their tunes.

the song is a dulcet combination of wishful singing and can also be interpreted as a rendition of the infamous ‘we shall overcome’, except it’s about overcoming the ups and downs of a relationship. with lyrics like ‘And remembered our own land,
what we lived for.’ and ‘With grace in your heart an flowers in your hair’ explores their bohemian style of making songs. the singer, Mr. Mumford, has executed the song rather soulfully and has added more life to the already intelligent lyrics.

the artistry of the band most certainly can be exclaimed as ‘vivid’ and ‘unique’. contrary to popular beliefs, they’re not just ‘some stupid hipster band’. Mumford & sons is the kind of band whose records will sell for millions, in the future. with a ”Joni Mitchell’s intricate writing meets Bob Dylan’s folk-y outlook”, this is the kind of band I suggest you take seriously.  whether they are the biggest coming-of-age folk band can be a matter of debate. my argument? they’re definitely on their way.

 

SWEATER WEATHER

 

Artist: The neighborhood

Genre: Indie

Notable lyrics:

And if I may just take your breath away

I don’t mind if there’s not much to say

Sometimes the silence guides our minds to

So move to a place so far away

The goosebumps start to raise

The minute that my left hand meets your waist.

 

You know it’s a good song when the lyrics are swell and the song is just…SULTRY.

So, based on my previous recommendations, if you thought I was a prude OR boring, you’re under the wrong impression. the fun’s just about to begin. (also, my mum occasionally reads the blog so i’ll try to tone it down.)

Now, I know this is a fairly popular song and it’s just as good as me recommending ‘Do I wanna know’ for an ‘Arctic Monkeys’ song but, I couldn’t resist.

The song is a neophyte seducer (take it anyway you want) in a retro atmosphere (with the black & white video and everything). it  might as well be a hipster ‘start me up’. with the barely explicit details, you can paint a picture of what’s going on or……what’s going to happen. lyrics like ‘You in those little high-waisted shorts’, ‘Touch my neck and I’ll touch yours’ and ‘Put my finger on your tongue cause you love the taste’ definitely amplify the sensual outlook of the song. the vocalist also adds to the overall sexiness of the song, with his thin, but alluring and unshaken voice. this song is definitely capable of putting you into a trance, as your limbs involuntarily start moving to the organised drum beats as if you were in a club trying to find a potential mate. the song slows down at the bridge and then, there’s a dreamy exit.

The intimate details like the sounds of birds screeching and the waves gushing towards the beach makes it perfect for a beach house date, if you will. if not a date, you can still count on your imagination to do the rest or atleast, the song will make it 😉

IF YOU’RE ON THE WATER

(This isn’t the official video, but it’s beautiful. the channel makes videos for underrated songs.)

Artist: The saxophones

Genre: Indie folk/blues

Notable lyrics: When you left that boat

Thought you’d sink if I couldn’t float

Would you lose your guilt if I was your daughter?

Oh, father

If you’re on the water, water, water water beware

If you’re on the water, water, water water take care.

This song, my friends, has come from the really dark and artistic side of YouTube. with less than a million views (most indie songs have 1 mill+ views on YouTube), this nostalgic song ‘you definitely have heard somewhere before’ has a most phenomenal make when deciphered. the artist is a very surreptitious dude from California with a sentimental and remarkably heavy voice, a voice that is truly a rarity in general. he’s joined by his wife on the ‘percussions and samplers’.

This music is what can be reviewed as vintage, with its 50’s charm and soft, yet vibrant music which forms a fuzz and fades into your background, drawing you quite into the thoughtfully configured lyrics and the sentimentality of the singer’s voice. the video is nothing but the audio of the song, with a very intimate polaroid of what could be the duo’s own wedding, leaving us feeling trapped in their tiny, ochre world. the song is essentially a declaration of love, trust, about holding your lover’s hand through all the complications, darkness, moments of joy and marriage – basically a poetic and Shakespearean (I mean Romeo and Juliet in particular) marriage vow.

Another meaning could be that this is a father-child song. There’s a little back story behind this.

Erenkov and his father were riding 70 MPH in a fishing boat on Lake Shasta when they hit a swell and were both thrown overboard. Neither one was wearing a life jacket. Alexi broke his femur upon hitting the water, and his father was badly bruised. They treaded water until they were rescued by a passing ski boat. A week later, Erenkov’s father’s friend committed suicide completely shocking Erenkov and his father as they recovered from the accident.

That makes more sense now, doesn’t it?

The song is the kind that really does stick with you on a boat with your father or beau (whatever your preference is) a rainy day, a heavy day or just any day in general. there is no way to show my true appreciation for the song, for we have bonded at such short notice and that doesn’t happen usually. it leaves me feeling reminiscing and overwhelmed. writing about this beautiful work of art is what keeps me doing what I’m doing.