As they say, good things come in pairs – in this case, it’s good songs. The past week, I was contemplating on what my next list topic would be. I started off with one thing, but could only list up to two songs in my head that I thought was post worthy. How could just two be a list? So, I moved over to another topic until I got three themes started in my head with two songs each. This, adding up to six songs in three very short lists. So, why not make it a Iist of three pairs? Yeah, why not! It’s perfect for the click happy internet surfer – six songs won’t be too short, nor too long. It’s just right for the discerning individual, with a somewhat limited attention span.
My first pair came to mind because I’ve been listening to a lot of Shout Out Louds lately (which will explain why I have 2 songs from them in this post). Their song, ‘Your Parent’s Livingroom’ reminded me a lot of Ben Folds Five’s ‘Brick’. Though melodically different, these two songs, have that same sombre atmosphere and tell of a couple with a tragic background. It’s not specified in the song what that is, but you know: something really bad happened to them that tore them apart. The feeling is heavy, Ben Fold Five gives it to us clearly with a narrative of how things spiralled down. The Shout Out Louds on the other hand, hints with lyrical allusion: the guy waking up with a headache, or the dust in his eye. He tries to recall the events that happened – a memory that he seems to have trouble piecing together. In any case, both are excellent songs, different in style but oddly give you that same sad and emotionally charged feeling.
Ben Folds Five – Brick |
Shout Out Louds - Your Parent's Livingroom |
Taking a shift from melancholy to happy, the next two songs are about falling in love - but not just plain falling in love, it's falling in love with someone from a foreign land. We don't have a lot of indie songs about this (I only came up with two). I'm going back into the 90's again with the Dambuilder's 'Shrine' and then a tune from 2007 - Of Montreal's 'Du Og Meg'. Both tell of a story about a boy and a girl, brought together by the same love for music, just trying to overcome the language and cultural barrier to be with each other.
'Du Og Meg' (Norwegian for 'You and Me') feels like it should've been accompanied by a stick figure animation music video, since it sort of feels like someone's telling you a fairy tale -an upbeat one, about a swashbuckling knight from the evil empire, entranced by a princess. He swept her of her feet and she joined his touring rock band selling t-shirts at the shows. She ditched him, he came galloping back, and they were married in the summer. That's actually the whole song right there in one short paragraph. It's kind of cute to think that this was actually how the singer, Kevin Barnes met his wife Nina who's from Oslo.
'Shrine' on the other hand is ear-candy. It opens with a beat and a bass guitar, and swells up to the full on rock band sound with a hint of violin. It's about falling in love with a girl, who doesn't speak much english and the only thing you have in common is rock n' roll. One nice trivia fact is that the song peaked as #14 in the Billboard Modern Rock chart in 1994 - which is pretty good considering it doesn't have a chorus at all to help people remember the lyrics in their head. Coincidentally it's also something that it also has in common with Of Montreal's 'Du Og Meg'.
Dambuilders - Shrine |
The last two songs that I'm posting up here share the same title. One is indie pop and one is electronica. 'Impossible' is the second song in this entry from the Swedish group Shout Out Louds. It's also one of the songs my son has recently been liking (which definitely is because of the playful keyboard intro). Despite the uppity beat, this song is actually a post break-up song - where the guy is unable to move on. He insists, 'It's impossible that your love is something that I cannot remember' (which translated from Swedish English to English English is: 'It's impossible that your love is something that I can't forget') . The lyrics are heartfelt, and if you've actually been stuck on someone - you might want to sing along when he sings:'I don't want to see the same pictures all over. And I've been standing on the same spot now since it's been over'. Whether you're in post break-up or not, it's a song you can definitely like right away and a can survive a couple of more plays without getting old.
Figurine's 'IMpossible' on the other hand - with the title cleverly written with a capital I and M - is somewhat of a break-up song as well. The song features a nice dialogue between the male and female vocals on how impossible a long distance relationship would be, especially over Instant Messaging. It's *the* love song for the internet generation and to anyone who's carried on a long distance relationship supported by IMs, Video Chats,. emails and what-not. Also, it's got a nice touch of the Belgian rave siren - which definitely dates the song (it must've probably been targeted to the early 2000 warehouse party go-ers).If you don't usually like electro-dance with a bit or rave - this song might actually make you consider (or not!).
Shout Out Louds - Impossible |
Figurine - IMpossible |