the indie music database

since 2007

List Addicts Fridays: Polar Opposites

by Cris



Yes, this isn’t Friday, but in the history of the Friday’s list – I’ve only ever been able to post on Friday 20% of the time. Better late than never! Even if I get caught up with other important things in life, I always get that itch to post this list up.

This week’s list contains six songs by 3 artists, favorite ones at that, who’ve made excellent songs that one might say, have gone to indie mainstream. So what do they have in common? If you’re only an occasional fan of any of these artists – you’ll be familiar with just one of the two songs I’ve posted from each of them, with the second (or first song – whichever you’re familiar with) warranting a ‘they sang that song too?’ from you. This week’s list will be my list of artists exhibiting a sort of dual personality through their songs.

1. Sufjan Stevens

Sufjan is my favorite indie music pinup boy. He might be a well known solo act, but he’ll always be to me, one of the auxillary members of The Danielson Famile, the weirdest and one of most endearing Christian bands of all time.  Sufjan’s songs are more popularly known to be of the folk/chamber pop variety, as demonstrated by his songs from his two state-themed albums Illinois and Michigan. If you’re a Jeremy Brock (or Rupert Grint) fan – you’ve probably heard of Sufjan, as his songs were used as the soundtrack for Brock’s semi-autobiographical film Driving Lessons‘.  The best way to sample Sufjan’s usual stye would be to listen to his ever-so-popular and critically acclaimed Illinoise album. Here’s one of the more popular tracks – Come On! Feel the Illinoise!

Come On! Feel the Illinoise! |

Unbeknownst to many, Sujfan also has a rock-on-roll side to him. Though his attempts at rock aren’t as popular – his contribution to the Believer’s 2007 music issue  comes close to be the one of his more well known ones, and a rare one at that. He replaces his angelic soothing vocals with Jack White style, honest to goodness rock out singing in ‘In The Words of the Governor’

In The Words of the Governor |

2. The Bees

The Bees is a band that’s hard to categorize musically, so officially, they’re not really deviating much from these two different sounding songs that I’m about to offer. The Bees, has always been – for the lack of appropriate words to describe it – very vintage. Their songs sound like they’re from 30 years back – but all from different genres. Here’s their more popular song ‘Chicken Payback’, which was used in the England Cricket Board ad, as well as the ‘Men Wild as animals’ Sure Deodorant advert.

Chicken Payback |

If you’re only familiar with Chicken Payback and its equally silly music video. You might be surprised that this band had actually made this particular song – an all time favorite of mine – which sounds so much like a Burt Bacharach original. It’s soothing melody as well as it’s trance inducing lyrics (I want to hold you like the sky holds the sun), make it a perfect polar opposite for Chicken Payback –

Sky Holds the Sun |

3. Belle and Sebastian

Glasgow’s indie darlings, Belle and Sebastian are popularly known for their folksy acoustic pop songs. A staple for all twee pop enthusiasts – Belle and Sebastian is synonymous to jingly jangly guitar music. Here’s a track that hits close to home for me, and was also featured in the 2008 comedy ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Get Me Away From Here, I’m Dying |

The next song, sticks out like as sore thumb. This sounds nothing like other Belle and Sebastian songs. In fact, to some Belle and Sebastian fans out there, they’d rather not have this song in the Tigermilk album because it simply doesn’t jive. In any case, I love the song – it might ruin the mood for an afternoon of jingly jangly twee pop, but I welcome the sweet sweet sounds of electronica anytime.

Electronic Renaissance |


I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who’s been keeping tabs on the site. Keep the music contributions coming! I also want to give a special shout out to Kevin from for the mention in their uber-cool site. Check out the article here.

photo: album art from belle and sebastian’s album ‘fold your hands child’