Hello, everyone! Now that it is the last Monday of April, it is time for the third installment of my “Monthly Monday Music Melange” series. The last Monday of this month is quite early, but I still have a sizable list of songs I would love to share with you all. Without further ado, let us get started!
“Leave the Light On” by Overcoats
One of the first songs I fell in love with during the month of April was “Leave the Light On” by Overcoats (a duo I actually first found out about during the first month of this series). Once I saw that their Tiny Desk Concert was released and was made aware that it was basically a dance party, I immediately watched it and was captivated by their clear friendship, joy, and energy. Later on, when their album was available on the NPR Music website before its official release, I was even more impressed by their music. So many of their new songs have been staples of mine throughout this month, with “Leave the Light On” being one of them.
“Don’t Take the Money” by Bleachers
On the Friday of my spring break, when I only had two days left before school was back in session, I listened to “Don’t Take the Money” for the first time….and I could not stop listening to it for the rest of spring break. I even declared it my “spring break anthem,” as it was just what I needed to appreciate and enjoy those last couple of days. Also, the message of this refreshing and bombastic song is one that I have tried to keep in mind over time.
“Vacation” by Florist
After class one day, on what I believe was a rainy afternoon, I watched and listened to the Tiny Desk Concert performed by Florist. What I heard really struck me; I felt as though this song was made for me. The family vacations, the joys of hotel pools, and even the worries of possible destruction: All of these concepts are ones that are ingrained in my memory. As a result, this soothing song has left an impact on me this month.
“Conqueror” by AURORA
It was around the same time that I watched the Tiny Desk Concert performed by AURORA, and I was so fascinated by the passion and dedication she puts into her performances and music. Consequently, I found my way to this catchy and powerful song and embraced it; too bad it is somewhat associated with negative memories for me at this point. Nevertheless, I still adore “Conqueror.” Also, this performance of the song is adorable.
“No Cities to Love” by Sleater-Kinney
One group that I have been somewhat obsessed with lately is Sleater-Kinney. As a longtime fan of Portlandia, I felt obliged to listen this band that Carrie Brownstein is a part of, but never truly delved into their discography until recently. I now can proudly say that I am a fan of the group, and their music honestly makes me want to be a powerful and independent woman. So, of course, this song specifically reminds me of voting in my local election. I AM MAKING A DIFFERENCE, RIGHT?
“Use It” by The New Pornographers
This song is another one that has strong ties to a memory of mine, which is of preparing to turn in a huge research paper and give a presentation on the same topic. Even so, I still love this power-pop song. I started listening to The New Pornographers last month, and I have listened to much of their discography pretty consistently since then, especially on Thursdays (which is the day of the week in which I was doing the aforementioned preparation).
“Mythological Beauty” by Big Thief
I believe it was the day after I really started to enjoy “Use It,” and right after I gave my presentation, that I listened to an episode of my beloved All Songs Considered. During this episode, a relatively long interview was had Adrianne Lenker of Big Thief about the song “Mythological Beauty,” and I was so captivated by the stories that were told. So once the actual song was played, I was stopped dead in my tracks. To hear those same stories told in a melancholic but gorgeous way was (and is still) stunning; these types of songs really have become some of my favorites during the month of April.
“Destination” by Nickel Creek
This next song is actually one that I discovered weeks after the previous one (it was a dry spell, I guess). On a Friday afternoon, while putting off my work on school assignments, I started to watch some Tiny Desk Concerts, as per usual, and came across the ones done by Punch Brothers and Nickel Creek. I had never really listened to bluegrass music beforehand, so hearing progressive bluegrass played so well by both groups was quite exciting and exhilarating for me. Quickly, “Destination” by Nickel Creek became a song that I found myself listening to a multitude of times; I especially love the powerful vocals included in this song.
“Julep” by Punch Brothers
As I mentioned before, I also started listening to Punch Brothers toward the end of this month. (I love Chris Thile, what can I say?) “Julep” crept up on me over time, and it soon became one of my favorites of theirs. It is quiet and comforting, yet full of passion, and it is now one of my new favorite songs to listen to while taking walks at night. It is simply gorgeous.
“My Love” by The Bird and the Bee
I have listened to The Bird and the Bee for almost a year now, and their charming music has stayed with me all the while. During this month, though, I kept turning to their discography while doing schoolwork; to me, the production and vocals associated with their music is almost refreshing in a way, which helps me stay focused and sane, quite frankly. I particularly enjoyed “My Love” a lot toward the end of this month, although “Polite Dance Song (Totally Rude Remix)” is a close runner up (and one of the only remixes of any song that I enjoy).
“The Dress Looks Nice on You” by Sufjan Stevens
I believe myself to be in a perpetual Sufjan Stevens phase, and so I kept listening to his stunning music throughout the month of April. One particular performance of Sufjan’s that I have listened to a lot recently is his one for Austin City Limits. Although I think every song in the setlist was done exceptionally well, his performance of “The Dress Looks Nice on You” really brought my attention to the song, which is one that I had largely ignored beforehand. It is such a beautiful acoustic song, and it fits in with the general somber/acoustic phase I seem to be going through as of late.
“Oceanica” by San Fermin
I first listened to this song very recently, as it was featured on an episode of All Songs Considered. I immediately was fascinated by it, and I still find it to be intriguing, especially since it is about the somewhat intoxicating feeling of panic. The instrumentation and production is right up my ally, and the way the song shifts and develops over time is truly captivating.
“Hard Times” by Paramore
Is it 2012? Am I back in my emo phase? I hope not. But, nevertheless, the new Paramore song has captured and kept my attention. At first, I dismissed the song as yet another attempt by pop-rock acts to blatantly incorporate inspirations from the ’80s, but of course, I could not stop coming back to this song (and the great music video). “Hard Times” has won me over, I will admit, although I will try my best to not enter yet another emo phase. I have been listening to a lot of throwback emo hits lately, though….
“Control” by Ratboys
(The song is featured toward the bottom of the website.)
Once again, I must thank everyone at NPR Music for my discovery of this song. Listening to the most recent episode of All Songs Considered introduced me to this group, and I soon was charmed by them. I usually am not one for “post-country” music, but this song (that is almost in indie-rock territory) is lovely, and to be honest, I will always be biased toward any band that is from Chicago.
Well, I hope you all enjoyed this look into my music library for the month of April. As per usual, if you enjoyed any of these songs, you might as well thank NPR Music (while telling them that I sent you and that they should hire me), which I basically do on a daily basis. Also, let me know if you have any music recommendations for me, which I will gladly accept. Thanks for reading, and I hope you all have a great May of 2017!