For this week, I thought it would be appropriate to focus the 3 Of The Week feature on love songs. Since I used Sleeping At Last‘s “Next To Me” on last week’s edition, it’s not here this week, but you should listen to it anyway. Instead, here are three songs by some of my favorite bands, Bayside, Anberlin, and Go Radio. I’m not the biggest fan of love songs, but these guys do them right.
1. “Landing Feet First” – Bayside
Supposedly, Anthony Raneri played this for his ex-wife at their wedding. It’s easy to see why. The song starts with some simple singing over a conservative guitar part, as Raneri’s lyrics express how, no matter what, he’ll be there for her. With some great metaphors throughout, the song includes fitting drums and hand claps, before an understated chorus that opens up into Jack O’Shea’s skillful lead guitar lines, setting a great tone for the song. Building from the straightforward palm mutes and singing into the full band sound, eventually reaching a playful exchange between the guitar and Raneri’s vocals, this is simply a great love song.
2. “Inevitable” – Anberlin
This is the sort of song that makes me just want to close my eyes and listen, blocking everything else out. As a huge fan of Stephen Christian’s voice, I find this to be a great display of his ability to control dynamic and write incredible harmonies in a way that is undeniable. The lyrics are simple, but heartfelt, and the instrumentation includes great bits for strings and interesting drum patterns, alongside an unmistakeable twelve-string guitar part. The line, “I want to be your last first kiss” might be the one of the most romantic things to say to someone you care about, and the melody expresses those emotions perfectly. This is a great song from one of my favorite albums (Cities), so it’s well-worthy of a few listens this week.
3. “Goodnight Moon” – Go Radio
I can’t say enough good things about Go Radio. Every song they put out is well-written, heartfelt, has great lyrics, and is fun to sing along to. “Goodnight Moon” was the last song on their most recent EP, and easily one of the stronger tracks on that release. The beginning of the song is reminiscent of “Forever My Father” from the band’s first EP or “Miserable At Best” from frontman Jason Lancaster’s previous band Mayday Parade, with a simple piano part and Lancaster’s voice singing an intimate and soulful melody. What makes this track different is how it opens up into an upbeat love song, starting with the cymbals leading into the driving drum part just before the second verse, where Lancaster’s voice finds its signature power. Gradually gaining momentum through the bridge, the track ends with an outro that feels not unlike one perfect for a slow dance, with wonderful strings in the background and the drums and Jason’s voice carrying the song as it fades out. Overall, this is the perfect ending to an incredible EP, and one of the best love songs I’ve heard.