Landon’s Pick: “Wrestler” – Does It Offend You, Yeah?
Reading, Berkshire’s own Does It Offend You, Yeah?, though spotting one of the most peculiar monikers in history, were responsible for some of the finest underground electronic jams in their genre. Though the group has currently been on hiatus for the past three months, their music continues to live on in the hearts of their many fans. One of the most supreme examples of their music is “Wrestler,” a deep cut from their 2011 release Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You. Half jock jam, half electronic anthem, the song totally sums up the energy and exuberance of the band – and why it sucks so much that they’re now all but buried.
Joe’s Pick: “So Here We Are” – Bloc Party
Know what it’s like to be on ecstasy? Me neither, but Bloc Party’s first album Silent Alarm gives us this gorgeous track which is meant to capture that very essence. The song starts with a gentle guitar which is soon joined by a unique drumbeat and soft, restrained vocals from Kele Okereke. It all slowly builds as he sings of a troubled relationship until the bridge, where the music explodes in a feeling of triumph and joy as you hear, “I’ve figured it out/I can see again!” Personally I don’t know the feeling of being on ecstasy, but I do know you’ll be doing yourself a favor by getting lost in the beauty of “So Here We Are.”
Jacob’s Pick: “If Not Now, When” – Anchor & Braille
On my first listen of Anchor & Braille’s expectations-smashing new record The Quiet Life, this is the track that made me stop and realize that I was hearing something great. From the very beginning, Christian’s tone, as per usual, is flawless. Flowing between the power of his full voice and the softer side of his upper range and allowing for natural voice breaks to come through, this is the sort of track that reminds me of why I fell in love with his voice in the first place. The instrumental parts are largely minimalist, with a keyboard-based ambient atmosphere playing home to intimate acoustic guitars and percussion. The lyrics on this song and record are some of Christian’s best in the past few years. While I’d definitely recommend listening to The Quiet Life in its entirety, this is the song that was my immediate standout. Put on your headphones and get lost in this beauty.
Megan’s Pick: “Back to You” – Coconut Records
I am infatuated with Jason Schwartzman for many reasons, but the biggest contributor is Coconut Records, which I use as a personal oasis. This indie-pop solo project has captivated me, and “Back to you” has essentially taken over all and any playlists. This song’s simple and upbeat tone woos me, while its repetitive nature makes it easy to sing along. There’s attraction also in the configuration, composed of affectionate lyrics and romantic undertones. The additional ending, a steady bit also utilizing romantics, gives this song a unique and sensual finale. It takes the best of Schwartzman’s musical capabilities and displays them, proving he’s more than a really, really pretty face.
Kaitlin’s Pick: “When We First Met” – Hellogoodbye
Spurred by my most recent vinyl acquisition, Would It Kill You?, I have been spinning “When We First Met” an awful lot. One of the many excellent tracks from their 2010 masterpiece, this track is delightfully multi-dimensional. This song in particular gives a bit of a glimpse at the entire album and the new sound of Hellogoodbye, seeing them ditch the power pop for indie pop while maintaining those catchy, cheerful melodies.
Corey’s Pick: “Muther” – letlive.
I’ll be honest: I’ve only recently delved into the brilliance that is letlive. and their excellent Fake History. The band’s mix of Glassjaw-inspired post-hardcore and highly creative songwriting make them a substantial force to be reckoned with. “Muther,” a song that showcases a heavy rocker first half and a jazzy show-tune second half, is the band’s most vital example of their enormous creativity. Mix that in with a wonderful duet between vocalist Jason Butler and Chelsea Warlick and you have a track that consistently destroys.