Headphones by Walk the Moon

If I have a guilty music pleasure it’s probably listening to Walk the Moon.  But actually, I probably listen to stuff that’s way more cavity-inducingly sweet and/or pop and/or whatever.  And I don’t really believe in guilty pleasures.  I genuinely like Walk the Moon when they come on the radio, no guilt involved.  It’s just that they’re so… not what I usually listen to.  But they kind of snuck up on me on the radio, with their catchy songs and their heartfelt, soaring vocals. So…

And Headphones… Headphones is clever as hell.  The first time I heard it I had a hard time believing it was Walk the Moon.  But then… you can definitely hear their signature sound all over this.  It’s a bit more… err… I don’t want to say dark or gritty or anything because it’s decidedly not, but it’s definitely more gritty than their other stuff (that I’ve heard.)  But it’s still catchy and has an excellent hook and beat and it’s still really fun.

And the lyrics are hilarious but also kind of… honest and really perfect?  They come off pretty silly at first glance—“I can take a beating like a good pair of headphones.  I can stand the test of time like Harrison Ford.”  But at the same time… well…  There’s a certain kind of honesty and grim determination in there that I really love and really, really appreciate.

I turn the volume up on this whenever it comes on.

 

Careless by Royal Blood

I’m seriously in love with Royal Blood.  I really, really loved their first album, and then I saw them live and they are the best.  Just the very fucking best.

Royal Blood is a two person band, and on stage—at least when I saw them—everything you hear is live.  There aren’t back tracks.  It’s just two people making this incredibly dense, hard, raw but well-polished music.  All of that guitar is actually bass.  The lead singer is a bass player and doesn’t play anything else.  It’s nuts and it’s amazing.  The drummer, Benji is… god.  I might be in love.  He has this awesome kit that’s tuned PERFECTLY and I know that’s a weird thing to say, but listen to some of these fills.  It’s like an engine revving.  The sound he gets is thunderous and massive and deep and awesome.

And the thing about Royal Blood is that they’re very professional.  They’re completely polished.  They don’t feel the need to fill every space, musically.  They complement each other beautifully.

Careless is everything I like about this band.  Hard and harsh and still weirdly lovely, and with a great hook.  Solid lyrics—not anything spectacular, but definitely with feelz.  Amazing drumming, amazing vocals, amazing bass.  It’s awesome.

 

Electric Feel by MGMT (and the cover by Henry Green)

I’ve always genuinely liked MGMT.  They’re sort of a pop band who write songs with almost comical lyrics (although I think they’ve gotten a bit darker lately) and if you only look at them on the surface, they come across as… superficial, almost?  But I actually think they have a ton of depth, lyrically and musically, and a lot of talent.  I mean, the song Kids taps right into the feelz of being a kid, and Time to Pretend is one of the best, most honest songs about being a rock star ever.

Electric Feel is… fun.  God, it’s lovely and has a great hook and a wonderful beat and it’s just FUN.  Also it has that weird flute thing in it, and I love it.  also it has this super interesting… I think it’s 6/4 switching to 4/4 time signature?  Which is just Eli-as-drummer geeking out all over the place, and I honestly never stopped to count the time until just now, but it does give it some… extra specialness when you hear it, even if you don’t immediately recognize what you’re hearing.  It’s funky and cool.

Also it mentions electric eels and I really… like eels.  Yes.  I just said that.  Which is a super spectacularly weird thing to say because I think this song is about… sex.  *nods*  It works!  It just works!

ALSO, also!  There’s this completely gorgeous cover of the song, done by Henry Green.  I really love writing to stuff that’s kind of… mellow techno, if that makes sense?  I mean, I don’t even think this counts as techno, because it’s like a guitar run through a synth or something—look, I’m a drummer primarily, I don’t know—but it’s this kind of really interesting juxtaposition of beautiful, sharp guitar over an almost soft melody and breathy vocals, and it’s just fantastic.