How it Ends
(compiled July 11, 2011)
Spotify playlist (not all tracks show up…see full below):
The Girl– City and Colour
Come Outside – Melodica, Melody + Me
Rught Before Your Eyes– Cage the Elephant
How it Ends– DeVotchKa
I Got– Young the Giant
2 Hearts– Digitalism
It’s Over– Milosh
P.I.G.S.– Holy Fuck
The Sun– Naked and Famous
Gold Canary– Cloud Control
Long Vacation– Gold Panda
Your Side– Young the Giant
The Lost Children (Les Enfants Perdus)– Beats Antique
Master of Gyroscopes– Random Rab
*All songs available in my Dropbox folder and Spotify account!
This playlist was very much influenced by my friend, Jensyn Hyman, who made me a lovely CD called “Tennessee Love” after our amazingly EPIC experience at Bonnaroo together. Three gems from her CD- ‘The Girl, It’s Over, ‘How it Ends,’- were reused in this playlist simply because I loved them so much. With ‘How it Ends’ ending up on repeat in my car, I automatically knew this song would become the title. This playlist is definitely more pensive than my others (probably because that’s how I’ve been feeling these past two weeks); It contains many instrumental songs with interesting and crafty beats that foster (for me, at least) a reflective mindset.
The first song on the playlist, ‘My Body,’ is by a band (Young the Giant) that I heard about from a friend who saw them with Foster the People at the BFD music festival in June at Mountain View’s Shoreline Amphitheater. After listening to a few Young the Giant songs, I was immediately hooked and could not get enough of their beach-rock sound and overall “feel good” vibe. Plus, the voice of the lead singer?!! Um, HELLOOOOO….SO outrageously talented and SEXY. Aside from the 3 songs (My Body, I Got, and Your Side) that I put on this playlist, ‘Cough Syrup’ and ‘Guns Out‘ are the two other songs that I really dig (and might just end up on my other playlists).
I thought ‘My Body’ was a perfect way to start off the playlist because of the high energy feel that it stirs up. I love cool little intro that so cleverly builds up to the dramatic vocals: “STOP! The train is ridin, down to the station, where you lived, when we were school kids.”
When I first heard this song, I really liked the shock factor of the whole “Stop!” intro…kind of like a lil’ warning that makes you curious to hear what is coming next:
“My Body tells me no, but I won’t quit
Cause I want more, cause I want more
My Body tells me no, but I won’t quit
Cause I want more, cause I want more!”
I feel like these lyrics can be applied to many different contexts- it’s up to you how you wanna interpret them. There’s no doubt, however, that this verse will get your adrenaline pumping and have you shouting the words along with him.
My favorite part of the song is at 2:50 when he softly sings, “It’s my world, It’s my world…” and then follows this up at 3:25 shouting, “His eyes are open, his eyes are open!” LOVE IT.
‘I Got’ is another awesome Young the Giant song that I was immediately drawn to. The little guitar intro that comes in around 0:18 immediately sets off the beach vibe mood…Not too unusual for a band that originates from Newport Beach in Southern California. 😛
“In the night where I live, (I imagine a campfire on the beach during a hot summer night…)
There’s strange force in your kiss oh
All’s divine in desire
With an ire of philosophy,
Burning scrolls in the naked heat,
Oh how coy is your little boy. No!’ (Not sure what it means, but intriguing…)
I love how the singer never actually reveals until the end that when he rises, he will “Rise…IN SONG.”
“Cause I know it don’t read that well.
And I know, only time will tell me
I got buried
No it won’t be long before I rise in.
I got buried
No it won’t be long before I rise in song.”
LOVE IT!…especially since almost every song that this band plays makes me want to RISE UP IN SONG.
‘Your Side’ is another Young the Giant song that I was instantly drawn to. I think what really got me hooked was the catchy line at 1:01, “Tell me, I’m (you’re) in charge, back like the old days.” I find it very difficult to keep myself from belting out this verse every time it comes up. If you listen to the lyrics closely, you’ll see that this song is kinda like a story because he starts off with lyrics like “You’re wrong dear,” and “Tell me, I’m in charge” and then later turns it around to say that “I’m wrong dear,” and “Tell me, You’re in charge.” What a cute and witty way of describing the ongoing role reversals often seen with relationships. (“Everybody knows I tried, and you tried.”)
Comprised of Sameer Gadhia (vocals), Jacob Tilley (guitar), Eric Cannata (guitar/vocals), Payam Doostzadeh (bass) and Francois Comtois (drums/vocals), Young the Giant has a unique sound of sun-soaked indie rock that dabbles in both high energy and chillaxing rhythms. The band’s diverse ethnic backgrounds –Indian, Persian, British, and French-Canadian—translate into an incredibly eclectic sound that offers jazz rhythms, surf pop harmonies, Mediterranean and Caribbean influences, flashes of jolting alt rock and so much more. The band’s self-titled debut album, which they tracked live and co-produced with Joe Chiccarelli (White Stripes, My Morning Jacket), was released on January 25th. The band, originally from Newport Beach, CA, has recently hit the road with bands like Minus the Bear (awesome band), Marina and the Diamonds, and The Futureheads. The most recent music festivals they’ve played at were South by Southwest in March 2011 and the Sasquatch! Music Festival in May. The line-up for Sasquatch was pretty incredible this year, and if it wasn’t so close to Bonnaroo I would have definitely gone. Plus, the festival’s venue, Seattle’s ‘The Gorge,’ is supposed to be one of the most beautiful places you could ever see live music. The stages are supposedly surrounded by gorgeous rock formations that actually glow red when the sun goes down. WOW. Incredible sounds emerging from incredible scenery?…I can’t imagine anthing better.
Young the Giant is going to be at Austin City Limits (ACL) this year and I have already told my Austin buddies that they MUST check out this band. I’m already decided I’m gonna get tickets to seen them with Incubus at the Shoreline Amphitheater (Mountain View, CA) in October. YEAH!
‘The Girl’ was a song that I fell in love with when I heard it for the first time on the mix that my friend Jensyn Hyman made for me. The guitar and vocals alone are beautiful enough that there’s no need for any other instruments. The raw purity of the timely strumming to the heartfelt lyrics is enough to put a girls “head in the clouds” (as my friend Sarah Sharif put it):
“I wish I could do better by you, (I feel like many think this, but often time can’t find the words to say it)
Cause that’s what you deserve.
You sacrifice so much of your life,
In order for this to work.
While I’m off chasing my own dreams, (Seems more common nowadays)
Sailing around the world, (Funny cause I actually had a friend whose boyfriend was doing just THAT)
Please know that I’m yours to keep,
My beautiful girl.
When you cry a piece of my heart dies,
Knowing that I may have been the cause,
If you were to leave, fulfill someone else’s dreams,
I think I might totally be lost. (Cute, but not sure I believe it)
You don’t ask for no diamond rings, (LOVE this line…)
No delicate string of pearls,
That’s why I wrote this song to sing,
My beautiful girl.”
My absolute favorite part is at 2:18 when you think the song is ending, but then you realize that he’s actually increasing the pace of the song, transitioning from a slow, mild rhythm to a furious, aggressive strum. I guess it’s his attempt to convince “the Girl” that he very much means what he says and that there is indeed a lot of truth and passion behind this song.
City and Colour is the recording alias for Juno Award-winning Canadian singer-songwriter Dallas Green, who is also the guitarist and vocalist of the post-hardcore band Alexisonfire. He plays melodic acoustic and folk music and is often accompanied by a rotating number of Canadian indie rock musicians, such as Daniel Romano and Spencer Burton of Attack in Black. The name City and Colour comes from his own name: Dallas, a city, and Green, a colour. Green said that he had been writing material since he was around the age of 14.
Green indicated that his view that the “best music for [him] is sad music”, influenced the type of songs he created. He also said that he “love[s] music to sort of escape to” and the idea of sad music that people could identify with. Green said of his first album, Sometimes, that “a lot of those songs are written on some of the experiences I’ve been through and stuff and that’s just how I deal with it. I just write songs when I’m bummed out and I feel happier.” Dallas’ second full-length album, Bring Me Your Love (2008–2009), features a wide array of instruments not used on his previous recordings (such as harmonica, banjo, drums and lap steel) giving it a more folk-influenced sound. In support of Bring me Your Love, City and Colour embarked on their first American tour with Tegan and Sara (I love!) along with Girl in a Coma. Later in 2010, City and Colour released another album called Little Hell.
With an unmistakeable voice (inriguing and full of melancholy) accompanied by beautiful acoustics, I look forward to seeing him perform live in the future. Recently he played at the Sasquatch! Music Festival in May and is scheduled to play at Austin City Limits (ACL) in October.
‘IPT-2’ was one of my favorite songs on Battles’ EP album. The percussion elements are SO DOPE and I love how the sounds are wavering back and forth from the left to the right stereo (earpiece). It’s almost as if the drums are chasing one another. Le siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiick. The lil’ change-up at 1:18 and the addition of some background voices is also really cool, as well as the song’s ending, which just creeps up on you without warning. STUNNA.
‘Hi/Lo’ was another cool song on Battles’ EP album that found to be pretty unique. Although the Hi and Low sounds of the keyboard might seem annoying at first, they way they are eventually broken up by the base at 0:30 is pretty cool. I also really like how the guitar begins to creep in the background at 0:45 and begins to intensify further at 1:10. There’s a really trippy keyboard ditty at 2:26 and intense buildup of sounds at 3:25 that also give this song a little extra pizzaz!
Battles is an American experimental rock group, founded in 2002 in New York City. The band’s current line-up comprises guitarists Ian Williams (formerly of Don Caballero and Storm & Stress), Dave Konopka (formerly of Lynx), and drummer John Stanier (formerly of Helmet). I found out about them from a dude at Bonnaroo who told me they were similar to Holy Fuck (when I dropped their name). Funny thing is that they are actually playing with Holy Fuck at the Moogfest music festival in North Carolina at the end of October.
The band released their debut album in February 2006, and their first full-length album, Mirrored, in May 2007. Their most recent album, Gloss Drop, was released in June 2011. Over the year, Battles has established themselves as one of the most audacious and experimental electronic bands out there, mixing twinkling guitars, propulsive bass and thundering percussion into a sound that both rock and techno heads could groove on. And despite losing founding member Tyondai Braxton in 2010, the remaining three – guitarist Ian Williams, bassist/effects master Dave Konopka and drummer John Stanier haven’t lost a step with their new album, Gloss Drop, an effort that is airier and more, well, fun than Mirrored, but in performance one that retains their perfected and head-spinning intensity.
‘Come outside’ is really cool song by Melodica, Melody + Me that I discovered on a music blog called “Everybody’s Stalking” (featuring a band named Kowalsi that was previously recommended to me by a friend from Ireland). I really like the light and fresh feeling that this song gives off. The mandolin, bango, and violin elements are so awesome, and I especially like the lil’ violin solo at 1:15. Also, the “OHHH!” voice preceding the “Won’t you come outside” part is so deep and heavy that I was immediately reminded of the “Ohm” chants that we were encouraged to do in a free yoga class I recently tried out.
One of my favorite lines that I always found amusing when I listened to this song was: “There’s only so much thinking someone like me should do.” (Haha, very true for some people)
I also really like the lines: “All we have is this day..is this day enough? No, I can’t be certain this day is something I’m sure of….I am half asleep, yeah I am dreaming of reality…SO take me outside.”
The part at 2:30 where the chick sings “Half asleep, I’m dreaming…Half asleep, I’m dreaming” is also very pretty, and the mandolin solo at 2:44 is just plain SEXY. 😉
Melodica, Melody + Me are a band from Brixton, England. The members include: Huw Williams (lead vocals/guitar), Anna Schmidt (vocals/melodica/percussion), Emilio Reyes (melodica/kora/charango), Rudi Schmidt (guitar/melodica/kora/charango), John Naldrett (bass), Greta Eacott (drums). They’ve played alongside the newly acoustic Bombay Bicycle Club (also AWESOME), who I recently discovered from an amazing harpist named Erika Kelly. She has done some pretty INREDIBLE harp covers of songs by The Xx, Mumford & Songs, and Two Door Cinema Club, three of my most favorite bands. Check out her gems!
Melodica, Melody + Me are unique in that they have incorporated elements of reggae into their folk-like roots. They use folk instruments, including the charango – a sort of South American ukulele that they used to make out of armadillo shells– and they write folk melodies. But, drawing inspiration from Augustus Pablo, they also play melodicas and create dub-spacious productions and punkish-style rhythms. All in all, their sound can be described as “enchanting reggae affected folk, laced with innovative percussion, rich harmonies and the spirit of Latin America.” I don’t know about you, but I’M INTRIGUED…
‘Rught before my eyes’ is a song off Cage the Elephant’s newest album, Thank You Happy Birthday. Even though it’s kind of a depressing song, with lyrics like “Right before my eyes, I saw the whole world lose control,” I am still drawn to it. My favorite lines are at 1:15: “Hold her dirty hands over the flames, getting pleasure from the pain” and 2:15: “Everything I thought I knew fell to the side…can’t see past my own eyes.”
‘How it ends’ ended up being my theme song for 2 weeks after hearing it from Jensyn’s mix. I STALK the quivering cello intro and the piano part that creeps in at about 1 min into the song. My favorite part of the song, however, is at 2:11 when the drums and cello burst in after the line, “You already know how this will…END.” One of the verses I really like is:
“And in your heart you know it to be true
You know what you gotta do
They all depend on you.” (always get chills here…)
‘Two Hearts’ is a song by a German dance punk duo named Digitalism that my friend from Germany (Lisa Pfisterer) recommended to me after she saw him at the Hurricane Music Festival in Berlin. Digitalism has also made appearances at festivals such as Coachella, Lollapalooza, South by Southwest, and Ultra Music Festival.
The beginning of this song is what initially reeled me in. I thought it sounded similar to ‘Intro’ by The Xx, one of my fav duos. I’m not super crazy about the beat that follows this intro, but I do really like the lyrics to the song:
“A touch too much, too soon, (I’m sure many can relate…)
Got cast away with you.
Your words, can’t hear, cause they hurt:
Can’t spend another day with you.
Can’t stand another day with you.
These two hearts won’t make it last.
It’s like you are hopelessly in love,
But I will watch you. (kinda feel sad for him here)
It’s like you are hopelessly in love.
But it’s okay, okay,
Cause I will stay with you.”
‘It’s Over’ is yet another song from Jensyn Hyman’s mix that I could not get enough of the first time I heard it. I’m not sure what type of instrument is making the fluctuating sound in the intro, but it’s SO DOPE and is totally what “had me at hello” for this song. The catchy beats are a perfect compliment to solemn tone of the singer. I love the unexpected “sigh” at 0:51 and the cool lil’ beats that accompany the “day by day” vocals at 3:32. The lyrics are so true and honest that it’s hard to not wanna relate:
“It’s hard just to watch things slip away
It’s hard they say just to see things drift away
Everything’s so temporary, I should have known (get chills here..)
Even though that place for me and you is dead
Things keep running through my head
It’s over, it’s over
It’s over, it’s over
It’s over again
Should be with you, instead I’m lying in my bed
Thinking about things I should’ve said
Everything’s so temporary, I should’ve known
Words push through me like bullets from those songs (OMG…SUCH A GOOD LINE)
I made for you as you sang along
Now I’m singing songs for everyone but you.” (even BIGGER chills…)
I think it’s really clever that you’re made to think the song is going to end at 4:15 but then you hear the beat start up again. This stop-and-go pattern sort of mirrors the elements of reflection and hesitation that are strung throughout this song.
Michael Milosh, known professionally as Milosh, is a Canadian electronic musician that is currently based in Berlin, Germany. As well as being an electronic musician, he is a classically trained cellist starting from age three, as well as a jazz aficionado. He describes himself as wanting to make music that moves its listeners, whether it be “good, bad or sad.”
To quote “Milosh”:
“I started playing cello at the age of three and looking back, with older eyes, I have to admit that I’ve always had an intense attraction to songs that are sad, soft and beautiful…Ultimately though, I’ve always wanted to create songs that in some way come from that same place in me that felt so much for the music that defined my childhood — beautiful music. I try to capture moments of my life in the songs that I create. I take things that, for whatever reason — be it good, bad or sad, have moved me in some way. I wrap them up in sounds that I think are cool and fit what I am trying to say. I try to ride that thin line of mixing technology with some heart and I try not to cloud the original intention of the song. Basically I like pretty things and in turn I am trying to make pretty things.”
‘P.I.G.S.’ is a song by one of my new favorite noise duos, Holy Fuck. Although this is not nearly my favorite of their songs, I think the beat is pretty cool. I like how that beats that being at 0:16 continually build up and become more aggressive as the song proceeds. I also really like the part at 1:32.
‘The Sun’ is one of my favorite songs by Naked and Famous. It’s very different from the other gems I have put on my previous playlists: ‘Young Blood,’ ‘Punching in a Dream,’ and ‘All of This.’ I really like the solemn keyboard (I think?) intro, followed by the unexpected beat at 0:22 and sudden vocals entrance:
“Here it comes
The unavoidable sun weighs my head,
And what the hell have I done,
And you know,
I don’t remember a thing
I don’t remember
The lyrics make me curious as to what has made her “not remember” and “not feel” a thing. I really like the guitar part at 1:40 and the intensity it mounts for the next few lines:
“But it keeps on coming and I stop
And it keeps on coming and I just stand still
But it keeps coming and I just stop
So I stop running and I just stop
But it keeps on coming and I just stop moving
But it keeps on coming and it keeps on coming so I just stand still
But it keeps on coming and I just stand still…”
I feel my adrenaline increasing and my pulse racing to match the quickened beat of the song. Then comes the coolest part of the song (in my opinion)…It begins at 3:35 when she sings “And I run, and I run, and I run, and I run” just as the keyboard part heard in the very beginning comes back around again, and the song ends with just her panting as if out of breath. MYSTERIOUS!
‘Gold Canary’ is a song by Cloud Control, another band that I discovered from my German friend, Lisa Pfisterer. I really like their ability to create songs that border on indie rock, folk, and psychedelic styles. Cloud Control seems to have earthy, pastoral quality to their music, similar to Fleet Foxes, Arcade Fire, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros.
‘Gold Canary,’ pulled from their debut album, has some rootsy vocals (“Nah-nah, weee-oh”) and yelping (SO AWESOME), accompanied by some creative tambourine, handclapping, and percussion elements. I really like the changeup at 1:33 and the guitar solo that lingers in at 1:49.
The lyrics at the end (“As my hands work on the birdcage, You disappear into the air…Fly away, fly today”) always makes me think of my good friend, Kelly Jo Keefe. Many buddies of ours have always described her and I as “birds that could never be caged” and so I can’t help but smile when I hear this part. 🙂
‘Long vacation’ is a song by an artist (Gold Panda) that I found out about from the same person I heard about Battles from. Gold Panda (born Derwin Panda) is a musical composer, performer and producer from the United Kingdom. He walks the line between minimal techno, glitch and full blown ambient instrumentals using only an Akai sampler to manipulate and create his sound. His Ghostly International debut, Lucky Shriner, was one of the best records of 2010 and awarded him the Guardian UK’s First Album Award. It was described as “a combination of warm, lo-fi electronica, a patchwork of crackly samples and melodies that stick.”
I love how the only vocals in ‘Long Vacation’ are at the beginning (and some partway to the end), when he says: “Sometimes you make plans, sometimes you don’t make time” (so fitting for the name of the song). This song is SO DOPE. Right from the start, your ears are flooded with so many interesting sounds, from water droplets to Super Mario bros. It’s like all of my limbs wanna move with all the different beats, but the wobble base cuts in every so often to foster a steady pulse.
‘The Lost Children” is a song by Beats Antique, one of my favorite groups to date. I thought their recorded stuff was good, but DAAAAAAAAAMN, their live performances WILL TRANSCEND YOU. After seeing Beat Antique perform at Bonnaroo this year and ACL last year, I have never been more convinced that they are THE ideal replica of “East meets West,” beautifully mixing middle eastern traditions and potent west coast circus, underground hip hop, breakbeat brass band, downtempo, glitch and dubstep.
‘The Lost Children’ (not available on album) was created after the disaster in Haiti with all proceeds donated to the country. It features Haitian drummers and samples of workers breaking stone with their axes…which translate to LE SIIIIIIIIIIIIIIICKNESS. This song incorporates so many layers of unusal sounds, ranging from the viola to the Haitian drummers to the wobble base. My favorite sound has got to be the rattle of the Haitian drummers…SO COOL. Although this track might seem a little haunting at first, I guarantee you’ll listen to it again AND again…
‘Master of Gyroscopes’ is a song by an artist (Random Rab) that I discovered Jensyn Hyman (yet again), who has seen him at Burning Man a few years back. With a dedicated fanbase born from the San Francisco underground (YES!), Random Rab has become a Burning Man legend, known for his sunrise sets that have now become one of his most sought after performances. Sometimes performing solo and at other times featuring collaborative musicians, the live experience is focused on a high quality translation of sound that is simultaneously sexy and psychedelic,” kind of like ‘Master of Gyroscopes.’ To me, this song is all about escape- somewhere over the rainbow. No joke. At 0:21 in, my heart begins to feel all effervescent and I start to imagine myself floating away on a cloud. The female voice wavering in an out of the background just enhanced the bliss that IS this song…
There is no doubt that Random Rab understands a multitude of musical styles. He has been the front man of a heavy metal band, toured as a classical trumpet player, played bass in a country music band, was a scratch DJ for a jazz fusion project, was the singer for a rock band in Mexico and has collaborated with countless musicians of all styles. From acoustic performances in the Himalayas to rocking packed clubs in New York, Random Rab has found a way to connect with people of all kinds.
“Emerging from his own distinct corner of the West Coast electronic music scene, Random Rab offers a powerful and unique contribution to sonic exploration. Often referred to as “The Master of Emotion” his music is patently beautiful and melodic. With diverse influences ranging from trip-hop, classical and Arabic to bass driven compositions, his songs are considered anthemic and timeless. As a multi-instrumentalist and singer, his tracks are organic, uplifting and stand on their own as a distinct genre. Listeners of all types of music can find something they can relate to in his sound.