There are few simple things in life as exciting as stumbling upon a great new song. I’m sure a lot of you feel the same way.
And perhaps just as exciting, if not more so, is sharing these treasures of musical discovery with friends and other like-minded music lovers.
In fact, a couple of my best friends and I trade our new musical discoveries a couple of times per year. They are married and each Christmas send out their “Indie Christmas” CD, which features the best songs they found that year. It never fails to be one of my favorite gifts.
I share with them too, though a little more haphazardly…like whenever I have enough great new songs to fill out a CD, which I do now. So since I’m about to send a couple of CDs their way, I figured I’d share some new songs with you too.
I’ve found a bunch of great new music recently via blip.fm, Twitter tips, and random hours spent sipping on some bourbon (Buffalo Trace is the new bourbon of choice, btw) while hopping from one iTunes recommendation to the next, which is a really relaxing, enjoyable way to kill an hour or two.
In this post, I have taken the best of the new songs I’ve found, plus some choice selections from past Indie Christmas CDs, to create what I think is a pretty sweet CD for the Spring.
I consider great music recommendations to be one of the greatest gifts someone can give me, so consider this my gift to you and a thank you for being such loyal readers of MSF. I appreciate it more than I can express.
The season is of rebirth is here, which means more driving, hanging out, going to live outdoor music shows, running around outdoors, etc. Every Spring needs a soundtrack, and hopefully a few of these songs will make it onto yours.
And for the record, I know that not all of these songs are “new”, per se, but they’ve all at least come out in the last few years and I bet even the older ones (example: “Ali in the Jungle”) will be new for a lot of you.
Without further ado, here is the official MSF Spring 2010 Music Mix.
[Note: Clicking on song link takes you the lyrics, clicking on the band name takes you to either their official website or MySpace page, and every song but one is available for download via iTunes.]
1. Springtime by Annuals
I found this song at a great indie music site called Indie Rock Cafe on their list of best songs for Spring. I concur wholeheartedly. “Springtime” starts out with a mellow piano melody and delicately sung vocals, then explodes at about the 1:30 mark for an intense finish.
Two Door Cinema Club is a U.K. band that I found on blip.fm. They can only be described by one word: kinetic.
Each of their songs that I’ve listened to has an irresistible, lively beat that you can’t help but get into. I can see how they may be a bit “poppy” for some, and I don’t like all of their songs, but “What You Know” is a great example of why I think they’ll be big in the U.S.
Their album is not yet available in the U.S., so you can’t buy their songs on iTunes, but it is being released this month. (You can download “Costume Party” from their official website. It’s a pretty good track that is representative of their sound.)
In addition to having one of the coolest band names ever, We Were Promised Jetpacks is also a pretty damn good band with a lot of energy. “Quiet Little Voices” was on the most recent Indie Christmas CD and is one of those songs that just never stops moving.
4. The Wrestle by Frightened Rabbit
When I first joined blip.fm a few months back, I’d never heard of Frightened Rabbit, a band from Scotland. I quickly became acquainted with them though because they were blipped more than any band I saw.
“The Wrestle” is my favorite song that I’ve heard by them so far, but only one of many good songs they perform. They are currently in the midst of a U.S. tour and actually coming to Dallas on April 22nd…so I may have to go check them out.
5. Permalight by Rogue Wave
You may remember Rogue Wave from their song “Lake Michigan” from a few years back. I think it was on a commercial or two, if I remember correctly. I first heard it on the first Indie Christmas CD.
“Permalight” is off of their new album and has a really unique sound. I couldn’t find a video to embed with the studio version, but a pretty good live version is below.
6. Coast of Carolina by Telekinesis
Another song off of an Indie Christmas CD (the most recent one), this song had me from the first few beats. I feel like I’ve seen this on a commercial since then, but I can’t remember exactly.
This is perhaps the most unique song of the bunch, and fans of the old Nintendo game Mega Man will definitely enjoy it. The artist has a pretty unique story and current job too.
8. Furr by Blitzen Trapper
The song slows things down a bit and is easily the best of the bunch lyrically. Another terrific find by my friends for an Indie Christmas CD, I think this is a song that all guys are going to be able to relate to pretty well. If you don’t like Dylan-style folk music, this might not be your cup of tea, but it’s definitely worth a listen for the story.
9. Help I’m Alive by Metric
Credit for alerting me to this song goes to my friends, who included it on an Indie Christmas CD. While checking out some info on the band, I also learned that this song was included in the recent NBA 2K10 game. Good choice. This song has some rather ominous moments, but also has a catchy hook and really well sung vocals.
10. Living for the Weekend by Hard-Fi
If you’re looking for a song to listen to on Fridays, this is it. I love the way this song starts out. Hard-Fi isn’t breaking any new ground here lyrically, but it’s hard to argue with the enjoyable energy of the beat. And besides, who can’t relate to and enjoy a song celebrating the weekend?
This is definitely the song will engender either the most “I love it” responses or the most “I hate it” responses. Yeasayer certainly marches (and performs) to the beat of their own drummer, and I don’t like everything they do, when I really like the songs of theirs that I like (a perfect example being “Sunrise“…which, come to think of it, probably should be on this mix.).
This song is a bit schizophrenic for the first four minutes, then really comes together over the last 90 seconds or so for a finish that you can’t help but get into…I dare you.
Thanks to a reader who tipped me off to the video below. It’s the official video for this song, which I was not embeddable from YouTube (go figure).
Terrific band. Found them on iTunes about a year ago and just keep finding songs of theirs that I like. This may be my favorite. It’s wonderfully understated and poignant, as are many of their songs, and tells a story that I think everyone can relate to.
13. Something in Common by Free Energy
Nothing particularly special about this song, just a fun and upbeat tune that is especially relatable to the springtime notion of new love (or at least love reborn and/or reaffirmed).
Another song, like “Furr”, that would not have been out of place were it performed at the original Woodstock. This band is definitely a throwback that embodies the hippie culture and mindset to a T. Make sure you listen the to lyrics, as it’s a really compelling story being told. And just try not to whistle or hum this song for the rest of the day. I bet you can’t do it.
Band of Horses has become much more well known since I first found out about them on the very first Indie Christmas CD. If you’ve never heard them, I think “Islands on the Coast” is a really fun song that is representative of their sound and unique vocal signature.
16. Body in a Box by City and Colour
A hat tip goes out to Denny Mayo for tipping me off to this song. It’s great, and a close second to “Furr” for the second best song on this list lyrically.
17. Ali in the Jungle by The Hours
This is not a new song – in fact, I heard it for the first time about three years ago on the first Indie Christmas CD I was given – and you’ve probably heard it on TV as it’s featured in a commercial. Still, I know that there are people who haven’t heard this song, so I’ve included it. Great beat, great song for driving or working out, and very meaningful lyrics, especially for a sports website.
(Note: the video below is the clean version, but don’t buy the clean version. The change from f–k to damn changes the song immensely, at least I think so.)
So there you have it. I’ll be burning this CD and passing it around to some friends, and I’m hoping you enjoy the songs enough to do the same.