listening to Your Favorite Songs 2023, Part 8

listening to Your Favorite Songs 2023, Part 8




(Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7)

underscores & gabby start - "Locals (Girls like us)" (from @tracesauveur)

Oh...ahh.......this is the shit that I like. I would get rowdy to this if played in the club. How the fuck did I not know about underscores? Whew. I have been caught slipping. Many songs on this list of 100 fit within a certain tradition: folk, emo, Laurel Canyon rock, and whatnot. "Locals (Girls like us)" feels like it is hacking a new path with a pixelated machete. It has the snarky DNA of Ke$ha-style late aughts trash-pop, the distorted grit of electroclash, and a close attention to builds and drops that feels influenced by the "EDM golden age" (underscores was apparently a big Skrillex fan); all together it just sounds fresh and vibrant and very maniacal in a way that could only happen right this second. arms body legs flesh skin bone sinew good luck

Geese - "Cowboy Nudes" (from @jgreely_)

Another Geese song, don't kill me. 3D Country feels like a bit of a consensus pick amongst folks who might read I Enjoy Music. I wrote last time about how the flamboyant old-school rock star nature of Geese's music had me looking left and right for signs of irony. For "3D Country," I cited David Bowie. For "Cowboy Nudes," I'm throwing in the Rolling Stones and Van Morrison. That feels crazy to write. Those are Big Guys to reference. But it is what it is. Geese just sound like they're having so much fun, whether whispering chicka-chicka-chahhh or collapsing into a frenzy of BONGOS. Fun is infectious. Now you have the Fun Disease and it's your responsibility to go spread it.

Barry Can't Swim - "Dance of the Crab" (from @embellydance)

Not gonna lie, I have no idea what happened for the fates to align such a toe-tapping, ass-shaking run of songs for this blog, but I will not question it. This is a tropical, breezy dance tune by Scottish producer Barry Can't Swim, aka Joshua Mannie, that samples the 1973 song "A Gira," by the Brazilian group Trio Ternura. When I saw that this song was called "Dance of the Crab," I wondered if it might be a nod to the heavily memed song "Crab Rave" by Noisestorm. As it is, they feel like spiritual cousins. A crab could dance to both.

Slow Pulp - "Slugs" (from @BellyButtonFace)

@BellyButtonFace described this song as a "true 10/10" and I agree. I previously wrote about "Slugs" when I was writing a fake Adrian Chiles column about going for a walk, and said it had a "mellow, wistful crispiness" that "scream[ed] autumn leaf." At the time I first encountered it, Los Angeles was still hot as hell. Now I realize fall vibes just happen a bit later, and you have to be patient and you'll get so many crispy leaves, including some in your own yard. Hey, Yard is what the Slow Pulp album is called. Why does every combo of glum strumming and programmed drumming remind me of "Coney Island" by Death Cab for Cutie? I watched too much The O.C. as a tween.

Waterparks - "Sneaking Out of Heaven" (from @harmonyjwoods)

Pop punk vocal stylings over sugar-rush electronic beats, what's not to love? I dig the almost-ORCH5-style hits, very swoony and euphoric. Feels like a delicious blend of Cobra Starship, "Untouched" by the Veronicas, and a theme song to a teen soap opera that will run 20 seasons.

The Gaslight Anthem - "Autumn" (from turtlemaster942)

Well well well, what do we have here? Another song to play the car and think about life while watching scenery roll by in the passenger seat? God bless. Drawing up a theory that bands from New Jersey cultivate this vibe best, because you have to work so hard to enjoy driving in certain parts of New Jersey. No shade...I love NJ, it's a gorgeous state, I've just shaved off a couple months of my life on their titular turnpike. "I wish that I could do my life over / I'd be young better now," sings Brian Fallon. Sometimes I believe this, but in the end I'm sure I'd muck up a do-over in some unprecedented way. It's called being annoying, sweaty, look it up!

Gorillaz - "Baby Queen" (from @vxxdaniel)

Quite a big year for Damon Albarn between the new Blur record and the new Gorillaz record. "Baby Queen" is lush and mellow. It's not the song on Cracker Island that features Tame Impala, but it kind of sounds like Tame Impala anyway. This song is apparently inspired by an incident at a Blur concert in 1997 when 14-year-old Thai princess Siribha Chudabhorn, who was sitting on a throne (?) next to the mixing board, stage-dived during "Song 2"; Albarn had a dream he met the princess as an adult. That's cool. I had a dream a few nights ago that someone stole my coat out of a bathroom stall at an NBA game and when I tried to get it back, every girl at the game was wearing the same coat.

Theo Lawrence - "Trail of Signs" (from @bop_ross)

As long as humanity persists, there will be a place for lonesome men to strum a guitar and sing about elusive girls who are "hard to hold," like a bird or a chunk of gold, but nevertheless leave trails of signs for the lonesome men to follow. I like that Theo Lawrence's album is called Pickin' & Singin'. While we're doing Car Talk in this blog series — if you recall, I last explored The Last Dinner Party's reference to Chevrolets in their song "Nothing Matters" — I took a gander at the "roadrunnin' [Cadillac] Eldorado" Lawrence shouts out in the song, and boy, that's a fine-looking automobile. By the way, I cannot believe Theo Lawrence, who sounds he fell off the back of a Sun Records delivery truck, is from Bordeaux, France. Absolutely wild to me. So now we have a British band singing about a make of car that isn't sold in Britain anymore, and a French man singing about a particular model of car that I don't think was ever available in France, even though Cadillac was named for a French man, and the Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz was named for a town in the south of France. We do live in a global society.

1 Replacement, by Sammy Volkov
from the album Be Alright!

Sammy Volkov - "Replacement" (from @VTFakeHeadlines)

This segment started so hype, and now it's so calm. Half of the people who interact with me on Twitter are lowkey, and half are highkey, which feels mathematically sound. "Replacement" is timeless twang, with painfully beautiful harmonies. Sammy Volkov is definitely part of the vocal tradition of rich, graceful vibrato that tracks back to Chris Isaak, and Roy Orbison before him.

Coworkers - "Legwork" (from @XanderGalbraith)

!!!!!! More energy, more passion, more legwork! Franz Ferdinand-y art rock meets Devo anxiety. Gang Of Four post-punk meets B-52s goofiness. "It is 1980 and & we have given the nerds amphetamines" music. The chorus's scuzzy freakout — "LOOK AT ME NOW! AM I BIG, BOLD, DISCERNIBLE?" — gives me life. I'm all in on Coworkers. And they're from New Orleans? They churn up this much raw nerve in the "Big Easy"? Let's fuckin geaux.

Thanks so much for reading this blog. Tune in real soon for the next batch of songs — like, tomorrow, New Year's Eve! And if you like I Enjoy Music? Tell a friend about it.