Here’s 5 tracks as chosen by two-piece Brooklyn via Vermont outfit Little Slugger, following the release of their third album, I Want To Live Here Forever.
Sam says: A gorgeous song that brings me to tears every time I hear it played live. I love how it subverts any predictable moralising: there is no karma, no “bad things happen to bad people”. The first time I heard Anaïs Mitchell play this was in a church in Vermont, and the whole audience seemed stunned. It’s a testament to the lyrics and her voice that I still get chills thinking about it.
Rilo Kiley – The Execution Of All Things
Sam says: Rilo Kiley has always been a huge source of musical inspiration, especially for music production. Despite a million different guitar tones, multiple synths, and at least several members of an orchestra, the song feels totally cohesive and constantly supports Jenny Lewis’s vocals. It’s an upbeat rocking song with incredibly dark and self-deprecating lyrics, which is always one of my favourite juxtapositions in indie-rock.
Regina Spektor – Carbon Monoxide
Sam says: I recently heard a PRI interview with Regina Spektor about her upcoming Broadway performances. The interview included her performing this song, which reminded me how much I love the whole album. When so much of modern music is played to a metronome and edited for perfection, it’s a good personal reminder that some accidents, imperfections, and quirks give a record life and character.
Japanese Breakfast – Essentially
Ben says: For a relatively new song that I heard for the first time a couple months ago, Michelle Zauner brought me some late 2000s nostalgia. “Essentially” almost immediately brought back shoegaze memories from my dorm days. Drum machine recollections of The Radio Dept. and space-out, textured synths reminiscent of Washed Out or Discovery, albeit much more crisp and polished. Moreover I was taken by the bassline that really kicks off the track. Kinda reminded me of our own bass line on “You’re on Your Own”. The lyrics are a true killer, too. “Love me sexually, love me like someone else’s wife, how is it you fall asleep so easy? Who is it you’re dreaming of tonight?”
They Might Be Giants – It’s Kickin’ In
They Might Be Giants is one of my all-time favourite bands. They somehow manage to maintain a sense of pop-rock cool while simultaneously breaking musical boundaries with goofy hooks, unconventional instrumentation, and riddle-like lyrics. “It’s Kickin’ In” kicks off with a wall of drums and synth then takes you right into a guitar and organ driven frenzy. Lyrically, John Flansburgh has always challenged both my creative and technical approach to songwriting. I find more often than not that I have no idea what he’s singing about, but the cadence and rhyme scheme are almost more important to me than the actual sentiment of the song. I’m pretty sure this one’s about going to a restaurant super blazed with your bandmates after playing a basement show you forced your friends to host. Totally relatable.