The Old and The Independent: Songs I Listen To

Well, I’m not really rebelling against mainstream music nowadays (although there are really several reasons to do otherwise). I still listen to Maroon 5, Adele, Drake, Sara Bareilles, Coldplay, Jason Mraz, to name a few. It’s just that I realized that there were and are better options out there, music being an infinite ocean of possibilities and genres. So I figured, if my generation serves me types of music I don’t really like, might as well go sail on oceans previously sailed on, and oceans rarely navigated on.

So with a little help of curiosity and flaky internet connection and some help from some people, I can say that I have set sail successfully on some new and some old oceans of music.

SKINNY LOVE – Bon Iver

Justin Vernon, vocalist of Bon Iver has a very distinct style and sound to back his good lyrics. And among his songs – Holocene, For Emma, Forever Ago and his rendition of I Can’t Make You Love Me- Skinny Love is probably the catchiest. Vernon’s ball breaking falsetto and it’s very catchy chorus made Skinny Love a song that is hard not to like.

(Singer Birdy made a piano cover of this song, making it less ball breaking, more heart breaking.)

LYRICS that SOLD the SONG:

I told you to be patient
I told you to be fine
And I told you to be balanced
And I told you to be kind

THE BRIGHTEST LIGHTS – King Charles feat. Mumford & Sons

This collaboration between London artists, indie musician King Charles and my favorite Mumford & Sons is a pleasantly written piece with influences of folk. King Charles has a lot of nice, indie sounding songs such as Love Lust and Ivory Road. Had I not seen Mumford on this track, I wouldn’t have checked it out. But, man, I was glad I did.

LYRICS that SOLD the SONG:

The brightest lights
Cast the darkest shadows,
And that’s where I’ll be found,
For what’s hiding by the morning
Will be chased by daylight’s hounds.

THE GHOSTS THAT WE KNEW – Mumford & Sons

This track is part of the folk rock band’s yet to be released second album, Babel. Staying loyal to the band’s repertoire, this song is really raw and very well written. Also included in their sophomore record is the carrier single I Will Wait, which has an alternate version entitled Nothing Is Written.

LYRICS that SOLD the SONG:

So give me hope in the darkness that I will see the light
Cause oh that gave me such a fright
But I will hold on as long as you like
Just promise me that we’ll be alright

LEGO HOUSE – Ed Sheeran

Lego House is Ed Sheeran’s second big single following his emotional and well-written hit, The A Team. Although I sometimes find some parts of his songs a bit off, he has a knack for writing good lyrics. Save for the rap-like parts, Lego House is a pretty catchy love song.

LYRICS that SOLD the SONG:

I’m out of touch, I’m out of love
I’ll pick you up when you’re getting down
And out of all these things I’ve done I think I love you better now

WE DON’T EAT – James Vincent McMorrow

A beautifully written piece, especially the chorus, We Don’t Eat is one of indie singer James Vincent Mcmorrow’s better songs. Like most indie artists, McMorrow writes good lyrics and has a distinct sound and vibe. Like Bon Iver’s Vernon, he uses his falsetto.  Also notable is McMorrow’s most successful hit to date, Higher Love.

LYRICS that SOLD the SONG:

That we don’t eat until your father’s at the table
We don’t drink until the devil’s turned to dust
Never once has any man I’ve met been able to love
So if I were you, I’d have a little trust

BOY WITH A COIN – Iron & Wine

Samuel Beam, or Iron & Wine, has been around for a while, having released several records and compilations. The only song I know by him, Boy With a Coin has a very catchy tune and a very interesting MV.

LYRICS that SOLD the SONG:

A boy with a coin he crammed in his jeans
Then making a wish he tossed in the sea
Walked to a town that all of us burn
When God left the ground to circle the world

WHISTLE FOR THE CHOIR – The Fratellis

A song from the Scottish indie-rock band’s debut record, Costello Music, Whistle For the Choir is the band’s third single. The song is a very fun to listen to, very apt for a serenade, track about finding an irresistible girl. Also among the band’s songs I like are  Ole Black and Blue Eyes and the catchy Chelsea Dagger.

LYRICS that SOLD the SONG:

So if you’re lonely why’d you say you’re not lonely
Oh you’re a silly girl, I know I hurt it so
It’s just like you to come
And go you know me no you don’t even know me
You’re so sweet to try, oh my, you caught my eye,
A girl like you’s just irresistible

ADDICTED TO LOVE – Robert Palmer

This is Palmer’s most successful hit, with good lyrics and melody. Several artists have covered the song. Among them are Tina Turner, Westlife, and most recently, Florence and The Machine.

LYRICS that SOLD the SONG:

You like to think that you’re immune to the stuff…oh yeah
It’s closer to the truth to say you can’t get enough
You know you’re gonna have to face it
You’re addicted to love

SUMMER OF ’69 – Bryan Adams

The only Bryan Adams song I really know is his 1985 hit ‘Heaven’. It turns out that ‘Summer of ’69’ is the single following ‘Heaven’, both from his fourth album ‘Reckless’. If not for the MTV Unplugged CD lying around our house, I wouldn’t have discovered this very easy-to-listen-to song.

LYRICS that SOLD the SONG:

Standin’ on your mama’s porch
You told me that you’d wait forever
Oh and when you held my hand
I knew that it was now or never
Those were the best days of my life

BRICK – Ben Folds Five

The 1998 hit of the now defunct Ben Folds Five band was actually about the band’s front man’s girlfriend and the abortion they had to do way back. With its sad  lyrics and melody and a very catchy chorus, ‘Brick’ is the bands biggest hit.

LYRICS that SOLD the SONG:

She’s a brick and I’m drowning slowly
Off the coast and I’m headed nowhere
She’s a brick and I’m drowning slowly

RICH GIRL – Hall & Oates

I know Daryl Hall and John Oates had quite a big following back in the day, and I might even be a part of it. Rich Girl is the duo’s first number 1 single back in 1977. The song is very catchy and straightforward, with a very endearing chorus. ‘Maneater’ and ‘You Make My Dreams’ are among my favorite Hall & Oates tracks.

LYRICS that SOLD the SONG:

High and dry, out of the rain
It’s so easy to hurt others when you can’t feel pain
And don’t you know that a love can’t grow
‘Cause there’s too much to give, ’cause you’d rather live
For the thrill of it all, oh