Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Wooden Finger Five - April 2015

5.First Light – Django Django

This song has been out for a few months now, but I’ve grown more attached to it over the past 30 days. Remember U2 singing in ‘Beautiful Day’ about seeing the oilfields at first light? Well replace that with the power lines you see on your street and stretch that feeling out over a whole song, and you get a sense of the mood this song brings out in me.

4.Lampshades On Fire – Modest Mouse

I featured a song from Modest Mouse’s new album last month (‘The Ground Walks, With Time In A Box’), but on further listens this has emerged as my favourite track, albeit a more conventional Modest Mouse one. The lyrics seem to have an environmental bent, suggesting that humans manage to ruin any habitat they are in. This being Modest Mouse some lines seem to veer off from the main message (‘Our ass looks great inside these jeans?’ …), still the music chugs along with enough momentum that even the most abstract lines manage to get me humming along.

3.Dancing In The Corner – Monarchy

Could there be a more typical example of gloomy, us-against-the-world, teenage angst than the lyrics to this track? ‘We’re not welcome anymore … They don’t want to set us free/Fuck it we don’t need them… They can’t see/Born with dulled out eyes/They don’t understand who we are …’ Billy Corgan would be proud. Nevertheless, this slice of synth-pop is still able to draw me in, staying just the right side of sounding like Hurts.

2.Should Have Known Better – Sufjan Stevens

Sufjan Stevens seems to re-enter the nostalgic territory of ‘Casamir Pulaski Day’ on this song, as he travels back to his childhood, and the time his mother left him in a video store as a young child. It’s a sombre, pretty song, the kind that Stevens’ has done many times more, but few times with as good a melody as this.

1.King Kunta – Kendrick Lamar

Some of favourite hip-hop/rap albums are those that get a bit creative/weird and sound a little less like hip-hop; for example Kanye West’s ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Family’, and Outkast’s ‘Speakerboxxx/The Love Below’. Kendrick Lamar’s latest album, ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’ fits that category I think, and I like it more than his previous one. Although I don’t like it quite as much as this reviewer. I don’t get Kendrick’s narratives as much as others seem to, so I couldn’t really tell you much about what ‘King Kunta’, my favourite track on his new album, is meant to be about. I gather than the reference to Kunta is meant to be a symbol for ‘black empowerment’. Regardless I love the beat, and the backing vocals (“what’s the yams?”), and so it’s been the track I’ve returned to the most over the past month. 

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