Quick Mix: The Walkmen, LittleJoy, Poet in Process, The Smashing Pumpkins, and Two Door Cinema Club
In the interest of keeping things slightly off kilter, this collection of tracks mixes old and new, while avoiding the heavy influences of electronically induced help other collections have highlighted in the past. In other words, Guitars in this batch are the instruments of choice. Listen and let us know if this selection is already in your libraries, or are worthy new editions you feel obliged to include from now on.
“We’ve Been Had” by The Walkmen
Dreamy and seemingly drunk, “We’ve Been Had” is a classic from this American Indie rock band’s debut album “Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me is Gone” released in 2002. Characterized by a plinking looped piano line and whimsical vocals close to Modest Mouse in tone and message, this song has moments of genius and other bits that fall somewhat short. Atmospheric and light, it works well playing in the background while working or driving home from a long day.
“Keep Me in Mind” by LittleJoy
As a side project of The Strokes drummer Fabrizio Moretti and Los Hermanos singer/guitarist Rodrigo Amarante, LittleJoy has been heralded by music publications world wide for their easy listening quality and sweet feel good intentions. “Keep Me in Mind” is no exception, though it admittedly is slightly more musical and with less Brazilian influence compared to other well known tracks in their catalog. Slow and plodding in beat, though it may be a close to year since its original release, the tune’s relevance and appeal is no worse for the wear. If you’ve got a playlist centered on good times, you’ll find “Keep Me in Mind” makes a great addition.
“Why” by Poet in Process
Being the music sleuth that I am, I heard this track play briefly about a month back while watching Hellboy 2 on HBO and hunted it down from there. Information on the group is somewhat scarce and they haven’t managed to release a full length album yet. Sound wise they came across personally as a interesting mix between the 10,000 maniacs and The Cranberries (minus the whole Irish guffawing of lead singer Dolores O’Riordan), if that makes any sense at all. Slightly dark and worth a listen, unfortunately I’ve yet to find a place to purchase the track. If you do come across one though let us know. Note this doesn’t mean it’s not out there on torrents.
“Drown” by The Smashing Pumpkins
As a track eclipsed by countless epic songs produced by one of the most well known alternative rock bands of the 1990s, “Drown” suffered from legal tussles and label battles that kept it off any major Smashing Pumpkins album until their Rotten Apples greatest hits collection came out 2001. Originally produced for Cameron Crowe’s 1992 film Singles “Drown” is no less classic than “Today” or “1979” and fits the group’s tendency for soft down toned vocals intermixed with raging guitar breaks perfectly. In this shorter version, the long extended period of obnoxious guitar feedback has been cut out, tightening up the track and saving all of our ear drums a lot of misery. Listen below but forgive the first 5 seconds; this is the best version I could find and the poster had a bit to add before hand.
“Under Cover Martyn” by Two Door Cinema Club
Right out of the gate, “Under Cover Martyn” ‘s quick hit of the addicting guitar lines is enough to judge this song as great before 30 seconds of material has ever graced your brain. Composed of 3 guitarists, anyone wondering where percussion comes from should understand that a Mac fills the void, which is pretty typical with most electro pop groups. Slowed down intermittently by soft spoken vocals and repetitious lyrics, this track is a whirling dervish and under 3 minutes long. In other words you’ll be pressing play immediately after just to feel it’s energy once again. Unfortunately, I’ve also had trouble finding a place to acquire this unreleased single. Enterprising diggers though again might turn to the torrent world to claim it as their own.