Pears and Apples – Olympic Swimmers

Simon Liddell, Susie Smillie, Graeme Smillie, Jonny Scott and Jamie Savage - band members of Olympic Swimmers

I have landed in Utopia today, but landed totally confused. By accident, I happened upon a band named Olympic Swimmers (Glasgow, Scotland), and yet it doesn’t appear as if many other folks have discovered them – at least not many Americans (not yet).

How can this be? The voice of Susie Smillie just melts me. Good God, when she belts out the word “on” in the line “The past, the past, the past, the past is on to me,” I’m fairly sure my head will fly right off and soar up to the heavens. Her voice is just that delicious.

I’ve been searching through the proverbial radio dial for female vocalists for quite some time – and with very little luck. If you want to hear women busily showing off up and down the octave keyboards (which I do not), the world is your banana. Looking for a woman who sings precious preciousness (usually mixed with a precious male counterpart)? Tune into the next station. But what about those of us who just want to hear a straight out beautiful song, sung by someone with a straight out beautiful voice, no bells and whistles needed (you know, the way Linda Ronstadt could just, well, sing).  For me, that voice has been lacking until today.

Of course, things only get better when the band and the voice are perfect compliments to each other. Hating to compare any good band with another – yet realizing it’s one way we at least understand what category we’re talking about – think Morning Parade, with hints of Boxer Rebellion or the Vaccines. But, again, forget all that nonsense. This band stand on its own.

This Glaswegian band is one of my new favorites.

In fact, the only thing it seems to be lacking is a good marketing plan. Olympic Swimmers should be all over social media, hitting all the better concert halls around the planet, and putting out music just for me!

 

Pears and Apples
by Olympic Swimmers

Cut out the lights, he won’t find you.
Cut out the lights,
he won’t find you.

Another bag packed, another name,
another night I’ll hear him say,
this was the last time that I wasn’t myself
when I look above I see the vultures circling me.
In just a room they called, with tongue in cheek, my home,
it’s freezing cold, my blood is dry, the power’s about to go.

The past, the past, the past, the past is on to me,
but that knife that’s in the kitchen sink won’t find it’s home in me.

Start this over again with me,
all your burns and bruises,
they don’t, they don’t scare me.

These people wonder,
what’s haunting me
and they’ll look right through me,
it’s all they’ll see.

Change all these ideals you,
you feed your young
and encourage them to,
to be alone.

In just a room they called, with tongue in cheek, my home,
it’s freezing cold,
my blood is dry,
the power’s about to go.

The past, the past, the past, the past is on to me,
but that knife that’s in the kitchen sink won’t find it’s home in me.

Start this over again with me,
all your burns and bruises,
they don’t, they don’t, they don’t scare me.

Cut out the lights,
he won’t find you.


Band members: Simon Liddell, Susie Smillie, Graeme Smillie, Jonny Scott and Jamie Savage.

Time To Pretend by MGMT

Lyrics and Meaning of the song, Time To Pretend, by MGMT.

I love MGMT. They seem to understand one thing better than most people – and they don’t mind calling us out on it – life is full of stupid adults doing stupid things. They make fun of us. And they don’t hesitate to make fun of themselves, either.

Lyrics and Meaning of the song, Time To Pretend, by MGMT.

Time to Pretend is about these two young adults just breaking into this new stage of their life: “I’m feeling rough, I’m feeling raw, I’m in the prime of my life.” They ask the question: “What else can we do? Get jobs in offices and wake up for the morning commute?” As if that option is absolutely absurd for them.

Which, in fact, it is… they’re way too talented Continue reading “Time To Pretend by MGMT”

Ghost Songs – Micah Gilbert

Eriskay, South Uist, Scotland
Eriskay, South Uist, Scotland

Ghost Songs – Micah Gilbert

This song by Micah Gilbert (an American musician born in Athens, who now lives in Scotland) is a beautiful reminder – or an urging, rather – to stop carrying the heavy pain we feel.

Sometimes it just feels so damned comfortable to accept the role of the victim. You’ve been hurt. It hurts. It’s so unfair. Sometimes we really do just need to yell and scream, fists to the sky. It’s part of the process when we get hurt.

But what do you really want to do with all that pain? We miss so much when we try to control all of the horse-powered negative energy we’ve created inside of us when we are hurt.

Just as the trees can’t control the storms, neither can we. But like trees, we, too, can let the storms blow by, because eventually they will. There will always be storms, but after any storm, there is always another day, another perfect moment.

This is a pretty perfect moment by Micah Gilbert.

The blue horizon
Sees another sun
Rising slow
From ashes into dawn
The pink and the grey
Marching on the day
The humbling wind
Blows across your face

(The songs starts with hope. All that crap that happened yesterday is in the past.  It’s a new day. The message is obvious, but the wording is deliciously new poetically setting a gorgeous mood.)

Go on and sing your ghost songs
If they help you
Make your pain subside

(Go on, be the victim, if you feel you need that. You might need it for a moment, but then what?)

Feel the earth beneath your fingers
As you holler at the sky

(Of course, get it outscream out your pain.)

Tell your haunted dreams to the trees
Share them with the wind
Let your burdens go
And fall away
You can’t carry them

(In the end, no matter what, it’s just better to let all the pain go. You are, after all, part of this universe. The trees stand, the winds blow, all through terrifying storms, yet they still remain, as do you. The winds blow away, the trees drop their leaves, new changes come… you can’t continue to carry your old pain with you if you want to really live your life in a beautiful way.)

The hour here
Has finally come undone
What is it now
That keeps you on the run
A tumbling weed
That cannot find it’s place

(Okay, so finally everything has hit rock bottom, right? So why are you still running as if there is more from which to run? You’ve become like a tumbling weed that has no direction. You’re just out there… you and your fears and pain and anger, are all out there with no direction.)
Let the horses run
Let go of the reigns

(Stop trying to control all that negative power you’ve generated.  Let all those powerful emotions gofree to run away like the wild horses.)

Go on and sing your ghost songs
If they help you make your pain subside
Feel the earth beneath your fingers
As you holler at the sky
Tell your haunted dreams to the trees
Share them with the wind
Let your burdens go and fall away
You can’t carry them

(Again, we have to go through the process of experiencing all this stuff, but in the end, remember that the pain needs to be taken off your shouldersand you are the only one who can do that.)

 —–

Even though this song is one of a kind, if you have to put it into a category, think in terms of the Beatles or the Eagles.
The song is inspired by Suzanne.

Standing Outside A Broken Phone Booth With Money In My Hand – Primitive Radio Gods

Primitive Radio Gods standing outside a broken phone booth with money in my hand

The layers in this song.  No emotions are strong enough to explain this song.  Even the words… they don’t do it justice.  It’s the mood. Primitive Radio Gods standing outside a broken phone booth with money in my handJust listen:

Jan lays down and wrestles in her sleep
Moonlight spills on comic books
And superstars in magazines
An old friend calls and tells us where to meet
Her plane takes off from Baltimore
And touches down on Bourbon Street

We sit outside and argue all night long
About a god we’ve never seen
But never fails to side with me
Sunday comes and all the papers say
Ma Teresa’s joined the mob
And happy with her full time job

Do do do do doo do

Am I alive or thoughts that drift away
Does summer come for everyone
Can humans do as prophets say
And if I die before I learn to speak
Can money pay for all the days I lived awake
But half asleep

Do do do do doo do x 2

A life is time, they teach us growing up
The seconds ticking killed us all
A million years before the fall
You ride the waves and don’t ask where they go
You swim like lions through the crest
And bathe yourself on zebra flesh

I’ve been downhearted baby
I’ve been downhearted baby
Ever since the day we met

In Excelsis Deo by There Will Be Fireworks

In Excelsis Deo by There Will Be Fireworks

New Christmas songs that aren’t cutesy and irritating – and aren’t remakes of the old good chorals – are hard to come by. And until now, there’s probably never been a seasonal Christmas song that could be added to a non-seasonal playlist.  Enter the song In Excelsis Deo by the Glasgow-based band There Will Be Fireworks.In Excelsis Deo by There Will Be Fireworks

What’s so brilliant about this song is the way it actually captures the mood we get when we go home for Christmas.  That special mood where the world has kind of stopped and you’re taken back in time to Continue reading “In Excelsis Deo by There Will Be Fireworks”

Kids by MGMT

MGMT has been deemed a “Brooklyn psychedelics” band, but the talent of Ben Goldwasser and Andrew Vanwyngarden shouldn’t be put into one slot. Yes, there’s some funky sounding music going on here, but it isn’t just noise for the head. There are words in some of their songs (reference Time to Pretend) that make fun of things, that say, “Look, sit up and stop being so stupid.” This is one of those songs.

MGMT Kids - song meaning with lyrics and a link to the official video.

Yes, we are all children at one point, adorable and cute. But soon we become adults and all our little pranks aren’t so funny any longer. Now there are Continue reading “Kids by MGMT”

Missed the Boat by Modest Mouse

Photo from the Vevo video for the song Missed the Boat, by Modest Mouse.

Good Lord.

If there was ever a song to listen to after these elections. No matter which way you voted or didn’t vote.

Whenever I’m irritated at myself or other people (which is often), I listen to the song “Missed The Boat” by Modest Mouse, because it reminds me to stop taking everything so seriously.

Photo from the Vevo video for the song Missed the Boat, by Modest Mouse.

The lyrics are perfectly self-deprecating in such a way that hearing them actually reminds me that I’m not such a bad person after all.  We can all suck! Continue reading “Missed the Boat by Modest Mouse”

Headlights—Morning Parade

Morning Parade Headlight Lyrics and Song Meaning

Morning Parade is one of the all-encompassing great bands right now.  You won’t find any gimmicks here, just solid band goodness.   The lead singer, Steve Sparrow (he also plays piano and guitar) belts out songs that will make you say, “Yeah, Steve.  I’ll wash your dishes and clean your floors for the rest of your life if you’ll just sing for me.”   Phil Titus (bass), Chad Thomas (guitar) and Ben Giddings (piano/synths) certainly deserve praise, of course. Yet the drummer, Andrew Hayes,  wow… he just drives me crazy with love.  He goes off on a tangent without taking away from the music, which is a rarity.  It’s as if the rest of the band has said, “Okay, just ignore Andy and let him do his thing… he’s perfect that way.”  And he is. In fact, he opens almost every song….. Hayes drums and then the band lets loose. Continue reading “Headlights—Morning Parade”

Rose by Dark Horse District

Dark Horse District has, perhaps, the coolest name for a band. Well, I like it anyway.  And I like the songs they’re churning out, even if they are only on EP’s right now.  My favorite song of theirs is “Never Was,” but following at a close second is “Rose,” which is an absolute spot-on, perfect wedding song.
Dark Horse District - song and lyrics for Rose
The meaning of “Rose” is fairly apparent and doesn’t really need to be broken down, except, perhaps, in the beginning… Continue reading “Rose by Dark Horse District”