There are some songs that, much like the majority of adolescents (in their own eyes anyway), just need to be heard. I thought I’d mention a few here briefly.
Blood by The Middle East
As the SoundCloud link below shows, this song features a soft start, characterised by an immaculate, gentle opening before entering an extended build-up, and then ending as soothingly subdued as it began.
‘Nothing new,’ you may say, but this song is nothing if not completely original. That such a young band could create a wonderous song filled with so many entrancing aspects is nothing short of breathtaking. And breathtaking this song is.
In The Aeroplane Over The Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel
Neutral Milk Hotel are a unique band. They created an amazing album, which then became slightly well-known in alternative music circles, leading the main man, Jeff Mangum, to disband the group and disappear for a decade. Since then, this work of genius has steadily become more and more popular, helped partly by a perfect 10 score on Pitchfork, the music site everyone loves to hate and hates to love.
This song is, in my opinion, the standout track on the album. Despite a greatly simple chord-progression, and a relatively generic opening line, ‘What a beautiful face,’ the song manages to sound like nothing else created before it. You quickly notice that Mangum’s voice seems rather standard and unrefined, yet the vast clouds of emotion that are evoked in every single word reveal that there is more to this tune than meets the ear.
Rebellion (Lies) by Arcade Fire
This song has everything.
The simple, driving bass line. Perfect use of the snare drum, interjecting at opportune moments. The incessant presence of a lone piano chord throughout the verses. Win Butler’s masterfully-crafted lyrics urging listeners to forget about sleep and to live.
There’s a reason why this band is universally-admired. Their ability to create captivating music is unmatched.