Yesterday was crazy busy, so much so that I missed my Top 5 Music Obsessions, but not to worry, today’s were definitely worth the wait. All 5 of these tracks should be turned up high, and really work best if you drive around to them while you sing-a-long (at least that’s my favorite way today).
The first track is from a favorite singer-songwriter-musician of mine. Sharon Van Etten has made her way into so many Top 5 Obsession days and playlists, too many to count. One of her newest tracks, “Seventeen”, is definitely one of those songs that are playlist headed.
Next up is a new track from Chromatics. “Time Rider” is cinematic and music-magical. I can’t stop listening. I drive and hit repeat, drive and hit repeat, then drive and hit repeat again.
Another song off of Jenny Lewis’ new album, On the Line, is song 3. “Wasted Youth” is so 70’s singer-songwriter radio to me, in the BEST way. I dig it big time. I’m getting some serious 70’s Carly Simon vibes here.
A new track from Andrew Bird’s album, My Finest Work Yet, is up next. “Manifest”. Andrew played at Largo recently. I wish I’d made it out to see, and hear him. Next time for sure.
Last, but not least, is a Paul Westerberg cover from The Lemonheads. Westerberg via Dando? Yes, yes, please. The Lemonheads version of “Things” is brilliant.
Are you ready for today’s 5?
Top 5 Music Obsessions – March 28, 2019
1. “Seventeen” by Sharon Van Etten
from the album, Remind Me Tomorrow (2019)
“Down beneath the ashes and the stone,
sure of what I’ve lived and have known.
I see you so uncomfortably alone.
I wish I could show you how much you’ve grown.”
I listen to “Seventeen” and sometimes I think she’s singing it to her younger, seventeen-year-old self. Other times I think its meant for a sister, or younger cousin, or daughter. I know when I listen I think first of my daughters, and then of myself, at seventeen.
The line above – “I wish I could show you how much you’ve grown” – that really makes me feel like the song is meant for a younger self.
Like time traveling back to your seventeen self, giving comfort, and trying to say -“just wait…you will grow SO MUCH.”
2. “Time Rider” by Chromatics
“Lonely hearts club left behind.
There’s no shame in pain,
there’s only time.”
Time travel. This song feels like time travel to me. Both in sound and in lyrical content. But, in this case (opposed to time traveling back to seventeen) this seems like traveling forward. There is a future-feel to this track, yet it is grounded in the New Wave of the ’80s, and Electro-Clash/Electronica of the ’90s and early 2000s.
I think the first time I heard Chromatics was in the film Drive. I heard them later in the recent-ish Twin Peaks series. They are always so cinematic sounding to me, and “Time Rider” is no exception.
In addition to this track (released about a month ago), Chromatics have announced their first public performances in over five years.
The Double Exposure tour kicks off on April 30 in Santa Ana. I may have to check this out.
3. “Wasted Youth” by Jenny Lewis
from the album, On the Line (2019)
“Why you lyin’?
The bourbon’s gone.
Mercury hasn’t been in retrograde for that long.
stop your hiding,
drop that bomb.
Do you remember when I used to sing you this little song?”
So seventies. “Wasted Youth” is a throwback to my youth, for sure. I feel like I’m back in my childhood bedroom with those big headphones on, listening to albums borrowed from my mom, or to AM radio.
I’m so into Jenny’s new album. But, then again, I’m always so into Jenny’s albums (and Rilo Kiley and Nice As Fuck, too).
4. “Manifest” by Andrew Bird
from the album, My Finest Work Yet (2019)
“I’m coming to the edge of the widest canyon.
My companions’ dear.
I’m starting to question my manifest destiny.
My claim to this frontier.”
I just discovered Andrew Bird’s newest album, and I have to say it is my favorite of his work yet, making the title – My Finest Work Yet – seem oh so fitting.
“Manifest” makes me want to take a leave of absence from work, and life, rent an RV, and take a long, “getting lost” kind of road trip, bringing along with me lots of books. Doesn’t it feel like an “on the road” reading On the Road kind of song (and album)?
5. “Things” by The Lemonheads
from the album, Varshons 2 (2019)
“Things I`m bound to tell you,
like that dress looks great on ya,
I could use some breathing room,
but I`m still in love with you.”
Paul Westerberg writes some of my favorite love songs. Evan Dando, too (though this one is Evan’s cover of Westerberg). This song – “Things” – and the whole cover album, Varshons 2, I’d like to take along on that RV road trip, too.
I think it would fit right in just perfectly.