Give Me Five…Featuring The Marías

The day is heating up. That nearing summer feeling coming on strong. Part of me welcomes it, the heat on my skin, the splashes of light sneaking in through the kitchen window panes. Part of me though longs for cool breezes, rainy afternoons, sweater weather. I think I was made for a cooler climate. I’ve never been built for Southern California sun.

I throw on a dress made for June or July, fill my bottle up with more cold water, and press play.

Concentrate on staying cool.

Give Me Five – May 13, 2021

You can listen and follow along with May’s Give Me Five at Spotify and YouTube

Song 1: “Hush” by The Marías

The Marías "Hush" Give Me Five
Photo by Max Ziman
“Hush” by The Marías – from the single, “Hush” (2021)

“Don’t act so special.
What I do,
is not for you.
Forget about it.”

I heard this in the car this morning on the way to get a coffee. My daughter was playing it through the car speakers. I did the 90’s alt-pop vibe. Reminds me of Zero 7 (“In the Waiting Line”), Olive (“You’re Not Alone”), and Poe (“Angry Johnny”). I’ve been spinning around in 90’s nostalgia lately, so this grabbed my attention right away.

The Marías are from Los Angeles, and define themselves as a psychedelic soul band. Lead singer, María Zardoya, is from Puerto Rico, and drummer, Josh Conway, is a native from LA. They are known for performing songs in both English and Spanish language songs, as well as infusing their music with elements of jazz percussion, rock guitar riffs, smoke-velvet vocals, and horn solos. When playing live, Zardoya and Conway are joined by Jesse Perlman on guitar, and Edward James on keyboards. (source: Wikipedia)

“Hush”, along with some other songs I’ve been spinning this morning, have a cinematic feel to them. Reading an interview with María Zardoya, she describes the influence on film with their music:

“The Marías were born from cinema. The reason Josh and I started writing music together was because of cinema. Through a friend, we were connected to a music supervisor who would send us requests for music for films. We’d receive a synopsis of a scene, and then we’d have to write music to it within a couple of days. Not only did that teach us how to write songs together fairly quickly, it taught us how to think like filmmakers. We’d imagine worlds in our minds based on the synopses — the colors in the scene, the lighting, the actors, the set design, and of course, the music.” (source: buzzbands.la)

Another example/another song from The Marías:

To hear more of The Marías, and to help support their music, go here please.

Song 2: “Someone To Spend Time With” by Los Retros

“Someone To Spend Time With” by Los Retros – from the single, “Someone To Spend Time With” (2019)

“Back in bed.
It’s 3 a.m,
with no one at my side.
It gets real cold,
because these blankets,
will never warm my heart.”

I randomly came across this song, and artist, this morning.

Discovering new music is seriously one of my favorite things. Its one of my blissful reasons to wake up in the morning. An aural adventure that is honestly never ending. There is always new music to find.

Los Retros (Mauri Tapia) is in his early twenties. When he made this track, though, he was just out of high school. A first generation Mexican-American, he signed to Stones Throw Records, at just nineteen, who released his debut EP.

Mauri is from Oxnard, California. He plays all instruments on his songs, and recordings. He credits his musical inspirations to both American and Latin American left-field pop and solf rock groups from the 70’s and 80’s. He says that Los Retros is an homage to Chilean pop band, Los Angeles Negros. (source: Stones Throw)

To hear more of Los Retros, and support Mauri’s music, please visit here.

Los Retros "Someone To Spend Time With" Give Me F Song 2

Song 3: “SUNRISE” by MICHELLE, featuring Arlo Parks

MICHELLE and Arlo Parks "SUNRISE" Give Me Five
“SUNRISE” by MICHELLE, featuring Arlo Parks – from the single “SUNRISE” (2021)

“Couldn’t ever be my sunrise.
(sunrise, sunrise)
You’re just a setting sun,
I’d pray and you would pass me by.
You’re only looking for a good time,
a body you could kiss on.
Turn to you and you’ve moved on.”

Arlo Parks is one of my favorite current artists. While perusing her music I came across this single that she featured on, this year, with MICHELLE.

MICHELLE is from New York City. They released their single “SUNRISE” last summer, but wanted to do a re-working. They decided to invite Arlo Parks to be a part of it.

“Our good friend Arlo Parks hopped on our newest version of ‘SUNRISE’,” the band say. “What a pleasure it is to hear new voices reimagine a tune we’ve held so close. Her soothing voice and stunning lyricism is everything we could’ve asked for.” (source: DIY)

Arlo Parks said of the experience:

Parks said of the collaboration: “There‘s such a warmth and an energy to this track and MICHELLE are such a talented, genuine bunch – I feel so honoured to be a part of it.” (source: Our Culture Magazine)

To me, the song feels like that summery weather outside that I’m not quite ready for. That said, I’m always ready for a summer-sounding-song. “SUNRISE” makes me want to take a mini-road trip to the beach, playing this tune loudly, with the window rolled down and the salty ocean air tickling my nose.

Arlo covering “The Bottom”, originally by MICHELLE:

MICHELLE
Arlo Parks

Song 4: “Bloodbuzz Ohio” by SOAK

SOAK "Bloodbuzz Ohio" Give Me Five
“Bloodbuzz Ohio” by SOAK – from the single, “Bloodbuzz Ohio” (2019)

“Stand up straight at the foot of your love.
I lift my shirt up.”

I was driving home from Silverlake yesterday, late afternoon, relaxed and feeling a little high from acupuncture and cupping – and the ease it gifts me. The original “Bloodbuzz Ohio”, by The National, came on and I turned up the volume and sang-a-long. The National always gives me a huge case of “the feels”, their songs and lyrics chill-inducing. They often bring tears, too.

This morning I ran across this cover version and was immediately delighted. I knew it would need to be at least one of the cover songs I shared today.

SOAK (Bridie Monds-Watson) is an amazing singer-songwriter from Ireland. She said this about deciding to cover “Bloodbuzz Ohio”:

“Matt Berninger is one of my favorite lyricists,” Monds-Watson says. “There’s something so special about the imagery The National manages to create within their music and I often catch myself imagining each song as its own movie trailer. I love the manic world this song creates.” (source: Vanyaland)

To hear more of SOAK, and to help support her music, please head over here.

Song 5: “Venus Stopped the Train” by Jay Bennett and Edward Burch

art by Steven Cohen
“Venus Stopped the Train” by Jay Bennett And Edward Burch – from the album, The Palace at 4am (2002)

“I kept my distance because she fell in love with everyone.
Smoking grass and taking Christmas trees,
she fell in love with me.
I was polite to her.
A soft sadness,
had her much more,
than her loneliness.”

I first heard the Wilco version of “Venus Stopped the Train”. A past lover put it on a Mix CD, and it became one of those songs I’d associate with him, and us, forever after. We fell for each other with this song playing (and so many others). Music was a big connector for us. Music and writing.

Jay Bennett wrote the song while he was in Wilco. He reportedly took the song with him when he left. Bennett left Wilco to work with Edward Burch, who is part of this song, and the album it is on, as well.

Bennett unfortunately died unexpectedly, in his sleep, in 2009.

The Wilco version:

What songs are you listening to today? What songs feel summery to you?

Creekside by Kelly Vivanco May Give Me Five Cover Art
Art by Kelly Vivanco

For May’s Give Me Five I’m featuring Kelly Vivanco’s piece “Creekside” as the Cover Art.

GIVE ME FIVE – MAY 2021


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