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The songs that bookend this playlist are relevant and rousing calls to protect and fight for our democracy, equal rights, and the survival of the planet.
Raw, but always melodic rock segues into dreamier, transporting numbers and melancholic, but tuneful indie pop, before ending with a lyrically potent hip-hop-styled warning that the earth is overpopulated by us humans and idiocracy must be stopped.
1. Descendents – “Who We Are” – This track is actually a year old, but it’s lyrically so important and resonates in these conflicted and dire times. It’s a defiant and enthusiastic rallying call to defend democracy before it’s totally destroyed by the dangerous, divisive, and despicable Trump and his extremist Republican cronies and followers.
2. Sauropod – “Ripping” – Nirvana-like, sing-song alt-rock from this Norwegian grunge-punk trio. Sweet!
3. Cleopatrick – “Youth” – Pow! An intense punch of emotive and sonic fury by this Canadian rock duo. The raw lyrics (especially at the end) are an indictment of the BS that goes down during the high school years by some teenagers who waste their youth mistreating wo(men), getting drunk, and bragging about their exploits.
4. Noble Bodies – “Take Me Down” – This powerhouse tune by alt-rock trio of Neon Trees’ Elaine Bradley (drums/vox/guitar), Bryce Taylor (guitar/vox/drums), and Chris Bennett (bass) is dual in nature – Jittery indie rock skitters in the verses and Bryce unleashes wildman screams. Then the pace becomes weighty and slow on the chorus sections, with poignant, twinned harmonies from Bryce and Elaine. As they say, two halves make a whole, and that’s exactly what the is going for with the song, and lyrical subject matter.
5. Mogwai – “We’re Not Done (End Title)” – What’s there to say? It’s Mogwai! Time to fly! :D
6. Tombstones In Their Eyes – “Silhouette” – The California-based space/psych/stoner-rock band whips up yet another thick, rich, textured dream-rock noir storm.
MY SONG PREMIERE of “Silhouette”
MY VIDEO PREMIERE of “Always There”
7. Pastel Dream – “38th St.” – Dream-pop aficionados must surely know about this indie band, right? Mmm, I just discovered them on SoundCloud. Shame on me… Shining, jangling guitar chime, simmering rhythms, low bassline tug, and delightfully airy female vocals.
8. The Chills – “Lord Of All I Survey” – “I get chills, and they’re multiplyin’…” ‘Nuff said. ;) Well, except that this is masterfully sweeping sophisti-pop with bittersweetly ironic lyrics.
9. Tracyanne & Danny – “It Can’t Be Love Unless It Hurts” – This would be Tracyanne Campbell of the beloved Scottish band Camera Obscura and Englander Danny Coughlan, otherwise known as Crybaby. Time to soothe away the wounds of love with the wistful, smooth melancholia of this tune.
10. J Pee – “To The Kids That I Might Never Have” – Sonically stark, lyrically substantial spoken word hip-hop with YouTube comedic sensation J Pee getting deeply serious on an intense rap about the state of humanity and the planet.
MY NEWS on J Pee and the tune
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