I like 'em big when they're inside me
August 17, 2009 11:49 AM   Subscribe

Help me find music that makes me feel small and insignificant.

Here's one sample of exactly what I'm looking for.

There's elements of shoegaze, post-rock, electronic, and experimental music up in that mix. Those styles are easy enough to come by, but combining them all with MELODY is the key.

I'm talking GRAND, EPIC, SWEEPING, FLOORING melodies here; I want songs that make me their bitch.

A list-off of bands is NOT what I'm looking for.

1. Songs.
3. Annihilation.

More examples:
1 2 3 4 5
posted by Christ, what an asshole to Media & Arts (53 answers total) 114 users marked this as a favorite
[I'm at work (working hard, obviously), so I can't listen to your examples-- sorry if either of these suggestions are represented above]

Animal Collective- Banshee Beat
Akron/Family's entire self-titled album
posted by oinopaponton at 11:53 AM on August 17, 2009

It's a bit of a buckethead show, but maybe this song by praxis?
posted by juv3nal at 12:02 PM on August 17, 2009

M83 - Moonchild
posted by subtle-t at 12:06 PM on August 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

I think Mogwai (darker) and Boards of Canada (more upbeat) would suit you well.
posted by randomstriker at 12:07 PM on August 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

You might enjoy the title track from Spiritualized's Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space. The louder the better.
posted by JohnFredra at 12:12 PM on August 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

An ending (ascent) by Brian Eno from a NASA documentary and subsequently the movie 28 Days Later is by all means Grand, Epic, Sweeping, Flooring and even Transformative.
posted by pwally at 12:15 PM on August 17, 2009

I can't open any of your links while at work, but from your description, you might like: EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY
posted by bunny hugger at 12:16 PM on August 17, 2009

Orbital - One Perfect Sunrise
posted by ekpyrotic at 12:24 PM on August 17, 2009

The band Porcupine Tree would have a lot of stuff you'd like, I think. Try this and this.

Have you tried Sigur Ros? They have some tracks that are very similar to the first example you give, and others that wouldn't fit what you want much at all. Try Dánarfregnir og Jarðarfarir.

What about a more world-edge to what you're asking, by the way? Not sure if that'd be your thing at all, but E.S. Posthumous' "Nara" is a great, epic instrumental. Really, anything by E.S. Posthumous, particularly their first album, will take you to a new level of epic. Along the same line of thinking: the whole "Braid" soundtrack. I especially recommend "Maenam" and "Downstream" in that album.
posted by metalheart at 12:34 PM on August 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

Tain by Decemberists is pretty epic. It's an EP that is one nearly 20-minute song divided into 4 or 5 tracks.
posted by too bad you're not me at 12:35 PM on August 17, 2009

Godspeed You! Black Emperor.
posted by kaseijin at 12:35 PM on August 17, 2009

"Good Morning, Captain" by Slint does this especially well. You have to wait for a few minutes to get to the ANNIHILATION, but in the meantime you get some forboding buildup with spooky lyrics, and the climax is as apocalyptic as any song I've ever heard.
posted by martens at 12:47 PM on August 17, 2009

Seconding Boards of Canada, they continue to blow my mind after nth listen. Same with Explosions in the Sky. I had a whole list of bands that I think fit the bill but you're not looking for bands.. so here is a small list of songs I hope will work:

Boards of Canada's Dayvan Cowboy.

The Appleseed Cast's One Reminder, An Empty Room (this entire album is great for this sort of thing).

Lemon Jelly's Page One.

Xploding Plastix's Treat Me Mean, I Need the Reputation.

These are probably out there a bit, but still worth a listen:
Múm's Weeping Rock, Rock and Guilty Rocks.

Cornelius' Music.

Prefuse 73's School of 74 Bells which takes from School of Seven Bells' iamundernodisguise (which I think is better).
posted by june made him a gemini at 1:11 PM on August 17, 2009

Scott Walker - "Bolivia '95" off of Tilt
The Walker Bros - "The Electrician" off of Nite Flights
posted by porn in the woods at 1:12 PM on August 17, 2009

Pink Floyd's The Trial
posted by MCTDavid at 1:40 PM on August 17, 2009

Panda Bear
posted by thegreatfleecircus at 1:49 PM on August 17, 2009

seconding Dayvan Cowboy and One Perfect Sunrise

also try Mogwai's I'm Jim Morrison, I'm Dead and the Devin Townsend Band's Storm
posted by xbonesgt at 2:05 PM on August 17, 2009

again with Sigur Ros, staralfur
posted by abitha! at 2:14 PM on August 17, 2009

from Ron Fricke's Chronos
posted by ageispolis at 2:18 PM on August 17, 2009

It looks like you're familiar with World's End Girlfriend, but in case you haven't heard these:

Singing Under the Rainbow
We Are the Massacre
posted by naju at 2:43 PM on August 17, 2009

ok computer (album) radiohead does me in
posted by compound eye at 3:01 PM on August 17, 2009

You've heard Echoes, right?
posted by Benjy at 3:17 PM on August 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

I notice you have Mono and Paik songs in that list. Kinski does modern psych-rock along the same lines; you might enjoy their song "Fell Asleep On Your Lawn" (off of their split with Acid Mothers Temple) or their album "Airs Above Your Station," which I generally listen to as a full album. You might find the more melody-driven Acid Mothers Temple songs ("La Novia", "La Le Lo", etc.) worth checking out as well.

Six Organs of Admittance is also psych-based, but sa little more stripped down. The last track off the album "The Sun Awakens" might be interesting; "Shelter From The Ash" is perhaps further away from Six Organs' acoustic beginnings.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor's album "Lift Yr Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven" is almost certainly along the right lines. Same with A Silver Mt. Zion's first album, "He Has Left Us Alone But Shafts Of Light Still Sometimes Grace The Corners Of Our Rooms." Both bands - but particularly Silver Mt. Zion on that record - make albums that are meant to be albums; thus the lack of specific song recommendations.

Hrsta's a related group; you might want to listen to their song "Swallow's Tail" (off of "Stem Stem In Electro") or "Haunted Pluckley" ("Ghosts Will Come And Kiss Our Eyes")

"Thunder Perfect Mind" by Current 93 is worth checking out - though David Tibet's voice may be something of an acquired taste. The closing "Hitler as Kalki" is probably the most grandiose song on the album (best candidate for fulfilling your request for annihilation); "A Song For Douglas (After He's Dead)" is more representative of the album.

In general, the other modern post-rock bands mentioned (Mogwai, Explosions In The Sky, etc.) along with other modern psych rock bands (Bardo Pond, Major Stars, Ghost, LSD-March, etc.) are genres that are most apt to have the sort of songs you're looking for.
posted by ubersturm at 3:56 PM on August 17, 2009

Three songs come immediately to mind:

"Paris 1919" by John Cale. The entire album has a lot of big, sweeping melodic moments, but the title track is the jewel in the crown.

"The Donor" by Judee Sill from her album Heart Food. I can't find it on YT, but here's a representative song from that album.

Van Dyke Parks's Song Cycle could also do the trick. Separating songs off the album might be a challenge, but the two lushest melodies are on "Palm Desert" and "Untitled".
posted by pxe2000 at 4:08 PM on August 17, 2009

maybe this is obvious, but SY - The Diamond Sea (recorded version is quite a bit longer btw, more feedback)
posted by citron at 8:59 PM on August 17, 2009

kwoon - i lived in the moon
posted by klanawa at 9:04 PM on August 17, 2009

May not fit the genre, but Son of Mr. Green Genes by Frank Zappa/Mothers of Invention leaves me in awe every time I hear it. Listen to the entire 9 minutes all the way through.
posted by anthropoid at 9:11 PM on August 17, 2009

"The Big Ship" — Brian Eno
posted by argybarg at 9:40 PM on August 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

"Good Morning Captain" — Slint
posted by argybarg at 9:48 PM on August 17, 2009

If you're looking for the annihilation part especially, check out some of the classic 90s "screamo" bands (and their decendants). A lot of the Level Plane catalog has stuff worth checking out, you might find something you love in there.

Envy - pretty much anything they've done is amazing (live video)

Jesu might also fit the bill for epic (did a great split with Envy a year or two ago)
posted by teishu at 9:53 PM on August 17, 2009

Sigur Ros - Myrkur
posted by threetoed at 10:00 PM on August 17, 2009

In a slightly different vein, electric-y-and-lush-and-orchestral-and-very-melodic with a side order of annihiliation suggests Do You Realize?? by the Flaming Lips, a song whose lyrics will give you that tiny-feeling like no other.

Do You Realize that everyone you know someday will die?
And instead of saying all of your goodbyes, let them know you realize that life goes fast; it's hard to make the good things last; you realize the sun doesn't go down - it's just an illusion caused by the world spinning round.

Play it loud and try in vain not to think about everyone you know, all of whom will die.
posted by Cantdosleepy at 2:37 AM on August 18, 2009

LCD Soundsystem - Get Innocuous!
posted by clearly at 3:07 AM on August 18, 2009

The eighth track on Sigur Ros' untitled second album builds up and crashes down like no other song I know, from a sweet, introspective beginning to an utterly apocalyptic climax.

Seeing it live is a transcendental experience, makes you feel like a leaf in a hurricane. (Part 1, 2)
posted by gottabefunky at 10:48 AM on August 18, 2009

If you like alt country-flavoured guitar solos, Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter's Station Grey (you can listen to it on the site). Just as you think it's ending, the guitar ramps up to another level entirely. Love.

And it seems too obvious, but what the heck-- Radiohead, How to Disappear Completely-- Dublin, 2000, beautifully filmed by Dilly Gent.

Seconding Dead Can Dance (just about anything from their first albums, particularly Serpent's Egg) and the other obvious choices, Sigur Ros, GYBE, (A Silver Mt. Zion, Do Make Say Think).
posted by jokeefe at 1:12 PM on August 18, 2009

(I know you are looking for electronica, but the Jesse Sykes song is a feast of MELODY.)

Holy Fuck-- Lovely Allen.
posted by jokeefe at 1:17 PM on August 18, 2009

Also, I don't seem to be able to stop listening to Sunn 0))). When they're good, they're jaw dropping.
posted by jokeefe at 1:19 PM on August 18, 2009

Jesu - Silver
posted by HumuloneRanger at 4:00 PM on August 18, 2009

You need Lobetid by Lis Er Stille and Hindsight 20/20 by Aurore Rien (can't find a direct link, but there are torrents out there). Trust me, these are the songs for you!
posted by feathermeat at 4:29 PM on August 18, 2009

If you're willing to go for a little classical, try the second movement from Saint-Saëns's third symphony (the organ symphony).

The finale of the piece on Youtube.
posted by clorox at 12:09 AM on August 19, 2009

Posting from my phone so I can't provide a link, but check out "Death is the Road to Awe" by Clint Mansell. It's on the soundtrack to "The Fountain." The whole soundtrack is good, but that song in particular is excellent.
posted by sciencemandan at 10:48 AM on August 19, 2009

Songs of Distant Earth
posted by lalochezia at 2:31 PM on August 19, 2009

Red Sparowes
posted by turgid dahlia at 6:23 PM on August 19, 2009

We Plants Are Happy Plants - Apollo. It's epic enough to listen to while gazing into the starry night sky and powerful enough to blast your ears with it while out for a run.
posted by insouciant at 5:06 AM on August 20, 2009

I've been listening to post-rock since the early GY!BE and Tortoise days and agree with a lot of the suggestions on here but to give you something a little different then the more run of the mill post-rock bands I'll suggest something a little different.

One of the most beautiful/mind-shattering songs I've ever heard is by a classical composer named Jóhann Jóhannsson. Take a listen to the song "Fordlandia". Brings a whole new meaning to epic soundscape.
posted by whtthehecker at 11:55 AM on August 21, 2009

Talk Talk's Spirit of Eden (1989) and Laughing Stock (1991) always make me feel pretty insignificant. Melody+Annihilation.
posted by anthill at 2:32 PM on August 21, 2009

Or, the next track on the album...
posted by anthill at 2:39 PM on August 21, 2009

And So I Watch You From Afar, a Northern Irish post-rock band were described by NME as being like "The sound of someone crashing an oil tanker through Sigur Ros' ice float".

Their whole first album seems to fit your question. As for specific songs, eh, maybe These Riots are Just the Beginning or Set Guitars to Kill
posted by knapah at 5:41 PM on August 22, 2009

A Storm of Light - Midnight

Falkenbach - Vanadis

Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Storm

Nile - Die Rache Krieg Lied Der Assyriche

Agalloch - Our Fortress is Burning... II: Bloodbirds

Blind Guardian - And then there was slience
posted by prufrock at 2:18 PM on August 27, 2009

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