Anthemic Contemporary Songs
August 10, 2010 12:34 PM   Subscribe

What songs from the last five or so years of pop/rock music would you describe as "anthemic"?

I'm looking for recent music like the Arcade Fire's Wake Up or even Coldplay's Viva la Vida.

One might describe these songs as rousing, uplifting, emotional, and soaring. In the case of Wake Up, I think the multiple voice chorus helps. For reasons I can't go into, male vocalists are preferred, and the lyrics can't be gloomy, lurid, or suggestive. Something like the Flaming Lips' Do You Realize would be perfect, except it refers to everyone you know dying, which, while ultimately a profound and motivating thought, is too controversial for my purposes.


This question is for a work-related assignment (hence the anonymity).
posted by anonymous to Media & Arts (67 answers total) 79 users marked this as a favorite
 
The Killers - All These Things That I've Done
posted by telegraph at 12:36 PM on August 10, 2010 [8 favorites]


Another Loser Anthem by Good Charlotte
posted by 4ster at 12:38 PM on August 10, 2010


Whole bunch of stuff by Arcade Fire.
posted by The Michael The at 12:40 PM on August 10, 2010


Muse, "Uprising."
posted by infinitywaltz at 12:42 PM on August 10, 2010 [9 favorites]


Uh, that will teach me to read the question... but seriously, lots of songs on both Neon Bible and The Suburbs. You could definitely find some stuff from Broken Social Scene as well.
posted by The Michael The at 12:42 PM on August 10, 2010


Janelle Monae, "Cold War"
posted by hermitosis at 12:44 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Grizzly Bear - "Two Weeks"

MGMT - "Kids"

Owen Pallett - "Lewis Takes Off His Shirt"

Jonsi - "Animal Arithmetic"

Daniel Merriweather - "For Your Money"
posted by Jaltcoh at 12:45 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Although not vocal, most songs by Explosions in the Sky. It's not as "soaring" as what you've suggested, but Seven Nation Army by the White Stripes is actually being used as an anthem by many sports franchises.
posted by proj at 12:45 PM on August 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


Seconding "Seven Nation Army" (White Stripes), as performed by multitudes at football stadiums.
posted by NekulturnY at 12:47 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]




Touch Me I'm Going To Scream Part 2 by My Morning Jacket
posted by lizbunny at 12:48 PM on August 10, 2010


A few more:

Death Cab for Cutie - "Transatlanticism"

Beirut - "Elephant Gun"

Okkervil River - "Our Life Is Not a Movie or Maybe"
posted by Jaltcoh at 12:49 PM on August 10, 2010


This Too Shall Pass by Ok Go
posted by lizbunny at 12:50 PM on August 10, 2010




Rise Against, "Swing Life Away"
posted by verbyournouns at 12:51 PM on August 10, 2010


Oooh. This Too Shall Pass is a good one.

Bodysnatchers, by Radiohead.
posted by Lutoslawski at 12:52 PM on August 10, 2010


Oh, and pretty much any song by Andrew W.K., though not all will meet the 'non-lurid lyrics' requirement.
posted by Lutoslawski at 12:55 PM on August 10, 2010


"Arms and Hearts" by The Hold Steady
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:55 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Slightly older U2:
Vertigo
Newer U2:
I'll Go Crazy if I Don't Go Crazy Tonight
Beautiful Day

...their much older stuff is more anthemic, I think, like "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," "With or Without You," etc.
posted by dzaz at 12:56 PM on August 10, 2010


Slightly more than 5 years old (came out in 2004), but: Modest Mouse's Float On.
posted by aka burlap at 12:57 PM on August 10, 2010


Seconding "Kids" by MGMT.

"Intervention" also by the Arcade Fire, might be a tad gloomy but if not, I think it would qualify.
posted by lunasol at 12:57 PM on August 10, 2010




Oh, and:

- "Young Folks" by Peter, Bjorn and John
- "Bleeding Hearts Show" by the New Pornographers. Has both a male and a female singer.
posted by lunasol at 12:59 PM on August 10, 2010


If only "Time to Pretend" wasn't all about cocaine and choking on vomit...

The Hold Steady's "Constructive Summer" mentions getting hammered, but otherwise it's not terribly lurid.
"Float On" by Modest Mouse (at the risk of cliché)
"Ambling Alp" by Yeasayer is really inspirational.

And together with the Jónsi recommendations, basically anything by Sigur Rós, especially from their last album.
posted by punchdrunkhistory at 1:02 PM on August 10, 2010


My Girls by Animal Collective
posted by saladin at 1:03 PM on August 10, 2010


Sons and Daughters by The Decemberists
posted by esoterrica at 1:12 PM on August 10, 2010


"Welcome Home" by Coheed and Cambria?
posted by BZArcher at 1:14 PM on August 10, 2010


Vindicated by Dashboard Confessional and Rooftops by Lostprophets come to mind.
posted by headspace at 1:15 PM on August 10, 2010


Surfer Blood - Swim
posted by carbide at 1:15 PM on August 10, 2010


"Such Great Heights" by the Postal Service
posted by floweredfish at 1:18 PM on August 10, 2010


Pela - Lost to the Lonesome (KEXP free mp3 version)
posted by yeti at 1:18 PM on August 10, 2010


TV On The Radio - Wolf Like Me
Phoenix - Lisztomania
Josh Ritter - Change of Time
Band Of Horses - Is There A Ghost

And - as several people have mentioned already - there's tons of epic post rock.
posted by starzero at 1:28 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Jay-Z, 'Empire State of Mind'
posted by HandfulOfDust at 1:33 PM on August 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


Cruxshadows - Return (Coming Home) is pretty good.
posted by Heretical at 1:40 PM on August 10, 2010


No one has mentioned Polyphonic Spree yet (though I think it might be older than 5 yrs).
Here's Light and Day, although pretty much everything they do would fall under the "anthemic" banner.
posted by Gilbert at 1:41 PM on August 10, 2010


Also 2004: kaiser chiefs, oh my god
posted by eau79 at 1:48 PM on August 10, 2010


Flobots, Rise
posted by pickypicky at 1:54 PM on August 10, 2010


Trail of dead- and the rest will follow
Built to spill (this is a tough one because that's what they are/do)- Car
Cursive- Bad Sects
Dinosaur Jr (another tough one)- See You
Jawbreaker (almost out of the 5/10 yr requirement, but FITS, oh it fits)- jet black ALSO ONE OF THE GREATEST SONGS EVAR!!!!
posted by TheBones at 1:54 PM on August 10, 2010


I've linked it before, but Elbow's "One Day Like This" -- soaring, uplifting, insanely singable for a cast of thousands...(SLYT, live from Glastonbury, 2008). Guy Garvey and his crew are a talented bunch.
posted by MonkeyToes at 1:55 PM on August 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


"It's All Gonna Break" by Broken Social Scene (the music is really uplifting despite the disturbing lyrics)d
posted by greasy_skillet at 2:00 PM on August 10, 2010


Given that he wrote (or cowrote) the most anthemic song of the previous era ("Common People"), you should try on some Jarvis Cocker.

Also all of Destroyer, particularly the last few albums, particularly also Your Blues, and notably "Foam Hands."
posted by RJ Reynolds at 2:00 PM on August 10, 2010


Flobots - Handlebars
posted by vito90 at 2:07 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Foo Fighters - Pretender makes me go crazy. Everytime I hear it my heart starts racing and I'm thinking of this video playing while being surrounded by 18,000 screaming fans in Red.

Killer chorus.
posted by zephyr_words at 2:17 PM on August 10, 2010


It teeters on cheesy but the song by switchfoot, "we were meant to live for so much more".....and there are some jimmy eat world songs ....and I remember maps by the yeahyeahyeahs was one to get everyone singing in unison...
posted by madmamasmith at 2:21 PM on August 10, 2010


Hey Driver
posted by jeffamaphone at 2:28 PM on August 10, 2010


I think this clip of Standing in the Way of Control is pretty damn anthemic.
posted by pasici at 2:28 PM on August 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


The Hidden Cameras - Walk On. It seems to hit all your aural checkpoints. I'm not absolutely sure about the lyrics, but they're included on the page for you to check out easily. Kickass song, though.

And from some very different Canadians: Trooper - We're Here for a Good Time.
posted by maudlin at 2:29 PM on August 10, 2010


LCD Soundsystem - Someone Great
posted by oreofuchi at 2:33 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


One more...

Spoon - "The Beast and Dragon, Adored"
posted by Jaltcoh at 2:44 PM on August 10, 2010


Welcome Home by Radical Face.
posted by peep at 3:25 PM on August 10, 2010


Lots of Decemberists; for me, most of The Hazards of Love, especially "The Wanting Comes in Waves".
posted by supercres at 3:28 PM on August 10, 2010


Junior Kickstart by The Go! Team

Seconding Bleeding Heart Show by the New Pornographers.

Pounding and There Goes The Fear by Doves.

Zero by Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Ashes by Embrace
posted by fso at 4:37 PM on August 10, 2010


Slightly over the 5 year mark, but I Don't Know What It Is, by Rufus Wainwright, is one great song.
posted by Bron at 7:45 PM on August 10, 2010


Brother Sport - Animal Collective

California English - Vampire Weekend

New Health Rock - TV on the Radio (so sorry it's some fan's Sims video :|)
posted by droplet at 9:08 PM on August 10, 2010


Mika - "We Are Golden"!
posted by sarahsynonymous at 10:27 PM on August 10, 2010


British Sea Power Raising Flags
posted by ambient2 at 12:19 AM on August 11, 2010


Enthusiastically thirding Kids by MGMT.

Also:

Plainsong by The Cure

Brighter Than Sunshine by Aqualung

Dare You to Move by Switchfoot

And lots of stuff by Oasis, including

All Around the World (you don't get much more rousing/soaring than this)

Stand by Me

Live forever
posted by HeKilledKennedy at 7:05 AM on August 11, 2010


Yes, My Morning Jacket! Of that era. And they were even in a beer commercial, for god's sake.
posted by ifjuly at 7:22 AM on August 11, 2010


Since someone mentioned Mika, I'd also like to suggest his song "Grace Kelly."

Seconding Rufus Wainwright's "I Don't Know What It Is." Great song.
posted by Jaltcoh at 7:25 AM on August 11, 2010


Touches You and Dr. John by Mika are also a good fit for what you're looking for.
posted by HeKilledKennedy at 8:17 AM on August 11, 2010


Scissor Sisters - "Fire With Fire"


Do you actually require lyrics? If not, then Afro Celt Sound System - "Mojave"

Or, same group, but with lyrics this time Afro Celt Sound System - "Rise Above It"

Sigur Ros - "Festival" (lyrics of a sort, but not in any language.) Or, also by them, "Hoppipolla," "Glossoli," "Hljomalind," "Olsen Olsen," and many many others.

Matt Alber - "Monarch"

In French: "Vive a en crever" from Mozart: L'Opera Rock

Carbon Leaf - "Paloma," "Raise the Roof," "What About Everything," "Changeless," "Learn To Fly"

Eddie Vedder - "Hard Sun" from the "Into the Wild" soundtrack
posted by dnash at 8:44 AM on August 11, 2010


Seconding Bleeding Heart Show by the New Pornographers.

From Broken Social Scene's 2005 album, It's All Gonna Break or Superconnected. (especially towards the ends of these songs)

Japandroids - Young Hearts Spark Fire.
posted by PercussivePaul at 9:40 AM on August 11, 2010


I've wanted to ask a question similar to this for a long time, so thanks! There are three that at least feel anthemic to me:

Joel Plaskett, A Million Dollars
Okkervil River, Lost Coastlines
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Home
posted by a.steele at 1:50 PM on August 11, 2010


Pendulum - Granite.
posted by talldean at 8:17 PM on August 11, 2010


Aspera, by Erin McKeown.
Scream, by Antje Duvekot.
(not male singers, sorry)
posted by novalis_dt at 9:30 PM on August 11, 2010


"One Fine Day" by Brian Eno/David Byrne
posted by nekton at 1:30 PM on September 9, 2010


I'm guessing this is too late for your assignment. but I love this question and reading everyone's answers!

Deer Tick - Easy

Sigur Ros - Inní mér syngur vitleysyngur + tons of others (eg. Staralfur)

Passion Pit - Dreams (Cranberries cover)

stellastarr* - My Coco

Arcade Fire - Half Light II (No Celebration) + Rebellion (Lies). and speaking of Wake Up, this from Glastonbury 2007 has got to be the most epic version of an insanely epic song.

And these don't fit your "within the past 5 years criteria" but I can't help myself, they're oh-so anthem-y.
New Order - Temptation
The Who - Baba o'riley
Pulp - Disco 2000, Common People
posted by amillionbillion at 10:27 PM on September 28, 2010


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