upbeat piano songs?
November 20, 2011 12:35 AM   Subscribe

hi, everyone! i'm making a mix of piano-based songs for my friend and i'd like for some of the songs on there to be more brightened but still be meaningful, of course. the type of songs i'm looking for are like "mouthwash" and "merry happy" by kate nash or "wings" by utada hikaru. something where it's still primarily piano. thank you for any and all suggestions!

instrumentals would actually be great and preferred. and i'm trying to avoid well-known bands and/or songs but if you've got a fray or a coldplay song you just have to suggest, lay it on me.
posted by thischarmingirl to Media & Arts (19 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
The album version of Tori Amos's Cornflake Girl (from Under The Pink) is pretty brightened (for a song about female genital mutilation).

LP version has a lot more piano
posted by i_cola at 1:15 AM on November 20, 2011

Response by poster: oh, that reminds me, for clarification's sake, when i talk about a song being brightened, i'm talking about the sound of the song, not necessarily the subject matter. i just want it to have this spirit that ennobles the listener and deeply resonates within their soul without making them feel drained from its undertones.

and thank you for suggesting tori amos! truth be told, i was thinking about putting her but i never what song to put, so thank you for the clear direction!
posted by thischarmingirl at 1:26 AM on November 20, 2011

About 10% of Ben Folds (Five) songs would qualify here, I think. The rest are either sad or snarky (in a good way), or both. I'd have to go through them to pick individual songs, but earlier material will generally be closer to what you're looking for.
posted by supercres at 6:36 AM on November 20, 2011

Best answer: Us, Folding Chair, and Fidelity by Regina Spektor.

Zak and Sara and Fired by Ben Folds.

A Fine Frenzy is amazing. Minnow and the Trout, Think of You and Bird of the Summer are some of my faves from her. You may have heard Come On, Come Out before.

The Forrest Gump main theme is lovely and uplifting. Purely instrumental.

Matt Kearney is a lesser known artist who makes happy, inspiring piano pop, here and here. Might not be enough piano in there for ya, though?
posted by sunnychef88 at 8:09 AM on November 20, 2011

Response by poster: than you, thank you! aha, i forgot regina spektor has happy songs. i tend to prefer songs like "samson" and "hero" so i just honestly forget. thank you for reminding me.

i love matt kearney and didn't even realize about him either. "closer to love" has always been my favorite song. i guess i've been taking a more literal approach to piano based songs than i should have.

and i love ben folds but since i only listened to him here and there, i forgot what songs fit my criteria for upbeat music, so thank you both for informing me!

and thank you for the suggestion of a fine frenzy!

keep them coming! my CD holds about 150 songs and i really want to fill 'er up!
posted by thischarmingirl at 8:27 AM on November 20, 2011

Firefox just ate a big list o' links on me (GRAR) so I'm going to try to remember the stuff I mentioned really quickly:

"He's My Best Friend" - Jellyfish
"Donating To Science" - Self
"She's Such A Beauty" and "With My Face On The Floor" - Emitt Rhodes
"Discount Store" - Dan Bryk
"Bowling Accident In Lane 3" - Lee Feldman (definitely look more deeply into Bryk & Feldman - both piano pop genii)
"Walking Through Walls" - Jon Brion
"When I Pray" - Todd Rundgren (surprised I waited that long to mention TR)
If you want to go Ben Folds Five "Theme From Dr. Pyser" might be the song you seek.
posted by mintcake! at 8:31 AM on November 20, 2011

An instrumental "piano suite" from Tori Amos: All the Girls Hate Her and Over It.
posted by aka burlap at 8:44 AM on November 20, 2011

After the Gold Rush by Neil young, and any number of other piano songs by him. Some fall to the sad side, but this one is on the thoughtful and hopeful side for.

I Can't Decide
by Scissor sisters. Their songs tend to be piano driven and this same mix of bouncy pop sensibility with darker and/or humorous lyrics.
posted by cmoj at 9:45 AM on November 20, 2011

jackson cannery-ben folds five...'underground' is another fave...
daylight-matt and kim

i'm particularly fond of some of the later work of 'the art of noise' ...def. leans more towards ultra-modernist classical with tons of very odd sampling but i think it holds up very well and the piano work is top-notch...the entirety of 'below the waste' is pretty awesome and there's some really uplifting tracks on there...in fact, i am going to listen to it now. thanks! ;)
posted by sexyrobot at 9:51 AM on November 20, 2011

oh also! you could try entering a bunch of songs u like into pandora and see what it find that matches...they have a thing...i think it's like 'musical dna' or something that analyzes all the disparate 'tags' associated with a song and matches them up if you like similar songs...like 'pandora reccomended this for you because it contains: upbeat piano with lots of cascading trills, syncopated drums, and split-reed sax and etc (and etc and etc...it's crazy specific)
posted by sexyrobot at 9:56 AM on November 20, 2011

roxy music!-virginia plain
posted by sexyrobot at 10:03 AM on November 20, 2011

air- dead bodies
muse- butterflies and hurricanes
prince- starfish and coffee
posted by sexyrobot at 10:34 AM on November 20, 2011

Oh I have one!
Mr Pitiful - Matt Costa
Is on my same mix as "Merry Happy".
posted by Glinn at 10:42 AM on November 20, 2011

Leeds United (not happy, but happy-ish sounding?) by Amanda Palmer, or any number of songs by her or the Dresden Dolls.
posted by Lutoslawski at 11:47 AM on November 20, 2011

Some of Vienna Teng's stuff, maybe? Almost all of it is piano-driven pop... upbeat-sounding (regardless of subject matter) songs that come to mind are Gravity (album version or slower tempo, but my favorite live version), Enough to Go By, Harbor, Stray Italian Greyhound...
posted by Kosh at 4:03 PM on November 20, 2011

Sara Bareilles! So many great piano-based songs. Try Love Song and Gonna Get Over You. Also, Chantal Kreviazuk - Ordinary People is great.
posted by yawper at 8:00 PM on November 20, 2011

Best answer: Lenka - The Show
posted by John Cohen at 8:52 PM on November 20, 2011

Pretty much anything by Lucy Schwartz or Ingrid Michaelson.
posted by tegna56 at 5:00 AM on November 21, 2011

Keane use a piano/synth as a lead instrument rather than a guitar so you might try them. "Bedshaped" builds particularly nicely and might fit your uplifting requirement.
posted by Ness at 8:59 AM on November 21, 2011

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