I need new music.
September 7, 2013 2:32 AM   Subscribe

I have very specific and varied tastes in music, and I'm looking for some new stuff. Music recommending sites uniformly fail me. Please help me find something I'll like! I've listed my favourite artists and tracks inside, in a fair bit of detail.

I've grouped artists who I think are similar musically. If they're a bit of a one-hit wonder for me, I'll list that song. I'll also asterisk artists I particularly like.

American Football*
Cherry Chapstick
Eels – "Going To Your Funeral Part II" (also Electro-Shock Blues more broadly)
Six Gallery

I like the melancholy sound, and its spaciousness. I think American Football does it paticularly well, especially with songs like "I'll See You When We're Both Not So Emotional".

The Boy Least Likely To

Especially on the debut album, the vocals and instrumentation work together great on songs like "Paper Cuts" and "I See Spiders When I Close My Eyes". Too much and it rots my teeth, though. (:

Best Coast

I like the mellow surf-rock sound and Bethany's voice is great at conveying emotion, especially in "Boyfriend" and "Dreaming My Life Away". The latter gets points for the sense of mourning/melancholy, too.

Boards of Canada
Lotus – "Spiritualise"
Sarin Sunday*

Lotus' "Spiritualise" is just crazy catchy and danceable. I went through a Boards of Canada phase that hasn't really reemerged. I really like Sarin Sunday's sense of place and emotion, like in "Gateway to the Sun".

The Avalanches*
The Go! Team*******
I'm From Barcelona

The Avalanches is probably the closest thing to the glory of The Go! Team, whom I absolutely love. If you know anything remotely like it—and I know The Go! Team is basically its own genre—I'm all ears. I love the happiness, the rich, loud sound, and the variety in the sound. I'm From Barcelona is similar but more poppy and less fab.

Iron & Wine
Bright Eyes (really only I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning)

Not as big a fan of the former as I once was, but I still love "Lion's Mane" for the quiet emotion, and I like the instrumentation on a lot of the tracks.

The Cranberries – "Linger"
Everything But The Girl* (both early and later stuff, also Tracey Thorn's solo work)
The Jesus and Mary Chain – "Just Like Honey"
Nouvelle Vague
Poe – "Haunted"
The Style Council*
Suzanne Vega – "Tom's Diner"

Strong vocalists and lyrics. A lot of '90s and earlier music here.


Um so yeah a lot of stuff there. Don't be shy! Recommend freely. Pleasepleaseplease.
posted by Quilford to Grab Bag (19 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Glasvegas are kind of the spiritual heirs of certain aspects of the Jesus and Mary Chain.
posted by Chairboy at 3:53 AM on September 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

Have you heard any Sufjan Stevens? He sort of fits a few of your groups, but Chicago gives me that heart-lift that the Go! Team and Avalanches do too.

Also, on the Iron & Wine vibe, have you also checked out The Shins? If not, your first points of contact should probably be New Slang and Pink Bullets (bonus: awesome video).
posted by greenish at 4:08 AM on September 7, 2013 [2 favorites]

American Football eh? Have you checked out nEwMO? Emo is back baby!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 4:55 AM on September 7, 2013 [2 favorites]

Try out the Dum Dum Girls! Their latest full album is my favorite, and their newer EP is great, too.
posted by shortyJBot at 5:14 AM on September 7, 2013

The Raveonettes, from Denmark, are certainly the closest thing to a contemporary version of the sound the Jesus and Mary Chain were making in the late 1980s when "Just Like Honey" came out, and I think you might find in them smoe affininity with the "surfiness" of Best Coast.
posted by escabeche at 6:04 AM on September 7, 2013

A few thoughts (forgive me if they're too obvious!): Portishead, Morcheeba, Mazzy Star, "Our Way to Fall" by Yo La Tengo, "Half Acre" by Hem, "Heartbeats" by Jose Gonzalez, "King of Diamonds" by Motopony. I'm on my phone, so can't link, sorry.
posted by Empidonax at 7:14 AM on September 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

I think Mark Kozelek (Red House Painters, Sun Kil Moon, solo -- all more or less the same sound) would probably fit into your aesthetic.
posted by neroli at 7:58 AM on September 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

I think some tracks by Concrete Blonde may be worth your investigation.

You want melancholy? The Wrens got melancholy. Also Belle and Sebastian, maybe?

And the closest thing I can think of to The Go! Team is The Flaming Lips, about whom you probably have an opinion already. (Also: Sleigh Bells, though they have a very particular sound that may grate.)
posted by Mothlight at 8:43 AM on September 7, 2013

Oh man, you listen to a lot of the same music I do, For a lot of the same reasons. Have you tried Lovage? Strfckr? Two Door Cinema Club? Coconut Records? You might like Grimes, I've been stuck on her lately, though her videos are SO WEIRD. I can also speak for the benefits of following your favorite artists on Spotify and checking out the "discovery" page. Aurgasm is sometimes good for the more intellectual/dancey genres, though they are infrequent updaters.
posted by teslacoilswoah at 9:11 AM on September 7, 2013

Since you like the Style Council, have you listened to Paul Weller's previous band, the Jam, or any of his solo work after TSC? If not, the last year of the Jam's output was a pretty clear foreshadowing of his musical direction in the Style Council; check out the album The Gift (e.g. Town Called Malice, Precious) and also the two post-Gift singles, The Bitterest Pill and Beat Surrender, both which could easily have been early Style Council releases.

You also might like his first (self-titled) solo album (e.g., Uh Huh, Oh Yeh, I Didn't Mean to Hurt You). If you find you like that album, definitely check out his next two solo albums, Wild Wood and Stanley Road.

For contemporaries of the Style Council, I was going to say Everything But the Girl, but I see you already have them covered! Dexys Midnight Runners also comes to mind, especially their first albums Searching for the Young Soul Rebels and Too-Rye-Aye, for that early '80s soul-pop feel (e.g., Geno, Jackie Wilson Said).
posted by scody at 11:29 AM on September 7, 2013

I forgot to include some more current recommendations. Some of your interests remind me of In the Valley Below (Peaches), Cat Power's recent work (Cherokee), Allah-Las (Catamaran), and Califone (Funeral Singers, Stitches).
posted by scody at 11:43 AM on September 7, 2013

Jens Lekman
The Thermals
posted by humboldt32 at 12:10 PM on September 7, 2013

Forgot to mention, if you like Style Council you'll probably like Aztec Camera.
posted by humboldt32 at 12:12 PM on September 7, 2013

Owen is the solo project of Mike Kinsella, the lead dude from American Football.

And in general I'd recommend any of the associated acts — Cap'n Jazz and Owls especially.
posted by wemayfreeze at 12:29 PM on September 7, 2013

Further to Mothlight's comment, latter-day Flaming Lips seem like a potential fit. Their albums from 2002 (Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots) through this year (The Terror) are on kind of a sliding scale of emotion, starting out poppy and happy and weird on Yoshimi and ending up frigid, futuristic, and bleak on The Terror.

Combining strong vocalists and melancholy, you can't go wrong with the most recent Beth Orton album, Sugaring Season.
posted by sinfony at 12:47 PM on September 7, 2013

Okkervil River?
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 5:47 PM on September 7, 2013

Response by poster: Good god, thanks MeFites for the veritable ton of music to go through. I'll work through it over the coming times and maybe drop you a MeMail if you have blown my mind.

Keep the recommendations coming though!
posted by Quilford at 9:37 PM on September 7, 2013

I cannot believe no one has suggested Sigur Rós yet. Takk is probably (still) my favourite for that particular combination of beauty and melancholy that just makes you feel like something in your heart might break, or burst, or maybe grow wings and fly off.

Art of Fighting are really good too. I think this was the song that got me hooked on them.

And try The Weepies. They're not always melancholy and sometimes they're a bit too sweet, but overall I think they're really good.

I could keep going, and may add some more if I get any major inspirations, but that should get you started.
posted by Athanassiel at 2:40 AM on September 8, 2013

Whoops, forgot to address the Avalanches (yes, they are truly awesome) sound-alikes - and thanks for the enthusiastic recommendation of the Go! Team, I think I'm going to have to get into them! Anyway, try Gerling (skip past the non-Gerling ones in that playlist). I like their earlier stuff better than their later stuff, but they have truly insane amounts of energy and a sort of laid-back yet incredibly enthusiastic sound that somehow reminds me of the Go! Team and the Avalanches both.

Also try Spiderbait... I lost track of them so haven't kept up with their more recent stuff, but "Stevie", "Glockenpop" and "Fucken Awesome" are... well, awesome. Oh, and their version of "Black Betty" is pretty good too.

Ok. Stopping now. Really.
posted by Athanassiel at 3:04 AM on September 8, 2013

« Older I love Japanese movies - but how???   |   iOS Fashion and Beauty Apps for the Woman Who Has... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.