Exciting, emotional epics - songs for your life's montage?
October 26, 2015 11:56 PM   Subscribe

I recently completed the videogame Life Is Strange, which I liked very much. The game's conclusion features the song 'Spanish Sahara', by Foals. It's an absolute knockout tune - a sprawling, emotional epic that builds, builds, builds and goes somewhere truly breathtaking without resorting to walls of sound or some kind of 'epic' conclusion. It reminded me of my current favourite song: 'No Reptiles', by Everything Everything, which could be the soundtrack to a montage of a complex life. I'm looking for more songs like these.

The thing I love about these songs is that they contain multitudes - complex lyrics, instrumental lines that tell their own story, layered structures.

I'm looking for similar sprawling, emotional epics - songs that build and rise but end on a complex, ambiguous note. A few other songs that come to mind include Frank Ocean's 'Pyramids' and (to an extent) Radiohead's 'Supercollider'.

Difficulty Level: No post-rock (such as Godspeed You! Black Emperor or Mogwai), or Sigur Ros. I love those bands, but I'm looking for something a tad different here. Any ideas?
posted by beijingbrown to Media & Arts (16 answers total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: PHOX – Raspberry Seed

posted by jeto at 3:03 AM on October 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Rufus Wainwright - Beautiful Child
posted by ladybird at 3:49 AM on October 27, 2015 [2 favorites]

Yes - And You and I
posted by STFUDonnie at 5:59 AM on October 27, 2015

sorry about your pricefeels.

maybe Gosh -- Jamie xx?
posted by vogon_poet at 9:08 AM on October 27, 2015

Best answer: I am not familiar with a lot of the groups you mention so this could be way off, so sorry if I am.

I find Iron by Woodkid hits a lot of the things you were asking for. Layered instruments, the song builds etc.
posted by wwax at 9:12 AM on October 27, 2015

Best answer: I don't know if this fits but Adele's new single is almost overwhelming in its intensity. (Actually a lot of her songs, especially live versions, might scratch the itch.)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:53 AM on October 27, 2015

Maybe History Repeating by Propellerheads? (with Shirley Bassey)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:57 AM on October 27, 2015

Best answer: The Horrors - Sea Within a Sea
Doves - Kingdom of Rust
posted by capricorn at 1:47 PM on October 27, 2015

Best answer: No, wait, wrong Doves song. Kingdom of Rust is good, but Jetstream is the one that will scratch this particular itch.
posted by capricorn at 1:49 PM on October 27, 2015

Rufus Wainwright - Montauk
I think this fits. Otherwise, I recommend digging deep into the annals of prog-rock.
posted by shenkerism at 3:20 PM on October 27, 2015

Best answer: Okkervil River - So Come Back I Am Waiting.
posted by synecdoche at 5:25 PM on October 27, 2015

Best answer: Might not be quite right for you, but Yeasayer - 2080 gives me a similar feeling.

Same with this Radiohead remix.
posted by sonmi at 6:27 PM on October 27, 2015

Sia - Breathe Me
Tori Amos - Flying Dutchman
posted by greenland at 7:25 PM on October 27, 2015

Stars - You're Ex-Lover is Dead
Dixie Chicks - Top of the World
Joy Williams - Until the Levee
posted by SarahElizaP at 8:08 PM on October 27, 2015

Best answer: more Tori Amos, Yes, Anastasia. Check out the album The Great Destroyer by Low? (Maybe check out Low in general.)
posted by pepper bird at 8:24 PM on October 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Still working my way through these but these are all fantastic answers!

That Horrors track and 'Jetstream' is EXACTLY the kind of stuff I was looking for - thanks @capricorn! And@feckless - you're absolutely right about the new Adele single. WOW.

Woodkid, Rufus Wainwright, PHOX, Okkervil River and Yeasayer have also gone instantly into my playlists. Love the Yes and Jamie xx tracks, but I'm not sure if they're exactly what I'm looking for here. The Yes track: I guess I'm looking for prog-rock written by non-prog bands? =)
posted by beijingbrown at 11:11 PM on October 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

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