Pop music with a brass section?
February 22, 2017 7:56 AM   Subscribe

Help me find pop music with a brass section

I'm looking for new-ish, non-orchestral music that features a brass section. Preferably upbeat, but I'm open to most anything. Nothing in this question really resonated, so I guess another qualifier would be "not dance music or ska-punk".

I will intentionally leave this vague because I'm looking for a wide variety of things that might qualify, but I can tell you the music that has recently scratched this itch:

Woodkid, The Golden Age
Modest Mouse, especially We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank
Broken Social Scene, It's All Gonna Break
Metallica, S&M
posted by Mayor West to Media & Arts (34 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
 
Several of Matchbox Twenty's albums have a lot of well-arranged brass and strings. Mad Season and More Than You Think You Are in particular.
posted by tybstar at 8:00 AM on February 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


A lot of songs from The Heavy feature brass. The songs Big Bad Wolf, Sixteen, and Since You Been Gone are the ones that immediately come to mind.
posted by Swiss Meringue Buttercream at 8:01 AM on February 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


There's a lot of music out there recently influenced by Afrobeat in general and Fela Kuti in general. He had a very distinct brass section sound that has infiltrated a lot of other bands.

TV On the Radio had some brass on their albums Return to Cookie Mountain and Dear Science.

The band Antibalas (sometimes called Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra) is a purposeful throwback to the Fela Kuti sound. They played the music for the Broadway musical Fela! and also provided the horns for TVOTR.

Sinkane's last couple of albums feature an interesting mix of pop influenced by Afrobeat and smooth country with some tasteful horns.

St. Vincent and David Byrne did an album together a couple of years ago called Love This Giant that started as songs arranged for just brass and vocals. It's weird but very brass-heavy.

Finally Chance the Rapper featured on an album called Surf in 2015 credited to Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment. There's brass (trumpet specifically, but not only trumpet) in every track. Sound-wise, it's a good mix of hip hop, R&B/soul and Gospel.
posted by sleeping bear at 8:09 AM on February 22, 2017 [6 favorites]


Not sure how you define "new-ish" but pretty much anything by the band Chicago will have a lot of brass.
posted by FencingGal at 8:21 AM on February 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


Don't know if it qualifies as a brass section, but Beirut has lots of trumpet/flugelhorn/trombone, etc.
posted by not.so.hip at 8:49 AM on February 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


This one came to mind. Might too much "dance music" though.
Kungs vs Cookin’ on 3 Burners - This Girl
posted by TomFoolery at 8:50 AM on February 22, 2017


Public Enemy, Harder Than You Think.
posted by Jabberwocky at 8:50 AM on February 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


How about Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas?

And not really new-ish, but Cake.
posted by doctord at 8:52 AM on February 22, 2017


Again not all that new, but what about Blood Sweat & Tears?
posted by Logophiliac at 8:56 AM on February 22, 2017 [1 favorite]




I mean, it's not to everyone's taste (and I'm pretty ambivalent on em these days), but on the last album and recent tours, Dave Matthews Band has pivoted from just-sax to sax-and-trumpet following LeRoi Moore's death.

Also not super recent, but there's occasionally some great wind work on Radiohead albums, e.g.

Bon Iver does some really cool stuff with the help of Colin Stetson. Their ACL performance is a great example.
posted by supercres at 9:05 AM on February 22, 2017


This is not new, but may fit the bill. If you like it, you should check out Chicago's first 2 or 3 albums.
posted by tomjoadsghost at 9:08 AM on February 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


German progressive metallers Dark Suns weave trumpet and saxophone into their sound. See their latest album Everchild (2016), which kinda reminds me of early Hunters and Collectors in places.

Denver-based black metal/progressive rock/whatever band Dreadnought feature a "saxcussionist," i.e. a drummer who whips out a saxophone and plays that during odd moments. Really, really interesting stuff.
posted by Sonny Jim at 9:08 AM on February 22, 2017


Macklemore's Can't Hold Us [link to it in this awesome A:TLA video], has a short brass section
posted by Mchelly at 9:12 AM on February 22, 2017


The bands below include brass sections in their personnel. I've linked their biggest hits so you can hear them in your head first to know if you're interested in listening to deeper tracks.

Phenix Horns - best known for collaborating with Earth Wind and Fire (e.g., September), but also quite a few Phil Collins songs before being replaced by the Vine Street Horns

Chicago - Make Me Smile

Blood Sweat and Tears - Spinning Wheel

Tower of Power - So Very Hard to Go

The bands below include brass players in their personnel. Again, I've linked their biggest hits so you can hear them in your head first to know if you're interested in listening to deeper tracks.

Of Monsters and Men - Little Talks

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros Home

Chumbawumba - Tubthumping

Neutral Milk Hotel In the Aeroplane Over the Sea (IMHO the horn player isn't very good)
posted by carmicha at 9:29 AM on February 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


The horn section in Janelle Monae's Tightrope makes the song, and in fact the video.
posted by greenish at 9:37 AM on February 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


Belle & Sebastian, Dog on Wheels
posted by gyusan at 9:56 AM on February 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


Soop Groove #1 by Stereolab?
posted by rd45 at 9:59 AM on February 22, 2017


Both Belle & Sebastian and Camera Obscura use horns a lot. A couple of my horn-heavy favourites are B&S's I Love My Car (I love the clarinet in it) and Camera Obscura's Honey in the Sun.
posted by urbanlenny at 10:07 AM on February 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


Delbert McClinton used a band with heavy brass section on his Live From Austin album. (Note: on YouTube, I pulled up a listing for Live From Austin, but when I picked a title, I got a different version.) This version has one trumpet. He's inconsistent.
posted by SemiSalt at 10:35 AM on February 22, 2017


Check out St Paul & The Broken Bones.

Call Me
All I Ever Wonder
posted by kimdog at 11:06 AM on February 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


Maybe not so new, not so pop, but David Byrne's Music for the Knee Plays?
posted by a person of few words at 11:27 AM on February 22, 2017


Maybe Shake that Brass by Amber from f(x) qualifies?
posted by Hermione Granger at 12:38 PM on February 22, 2017


You should all feel shame that this question has been up for five hours and no one has suggested Brasstrounaut yet. They are the ultimate answer to this question.
posted by Keith Talent at 1:01 PM on February 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


Oingo Boingo has a brass section.
posted by ApathyGirl at 1:10 PM on February 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


San Fermin (trumpet)
Júníus Meyvant (trumpet, trombone)
posted by noneuclidean at 1:37 PM on February 22, 2017


John Cale Dead or Alive
posted by Mr. Yuck at 2:29 PM on February 22, 2017


Hot 8 Brass Band?
posted by obiwanwasabi at 2:35 PM on February 22, 2017


One of my favorite bands is the Squirrel Nut Zippers - they have a heavy brass presence. Here's The Suits are Picking Up the Bill, Hell, Put a Lid On It, The Ghost of Stephen Foster, and Got My Own Thing Now.
posted by bendy at 4:14 PM on February 22, 2017


Matthew Sweet - In Reverse This entire album is a chamber pop song suite with lots of horn use.

The music of Beirut - Brass used liberally throughout

A lot of Mark Ronson's solo work has fun horn sections, my favorite is probably this cover of the Zutons' Valerie that he did with Amy Winehouse.

Beyoncé - Daddy Lessons (I can't find a good way to view this online without paying or at least logging into some service)

Moon Hooch - Kind of a unique "completely trashed saxophones" sound.
posted by strangecargo at 6:18 PM on February 22, 2017


The Underdog - Spoon
posted by BusyBusyBusy at 12:18 AM on February 23, 2017


Bjork's It's oh so Quiet
posted by Dressed to Kill at 5:04 AM on February 23, 2017


Not sure this fits the bill (too old? too ska-punk? brass doesn't come in til the end?)... The Kinks - Come dancing

Maybe a place to start?
posted by Hal Mumkin at 5:43 AM on February 23, 2017


Really shocked that no one has mentioned Sufjan Stevens. I consider his music the kind of thing most people will like. Especially try out Come on Feel the Illinoise (the whole album, not just the song).
posted by shesbenevolent at 8:25 AM on February 23, 2017 [1 favorite]


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