You got a fast car, but is it fast enough to fly away
February 1, 2007 2:21 AM   Subscribe

SongFilter: Suggest some songs in the vein of Fleetwood Mac's Landslide and Tracy Chapman's Fast Car.

I listen to a pretty wide variety of music, but lately I've really been in the mood for songs like these, and my collection generally tends towards the faster paced songs. To clarify, I'm looking for mellow slowish songs that are more of the thoughtful nature. I'm not looking for wah wah my life sucks, I miss someone, etc, but more just mellow observations on life. Things like 2Pac's Life Goes On could also be appropriate.. the genre doesn't really matter so much as the tone and feel.
posted by devilsbrigade to Media & Arts (28 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Thunder Road ~ Bruce Springsteen
posted by amyms at 2:26 AM on February 1, 2007

P.S. Listen to Thunder Road here.
posted by amyms at 2:29 AM on February 1, 2007

Guy Clark's version of Townes Van Zandt's "To Live Is to Fly" (a little brighter than the TVZ version, although I love that one too). And I always like to listen to the Velvet Underground's "Black Angel's Death Song" when I'm in need of another way of looking at things. "Fool" by Cat Power, that one kills me. "A Change Is Gonna Come" by Sam Cooke or Otis Redding or Aretha Franklin.
posted by frances1972 at 4:02 AM on February 1, 2007

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posted by pdf74 at 6:52 AM on February 1, 2007

Josh Ritter - most of his songs fit this description.
posted by candyland at 6:56 AM on February 1, 2007

Jill Sobule: "Loveless Motel", "Mexican Wrestler", "Mary Kay", "Jetpack". Etc.
posted by hermitosis at 7:36 AM on February 1, 2007

I found a reason - Cat Power
posted by unreasonable at 8:12 AM on February 1, 2007

A bunch of Shawn Colvin songs fit this bill: from her Cover Girl album, try "Looking for the Heart of a Saturday Night," "Killing the Blues," "Someday," "Twilight," "This Must Be the Place" and "You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go." If you like these, check out her Steady On and Fat City albums, as well.

I think really there are a lot of mellow female artists in this vein to recommend. Lucy Kaplansky, Suzanne Vega, Martha Wainwright, maybe Allison Kraus. I would even suggest some old Bonnie Raitt. I also find lots of Ani DiFranco to be really mellow (e.g., "Your Next Bold Move," "Grey," or "Subdivision" from Revelling/Reckoning, or "Sorry I Am" or "Hour Follows Hour" off of Not a Pretty Girl), but you may not agree if your politics are on the conservative side.

For men, I can't recommend David Grey's White Ladder highly enough (esp. "This Year's Love" and his "Say Hello Wave Goodbye" cover). Another quiet knockout song of his is "Shine," off of Century Ends. I also recommend Rufus Wainwright -- his Want One album is beautifully orchestrated and filled with emotion, but if you are going for low key than I think Poses fits the bill beautifully.

All of these songs or albums are slow, thoughtful, and self-reflecting. I'd give David Gray's "Shine" bonus points for managing to write an honest, non-angry-but-feel-good break-up song.
posted by onlyconnect at 8:32 AM on February 1, 2007

Lots of songs by Joni Mitchell. The one that springs immediately to mind is "River", off the album "Blue".
posted by SomePerlGeek at 8:34 AM on February 1, 2007

"More Adventurous" by Rilo Kiley.

The Mountain Goats have a lot of terrific songs that are contemplative: "Woke Up New," "This Year," "Wild Sage" or "Blueberry Frost" are good starting points.

The Jayhawks: "Blue" is the best one I can think of.

Wilco: Try "Theologians."
posted by jeffmshaw at 8:36 AM on February 1, 2007

By the way, I love Landslide and Fast Car. Silver Springs is another pensive and lovely Mac song featuring spare arrangements and Stevie Nicks's voice.
posted by onlyconnect at 8:40 AM on February 1, 2007

You would probably love Patty Griffin. Check out Living With Ghosts, 1,000 Kisses or The Impossible Dream. All excellent albums.
posted by pazazygeek at 8:48 AM on February 1, 2007

I've been loving Beth Orton's Comfort of Strangers -- really slow and moody but also catchy at the same time. (Though there's something about the engineering on the album that I don't love.)
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 8:53 AM on February 1, 2007

Grab the Lillith Fair compilations (there are two I know of) out of your local public library. There are a few acts on them that meet your criteria.

Lucy Blue Trembly's version of "Ain't Life a Brook?" is amazing. The original by Ferron isn't bad, either.
posted by QIbHom at 8:58 AM on February 1, 2007

Agree with Beth Orton. Also try Nick Drake and Sweet Jane by Cowboy Junkies (cover).
posted by philad at 9:11 AM on February 1, 2007

Just a few more - sorry. "Ghost" by Indigo Girls. "Hallelujah" by Jeff Buckley. "Smoke and Ashes" and "I Am Yours" by Tracy Chapman. KD Lang's album "All You Can Eat" has some mellow vibe-y songs as well.
posted by philad at 9:17 AM on February 1, 2007

My most recent "moody song" playlists have the following:

Cold Wind (Arcade Fire);
Breathe Me (Sia);
Half Acre (Hem);
The Devil Had A Hold Of Me (Gillian Welch);
Fair (Remy Zero);
In The Waiting Line (Zero 7);
Lucky (Radiohead);
Don't Panic (Coldplay);
Quiet Inside (The Jane Doe's);
The Long Road (Eddie Vedder/M Khan/Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan);
The Great Valerio (Richard & Linda Thompson);
Transatlanticism (Death Cab for Cutie);
Promises (Lyle Lovett);
The Ghost of Tom Joad (Bruce Springsteen);
Brothers On a Hotel Bed (Death Cab For Cutie);
A Lack of Color (Death Cab For Cutie);
She Cries Your Name (Beth Orton);
Whiskey Girl (Gillian Welch);
The Poor Boy Is Taken Away (Richard & Linda Thompson);
The Face of Love (Eddie Vedder/Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan);
Pink flamingos (Rickie Lee Jones);
Place to Be (Nick Drake);
Such Great Heights (Iron & Wine);
Naked As We Came (Iron & Wine);
One More Cup Of Coffee (Bob Dylan);
My Morphine (Gillian Welch);
Opium (Marcy Playground);
Altar boy (Rickie Lee Jones);
Beat The Retreat (Richard & Linda Thompson);
Know (Nick Drake);
Dimming Of The Day/Dargai (Richard & Linda Thompson);
Each Coming Night (Iron & Wine);
Oh, Sister (Bob Dylan);
Good Til Now (Gillian Welch);
Pink Moon (Nick Drake); and
Ariel Ramirez (Richard Buckner).

Also, lots of soundtrack albums have moody, atmospheric music. Check out: Garden State; Six Feet Under; True Romance; Dead Man Walking; The Last Kiss; and the songs from Girl in the Cafe.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 9:36 AM on February 1, 2007 [1 favorite]

Bruce Springsteen's "Independence Day" and "Sandy (4th Of July Asbury Park)"
Billy Joe Shaver's "Live Forever"
Big Star's "Thirteen"
Tom Waits "The Heart Of Saturday Night" and "Ol' 55"

All acoustically based (but not 'easy listening' songs with very reflective lyrics.
posted by jonmc at 9:39 AM on February 1, 2007

Seconding ClaudiaCenter: Iron & Wine and HEM both play music of this type. Also, Lyle Lovett's "If I Had a Boat" is amazing. Sample Lyric: "If I had a boat, I'd go out on the ocean, and if I had a pony, I'd ride it on my boat. And we could altogether, go out on the ocean, me upon my pony on my boat."
posted by taliaferro at 10:11 AM on February 1, 2007

Listen to 107.1 out of Austin from this website... They'll play stuff you are looking for.
posted by magikker at 10:20 AM on February 1, 2007

Seconding Nick Drake, Iron & Wine (try also In the Reins, his collaborative EP with Calexico), and Tom Waits in his calmer and more down-hearted moments--"Tom Traubert's Blues," "I Wish I Was in New Orleans," and "Jitterbug Boy," all on Small Change, and "Soldier's Things" from Swordfishtrombones.

And per ClaudiaCenter, Gillian Welch. CC's suggestions are all from Hell Among the Yearlings, which is probably the darkest of her albums. Off of Time (the Revelator), I recommend "The Revelator" and "Everything Is Free;" "Look at Miss Ohio" on Soul Journey; and on Revival, "Annabelle" and "Paper Wings."
posted by hippugeek at 11:29 AM on February 1, 2007

*Bill Fay, although he's more orchestral on his debut, he's a really wonderful (and funny) songwriter.
*I'm seconding Gillian Welch's Time (the Revelator). I've been listening to that a lot lately.
*Anything by Vashti Bunyan
*First album by Bert Jansch
*John Cale's Paris, 1919 perhaps?

There's a few off the top of my head. I hope it helps.
posted by sleepy pete at 12:17 PM on February 1, 2007

A lot of Jane Siberry stuff might fit. I've got the "When I Was a Boy" album which has good stuff like "Temple" and "Sail Across the Water". Everything else is even MORE minimalist.
posted by jlub at 12:41 PM on February 1, 2007


Richard Hawley "Cole's Corner"
Crowded House "Four Seasons in 1 Day"
Peter Gabriel "Here Comes The Flood"
American Music Club "Blue & Grey Shirt"
John Martyn "Bless the Weather"
The Blue Nile "Saturday Night"
Eric Matthews "My Morning Parade"
Sun Kil Moon "Trucker's Atlas"
Beck "Nobody's Fault But My Own" (the non-funky Beck!)
Joni Mitchell "Amelia"
David Gilmour "On an Island"
The Divine Comedy "Lost Property"
Wheat "Body Talk (part 2)"

Happy Trails!
posted by Rufus T. Firefly at 12:47 PM on February 1, 2007

A lot of Peter, Paul & Mary's work would qualify. Some of my favorites that best fit your description: "The House Song" and "The Great Mandella" from Album 1700; "The Unicorn Song" from Reunion (which has never been released on CD, so could be hard to find); the cover of Pete Seeger's "Deportee" on PPM & Lifelines (which also has a version of "The Great Mandella").

Some Eagles tunes would qualify as well: "Desperado" and "Tequila Sunrise" come to mind.

Also seconding the David Gray recommendation.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 1:24 PM on February 1, 2007

Blackalicious - Make You Feel That Way
posted by 31d1 at 3:35 PM on February 1, 2007

The Magnolia soundtrack (Aimee Mann).
posted by B-squared at 3:55 PM on February 1, 2007

Nature and the Wreck - Mates of State.

And some Elliott Smith would work, too.
posted by paleography at 4:47 PM on February 1, 2007

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