November 19th, 2019

Anya final stand, S7

this is a music post

1. Billie Eilish released a new single, everything i wanted, and I promptly listened to it about ten times in a row. I love the production on it, which is quite different from pretty much anything on When We All Fall Asleep Where Do We Go but still leaves plenty of space for her voice, and the lyrics are both intriguingly ambiguous ("I had a dream I got everything I wanted / But when I woke up I saw you with me") and straight-up heartbreaking ("Everybody wants something from me / And I don't wanna let 'em down").

2. I went browsing for alt-rock group suggestions in twitter replies, maybe the most ridiculous method imaginable, and ended up discovering Foals, specifically their most recent album Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost, Part 2. (Part 1 was released earlier this year.) I feel like if you want something like Coldplay, except different, this might be a good group for you? I realize that's not going to be very persuasive to some people, but I still have very fond memories of early Coldplay, and anyway the comparison makes sense, since Foals comes from the same era, I think. Anyway, I've found myself going back to that album several times now. I particularly The Runner, Into the Surf, and the 10-minute ebb-and-flow of Neptune. Eventually I'll get around to checking out Part 1!

3. I'm still going through Todd in the Shadows's ten years worth of videos. I really appreciate all the context Todd gives to the songs, in terms of what else was happening musically at the time the song or record came out, and also what prior the history of the artists were. It's a lot easier to appreciate some of this stuff if I know what I'm listening for, and I've accidentally been filling in a bunch of holes in my pop music knowledge. For example, I missed the 90s entirely (I was listening to oldies radio and Yanni), so I just learned that Oasis is from the 90s, when I thought they were two decades earlier; ditto Wonderwall, which I didn't even know the artist for and wouldn't have recognized if I heard it. I'm honestly shocked the meme is that recent. And today I heard my first Hootie and the Blowfish, which I... knew was a band? I had no idea they sounded so country, that their lead singer was African-American, or that they only had one hit album.

I feel like this scattershot survey of 90s pop and rock has given me a lot of helpful context for late 90s contemporary Christian music. There were a lot of bands that probably sounded exactly like some mainstream band, but came across as unique and honestly kind of weird on Christian radio, like Smalltown Poets and Scarecrow and Tinmen. (And listening again, I think S&T in particular might have aged fairly well, which is definitely not true of most contemporary Christian music I listened to in my youth.)

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comments welcome over there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)