What Quark Is Listening To In…May 2014

Eurovision may be impending, but so (thank goodness) is summer.

Whilst the array of delights to be foisted upon us this weekend is by no means musically satisfying, we hope our selection of music pieces below might make that up. Spanning several genres and literally centuries, each of our contributors have selected their favourite item of the moment to share with you.

If you wish to delight your ears with this menagerie of songs without pausing, take a gander at our Spotify playlist.

The links to the YouTube videos are also provided below. Enjoy 🙂

Quark May 2014 purple

You Me At SixOlivia’s pick – “Always Attract” by You Me At Six

This poetic departure from the band’s usual genre has a nice, relaxing and quasi-melancholic melody line. Although the slightly forceful female vocal line harks back to their previous rock songs, it is markedly and comfortingly stable in rhythm.

Juliet’s pick –  “Wedding Day At Troldhaugen” by Edvard GriegDa Griegsta.

Beating horse hooves, elegant trilled flurries of pomp and circumstance, intertwining chorded manifestations of nerves…this Norwegian nuptial work includes pretty much every element of marriage encased within Grieg’s mountains and without. I recently had the (albeit terrifying) joy of playing at a wedding – this piece was my first choice and would remain so if my repertoire were to be full of all classics. Usually to be heard during the signing of the register, for me it is not merely a celebration of union between people, but also between folk melody and romantic drama. Listen out especially for the echoing of the initial melody subsequent to the torrid staggered left-hand chord/right-hand run section.

Pareesa’s pick – “Water Fountain” by tUnE-yArDs

Tune-YardsAs a break from looping St. Vincent’s stunning self-titled album, I’ve been listening to the lead single from tUnE-yArDs’ third album, Nikki Nack. The Caribbean-infused beats and syncopated rhythms, rattling percussion, simple bass riff, with a layer of compressed electronic sounds, all ricochet and bounce off each other to create an oddly enticing and infectiously catchy indie-pop record. When Merrill Garbus’s vocals and the electronic elements crescendo around the second minute, it becomes perhaps a bit tenser in comparison to the laid-back feel of the rest of the song, but the whoops and cheers keep the atmosphere informal and playful.

Daniz’s pick – “Haven’t Met You Yet” by Michael BublĂ©Michael BublĂ©

This is probably the jazziest and classiest from the figurehead of modern jazz and class. With a music video featuring his now-wife in a chance meeting whilst on a shopping trip, the lyrics have an actual emotional connection and the feelings are hence more tangible to the listener. More than anything, it’s a pleasant and easy listen.

 Tanvi’s pick – “Bang Bang” by will.i.am

will.i.amThis song is about knowing what to do when life hits you hard, when you feel like you’ve been shot. Fall to the ground, and during your fall think about your life. Think about what you want to do in the future, think about who your real friends are. Just think. And when you’ve thought enough, it’s time to get up. Because you cannot let someone else kill you, it’s up to you to decide your real death. Prove them wrong. Get up, fight, and live.

Why yes...that isn't the original title...Nayana’s pick –“Cooking On Fire” by Kings of Leon

A classic rock single that screams at you to sing along. The insanely catchy guitar riff means you won’t be able to get the song out of your head – a timeless masterpiece.

Christine’s pick –“Brother” by Lord Huron

Lord HuronSince Duke of Edinburgh is not yet a distant memory, this song is included due to its suitability for getting the listener up a hill when one has it in one’s head. Not just a literal hill (and there are plenty of those on Gold, warning you now), but a metaphorical hill…ok enough of the clichĂ©s (nearly). It’s calming, yet progressive, and makes for a good listen when one wants to reflect on the journey of life.

Eve’s pick – “I Will Follow You Into The Dark” by Death Cab For Cutie

In true DCFC fashion, it’s a morbid, dark song about the end of a couple’s lives (well it was either going to be deathMope mope, feeling miserable and/or stalking). But Ben Gibbard’s soft vocals, the warmth of the acoustic guitar and the major resolution prevent it from veering into depressing-for-the-sake-of-depressing territory. Instead, the tone is soothing and comforting, complementing its theme – that death is nothing to be afraid of with a partner to accompany you. The arresting imagery also makes it more nuanced than simply a song about death.

HaimGrace’s pick – Don’t Save Me” by Haim

The musicianship of Californian power-pop sisters Haim is brilliant. The different elements also blend well together, thanks to the crisp production. It’s a much-needed ’80s revival — an if-you-want-to-do-this-then-do-it, but if-not-don’t-bother type of song with epic riffs and drum beats. Definitely not “mainstream” but a sort of homage to the greats of the forgotten, by many young people, rock era. It’s like a Rock Renaissance.

Unfortunately, one of our contributors doesn’t like music, so we’ve replaced her with James Blunt. You're beautifuuuul~“Postcards”, his new single released on 19th May, features a ukulele-splattered BMW advertisement with a snappy switch to “You’re Beautiful” upon the advent of Miss Venezuela. Check the title again. We promise this isn’t Eurovision. There isn’t a repulsively crude key change, for one thing, and actually this newest offering is quite catchy, especially the higher-pitched second half of the chorus. The motif of someone writing their love (quite literally spelt out for us) for all the world to see could be touching if we, the social media generation, weren’t haunted by the spectre of the couple exchanges on Facebook. Ah well. Listen at your peril, because the chorus may resonate in your ears for weeks to come.

 Commentary by Pareesa Tai, Juliet Armstrong, Tanvi Acharya, Nayana Punnoose and Grace Brown.


One thought on “What Quark Is Listening To In…May 2014

  1. Pingback: Quark | What Quark Is Listening To In…September 2014

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