In retrospect, Twin Shadow/George Lewis Jr. always belonged on a major label, though this wasn’t obvious at the time of his 2010 new-wave-revival debut, Forget. On Forget, retro guitars and a lo-fi drum machine kept Twin Shadow grounded in New Order’s more restrained brand of new wave instead of something flashier. Also like a New Order single, nearly every song on Forget reached for lasting vocal melodies. Songs like “At My Heels” and “Slow” were slick ‘80s style exercises in part, but the striking vocalist and memorable choruses left the lasting impression. Twin Shadow’s next album Confess (2012) honed in on these features and jettisoned potential distractions. While some missed the relative subtlety of Forget, this kind of pop music can benefit from directness. The intoxicating “This isn’t loooooove” on “Run My Heart”, “Five Seconds” with its “can’t get to your heart…”, “Golden Light”: Confess blew relationship feelings into massive proportion. If Forget is the Breakfast Club kids developing meaningful ‘80s connections, Confess is John Cusack in your yard with a boombox.
Proving he’s more than the iconic work he did with The Beatles over forty-five years ago, Paul McCartney has yet again placed himself in the musical spotlight. As many of you are probably well aware, McCartney released several songs recently in collaboration with contemporary pop artists. First was his collaboration with Kanye West on the song “Only One” as previously discussed by WRVU earlier this month. McCartney popped up again with Kanye on Rihanna single “FourFiveSeconds”. Finally, it came out just before the Grammys that McCartney is currently working with Lady Gaga.
If you’re unfamiliar with these recent events, check out the “FourFiveSeconds” video:
Last Thursday, WRVU hosted Kishi Bashi for an in-studio performance ahead of his Cannery Ballroom show that evening. The acclaimed chamber pop solo artist, real name K Ishibashi, played three stripped-down songs from his 2014 album Lighght: “Bittersweet Genesis for Him AND Her”, “Q&A”, and “Philosophize In It! Chemicalize With It!”. You can check out the three-song performance below via RVU Records.
Originally this was going to be titled “12 Non-Cheesy Love Songs” but as I have come to realize, there is no such thing as a completely non-cheesy love song. Here are my picks for the best love songs to listen to this Valentine’s Day.
1. The Moldy Peaches – “Anyone Else But You”
Anyone who is a fan of Juno probably added this to their playlists the second the film ended (I know I did).
2. Ryan Adams – “When the Stars Go Blue”
A lot people may be familiar with Tim McGraw’s recording of this song, but the original Ryan Adams version is a lot more stripped down and romantic.
3. Coldplay – “Yellow”
This may be one of the more cheesy songs on the list, but there’s no denying that it’s beautifully written.
4. Vance Joy – “Georgia”
Not as upbeat as his hit “Riptide,” but definitely more sincere.
5. The Lumineers – “Dead Sea”
Almost any Lumineers song could easily fit on this list, but “Dead Sea” is by far my favorite from their album.