The Songs No iPod Should Be Without


Okay, so here they are: five…count ‘em five new songs. No, not new because they’re new to my list. New as in they’re recent. I know I’ve been writing about many not so recently released songs and it’s not because the new songs aren’t great. There are many fantastic new songs. The next five songs are utterly fantastic, new and are required to be on your iPod or mp3 player.

96. Everybody Talks – Neon Trees
Why? Because it’s so good. Why else? The song belongs on your playlist because of the “It started with a whisper…” opening; the infectious melody; sing-a-long chorus and bubbling, intense energy. Because it is the perfect follow-up to their breakthrough single “Animal” which should also be on your iPod. With lyrics like these, how could it miss?

Hey baby won’t you look my way
I can be your new addiction
Hey baby what you gotta say?
All you’re giving me is fiction

I’m a sorry sucker and this happens all the time
I found out that everybody talks
Everybody talks, everybody talks

It started with a whisper
And that was when I kissed her
And then she made my lips hurt
I could hear the chitchat
Take me to your love shack
Mamas always gotta backtrack
When everybody talks back

Hey honey you could be my drug
You could be my new prescription
Too much could be an overdose
All this trash talk makes me itchy

Recommended versions can be found on: Picture Show (Island/Mercury, 2012). You can find the video on You Tube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5G9tIe84lE

97. Midnight City – M83
It’s dreamlike. It has an amazing synthesizer loop and swirling rhythms. Because it has a great retro ‘80s feel—and in this case, that’s a good thing. Other reasons it’s should be on your iPod: the French TF1 Network used the song as the closing theme after the UEFA Euro 2012 football (soccer) matches; the song was used in Great Britain as the theme to Made in Chelsea, a reality TV show and it also received tons of plays during the BBC’s coverage of the 2012 London Olympic Games. Lastly, it has a really cool must-see video.

Recommended versions can be found on: Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming (Mute, 2011). The video can be found at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9aZFcosBTaQ

98. We Come Running – Youngblood Hawke
Why should it be on your iPod? Because it’s a fantastic debut track. The band doesn’t even have a debut CD…just an EP and they’re getting tons of alternative rock radio airplay. Because somehow “We Come Running” (upon its release) managed to score the title as the most requested song on Los Angeles’ KROQ radio. Because it’s danceable and inspirational and t has great lyrics:

Headed for the open door
Tell me what you’re waiting for
Look across the great divide
Soon they’re gunna hear
The sound, the sound, the sound
When we come running
Never go where we belong
Echoes in the dead of dawn
Soon they’re gunna know
The sound, the sound, the sound
When we come running

Because the song is named after a 1961 Herman Wouk novel based on the life of Thomas Wolfe – so the band members are literate and erudite. But most of all, because it’s an incredibly catchy song. If you haven’t heard it yet, one listen and you’ll be hooked.

Recommended versions can be found on: Youngblood Hawke EP (Universal Republic, 2012).

99. MoneyGrabber – Fitz an the Tantrums
Because it’s energetic, it makes you smile and want to dance. The song needs to be on your iPod because (along with “L.O.V.” from their debut full length CD) it is a perfect hybrid of modern soul/funk, with a heavy dose of indie rock and old-school new wave. It’s here because the lyrics are so sarcastic yet they’re kind of cool. Check ‘em out:

Don’t come back anytime
I’ve already had your kind
This is your pay back
Don’t come back anytime
You’ve already robbed me blind
This is your pay back

And lastly because Fitz & The Tantrums is quite possibly the most ingenious and inventive name for a band ever conceived.

Recommended versions can be found on: Fitz & The Tantrums (Dangerbird Records, 2010). The video can be found on You Tube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3WRXYYBwRA

100. Waiting For The World To Change – John Mayer
Okay, it’s not brand new, but it is recent. And it’s a great song. The song won the Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance at the 49th Grammy Awards, but that’s not why it’s here. It’s here because it’s bluesy, folksy, poppy, funky with a touch of R&B and acoustic Rock ‘n’ Roll all at once. It’s the perfect hybrid song. It political but it doesn’t beat you over the head. It’s anti-war and it calls for change, but it doesn’t demand it. Women like it because it’s got a certain sensitivity to it. It’s an anthem but not in an in-your-face manner. Guys like it because it’s a great song and Mayer can just play. I like it because it’s damn good.

Me and all my friends
We’re all misunderstood
They say we stand for nothing and
There’s no way we ever could
Now we see everything that’s going wrong
With the world and those who lead it
We just feel like we don’t have the means
To rise above and beat it

So we keep waiting
Waiting on the world to change
We keep on waiting
Waiting on the world to change
It’s hard to beat the system
When we’re standing at a distance
So we keep waiting
Waiting on the world to change

Now if we had the power
To bring our neighbors home from war
They would have never missed a Christmas
No more ribbons on their door
And when you trust your television
What you get is what you got
Cause when they own the information, oh
They can bend it all they want

That’s why we’re waiting (waiting)
Waiting on the world to change
We keep on waiting (waiting)
Waiting on the world to change
It’s not that we don’t care,
We just know that the fight ain’t fair
So we keep on waiting (waiting)
Waiting on the world to change

Recommended versions can be found on: Continuum (Aware/Columbia, 2006), The Village Sessions EP (Aware/Columbia, 2007) and Where the Light Is: John Mayer Live in Los Angeles (Columbia, 2008)

I’ve written this before an I’m sure that I’ll write it again. I want to hear from you. What songs are your all-time favorites? What songs would you take to a desert island? What are your must-have songs? What are the songs you can’t imagine your iPod not having loaded on it? Send me an e-mail telling me what music you like and why. Those of you who have written to me know that I will respond to your e-mails. I’ll feature your song selection in a future column. If you have an idea for an entire column based on a theme, send your ideas along. E-mail me at: [email protected] Type Can’t Live Without in the Topic. Til Next time!

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