Category Archives: Music

Monday Morning Tunes: Rilo Kiley

Rilo Kiley
whittlz / Flickr

I have been a huuuge fan of Rilo Kiley since around the time their first album, “Take Offs and Landings” came out in 2001. They released a second album the follow year, “The Execution Of All Things,” that still remains one of my all-time favorites. It played almost nonstop throughout my teenage years, the backdrop of the mental illness that was just beginning to really show.

Between then and 2007, Rilo Kiley released several EPs and four full-length albums in total, though many would like to forget “Under The Blacklight” ever happened, myself included. It was terrible. It was not the band that I discovered and immediately latched onto as if it were a life vest that could help save my teenage self. Instead, it was a group of people wondering if they could throw their already established and unique identity in the trash and start over for a more mainstream audience. (No. No they could not.)

After a several year hiatus, Rilo Kiley officially disbanded in 2011. However, as with every single musical artist ever, they had written and recorded a lot more songs than those that were released to the public, and this past April a compilation of rarities and B-sides entitled “rkives” was released.

I just found “rkives” last week. I am blaming Spotify for this oversight, as they took their good ole’ sweet time alerting me that Rilo Kiley had released anything new despite the fact that I am following them and have all of their albums, even the dreaded and hardly-ever-listened-to “Under the Blacklight” saved as personal playlists. Damn you for keeping this from me, Spotify.

rkives is the (mostly) perfect farewell to a band that I have long been very emotionally invested in. I say mostly because I firmly believe “Dejalo” should have never been released in the first place, and yet on “rkives” it is given an awful remix that I cannot turn off fast enough whenever it rolls back around.

Since I have been listening to this album almost exclusively since I found out it existed, I thought it was only fitting to share some of my favorite tracks from it here.

“Let Me Back In” is an ode to Los Angeles and classic Rilo Kiley. It is sweet, nostalgic, and the essence of what Rilo Kiley has always had to offer.

“Emotional” — oh, this song. The first time I listened to “rkives” I listened to it straight through. I didn’t give individual songs a second listen until I had finished the album and could see how it stood on its own, as a compiled piece of work. I didn’t know that “Emotional” had left such an impression on me until I found myself humming it several hours later. I dub “Emotional” the sneaky earworm.

There’s not a whole lot going on in “It’ll Get You There.” It is merely a song made up of lists, which Jenny Lewis has a habit of doing in her writing. I’m not knocking it. I love this song, regardless of the lack of insight it takes to get the message of this song across loud and clear. No fancy language needed.

All the trips that you take, they will get you there.
All the little white pills you take, they will get you there.
All the compliments that you take, they will get you there.
All the hearts that you break, they will get you there.

Monday Morning Tunes: Soley

cafenun / Flickr

The first time I heard the unique sound of Soley, I was sold. I was completely captivated.

The Icelandic multi-instrumentalist had traveled the entire world and back again as part of the indie act Seabear before recognizing and becoming comfortable with her own vocal abilities and delving into solo work.

In 2011, Soley released the album “We Sink.” I have not been able to get enough of it since I heard it for the first time a couple weeks ago.

Out of the 13 tracks, the song “I’ll Drown” became a quick favorite.

How about a live version?

Monday Morning Tunes: Wild Child

Wild Child
Do512 / Flickr

I have always had a deep, emotional relationship with music. While I was introduced to the music and stories of rock classics as a child, it was during my adolescence and teen years where music became so important to me. Every album I picked up or happened to come across (one of my favorite things to do was go to a music store and pick up an album based solely on its cover art or title) during those years seemed to have something to say to me. Every big event in my life: every growing pain as I grew into the woman version of myself, every big decision I ever made, every relationship I carried on, there are albums forever reminiscent of each of the times in my life when I discovered them for the first time and what was going on around me, or when I needed them and they were there.

I do not merely listen to music. I devour it whole. I feel every syllable being sung and every instrument working with the next to create something that can speak to me so clearly.

I am always looking for new music to listen to, and since I started listening to the vast majority of my music on Spotify so I can listen on my laptop while I work (seriously the best way to listen to music on your gadgets as far as I’m concerned — and I was not paid to say that!) I have been able to constantly fuel my appetite for new, interesting, and exciting sounds.

It has become a habit to share all of the new music I routinely find and wonder how I ever lived without it with a friend of mine who happens to have the same tastes in music as I do (you know, the awesome taste!) Then I thought that if I was constantly bombarding the Facebook walls of my friends, why not share the love here as well?

Which brings me to this: every Monday morning I will be posting some new music I’ve recently discovered and can’t get enough of. Because everyone could use a little more new and exciting in their lives come Monday morning. It may not be new to the world, but it will be to me — and maybe to some of you.

Wild Child is a six-piece full-on orchestral band featuring ukulele, violin, cello, drums, keyboards, as well as a multi-instrumentalist who picks up a few different instruments for specific songs.

Wild Child’s first and only album so far, “Pillow Talk,” was released in 2011, but I didn’t hear it for the first time until just a couple of weeks ago when it popped up in the Spotify Discover feature, a page filled with recommendations based on your past listening choices. I love it.

Their album cover immediately stood out to me. It is unique and comfortable; beautiful and a little silly. And with that, the two people sitting on that red vintage sofa immediately conveyed what I could expect from the 15 songs that made up their first offering.

“Pillow Talk” is Wild Child’s most listened to song, and it immediately became the song I wanted to hear over and over for hours. I listened to it repeatedly, and I swear, it only became even more beautiful and intriguing after each listen.

And what quickly became my favorite song on the album, “Silly Things.” Why? Because they took such a common item, the coffeepot, and effortlessly set up the entire unraveling of a couple around it.

And those harmonies? Amazing.