There’s something about the engaging vocals and sublimely arranged rhythms of Panic! At the Disco that gives me a perma-smile.
Hello, my brave new music adventurers! I have combed the stacks this week and these are the best five songs I have found for your listening pleasure. Enjoy!
Bleached: Wasted on You | Hailing from L.A., Bleached is primarily a rock ’n’ roll girl group. I adore girl groups, and Bleached is giving me everything I love: edgy vocals, catchy rhythms, and, most of all, that punk-rock spirit. They are in the same vein as the Runaways, Joan Jett, and Blondie. Another track from their album—Welcome the Worms—called “Sour Candy” was equally impressive, but “Wasted on You” edged it out due to its positive vibe and fun attitude.
Shonen Knife: Imi (Emoji) | Another girl group! My love for Shonen Knife goes all the way back to 1983, when I first heard “Twist Barbie.” I knew back then these girls were different; punk-rock Japanese girls have that effect on me. While the lineup may have changed over the years, founding member Naoko Yamano has made sure the group never lost its edge. Channeling their inner Motörhead, Shonen Knife serves up another rocker that will be sure to make you pump your angst-filled fist in the air. Long life the Knife!
The Summer Set: The Night Is Young | The Summer Set is a cute band that plays cute music. The vocals on this track are light and refreshing, and the chorus is catchy and super positive. This is one of those songs I need in my day to get me out of my cynical disposition. It’s OK to feel happy, and this song just takes me to my happy place. Plus, any band that plays a Bernie rally is fine by me.
Panic! At the Disco: Victorious | There’s something about the engaging vocals and sublimely arranged rhythms of Panic! At the Disco that gives me a perma-smile. This song has enough musically sharp edges to keep me intrigued, as well as an overabundance of groovy disco rhythms that make me want to boogie on roller skates. I would so rock out to this song on roller skates.
Birdy: Wild Horses | The deep, soulful vocals by this 19-year old from Hampshire, U.K., are simply outstanding. How is this the first time I have heard of this talented singer? She seems to be well known all over the world, but has barely even cracked U.S. charts with her last two albums. The talent is undeniable, the emotions are on point, and she gives me all the happy feels. Well, here you go, America: Meet Birdy and fall in love with her just like I did.
If you want to hear these songs—and others by these bands, as well as those from previous columns—check out my Five for Friday playlist on Spotify. It will become your new radio station. Enjoy! | Jim Ryan