It’s been a month since I did one of these, but I somehow found the time to listen to all 15 songs that were part of this week’s playlist full of indie rock and college radio clickbait. 15 songs across 52 minutes of music. I probably could have done something more productive with that time like polish up some research papers. Ah well. Here are the five best KTRM new adds from the week of Nov. 11, plus a bonus song!
It would be wrong of me not to at least mention this one. It’s Jack Black, Kyle Gass and a handful of guests absolutely chewing their teeth into this camp classic, all while tastefully repurposing the song as a pseudo-voting PSA. Props to Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg for showing up in the video.
Kicking off the top five is “I Know Where I’m Going” by Sagittaire. Right away, I feel the need to comment on how different this song’s sound is in comparison to nearly every other song on this list. Instead of being grounded in rock, this tune seems to be rooted in jazz pop. Okay, maybe more like pop-jazz, but we can discuss the semantics later. “I Know Where I’m Going” is driven primarily by accented grand piano chords and a wickedly syncopated drum beat with the guitar work largely being pushed to the background. Rock enthusiasts might be disappointed by this, but to them I say, have an open mind.
Boy is this one intoxicating. Emily Cross’s vocals are sultry in all the best ways, the musical backdrop is rich and there’s a dark, creeping feeling that builds as the piece goes on. This creeping feeling comes to a head about halfway through the piece with a truly out of this world avant-garde instrumental breakdown that becomes more and more dissonant as the song draws to a close. The cacophonous ending might not be for everyone, but the inner music critic in me is all for it. Fans of weird, psychedelic soundscapes should definitely check this one out.
I was going to comment on this having a retro sound akin to Dires Straits’ 1980 album “Making Movies,” but then I did a quick Google search and found that “Buy Me a Million Dollars” was released in 1981. Boy does that explain a lot. In spite of this being unfit to be considered a ‘true’ new add, I do have to acknowledge that this is a fun piece of music. For two minutes and 19 seconds, Love Tractor milks every ounce of ice cold coolness out of this intricate rockabilly instrumental. If the song were any longer, we’d probably be calling it jazz fusion, and that’s not a complaint. It’s a dynamic enough piece that I would gladly sit through for another five minutes.
Every time I hear this, I picture myself lying on a beach as the sun goes down. It’s a late summer song that came out too late, but I won’t hold that against Franks. Not when you have a song this calming. The mix of organ, bluesy guitar and brass give this such a warm, comforting sound that I could honestly fall asleep while listening to the song. Let it be clear, that’s a compliment. Let it also be clear that this is probably the only time I’ll ever compliment a song for putting me to sleep.
Claiming the number one spot is “Why’d Ya Do It” by Sierra Ferrell. Very much inspired by Eastern European folk music, this might not be the hippest thing around, but I quite like it. From the dynamic percussion rhythms to the subtle theremin in the background to the psychedelic guitar work, this song has a truly unique soundscape. It’s like a melting pot of sonic textures. Add to this the use of violin and accordion as the main instruments, and you have an absolute winner in my book.