Sometimes we listen to music because we love the artist that made it. And sometimes we just listen to that one track off that one album, and forget the rest. You know what I mean...that one gem that sounds completely different from the rest of the band's stuff that you've just chosen to ignore. On the flip side, sometimes a beloved favorite band releases a track or single that is so wildly out of their genre it honestly feels offensive. Who cares about growth and sound diversification? Keep the same thing comin'! Whether you're a fan of the single or anti-fan of that one track, here's five songs that don't sound anything like the band that wrote them.
1. "Hand it Over" by MGMT
Off their shiny new album Little Dark Age
released just this past Friday, "Hand It Over" is a long, chilled-out track that sounds more like a secret cut from a Grizzly Bear
album than produced by the same band that made "Kids" and "Electric Feel". Voiced over with mellow harmonies and a low, ethereal electronic hook, this song is about as far from Oracular Spectacular
as you could get while still staying in the genre. Don't psych yourself up for this track--it's more of a downer than you'd think MGMT was into.
2. "Love" by blackbear
We all know and love blackbear for his sexy rap, pop, and R&B--usually all three mixed seamlessly into one song. He's been feeding us satisfyingly catchy yet chilled-out tunes since Deadroses
came out in 2015 but this tune is a lil' different. "Love" is an electronic single released just three days ago on February 10th that is purely instrumental (is it still instrumental if they don't use instruments?) and has no rapping or lyrics at all. This is pretty unusual from blackbear, and though the beginning sounds like it could maybe be the intro to a blackbear song, synth heavy with a deep and dirty bass drop, his sexy rapping just never came in. Which is kind of like waiting for the sex scene in an R rated film only to discover it's PG-13 and there is none. Sad.
3. "Kusanagi" by Odesza
This track is not just mellow, not just simple--it's sad. It is a mournful electronic tune. Odesza is not known for this, to say the least, but as the track gathers and builds throughout, eventually leading to a hook dripping with a wide, glittering sound and a recording of children's voices, the tone is heavy, emotional, deep. It's far away from the bright tuned-up sounds of the pop music they've produced that has made them so popular, but in a certain way it's a lot more beautiful too.
4. "16, Maybe Less" by Calexico
This could be considered a little bit of a cheat because Iron & Wine
recorded the vocals for this track, but nevertheless it's definitely a little bit of a break from Calexico's traditional country-heavy indie rock. More thoughtful and melancholy than some of their other music, this song is a favorite of mine. If you ever feel like their tunes all sound the same, pop this one on. It's sure to give you some of that variety you're looking for.
5. "Instant Disassembly" by Parquet Courts
Parquet Courts are garage rock at its finest, but sometimes all that noise gets to you and you just need something to sound not quite so aggressive. Viola: "Instant Disassembly" is a seven-minute long track with a hook that'll never get out of your head and lyrics that are silly at times, serious at others. It pretty much just sounds like the band was getting stoned on their porch one day, wandered into a reasonably engaging conversation and decided to record the whole damn thing. Pretty different from their gritty aggro guitar-and-drums set fans are used to. But not bad, not bad at all.