[Photo Credit: Mark Brown]
It happens all the time - you hear a song by a new band on the radio or on your Spotify Discover Weekly, you do some digging on said band, and find out nearly all their other songs are more impressive than their most popular one. By then, it already feels like you're falling behind on the trend and have some serious catching up to do.
I'm as much a victim of this as anyone else, which is why I love to spend an absurd amount of time delving into a discography's darkest secrets. Here are some of the most under-appreciated tracks to come from some of today's over-appreciated artists.
1. "Do Me A Favour" - Arctic Monkeys
Every time Arctic Monkeys release a new album, they reinvent their sound. Though their most recent, leather-clad era was a mainstream favorite, nothing compares to the Favourite Worst Nightmare
years. The record sounds louder, faster, and better with every listen. I think we can all agree that Arctic Monkeys would be doing us all a favor by putting out new music soon (pun very much intended).
2. "Pressure" - The 1975
Before they were thinking pink, The 1975 were decidedly black and white - in appearance and in sound. You can list off their most popular tracks without even trying: "Chocolate," "Sex," "Love Me," "A Change of Heart," "Robbers," etc. There's something about "Pressure" that sneaks up on you. Not only does it make expert use of the saxophone, but it also has one of the band's greatest choruses.
3. "Ribs" - Lorde
Every song Lorde has written is a certified bop, but I don't know why "Ribs" never got the popularity it deserves. This song is definitely a Pure Heroine
highlight - as dark and brooding as the rest of the album, with a hint of the vibrant realism of the Melodrama
era. Not to be dramatic, but the outro is one of the best things to ever happen in pop music.
4. "All My Heroes" - Bleachers
This Gone Now
track moves Bleachers in a totally different direction. Jack Antonoff's project is best known for loud, 80s style alt-pop anthems like "I Wanna Get Better" and "Don't Take the Money." "All My Heroes" shows a much more somber side to the band than we typically hear, but I think the risk definitely paid off.
5. "Paralysis" - Young the Giant
Young the Giant is constantly evolving. Their first album was a textbook attempt at acoustic indie-rock, with timeless hits like "My Body" and "Strings." LP2 was a little more amplified, and their most recent work was the perfect balance of both. "Paralysis" is one of those songs you're constantly rediscovering at all the right times, and it sounds even better when performed in the middle of Joshua Tree National Park.
6. "Oil On Water" - Bastille
If I never hear the distant chanting of "Pompeii" ever again, I can die happy. Bastille made a slightly one-dimensional debut back in 2013, but returned almost an entirely new band on their brilliant sophomore record, Wild World
. The album - especially "Oil On Water" - is somehow dark and joyous at the same time, a picturesque outline of the dystopian side of our reality.
7. "High Enough to Carry You Over" - Chvrches
These Scottish alt-pop sweethearts won us all over with the soaring chorus of "The Mother We Share." While their debut record still feels revolutionary, 2015's Every Open Eye
showed an incredible amount of growth in the Chvrches sound. "High Enough to Carry You Over" features surprisingly good lead vocals from the band's keyboard aficionado, Martin Doherty.
8. "Tides" - The xx
Sometimes it gets exhausting to listen to this band's dreamy down-tempo discography, and this is coming from someone who loves The xx. "Tides" is lyrically as sad as any one of the band's other songs, but it's still funky enough to make you want to dance. Coexist
is filled with some of The xx's best work, but this song is unfairly under appreciated.
9. "Breathe Me" - Sia
I definitely can't claim to be the world's biggest Sia fan, but this song breaks my heart every time I hear it. Before she was all about the over-produced pop anthem, Sia blended symphonic instrumentals with singer-songwriter sensibilities. "Breathe Me" is already over a decade old, but it withstands the test of time.
10 "Beth/Rest" - Bon Iver
Bon Iver has drastically renovated their sound over the last ten years, leaving behind the gentle whispers and acoustic guitars for brash, electrifying instrumentals. To be honest, I prefer the current Bon Iver, but "Beth/Rest" provides a perfect middle ground. This song makes me want to stargaze on a cabin porch, curled up with a cup of tea and my coziest blanket.
11. "Sedated" - Hozier
It's hard to believe it's already been three years since Hozier's "Take Me to Church" was blasting from every stereo within a 50 mile radius at any given time. As tired as that song is now, the Irish singer-songwriter still has the voice of an angel and a way of making the painful sound poetic. "Sedated" might be one of his best songs, but sadly it will always stay in the shadow of Hozier's mega-hits.
12. "Feathery (Slow Version)" - Milky Chance
There's really no easy way to describe Milky Chance. The German duo brings equal parts electronica, folk, and indie rock to the table, and somehow it completely works. You've probably heard "Stolen Dance" a million times, and should be spinning their latest record Blossom
on repeat. Once you give it some attention, this Sadnecessary
slow burner is unforgettable.