SHM RADIO, EP.1: life that we know is ending

A large amount of those of you who follow SHM’s page on facebook responded well to the idea of a new series delving further into my love (obsession) with music. After doing some thinking, i’ve decided to be quite cheesy with it and dub this (at least)monthly series “SHM RADIO”. Each playlist will have less of a theme and more of an atmosphere- a playlist that sounds best listened to from beginning to end (does anybody, who is also old af like me, remember telling your friends that they had to listen to your mix tape or cd you were gifting them all the way through and not skip a song or else “they just wouldnt get it”? No? Probably just me). I am aware that if you are viewing this on a mobile device and do not have a Spotify subscription it will only play the tracks shuffled. If you listen to it on your desktop that problem is solved.

When I was a kid (8-13) I used to make little mix tapes- the only difference from your regular mix format was that I would record myself introducing the songs like I was a DJ (a profession I thought would be amazing at the time). Making this gave me a little rush of nostalgia.

Unfortunately, the track that I wanted to be the first song on this playlist is unavailable on Spotify. I chose a different song that I like almost as much by the same artist. The song that couldn’t make it on here was CHVRCHES mind-blowing cover of Bauhaus’ “Bela Lugosi’s Dead”. The original is one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite bands; CHVRCHES turns it into a completely different song and makes it their own. This isn’t a half-assed cover by any means (*COUGH*MARILYN MANSON DOING “PERSONAL JESUS”*COUGH*). Do yourself a favor and check it out at your leisure:

FINALLY, on to the actual descriptions. Think of me as your DJ. Your 3am broke-into-a-radio-station-and-took-over-for a-litte-over-an-hour DJ. If there is an official music video for the song I will be embedding that in the description.

 

CHVRCHES
ZVVL

I love CHVRCHES, and that is definitely an understatement. I’m not going to go into why their debut album is far superior to their latest release. That isn’t what this is about; I could go on about it at length, though.

I am not usually a fan of the songs (even though it is only a few) that Martin sings lead vocals on. I adore Lauren’s voice so much that I find his vocals to be jarring . . .and to be brutally honest, he doesn’t have a great voice. “ZVVL” is a total exception. This song has such a dramatic build-up, from near whisper-talking vocals that build to a synth-pounding chorus (with my beloved Lauren singing backup). This song is just pure drama, and unfortunately the garbage show “Lucifer” took notice of this and used it in an episode.

“ZVVL” is from the “Recover” EP, a song from their first (and best) album “The Bones of What You Believe”.

Truth, it’s just as real
As your dream at night
So far away
It’s all around
Forget yourself
Cast a sacred grain
We start today
Open up, give it up, go
WHITE SEA
BLOODMOON

I had a massive internal struggle to not have this playlist be all songs by White Sea. Morgan Kibby (who is White Sea) has fast become one of my favorite artists ever.

While White Sea may not be well known, there’s a strong chance a vast majority of the population has heard a song she co-wrote: M83’s “Midnight City”. Morgan is an incredibly talented vocalist, songwriter, pianist, visual artist, and also I am obviously crushing on her hard. The woman is gorgeous and just magickal (check her Instagram @whiteseamusic)!

The beginning of this song has strong “Stranger Things” theme music vibes. STRONG. The song is moody, beautiful, and showcases Morgan’s wonderful range (not as strongly as in some other tracks, but still. . .that voice!). It also has wonderful dramatic progression (something I am a bit obsessed with in music.) I also read that a few songs she released, including this song and “Ellipses” were inspired by an hypothetical impending apocalypse- which changes how I initially interpreted the lyrics drastically.

For about a year White Sea released songs in a very non-traditional way, I am not eloquent enough to describe this, so in Morgan’s words “…generally being able to create mix and master my solo material within days, has given me a direct freedom to share I have always secretly wanted. In short, this year, if I write something that I like, I’m putting it out! No Eps, no albums… just songs from me to you that I want you to hear.” Recently she released all of these songs on an album called “Tropical Odds”- which at this time is still only available from a French retailer and might be limited edition. My vinyl copy came with a a hand signed postcard from Morgan!

the day you were born there was blood in the water
MEREKI
BLUE LAKE

   This song is Dreampop with more emphasis on the pop part of the subgenre, which is one of my favorites. “Blue Lake” is a bit sugary, but for me it is a perfect pop song. This is my idea of a summer song (I am trying to think of past songs that were referred to as “smash hit summer songs” but I am pretty sure my brain has helped me block the memories of them out).

I have yet to listen to any other tracks by Mereki, in good part because she seems to be a fairly new artist with not a lot of releases- which is also why I am breaking format here and not including a lyric- I could not find a credible lyric sheet online and. . .well, the lyrics to this song are very repetitive and not that great. It’s the ambience and lethargic sensuality the actual music creates that is why I love it.

ARCHIVE
KID CORNER

   I have been using last.fm for over a decade now. If you do not know what it is, basically it tracks every song you listen to as long as you have the appropriate plug-ins for the appropriate apps. I’m still as obsessed with it as I was when I first started using it. One of the best parts of last.fm are the artist recommendations they give you based on your listening habits. Archive was one of my recommedations and I gave their album “Restriction” a full listen on Spotify. “Kid Corner” was the standout track for me. To my surprise, as I thought I was checking out a new band, Archive has been around for over 20 years. Which makes delving into their catalogue further very daunting (I have yet to do so)

“Kid Corner” has a trip-hop mixed with hard-edged electro (bordering on industrial) sound that I absolutely love. The song reminds me of “Mezzanine” era Massive Attack. . .if they had been slamming a lot of speedballs during that time. Or “Get Ready” era New Order. . .on crack.

I did a lot of digging around to try and find out who the vocalist is on this track. She has an amazing voice and is not part of the band’s regular line-up. If anyone knows, please comment. I’d love to hear anything else she has worked on.

Close their eyes
Let them sleep
Better off in their dreams
Living insanity
Land of opportunity
Come into the kid corner
ST. LUCIA
PHYSICAL

A sign of a really great Pop song? I put “Physical” on to listen to while I am writing the description of this song and when the song kicked in I immediatley started sit-down dancing and am still doing so as I type. This song is so catchy that, one time, it was stuck in my head for a solid week. Cooking dinner: singing “Physical”. Taking a shower: singing “Physical”. Bored with what someone is talking to me about: humming “Physical” quietly.

I absolutely love St. Lucia. Their album “When the Night” is incredibly solid and just so fun. While I am not as big of a fan of their latest release, “Matter”, they are just such a solid group. Jean-Philip Grobler’s voice is amazing, the beats are perfect to dance to (I dare you to not dance to at least half that album), and I hold a firm belief that if “Physical” had been a single released in 1986 it would have been a #1 hit. I hear solid Duran Duran influence in the way this song is arranged. It truly sounds like St. Lucia discovered an unreleased mega-hit from the 80’s. . .and if you know me at all, I love 80’s music. I am cheesy as fuck and really do not care if anyone thinks I am lame (about that, at least).

Demolition intuition
I can feel the bridge is giving
Once the secret isn’t secret
Hold me as we fall
Cause I’ll take it from you baby
I don’t want to be alone
We could call it the truth baby
I don’t want to be alone
My body’s yours tonight
I’m carried away into the secrets
Can you see it baby
And I’ll open the gates
It is my repetition disposition
CATHEDRALS
IN THE DARK

One of my dearest friends in the world (who is also my musical taste soul-mate), Ben (click on his name to give a listen to his amazing music, he is a mind-blowing-ly talented singer and pianist) turns me onto good music constantly. & I do the same. It’s part of what keeps our long distance friendship thriving. That being said, sometimes i’m a jerk-friend and forget to listen to his recommendations until a year later. That is what happened with CATHEDRALS, and specifically this song.

“In the Dark” is a song that is hard to draw comparisons to. It has its own style- from a complete structure change during the bridge, to the almost 60’s girl group style of vocals, to the near surf-guitar over thumping bass beats. This song is just amazing. I really do not have a lot of words for how good it is.

I can see you fall apart
You turn away and fade out of sight
But I hear you call in the night
Let it go, let me hold you this time (don’t say a word)
Lying in the hollows of your heart
I see you lying awake in your ride
I’ll be a spark in the sky
When you want it, I’ll be on the other side
IAMX
NO MAKER MADE ME

   I need to start by taking a deep breath before I write anything about IAMX, because I have a tendency to go way overboard. First off, there isn’t a music video for this song- the video above is a live performance of “No Maker Made Me” that took place a few days after I saw them in Portland, OR (BEST. NIGHT. OF. MY. LIFE.)

Have you ever wondered why my online presence is riddled with this {X}, or why I have that tattooed on my inner wrist? IAMX aka Chris Corner is my favorite musician, hands down, no questions, and with no regrets that I have his logo tattooed on me for life. His music has been my solace, my refuge, for so many years. If it were not for Chris Corner’s music, his lyrics, there have been many a night where I might not have pulled through.

“No Maker Made Me” is the first track off of his album “Metanoia”. When I first bought the album (the minute it came out, of course) and put it on, this song gave me goosebumps. It felt like a return to the old IAMX. Dirtier, less heavily-produced, dripping with barely held in venom and not-held-in-it-all sexuality. I screamed the lyrics to this song (well, to all the songs) when I saw him live. It was a cathartic experience to be surrounded by new and old school goths dressed to fucking kill, all with our hands in the air, dancing and singing along. Also. . .that moment when your favorite musician/fantasy husband notices your tattoo, grabs you by the wrist, and pulls himself off the stage and on top of you, stepping on your foot in the process and you become paralyzed because how can this be real life and he shifts into the arms of the baby goth in front of you. . . (BIGGEST. REGRET. OF. MY. LIFE.)

And no maker made me
I will never be hijacked by the fairytale
We can always just fuck away our sorrows
Mouth to mouth we thrive
We’ve got everything we need to survive
SUSANNE SUNDFOR
ACCELERATE

   Susanne is another artist Ben turned me on to (I am serious, check out his music). I knew she had worked with M83 (like my beloved Morgan Kibby/White Sea) so I was really excited to check her out.

This song is near musical perfection, for me. It is goth tinged pop with a full on haunted-house style organ breakdown near the end of the song. Sundfor is an incredibly talented songwriter. Her entire album “Ten Love Songs” is something you should be running to check out after you finish this playlist, of course.

Start the car, don’t look back, accelerate
This must be paradise, ’cause we can fake
It’s too late, it’s too strong
It’s only blood, it’s the siren song
CRYSTAL CASTLES
EMPATHY

A few months ago I asked a friend of mine what in the hell “witch-house” was. The first band they mentioned was Crystal Castles, so I suppose that means I really like Witch-house.

Arguably, “Empathy” is one of CC’s more accesible songs. No screaming, basically, and a bit of an actual melody. However, I do love their songs that are nearly pure noise, as well. I have always been a fan of the noisiest music possible; music that almost sounds like when your computer’s audio starts glitching. . . but you know, with singing.

The final chrysalis
Self-controlled consciousness
Now it feels imminent
Done for your benefit
Eat right out of their hand
Its concaved all your glands
We’re encouraged to forget
Preference to be force fed
WHITE SEA
BLOODLINE

   I have already gone over my all-consuming obsession for White Sea/Morgan Kibby. I really could gush for paragraphs. . . but, dear reader, I will spare you.

“Bloodline”, for me, is a gut-punch in musical form. This song evokes memories of my past, which isn’t a good one. A past, for the most part, that is quite awful and makes me feel a bit of a “monster” when I think about it. . . no matter how much I have changed myself for the better. The chorus makes me cry nearly every time I hear it.

If I was ever to decide to sing in public, do karaoke or some similar silly bullshit (that terrifies me); I would find a way for it to be this song. There is a very small amount of people who know one of my hidden talents. . .I can sing. Quite well. I am, however, so terrified of singing in front of others that many a person has been guilty of abruptly turning the music down in the car when I was singing along so they could catch my voice. You jerks. Why would I pick this song? This song is very personal to me. This song could have been the theme song to my horrible, abusive, dragged-on-for-far-too-long relationship that went on between the ages of 19-28. I feel the best performances come from having an emotional connection to the lyrics. So, if you are one of those few people that really wants me to sing karaoke (for fuck’s sake, STOP. Painfully shy over here, remember?), find a way for this song to be on the list of choices and I’ll do it. Well, there’d just be a greater chance I would do it. I’m not making any promises.

This will be the only song on this list that will contain the full lyrics, because of how connected I feel to them:

falling dominos
add ’em up i’m counting bodies
naked in my bones
never wanted to hurt nobody
i know the monster
it’s in my bloodline
it’s a sensation, i can’t fight it
it’s getting harder, maybe not this time
its a fixation, i can’t fight it
if you don’t leave me now
there will be no doubt
the sins that you will count
i try to scream and shout
i can’t save you now
too late to burn it down
a love will love again
a love will love again
and when my love loves again, i follow

life long criminal, lock me down, I can’t myself
i’m never political, let me drown
there’s always someone else

never enough, where do i run
always undone

CLAIRE
STAY WITH YOU

This song popped up on my “Discover Weekly” playlist on Spotify (which is the same way I discovered White Sea)- I highly recommend checking yours out every now and then.

“Stay with You” is just a beautiful song. The only other words I can think of to describe it are atmospheric and ambient.

I have not checked out any other songs by this band, but am really excited to do so. This song has gorgeous progression, as well. It is flat-out romantic; it would make a great addition to a sex playlist (depending on what kind of sex you are planning on having- this works for vanilla).

Did you see
our stars falling down
and they’re waiting for us
There was no sound
when they touched the ground
quietly taking our views from us

If you’ve made it this far, you are a trooper. I sincerely hope this post was enjoyed, and that at least 1 person listens to the playlist in its entirety. Please let me know what you think in the comments- or feel free to give me some music recommendations, I always appreciate those.


Lori

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