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Old 04-25-2017, 01:35 PM
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Default Soft music for soft boys (and girls!)

Hey TT. As I've gotten older, I've accumulated my fair share of heartbreaks, disappointments, and worn tenderness. I'm not special in this regard, and much of my experiences are pretty mundane. I bring them up only because they've been influencing my musical tastes towards the extremely gentle lately.

I used to hate Ron Sexsmith. I'd heard he was a great song writer, and could sort of see that around the edges, but he always seemed like such a limp handshake of a man that I just couldn't abide his songs.

Now, in my thirty fifth year, I crave them with my entire body.



This song was the end theme to Family Tree, an HBO comedy directed by Christopher Guest that was cancelled after one season. The show was pretty good, but this song is sublime, and so, so soft. The couplet "I could have been a better man/ you could have been a better friend" is just so perfect. This is what started me down this tender road.

Here's another favorite.



Another album I can't get enough of lately is Jim O'Rourke's Simple Songs. Jim O'Rourke is a noise wizard, the fifth member of Sonic Youth, and the guru that bands like Wilco turn to when they want to make their "weird" record. "But KCar" you say. "That doesn't sound like music for down-filled manchild to feel slightly sad to!" You're absolutely right, but he just released an album that might be the best dad-rock album ever released. Instead of going for angular rhythms and discordant jams, Simple Songs could have been written by Steely Dan or the Moody fucking Blues. It's deliciously boring and I can't get enough of it.



Don't get me wrong. I'll still occasionally throw on a punk anthem, or crave a primal scream of pain in musical form, but more and more this is where my tastes are going.

When you're in the mood for beige, what do you listen to? What's your musical chamomile? How do I further sand the edges off my life?
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Old 04-25-2017, 02:03 PM
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I don't know if I'd call it beige, but the Silver Jews' softer stuff fills the need for soothing sound.
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Old 04-25-2017, 02:05 PM
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Jim O'Rourke is fantastic, but I love his albums Insignificance and Eureka so much more. Eureka is pretty soft (although scathing), but Insignificance is a little rougher on the music end and the lyrics are potentially even sharper. Still, some of my favorite albums to revisit time and time again.
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Old 04-25-2017, 02:07 PM
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This is almost literally modern synthwave's entire appeal. There's a bunch on Soundcloud/iTunes/etc, but I've been listening to a lot of Sunglasses Kid, Droid Bishop, and Forêt de Vin lately
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Old 04-25-2017, 02:29 PM
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These suggestions are sweet, sweet manna for my tremulous mildness, thank you.

AV - the Silver Jews are definitely favorites. They also reminded me of how much Okkervil River needs to be in this thread.



All the little Sadies
And the literary ladies
Wish me well now
A slab upon a plane that
Through the air is silver swaying
Into sun now
I hightail my cool haircut
Through the turnstiles of the airport
On the run now
Flip a couple hundred pages
I was turning thirty-eight
Oh, I was a horrible sight
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Old 04-25-2017, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyblue View Post
This is almost literally modern synthwave's entire appeal. There's a bunch on Soundcloud/iTunes/etc, but I've been listening to a lot of Sunglasses Kid, Droid Bishop, and Forêt de Vin lately
You know, it's funny, I've been listening to gentle music lately, AND I've been digging synthwave, but I never would have put these two impulses together. You're probably right, though! There's something incredibly inoffensive about repackaging this part of the 80s, even though they're brighter sounds.

For the record, playing Rocket League while listening to Gunship is one of the more magical game/music pairings I've ever experienced.
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Old 04-25-2017, 05:35 PM
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Yeah, it's kind of odd and yet also really good. Anyway, now at home, I can toss a few links around:

Droid Bishop - To Love A Synthwaver

Forêt de Vin - Hold The Night

Sunglasses Kid - RUNAWAY

And so on.
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Old 04-26-2017, 08:30 AM
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Silver Jews "Pretty Eyes" is straight up legendary songwriting imo.
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Old 04-26-2017, 10:21 AM
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got a bit of a motown vibe to it that I like
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Old 04-26-2017, 12:18 PM
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Vashti Bunyan makes some of the most gentle, delicate and innocent music.


I'd say that folk music in general fits the bill. Ambient, too, if that's your thing.
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Old 04-26-2017, 12:32 PM
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I forgot about Vashti Bunyan! Yes please. I'm about due for a revisitation of Judee Sill too.
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Old 04-26-2017, 12:50 PM
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I'm not much of a fan of this kind of music but I've been digging on Ryan Adams lately.

In addition to also as well:



I was also all over the "The Only Place" album by Best Coast for about 3 months straight.



And an oldie but a goodie. (I love some damn Mazzy Star.)

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Old 04-27-2017, 04:52 PM
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You're in luck, Soft Boy Music(and Soft Girl Music) is pretty much all I listen to. The frailer and fragiler the better.

Are you soft enough to enjoy the music of...Belle & Sebastian?




Virginia Astley was the queen of ethereal mid-eighties alternative synth-balladry, like an Enya you could enjoy without shame.




And finally perhaps the saddest boy of all, Elliott Smith. No explanation needed, but it still breaks my heart a little.

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Old 04-27-2017, 09:04 PM
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Dr. David Thorpe of Your Band Sucks did me a disservice by writing too well, too perfectly. He once dissed on Belle and Sebastian with the devastingly eloquent "it must be hard to play guitar with wrists that limp." It forestalled my personal discovery of them for at least a decade. Now I am aware of their genius.

I'm going to have to deep dive Virginia Astley. I can see some pop DNA between her and Kate Bush, who not coincidentally has been in heavy rotation for me lately:



Here's another voice I crave in my moments:



Also: Four-So - I don't want to alarm you, but there is a GOOD CHANCE we are the same boy.
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Old 04-28-2017, 12:42 AM
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Quote:
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Also: Four-So - I don't want to alarm you, but there is a GOOD CHANCE we are the same boy.
Entirely possible!

I listen to a lot of different styles of music. I have a playlist on Spotify called "Some Shit I Like" and it's basically musical ADHD.

I also have some themed lists like "RTFO" (Rock The Fuck Out) and "CTFO" (Chill The Fuck Out). A lot of the stuff on the latter would probably go well in this thread.
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Old 04-29-2017, 08:25 AM
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I'm a big huge fan of these guys





Sort of an alternate reality East Coast NYC folk/jazz, clean cut Mamas and the Papas (or a white 5th Dimension). Whole first album is awesome, the rest are sort of just weaker iterations of the first one IMO.
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Old 04-29-2017, 07:39 PM
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The New New Christy Minstrels! That's pretty fun.



I used to be darker.
Then I got lighter.
Then I got dark again!
Something too big to be seen was passing over me.
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Old 04-29-2017, 09:37 PM
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As a friend said in a song of his:

I'll never be a Moore
Never be a Malkmus
Only be a Bill Callahan
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Old 04-30-2017, 11:55 AM
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This feels like cheating and is probably way too obvious, but:



And the rest of the album.
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Old 04-30-2017, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghosttaster View Post
I'm a big huge fan of these guys





Sort of an alternate reality East Coast NYC folk/jazz, clean cut Mamas and the Papas (or a white 5th Dimension). Whole first album is awesome, the rest are sort of just weaker iterations of the first one IMO.
A big influence on Stereolab, who even had a song named after them.

Just remembered another soft pop classic, Oh Lori by the Alessi Brothers. Love this one so much.



Lake, a band who I discovered through Adventure Time of all things.

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Old 04-30-2017, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
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A big influence on Stereolab, who even had a song named after them.
Yes indeed. I'm a big Stereolab fan as well, though its their early era that really does it for me.
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Old 04-30-2017, 06:53 PM
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Quote:
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Lake, a band who I discovered through Adventure Time of all things.

Same. Bought it based on how much I liked Christmas Island. This track is my favourite though.



This feels like it would make a good theme song for the Riddler (you know, apart from the one that Frank Gorshin recorded).

Oh, and here's something I think is obscure. I reviewed this for the university radio station and ended up REALLY liking it. I hadn't heard from them since then, but now looking for their music, it seems they're still around, so that's cool.



Now that I know what the Flaming Lips are, there's definitely some of that in their work.
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Old 05-01-2017, 02:14 PM
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Running is a little different from most of Eliane Elias's work that I've heard which is mostly Brazilian club + jazzpop sound for fairly straightforward reasons, but it's definitely a great fit for this thread.


I mean the percussion is very much that sort of Brazilian jazzy dance sort, but it's also a much airier tune than, say, her Oye Como Va cover.
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Old 05-02-2017, 01:25 PM
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I love it all. All of this.

I've been listening to Brian Eno's Ambient 1: Music For Airports while working. It is supremely chill and I love it. I'd put a youtube link, but there's really no point. Get the album and put it on when you want to soften the air while you're doing other work.

The Milk Carton Kids are Simon & Garfunkel if they weren't assholes. They play beautiful guitar music and sing in close harmony, and their stage banter is hilarious to boot. They have a full concert on youtube that I will put on listen to while writing. Here they are making Marcus Mumford cry.

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Old 05-03-2017, 03:45 PM
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Just discovered this song. Watching the video, I had no idea if it was good or not. I liked it, but there is a certain class of hipster bullshit that is able to scramble my defenses and endear itself to me without any genuine quality. So I listened to it while not watching the video, and it is excellent music for the very soft.

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Old 05-03-2017, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KCar View Post
Just discovered this song. Watching the video, I had no idea if it was good or not. I liked it, but there is a certain class of hipster bullshit that is able to scramble my defenses and endear itself to me without any genuine quality. So I listened to it while not watching the video, and it is excellent music for the very soft.

That's what Ducktails is like now?! Weird!

Last time I was paying attention he was still doing this sorta stuff (cool video and mediocre tune follow)

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Old 05-04-2017, 04:22 PM
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Man, I remember back when he was "Huey, Dewey, Louie and the News"

but more seriously

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Old 05-07-2017, 02:19 PM
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The song here is Kimi no Egao (Your Smile) by Hanako Oku, and like probably a ton of anime songs definitely ought to fit in here.

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Old 05-22-2017, 05:13 PM
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This is also good:

Candy Apple Blue and Juno Dreams - Awakening
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Old 05-22-2017, 07:42 PM
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I keep eyeing this thread and I'm unable to decide if I need to explain The Decemberists or it would be remedial and pointless because they're not exactly obscure.
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