Married to Music: May Edition


Married to Music is a series that takes the wedding tradition of something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue and gives it a musical flair.

Something Old:

As the Washington sun has started to make appearances more and more, I have been searching for songs that encapsulate the feeling of carefreeness that summer evokes. “Listen to the Music” by the Doobie Brothers perfectly expresses this feeling. The upbeat guitar melodies are the kind that get stuck in your head all day, not to mention the catchy chorus.

The lyrics discuss the hope for a peaceful society and how their use of music can spread this positive message, hence “listen to the music” being a frequent line in the song. In this sense, “listening to the music” means to listen to the hope of a utopian society that is sure to come in time. In the context of the society of the songs’ release in 1972, this message becomes more clear; it was in the midst of the controversial Vietnam War and a massive social revolution. All in all, “Listen to the Music” is a fun, upbeat and optimistic song that is perfect for these sunny spring days ahead.

You can listen to “Listen to the Music,” by the Doobie Brothers here:

Something New:

Released as a surprise April 18, Australian folk-indie band The Paper Kites’ On the Train Ride Home is a breathtakingly beautiful album. Following their 2015 twelvefour, this album is not a disappointment. Each of the eight tracks on the album is emotionally honest and raw, creating such a personal feeling overall. My favorite track, however, has to be the title track, “On the Train Ride Home.”

The song is introspective and contemplative; the lyrics are so honest it almost seems as though the song was the only way to get these emotions out. I know that I have had moments where I just stare out the window of a car or plane or train and just think. And that is that this song is for me — that feeling of pure thought. The simple guitar fits perfectly with the tone of the song and works not to distract from the lyrical focus.

“If I can’t get the things I want, give me what I need.” The final words of the song ring out, followed soon by the ambient noise of a subway train slowly coming to a stop. With the stopping of the train comes the stopping of the singers contemplation and of the song. This song is gorgeous and I would strongly recommend giving it a listen. I cannot wait to hear more from The Paper Kites, as they have another album releasing in August that I am sure will be just as amazing as its predecessor.

You can listen to “On the Train Ride Home,” by The Paper Kites here:

Something Borrowed:

One of my favorite songs has always been “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac, released in 1975. Stevie Nicks’ lyrics are so meaningful and express the uncertainty of growing up and the adversity that comes with it. Because of this, the song has always had a special place in my heart. So I was pleasantly surprised when The Japanese House’s Amber Bain released a Spotify Sessions cover of the song. Bain puts a soft electronic twist on the track while maintaining the classic main guitar riff of the song.

Bain also evokes the same vocal styles of Stevie Nicks to really encapsulate the tone of the original song, giving heart and emotion into each line of the track. I love this spin on the track and think it really does a great job in honoring the timelessness of the original.

You can listen to “Landslide,” by The Japanese House here:

Something Blue:

Sticking to the theme of honest, emotive lyrics, Canadian indie-rock singer Mac Demarco’s “Watching Him Fade Away” off of his third album This Old Dog fits right in. The track is all about Demarco’s father and his conflicting feelings he has toward him.

As his father was an addict and an alcoholic who left his family when he was very young, Demarco does not know his father very well. But as it is, his father was diagnosed with cancer, causing him to resurface in his life. Demarco weighs two conflicting ideas: calling his father up and telling him how he really feels, or letting him “fade away” with no closure on their relationship.

Even though they do not have a relationship, Demarco still feels pain letting his father slowly die: “And even though we barely know each other, it still hurts watching him fade away.” The same simple electronic tune is constant throughout the track, letting the lyrics be the star of the show, something toned down from his usual style. This track definitely stands out from Demarco’s discography and I strongly recommending give it and This Old Dog a listen.

You can listen to “Watching Him Fade Away,” by Mac Demarco here: