If I had to pick 1 #2
If I Had to Pick 1 is a series of blogs discussing various songs worth deeming as the only song you can listen to for the length of a day. If you’re interested in listening or buying any of the songs listed, click on the title of one for a link to Amazon.
Hailing out of the early 2000’s progressive indie rock genre, Gatsbys American Dream had several songs that are considered to be ahead of their time, yet none of them put them on the big stage. They had one tune that was featured on NHL 07,’ but even then, they struggled to see more popularity.
The song I think should be held to higher regard is their song “Pompeii” off their third studio album, released in 2005, Volcano. This song tells a story about when Mt. Vesuvius erupted and buried the ancient city of Pompeii in ashes. The song is also said to be a metaphor for the uncontrollable intensities of human emotion.
I love the imagery painted in this song and how the instrumentation plays like the soundtrack to the images imagined in your head. The song is sporadic, with many different dynamics and intense themes throughout its short 1:53 length. All the parts of this song flow into each other like the unpredictable direction of lava as it sets your eardrums on fire with energetic guitar rhythms, driving bass, and sporadic punk drumming.
Progressive rock listeners will be remarkably familiar with this one, but even if you’re not into that style of music, this song should still send chills through your body. Although no longer active, Porcupine Tree is widely popular in the UK and tremendously well respected for their ability to blend 90s/early 2000’s rock sounds, with hard rock, metal, folk, psychedelic, and pop-rock to create the overall progressive rock/metal band they are today.
No song portrays this ability better than their song “Trains”, off their 2002 album In Absentia. The song is clear and crisp with incredible melodic acoustic guitar tones as lead singer and composer, Steve Wilson, sings beautifully written lyrics about youthful innocence, confusion, love, and nostalgia. It’s mostly upbeat and driven by acoustic guitars, but with addition to heavy bass tones, progressive drumming, and synth, the song is full.
The separation between instruments in the recording is also incredible. The production value of this song is such high quality; it transcends your listening experience to what you may be used to. But when the climax of the song hits with hard rock tones, you’ll know you’re listening to something special.
A song entirely composed, beautifully written, flawlessly recorded and produced. Expand your musical horizons with this tune. (There is also an amazing live video recording of them playing this song on youtube to show how talented this group is
The late Nipsey Hussle blessed us with a song that has played on my late-night car rides more than most others. This song has a strong and relaxed West Coast vibe.
One that’s beat is simple but shows how three calming synth chords, a steady drumbeat, and alluring chorus melodies mixed with other production additives are all you need to make a hit. The song is about how dreams can come true through hard work, persistence, dedication, and support from others.
Nipsey’s verse and chorus with Belly are strong and deliberate. The chorus in this song is really what keeps me coming back to it, but overall this song has so many beautiful sounds parts to it that I never skip it.
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