Five Songs, 5/8/2017

Five Songs International took a break yesterday, which is going to happen occasionally. I'm going to try to never miss two days in a row, but I'm sure that'll happen as well. But I'm back today with some new tunes!

Ulver, "The Spirits That Lend Strength Are Invisible"

From black metal beginnings, Ulver has wandered around unpredictably among various styles, with seemingly the only thing tying some of them together is a penchant for drama. This piece, from *Atgclvlsscap (and yes, I had to cut and paste that), finds the band working in an ambient mode, obviously far away from the black metal thunder of their origins.

Matthew Sweet, "Super Baby"

Part of a power pop revival in the early 90s, Sweet's Girlfriend is about as good as the form gets, with his other records of the period being similarly strong. There's elements of bands like Big Star, Cheap Trick, and the Cars in his songwriting, and it's not like he's breaking any new ground. But seriously, Girlfriend is really good.

+/-, "Manifest Destiny (in General)"

Winner, least Google-able band so far! James Baluyut, formerly of indie pop band Versus, formed this band apparently in an effort to foil future writers from researching it. Anyway, this is just pure indie pop, what you might expect from Teenbeat Records if you knew that label.

Rockabye Baby!, "Start Me Up"

You all needed some Stones covers played on xylophone, right? Ugh, let's move on. Actually, I'll note that there are least two versions of this rendition on YouTube. Competitors? Remix? I don't want to know.

Zion I, "Big Ups"

Woah, dig those modem sounds! Anyway, Zion I was an underground hip-hop act that explicitly introduced assorted other styles into their music, in particular elements of electronic music. The result was an interesting hybrid that never really seemed to catch on, but their first album in particular is quite good (although this track doesn't go anywhere in particular).