Maggie’s Pick – “Charleston Girl” by Tyler Childers
My pick this week is “Charleston Girl” by Tyler Childers. This tune combines clean banjo picking, smooth harmonies, and witty lyrics to create a perfect song. As this recording is live, Childers’ stable vocals are even more impressive.
Childers’ music has a bluegrass flavor to it and always provides depth and color to the country genre. Influenced by his home state and family, Childers often writes about his father’s coal mining occupation. Rebecca Bengal, writing for The Guardian, described his songs as a “counternarrative to the outsiders who seek to perpetuate stereotypes of backwardness and poverty.” Childers emphasizes storytelling in his writing, which shines through in “Charleston Girl”.
“Charleston Girl” is about his first time playing in Charleston, West Virginia. After he opened for The Fabulous Brothers Steele, they all left and hung out at Occupy Charleston. Childers was then shown the town by the band. The resulting song followed his experiences there, and leaves plenty to imagine. Check out the tune below! For more from Tyler Childers, go to his website here.
Lizzy’s Pick – “Runner” by Alex G
My intern Pick of the Week is “Runner” by Alex G. Using the likes of 90s emo rock and combining it with Lo-fi beats, he creates an original sound. Throughout his catalog you can see that he’s inspired by artists like Elliott Smith, and you can see that clearly in this song. As Bonnaroo is around the corner, Alex G is someone on the line-up that you should check out.
On God Save the Animals “Runner” is a standout. The song has an addictive chorus that is perfectly repetitive. Between the percussive piano and drums the track has a great beat to it. Alex G’s voice has a melancholy feel with a hard rock edge that balances perfectly with the overall sound of the song. Every instrument has a special place in the song, all distinctive in their own right. All together, it is a beautiful blend of music that compliments the musicians artistry.
Check out Alex G’s set at Bonnaroo on Friday, and listen to “Runner” below!
Zoe’s Pick – “Homesick” by Noah Kahan
Noah Kahan has had a well-deserved rise to folk fame in the past year. In songwriting, there is often a fine line between having the “relatability” factor and building a scene full of rich, specific details. Listeners often want to get invested in a unique story, while still being able to sing along and feel like a song applies to their life. Enter the main hook of this song: “I’m mean because I grew up in New England.” It’s something that New Englanders like me can appreciate because regional stereotypes exist for a reason: there’s often a bit of truth to them, and here’s somebody speaking our stereotyped truth to the masses! But how will a crowd of mainly non-New Englanders feel hearing this song at Bonnaroo?
Everybody gets homesick— or sick of home—at some point. This indie-folk-rock-pop banger is for anyone who’s ever felt something about their hometown: pride, embarrassment, nostalgia, restlessness. The list goes on. Kahan captures a complex combination of all these emotions and more. This song can mean the same thing, but also a thousand different things, to everyone—no matter where they call home.
There’s also just so much to love about how this song sounds. It begins slowly. Then, the percussive instrumental picks up, making us as listeners feel like we’re literally running away from someplace we’re desperate to escape. By the end, the electric guitar has totally broken loose, transforming what began as a seemingly quiet folk tune into a roaring rock song.
“Homesick” is sure to be a highlight of Kahan’s set this coming Friday evening at Bonnaroo. You can catch his performance starting at 8:15 p.m.
Sean’s Pick – “Coming Undone” by Korn
For the Intern Pick, I have chosen Korn to be my favorite band playing at Bonnaroo. When one thinks of Nu Metal, Korn is probably the band that comes to mind. Formed in 1993, Korn revolutionized the Nu Metal genre and shaped it into what it is today. The one song that I feel truly Defines the band is “Coming Undone.” The song was released on their 2005 album See You on The Other Side which featured other songs such as “Twisted Transistor” and “Open Up.”
“Coming Undone” has many of the facets Korn songs are renowned for. It starts with a distorted guitar sounding offbeat until the vocals by Johnathan Davis come into play. Suddenly the eerie sounding introduction turns into a groovy metal song that you can’t help but bang your head to. One of the best traits that gives the song its eerie vibe is the guitar playing by Brian Welch. His guitar playing can be described as creepy to many but shines through with its creativity.
Overall, I would highly recommend “Coming Undone” by Korn. If you are a fan of the Nu-Metal Genre or if you are into grungy songs, then this song is a perfect contender for it. It has the perfect mix of strong vocals, a groovy drumbeat, and eerie guitar playing. I would also highly recommend listening to the rest of See you On the Other Side if you find this song interesting.