In the past, we have used these Friday playlists to highlight artists we love (the Beatles, Wu Tang Clan, Frank Ocean), and this week once again falls into that category. In getting an early First Listen of Britt Daniel of Spoon’s new side project Divine Fits (with Dan Boeckner from Wolf Parade and Sam Brown from New Bomb Turks), it caused me to want to go back and immerse myself in Spoon’s catalogue, which is by all means consistently great for seven albums. I don’t think it can be overstated how difficult it is to make smart, well-crafted pop songs the way Britt Daniel has done consistently. Of course, this couldn’t be done without his tremendously capably band most notably with drummer/producer Jim Eno laying the base work for everything. So without further ado, lay back and get Spoon-fed.
“Me and the Bean”
Girls Can Tell was the first album where Spoon full-on hit their stride, and “Me and the Bean” is arguably the best thing the 2001 album has to provide. The song seems to be loosely based around Kurt Cobain and his daughter Frances ‘Bean’ Cobain, with Daniel singing openly about the father-daughter relationship with his best Cobain vocal impression and an apathetic sing-along chorus like “Lithium”. Basically, it’s Nirvana if Kurt Cobain played the piano and was an obsessive perfectionist that didn’t hate himself.
“Stay Don’t Go”
This song to me always felt like an experimental indie rock version of New Kids on the Block. The beat box beat, the upbeat guitar jerk, and the sappy falsetto refrain makes for an infectious boy band ditty.
“I Turn My Camera On”
Yep, they even do funky disco. Like this yellow peep of a robot, I dare you to listen to this song and not have a sexy good time.
“The Ghost of You Lingers”
Best listened to with a nice set of headphones, “The Ghost of You Lingers” couldn’t be titled better – the unnerving piano is the only constant as you get various apparitions whispers, shouts, and croons alternating in each ear as well as some interjected bursts that only add to the tension. In less capable hands, this would just feel like an exercise in nifty production tricks, but with Spoon, you get a fully formed idea perfectly matching the song’s theme.
“Who Makes Your Money”
Initially one of my least favorite songs on Spoon’s last album Transference, “Who Makes Your Money” became my favorite on the long haul. The heady jam is both groovy and disorienting at the same time, a sign of a band in total sync. If you listen through the song each time with an ear on one specific instrument to see how it interacts with the others(vocals, drums, guitar, bass, synth), you will hear just how fascinating this band is.
“Would That Not Be Nice”
How a bonus 6th track for getting this far? Here is an early cut for the Divine Fits, Britt Daniel’s new project. “Would That Not Be Nice” displays a sound with one hand dipped in a jar of unadulterated rock ‘n’ roll and the other dipped in electronic new wave. This track is a pretty fair representation of the remainder of the album, so check more out if you are interested.
For more of my Spoon favorites, check out my 15 song Spotify Playlist: