Pianos Become the Teeth: What Are You Listening To?
This Friday, Baltimore post-hardcore band Pianos Become the Teeth are out with their fourth studio album, Wait for Love. To celebrate, guitarist Chad McDonald put together a playlist of tracks that inspired his songwriting. “I’ve probably taken little bits or borrowed heavily from most of these songs while writing WFL,” he told TIDAL. “I included a few undeniable bangers just because. Hope you enjoy.”
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Attack in Black, “Liberties”
One of the guys in Single Mothers showed me this band. I think this is the perfect example of a straight-forward rock song.
Cara Beth Satalino, “Good Ones”
Kind of a ritual for me to listen to this record each time we go on tour. I found out about her from a pre-YouTube series of videos called If You Make It. Love the guitar playing on this one.
SGL, “Now, Now”
Undeniable jam. I love both of the new singles they released for the new record. Like on their last record Threads, the songs are deceptively simple but open up on repeated listens.
Catchy and unique.
Fiona Apple, “Anything We Want”
Love the percussion-centric composition on this record. Always loved the line, ‘I look like a neon zebra, shaking rain off her stripes.’
Big Thief, “Real Love”
The shared guitar/vocal melody is great on this track. And the lead guitar tone and playing is singular and fucked-up sounding.
Aldous Harding, “Horizon”
Aldous Harding has a very captivating stage presence for a folk artist. She sometimes gets that thousand-yard stare you see some hardcore frontmen doing: eyes building and sucking her teeth before she spits out the next lyric.
At the Drive-In, “Rascuache”
Became obsessed with this band in college and listened almost exclusively to them for two years.
Bon Iver, “666″
Bon Iver is on another level. Love the Phil Collins-esque drum fill in this song.
Sonic Youth, “Shadow of a Doubt”
After watching the video for this song I detuned my guitar and wrote the main riff for ‘Bloody Sweet.’ Tried to follow their lead by dynamically building up the verses with that repeated riff.
Father John Misty, “The Night Josh Tillman Came To Our Apt.”
The juxtaposition of the sweetly layered instrumentation with his sour lyrics is wonderful. This song makes the think of a hateful version of the Beach Boys.
Hundred Waters, “Murmurs”
Something about the way she sings ‘Happy Birthday’ at 1:44 kills me.
Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit, “If We Were Vampires”
Jason Isbell is great at balancing sadness and sweetness in his songs. If you like this, also check out his song ‘Elephant.’
The Microphones, “The Glow, Pt. 2″
A classic. The transition at 0:40 with the dueling panned acoustic guitars coming in…wonderful.
We tried to write a piano-centered song for this record that ultimately didn’t make the cut, but this song was direct inspiration for that. The ornamentation of tiny bells and melodic runs that circle around the main chords are cool. Radiohead are great at creating atmospheres in their songs.
Ryan Adams, “Kim”
Wrote what is basically an alt-country song for WFL that will eventually be released. You can hear a lot of Ryan Adams in that.
Saintseneca, “Soft Edges”
One of my favorite active lyricists, and this band hits all the right spots for me by mixing folk, indie, alt-country & punk. Hard for me to pick a favorite song but this is a catchy one.
Sun Kil Moon, “Carissa”
My favorite storytelling song. The backup vocals in the ‘I’ll return to Ohio’ part are a nice addition.
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