Music On, World Off…Love, Dharma69: 2/3/17

So we’re 35 days into the new year: how’s it working out for you?

Great. Now that we’ve gotten the awkward out of the way, we can talk about things that – unlike haphazardly applied human bans targeting certain groups of people – are basically harmless yet can be more cerebral than the current president of the United States…like music.

If you follow my HEAR THIS Spotify playlist (13 new songs for your listening pleasure added every Friday!), you may have noticed that I changed its title from HEAR THIS to WORLD ON, MUSIC OFF. That was a very conscious decision because amongst all of the disrupt and valid anxiety that many of us are experiencing due to Trump and his clown car administration, at some point there comes a time where it’s in your (and everyone else’s) best interest to shut it down. Yes, just like Public Enemy: shut ’em down and shut it out. Turn the world off and just lean into something that moves you. Now that’s not to say that, within this musical realm, there’s no confrontation to be found. Oh no, let’s not say that…

“Where’s The Revolution” – Depeche Mode

Just take Depeche Mode’s new single, “Where’s The Revolution” for example. Whether Brexit has got Dave Gahan & company’s knickers in a twist or what feels like another civil battle about to break off in America, lyrics such as, “Come on people / You’re letting me down” express a higher than usual level of malcontent and – surprise, surprise – the song is resonating strongly with hard core and casual Depeche Mode fans, alike.

PS: New album, Spirit, coming March 17th.

“Believer” – Imagine Dragons

Whenever I get a press release on Imagine Dragons it’s a good day so, yeah, Wednesday was a good day. Something about a new song, a partnership with Nintendo and a football game that doesn’t include a New York team in it. I don’t know, it was all rather vague with words I didn’t understand (“9x platinum,” “Billboard Top 200,” “Radioactive”) but Imagine Dragons’ singer Dan Reynolds said some words about “Believer” that were way easier for me to grasp:

“This last year has really been the most centered and positive of my life.  This song explains my realization that the emotional pain I faced the last few years actually helped me progress to this healthier mental space – that adversity truly is what helps you become a believer in yourself.”

Oddly, I just suddenly felt the strongest urge to sing The Monkees’ “I’m A Believer” and “Daydream Believer” because…I’m old enough for that stuff to be relative. Yeah.

“Love Is Mystical” – Cold War Kids

You’re damned right it is.

The last time Cold War Kids entered my playlist was with the ballsy and on point “Locker Room Talk” from the 30 Days, 30 Songs very not pro-Trump compilation project. “Love Is Mystical” is the first single from their upcoming sixth album, L.A. Divine due on April 7th on Capitol Records and strikes a vastly different and awing tone. “It’s about supernatural love” says front man Nathan Willett. “Looking for inspiration and meaning, surrendering to feeling, love calling out your name and that journey we must go on to find it.” Unlike locker room talk, love actually is a beautiful thing.

Cool fact: This video was filmed in downtown Los Angeles at the California landmark St. Vincent Court (actually an alley) and features something of a dance face (and kiss) off.

Dig into my playlist and you’ll find some Mother Mother, the unbreakable Night Riots, a little country from Dan & Shay, Barns Courtney (debut EP, The Dull Drums, out now), the lovely little hurricane (yes, lower case), Kan Wakan and more. Happy listening and Music On, World Off.