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  • Writer's pictureAmi Row

5 Songs I Love w/ Social Station

Following the release of their captivating new single 'Secrets to be Heard', we wanted to find out more about the inspiration behind Social Station's unique sound. Check out their hand picked selection below to find out more about the duo and don't forget to listen to 'Secrets to be Heard'.

1. David Bowie - Ashes To Ashes

When I think of all the music I love, mostly sitting on the darker side, it all tends to lead back to the influence of David Bowie. While I am deeply entrenched in his earlier albums of the 1970s, with classic tracks like Life of Mars and Ziggy Stardust, Ashes to Ashes has a special place in the hearts of Social Station. From the iconic baseline to the epic catchy chorus, the song represents the finest example of dressing up an extremely dark and serious topic in an upbeat and accessible song. This is certainly a blueprint for Social Station’s song writing and approach to producing tracks. On the lyrical side, Bowie’s depiction of struggling with drug addiction is so perfectly captured with the line “need an axe to break the ice, want to come down right now”, it is haunting to think of how easily Bowie could have fallen like so many of his contemporary at that time, and never made it out of that era. We are so glad to appreciate the decades of his music that continued to influence countless artists to follow.

2. Jeff Buckley - I Know It's Over (Live at Sony Studios in New York, NY - April, 1995)

Deeply rooted in the melancholy artists of the 1980s, The Smiths stand out at the top of Social Station’s list of favorite artists. The combination of Morrissey’s lyrics and vocals and Johnny Marr’s jangly guitar riffs is so unique, and has definitely stood the test of time. While there are so many songs to choose from that highlight Marr’s iconic guitar playing, such as the opening riff of This Charming Man, we went with I Know It’s Over because of the impact and message of just one line, “It's so easy to laugh, It's so easy to hate, It takes strength to be gentle and kind”. Certainly The Smiths formula takes seemingly happy songs and hits you with deeply biting topics, such as Girlfriend in a Coma, but I know It’s Over is a brutally honest and emotional song all the way through. Taking it one step further, we chose a cover by one of the most spectacular singers of the 1990's, Jeff Buckley’s live version of the track is remarkable and just leaves you speechless.

3. Mad World - Gary Jules (Tears for Fears Cover)

Our third choice, Mad World by Tears for Fears, is one of my favorite songs of all time. For me, this is as close to a perfect song as you can get. Obviously written in the 1980s, Mad World captures a feeling that transcends any time period, much like a work of great literature. From “went to school and I was very nervous” to “Children waiting for the day they feel good, happy birthday”, there is no question this song captures a hopelessness that we can all relate to at some time or another. While it may be difficult to accept, Tear for Fears observation of the human condition seems to be as relevant as ever. Brilliantly recorded and performed by Tears for Fears in the classic production of the 1980s, we choose the piano version used in the movie Donnie Darko to highlight the beauty of this song.

4. Interpol - Slow Hands

"Slow Hands" by Interpol moves us to Social Station’s love of the post-punk revival of the early 2000s. While we love so many artists from that time, taking a page from Joy Division, Interpol’s album Turn On the Bright Lights is still one of our go to listens from start to finish. Interpol’s bass lines are especially influential, and we chose the song Slow Hands, from Interpol’s follow up album, to represent all that we love about their music. Their early albums capture an amazing energy that appears to be fueled by all members of the band contributing equally to astonishingly perfected songs where everything seems to be exactly in the right place. Alongside their contemporaries, such as the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and The Strokes, the NYC scene at that time produced almost a competitive drive to write and perform a ton of classic songs.

5. Crystal Castles - Not In Love ft. Robert Smith of The Cure

Last but not least, we had to include one song that encompasses our love for electronic music and The Cure’s Robert Smith. We could have easily picked five songs from either Crystal Castles or The Cure, but instead stuck with our theme of re-imagined songs from the 80s with the track Not In Love, originally by the artist Platinum Blonde. For us, it doesn’t get much better than this. Crystal Castle’s flawless production, that I witnessed live at the iconic Washington DC 9:30 club, coupled with Robert Smith’s vocals has us dancing every time. With so many of our favorite artists to choose from, like Depeche Mode and Kraftwerk, there is something about Crystal Castles that demonstrates the power of electronic music to tap into raw emotions you would typically only expect to get from the loudest guitar driven music. Then there’s Smith’s vocal, a reminder of why he has been filling stadiums of fans for over 40 years, and continues to inspire generations of artists.

Watch the official video for 'Secrets to be Heard' below:

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