top of page
  • Writer's pictureAmi Row

5 Songs I Love w/ Unfamiliar Things

We caught up with Unfamiliar Things frontman Matt Levy following the release of their new single 'Most People' to hear more about the song he loves and why. From significant life events to style and writing inspiration, you can find out a whole lot about an artist through their top picks. Check out Matt's selection below and the stream to the new single 'Most People'!


NFWMB holds a special place in my heart, as it was my first dance with my wife on our wedding day. When diving into the lyrics it’s hard not to take notice of the very blatant nod to W.B Yeats. As one of my favorite poets, too, many lines in my songs can be traced back to his writings. One need only read “The Second Coming” before closing their eyes and listening to this beautiful melody to feel a chill and to imagine that rough beast slouching towards Bethlehem.


Hazards of Love was my initial introduction to my all-time favorite band, The Decemberists. Through traditional English folk and rock, The Decemberists lay out a harrowing tale of love, deceit and sacrifice. All the emotional highs and lows that are felt throughout this 1-hour-long folk rock opera come crashing down around the lead characters as they stand before what will be their final act as lovers. And all the drama and pain melts away as their love is spelled out simply and beautifully through what may be the sonically best 6 minutes of The Decemberists decades-long career.


This one is just fun. That’s all there is to it. It’s a fun experience. You can hear the soul in Peter Gabriel’s vocals, and the breath and space in the mix allows for the song to sit in its own groove without getting tiresome. Sometimes I play this one twice in a row. I’m hoping people enjoy and want to play ‘Most People’ twice in a row, too.


(Deep breath) Including this one was a tough decision for me because I feel as if this tune has been brought somewhat into the mainstream for what I feel might be the wrong reasons. I think this song and its surrounding album caught the attention of most people because it was cool to like paired back indie music at the time. But I think this song stands the test of time if you read Justin Vernon’s lyrics, particularly in the first stanza. In such few words, he’s able to spell out how catastrophic his despair is by drawing a parallel to the discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls in Qumran. He follows that imagery with the equally beautiful and devastating “everything that happens is from now on”, which I feel like everybody can relate to as we all have a singular significant event or time in our lives where things fall into two categories of before and after. In further lines, Justin likens what he’s dealing with to a black crow, and I like his humorous likeness of the bird almost taunting him and “faking a toss” of the keys to his happiness. All around, a very solid melody and lyricism. I am a big fan of the stacked vocals on the entirety of “For Emma, Forever Ago” and have taken a cue from Justin for my acoustic tunes, Alternate Worlds and Marker, in particular.


I fully believe Hey, Coyote is the masterpiece of Joseph Terrell. In such a simple interaction, Joseph lays out a very complex thought process and gives the listener a glimpse of what it may feel like to be an over-thinker. Fun fact, I ran into Joseph in Missoula, Montana the day I think he wrote this song. I was in town for the Travelers Rest Music Festival and Joseph was on tour with MIPSO. I was lucky enough to catch their show the night before and we spoke briefly before he went on to write this beautiful tune and I went on to enjoy the antics of Colin Meloy live.

Listen to 'Most People' by Unfamiliar Things below:

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page