The Firstpost Playlist: Nick Cave, Death Cab for Cutie, Heart, Zaz and Tool - Firstpost
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The Firstpost Playlist: Nick Cave, Death Cab for Cutie, Heart, Zaz and Tool

It's the weekend. You know the drill: We bring out our playlist. You bring out your headphones. How about we switch it up this week? After you have your fill of the songs we've put together for you, how about you tell us about the songs you'd love for us to hear? And next weekend's playlist could feature your entries! Don't forget to add your names and a brief review of why you love a particular song.

In the meantime, here's a mix of songs about rain, of grief, and a shot of girl power.

'Stinkfist' by Tool

Twenty years ago to the day (17 September, 1996), LA rock/industrial/progressive/(any other label you think makes sense) quartet Tool dropped what would go on to be one of the most influential modern records of all time, Ænima. Weighing in at just under 80 minutes, this behemoth of a record had everything: Elaborate drum and bass arrangements courtesy Danny Carey and Justin Chancellor respectively, Adam Jones' catchy hooks and riffs, Maynard James Keenan's mesmerising vocals, strange time signatures, even stranger samples (TryMessage to Harry Manback) and much much more.

Let's not even get into the strangeness of the videos.

Flash-forward 20 years and on Thursday, sections of the internet were beside themselves with glee after Chancellor apparently gave away a 'massive update' on the band's long-overdue fifth studio album, stating that it was 'in the oven'. About time, one would imagine, considering the band's last studio album was released a little over a decade ago (2006's 10,000 Days). So, will 2016 see a new Tool LP? Who knows? For now though, it's a good time to reflect on Ænima and for me, a starting point would be album opener Stinkfist.

Sure, it's not a hidden B-Side or some obscure track that only three friends and I have ever heard. It's not even all that rare, as I recall; the song was the band's first single of Ænima and did fairly well commercially. But it's the first Tool track I ever heard and it remains one of the finest examples of the band's body of work. Now, you go listen!

— Karan Pradhan

'Jesus Alone' by Nick Cave

Much has been said and written about Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' new album Skeleton Tree. And with good reason. Cave started work on the album before the tragic death of his 15-year-old son Arthur, who fell off a cliff during a family vacation last year. But much of it was completed after the tragedy, and the sense of mourning hangs heavy through Skeleton Tree. A documentary film — One More Time, With Feeling — accompanies the album; with director Andrew Dominik following Cave, his family (wife Susie and surviving son, Ear — Arthur's twin), and the band as they deal with their grief and complete the album. 'Jesus Alone', is the first track on the album; it's eerie and disturbing. Listeners have combed its lyrics — "You fell from the sky, crash landed in a field..." — for allusions to Arthur's death. But it is the music in all its discordant, surreal glory, and Cave's growled refrain, "With my voice I am calling you", that stay with you a long time after.

— Rohini Nair

'Magic Man' by Heart

'Barracuda' might be Heart's most famous song, but this all-woman ensemble have rarely showcased their softer, sensual side, given that they are the world's first all girl rock band. 'Magic Man' is one of those rare sensual songs (albeit with a rock touch i.e, heavy guitar riffs). It's the kind of track that can be played in the background, and every time you hear a riff, you'll be caught so off guard, you'll stop what you're doing to listen. I'm almost ready to bet on it.

And then, suddenly, towards the end of the song, you hear a delightful chorus and some 80s influences, with groovy organ synths. The Wilson sister's vocals, though, are always the winner of every Heart song.

This is a band that literally defines "girl power".

— Swetha Ramakrishnan

'La Pluie' by Zaz

This song about rain is one of Zaz's softer songs, but matches the measure of intensity of the playful 'Ja Veux' or the smoky and jazzy 'Dans ma rue'. Her voice is a pleasant combination of husky and smooth.

The MeT department has predicted heavy rains in Mumbai for the next 48 hours and this song is the perfect accompaniment to the pitter-patter of the falling rain. Suggest that you open a bottle of du vin and listen to 'Indila' after this song.

— Vishnupriya Bhandaram

'Transatlanticism' by Death Cab for Cutie

The title song from the fourth album of Death Cab for Cutie is a calm, haunting journey into the world of alternative music. Ben Gibbard, the lead vocalist, spins his magic with the lyrics of the song.

"The rhythm of my footsteps crossing flatlands to your door have been silenced forever more/ The distance is quite simply much too far for me to row/ It seems farther than ever before..."

The piano cues in perfectly with his vocals, making it a perfect song to listen to on a rainy night.

— Shibani Sharma

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