The Diverse Ear: Stand-Out Tracks From Oh Wonder, HAIM and Grace Mitchell

Oh Wonder, “Lifetimes”, Island Records

Oh Wonder / PC: DIY Magazine & Josh Shinner

Oh Wonder is back with their new album Ultralife! I discovered this duo a few years back via their popular single “Without You”, and I’ve been a fan of their high/low octave melodies ever since.

So, of course I was awaiting their new album. Ultralife is full of uniquely produced, technicolor songs. One that stood out to me was “Lifetimes”, and let’s just say it’s my jam. What really gets me is the verse electric piano, and electric drum pairing, it’s so infectious.

The duo did a track by track vlog on each song from the album on their Youtube page. To my surprise, they revealed in the vlog dedicated to “Lifetimes” that the song was about climate change, inspired by Leonardo Dicaprio’s National Geographic film, Before The Flood.

Will someone take a ride with me?/Back to the world where we can see/Echo strong, river deep/Concrete hazy/Won’t you take a ride with me?/Take a ride with me.

This album is going to be huge, and I can’t wait to fall in love with more tracks.

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HAIM, “Something To Tell You”, Haim Productions Inc.

HAIM / PC: Rolling Stone

HAIM also just released their new album, Something To Tell You. This is their second studio album, and follow up to, Days Are Gone, one of my personal favorites from 2013 with hits like “Falling”, and “The Wire”.

Hearing the first two singles off of the album, I was actually a bit disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, they were good, but I was just expecting something different. Judging from those two singles I almost didn’t listen to the album, but I did and realized there was some really good stuff in there, especially the title track, “Something To Tell You”.

It really has that first album sound which I live. Big drums, groovy bass, and staccato lyric lines and harmonies that HAIM is famous for. I think the song is about needing to have a serious conversation with your partner, but avoiding it because you know it might end in a bad way.

Sometimes it’s hard to address the elephant in the room, so you just act like it’s not there. This jam is so catchy, and I think it should be the next single off of the album.

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Grace Mitchell, “Now (Acoustic)”, Republic Records

Grace Mitchell / PC: FLOOD Magazine & Lyndsey Byrnes

I discovered this song in the Breaking Songwriter playlist, courtesy of Apple Music. In this beautifully arranged song, Mitchell sings about living in the moment, and being present.

Forget about your friends, they’ll leave you in the end/And don’t you wanna be in the now?/Forget about the fame, it’s only just a game/And don’t you wanna be in the now?

The song puts me in a reflective mood, because Mitchell is singing about some real stuff.

I think being present is one of the things that our generation lacks, because we are always so occupied with technology and the plethora of social media outlets that are available to us. I’m not saying it’s all bad, but there is a time and place for everything, and I think that’s what Mitchell is trying convey in “Now”.

The song consists of acoustic guitar and vocals, beautifully layered at certain points in the piece. I really appreciate the stripped down arrangement, because I believe it allows the listener to have the chance to digest the content of the song.

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You can catch new segments of The Diverse Ear every Tuesday on The Indie Sound.

Featured Image: Oh Wonder / DIY Magazine & Emma Swann

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