In our Triple Play feature, Euro Rock Scene asks our favorite up-and-coming bands to have each member to give a detailed description of their top three favorite songs in order to give their listeners a better idea of the music that has inspired them as individuals and the band as a whole.
Today, we’re asking Santa Cruz-based progressive pop rock band, Watch Me Breathe, to share their triple play.
Ryan Green (Bass):
1. “Penny Lane” by The Beatles
As for this pick, it was a tough decision to pick out my favorite Beatles tune (and it still isn’t my number 1, only because it’s impossible to choose) but this one has some real significance to me personally. The perfect blend of commercial 60’s pop composition mixed with some real old-English vibes gives this song some real nostalgic aspects. Not only was it a song that got stuck in my head as a kid, but every time I hear the song I feel the call to go home where my blood lies, with my heritage being that of English descent, among others. Luckily I got the chance to visit Liverpool on a trip to England with Jake last summer, and visiting Penny Lane in person while listening to the song may be one of the most surreal experiences I’ve had so far.
2. “Heart of Life” by John Mayer
I’m sort of running with the theme of choosing songs from my biggest musical influences which made this choice another difficult one, but Heart Of Life is also one of those songs that stands out in more ways than one. This tune blends everything that I look for in one that’s well crafted, the tone (of guitar and vocals), the lyrics, and most importantly, the meaning. The meaning behind this one resonates with me big time. The whole message is basically saying “hey shut up and listen to what life is trying to tell you, it’ll all be okay, this is just part of why you’re here”. So on top of this particular song being well crafted, it’s also one of my favorite songs to practice lead guitar to (along with every other song on this album honestly). Give it a thorough listen if you haven’t already!
3. “Arabella” by Arctic Monkeys
Lastly, I feel I should include one of my favorite alternative band’s choices in the mix. This song’s got it all honestly; a kick ass riff, colorful lyrics, charming angst, and a sexiness that pretty much encapsulates the whole album. I think the lead singer was a genius with this record, taking the band’s usual punky/alternative, brit rock sound and blending it with some more mainstream RnB and almost hip-hop like beats to the mix. I could’ve easily chosen another song off this album as one of my favorites but I find myself always coming back to this one because again, the riff is bad ass and in my opinion the production of this song is amazing from start to finish. It’s one of those songs that I’ll forever want to cover but probably never will because I don’t want to tarnish what’s already flawless.
Carl Ward (drums)
1. “Flicks” by Frou Frou
This is my taste in music put into 4 minutes. There isn’t a dull moment; the song keeps building at a perfect pace, adding more and more parts that all work fabulously. I could easily have put only Imogen Heap/Frou Frou songs in my top 3, but I’m gonna use just this one because I couldn’t not mention it. Favorite song of all time, and that likely won’t ever change.
2. “Will to Believe” by Clarence Clarity
This song gets better every time I listen to it. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever heard. There isn’t a single sound in here that I recognize/have heard anywhere else, but it all comes together to make a coherent, well-structured song (it becomes coherent after about 5 listens, at least). I have no idea what genre I’d place this under, yet it still manages to satisfy all my pop sensibilities.
3. “Run Away with Me” by Carly Rae Jepsen
A perfect pop song, and a perfect opening to one of my favorite albums. The lyrics are just nonsensical and vague enough to make it apply to your life, but there’s still a clear meaning behind them (however cheesy it might be). The production is fantastic, the chorus is huge and mad catchy, and everything is just… right. I don’t care if it’s kinda generic, cause some things become generic for a reason.
Jake Aaron Ward (guitars, vocals)
1. “Dare You To Move” by Switchfoot
This has been my favorite song for a long, long time. There’s real magic in it. To me it represents the ultimate harmony of intention; the lyrics, the melody and structure, and in some ways most importantly the production, all work so cohesively and powerfully to convey the same wonderous message. The song is profoundly existential, yet playful. It’s a dare. It’s a “why not.” In an extensive catalogue of questioning compositions, this is Jon Foreman’s ultimate question, and he poses it in a way that is simultaneously direct, almost confrontational, yet friendly, inviting, and most importantly, motivating and even mobilizing. The song almost literally breathes with life. To listen carefully is to feel the most euphoric, gripping inspiration start to stir within you and pull you in some unknown thrilling direction. For me, it doesn’t get any better than that.
2. “More Than This” by Peter Gabriel
As much as I love the studio version, it is actually his live rendition that is my favorite. The chorus is just so magical. “So much more than this, there is something out there, when all that you had has all gone. More than this, I stand, feeling so connected, and I’m all there, right next you.” Very different from the Switchfoot song, and yet, it does the same thing. It stirs within you and it starts to pull you in precisely that same unknown direction. At its best, listening to Gabriel’s music is like climbing over the lip of a hill at sunrise in a totally unfamiliar foreign place and catching that first glimpse of an endless expanse of uncharted land bearing unknown adventures.
3. “Why Should I Cry For You” by Sting
Easily my favorite song off one of my all-time favorite albums, ‘The Soul Cages.’ It’s just beautiful. It’s easy to overlook how unique it is, too. Dramatic, melancholy, loaded with driving percussion and rhythm, and yet it is also soft, gentle and incredibly gorgeous in melody and progression. That’s not to mention the brave and totally genre-transcending incorporation of a worldly slew of instruments, textures and styles. To me, it’s kind of like the ultimate, perfect song.
Stream/Download Watch Me Breathe’s latest release: ‘The Strange Pull of What You Really Love‘
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