Downtown Travels Mixtape Vol. 4

The last Downtown Travels Mix Tape was about exploring different groups from around the world. For Volume 4, it’s more about traveling through time. We start off with a trip five years ago before high-tailing it to the 1980s with a song about an event that occurred in the 1960s after which we jump back to last year with the Avett Brothers who sing a cover song written back in the early 1910s. From there we jump around this decade and last century before taking a trip with the 1980s again (because who doesn’t want to be part of the 1980s music scene?). Enjoy!

  1. Now Is the Start – A Fine Frenzy

Got this song for free on iTunes around 2012-2013 [does iTunes still do that? I get all my music from the radio stations (Radio is not dead!)]. It’s a nice way to start a playlist, not because of the title, but because it’s fun and dance-worthy. It’ll get you in a happy mood by mid-way, not matter how hard you try to resist.

2. December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night) – The Wonder Who?/The Four Seasons

3. In the Garden (Charles Austin Miles 1912 cover) – The Avett Brothers

It’s a 2016 folk band singing a 1912 song. You can’t get better than that.

It wasn’t until recently I learned that the song The Avett Brothers sing was a hymn. As in gospel music. It totally makes sense when you actually read the lyrics. I’m not one for gospel music, but I will happily make an exception for this song.

4. Hourglass – Catfish and the Bottleman

Hourglass. Time. Think about it.

It’s a great song. A sad song when you think about it (he wants his girl to come back), but sung in a pretty catchy tune.

5. Closer – Tegan and Sara

I think of the pilot episode of Young & Hungry where Gabi (Emily Osment), the feisty chef, and Josh (Jonathon Sadowski), the ridiculously rich tech guy, sing their own rendition. It’s adorable, it’s funny, it’s amazing.

6. Bitter Heart – Zee Avi

The time aspect with this one comes in the second verse where Zee Avi says “it’s been two hours now / and you’re still somewhere in town”. It’s an angry song (not even angry…more like annoyed) sung in a such a catchy, sunny tune you can’t help but sing along.

7. Bend & Break – Keane

Going to the early years of the millennium with this Keane hit (at least I consider it a hit. It’s the best song on that album). Timothy James Rice-oxley said back when the song came out that “Bend & Break” was about getting past the darker state of mind and into the light. It’s a song of overcoming the paid and suffering and meeting on the other side where peace is to be found.

8. Wild – Royal Teeth

Royal Teeth, a band from New Orleans, came out with this song in 2012. It’s one of my favorite songs on this mix tape. It’ll put a smile on your face and lift you into a blissful state. The song, though it’s open to interpretation, is about the band leaving their normal routine to pick up their instruments and heading on tour. Rather than growing up, it’s about living in the present and enjoying everything that is heading their way.

9. Run-Around – Blues Traveler

Let’s jump back 18 years to 1994. Since this mix tape is time-themed, it would be rude not to add a song that is from the year I was born. I could have put Céline Dion or Mariah Carey, but they just don’t fit the rhythm of this mix tape (or my music taste in general). Hence, the Blues Traveler! Have you heard of them? Yes? No? They’ve been around for over 20 years. I think they’ll make it. xD

10. Danny, Dakota & the Wishing Well – A Silent Film

Yes, there are a lot of songs from 2012. 2012-2013 was the enlightenment period for my music taste. New group of friends, college, and the ability to break the spell that trapped my head in the “super big corporate radio” (yes I mean you KISS-FM!) were all big influences in exploring the not so mainstream music (and the classic hits).

This song goes through a passage of time. It starts off with two kids who have feelings for each other but the boy never admits it. They grow up and grow apart and somehow find each other years later. It’s a great song. It’ll make you dance and feel sad at the same time. Gotta love the Brits.

11. Everybody Wants to Rule the World – Tears for Fears

Of course everybody wants to rule the world! Power and money and control? I find this song fitting to be at the end of the playlist since it was the last song on Tears for Fears’ album, Songs from the Big Chair. According to the Take Two podcast, Roland Orzabel, the band’s co-founder, thought the song was too “light” for the album, wanting to change the lyrics to “everybody wants to go to war”. Luckily for the band (and us fans), he was convinced out of that idea.

The Head & The Heart

You’ve probably heard their catchy lyrics or their badass violinist. No? You deprived child!

Based out of Seattle, The Head & The Heart is an indie folk band with a distinct sound that formed in the summer of 2009. Their first album, The Head & The Heart, is a beautiful composition that takes you on a whimsical adventure of sorts. At least, for me it does. They released their third album, Signs of Light, last year, which is a mix of their original sound with more upbeat tempos, seen in “Rhythm & Blues” and “All We Ever Knew”.

Recommendations? Tough crowd. Well, there’s the talented keyboardist who has a ragtimey sound in the lovely, catharic “Lost in My Mind”. This is the first song that made me fall in love with them.

 

Lost in My Mind

 

Need a little more convincing? Well the soothing lyrics and nostalgic instrumentals will transport you to the childhood fields you once roamed.

Down in the Valley

 

Not into the slow moving tunes? Like I said, you have their more upbeat songs to choose from. There’s the fun love song “Rhythm & Blues”, a contrast from the theme of inner reflection seen in the two previous songs.

Rhythm & Blues

Is your heart racing yet? Are you just absolutely obsessed with them now? No? Google The Head & The Heart, or check them out at their website.