"Zum ersten Date kommst du zu spät /
  Frag mich endlich, wie's mir geht"

Deutsche Laichen - "Von Mackern und Pumas"


Artist: Sigrid
Song: High Five

Radio pop has made its tiring cultural imprint on me for decades ever since I was playing in my parents' living room as a kid. Once in a while however there is a flash of brilliance among the ever-dragging monotony of mainstream pop. High Five  is the front-running protagonist in my collection of favourite pop songs. It's breathing Alt-J through and through and its subtle syncopated synth parts made me smile in an instance. Somehow Norway just knows its pop music.


Video: Besides the general cringe, probably the worst imaginable depiction of handball in a music video ( followed closely by Apache 207's Nicht wie du ). But at least we got some dancing, right.

Lyrics: It goes "You won't let anybody close / That high five is all you got" - Somehow can't argue against it if one rather keeps her/his distance. I suspect we're supposed to pity the sung-about hero, but I can't really see the point. Then again, I don't feel the need to worry about the lyrics when the song is this catchy.


Artist: Wild Beasts
Song: The Devil's Crayon

Until their split-up Wild Beasts featured easily my favourite male voice and The Devil's Crayon  was my introduction to it. Despite the seemingly chaotic arrangements in the verse Tom Fleming's voice is a calming grace that pulls me in everyt time. Besides, the song is a brilliant piece of songwriting that does just enough. Just listen to the slight change in chord progression around the 3:10 minute mark. Indiscernibly subtle, yet unmistakably leading straight up into the song's climax.


None: This song is just one of my all time favourites.


Artist: Martha
Song: Into This

Universally adored punk rock band from England, Martha is about as likeable as it gets. And even though Into This  is probably not their flashiest song it certainly showcases one of Martha's biggest strengths: story telling. One might not like the music, but it's hard not to like the lyrics. Martha have become one of my favourite bands in the last couple of years and this so probably because their songs are not only fun, but more often than not also deeply relatable.


Video: I guess, it's modern punkrock ballett? I'm unsure of what this video is trying to say but I'm convinced you'll enjoy the dancing.

Lyrics: "My heart flutters then it sinks / you only want to kiss me when you've had a drink" - people might experience this story differently, but there is probably hardly anybody who cannot relate to this feeling of lingering disappointment. And yeah, it's also tragic as fuck.


Artist: Gordi
Song: Something Like This

If it hadn't been for Gordi's gorgeous I'm done  I probably would have never come across this simple, yet beautiful record that for me only clicked at the fourth or fifth playthrough. But it stuck and still does to this day. Gordi's rather minimalistic songs are somewhat of an antithesis to my usual taste for harmony-overladen short-lived hits as I often lack the patience. But Gordi makes it work and her songs often are plain beauty that ease the storm inside me. Something Like This  is exactly one of those.


Lyrics: "For all those hours I waited for nothing / I wanted something like this" - I agree.


Artist: Chilly Gonzales
Song: Kenaston

I learned about Chilly Gonzales in the early 2000s through his tantalizing rap hymn Take me to Broadway. Little did I know back then that in truth he was a studied pianist and composer with a fable for the pop side of things. And in a strictly pop music sense his Solo Piano  pieces are as close to my ideal ideas of instrumental music as I could probably hope for. They're clear-cut pop songs presented in a graciously nuanced way without ever feeling cheesy. I don't know shit about classical music but Chilly let's me pretend I do.


Trivia: He won a Grammy for his work on daft punk's Random Access Memories  which he does not get tired of mentioning. However, he once said that his Gonzales persona was built upon this specific idea of the musical genius  and as such I assume you gotta have accolades.

Education: If you ever want to get into playing the piano, Chilly got you covered with the single-greatest beginner's book which I know of (granted, I only know that one). Specifically written for frustrated beginners with stupifying gorgeous simple songs it makes you feel like you've been playing for a decade.