Guestape: Summer Lovin’ Torture Party

Art of the Mixtape is proud to feature a guest mixtape from Pete Willett.  While not rooting and endlessly researching The Yankees; Pete enjoys playing ridiculous amounts of jazz guitar (Pat Metheny is an unfortunate favorite) and being inspired by the non-sequitur lyrics of Matt Berninger, 80’s pop, and plenty of 90’s and 2000’s melodramatic music.  I kid, sort of, but here’s his mixtape after the jump.

Continue reading Guestape: Summer Lovin’ Torture Party


Mixtape Monday: In Ears

In Ear Park- Department of Eagles

The intro to this song is a beautiful weave of guitars and pianos going in and out like waves crashing into the shores that leads into an ethereal vocal and beautiful backing instrumentation, a lament on loss, the beauty of this song just speaks volumes

So Far Around the Bend- The National

I wasn’t the biggest fan of the Boxer nor did I see the big attraction to the National until this song came out.  The lyrics are perfectly understated and performed, with a creative arrangement and a sentiment that everyone can identify with, it doesn’t hurt that the melody is so damn catchy as well

Fine For Now- Grizzly Bear

Veckatimest, the latest album by Grizzly Bear is full of songs that range from the sweet to the bizarre, Fine for Now starts off with a strangely beautiful vocal arrangement before turning into an otherworldly meld of guitar and drums and vocals, truly a song worth multiple listens

Chinese Translation- M. Ward

M. Ward has a knack for great studio production and melody, and this has a great chorus, and no theres no chinese in a single second of the recording, just a great overall song

Lost Coastlines- Okkervil River

I love the vocalist in this band, his range is affecting and his lyrics are well written, and i can hear glimmers of Paul Simons Graceland and the Jam’s Town Called Malice woven in

We Were Sick- The Thermals

Like Blink 182, fun upbeat and catchy, but better because you don’t get tired of the nasal voice and the chord progression is classic

Race You- Elizabeth and the Catapults

Little known bands often provide the most happiness to the listener when they make great catchy songs, because you feel like you’re the one discovering them, it’s a little feistish and happy and just puts you in a good mood

Wilco (The Song)- Wilco

Love this song, a little weezerish but with less pop culture reliant lyrics

Take A Walk Around the Table- White Rabbits

This song is so delightfully weird that you can’t help but listen to it over and over again

Metal Detektor- Spoon

Of all the great Spoon songs there are to choose from, this is one of, if not their finest songs ever put to record

Golden- My Morning Jacket

Beautiful acoustic guitar, beautiful singing, beautiful lyrics, need i even say more

The Golden Age- Beck

Great progression and arrangement, both of which Beck has an undeniable knack for and this is one of his finer songs

Songs for the Fireflies- Josh Ritter

This is one of those songs that feels as if the performer is right in front of you not in some far off studio and the buildup is wonderful

The Honeymoon Song- The Beatles

It’s hard to find a Beatles song that the whole world hasn’t heard millions of times.  This one comes from Live at the BBC and the arrangment lets Paul McCartneys voice take front and center, and how sweet and young he sounds, the only bad thing is the song ends so soon

Honeymoon- Phoenix

Love every part about this song, the bass, the guitar, the singing, the build up, it works perfectly

Everything Hits At Once- Spoon

Another early Spoon song, undeniably their own, from the arrangment to the melody and the buildup as well the great guitar and piano hooks

Fernando Pando- The Virgins

this son builds from intimate guitar and vocals to a great energetic arrangement.  Terrific vocal performance throughout

Changes- David Bowie

Because this song is undeniable in its classic status, love the progression and the lyrics

A Day in the Life- The Beatles

Arguably the greatest song Lennon and McCartney put together from the arrangement to the lyrics to the orchestra build up and McCartneys part.  Also the interplay between the musicians is great, McCartney’s piano and Lennon’s guitar and Ringo’s drums couldn’t have fit any better

You Got the Silver- The Rolling Stones

this song goes a long way in saying that Keith Richards was as underrated a singer and songwriter as Harrison was in The Beatles.

Mixtape Vibes

Here is a mixtape for you all

Wild Mountain Nation- Blitzen Trapper

I had never really heard these guys before, but my stepbrother recommended them and i was surprised to find they are actually very good.  Wild Mountain Nation feels like Grateful Dead meets Southern Fried rock and what a combination.

This Is My Country- The Impressions

I don’t think its possible for these guys to make a sad sounding melody, everything they touch is uplifting and the lyrics are always powerful.

Teenagers- Department of Eagles

Department of Eagles came to my attention through the use of, a great source for finding songs online if you don’t torrent,  the production is magnificent and their sound is utterly unique.

Saturday Nite- Blitzen Trapper

Another upbeat track from this band, but the production and arrangement is completely different, just goes to show how much range this band has.  Saturday Nite has flashes of Spoon, Grateful Dead, and the Doors, and some great instrumentation.

Saint John-  Cold War Kids

Another great and upcoming band. Saint John comes across as a White Stripes kind of groove, dirty and catchy and the singer falls in between Jack White and Freddie Mercury.  Some great harmonies here

Relax- G. Love and Special Sauce

Known mostly for their hip hop-blues vibe, I have always thought that G. Love put alot of time into the production of his songs.  Relax is one of the most chill songs I have heard, perfect for those otherworldly times you might be having.

Race You- Elizabeth & the Catapult

Another band found from searching around random music blogs, if you like Fiest or her first band Broken Social Scene this song is for you, very clean production and a very catchy melody.

No One Does It Like You- Department of Eagles

Catchy as all hell, great harmonies, the kind of song for those people who dig Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes but the production is otherworldly, an amalgamtion that is completely original and familiar at the same time.

Mighty Mighty (Spade and Whitey)- The Impressions

For a studio produced track its got a great live sound to it.  The best of the Impressions sound is on showcase, great harmonies, great groove, great horn lines and as always powerful lyrics.

Loving Me- G. Love & Special Sauce

For all of his professed love for the hip-hop blues, G. Love also is an accomplished acoustic guitarist and when he strips it down his lyrics really shine.

In Ear Park- Department of Eagles

Yes i know, three songs by the same band, but I dare you to find a song as otherworldy and utterly beautiful as this.

Hang Me Up to Dry- Cold War Kids

Catchy hook, great groove, gritty sound, gotta love those Cold War Kids.

Gimme Some Lovin’- G. Love & Special Sauce

Another great acoustic song by Mr. G. Love

Furr- Blitzen Trapper

Greatest song you will hear about a boy being raised by wolves, and falling in love with a girl, only to return to the wild.  The singer has an eerie Elliot Smith meets Nick Drake quality.  Some great production on this track

Front Porch Lounger- G. Love & Special Sauce

There is no one better than G. Love at the laid back groove.  The song isn’t trying to be deep, it’s just there for you to chill out to, great guitar hook.

Feelin Alright- 6680 Lexington

Most people know this song from Joe Cocker’s very popular version.  I dare say this one is better

A Burden- Horse Feathers

Great instrumentation on this track, otherworldly duet between fiddle and guitar.

Black River Killer- Blitzen Trapper

A Johnny Cash delivery with Bob Dylan like lyrics and modern touches here and there throughout, this band has no limits.

Can’t Go Back to Jersey-  G. Love and Special Sauce

Just a fun track and a great one to end on, the story is great and so is the bass and piano interplay and the harmonica line is unforgettable.