8 tracks ► songs for the ides

► March Madness. You’ve heard the saying: In like a lion, out like lamb. For this Ides of March, we’re going in reverse: In like a lamb, out like a lion, with songs that gather steam as they go. Some feature a change-up in tempo; others highlight the gradual layering of vocals, instrumentation and harmony.

A countdown:

 8  • Captain • Abigail Washburn & the Sparrow Quartet ► The glory and wonder of the combined talent of this quartet cannot be quantified, and this song especially highlights the group’s individual and collective strengths.

7  •  Starla • the Smashing Pumpkins   ►   You know it’s coming the whole song—the grungy break-out of dirty guitars and reverbed sound—but the first half of the song has this bottled-up atmospheric drive that balances out the unrestrained latter half of the song.

6  •  Smoke on the Water • Deep Purple  ►   Fire in the sky.

5  •  Bohemian Rhapsody • Queen   ►   This rock opera is just all over the place. But it does feature the swell in intensity requisite for this playlist. And, anyway, it’s just fun.

4  • Free Bird • Lynyrd Skynyrd   ►   What song is it you want to hear? It’s always this rock standard.

3  • Over the Hills and Far Away • Led Zeppelin   ►  This tune very clearly shows off the incoming of new harmonic layers. And I just love that.

2  •  Hey Jude • The Beatles   ►   Take a sad song and make it better by listening to the way each instrument gradually works its way into the melody and builds the impact of this Beatles classic.

1  •  American Pie • Don McLean   ►   Rock ballad of rock ballads, this iconic track picks it up then pulls it back with instrumentation that matches the song’s story arc.  

►   Bonus Track  •  Set Fire to the Third Bar • Snow Patrol featuring Martha Wainwright   ►  This track waxes and wanes until it comes full circle.


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unless otherwise noted * graphics, photographs, text © 2017 hilary hall

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