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Where we have the interns blindly comment on 6 songs in a row that come up on BYT office iPod playlist shuffle.

Ana age 19
Michael age 22
Mykalee age 22
Ruby age 19

1. “Romulus” by Sufjan Stevens from Greetings from Greetings from Michigan: The Great Lakes State

Ana: This song is the part of the movie where they’re separated and sitting around missing each other. I’m not sure if it’s the acoustic guitar or the hushed voice, but it sounds familiar.

Michael: Nylon strings and lazily fingerpicked banjo delicately resting on a piano define this Sufjan Stevens song. Stevens’ poetry recalls the escapism of intimate moments as he profiles the woman featured in the track’s poetry. The mood of the song steers more toward “sluggish Americana” than his typical “freaky folk,” as he repeatedly sighs “I was ashamed” with his delicate voice in the outro.

Mykalee: Reminded of the farm and banjos. Calm outdoors.

Ruby: It sounds like a good singer-songwriter song that fits well with being inside on this cold, sunny and snowy day. The singer has that whispery, angst-filled type of singing that lets you know he is deep and contemplative of the world around him.

2. “I’ve Lived On A Dirt Road All My Life” by Manitoba (now Caribou) from Up In Flames

Ana: There is too much going on instrumentally in this song, it’s a little stressful. I feel like the dream-like, haunting vocals in the background mean this is supposed to be deep, but I can’t figure it out.

Michael: This one is some Animal Collective-esque art-pop. It sounds almost like someone is flipping one of those “rain-staffs” back and forth while an orchestra tunes in the background. The song really picks up when the sporadic drum-circle beat kicks in, at which point I can see how one could groove to this music. I like how it sort of disintegrates at the end; it creates a wide contrast in the song’s dynamics.

Mykalee: I feel like it could be a soundtrack of the noises you hear in the New York subway.

Ruby: This confuses me. I would compare this song to an onion, in that there seems to be many layers going on, but I don’t think this song would bring my to tears like an onion could. I would say it’s tumultuous, and not recommended if you have a migraine. It’s kind of like being in a party and there’s just lots of loud noises and maybe you are in a trance (because that would explain the random singing/humming/overall confusion). But the ending is nice, although I cannot decide if the noises are birds or not. Vague.

3. “Counting” by Lake from Oh, The Places We’ll Go

Couldn’t find this one on youtube, but here is another track from the same album:

Ana: To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of the monotone approach to vocals, but the song has a good beat so I’ll deal with it.

Michael: The harmonized male-and-female vocals remind me a bit of The Magnetic Zeroes, but the bouncing pop-driven melody would be uncharacteristic of their sound. I like the little jam that the band gets into at the end.

Mykalee: Red neon lights in western bar and the mechanical bull is in the corner.

Ruby: I imagine this song in the opening credits of a movie, as the morning begins and the camera shows bunches of random people getting on and off the subway, crossing the streets and going off to whatever their destinations are. It’s a good morning pick-up song for sure (although I could just be saying this because I am still in my morning mode).

4. “Adagio for Strings (Charlie Sheen Dialogue Version From Platoon)” by Samuel Barber from LateNightTales: At The Movies

Ana: I know this. Why do I know this. I think I played the song in the background in orchestra when I was in high school.

Michael: Charlie Sheen narrates this grim soundbite from Platoon (or maybe it’s Martin Sheen in Apocalypse Now) while a snippet from The Messiah plays in the background.

Mykalee: The Bodyguard or a Saving Private Ryan. I’m waiting for Whitney Houston to start singing.

Ruby: It sounds like a montage from a movie, about wars (helicopter and classical music included). The overall vibe is moving, like a flower reemerging from the ground after a cold winter (sorry that was my English major coming in).

5. “(World) Price Of Love” by New Order from Republic

Ana: I don’t mind this song, but I can’t say I’d choose to listen to it on my own. It sounds like something my boyfriend would force me to listen to.

Michael: This 80s-tastic synth pop makes me want to jump out of my chair and dance. The instrumental interlude especially makes remaining stationary particularly difficult as the singer belts “That’s the price of love!”

Mykalee: Funky jive turkey days in the year 3000. The hook reminds me of a bad 80’s music video where lasers are shooting out of a keytar.

Ruby: Opposite of the previous song that is sure. It kind of sounds like the weird 80s pop music my ex-neighbors used to blast while they drank whiskey and did other bro/dad stuff together. I am into it, especially the nice female back-up vocals letting me know it’s all the ~price of love~. Honestly though, how many times is the phrase “price of love” said in this song? It seems like a lot.

6. “3Jane” by EMA from The Future’s Void

Ana: I started choreographing a dance routine to this within the first few seconds, which usually means it’s going to be a decent song. Or at least have a wonderfully dramatic rise and fall.

Michael: A robust atmospheric sound supports the breathy vocals in this emotional cut. The vocals are kind of androgynous, at times sounding like those Bradford Cox and at other times sounding a little more like Karen O. The production is really what sells this one.

Mykalee: This has to be apart of a movie. A romantic drama from the 90s with Ryan Phillipe as the male lead.

Ruby: And with the last song I can affirm that I did not know any of the songs played. Same type of whispery singing from song #1. However this isn’t as upbeat as song #1. Instead it’s more the type of song you listen to after you get dumped (mostly because of lyrics such as “hole inside of me”). I’m sure someone has cried while listening to this song. I get a clingy vibe, which honestly could be good or bad, depending on how you feel about extreme attachment.