It’s that time again!
So, back by (not so) popular demand, here is a sampling of songs that I’ve found free on Amazon, which goes to show it pays to sift through a lot of the garbage out there. A product of my fascination with indie music and my childhood memories of casing out the small record shops in Seattle for interesting music that came cheap that nobody’s ever heard of before (but still sounds good), the internet has only made this obsession easier to carry out (much to the chagrin of my wife, sometimes, who must endure me listening to terrible music with a pensive expression on my face as I nod and wait for two or three minutes before I decide a song is, indeed, in fact, quite terrible). Some of the songs I write about are unfortunately not free anymore, but I try to indicate this is the case when this is, well, the case. The others are, at the time of the writing, still free on Amazon, and you should totally snatch it up.
Also, there is a ton of free Christmas music on Amazon right now. So, if you’re in the mood for Christmas music…
The following selections are the best of the best, the musical gems that I have come to adore and play over and over again. Enjoy.
Go On by Elephant Revival
Here is their song played live. This is a great song, and I love it. No, seriously, I love this song. This is a great band, and you need to download this song, and then download all of their albums.
After listening to this, I immediately thought to myself, man, this should be my friend Quinton’s theme song.
Winter Night by Little and Ashley
So their songs are frequently featured in Amazon ads, which may be why they are offered for free on Amazon, but Little and Ashley is quickly becoming one of my favorite artists of all time, hands down. The song in the ad is cute; the actual song is cuter and is one of the few modern-day Christmas/winter songs that I actually like.
I’m serious, guys, I will probably ask my wife to buy me all of their songs for Christmas.
Also, I really want a Kindle.
Lover’s Carvings by Bibio
I had never heard of this artist before finding this song in the free section of Amazon, but it’s pretty good. Peaceful instrumental intro (and I am a sucker for well-done instrumentals, an influence from my obsession with video game music as a child, I’m sure). This makes for good writing music, as long as you are not writing any hardcore action scenes.
Sex and Reruns by Matt Duke
I talked about Matt Duke’s song Kingdom Underground before (still one of my favorite songs), so I was happy to hear Matt Duke had another song for free on Amazon called Sex and Reruns (unfortunately, it’s not free anymore). This YouTube video is him explaining the history of this song and then playing an acoustic version of it. Ironically, despite my love for acoustic versions over the more polished, produced versions, I actually really, really like the produced, finished version. However, the acoustic version is still great and worth a listen or two (or three).
Also, despite the title, this song has very little to do with sex and more with existential dread.
Between the Bars by Elliott Smith
I do not know much about Elliott Smith, but apparently he is well loved. This song is haunting. And it’s free.
Hand-in-Hand Grenade by Bedroom Eyes
Gotta love bands that are so small they don’t even have official music videos on YouTube or something.
Okay, in all seriousness, I am in love with this song. It’s got catchy hooks and a fun, new melody. Download it; it’s still free! The version for free on Amazon is a much higher quality than this live edition, though this live edition is not terrible as far as live music goes on YouTube.
I’ve Set Sail by Toh Kay
This song is adorably indie. I don’t know why, but I love this song. I honestly couldn’t point at any single thing that makes this song endearing. Everything just combines to make a very pleasant, awesome song.
Westfield by Kristin Chambers
This is usually not my cup of tea, but for a free album, this is pretty good stuff. She’s got a really strong, Broadway-esque voice, and apparently she’s a singer/songwriter so I think all of this material is original (don’t quote me on that)? I highly recommend finding this entire album and downloading it. It’s for free, right? Can’t hurt.
This song especially seems to resonate with me, for some really bizarre reason.
Robots by Dan Mangan
This song is about robots. Well, it’s about two rival gangs using robots to fight each other, but when one robot tries to take a more compassionate route, well…
Just download it and give it a listen. It’s contemporary folksy pop telling a fascinating story with an interesting morale which could possibly be interpreted into a message about our alienating post-industrial society, but you know, whatever.
Also, the whole free album, Robots vs. Indie Queens, is worth it. It’s three songs in total, all good.
Just do it already, okay?
One Picture by Peter Bradley Adams
I’m not sure if this song is still free on Amazon, but check. Quinton introduced me to a Peter Bradley Adams song that I loved, which led me to discover I had downloaded one of his songs before that was in my “Top Rated” folder, which led me to search for more, which led me to this song which was free.
This song is amazing in capturing how I feel about my wife (cheesy, I know), and it subverts deliciously a certain familiar patriotic line. This is the type of music that I listened to as a teenager and hoped would come true.
I’m happy to say it has.