Playlist: RadioBlack

TJ Courtney of RadioBlack took some time to make a playlist of some of the songs he wish he wrote. He wrote a bit about each song and you can check it all out below.

Soundgarden – “Fell on Black Days” – Superunknown

I love the way Cornell framed these lyrics… as if he literally slipped and fell on black days. Its genius because you don’t know exactly which moments or events bring you to that place until you’re there — “How would I know, that this could be my fate.” Particularly chilling given recent events.

Silverchair – “Ana’s Song (Open Fire)” – Neon Ballroom

I think this is one of the most interesting and well constructed melodies of the 90’s. It blows my mind that Daniel Johns wrote this when he was 18. It has a uniqueness and maturity to it that is hard to come by. The key change to kick off the chorus feels like a natural progression of the melody somehow, which is so hard to pull off.

Foo Fighters – “Times Like These” – One by One

I’ve been trying to write something like this ever since I first heard it. Its nostalgic without being cheesy, the chorus melody drops down lower than the verses yet the chorus still feels like a lift. They play with time signatures too without it taking away from the song, which isn’t easy to do.

Nine Ince Nails – “HURT”

Such a dark and haunting melody — apparently Johnny Cash recognized this one as one he wish he wrote too. Doesn’t get any more badass than that.

Stone Temple Pilots – “Creep” – Core

The slow, draggy, bluesy verse builds up to the chorus in such an awesome way. The chorus has a really distinct melody and feel, yet the song still feels cohesive. This is one of my favorites from STP.

Nothing But Thieves – “Tripswitch” – Nothing But Thieves

This is a newer band and I think this song should have been bigger than it was. The subject of the lyrics is interesting — what would happen if all our technology suddenly stopped working… the fact that they made a chorus that feels uplifting out of that subject matter really caught my attention.

Radiohead – “Go To Sleep” – Hail to the Thief

This song gets me amped up and gets my adrenaline pumping as much as anything else out there, yet its a slow acoustic-driven song. That has always blown my mind. My person all-time favorite Radiohead song.

Nirvana – “Heart Shaped Box” – In Utero

Classic Cobain — melodic apathy in the verse, and busts into a huge chorus. This is probably my favorite Nirvana song. I’ve always wished I wrote the line “forever in debt to your priceless advice.” It perfectly sums up people who overstep and expect a pat on the back for giving unsolicited advice…

The Offspring – “Gone Away” – Ixnay on the Hombre

This song captures the feeling of losing someone so well. Dexter’s vocals on this are so great. This is one I’ve often thought about covering with RadioBlack.

Matchbox Twenty – “Bent” – Mad Season

Matchbox Twenty is one band I get a lot of heat for liking — but you’ve got to own up to your guilty pleasures and stand by them! This record is a hidden gem and “Bent” is the best it has to offer. Its on the darker side for them and you can feel serious pain and soul-searching behind the lyrics. The way the pre-chorus builds to the chorus and starts the chorus melody and cadence before the chorus actually starts is really interesting and unique.

Puddle of Mudd – “Blurry” – Come Clean

I’m usually not a huge fan of Puddle’s lyrics, but they got it right this time. I remember the first time I heard it and I wished I had come up with the harmonic guitar intro, and then the rest of the song blew me away.

Our Lady Peace – “Superman’s Dead” – Clumsy

I stick this in the category with RadioHead’s “Go to Sleep,” because the opening acoustic guitar riff immediately gets me amped up. This is Our Lady Peace before being overproduced, with a lot of quirky tendencies that really make the band great in my opinion. I love songs that can be dark without thick guitars and production tricks making them dark… the song is just coming from a dark place. This song accomplishes that incredibly well.