Ethan’s 5 Artists For A Deserted Island

Posted: by Ethan

Choosing albums or discographies to bring with you on a deserted island is like picking which friends you would want to hang out with for eternity. It’s painful. You have to be severe in your consideration. You cannot simply settle for an album or band you love – your choices must be brutal and unapologetic. These are the only tunes you will be listening to for the rest of your life! I can barely escape my indecision when it comes to breakfast options, so this exercise was a real mind-fucker. Alas, I was able to narrow my list to the desired number. Similar to Sean, I lacked the fortitude of choosing just one album for almost all of my picks. It was too damn hard!

Disclaimer: I am writing this as my new puppy viciously careens her jaws into my side because teething provokes a Hyde-like behavior in her. So, if I appear overly candid, my response is this: you try dealing with a three-month old pup.  

Raein’s Discography

If you are unfamiliar with Raein, allow me to introduce you to your new favorite screamo band. Throughout their cumulative eleven years as a band, they have released consistently brilliant albums. There are few bands that posses the ability to bring me to tears, but Raein will always be an exception. As far as screamo bands go, Raein’s song complexity, emotionalism and sheer passion culminate in a powerful, bordering on spiritual experience. By the end of most screamo records I think to myself, “Most of these songs sound the same.” I have never noticed an ounce of listener fatigue when blasting Raein’s songs for the umpteenth time.  That is largely in part to their capability to make every song dynamic, deep, and utterly moving. Raein’s discography is definitely coming with me to Beach Hell.

Mock Orange’s Discography

Man, oh man, do I adore Mock Orange. And if you know me or my band at all, you can probably tell (because we rip them off a whole bunch). When I was in middle school and stealing music from my brother’s computer, curiosity got the best of me and I clicked on Mock Orange’s “Does It Show”. It was the only Mock Orange song he had on his iTunes library and I wanted to know why. I still do not know. In my mind, “Does It Show” is one of the best songs ever written. Obviously I know I am probably being hyperbolic, but the song is really fucking good. The guitars are youthfully spastic, encompassed by technical drumming and shimmering harmonies. I was hooked. Unfortunately, Mock Orange has always flown relatively under the radar. They were not what you would call emo/indie darlings like The Promise Ring or Sunny Day Real Estate.  Even with their eclectic writing style that spans genres – Mock Orange’s more recent releases are essentially folk-rock – it seems as though they have never quite garnered the attention they deserve. Hey! That is what this is (kind of) for, right? Listen to them! Regardless if you choose to listen to them, the Mock Orange discography will be keeping me warm on my Tom Hank(s) nightmare. 

At the Drive-In’s Discography

If my fate is to languish on a deserted island where I will be subject to sleeping in mud, At the Drive-In will be spinning on my conveniently located island turntable. They have been with me since fifth grade — it would be insane to break up now. For fun, I would watch their live shows on Conan or David Letterman. There was nothing else like ATDI to me. They had the talent, the moves, the style, the hair –  At the Drive-In left an impression and a fucking big one. I can listen to Relationship of Command front to back without feeling the urge to skip a song. Between their grandiose verbiage, Latin inspired rhythms, and Cedric’s beautiful scream, nothing else gets my blood flowing like this band. If your band can write lyrics like “They had spun the last of the pimps/ Polyester, satin nailed, jewelry lips/ While the guillotine just laughed again” and gain wide spread attention, there is something special there. My survival time would be relatively short if I did not bring At the Drive-In. In the spirit of longevity, At the Drive-In will be maintaining my sanity on my deserted isalnd.

Modest Mouse’s Discography

It is difficult for me to talk about Modest Mouse. Specifically, it is hard to accurately portray how much this band means to me. Without Modest Mouse, I can honestly say that I would be a fundamentally different person. Throughout my many bouts with depression, Isaac Brock’s voice followed me everywhere. They calmed me down during anxiety attacks, prevented me from feeling too insecure, and they are intrinsic to my love for writing. Brock’s cadence and metaphorical imagery are unmatched by most songwriters. His words carried intellect and honesty to a new level. Lines like, “It takes a long time, but God dies too” floored me by their audacity (I grew up in a household where questioning your faith was not readily accepted) Brock’s lyrics scared me, but more importantly, they forced me to look at aspects of life I never would have considered. I am not going to stand on a soap box here, so I will wrap up with this: Modest Mouse is tight. I would never vote them off the island.   

Interpol – Turn On the Bright Lights

Sorry to bum you out back there. Sometimes you have to let out the Dark Passenger like my man Dexter, you know? Save for the murder part. Oh, boy. I gotta get off the stage, folks. I will make this one quick. I decided to leave Interpol’s later albums behind for many reasons. Partly because I have not listened to the others with the same obsession as Turn On the Bright Lights, and partly because I have heard from friends the quality drops in later albums. I can neither confirm or deny these claims, but I can confirm that Turn On the Bright Lights is incredible. When I was younger, my dumb, boyish mind thought Interpol was boring. My reasoning was something to the effect of “there aren’t enough fast parts!” Fast forward a couple years and a bad relationship — Turn On the Bright Lights became a fast friend for young Ethan. The droning melancholy that originally inspired aversion began to attract me. There was something in that dripping, deep voice that kept me from pressing “pause”. To this day, I love putting on this album when I am at odds with a big life decision. It never fails to grant enlightening introspection. This album is a must.

That is it for now. This list is definitely subject to change, but I am quite happy with my picks. You know what does not make me happy? The sadistic bastard that made me narrow down a life’s worth of music into a top five. This was exhausting.