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My name is Devan Coggan. I am 20 years old, and I am a journalism major at Northwestern University. I am originally from St. Louis.
Sometimes I blog about stuff.

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  1. What Life Sounds Like #19 - “Felony Flats” by Anya Marina

    "Felony Flats" is the title track off Anya Marina’s third album, and I think it’s the best one on the disc. Anya Marina is a breathy singer-songwriter who’s dabbled in acting, comedy, music, you name it. She gained a little bit of traction a few years ago when she was featured on the Twilight: New Moon soundtrack with the fantastic "Satellite Heart." A flirty, soft version cover of "Whatever You Like" has also been making the rounds. She’s feminine, self-deprecating, and at times snarky. She can float from infectious acoustic anthems to pulsing dance beats. The girl’s got talent.

    If there’s one musical quality that can almost guarantee a song a place in my heart, it’s a good build. I’m talking about the songs that start slow, almost silent, building slowly to a crashing zenith of sound. Yeah, that dramatic. “Mariella” by Kate Nash (a previous WLSL entry) is a perfect example. 

    "Felony Flats" has that quality. She says, "I could tell by your face, I was late" with such delicacy and sadness, but by the end of the song she’s growling, "Come on and get it." There’s a definite rock ‘n roll vibe, and it’s a song you have to sing along with at the top of your lungs.

    (Source: Spotify)

     
     
  2. What Life Sounds Like #18 - “Somebody” by Jukebox the Ghost

    Been waiting for the official release of this song since it first started streaming on NPR. Hell, I’ve had it stuck in my head since I saw them open for Jack’s Mannequin in January. NPR called it a “danceable song of longing,” and all I can say is cheers to that. 

    There aren’t many albums on my 2012 most anticipated list. The Shins and Say Anything were on it, and I picked those new discs up in March — both were very good. One of my all time favorites and the band currently at the top of the oh-my-god-how-have-I-not-seen-these-guys-live list is The Gaslight Anthem, who are coming out with a new summer album called Handwritten. Beyond that, there’s nothing really to look forward to — except for Jukebox the Ghost’s upcoming Safe Travels

    These guys have only gotten better since the release of their 2008 major debut Live and Let Ghosts, and if “Somebody” and “Oh, Emily” are any clue, they’re on a roll. (By the way, you can download “Oh, Emily” on JTG’s website FOR FREE. Get on that.)

    One of these days, Jukebox is gonna blow up and top the charts, and I’m going to shake my head, smile and say I told you so. Give it a listen. 

    (Source: Spotify)

     
     
  3. What Life Sounds Like #17 - “Perfect (In My Mind)” by Gold Motel

    It’s been entirely too long since I did a WLSL post, and with Tumblr’s brand new Spotify capabilities, there’s little excuse. I’ve recently been rocking my favorite warm-weather song, this infectiously poppy single by Gold Motel. Frontwoman Greta Morgan first got my attention years ago when she played piano in the underrated Fueled By Ramen band The Hush Sound. As anyone who reads my blog knows, I’m a sucker for good piano rock, and The Hush Sound consequently became one of my favorite bands. They broke up a few years back, with each band member moving on to separate projects, and Greta formed the indie-pop Gold Motel. I’ve been hooked since.

    A classically trained pianist, Greta has matured considerably since the early days of The Hush Sound, particularly in her vocals. With Gold Motel, her voice is softer and fuller, and as she sings about being young and in love, it makes you want to throw on some sunglasses and drive anywhere with the windows down. ”Perfect (In My Mind)” works so well because it’s a carefree song about youth and freedom. There’s no theme that works better for weather like this, and to me, it’s not spring until I can whip out the Gold Motel.

    (Source: Spotify)

     
     
  4. 80 plays
    Oh No! Yoko
    90s Kids
    Pau Pau

    We are from the 90’s with our faded sweaters. Our favourite song is ‘Who Let The Dogs Out.’ We played Oregon trail on our Macintosh and Windows 93. My cousin Geo bought me all my clothes.”

    What Life Sounds Like #11 - “90s Kids” by Oh No! Yoko

    This song… I don’t even know what to do with it. It’s catchy as hell. It’s also strange as hell. All I know is that it’s been stuck in my head for a while, and I will be shouting, “It’s a bonfire, a very big bonfire!” for a very long time.

    But I think the real reason I like this song is because my first concert was N*SYNC. I had more Beanie Babies than friends. I suffered through dial-up AOL. There was never enough Lisa Frank, and Pluto was a planet. Toy Story still makes me laugh and Furbies still terrify me. I, too, wanted to really really really wanna zig-a-zig-ahh. 

    Rock on, 90s. We love you so, so much.