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Luke O'Neil, of The Good North: "Six Underrated Songs I Wish The Good North Had Written"

 

1. Mobile, "See Right Through Me"
Although this record came out long after The Good North had broken up, turns out I'd been trying to rip them off my entire career. Exactly the type of hard-charging, soaring anthem my own songs sound like in my head...only none of them are nearly as good as this. One of my favorite vocalists of the past five years. Only big in Canada, sadly.

2. Kent, "If You Were Here"
This track from what I consider the greatest Swedish rock band ever – no small feat –  came out way back in 1998, and it still sounds like it was written tomorrow. It's the essence of longing distilled into a the ideal pop-rock format. This record got lost in the shuffle in the post-Bends-era imitators, but it should have been a huge breakthrough here. For a dude who speaks English as a second language, he writes better lyrics than most American bands. Huge in Sweden. Here, not so much.

3. Aerial Love Feed, "Doomsville"
TGN used to play with these guys in NYC all the time back in the day, and they had a big influence on us. We named our first album after one of their songs. Way, way ahead of their time, they were doing the shoegaze revival thing in the late '90s, then added in a thumping house electronic element just before dance music blew up again. Big in NYC, but never got the attention they deserved everywhere else.

4. The Sheila Divine, "Like a Criminal"
Definitely no surprise about this one for anyone who's ever heard TGN or talked to me for five seconds. And while they weren't underrated in Boston, they probably should have been a huge smash across the country. It still bothers me to this day. I've been trying to write songs like this one for years now.

5. Brand New, "The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows"
This one was sort of a hit, but I highly doubt you gave a shit about it, so we're gonna call it underrated anyway. Best lyricist in the past decade or so. Just a huge anthemic, powerful song, full of sweet harmonies, hard-edged screaming, poignant lyrics, and blazing guitars. The type of song that can pick you up and carry you away.

6. Further Seems Forever, "The Moon Is Down"
Yeah, yeah, emo is gay or whatever. Good call. This seminal, but mostly overlooked record is the picture of a band hitting it so hard in all departments. Not least of which is Carrabba's amazing, yearning vocal here. Sort of a blueprint for most of the shitty bands that came out in the meantime, but still powerful and moving after all this time. Gives hope to dudes who can't technically sing well, but can force home the drama all the same.



The Good North play their reunion show at the Middle East downstairs on Saturday, June 27.

 

 


Playlist 6-19-09: The Good North
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