Beyond Indie

Dustin Kensrue's 'Some Feel Good Indie Songs That Frequent My Home During Quarantine' Playlist

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With everyone sequestered and self-quarantining due to the coronavirus, we’ve asked our favorite artists to come up with playlists that keep you entertained. Here’s Dustin Kensrue of Thrice:

Playlists are hard for me because I always want to overthink them. This is just a non-exhaustive list of some songs/bands that my wife and I might be playing around the house when we are eating breakfast or cooking dinner or just hanging out. They lift our spirits a bit and hopefully will lift yours as well.

Nada Surf – “Always Love”
This band is criminally underrated and Caws is one of the most earnest songwriters I’ve ever heard. Let Go is their absolute masterpiece but all their records are great, especially their newest Never Not Alone.

Wilco, Billy Brag – “California Stars”
I love Wilco in general and this is a tune from a project they did with Billy Brag where they wrote songs set to previously unheard lyrics from Woody Guthrie. It WILL make you feel at least 3% better than before you started listening.

Weakerthans – “Sun In An Empty Room”
I’ve loved this band since the little record store I worked at when I was 17 got their first record in one day. Sampson is one of the best lyricists of all time in my opinion.

Local Natives – “When Am I Gonna Lose You”
This whole record is fantastic but this tune is definitely a standout. I definitely have trouble not dancing a bit to this one.

Manchester Orchestra – “The Sunshine”
Andy Hull played me this record before it was out in a van when we touring solo together. I read the lyrics and convinced him (over the course of two weeks) that the title HAD to be A Black Mile To The Surface. I also remember really liking the shift in their sound but worrying that it wasn’t going to connect with a lot of people and I was really, really wrong on that front. It’s a record that starts pretty great, but keeps growing and growing on you the more you listen. It gets a lot of spins in our house.

Khruangbin / Leon Bridges – “Texas Sun”
If Khruangbin isn’t on your radar yet, this is a good introduction I think. One of my favorite discoveries in the past few years. Leon Bridges is the icing on a cake that was already really damn good.

Band of Horses – “Is There A Ghost”
A feel-good band if there ever was one. This song has like 14 words in it and that somehow works just fine.

The National – “Rylan”
I decided that a while back that The National are my favorite band. There are so many bands I love, but none of them connect with quite like The National. This is a fun tune off their latest record I Am Easy To Find. You should also check out the short film by the same name which is connected in a variety of interesting ways to the record.

Bon Iver – “Hey, Ma”
Bon Ever is one my wife and I’s favorite bands (we might have done an impromptu interpretive dance to one of their tunes at my brother’s wedding reception.) This is one of our favorites from their latest release.

Father John Misty – “Real Love Baby”
Knowing what I know of Tillman’s byzantine cynicism makes me wonder like this song is supposed to somehow be indicting you for liking while you listen. That’s ok by me, it’s a fun ride.

Pedro The Lion – “Yellow Bike”
David Bazan is possibly THE most underrated songwriter of our time. Dive deep into anything he is involved with. This is off his latest release, Phoenix, that begins a multiple album reflection on his life through the lens of the places he’s lived.

Dawes – “Somewhere Along the Way”
It took me a few spins to decide if this record was too saccharine and 70’s for me to hang with. Once I tipped towards the negative on that query I fell very hard to that side of the line.

Frightened Rabbit – “Holy”
I’ve come to really love this band and really, really regret not getting to see them live when I still could have.

Arcade Fire – “Put Your Money on Me”
One of my wife and I’s very favorite bands. We often lip-sync this one to each other while doing dishes etc.

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