Other Singer-Songwriters Who Write Songs With Incredible Melodies and Emotion

Few can match the breathtaking melodies and powerful emotions packed into Neil Finn's music.  For me, there are three others that come close to Neil and one of them just tweeted that he has finished his new album and it's going to be released in April.  This singer-songwriter is Ron Sexsmith. Do others enjoy Ron's music as much as I do?  The other two singer-songwriters (for me) are Aimee Mann and Patty Griffin.

Original Post

At their best, I would say Elvis Costello, Paul Simon, Tom Waits, Alex Chilton/Big Star, Jeff Lynne/ELO, Brian Wilson/Beach Boys, The Beatles (and solo), Andy Partridge/XTC, Michael Penn, Prefab Sprout, Squeeze, Roddy Frame/Aztec Camera, The Waterboys/Mike Scott have all done work that give me the same feelings - but in their own, original ways. 

I like Ron Sexsmith, though I don;t have much of his work. Bruce Cockburn is another Canadian who is vastly underappreciated, at least in the states. Koabac has a great list, but sadly, few of them put out much work these days. Partridge/XTC was a big favorite of mine, I think I have everything he's done with XTC plus most of his "Fuzzy Warbles". I don't have some of his collaborations.

If you aren't familiar with the Avett Brothers, I suggest you check them out. A bit rough around the edges, especially their early work, but since they hooked up with Rick Rubin, they have smoothed out a lot. Great melodies, heartfelt emotions, and brotherly harmonies.

KEROUAC posted:

I like Ron Sexsmith but after a few songs I find it a bit "samey" and struggle to listen to a whole album.

 

Thom Yorke?

I have a very different experience of Ron Sexsmith but I do agree that his songs do tend to be similar.  You may want to check out Ron's album Long Player Late Bloomer.  It's his most diverse album and very much sounds like a lost Neil Finn album. I also saw online that Ron has covered "Fall At Your Feet" which was cool to hear (see link below).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CygeWwEkeWQ

Thom Yorke is capable of really beautiful songwriting, as well as really gnarly and troubling songwriting. I feel that Radiohead is so good as a band, they overshadow the fact that Thom Yorke is a first-rate songwriter.

Jeff Tweedy (of Wilco) has also written some exquisitely beautiful songs. I haven't heard their last few albums. but both Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and A Ghost Is Born have some really marvelous stuff.

Sugar Mouse posted:
KEROUAC posted:

I like Ron Sexsmith but after a few songs I find it a bit "samey" and struggle to listen to a whole album.

 

Thom Yorke?

I have a very different experience of Ron Sexsmith but I do agree that his songs do tend to be similar.  You may want to check out Ron's album Long Player Late Bloomer.  It's his most diverse album and very much sounds like a lost Neil Finn album. I also saw online that Ron has covered "Fall At Your Feet" which was cool to hear (see link below).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CygeWwEkeWQ

I have heard Long Player Late Bloomer and I agree it's a good album. Maybe my issue is with his voice. It's a great voice don't get me wrong but maybe tonally he doesn't have as great range as say..Neil and I just switch off after a few songs. I absolutely love the songs Hands of Time and Hard Bargain which show songwriting genius.

KEROUAC posted:
Sugar Mouse posted:
KEROUAC posted:

I like Ron Sexsmith but after a few songs I find it a bit "samey" and struggle to listen to a whole album.

 

Thom Yorke?

I have a very different experience of Ron Sexsmith but I do agree that his songs do tend to be similar.  You may want to check out Ron's album Long Player Late Bloomer.  It's his most diverse album and very much sounds like a lost Neil Finn album. I also saw online that Ron has covered "Fall At Your Feet" which was cool to hear (see link below).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CygeWwEkeWQ

I have heard Long Player Late Bloomer and I agree it's a good album. Maybe my issue is with his voice. It's a great voice don't get me wrong but maybe tonally he doesn't have as great range as say..Neil and I just switch off after a few songs. I absolutely love the songs Hands of Time and Hard Bargain which show songwriting genius.

I also love "Hand of time" and "Hard Bargain".  "Speaking With The Angel" is one of my alltime favorite songs - especially the cover below by Lucy Kaplansky. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_tNkqdqqlI

I've always hoped for a Neil Finn and Aimee Mann collaboration. Both are geniuses with melody. Both have biting wits. Both are great lyricists. And both are incredibly smart people. Seems like a perfect collaboration if it were to happen. And their voices would blend together so very well. Aimee started this new band with Ted Leo but he's no Neil Finn. Aimee's albums Whatever, Smilers, Bachelor #2, Welcome Home, and Everything's Different Now are right up there with Neil's best work. 

Sugar Mouse posted:

I've always hoped for a Neil Finn and Aimee Mann collaboration. Both are geniuses with melody. Both have biting wits. Both are great lyricists. And both are incredibly smart people. Seems like a perfect collaboration if it were to happen. And their voices would blend together so very well. Aimee started this new band with Ted Leo but he's no Neil Finn. Aimee's albums Whatever, Smilers, Bachelor #2, Welcome Home, and Everything's Different Now are right up there with Neil's best work. 

I agree, Aimee Mann and Neil Finn would probably be able to create something great together. She's a much more pointed, barbed lyricist and his gift for melody is unsurpassed, so they both bring something unique and iconic to the table, which, on paper, sounds like it could produce something great. That said, I think I'd rather see only a 2 or 3 Finn/Mann songs, instead of , say, an album's worth. 

Honestly, I've been disappointed by the Neil Finn/Johnny Marr collaborations so far. I mean, not in terms of Marr's playing or supporting Finn live or on record, but I think "Even a Child" is a weak song considering the talent of the two men involved. Marr's song with Jeff Tweedy from 7 Worlds, "Too Blue" is absolutely brilliant (at least Neil sing it), but I'd hope for more and better from Finn and Marr two as songwriting collaborators. 

Honestly, I think an interesting combination would be Neil Finn and Tom Waits. Adding those kinds of melodies into Wait's sonic landscape seems like it could create something very fresh and unique. Also, Waits is one of the greatest living lyricists and, while it might sound like an unlikely match, I really think they could compliment each other well and come up with something neither would ever conceive of on their own that would be wonderfully creative and experimental - while still being rooted in the deep craft they both possess. 

While they both inhabit similar singer/songwriter places, I'd like to see Neil Finn also work with Roddy Frame (another favorite of mine). I know they did the songwriter in the round thing together, but I'd love to see them write some lovely acoustic guitar interplay songs together, weaving in and out and harmonizing. I think they'd find a timeless, classic vibe and create something of great beauty.

Finally, since he's played with virtually everyone else on the planet, I'd like to see Peter Buck from R.E.M. do something with Neil Finn. Buck knows how to create really cool musical environments that both rock and sigh. A collaboration between them could produce something surprising. 

 

 

koabac posted:
Sugar Mouse posted:

I've always hoped for a Neil Finn and Aimee Mann collaboration. Both are geniuses with melody. Both have biting wits. Both are great lyricists. And both are incredibly smart people. Seems like a perfect collaboration if it were to happen. And their voices would blend together so very well. Aimee started this new band with Ted Leo but he's no Neil Finn. Aimee's albums Whatever, Smilers, Bachelor #2, Welcome Home, and Everything's Different Now are right up there with Neil's best work. 

I agree, Aimee Mann and Neil Finn would probably be able to create something great together. She's a much more pointed, barbed lyricist and his gift for melody is unsurpassed, so they both bring something unique and iconic to the table, which, on paper, sounds like it could produce something great. That said, I think I'd rather see only a 2 or 3 Finn/Mann songs, instead of , say, an album's worth. 

Honestly, I've been disappointed by the Neil Finn/Johnny Marr collaborations so far. I mean, not in terms of Marr's playing or supporting Finn live or on record, but I think "Even a Child" is a weak song considering the talent of the two men involved. Marr's song with Jeff Tweedy from 7 Worlds, "Too Blue" is absolutely brilliant (at least Neil sing it), but I'd hope for more and better from Finn and Marr two as songwriting collaborators. 

Honestly, I think an interesting combination would be Neil Finn and Tom Waits. Adding those kinds of melodies into Wait's sonic landscape seems like it could create something very fresh and unique. Also, Waits is one of the greatest living lyricists and, while it might sound like an unlikely match, I really think they could compliment each other well and come up with something neither would ever conceive of on their own that would be wonderfully creative and experimental - while still being rooted in the deep craft they both possess. 

While they both inhabit similar singer/songwriter places, I'd like to see Neil Finn also work with Roddy Frame (another favorite of mine). I know they did the songwriter in the round thing together, but I'd love to see them write some lovely acoustic guitar interplay songs together, weaving in and out and harmonizing. I think they'd find a timeless, classic vibe and create something of great beauty.

Finally, since he's played with virtually everyone else on the planet, I'd like to see Peter Buck from R.E.M. do something with Neil Finn. Buck knows how to create really cool musical environments that both rock and sigh. A collaboration between them could produce something surprising. 

 

 

Great post. Thanks!  I guess they could call themselves Finnmann.

Neil Finn fans who don't know Aimee Mann should check her out . I'd start with the album Smilers which is a recent album of hers that could be a lost Neil Finn album. Melodies to die for. Great lyrics. Great middle 8's. The whole package. As an example of how good the album is, here is a song called "Lullaby" that was a bonus track from the album that didn't make the cut for the album. The chord progressions are brilliant.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MKvzuNydfM

Then go back to her first solo album "Whatever" which is probably her best album.  It still sounds fresh 25 years later also featuring songs to die for.  Jon Brion produced the album and co-wrote several of the songs.  Then listen to Bachelor #2 and the last two Til Tuesday albums (Welcome Home, Everyone's Different Now) which are lost gems. Such brilliant, melodic goodness.

I'm listening to an Aimee Mann song now "Save Me". Definitely a good song that could be a Neil Song if not for the vocals. Even the production is Neil-like down to the strings and guitar solo. Hearing some nice descending chord changes. I'm going to listen to the whole album this song came from. 

For those interested ... Aimee Mann just posted the lead track "Goose Snow Cone" from her upcoming new album.  It's beautiful and Finnesque.  Here is the link to her website to hear it.  Click on the play arrow to hear the song!  I can't believe how good a year this will be ... new studio albums from Neil Finn, Aimee Mann, and Ron Sexsmith ... wow.

http://mentalillness.aimeemann.com/

I like "Save Me" but believe it or not I wouldn't even put it in my top 20 Aimee Mann songs. 

For those who want to do a bit of a deep dive into the incredible Aimee Mann catalogue ... here are some of my favorite Aimee Mann songs.

For me, these songs rival the best of Neil Finn which is a big statement for me as Neil is my favorite songwriter of all-time. 

Here’s the "Best of Aimee Mann" list with YouTube links so you can enjoy them!

"I've Had It"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0L-Utjs9Og

“Mr. Harris”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuZrVF4Q39A

“Today’s The Day”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcTv1hhYoyE

"Rip In Heaven"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4QIuiryqKY

"Lullaby"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MKvzuNydfM

"Video"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACPG9_01srI


"4th of July"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBB4qqkwysY

"High on Sunday 51"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?...U89CFEg&index=37

"Wise Up"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fn7F75stXxI

"Coming Up Close"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtOgwFzhlyw

"The Other End of The Telescope"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?...p;list=RD4j3gxPjh5YY

"Red Vines"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izR4UH2o42Q

"Will She Just Fall Down"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOTWW3o72ok

"Voices Carry"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QT1Q-NEjSDw

“Humpty Dumpty”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIhdbCfHIgE

"The Moth"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZN-IV9yH7g

“Yesterday Once More” (cover)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVSW3WrowCU

"Columbus Avenue"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIFmzHFYZCg

“That’s How I Knew …”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjbVM41kvjc

"The Scientist" (cover)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKAik-3zkEI

 “Stranger to Starman”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezOSQzVV1nc

“Looking For Nothing”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jdUEhF3EYk

“Satellite”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZgZVZyTSXBE

“Amateur”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sotlvl1mG_Y

“Slip and Roll”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nKwohT_GCY

“You’re A Gift”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YeENgICFAVw

“Humpty Dumpty”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIhdbCfHIgE

“Invisible Ink”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCQ3OyxarRU

"Why Must I"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?...xPjh5YY&index=11

“Little Bombs”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyMfexwsScs

 

I'd like to suggest Greg Gilbert, lead singer and songwriter with Delays, I know that I'm not the biggest Delays fan on this forum, that honour probably goes to Paul H, but I have been impressed by both Greg's work in music and as a visual artist. The visual art he puts in Twitter is very impressive.

Anyone interested should check out their second album You See Colours, it's full of really cracking tunes.

Also more tragically, I was sad to hear Greg is currently seriously ill with bowel cancer, this link explains Greg's plight:

http://www.nme.com/news/music/...greg-gilbert-1959522

It seems treatment abroad is Greg's only hope of survival, I really don't know what else to say except if you can help please do.

 

 

 

 

 

And how could I forget Taylor Goldsmith and his incredible band Dawes. Neil Finn fans who don't know the Dawes catalogue will find a lot to love there. I'll make a big statement here ...  I suspect in 25 years, we'll be talking about Taylor Goldsmith as we talk about Neil Finn today.  Here was one of their last performances on the Letterman TV show performing their great song "Things Happen" which easily could be a Neil Finn song.  And their epic cover of the Warren Zevon classic "Desperados Under The Eaves" rips my heart out.  See both below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OP6JcIFy-yQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9A6MtHz-g4k

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_lUCrkyNko

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1HzHh8uOJI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KtxKFpJ39HM

Emily Saliers of Indigo Girls is a brilliant songwriter in terms of melodies and emotion. The harmonies in their music are a particular highlight to me.

Galileo is quite a fun song with great harmonies (and kind of silly lyrics but in a good way).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WA0jsb2yhW4

Ghost is a sad love song with absolutely beautiful harmonies.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjDaWolj-NE

Let It Be Me is a more upbeat folky song with the best harmonies of the lot, although the subject matter is still very sad.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Hb7TZ5FQHI 

Hawk57 posted:

Emily Saliers of Indigo Girls is a brilliant songwriter in terms of melodies and emotion. The harmonies in their music are a particular highlight to me.

Galileo is quite a fun song with great harmonies (and kind of silly lyrics but in a good way).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WA0jsb2yhW4

Ghost is a sad love song with absolutely beautiful harmonies.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjDaWolj-NE

Let It Be Me is a more upbeat folky song with the best harmonies of the lot, although the subject matter is still very sad.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Hb7TZ5FQHI 

Love, love, love Emily Saliers. Their first four or five albums were incredible and have some of my favorite songs of all-time including Ghost, Galileo, Cedar Hill, Secure Yourself, Welcome Me, Hammer and A Nail, Prince of Darkness, and Kid Fears. Rites of Passage and their self-titled albums are extraordinary and highly recommended.

So excited as five of my favorite songwriters have albums coming out this year including Aimee Mann, Neil Finn, Justin Currie, Colin Hay, and Ron Sexsmith. The new songs from Colin Hay, in particular, show him hitting a huge creative surge just as Neil Finn is currently doing.  Justin Currie also continues to hit his stride with his new song bringing back fond memories of Del Amitri. And Ron Sexsmith and Aimee Mann are always stellar.

Here are some of these links to their new songs ...

Colin Hay

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1QXKYxejtE

Justin Currie

https://www.youtube.com/watch?...amp;feature=youtu.be

Ron Sexsmith

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knxCqDiC3OE

Aimee Mann

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ci3xrIaSOqU

OneIssue posted:

Good choice of songs SugarMouse. I particularly like the Aimee Mann and Justin Currie songs, though they are the artists I'm least familiar with from your list. 

For me, Aimee Mann is the female Neil Finn, Justin Currie is the Scottish Neil Finn, Ron Sexsmith is the Canadian Neil Finn, and Colin Hay is the Scottish/Australian Neil Finn ... 

Sugar Mouse posted:

Any fans of the wonderful Brooklyn band called "Real Estate"?  Sort of Neil Finn meets Dire Straits meets Beach Boys. Their new album comes out today!

I really like Martin Courtney's solo album from awhile back.  I haven't been able to completely warm up to Real Estate yet though, even though they are a band I should love.  Nothing by them has completely knocked my socks off yet.

Really enjoying getting to know eliot sumner (sting's daughter).

she's dark, moody, intelligent lyrics, (physical dead ringer for the old man, same head nods, even plays the old man's bass)... she writes good songs, still going thru that angsty phase of life but the songs have drive, intent and passion and i reckon she's worth watching

the first track on this link 'information' is terrific - starts at 5:40

https://youtu.be/gpjGaBMjI5E

Two exquisite songwriters have new albums out this month:

Gary Louris (of The Jayhawks) - I call Gary the "Minnesota Neil Finn".

Lori McKenna (I call her the "Boston Neil Finn"). Her new song "People Get Old" is probably the best song I've heard this year.  That middle eight would make Neil proud.

https://www.pbs.org/video/lori...ople-get-old-6xfyyk/

Thanks SugarMouse. Love the Jayhawks, I've been having Alexa shuffle songs by them the past few mornings while getting ready for work. Didn't know they were releasing a new disc.

And for a moment, I thought you were meaning Loreena McKennitt. I'm not familiar with Lori, but that is a fine song.

Steve Shealy posted:

Thanks SugarMouse. Love the Jayhawks, I've been having Alexa shuffle songs by them the past few mornings while getting ready for work. Didn't know they were releasing a new disc.

And for a moment, I thought you were meaning Loreena McKennitt. I'm not familiar with Lori, but that is a fine song.

I adore the music of Loreena McKennitt as well, but I was referring to Boston's Lori McKenna who's an equally talented, albert very different, songwriter. And the Jayhawks album is out today. Very strong album that sounds like part two of the Rainy Day Music album which is wonderful to my ears.  The band took songs that Gary Louris had previously written for other artists and re-recorded them as Jayhawks songs. "Gonna Be A Darkness" is an instant Jayhawks classic although I love the Jakob Dylan version as well. Here is the Jakob Dylan version.

Sugar Mouse posted:
Steve Shealy posted:

Thanks SugarMouse. Love the Jayhawks, I've been having Alexa shuffle songs by them the past few mornings while getting ready for work. Didn't know they were releasing a new disc.

And for a moment, I thought you were meaning Loreena McKennitt. I'm not familiar with Lori, but that is a fine song.

I adore the music of Loreena McKennitt as well, but I was referring to Boston's Lori McKenna who's an equally talented, albert very different, songwriter. And the Jayhawks album is out today. Very strong album that sounds like part two of the Rainy Day Music album which is wonderful to my ears.  The band took songs that Gary Louris had previously written for other artists and re-recorded them as Jayhawks songs. "Gonna Be A Darkness" is an instant Jayhawks classic although I love the Jakob Dylan version as well. Here is the Jakob Dylan version.

Funny - Gary Louris (from the Jayhawks) just did an interview with the Minneapolis radio station The Current and the interviewer finished the interview by telling Gary that, for her, he's the "Bridge Master"; that his songs have such brilliant bridges. I had to smile because I've always said that Neil Finn and Gary Louris are my two favorite "Bridge Masters".  There are a lot of folks who write great verses and choruses, but the gold is in those bridges.

https://www.thecurrent.org/fea...n-the-current-studio

Add Reply

Likes (0)
    All times London, UK.

    ©1998-Eternity, Frenz.com. All post content is the copyrighted work of the person who wrote it. Please don't copy, reproduce, or publish anything you see written here without the author's permission.
×
×
×
×
×