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Over the course of a few months last year a song was getting a lot of playback in the local coffeehouse.

It was emotionally intense and dramatic with a moderately aggressive sound. It had maybe a kind of Beatles' psychedelic feel but for various reasons I'd be very surprised if the song wasn't recent. Minor key, I'm pretty certain the melody leaned on the 7th of a minor chord or the 2nd of a major chord at some point. The melody and harmony struck me more strongly than the rhythm and groove. As I recall the production had something of a wall-of-sound style. It was guitar-oriented but it was the kind of song where any kinds of tricks might have been used in the production.

I did look it up with Shazaam but I remember only a couple things. (Sue me, I'm over 40.) The name of either the band or the song was about 15 characters in length, and was either a compound word or a pair of words, the first slightly longer than the second. You know how you can often tell from the names which is the song and which is the band without having heard of either before? I couldn't do that in this case. I had to look carefully at the information Shazam gave to make the distinction.

Edit

I think maybe the name of either the band or the song involved some sort of weather phenomenon, at least partly.

Keep in mind I could be a bit off on the details I remember about the name.

I had uninstalled Shazam. Today I reinstalled it on the slim chance it would recall the lookup. No dice.

It had a male singer but I didn't make out the lyrics due to the acoustics and the mix, and also because I didn't really care to try.

I'm no longer certain it was a minor key. It might have been a mixed mode where both the minor and major third shows up, maybe because a borrowed bIII is in the chord progression. Love and Rockets' No New Tale To Tell is the first example that comes to mind. The song I'm trying to recall differs from No New Tale To Tell in that it doesn't really sound bluesy at all. The chord progression definitely doesn't end on the dominant fifth.

Increasingly I sense the melody in the hook had strings of syncopated quarter notes.

I went through Wikipedia's lists of recent psychedelic and progressive rock bands. Nothing rang a bell.

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    Doesn't Shazam save its search history? SoundHound does, which is the one I usually use. – Tetsujin Jun 20 '16 at 6:49
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    This is a lot of detail, but of a kind that is very hard to reference --can you give us anything more concrete. Did it have lyrics, and if so, can you remember any snippets? Do you remember the instrumentation? Did it have electronic elements? – Chris Sunami Jun 20 '16 at 13:31
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    There are a number of well-known neo-psychedelic bands with the classic 60's sound. Tame Impala, Unknown Moral Orchestra and Temples are a few that come to mind, if any of those ring a bell. – Chris Sunami Jun 20 '16 at 13:41
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    The description could also fit the post-rock genre, like the bands Explosions in the Sky and This Will Destroy You. – José David Jun 23 '16 at 9:12
  • @Joseem -- Do Explosions in the Sky have any songs with singing? Wikipedia describes their music as almost totally instrumental. – MackTuesday Jun 23 '16 at 19:07
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Try Broken Bells - The High Road.

Matches:
Emotionally intense
Guitar-based
modern but psychedelic-influenced
moderate hit
minor-ish
interesting production
2 word artist name with longer first name
vaguely similar to "No Tale To Tell"
Syncopated hook
Male singer
ambiguity between song and artist name

Misses:
No weather connection
Not quarter notes in the hook
Not from last year
Not wall-of-sound

  • OK good try, and thank you for trying at all considering how nebulous my clues are. I would say the wall of sound, or production fuller than in this song, is absolutely necessary. Also the tempo of the song I'm looking for was faster. This one is about 70 and I think the one I want was around 90-100, maybe even faster. The mood was even more intense than in this song. – MackTuesday Jun 21 '16 at 22:57
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Dead Meadow? Silver Door from their Feathers album was pretty popular. Otherwise, Tame Impala's first album, Innerspeaker, had plenty of interesting psychedelic sounds to it. That's all I've got.

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What about Spiritualized? Lot of their songs match the "emotionally intense and dramatic" feel, they have "kind of Beatles' psychedelic" and "production had something of a wall-of-sound style". Almost all of their songs are guitar-driven, sometimes with gospel/noise/free-jazz insert. What is missing is the name (not a "compound word or a pair of words", but 13 characters long) and, in most of the songs, the tempo.

Their album "Let It Come Down" (Wiki link) is the one with a more evident wall-of-sound technique, while "Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space" (Wiki link) is their most famous album - maybe the title-track is the song you are (were?) looking to?

I've also thought about Primal Scream (maybe a good matching name, but not too much dramatic feel) and The Verve (more of the kind of Spiritualized, with pros & cons)

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