Really, you should be listening to music every day, but thanks to Twitter, Monday has become the best day of the week to discover new songs, show some love to the tune currently dominating your iPod playlist and quietly judge the listening habits of your closest friends. Yes, it’s #MusicMonday, one of Twitter’s most enduring trending topics. Hence “MTV News’ #MusicMonday,” a weekly look at the songs we are currently crushing on.
This week, enjoy a fine slice of Cake.
There was a lot of terrible music generated in the wake of the fall of grunge in the ’90s, but one of the most refreshing aspects of that era was that just about anything could become a hit. In fact, a lot of times it felt like the weirder a band or a song was, the more likely it was for them to score a huge hit. This was especially true in the modern rock radio universe, which saw truly weird songs by the likes of Butthole Surfers (“Pepper”), Primitive Radio Gods (“Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth With Money In My Hand”) and Marcy Playground (“Sex and Candy”), just to name a few. One of the great benefactors of that trend was Sacramento-based band Cake, who combined low-fi indie riffs, playful jazz and funk inflections and lead singer John McCrea’s unusual speak-singing.
Cake’s biggest and most recognizable hit was “The Distance,” from the band’s 1996 album Fashion Nugget. They group continued to produce well-received albums following that first big breakout (they always had a reputation as a pretty killer live act), but they never got back to the peak that was “The Distance.” After seven years away from recording, Cake are back with their sixth album Showroom of Compassion. It’s a slight departure from the sound the band is known for (there’s a lot more focus on melody and McCrea’s piano playing), but it still has the same offbeat charm that made them huge in the first place. The album’s first single, “Sick of You,” is a prime example, as it delivers a snake-like guitar line and some fantastically shruggy vocals.
What’s your #MusicMonday jam? Let us know in the comments!