You know the kind of songs I’m talking about: songs with deep guitars; vaguely bluesy or folksy songs; songs that sound like they were built from the earth. But rather than featuring a list full of Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young songs, here are 5 “earthy” songs by bands that don’t typically dabble in such music.

1. “I’m A Ghost Of Twilight” by Closure in Moscow
“I’m a Ghost of Twilight” was featured on Closure in Moscow’s debut full-length, First Temple. This mid-tempo stomper stands out on an album full of Mars-Volta-esque guitar freakouts. The lyrics about ghosts make it feel like the perfect Halloween song.

2. “Gotta Be Somebody’s Blues” by Jimmy Eat World
Aside from this one track, Chase This Light might be the safest album ever produced. That’s not to say that it’s a bad album, but on a safe album, risky tracks tend to stand out. Without the histrionics typically associated with emo balladry, Jimmy Eat World offers a sombre, slow-burning song in “Gotta Be Somebody’s Blues.” There’s no noticeable hook, and the song is driven by bowed strings. The result is something churning and pensive, but also beautiful. It’s one of the most unique tracks for a band whose strength usually lies in crafting precise, well-written pop rock.

3. “Light Switch” by dredg
Very few bands will ever record an album like The Pariah, the Parrot, the Delusion, a concept album inspired by Salman Rushdie’s essay, Imagine There Is No Heaven: A Letter to the Six Billionth Citizen. The unparalleled attention to detail is what sets dredg apart from other art rock bands. “Light Switch” takes several listens to digest. Sometimes, it’s keyboard-driven. Other times, a low-pitched guitar takes the lead. Subtle strings weave in and out with a host of unidentifiable background noises. It really doesn’t seem right to isolate one song in a collection that should really be listened through as an album, so in the interest of honesty, I should admit that this is just a way to get you all to listen to The Pariah, the Parrot, the Delusion. Go do it now!

4. “Last Night on Earth” by U2
For reasons I’ll never quite understand, Pop was a commercial failure for U2 (by U2 standards, at least). Perhaps listeners didn’t appreciate an album that jumped back and forth between reckless electronic experimentation and standard rock and roll. Whatever the reason, “Last Night on Earth” isn’t U2’s most recognizable song. But it’s a fun bluesy rock track with a weird music video. Check it out.

5. “In Exile” by Thrice
One might wonder why I didn’t include a track from The Alchemy Index’s Earth disc, and the reason is that I found Thrice’s The Alchemy Index project a little too heavy-handed. Their follow-up, Beggars, while far less ambitious, was also more mature. Perhaps lead singer Dustin Kensrue, influenced by his folk/Americana solo project, decided to tone things down a bit. But that doesn’t make “In Exile,” the lead single from Beggars, any less intense. Instead of screaming above a barrage of power chords, the band opts for a steady, driving drum beat that calls to mind The Gaslight Anthem more than Alexisonfire, while Kensrue sings about the nomadic life of being on the road. A mixture of American trad rock and art rock, “In Exile” is Thrice as its finest. Here’s a link to the music video.

As usual, you might be able to find these tracks on Grooveshark. Happy listening!

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