What Are Your Favorite “Mysterious” Songs, and Why?

Themes and variation

Themes and Variation

This week’s episode of our podcast, Themes and Variation is full of intrigue, curiosity, and unanswered questions. What else would you expect from a theme like “Mysterious Songs?”

For this enlightening conversation, one that touches on Zen Buddhism and the Dark Prince of Jazz himself, I was joined by my co-producer and frequent co-host, Mahea Lee (composer, arranger, music educator) as well as one of our favorite people on the planet, the inimitably wonderful trumpet player, singer, and songwriter, Rhys Tivey. Together we discuss the music and mystery of a timeless jazz ballad, a transcendent indie rock song, and a track responsible for countless internet conspiracies.

And we’re inviting you to join in the discussion as well!

To carry on this exciting conversation, you can add to our collaborative Spotify playlist (see below), reach out to us on Twitter, share your thoughts on Slack (if you’re a Soundfly Subscriber), or email us at [email protected] to respond to the following existential/mysterious questions:

  • Track 1: Does a certain pianist deserve writing credit on one particular Miles Davis classic?
  • Track 2: If we rule out all the things it’s not, will we discover what it is?
  • Track 3: Seriously, who did this?

Check out our 19th episode below, it’s a deep one.

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If you’re enjoying this episode, and you’d like to learn more about some of the musical topics we touched on, you can also check out Soundfly’s free companion course for songwriting prompts and additional resources. From scale modes to melody-writing and even audio production tips and tricks, we’ve curated some extra resources for listeners who want to go the extra creative mile and put stuff from the episode into action.

Episode 19 Highlights

1.  Carter’s first piece of evidence for Bill Evans’ claim to “Blue In Green.”

Carter: “The first piece of evidence that I’m entering into the court of public opinion is Exhibit A, the intro that Bill Evans plays on Chet Baker’s of ‘Alone Together.’ Alone Together, another absolutely favorite standard. This is very subtle, but just listen to the first couple of bars of this intro…”

2.  The mystery of “Not.”

Rhys: “So what’s strange and mysterious about this song, is that the entire song is talking about something that isn’t the things that is being talked about. So it’s like, ‘it’s not the energy reeling,’ which first of all is, so much of what’s being talked about in this song is so intense! I feel like it’s this modern resurgence of punk, like the spirit is so punk. So the visceral-ness of some of the things that they’re bringing up that it’s not is like ‘it’s not the blood of you bleeding as you try to let go’ like what! What! That’s so intense!”

3. Some of the MANY covers of “The Most Mysterious Songs on the Internet.”

Mahea: “This song has given people the means to explore their creativity in so many ways, whether it’s creating their own version of the song, or just coming up with new leads to chase. Since we’re talking about other versions, Carter can you give us like ten seconds of the ones that I threw your way earlier today?”

Join Our Collaborative Playlist

Just like we do every time we launch a new episode, we’ve created a collaborative Spotify playlist in order to share every song mentioned in this episode and explore many others that fit the topic. We need your help, we want your help, and we can’t wait to hear the mysterious songs you love!

Go ahead and add your selected songs to the playlist!

We’ll see you in two weeks with a new theme, new guests, and some new songs to break down. If you have any comments, questions, or theme suggestions, drops us a line at [email protected]!

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