Top 5 Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks songs
Published on January 14th, 2014 | Jonny Abrams
We love Stephen Malkmus, you know – and his Jicks – but then we’ve already made that abundantly clear a number of times on these pages, most recently in our review of their sparkling new album Wig Out at Jagbags.
Joys abound too in their five previous albums Stephen Malkmus, Pig Lib, Face the Truth, Real Emotional Trash and Mirror Traffic, so we’ve picked one song from each and embedded the blighters below for your delectation and/or education.
It goes without saying that Malkmus’s five albums with Pavement – namely Slanted and Enchanted, Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain, Wowee Zowee, Brighten the Corners and Terror Twilight – are also worth plenty of your time. All of them, without exception.
Now have yourselves an earful of the following Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks gems…
“Vague Space” (from 2001 LP Stephen Malkmus)
On an album teeming with gorgeously nostalgic sunshine, “Vague Space” might just be the most gorgeous, most nostalgic and sunniest of the lot. Vocal octave leap for the chorus sends an already exquisite song soaring heavenwards.
“Us” (from 2003 LP Pig Lib)
This closing track is so lovely it makes heartwarming sentiments out of “I don’t really know your taste in ceilings / I don’t know the RPM you rev”. An outbreak of twiddly psych guitar is the sound of a deal being resoundingly sealed.
“Mama” (from 2005 LP Face the Truth)
Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks’ third album kicks off with a trio of jagged, rasping numbers, enhancing the impact of more wistfully playful numbers such as “Mama”. Its deceptively intricate lay-out is but one aspect of how utterly delightful it is.
“Gardenia” (from 2008 LP Real Emotional Trash)
We wanted to include the meandering marvel that is album opener “Dragonfly Pie” but could only find scuzzed-out live footage of it, so enjoy this jaunty little number instead. Do hunt down “Dragonfly Pie”, though – it’s a strange kind of bliss with no little muscle about it.
“Brain Gallop” (from 2011 LP Mirror Traffic)
Sunnily disposed math-pop gold, albeit you mightn’t immediately discern the math given the glory of its pop, which takes the form of a sublimely laid-back, gently bouncing groove. The chorus does indeed muster a gallop, the brain is without question, and the line “Sometimes these words are such bitter friends / Come back to bite you in the rearest of ends” is a winner all, er, ends up.