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Song Stories

“Float On”

Modest Mouse | 2004

After the cosmic dread of Modest Mouse's 2000 full-length The Moon and Antarctica, their funk-fueled “Float On” sounded like summer vacation. With his solar system reveries behind him, Isaac Brock turned to a new metaphor for the optimistic track. “There is something genuinely freeing to me about the ocean,” the Modest Mouse frontman said. “There are no borders — it’s f---ing beautiful. I’m not going to get to do space travel, so what’s under the water is quite a bit more interesting to me.” Audiences soaked up the good vibes: “Float On” helped make Good News for People Who Love Bad News the band’s first platinum album.

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Song Stories

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

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