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Song Stories

“Green Aisles”

Real Estate | 2011

"Green Aisles," the second track from Real Estate's second album, Days, epitomizes the New Jersey indie poppers' sound -- shimmering, distortion-free guitars and softly sung vocals that recall the 1980s Manchester pop of groups like the Smiths and the Stone Roses. "A lot of people say that our songs sound really seasonal," said guitarist Matt Mondanile. "We definitely had that in mind when we were recording 'Green Aisles.' It had to have an autumnal feel; that was really important in that song."

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Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

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