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Song Stories

“Seahorse”

Devendra Banhart | 2007

Regularly cited for his "freak-folk" sound, Devendra Banhart also shows his love of South American culture in songs such as "Seahorse," a tune with that spans eight minutes and has an almost literary arc. "There's something somewhat Blakean about it," Banhart said, citing the Romantic poet William Blake. "But musically, it’s the best thing I've ever ... it's the thing I'm most proud of." Going from acoustic lament to piano-driven shuffle, and with its climatic ending, "Seahorse" showcases Banhart in pronounced Jim Morrison mode: poetic and high on spiritual lust. And there’s even a flute solo.

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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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