Cleveland pop rockers These Knees are releasing their new single “Alive,” on January 27th. The band– Stephanie Trivison (vocals/guitar/piano), Rob Hassing (drums/percussion), Bryan Robinson (bass)–recently welcomed Jesse Scaggs (guitar) to their lineup. Jesse was formerly a member of folk-rock band Bethesda. These Knees packs a punch and if you listen to this playlist of songs they selected for you, it’s clear why: the tunes they chose showcase powerful pop hooks, driving percussion and guitar riffs that don’t let up–just like the music These Knees creates. Catch the teaser for their new single here.

1.”Going Back/Going Home” by Butch Walker
Steph says: “I haven’t been very shy about proclaiming Butch Walker as my favorite songwriter and this song, for me, proves a small piece of his brilliance. He is a great, cheeky lyric writer and opens with a line I often fall back on when I fear I’m just going through the motions. The bridge is a very literal biography, sung over smart and subtle slide guitar riffs (anyone intrigued by this section should pick up his book, Drinking with Strangers). I’m always inspired by Butch’s live show, musicianship, and writing, and this is one of my favorite songs on his “Sycamore Meadows” album.”

2.”The Triumph o f our Tired Eyes” by Silver Mt. Zion

Jesse says: “There aren’t many bands that dig into my soul quite like these guys. Their DIY-disdain towards oppressive authority-love for all that is kind and beautiful-ethos resonates deep. I can’t say this is the band that made me start making music…but this is the band that made me continue making music.”

3.”She Likes Surprises” by Soundgarden
Rob says: “The thing I love most about Soundgarden is that they don’t sound like anyone else out there. They get such unique sounds out of their guitars and Chris Cornell’s music writing is so deep and poetic. I love that their songs can grab you initially and then when you start to examine the lyrics it adds a whole new level of intrigue. Matt Cameron’s drumming on this song is amazing. The way he plays different styles and grooves in different sections of the song really brings out good contrasts. His fills are monster. I love it when he plays sixteenth notes under syncopated accents so a lot is going on without it seeming like it is. It’s like subtle insanity. This style of drumming has definitely influenced me the most.”

4.”Superman’s Dead” by Our Lady Peace
Bryan says: “After seeing the music video for Superman’s Dead on MuchMusic, Our Lady Peace became the first band I truly became obsessed with. If you could wear out a CD, I would have done that back in 1997 with their album Clumsy. I memorized every word and strange noise uttered by singer Raine Maida over its 11 songs. Though their style has evolved many times over the past decade and a half, Our Lady Peace continue to deliver full albums of music that I enjoy quite a lot.”

5. “St. Elmo’s Fire” by Brian Eno
Jesse says: “I’m pretty much in love with anything that has Brian Eno’s name attached to it. This song is amazing because it features a guitar solo by Robert Fripp where he imitates electricity jumping between the poles of a whimhurst machine. Do I have to say anymore?”

6.”Girls” The 1975
Steph says: “A standout on an album filled with dance-y, vibe-y hits, “Girls” has an amazing groove. I love the guitar tones, I love the drum pattern, I love the production value. And listen closely! I read somewhere that singer Matt Healy used different characters when it came time to record the vocals. My favorite section of the song does not come while you’re asking yourself if they are ‘just ghosts!’ or ‘just girls!,’ but rather in the section before, where the fast-paced lyrics ending in Queen inspired harmony proclaim “Girl, I’m not your saviour!”* among other things. This is a song I wish I wrote. BRB, gotta go dance recklessly in my living room. *British spelling intentional, in this circumstance.”

7. “When Girls Collide” by Mum

Jesse says: “I have a soft spot for early 2000’s European electronic music. Mum released this album in 2013 and I think they’ve managed to stay relevant since ‘Finally We Are No One’. The contrast of catchy synth parts and child like vocals sound something like an anti-establishment protest song for Disney characters.”

8. “Don’t Find Another Love” by Tegan & Sara
Steph says: “Tegan and Sara know how to get you to feel all the feels. “Don’t Find Another Love” is just as much an ode to devotion and love as it is to uncertainty, set in the era of critical travel/relationship tools like Skype and texting. I love the mix of the simple acoustic guitar and synths, carried by syncopated percussion. Tegan’s airy vocals are perfect for the more romantic verses, while Sara’s cut through the chorus – a choice that helps to convey the desperation of the message, over a dark and velvety feeling low end. This song is lyrically simple, relatable, and just a teeeeeeny bit heartbreaking. I often daydream that T&S will sweep us off our feet and take us on the road with them!”

9.”Misery Business” by Paramore
Rob says: “When this album and single came out I was like “Who is this band?!!!!”. I love how the intensity and attitude of this song is 100% in your face the entire time, even in the verses. You can tell these are killer musicians by how flexible and agile some of the licks are between the drums and guitars. I love how Zac gets such a huge sound out of his drums and his grooves and fills are killer. He has a way of playing a lot without it sounding like he’s playing too much for the song. I love that. And the meter shift going into the drum breakdown is sick and genius. I can listen to this song a million times and it always rocks!”

10.”True Believers” by The Bouncing Souls
Bryan says: “To this day, when I hear True Believers, the gang vocals of the chorus still go straight to my heart. The lyrics and energy of this song provided me with the realization that music could be more than commercial radio and MTV made it out to be.”

11. “Shoulder to the Wheel” by Saves the Day
Bryan says: “Saves the Day’s Through Being Cool is one of the most important albums to me. It came at a time when I was dangerously swaying from Green Day and The Offspring to KoЯn and Limp Bizkit. I saw the video for Shoulder to the Wheel on a DVD and it corrected my musical trajectory, leading me to bands like Lifetime, Bad Religion and the Descendents.”

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