10 Best Band of Horses Songs
Indie darlings Band of Horses have been making fans swoon with their melodic rock since 2004. While the lineup has changed considerably throughout the years, the roster of founder and frontman Benjamin Bridwell, drummer Creighton Barret, keyboardist Ryan Monroe, bassist Bill Reynolds and guitarist Tyler Ramsey has remained consistent for some time. In anticipation of the forthcoming release of their new album, 'Mirage Rock,' Diffuser.fm counts down the 10 Best Band of Horses Songs.
Coming in at No. 19 on our Best Band of Horses Songs list is their latest single, 'Knock Knock.' The uptempo track launches with an infectious "oooooo" loop before the guitars intertwine with steady drum beats and hand claps. 'Knock Knock' sounds like Band of Horses ripped a page out of Wilco's book, mixing Americana and college rock into a delightful audio cocktail that's sure to be an outdoor music festival favorite.
Rarely has a song with such a low word count of lyrics have such an impact on music fans like 'Is There a Ghost,' taken from Band of Horses 2007 album 'Cease to Begin.' The song contains just 14 words, repeating, "I could sleep when I lived alone / Is there a ghost in my house?" However, the layered guitar work transcends Bridwell's voice into cosmic proportions without sounding distorted. 'Is There a Ghost' is a simple yet oh-so-effective ballad that utilizes all the elements at Band of Horses' disposal.
'Compliments' is the lead single from Band of Horses' 2010 release, 'Infinite Arms.' The track showcases Band of Horses' deep southern rock influences, as well as their newfound freedom after releasing 'Infinite Arms' through their own label, Brown Records. "If there's a God up in the air / Someone looking over everyone / At least you've got something to fall back on," Bridwell reassures in the song, which lands at No. 8 on our list of the Best Band of Horses Songs.
Finding itself at No. 7 on our Best Band of Horses Songs list is the track that started it all for the group. 'The Funeral' was the first single from their debut album, 'Everything All the Time.' It starts off with a slow guitar riff that backs up Bridwell's haunting vocals before picking up the pace, while retaining the somber vibe. "At every occasion I'll be ready for the funeral / Every occasion, once more, it's called the funeral," Bridwell sings. "Every occasion, know I'm ready for the funeral / At every occasion, oh, one billion day funeral."
Give Band of Horses a string section and they'll transform one of their songs into something more dramatic than usual. 'Factory' is a story about a man down on his luck who's trying to get back up. The strings complement the rest of the band rather than becoming a distraction, with Ramsey's sharp guitar riffs sounding more epic as a result. "An hour later I was thinking it over by the snack machine / I thought about you and a candy bar," Bridwell admits. Excuse us while we agonize over a lost love while eating a Snickers bar.
Despite growing up in South Carolina and eventually ending up in Seattle, Bridwell has a soft spot for the state of Georgia. His parents lived in Atlanta for a period of time, and the singer is a huge fan of the Georgia Bulldogs. Covering Cee-Lo Green's ode to the state, simply titled 'Georgia,' was a natural decision, but adding the University of Georgia Redcoat Marching Band gave the track a new twist. Cee-Lo returned the favor when he covered Band of Horses' 'No One's Gonna Love You' for his 2010 album 'The Lady Killer.'
Landing at No. 4 on our Best Band of Horses Songs list is 'The Great Salt Lake.' Many people understandably mistake the second single from 'Everything All the Time' as a tribute to the Utah city. However, the track is actually about Lake Murray, a reservoir in Bridwell's birthplace of South Carolina, with some elements about Salt Lake City. The video depicts members of Band of Horses and their friends playing softball at a park, with no water imagery shown throughout the clip. We give the band props: They sure know how to swing a bat.
In what was a slight departure from their usual indie/southern rock hybrid sound, Band of Horses included 'Dilly' on their 2010 album, 'Infinite Arms.' The quiet number seems to be influenced greatly from the pop-folk sound of the '70s, sounding like Simon and Garfunkel made a track to be played in hipster bars across the world. Bridwell's vocal arrangements are actually one of the more complex presentations compared to other Band of Horses songs, which is why 'Dilly' is rarely played live.
If you're one of those people who love making playlists or mix CDs for road trips, 'Laredo' needs to be included in your collection. The Band of Horses song's midtempo vibe and Bridwell's smooth vocal delivery will make you nod your head in repeated approval before you even realize it. Throw in some jangling guitar riffs, and you have a three-and-a-half-minute experience you won't want to end.
Band of Horses' slow-paced daydreaming ballad 'No One's Gonna Love You' can make both scenesters and casual music fans swoon with its hypnotic guitars and methodical drum beats. It doesn't hurt that Bridwell came up with lyrical gems like, "And anything to make you smile / It is my better side of you to admire / But they should never take so long / Just to be over then back to another one." We can see the hopeless romantic coming out of you right now, and that's why 'No One's Gonna Love You' slow dances its way to the top of our Best Band of Horses Songs list.