Let's keep this short and sweet—our favorite tracks that are under two minutes.
Pixies - "In Heaven (The Lady in the Radiator Song)"
It’s October which means it’s time to be ~spooky~ “In Heaven (Lady in the Radiator Song)” from David Lynch’s Eraserhead is just that—creepy. With the repetition of the lyrics “ In Heaven / Everything is fine / You got your good thing / And I've got mine”, this track captures a hauntingly vapid allure in just one minute and thirty-six seconds. My favorite version is a cover by Pixies that they originally recorded during their first demo session, but later released in 2002 on their EP, Pixies. Pixies add an edge to the eerie song, choosing to approach the subdued message of the original with a more aggressive adaptation.
- Kelsey Gordon
Simon and Garfunkel - "April Come She Will”
Everyone should learn the months this way. Granted, it only covers May through September… for Simon and Garfunkel, I’ll allow it. The lyrics are largely taken from a nursery rhyme Paul Simon heard living in England. On par with the classic Ring Around the Rosy, this shit is dark — but don’t be discouraged, the gentle acoustic melody brings a profound beauty to the sadness. 10/10 would recommend for a good cry (or maybe just a whimper).
- Amy Geiger
The Olivia Tremor Control - "The Sky is a Harpsichord Canvas
Listen to the entire album, I promise it's good!
- Adam Manson
Liz Phair - "Girls' Room"
“Girls’ Room” from 90’s queen Liz Phair’s junior album, Whitechocolatespaceegg is an earworm that paints a complex image in 1 minute and 47 seconds. Liz has a knack for presenting a side of the young female experience that doesn’t often get heard, and “Girls’ Room” is the epitome of that. It conjures images of seventh-grade sleepovers, the giddy, girly joy of having a BFF, and struggles with body image. Listening to this track is a whiff of nostalgia, and for me, nails the enigma of being a 12-year-old girl. And she’s from my hometown, Chicago. Bonus!
- JR Atkinson
The Lumineers - "Flowers in Your Hair"
"Flowers in Your Hair" is the first track off the Lumineers' first LP. To me, this song is an introduction that encapsulates the greatness that lives in every Lumineers song. "Flowers in Your Hair" starts out with classic acoustics, and then slowly merges into a sing-along chorus that the Lumineers are known for in other songs (like "Ho Hey"). Its heartwarming lyrics and unfiltered instruments are some things that are hard to find nowadays, and they set up the rest of the album and the band's vibe very nicely.
- Sanya Bery
Perfect Pussy - "Bells"
I’ve always felt that the best albums don’t hook you with the first track, but rather the second. This is definitely the case on the debut full-length from Syracuse punk band Perfect Pussy. After a somewhat expansive, ominous album opener, “Bells” kicks off with a sense of immediacy along with a frenzied jubilation, reaching emotional heights punk music rarely does. By the :45 mark, you’ve already reached the glorious climax of the track, with its half-time feel and euphoric guitar lines. Backed by lo-fi layers of guitars and synths, vocalist Meredith Graves screams some of the most poetic lines you’ll hear in a punk song. “We can speak the words of women and angels / But without real love, it's just sad noise.” I mean, come on.
- Alex Richwine
Two Humans - "The Last March"
Clocking in at 1:33, the track "The Last March" off of Two Humans' LP Institute of Living is high energy indie rock at its finest. Although the Hartford band disbanded back in 2014, their LP of short and sweet garage rock jams (the longest song is < 3 minutes) is one of the best projects to come out of the Connecticut DIY scene.
- Allison Hsu
Black Flag - "Gimme Gimme Gimme"
A short track off of Black Flag's debut album Damaged, "Gimme Gimme Gimme," embodies some of the essential elements of the 80s hardcore punk scene. Not feeling constrained by conventional structure, the song, like many punk songs, begins and ends as it pleases, getting its point across through straightforward lyrics delivered in the unmistakable idiolect of Henry Rollins.
- Meg West
The Memories - "Go Down on You"
A short but fun song about the magic of cunnilingus brought to you by The Memories, a quartet from Los Angeles!
- Molly D'Arcy
Charizma & Peanut Butter Wolf - "Apple Juice Break"
This 38 second track is near and dear to my heart. If I've ever made you a playlist, there's a pretty good chance that I put this song somewhere in the middle. Used as a transition song on an amazing rap album of the late and great Charizma and his producer Peanut Butter Wolf (the founder of Stones Throw Records), this song is like an aural palette cleanser. Maybe my fondness from it stems from the nostalgia of my friend learning and butchering the piano part of the song, but it doesn't really matter. I just love this little song.
- Manny Unger
BRONCHO - "Get Off My Reservations"
Although it only lasts 74 seconds, this track brings energy from start to finish. The constant fast baseline and quick vocal delivery make it impossible to not start tapping your feet. It’s the shortest track on an already short album—the 10 tracks on BRONCHO’s debut album Can’t Get Past the Lips come out to only 20 minutes. If you like the general sound of "Get Off My Reservations" (and have 20 minutes to spare), definitely give the rest of the album a listen.
- Natalie Hartman
The Beatles - "I'll Follow the Sun"
If you ever want to feel bad about yourself, remember that Paul McCartney wrote this masterpiece when he was only 17 years old. With its creative chord progression, clever lyrics, and catchy melody, "I'll Follow the Sun" is one of the best folksy Beatles songs (up there with "Michelle" and "Rocky Raccoon"). Like any short song should be, it is strengthened by its brevity, not hampered by it.
- Sam McCarthy