Every month we update a Spotify playlist that is curated by one of our members here at Chroma. This month is curated by SPACESHIPS frontman and newest member of the Chroma blogging team, Nat! He has some sweet picks, so I think we should just dive right in.
We update this playlist every month, so make sure to follow to stay up on the latest version! Here we go:
Since I play guitar in all of my projects, it might come as a surprise that my first real love was the bass. My mom gave me a ripoff jazz bass for my 13th birthday, and it consumed me. While I haven’t played bass in a band since my 8th grade pop punk project (someone recruit me, please!) the bass has a special place in my heart. And in this (very incomplete) playlist, I’m recounting some of my favorite bass tracks of all time.
The Beatles - Come Together
I’m not sure if anyone would care about the bass guitar if it weren’t for Sir Paul McCartney. He took the bass guitar from back row obscurity and made it rock. While the Beatles canon is filled with great bass lines, this one is the most iconic.
Flaming Lips - One More Robot/Sympathy
Want to see what a bass guitar can do if you don’t just thumb around on the root notes? Listen to this track and let it blow your mind.
Radiohead - Bloom
Radiohead’s catalog is filled with some of the grooviest bass lines put to tape, so choosing just one was no easy task. But Bloom’s asymmetrical, loping groove is absolutely hypnotic.
Palms - Future Warrior
Number one, if you don’t know this Deftones/ISIS supergroup, you absolutely should. Number two, just listen to that bass groove! Jesus, take the wheel!
Sunny Day Real Estate - Theo B
LP2 was the first Sunny Day Real Estate CD I bought in high school (an odd choice, I know), and as soon as this song came through my headphones, my brain leaped out of my skull. Nate Mendel’s bass lines are always great, but this song puts him right in the forefront. It’s worth noting that shortly after this, he was poached by the Foo Fighters.
Blink-182 - Carousel
This was the first song I learned on bass that actually made me feel like I knew what I was doing. Eighteen years later, my fingers almost instinctually play this intro riff whenever I grab a bass.
Further Seems Forever - The Bradley
If your list of the best emo bassists doesn’t include Chad Neptune, it is incomplete. Just listen to the way his lines weave between the intertwining guitar lines and bounce off the drums. Dang, Chad.
Thrice - Blood On Blood
Eddie Breckenridge has been one of my favorite bassists since The Artist in the Ambulance came out in 2003. But on this cut from Palms, his frantic thumping completely changes the heart of the track in the best way.
Fugazi - The Kill
I could have chosen just about any Fugazi track and called it a day. Joe Lally is one of the best bassists of all time, regardless of genre. I chose this track because the rest of the band hangs back and lets Joe lead.
mewithoutYou - The Sun and the Moon
Aaron Weiss gets most of the press when it comes to mewithoutYou, but you could give the rest of the band just as much attention and still be blown away. Greg Jehanian’s bass work always deserves to be turned up, but the end of this track in particular features some of my favorite interplay between him and drummer Ricki Mazzotta.
Analecta - Tied So Firmly To the Ground
There’s a moment at every Analecta show that I look forward to every time. Calvin sets down their guitar and plays a melody on their bass, but they mute the loop so it doesn’t come in quite yet. But then when it finally hits underneath a gorgeous tapped guitar line (at 4:01), it takes the whole thing up a notch.
Spotlights - Hollow Bones
Not every bass line has to be busy and groovy. Sometimes, the best thing for the bass to do is to just hang back and keep the rest of the band tethered. The bass line in this track doesn’t move to a different note for like two minutes, but once it does...
Comrades - Farewell
Laura McElroy’s mostly celebrated for the way her airy vocals float above the heaviness of the rest of the band, but let’s not forget that much of that crunch is coming from her bass. The explosion at the end of this song is absolutely sublime.
SPACESHIPS - Bright
Yes, I know this is my band. But the repeating, voodoo bass riff that carries the first half of the song is one of my favorite bass lines of anything I’ve ever been a part of.
My Bloody Valentine - Soon
If you read anything about My Bloody Valentine, you’ll see plenty about Kevin Shields’ guitar manipulation. But seeing them live, I walked away just as impressed with Debbie Googe. Under Shields’ massive walls of guitar, Debbie grooves hard, rocking harder than anyone else on stage. Soon is one of the few songs where her bass is up in the mix, displayed in its full glory.
Remember, you can follow THE PLAYLIST to get treated to more expertly curated playlists like this one every month from one of our artists! You can keep up with Nat by reading our blog, and also by following his band SPACESHIPS on social medias everywhere!