Unusual music request

CambiataCambiata Commander ShepardThe likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
PA, I have a particular and odd request for music and I'm wondering if anyone can help me out.

I'll start with this song:


I like a lot about this song, but right now the aspect I'm focusing on is that the singer is telling a story about a fanciful character. The song is a painting of that character. I would like to know about other songs that do a similar thing. Not just songs that create a character, but songs that create a character that would appear in a fantasy setting, something or someone mythical, though (probably) humanoid.

Another one I would consider that is kinda-sorta what I'm looking for is:



Though this one is much more basic and doesn't create an entire story around the character as the first one does, it's just "person singing the song has a magic gift." Still it fits my basic request of mythological or fantasy character.

I realize both of these songs are TOTALLY 80s but shut up I still like them, I'm an 80s girl. Modern examples are fine, songs older than the 80s are also fine.

Anyone want to give me some other examples of songs like this?

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  • MadicanMadican No face Registered User regular
    Something like this?

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  • KetarKetar Ready to feel better about your own miserable lives?Registered User regular
    More 80s, but Wrapped Around Your Finger by The Police seems like it fits the bill.

    Madpoet
  • HollerHoller Registered User regular
    With the caveat that this musician has a very specific voice/style that most people probably find extremely offputting, plus her instrument of choice is the harp which is... pretty hippie dippie, she is also one of the best lyricists in our generation and has a few songs steeped pretty heavily in fantasy:



    Almost all of her songs are built on metaphor though, so while I think this whole album is really narrative and lives in the realm of fantasy, I'm not sure it technically will be what you're looking for (but it has symphony accompaniment composed by Van Dyke Parks that is extremely good):



    also she married Andy Samberg awhile ago, which still blows my mind for some reason, but there you go.

    Wassermelone
  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    Madican wrote: »
    Something like this?


    Hmm, not quite, I don't mean folk songs specifically. The examples I gave paint a picture of a character without saying positively, "this happened, then this happened", that's a little too literal for me. I like things to be more implied, like in the first song I posted, Belladonna. We don't really know who Belladonna is or what her place is in the story. We don't even really know if she's a villain or a savior.
    Ketar wrote: »
    More 80s, but Wrapped Around Your Finger by The Police seems like it fits the bill.

    I would call the language of that song more a figurative sketch of a certain type of relationship rather than a song-painting of a fantasy character. Still a good song, though.
    Holler wrote: »
    With the caveat that this musician has a very specific voice/style that most people probably find extremely offputting, plus her instrument of choice is the harp which is... pretty hippie dippie, she is also one of the best lyricists in our generation and has a few songs steeped pretty heavily in fantasy

    I love Johanna Newsom, but she doesn't do the kind of character painting I'm looking for.

    Sorry, I know my request is difficult. :/

  • MadicanMadican No face Registered User regular
    I see, hmm, actually I do remember a song kind of like what you're talking about. I'm not sure if it'd qualify as fantasy though. Depends how you feel about metal golems.

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  • WassermeloneWassermelone Registered User regular
    edited December 2016
    Maybe The Decemberists' Hazards of Love?

    The entire album is one large story/rock opera about a boy raised by the Queen of the Forest (in the cold inhuman faery way)

    They also have The Crane Wife album which is a Japanese folk tale

    Wassermelone on
  • JebusUDJebusUD Adventure! Candy IslandRegistered User regular
    A number of songs by The Decemberists would probably fit the bill. Character building and magic, without being a very specifically told story.

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  • MadicanMadican No face Registered User regular
    edited December 2016
    If you're into symphonic metal, then Kamelot's "Black Halo" album is a story of its own inspired by the tale of "Faust." It doesn't do detailed events though, rather more descriptions from the character points of view, depending on the song. Nothing is explicitly told, just inferred based on what they're singing about.

    Madican on
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  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    Madican wrote: »
    I see, hmm, actually I do remember a song kind of like what you're talking about. I'm not sure if it'd qualify as fantasy though. Depends how you feel about metal golems.


    Oh yes, this is what I'm looking for! Even if it's a bit more sci-fi than fantasy. :)
    JebusUD wrote: »
    A number of songs by The Decemberists would probably fit the bill. Character building and magic, without being a very specifically told story.


    I still feel this is more of a "telling a story" or "setting a scene" than "Describing a character." A song describing a character is more what I'm looking for.

  • WassermeloneWassermelone Registered User regular
    Well the song Queen's Rebuke has a self descriptive part about the queen at the beginning



    Also one of the most badass live performances Ive ever seen. Shara Worden WAS the queen when she sang. You could practically feel the entire audience's souls become hers.

    Cambiata
  • metaghostmetaghost Registered User regular
    I feel like the objections to the provided songs are applicable to the initial examples, and probably why folks are missing the mark to your ears — that you construe Belladonna as being a musical portrait more than a narrative is a matter of personal perspective, as only two lines seem to have any overt reference to the "character", while the rest of the lyrics describe a vague narrative (first a narrator, then two lovers succumbing to the creature's call) that sketches out some understanding of a Siren (or whatever). And of course the rather minimalist nature of the lyrics to that song further contribute to such a subjective interpretation.

    Regardless, you might find that Genesis' "The Lamia" meets your criteria (being, roughly speaking, about an encounter with a Lamia):



    A more contemporary tune is "Or So He Sphinx" by The Speed of Sound in Seawater, though it's a bit more tenuous example of a "character description":



    I couldn't find a quality youtube of it, but you might want to look up Stateless' track "Ariel" of their album Matilda.

    Um... the avant-garde "metal" group Kayo Dot has a lot of long-form songs that serve as very oblique character descriptions, like "Amaranth, the Peddler". And the lyrics to their album Coyote were written by their friend (the artist Yoko Sueta) while she was hospitalized for a terminal illness, and they generally function as hallucinatory character descriptions, as she was I guess dealing with out-of-body experiences as a consequence of medication and isolation.

    This is "Calonyction Girl":

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    Cambiata
  • WiseManTobesWiseManTobes Registered User regular
    This popped into my head as a joke, but more I think about it, maybe posting it seriously?


    Or what about



    What if it's a full album?

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  • BillyIdleBillyIdle What does "katana" mean? It means "Japanese sword."Registered User regular
    Even though he got huge in the 80's, I love this early 70's Rick Springfield tune

  • baudattitudebaudattitude Registered User regular
    Not high fantasy - more dystopian really - but "Operation: Mindcrime" (Queensrÿche) comes to mind as an entire album telling a story about a character, with the intro being here is this person, he is in a prison hospital or mental institution accused of terrible crimes against the state, and then the rest of the album being a flashback to how they got there.

    It's super political, mind, but as an 80s person you will probably recognize the environment it came out of.

    Also it is fairly metal, which you probably got from the unnecessary umlaut in the band name.

    Auralynx
  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    edited December 2016
    metaghost wrote: »
    I feel like the objections to the provided songs are applicable to the initial examples, and probably why folks are missing the mark to your ears — that you construe Belladonna as being a musical portrait more than a narrative is a matter of personal perspective, as only two lines seem to have any overt reference to the "character", while the rest of the lyrics describe a vague narrative (first a narrator, then two lovers succumbing to the creature's call) that sketches out some understanding of a Siren (or whatever). And of course the rather minimalist nature of the lyrics to that song further contribute to such a subjective interpretation.

    Hmm, you may be right. But I think lines like "Burnt and charred, this bride of scars", "In a halo of sharks and a skeleton mask" and even :Lost in the glare, all of us stare, The patterns of pain, scream out your name" are all pretty clearly meant to be in reference to "Belladonna", whoever she is. And the ambiguity is part of what I like.
    Regardless, you might find that Genesis' "The Lamia" meets your criteria (being, roughly speaking, about an encounter with a Lamia):


    Best one so far!



    Cambiata on
  • MadpoetMadpoet Registered User regular
    Madican wrote: »
    I see, hmm, actually I do remember a song kind of like what you're talking about. I'm not sure if it'd qualify as fantasy though. Depends how you feel about metal golems.
    If we're reaching back to Sabbath, why not:


    This one always reminds me of The Man In Black, from The Gunslinger series, which technically falls under the 'fantasy' label:

  • SteevLSteevL What can I do for you? Registered User regular
    Perhaps Ayreon's Into the Electric Castle would fit? It's a 2-disc concept album telling a story of 8 characters brought together across time to go on a quest. It's basically prog rock/metal and can be pretty cheesy, but I love it. It even has the equivalent of a narrator.

    Each character is played by a different singer, and they often interact with each other.



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  • E.CoyoteE.Coyote Registered User regular
    A lot of coheed and cambria songs fit this description as well. ^.^

  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    I'm not sure what the authorial intent was with this song, but in my mind it fits your request. I always imagine it as a fairy tale about a girl escaping an evil witch or stepmother. Also, it's gothy and synthy so maybe the musical style will appeal to you?

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  • Local H JayLocal H Jay Registered User regular


    also, check out Rush, they have a lot of Tolkein references and influences

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  • SleepSleep Registered User regular


    Does this work?

  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    edited December 2016
    Huh. It sorta does, I forgot about that song. It's a good one.

    I think I'm going to refine my request a little bit though, as I've listened to these song I've gotten a clearer picture in my head of what specifically I want. The thing about that Belladonna song (and I'm going to ignore the Roses song because I'm realizing more and more that it doesn't fit what I want either) is that the character is described both with poetic mystery that you can't quite put your finger on- "The patterns of pain, scream out your name" - as well as actual physical descriptions so that you draw a picture in your mind of what this person looks like - "Burnt and charred, this bride of scars." I'd like songs with both things in them. That Lamia song is still the best other example because it describes scales and three snakes and so forth.

    I'd also like to avoid songs that describes things that already have super popular books and comic books about them. Yes, I know Lamias and Sirens have literature written about them, but because they are mythology the descriptions tend to be a lot more poetic and obscure. I don't need someone to describe what Superman looks like, I already know from cultural memory. I don't need someone to describe what Frodo looks like, I already know from cultural memory. Etc.

    Cambiata on
  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    hmm maybe this one?

  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    hmm maybe this one?


    It's a good song, but see my last post - this song has no physical description of the Fool on the Hill, it's all about what he's doing and who he is. Are his shoulders slumped in defeat? is his hair the color of dirty straw and too long for someone his age? Etc.

  • WiseManTobesWiseManTobes Registered User regular
    E.Coyote wrote: »
    A lot of coheed and cambria songs fit this description as well. ^.^

    ya aren't all of Coheed's albums like one long story about The Armory Wars?

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  • honoverehonovere Registered User regular
    Early Queen maybe?





  • ArcanisTheImpotentArcanisTheImpotent Registered User regular
    this might fit your bill!

    Cambiata
  • ArcanisTheImpotentArcanisTheImpotent Registered User regular


    perhaps also relevant

  • ArcanisTheImpotentArcanisTheImpotent Registered User regular
    edited January 2017


    from the same album, this is a song about Raistlin Majere

    (what i'm saying is i'm a nerd and have a deep pocket of nerdy music)

    ArcanisTheImpotent on
  • Mike DangerMike Danger "Diane..." a place both wonderful and strangeRegistered User regular
    SteevL wrote: »
    Perhaps Ayreon's Into the Electric Castle would fit? It's a 2-disc concept album telling a story of 8 characters brought together across time to go on a quest. It's basically prog rock/metal and can be pretty cheesy, but I love it. It even has the equivalent of a narrator.

    Each character is played by a different singer, and they often interact with each other.



    It's been a long time since I've listened to Ayreon, but I think the first Universal Migrator album does this as well (although that's more focused on specific periods of Earth history)

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  • FeriluceFeriluce Adrift on the morning star. Aberdeen, WARegistered User regular
    It's folky power metal but Elvenking might have something.


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