I sometimes think about what band I would wave a magic wand and just make famous. The bands that have the widest gap between my love for them and the wider perception of the band. At this point, if you're a close student of Five Songs, first: what are you even doing? Why? But, you can probably guess some of these bands. Hammerhead, for instance. Pond (the one from Portland). The Slackers. Bands that I adore that never really moved the needle. Well, add to that list Flop, who tossed off pop rock as effortlessly as anybody ever has.
Frank Black, "Hang On To Your Ego"
Oh, right, like I'm going to take ego advice from Frank Black! Or, honestly, Brian Wilson.
We've had Crunt here before, but this is a side project of Kat Bjelland (Babes in Toyland), Russel Simins (The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion), and Stuart Gray (Lubricated Goat). They only put out the one self-titled album, but it's a fine record, worth seeking out if you're a fan of any of those bands.
Mandalay, "This Life"
One of trip-hop records that's kind of fallen off the radar today, Empathy is a solid record demonstrating that aesthetic. The dreamy vocals, the hip-hop inspired rhythms, the cool songs, it's all here. It's not a bad place to move to once you go past Portishead.
Eef Barzelay, "Thanksgiving Waves"
During a hiatus of Clem Snide, Eef Barzelay put out a couple of solo records under his own name. Fundamentally, he is Clem Snide, but the difference is the solo records had much sparer arrangements than he works with when recording as Clem Snide. Personally, I like the bigger arrangements, they let his songs shine properly, so I prefer Clem Snide.