My Top 1000 Songs #547: Float On

[I've been writing up my Top 1000 songs on a daily basis--you can see them all in descending order by hitting the All My Favorite Songs tag.]

Modest Mouse are one of those bands I should like more than I do. Musically, they check a lot of the right boxes, distinctively jagged 90s/00s indie rock that slots them in comfortably alongside acts I adore like Pavement, Built To Spill, Granddaddy, etc. Largely it's because I find Isaac Brock's vocals an acquired taste, which I've never quite acquired; and some of the music congeals for me aesthetically but lacks the hooks to fully draw me in.

That's obviously not the case for "Float On," the break-out alt.rock hit from 2004's Good News For People Who Love Bad News (the one album of theirs I tend to gravitate towards). The central hook is absurdly catchy, Television-like dueling licks over a military march; the lyrics are wickedly entertaining, with their series of mishaps that magically work out ok, a feel-good anthem for the post-slacker set. It's one of those radio-ready tunes from the era (see also, e.g., Franz Ferdinand's "Take Me Out") that I can hear a million times yet somehow doesn't grow stale.

Plus, great video.

Live on tv:
Ben Lee converts it into lackadaisical freak-folk ballad:
Incorporated into a delightful Weird Al polka medley (about 1:20 into the song):