10 great songs over 6 minutes long (2024)

10 great songs over 6 minutes long



As someone who writes songs that tend to hover around the 2 and a half minute mark, I've always been critical of songs that are 5 or 6 minutes but don't seem to go anywhere. I have begun to think of 6 minutes as an anchor for song length. If you're going to write a longer song you have to earn that length and not just cram a bunch of extra choruses at the end.You want your song to create a feeling, set a mood, entertain, and then finish before overstaying its welcome. Here are 10 songs that have absolutely earned their right to push past that 6 minute mark.

Check out the "10 Great Songs Over 6 Minutes" Spotify playlist at the bottom of this post!

the War On Drugs - An Ocean In Between the Waves

This whole album by The War On Drugs is chock-full of great rock songs over 6 minutes. By layering electric guitars and keyboards with clever fills and brilliant solos, each track feels like an epic journey. Despite having a frantic energy to it,An Ocean In Between the Wavesis in no rush to lay out every surreal detail. Adam Granduciel's gruffvoice is especially passionate here and everything leads to a guitar solo that is absolutely stellar.

fionn regan - bunker or basem*nt

Fionn Regan's debut album The End of History is one of my favorite folk albums of all time. Son of a classical guitarist, Fionn Regan stole my heart with his stunning melodies and by turning fingerpicking into an art form. The entire album is full of shorter folk songs but the last trackBunker of Basem*nt is different. When the song is nearly complete, Regan's acoustic guitar and the piano play off each other in an outro that demands your attention with its emotional resonance.

Lucy Dacus - Map On A Wall

I could listen to Lucy Dacus' silky voice all day. This song has a beautiful vulnerability to it, especially her repeated refrain of "oh please don't make fun of me." The opening guitar takes its time, letting each verse land and setting the scene for the song for 3 minutes before upping the intensity with the full band. The key to the arrangement of this song is to add just enough from the band to enhance the performance while backing off enough to let Dacus' vocals shine.

damien jurado - silver donna

Damien Jurado has one of the most unique voices; always wavering with emotion. On Silver Donna he layers his vocals to wailing extremes overheavy hand drums and a funky bass line to create an intensity that fits right in with his created land of Maraqopa. There may not be a traditional verse/chorus structure and the bass line never changes but there is so much to enjoy and unpack in this song you will be far from bored.

Radiohead - Paranoid Android

Any doubts about Radiohead's place in music history were quickly erased when the band released their grammy winning breakout album OK Computer in 1997. One of the main singles, Paranoid Android, feels almost like a punk song; albeit one played with unbelievable skill and centered around an acoustic guitar. Each musician in this band is a master of his craft and they built a perfect rock anthem. Thom Yorke's voice emits attitude yet never loses its beautiful allure, the melody is catchy, and the guitar solo knocks your face off.

Sufjan Stevens - Chicago

Chicago, Sufjan Steven's early masterpiece, proves that arrangement matters. Playing many instruments himself, his epic score builds on just four chords and three melodies. Despite a string section, horns and a children's choir, Sufjan's hushed vulnerability in his vocals are the most captivating part of a song with plenty to offer.

The Jerfs - BAD LUCK

Bad Luck,my favorite from The Jerfs' album Hypervigilante, covers three melodic ideas brilliantly. Their traditional rock band line up is enhanced with thoughtful arrangements, solid instrumentation andthe unbelievable chemistry of the two singers Amy Braun and Laura DiMonte.They begin with anguished harmonies over a lone ukulele before moving to lighter, syncopated vocals over heavy toms - a moment to make The Tuneyards proud. Finally the song culminates into a kick ass outro.

Deerhunter - Desire Lines

Deerhunter uses two different vocalists very well. The solid baritone of Lockett Pundt paired with Bradford Cox's eerie tenor is startlingly beautiful. Like Bunker or Basem*nt the instrumental jam at the end really gets me.

Dirty Projectors - useful chamber

The Dirty Projectors produce some of the best vocal arrangements I've ever heard. Singers Angel Deradoorian and Amber Coffman operate as instruments with their surreal layers of harmonies. Rather than repeat the same melody in a verse/chorus format, this song has motifs and references the melody throughout with different arrangements and styles. Their music is no doubt chaotic but it's grounded in such talent and cleverness.

Kurt Vile - Lost My hEAD tHERE

This song is just fun. Kurt Vile mixes quirky lyrics with a basic piano progression in a song about songwriting through depression. As Vile himself says "I don't wanna, talk about it, yell about it oh no. Me I just wanna sing about it." He punctuates his throaty voice with the occasional high pitched "oooops" as he sings about losing his head. The outro gets increasingly surreal as he "levitates."


10 great songs over 6 minutes long (2024)


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