The past few weeks have been a big change for me, which is probably why this month’s music playlist is a little eclectic. I’ve left my job at Time Inc and the hour-long London commute that came with it for the sun-drenched shores of Brighton and a new challenge at a creative digital agency. The first fortnight has gone swimmingly so far (yay!) and I think that’s reflected in the return to indie and chill-out tracks that represent my musical bread and butter, as opposed to angsty metal and old-school hip-hop.
From Madonna, Stormzy and The Shins, this month includes some 90’s bangers, as well as indie faves, so tune in and turn it up…
1. Stormzy – ‘Big For Your Boots’
When I was working at NME, I had this amazing colleague (Hi Beth!) and she would often recommend decent artists to me. It just so happened that a lot of these artists were in the grime genre, like Stormzy. Since then, I’ve come to really enjoy his music, along with Skepta and Wiley, something I never thought I’d enjoy as it’s so out of my comfort zone. Since Stormzy’s album release on Friday, I’ve been listening to this track non-stop, as well as ‘Cigarettes and Cush feat. Kehlani’.
2. Radiohead – ‘True Love Waits’
Since reading this article announcing the tragic death of artist, lecturer and Thom Yorke’s ex-partner, Rachel Owen, I’ve been going back over all of Radiohead’s discography and absorbing every word. But no song touches me more than ‘True Love Waits’ – you can hear the desperation in Thom’s vocals, especially in the song’s last few words. Very few songs touch me as much as this one.
3. The Shins – ‘New Slang’
I had a hankering to watch the incredible indie flick starring Zach Braff, ‘Garden State’, this week but ended up listening to the soundtrack instead on my commute to work. One of the many songs in the film that I adore is this one, in fact, it’s the soundtrack that got me into The Shins to begin with and for that, I’ll be forever grateful. This often makes my bath playlists for when I’m feeling a little stressed, coupled with some Zero 7.
4. Limp Bizkit – ‘Gold Cobra’
Okay, so this one is a bit random BUT it was also one of the first songs that me and Joe really bonded over. This album came out when we had just started going out. Not only that, they happened to be performing at Sonisphere, the rock festival that Joe and I were going to just weeks into dating. I won’t lie, they killed it on-stage and we had the best time acting like we were nu-metal teens again.
5. Flo Morrissey and Matthew E. White – ‘Grease’
Every week, almost without fail, Joe and I settle down to watch Sunday Brunch with a plate of pastries and a fresh pot of tea. Every now and then, they recommend artists in their weekly playlist – this track was one of them. I instantly fell in love with the duo’s vocals and playful re-mix of the cult song, ‘Grease’, from the film. I’ve since gone on to listen to their full album and it’s just as good. Give it a listen.
6. Bibio – ‘Lover’s Carvings’
Exploring London with Saloni last week, this was played in a cafe we happened to be having lunch in. It reminded me just how good this song and band are. Without fail, it’ll always remind me of the Kindle ad it was featured in but beyond that, it reminds me of a friendship I once had that will always make me smile. Tracks don’t come more perfect for seaside road-trips either.
7. Nickelback – ‘Savin’ Me’
I know. It’s Nickelback. But truth be told, I like them. I like their first five albums quite a bit, especially ‘All The Right Reasons’, despite them reminding me of splitting up with my first love. This is one of my favourite songs from the album. It takes me back to, let’s just say, ‘interesting’ times but despite that I can’t resist miming along to it, swishing my hair to and fro, like an elegant rocker. Ha.
8. Van Morrison – ‘Warm Love’
With Spring on the horizon, it was time to bring a little sunshine into my commute and it began with Van Morrison. This is one of my many favourites of his that reminds me of warm summers in my local park when I was a teenager with my close group of friends, sharing a tub of mango sorbet. This song will always be special to me as it makes me feel like skipping down the street with a big smile on my face.
9. Madonna – ‘Beautiful Stranger’
Last week, Joe and I were having a nostalgic flick through a few Spotify playlists, prompted by something on TV (can’t remember what). This track happened to come into the mix and reminded just how good Madonna was in the late nineties. Along with this and ‘Frozen’, all I can remember was there being hit after hit – many of which were at my school discos.
10. Faithless – ‘Insomnia’
In the same evening, we also came across this gem of a song. Ironically, I really disliked Faithless when this track was first released. My brother and dad loved them but I just couldn’t get my head around them. To be fair, I was in my metal and emo phase at this point. Nowadays, I love them and listen to them weekly. For instance, this Friday, they helped me smash a few projects I was assigned to at work – I couldn’t ask for more.
What have you been listening to in the past month? Do you have any music recommendations for me?