â€œOut of some desire to do something other than sit around and rot, the men known as David Prowse and Thom Lavelle decided to sit around and rot whilst swapping Spotify playlists and blogging about themâ€¦â€
Day number Tuesday of our Spotisfaction series, and next up is my playlist. Honestly, the first draft was about 40 songs too long, and contained a distinct section for pretty much every genre under the sunâ€¦ Figured I should probably cut it down a little, and ended up with the following. Worried I might have played it a bit too safe with my selections, so feedback is very much appreciated.
- Forss – Funk For Nerds
- Sia – Breathe Me (Four Tet Remix)
- Kira Neris – Scampering
- The Little People (Feat Rachael Roberts) – Breathe Again
- The Cinematic Orchestra – Child Song
- The xx – Crystalised
- Maps – Valium In The Sunshine
- Neon Indian – 6669 (I donâ€™t know if you know)
- TV on the Radio – Wolf Like Me
- Death From Above 1979 – Black History Month
- Japandroids – Young Hearts Spark Fire
- Titus Andronicus – Fear And Loathing In Mahwah, NJ
- Spoon – Got Nuffinâ€™
- Kevin Drew – Lucky Ones
- The Hold Steady – Constructive Summer
- The Acorn – Antenna
- Bowerbirds – Northern Lights
- Sonic Youth – Incinerate
- Caribou – Sundialing
- Atlas Sound – Quick Canal (w. Laetitia Sadier)
- Sleeping States – Red King
- Sufjan Stevens – They Are Night Zombies!! They Are Neighbors!! They Have Come Back From The Dead!! Ahhhhh!
- Interpol – Stella was a diver and she was always down
- Sunset Rubdown – Idiot Heart
- The National – Mr. November
My standouts belowâ€¦
I first heard Sia in 2003 or so, and have been a pretty big fan ever since. Her solo stuff is awesome, but didnâ€™t really fit in with the feel of this playlist. I was tempted to go with some Zero 7 back from when she guested on a lot of their tracks, but in the end I chose the Four Tet remix of â€œBreathe Meâ€ as A) I love Four Tet and B) Itâ€™s my sodding playlist.
Oh man, The Cinematic Orchestra. I saw them at the Roundhouse doing their â€œMan With a Movie Cameraâ€ short film setâ€¦ I loved them before, but seriously, theyâ€™ll always be incredible in my eyes after that. This track is from â€œMa Fluerâ€ but was played that night too. Hammond organs are awesomesauce and win chips.
I used The xx as a way to bridge the introduction from the orchestral beauty of The Cinematic Orchestra into the next section of the playlist. I heart this track, it gets me going. The layering of the male vs female vocals is sublime. Off the back of this track, we move straight into Maps – I was fortunate enough to catch them when they played Dot-to-Dot in Bristol last year, and bought their sophomore album on the strength of that gig alone. This is my favourite track from â€œTurning the Mindâ€. James Chapman just exudes focus – I swear when I saw them he pretty much forgot that there was a crowd, he was so into the music. That love for what he does is clearly apparent in this track.
Tunde Adebimpe is pretty much amazing; Iâ€™ll admit right now for the sake of full disclosure that I actually want to be him (and would probably settle for stroking his beard gently). TV on the Radio had to feature somewhere in this playlist, and â€œWolf Like Meâ€ seemed like the best choice. I love the breakdown in this track, and the â€œhowling foreverâ€ section brings out the olâ€™ goosebumps. I love how they can use their horn section without it being completely overpowering. Itâ€™s layered so well that you hardly notice itâ€™s there, but the whole song would sound so flat if it wasnâ€™t. Such clever mixing.
I really wanted to play the Alan Braxe & Fred Falke remix of Death From Above 1979â€™s Black History Month from their â€œRomance Bloody Romanceâ€ LP, but annoyingly I couldnâ€™t find it on Spotify. I absolutely love the opening refrain from Jesse here: â€œCan you remember a time when this city was / a great place for architects and dillitentes / a nice place for midwives and crossing guards and on and onâ€. The prevailing theme is of the world changing around you and it really resonates with me – I listen to this track and am taken back to memories from my childhood, school, university, and am reminded how the rose-tinted glasses of life make those things seem so much better in hindsight than they might have been at the time. I love the subtle pessimism of the lyrics crossed with the sombre melody of the synth. Brilliant, haunting, depressing track.
I only started listening to Japandroids very recently – I think I caught them on a DrownedinSound playlist, and am hugely thankful that I did. Their sound is so raw, and the best way I can describe them is that itâ€™s like listening to a mediocre pop-punk band whilst lying in an upturned bathtub wrapped in cotton wool. Youâ€™d be forgiven for immediately ruling them out of your music collection, but the garage band noise-scene sound really works for them so bugger it. Plus, I share the same name as the drummer so they had to go into this playlist, no?
Kevin Drew marks the start of the second half of the playlist, and is there to get me back into an upbeat mood after the previous couple of songs. Thereâ€™s something about Kevinâ€™s work (whether solo, with Broken Social Scene, or through his various other projects such as KC Accidental) that just makes me feel good about myself. The whole â€œBSS Presents: Spirit Ifâ€¦â€ album is the musical equivalent of coming home after a long holiday, I guess. Comforting, warm and familiar. Hugely looking forward to BSSâ€™s new album in May.
Leading from Kevin straight into The Hold Steady makes me a happy bunny – I could listen to these guys every day of the year and theyâ€™d never get old to me. So much energy – I can be sat at my desk glazed over and waist deep in work, but in my head Iâ€™ve downed 10 cans of Red Bull and am dancing around in my pants with a hairbrush microphone. Whether that says more about my sexuality than my musical tastes, Iâ€™m not sureâ€¦
I suppose I should like Sonic Youth, but if Iâ€™m perfectly honest I never really afforded them much of a listen – I wrote them off a long time ago, seemingly without much reason. I found this track after trying to rectify that, and am reserving judgment for now I think. Iâ€™d appreciate a recommendation or two if anyone reading this likes them.
Wanted so much to play Sleeping States whilst I was compiling this list, so thatâ€™s why theyâ€™re here – I found them on a Last.fm recommendation from Grizzly Bear and thatâ€™s a pretty fantastic compliment, and well-deserved in my opinion. Iâ€™m very much into their â€œIn The Gardens of the Northâ€ LP at the moment, and I can heartily recommend if youâ€™re into melodic pop. Which you should be. That is all.
Finally, I had to finish with The National, if only because dumbass here managed to miss out on tickets to see them in the Royal Albert Hall. Hmmph.