85 Spotisfaction Wednesday 14/07/10 – Ben Hawling

Afternoon, kids. Just a quick one to let you know that our normally brim-full submissions inbox is starting to run a little dry, so if you’re working on a playlist (or if you fancy creating one), then please get it to us. You can either email it to, paste it into the box at, or click on the little pencil icon on the top right of this page. All submissions will be published, and I can tell you from experience that even if you feel yours isn’t good enough, several of our readers will love it. No excuses! If you’d like to know a little more about what the process entails, feel free to email Thom or I.

Today’s is the third part in Ben’s “Soundtrack To My Life” series (see here for parts 1: 2006 and 2: 2007) and is his best yet, in my opinion.


85 Spotisfaction Wednesday (14 Jul) – BHawling

Hit the link for tracklist and Ben’s blurb.

  1. The Electric Soft Parade – Start Again
  2. The Killers – Romeo And Juliet
  3. Common – Play Your Cards Right
  4. Nerina Pallot – Jump
  5. Hot Chip – Hold On
  6. Ben Folds Five – Kate
  7. Daft Punk – Around The World/ Harder Better Faster Stronger
  8. Guillemots – Clarion
  9. KT Tunstall – If Only
  10. Panic At The Disco – These Green Gentlemen [Things Have Changed]
  11. The Delays – Friends Are False
  12. Bell Biv Devoe – Poison
  13. Bell X1 – In Every Sunflower
  14. Death Cab For Cutie – Your New Twin Sized Bed
  15. Ting Tings – That’s Not My Name
  16. Pendulum – Visions
  17. Groove Armada – Superstylin’
  18. Coldplay – 42
  19. Soulwax – Conversation Intercom
  20. Supergrass – Sun Hits The Sky
  21. Grandaddy – So You’ll Aim Toward The Sky
  22. I Remember – Deadmau5
  23. Ben Folds – Brainwascht
  24. Keane – Black Burning Heart
  25. Bloc Party – Biko
  26. Patrick Wolf – The Bluebell
  27. Will Young – You And I
  28. Das Pop – Fool For Love
  29. Radiohead – Like Spinning Plates (live)

This is the Soundtrack To My Life: 2008.

January – March

In many ways, my 2008 started off light and got gradually darker….kind of the inverse to Micheal Jackson.

I got into two great bands over the 2007 – 2008 Christmas holidays; The Electric Soft Parade and The Spinto Band. ‘Start Again’ by the former was constantly in my head as I travelled to and from Oxford for work, and when I returned to Oxford for uni in January. I’d got hold of the ‘Sawdust’ album by The Killers over the holiday also and loved their cover of ‘Romeo And Juliet’ so much that it made its way onto a January playlist I had at the time, also featuring ‘Start Again’, ‘Jump’ and ‘Play Your Cards Right’ by Common. This track features at the end of the Smokin’ Aces movie, which I saw at Christmas, and somehow makes me feel wealthy whenever I hear it. I went and saw Hot Chip at the end of Feburary that year. I went with a girl, Kate, who was simply a friend at the time who I knew through one of my then housemates. Following that gig, and our shared love of great music, we went out with each other and my most significant relationship ever began. Its really weird, but the Ben Folds Five track seems to have been written about her, its uncanny! My first gift to her was a copied cd i made featuring the fucking amazing ‘Alive 2007’ album by Daft Punk, which we both loved!

April – June

Both KT Tunstall’s album and Panic At The Disco’s new albums came out at this time, and both tracks featured here sum up the new happy, ‘loved up’ state I was in, ‘If Only’ kindof saying a big fuck you to all the girls gone before. One of Kate’s favourite songs to dance to was ‘Poison’, so, naturally I heard this song all the time around then.The song perhaps acting as a subtle message to me for the times ahead, hmmmmmm. We also went and saw The Delays around this time. She once played me ‘In Every Sunflower’ by Bell X1, and I didnt really think much of it. But when we then broke up, this rather depressing song was all I listened to all that week. I think its all about breakups. Having loved Death Cab For Cutie for a long while, I bought their ‘Narrow Stairs’ album the day it came out, and I remember going for long walks around Oxford’s Port Meadow listening to this album, trying to get over the breakup.

July – September

‘Thats Not My Name’ by Ting Tings came out in the summer of 2008 and I originally hated it. I then ended up loving it, and still do. Its a happy, bouncy song that smells of sunshine, so there. I bought my first Ipod in July of that year, and Pendulum were heavily present on it at this time. Me and my afore mentioned housemate went to Wakestock festival that summer, and one of 2 anthems that stood out for me that weekend were ‘Superstylin” and ‘Sun Hits The Sky’ by the closing headline act, Supergrass. I’d waited four years to see Supergrass live for that song alone, and I finally got to experience it, woop!

The epic and experimental album by Coldplay,  ‘Viva La Vida’ came out, and I bought it on the Thursday it came out, first thing in the morning, because I was soo excited to hear it. It did not disappoint. I also got to see 2 Many Dj’s that summer, with Soulwax supporting. Fucking amazing gig, apart from the fact that my ex was at the same gig, grrr. All my housemates left our house for the summer, so I was left alone for about 3 months, wallowing in self pity, still trying to get over the harsh breakup. One of my all time favourite albums was discovered amoungst this mess, Grandaddy’s ‘The Sophtware Slump’. Its darkness and intimacy really comforted me over the long dark summer.

September – December

Me and my sister Jo, and Jim King went to The Big Chill Festival that summer, and I was instantly converted to dance music. That was the start of my fascination and exploration into all genres of dance, and one of the first tracks that hit me was ‘I Remember’ by the then unheard of Deadmau5. Me and Jo and Jim then went to see Deadmau5 in Oxford in September, and we were blown away! Ben Folds released his new album that autumn and ‘Brainwascht’ was my favourite track off it. Another one of my favourite bands, Keane, also released new material that October. I initially didnt like the ‘Perfect Symmetry’ album, but learned to love it as with all of their work.

As November set in, and the nights got darker, tracks with haunting refrains seemed to creep into my brain, including ‘Biko’ and most of Patrick Wolf’s material. On my birthday, November 6th, I turned 21, and I remember being in an underground indie club at midnight, alone at the bar waiting for a drink. Somone put none other than Will Young’s ‘You And I’ on the jukebox, which instantly made me smile, and sing along. It was distinctly at odds with my birthday head state, but seemed to work. As New Year grew closer, and as my stack of Mixmag magazines grew taller, the almighty Soulwax compiled a Mixmag cover cd, which was fucking awesome. One key track on there was ‘Fool For Love’, which again summed up my head space that year. My favourite all time Radiohead track was ‘Like Spinning Plates’ on the Amnesiac album, until some wise soul played the live version to me. This is now my favourite Radiohead track, and quite possibly my favourite track ever. Its beautifully intimate, delicate presence has an enchanting etheral quality to it, bookending my year perfectly.

So that was my 2008; A year of woe, drunken antics and the occasional smile and sunshine. All in all, the good times far outweighed the bad, but at the time I guess you tend to only focus on the negative. The true existence of fate or whatever lay in the specific tracks that hit me and stayed with me throughout the year. If only I’d caught wind of what they were really saying earlier on, maybe things would have turned out different. But then again, It was always meant to be that way, wasn’t it? Then again, thats what a true soundtrack is; a collection of sounds and messages that tell your story. 2008 was my most influencial mixtape, and still gets played to this day now and again. Probably because it doesn’t just exist on a page, or in an Ipod; it is real!

Nuff said!

Ben Hawling