Features Reviews

Autumn Tone Records

It’s amazing how you sometimes stumble across treasure by accident.

At the height of Autumn, whilst wistfully day dreaming and listening to music in my room, I considered what sounds and music best represented the leafy season. In my curiosity, I typed the words ‘Autumn sounds music’ into the search engine in the hope of finding perhaps a list of possible suggestions. Instead, what came up was a link to the recently established Autumn Tone Records, which was instantly intriguing. I set about exploring the site, and checking out the varied list of artists, until I was satisfied that it was exactly what I was looking for. I felt like a child who discovers a den whilst playing in the woods; an image quite fitting when considering the alternative and natural character to the music offered on Autumn Tone Recordings.

Following it’s creation in 2005 by the music blog Aquarium Drunkard , Autumn Tone Records, based in Los Angeles, has been host to a number of acoustic, indie, folk, harmonic, and rock outfits who have all been driven out of obscurity and into the public eye. Currently, at least ten artists are represented on the label’s main website and are all definitely worth a listen.


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

Features Reviews

VFTA: Broken Social Scene Part 3 – "Broken Social Scene"

Not sure what this VFTA malarkey is all about? See here.
To listen along with Ben, BSS’ “Broken Social Scene” is on Spotify.
Click the album art below to purchase a copy of the album from Amazon.

As the new millennium surged on and the decade reached it’s dizzy midpoint, the now infamous Broken Social Scene continued to evolve, shifting the perspectives of the followers that they had gathered up to now.

This time, the boundaries were to be pushed further and wider as the band set about crafting what was to become their most varied, ambitious and commercially accessible album to date. They were to create a new way of dreaming. Following the three year gap since their previous sound exploration, “You Forgot It In People”, the band had been hard at work writing new, ambitious material. “Broken Social Scene” saw more collaborators than their previous efforts and included artists such as The Dears’ Murry Lightburn and Jason Tait of The Weakerthans. The new ideas that formed from these collaborations, coupled with the already vast scope of the existing collective, serve to add a world of colour to the third album.

From the opening track ‘Our Faces Split The Coast In Half’ and the tune’s rays of yellow sunshine, it is clear that this new album will not only provide a more coherent picture of what the band are about but also an illustrated soundtrack to the listener’s life. The use of driving rhythms, and the cacophony of instruments that drift in and out of the introductory track alone clearly show this quality.

One significant element to the band’s sound on this collection is the sense of experimentation. This can be heard throughout the album but most notably in the dabbling of different time signatures and effects, prominent in ‘7/4 (Shoreline)’. The experimentation also creeps into existence around the end of some of the tracks, where various members of the collective sample techniques and potential song directions.

The colours of the album tend to get brighter around tracks such as ‘Swimmers’ and ‘Superconnected’, both offering meaty drum beats dripped in a shoe gaze mentality and melody. However, the band do revert back to their previous, darker territory as the album reaches it’s climatic end in ‘It’s All Gonna Break’. In this shady closing track the harsh lyrics “When I was a kid, you fucked me in the ass, but I took my pen to my paper, and I passed you. You know I love the shit, ‘Cause the shit tastes so good, I’ve got pastures waiting in the woods” leek from the otherwise optimistic album, and remind the listener that emotions themselves are, in fact, colourless.

“Broken Social Scene” marked the peak of the bands musical exploration, and in a way reveals the true “broken” element to the vision that the ever expanding collective have built. The break doesn’t necessarily come in the disjointed nature of the song writing but more in the way that every track, each representing a different emotion, appear to be scattered around perhaps replicating real life. The self-titled effort also symbolises how Broken Social Scene have the unique ability, yet again to set their music and song to dream like imagery, but this time in full technicolour!

Ben Hawling

Features Reviews

VFTA: Broken Social Scene Part 2 – "You Forgot It In People"

Not sure what this VFTA malarkey is all about? See here.
To listen along with Ben, BSS’ “You Forgot It In People” is on Spotify.

Following a brief hiatus in the first half of the decade, the Canadian musician ensemble, Broken Social Scene released their second album, “You Forgot It In People”; an album that was sure to carry more weight to it due to the further addition of artists to the already heavily populated group.

With the surplus members and ideas, the band, namely core founders Brendan Canning and Kevin Drew, expanded their sound and embraced new moods still allowing the listener to escape real life, but this time without the dreaming.

“You Forgot It In People” offers a more accessable selection of ‘indie-rock’ gems then previous album “Feel Good Lost”, in the sense that the intimate ambiance has been replaced with vocals and stronger melodic hooks. The band have not however abandoned their initial dream state sound completely. Essences of ethereal lifts and heavy orchestral tones are still present throughout, but are now supported by poetic lyrics, attempting to make sense of the real life one had left behind.

A track that perhaps breaks this rule, ‘Cause = Time’, strikes hard at the album’s heart and tells of the how society resorts to sex and selling its body, in an attempt to find meaning in life. ”And they all want to love the cause, ‘cause they all need to be the cause, they all want to fuck the cause”. Yet, such a dark message is still accompanied by melodic guitars and a pulsing tempo, making it almost anthemic and full of emotion. Another significant track here is ‘Looks Just Like The Sun’; a chilled and relaxed refrain that doesn’t just look, but also feels like the sun, as the lyrics describe someone whose presence radiates on the listener. Both tracks giving justified backing to the album’s title, suggesting that such individual florishes, and human error, has been taken for granted in society as a whole.

As with their debut, the band take the listener on an exploration through a series of ideas and visions, and peaks and troughs, but overall have managed to create a fine fusion of dark imagery with their trademark escapist tone, culminating in a very strong follow up album. At the time, this quality was recognised as the band recieved awards and accolades from right across the board; a just victory deserved for a group with such a unique vision and sound. From here, it is possible for Broken Social Scene to go anywhere, having both existed in beautiful dreams, and now harsh, yet lucid realities.

Ben Hawling

Features Reviews

VFTA: Broken Social Scene Part 1 – "Feel Good Lost"

Not sure what this VFTA malarkey is all about? See here.
To listen along with Ben, BSS’ “Feel Good Lost” is on Spotify.

The year 2000; the start of the new millennium, but more importantly the birth of new ideas, perspectives and emotions.

Around the same time as the world welcomed in this new decade, a fresh sound was growing from the suburban basements, and urban meadows of America and Canada. A sound that projected pure poetry and delicate lyrical narratives, set to beautifully crafted instrumental dream states. Circa 2000, the pioneers of this ‘post-rockesque’ styling included bands such as Bright Eyes, The Shins and Death Cab For Cutie, all of which continue to evolve and develop this glorious sound 10 years on. But one group who appear to have nurtured the genre throughout the decade, and are still exploring it to this day, are Broken Social Scene.

Formed in Canada in 1999, Broken Social Scene originally existed as a mix of collaborators, musicians and friends who blended an array of musical projects and ideas together. After two years of fine tuning, founding members Brendan Canning and Kevin Drew wrote the band’s debut album “Feel Good Lost”; a myriad of moods and tones that truly paints a picture of the mass artist collective present and the new millennium perspective.

“Feel Good Lost” is apt as a debut as it consists mostly of instrumental stylings, and in many ways acts as introduction to the band’s avant-garde direction. The moods contained in the album rise and fall and a series of emotions, and dreams are explored in intimate detail. ‘Alive In 85’ capturing a rather more jovial mood setting with muffled yet busy tempo, and gently wafting guitar melodies. Whereas, ‘Stomach Song’ represents a more claustrophobic, enclosed atmosphere, with its murky orchestration and eerie collection of vocal clips looped over and over throughout. The collection of work here tends to float along sweetly, culminating in the heavy ‘Last Place’, that acts as the awakening from the troubled, yet peaceful dream of the album.

As “Feel Good Lost” reaches it’s optimistic closing track ‘Cranley’s Gonna Make It’, one can’t help but agree with the album’s title; that it has felt good being lifted out of the harshness of real life, and left alone to wonder in this pure dream state. Admittedly, Broken Social Scene’s debut isn’t one of strength or power. But what it does hold is potential, promise and the odd sense of escapism that exists so beautifully in the music of all those visionary band’s way back in 2000.

The Year 2000: That start of the great escape!

Ben Hawling

Features Reviews

VFTA: ‘View From The Afternoon’ Introduction

Sometimes, when a band release a new album, the very fabric of your passion for them is tested. Do you like their new material? Have they lost their way?

I don’t know about you, but I do this all the time. I find that listening back over the entire back catalogue of the band doesn’t just refresh and rekindle the appreciation that you initially built for them, but also allows you to track the band, or artists growth as they evolve through the music industry, and find their ‘sound’. And, if you’re lucky, you may even discover little treats in the albums that you didn’t hear before, woop!

Every week at Spotisfaction towers, I will atempt to rummage through an artist’s past albums and explore exactly where they’ve come from, and where they are heading, in a feature we’re calling ‘View From The Afternoon’. This will be fun, honest!

The name? After much deliberation and indecision over what such a feature could be called, View From The Afternoon was chosen. The title refers to the Arctic Monkeys track; the lyrics of which describe how perspectives of past events change in time, and alter with the benefit of hindsight. This is kind of what we are doing when we look back over a band’s past albums. We are judging their current musical state on the twists and turns that have taken place before, and can only now hold a true picture of their work as a whole.

Ok, so its a weak title, but until we think of something better, it stays, so there!

To kick off this glorious feature, we are dedicating a week to those quirky Canadian shoe gazers, Broken Social Scene, in honour of their upcoming live gig at Birmingham Academy on Saturday [Editor’s note: if you’re coming, let us know!].

I for one have never actually listened to the band before, or any of their work, so this week’s trawl through their back catalogue will be hugely beneficial for me. If you are already a fan, I hope the following reviews and opinions appear just, and that they help you fall in love with the band all over again, just in time for the gig.

We hope you enjoy these weekly journeys, and that they shine a light on your life somehow. Enjoy Broken Social Scene, and we’ll see you down the front!

Nuff said!


INTRO: Ben Hawling

Hi, hows it goin’?

Whatever you’re doing, wherever you are, I hope that the latest Spotisfaction playlist is filling your ears and softly soaring through your atmosphere.

My name is Ben Hawling and I will be flooding the Spotisfaction pages with regular reviews and the occasional rant. These reviews will consist of both album and gig reviews, plus a few band profiles every so often in an effort to keep our collective Spotisfaction fingers on the pulse of what’s hot, musically. I will also be conducting a weekly “Band back catalogue appreciation” feature (yeah, working on a better name as we speak), where I rummage through the back catalogue of a different band each week so that a whole host of new fans can be introduced to fine music. This will also allow the more loyal fans to reminisce, and their appreciation be born all over again.
Based in the glorious Cheltenham town, I am a resident reviewer for the visionary Cheltenham Underground imprint, so I will be posting regular nuggets of local talent. I will also give the heads up of any mind-blowingly awesome artists that play at the Cheltenham Underground showcase nights, and where you can find them (in a non-stalker way…….well, maybe).

The reason behind my involvement with the Spotisfaction blog is purely because I long to be part of something that is groundbreaking, and that thrives on delivering music in all it’s forms to those who may not have access to it. But on a more personal level, it is down to the enjoyment and appreciation of the mixtape itself. Spotisfaction allows the 15 year-old me, sat alone in my bedroom, to finally share all the mixtapes that I compiled from odd tapes and CDs. Just as the mixtapes got me through the drudge of school, I hope that the playlists and discussion that you will find on Spotisfaction carry you through the harshness of modern day life and on to a higher plain, wherever that may be.

If there’s any albums/gigs/bands that you want me to review or take a look at, please feel free to contact me on twitter (@benchs25) or via my email address,

We are all part of something spectacular, and most importantly, real. Let’s embrace it!

Thank you,

Ben Hawling


70 Spotisfaction Wednesday 09/06/10 – Ben Hawling

Hi all. We’re testing a new ‘group author’ feature today, so hopefully you’ll see a kickass avatar next to this post indicating that it’s yours truly behind the ol’ keyboard… Bear with me if it doesn’t work, as I’ll be panicking behind the scenes trying to figure out why it’s knackered…

So far this afternoon I’ve been listening to a playlist by Sean Adams of, and bopping like a loon. I suggest you check it out, as featured on Spotify’s blog.

Our playlist today was lovingly crafted by Ben Hawling, and is the second of his “The Soundtrack To My Life…” series. It’s a nostalgic trip through 2007, and is truly an aural treat.

(Part 1, entitled “2006”, can be found here)

70 Spotisfaction Wednesday (9 Jun) – BHawling.

  1. I Can Only Disappoint U – Mansun
  2. Setting Sun – Howling Bells
  3. I Like Birds – Eels
  4. Get Real Paid – Beck
  5. Breathe In – Frou Frou
  6. Hundred – The Fray
  7. Arc Of Time – Bright Eyes
  8. Beating Heart Baby – Head Automatica
  9. Buddy Holly – Weezer
  10. Such Great Heights – The Postal Service
  11. Little Of Your Time – Maroon 5
  12. The Unshockable – Maximo Park
  13. Like A Feather – Nikka Costa
  14. Here Comes The Fuzz – Mark Ronson
  15. Can’t Make A Sound – Elliot Smith
  16. Just A Test – Beastie Boys
  17. Feathers – Fields
  18. The Way I Are – Timberland ft. Keri Hilson
  19. It’s Not About You – Scouting For Girls
  20. Goodbye Mr A. – The Hoosiers
  21. Watch Me Fall Apart – Hard – Fi
  22. Good Life – Kanye West
  23. Brazen (Weep) [Perfecto Mix] – Skunk Anansie
  24. Bodysnatchers – Radiohead
  25. The Night Sky – Keane
  26. One More Time – Daft Punk
  27. Singing For The Lonely – Robbie Williams
  28. Crack The Whip – The Spinto Band
  29. Silent To The Dark – The Electric Soft Parade

The soundtrack to my life……….. 2007!

As with 2006 before it, 2007 was full of key life molding moments, all of which were supported by an excellent soundtrack! This year charted my transition from the first year of university to the first half of my second year, and all the friendships and dark times in between.

January – March

The start of the year saw the end of a 3 month long relationship for me, and the gathering of a new set of friends, as I moved into a new house on the uni campus. I was still at the height of my Mansun obsession (still ongoing) at this point, but was also embracing new music from around the time, such as Howling Bells and The Fray. My new room was on the second floor of the house and neatly overlooked the SU bar, which was awesome. As the days got sunnier, and as I watched the sun stretch across the fields, a whole host of sun drenched melodies and tracks entered my ears, including Eels, Frou Frou, Bright Eyes and The Postal Service. Both Eels and Bright Eyes seemed to fit the atmosphere of those lazy days, in completely different ways. Whereas Frou Frou and Postal Service provided the blissful ethereal paint upon the warming canvas. A housemate also got me into Head Automatica at this time, and I remember walking around listening to ‘Beating Heart Baby’ non stop.

April – July

Maroon 5’s second album came out around this time, and despite being full of heartbreak songs, was never out of my ears purely down to its infectious pop hooks. When hanging out in our house one day, a friend claimed that listening to Elliot Smith reminded her of chilling out on the grass and watching the clouds as the sun streamed across everything. I immediately agreed, and quickly got into his ‘Figure 8’ album. After hearing some of Mark Ronson’s ‘Version’ album, I bought his more hip hop influenced album and instantly loved it. This coincided with my fascination with 2 many dj’s, who use Nikka Costa’s ‘Like A Feather’ a lot on their bootleg albums. That summer was fuelled with smiles and dancing, woop!

August – October

I first got into Beastie Boys in the summer of this year, and never looked back. I was given the Fields album by my sister Jo during August, when I was working full time in Moss Bros and had no money. It provided a light in the dark. Also I loved the energy and charm that the band omitted in such a short album. As I was staying at home a lot at this time due to no money, I was watching a lot of television. Thanks to a recent installation of Sky, I had all the music channels, so watched the launching of Scouting For Girls and The Hoosiers, plus loads of R & B tracks. My second year fresher’s week was good, but I still had no money, and was annoyed at the way some of my new housemates were acting. Anyway, Hard-Fi’s ‘Watch Me Fall Apart’ summed up my feelings here. ‘Good Life’ represents the moment I got paid, and got a massive student loan installment, meaning I could buy a shit load of stuff. This track seemed to sum up my attitude towards spending loads of money and generally being rich and happy. What a fool!

November – December

Radiohead released the amazing ‘In Rainbows’ in October of this year on the internet, and I paid £5 for it. I went to Swansea to visit a friend that week so listened to that album all the way there and back on the train. I picked up a copy of Paul Oakenfold’s remix compilation album at this time and the Skunk Anansie track appeared soo haunting, yet beautiful. Keane’s charity single ‘The Night Sky’ came out here and always reminds me of walking through Oxford wearing a green jacket and scarf in the height of Autumn while the leafs fell all around me. One of my favorite memories! For my 20th birthday, me and my housemates went out to a club. At five minutes to midnight, they played ‘The Way I Are’, one of my favorite songs of that year, followed by ‘One More Time’, my favorite song ever!! Was such a great moment surrounded by close friends hearing the best music! I re-visited Robbie Williams’ ‘Sing When Your Winning’ album in December as it reminded me of my youth. I bought The Spinto Band’s first album, and Electric Soft Parades’ ‘Holes In The Wall’ for a tenner in a record store and tended to listen to them both as I traveled to work in Oxford from Cheltenham over the Christmas holidays of 2007.

Ok, so overall, not as eventful as my 2006. But 2007 was awesome in soo many other ways. The majority of music that I got into in 2007 remains my favorite songs or band’s to this day, and it is all down to the memories. You see, even though nothing much happened to me, nothing notably bad happened either, making 2007 great…….when compared to 2008!

Nuff said!

Ben Hawling


Spotisfaction Thursday 20/05/10 – Guest Mix by Ben Hawling

Afternoon, folk.

I just want to say, thank you to everyone who has provided feedback to us recently. Given the recent developments with Spotify (e.g. public libraries) the demand for Spotisfaction is dwindling, it would appear. In order for us to keep this up, we require input from the community. Without input and support from the community, Spotisfaction will die. David and myself are looking into the recent suggestions and other ways to keep the community together, hopefully we’ll pull something out of the hat.

Today we have the mighty Ben Hawling with a fantastic idea for a playlist. This is the soundtrack to his life circa 2006. And now, I will give it a listen. I hope you will too.

If anyone has any ideas for Spotisfaction, or wants to make any suggestions for the future, please drop us an email: Cheers


Ben Says:

Playlist is here – 2006

1. I Don’t Know What It Is = Rufus Wainwright
2. Dollars & Cents = Radiohead
3. Distance = Editors
4. Burning Benches = Morning Runner
5. Valentine = The Delays
6. See The World = The Kooks
7. Bittersweet Bundle Of Misery = Graham Coxon
8. TV Pro = The Vines
9. Despair In The Departure Lounge = Arctic Monkeys
10. Don’t Stop Now = Lemon Jelly
11. Daylight Robbery = Imogen Heap
12. Soul Meets Body = Death Cab For Cutie
13. Theres A Good Reason These Tables… = Panic! At The Disco
14. Colours = Hot Chip
15. Atlantic = Keane
16. Control Myself = L.L. Cool J Ft. Jennifer Lopez
17. Give It Away = Zero 7
18. Fixed Income = DJ Shadow
19. Hoodoo = Muse
20. We Are Your Friends = Justice Vs Simian
21. Can’t Lose = We Are Scientists
22. Creepin Up The Backstairs = The Fratellis
23. When You Were Young = The Killers
24. Missing = Beck
25. My Imaginary Friend = The Divine Comedy
26. Littlest Things = Lily Allen
27. Bruised = Ben Folds
28. Legacy = Mansun

The soundtrack to my life……2006

Every track in this list represents a feeling, a mood, or event during my 2006 that stands out for one reason or another. It was a big year for me, and the eclectic mix above was with me all the way through the peaks and troughs.

Janurary – March =

During this time, I found myself juggling mounting workloads at sixth form, and shit long hours at work (Waitrose), and holding together a relationship. This ultimately led to me being run down and contracting glandular fever, eek!  ‘Dollars And Cents’ and ‘Distance’ both capture my intense and cloudy judgement and head space at that time, as the respective albums were all i listened to for a while. I bought the Morning Runner album the day it came out, as my then girlfriend bought The Delays album on the same day. These two songs are significant as we then burnt copies of our albums for each other. I tended to listen to The Kooks album, as well as a lot of Blur and Graham Coxon whilst being bedridden with the glandular fever, and they totally got me through it, so cheers!

April – June =

My then girlfriend went away during the Easter holidays of 2006, so I hung out with my friends a lot more (something I should have done a lot more of anyway) and got into The Vines, Death Cab For Cutie and Imogen Heap, all of which providing perfect noise to the sunlight. I also watched Spaced a lot during this time so naturally got into Lemon Jelly big time! Keane are one of my favourite ever bands, so I was hugely excited when Under The Iron Sea came out, opening with the epic ‘Atlantic’. The LL Cool J track came out during this time and me and my mate loved it so much that we got it played at our sixth form leavers ball, woop!

July – September =

Then came study period for my A level exams, so I naturally listened to loads of albums. Stuff like Zero 7 and DJ Shadow brought a relaxing, and cool vibe to the studying. Tracks like ‘We Are Your Friends’ were anthems for the summer, and I remember listening to We Are Scientists a lot when I was gathering items for my V Festival checklist the day before going. The week before I left for University, The Fratellis first album came out and I couldn’t stop listening to it. ‘When You Were Young’ means a lot to me as it was the song playing on the radio on the first drive to uni, when I felt massively homesick and anxious, yet excited of what was to come. The song seemed to symbolise my transition from being young, to growing older and leaving home for the first time.

October – December =

I got into Beck and The Divine Comedy in a fucking massive way at this time, and went to see The Divine Comedy at my uni, which left me smiling out loud! I also started going out with a girl in the first few months of uni, and her mannerisms always reminded me of Lily Allen. Plus ‘Littlest Things’ came out at this time. I love anything Ben Folds does, and was blown away by ‘Bruised’ due to its delicacy and honesty. I got into Mansun over this whole time, because: 1. They are amazing, and 2. because no one else I knew at uni liked them, so i liked having that special appreciation. Their second album ‘Six’ blow my mind and opened my eyes to what great music really was, and to what bands can achieve if they truly experiment with sound. ‘Legacy’ tends to sum up my mood at this time also.

Its a pretty boring story, but its story none the less, and best of all…..its real. I love how music shapes our lives, but mainly how we cling to music and its magical properties in order to make sense of the mess of human behaviour.
So that was my 2006, and thinking back, I completely changed as an individual from January to December, fascinating!

2007 was just as interesting……..honest!

Nuff said!

Ben Hawling.


Spotisfaction Monday 12/04/10 – Guest Mix by Ben Hawling

Morning kids. Our dearest Thom is not well today, so everyone send him lovely thoughts.

Today’s a very very busy one for me, so I’ll be brief. We have a wicked playlist today by the wonderful Ben Hawling, a man whom I’d definitely date if I were a girl.


Get the playlist here…

  1. Beastie Boys – To All The Girls
  2. The Subways – Mary
  3. Ben Folds Five – Kate
  4. The Vines – Mary Jane
  5. P J Harvey – Sheena Na Gig
  6. Franz Ferdinand – Eleanor Put Your Boots On
  7. Seth Lakeman – Kitty Jay
  8. Death Cab For Cutie – Cath…
  9. Doves – Willow’s Song
  10. Neon Neon – Raquel
  11. Michael Jackson – Billie Jean
  12. Tiny Dancers – Hannah, We Know
  13. The Kinks – Lola
  14. Nerina Pallot – Sophia
  15. Leonard Cohen – Suzanne
  16. The Knack – My Sharona
  17. Death Cab For Cutie – What Sarah Said
  18. Hole – Violet
  19. The Spinto Band – Oh Mandy
  20. Ben Folds Five – Jane
  21. My Chemical Romance – Helena
  22. The Smashing Pumpkins – Starla
  23. The Killers – Believe Me Natalie
  24. Mansun – Dark Mavis
  25. The Fratellis – Chelsea Dagger
  26. Green Day – Viva La Gloria (Little Girl)
  27. Bon Iver – For Emma
  28. Dr. Willy & The Robot Masters – The Legend Of Zelda

Ben says:

This play list is dedicated to all the girls, especially those with Zooey Deschenal fringes and polka dot dresses!!!

Key Tracks =

Death Cab For Cutie – Cath… = Ben Gibbard paints such a beautiful image in his lyrics about girls, and all the boy feelings that kick in when girls are around. For further proof, check out Lightness. Hells Yeah!

The Kinks – Lola = Just…..Because!

Bon Iver – For Emma = By very definition, a bitter sweet love letter to an ex, bliss!

Ben Folds Five – Kate = Ben Folds is also a lyrical genius, and somehow manges to sum up, perfectly, a Kate I used to know.

Dr. Willy & The Robot Masters – The Legend Of Zelda = The best game ever! A fantastic cover!

Nuff said!!

Ben Hawling


Spotisfaction Wednesday 17/03/10 – Guest Mix by Ben Hawling

Morning kids. How good was yesterday’s playlist? Good god-damn. Well played, Fozz, well played.

Today’s playlist looks equally as sharp and comes courtesy of Mr. Ben Hawling. I, for one, am very excited about this one – even the S Club Juniors track. Yep, that’s right, I said it. I’m a queen, I don’t even care.

With that shocking revelation, Imma hand over to Ben now.




1. One More Time – Daft Punk
2. Ready To Go – Boy Kill Boy
3. Across The Avenue – Howling Bells
4. Courtesy Laughs – Phoenix
5. We Never Change – Coldplay
6. Michael Douglas – Neon Neon
7. Break My Stride – Blue Lagoon
8. Nicotine And Gravy – Beck 9.
Our Mutual Friend – Daisy Chapman
10. Jane – Ben Folds Five
11. Must Be Dreaming – Frou Frou
12. The Gospel Of Goro Adachi – The Boxer Rebellion
13. Maybe – 6 Day Riot
14. True To Life – Royksopp
15. Brother Sport – Animal Collective
16. Do It All Over Again – Spiritualized
17. Paris (Aeroplane Remix) – Friendly Fires
18. Like Spinning Plates (Live) – Radiohead
19. Direct To Helmet – The Spinto Band
20. Perfect Lovesong – The Divine Comedy
21. Eyes As Candles – Passion Pit
22. Not Even Jail – Interpol
23. I Believe In Symmetry – Bright Eyes
24. Different Names For The Same Place – Death Cab For Cutie
25. Jeds Other Poem (Beautiful Ground) – Grandaddy
26. Wish I Stayed (Demo) – Ellie Goulding
27. One Step Closer – S Club Juniors
28. Being A Girl – Mansun

Ahhh here goes (said in Keenan and Kel style………..):

The glorious playlist that you are currently listening to represents, quite simply, all my pasts and futures.

I was trying to think of a really smart, over arching statement to adequetly sum up my general thought direction, but then my noodles had finished boiling, so everything else in the world suddenly didnt matter. Anyway, half the songs on here have been with me through thick and thin, and have moulded my life in bizzare, yet beautiful ways. The other half are tunes that have hit me between the eyes in recent times, and are screaming to be heard and adored. If you’re really that interested, the tracks that have acted as my parachutes through the years include, ‘One More Time’ by Daft Punk, which incidentally is my favourite ever song for the soul purpose that always seems to playing when i’m at my most happiest, and makes me smile out loud! Also, ‘Like Spinning Plates’ by Radiohead, as makes me feel like I’m completly relaxed upon a mesh of lasers, and calms the storms in my head, seriously. And ‘Being A Girl’ by Mansun, simply because anything that this band have ever done pretty much sums up what my mind looks and sounds like; every glitchy, sparkly, muddled bit of it.

So there you go. No fancy bullshit. This playlist is my life as it has been, is, and will be, i hope! Nuff said!