It’s back and it’s funky fresh! My fortnightly list of awesome songs to cook, shower, commute or just listen to.
There’s no system to these lists. I try not to have a theme going in but sometimes, when you pick a song you haven’t heard in a while, your mind just goes: “Oh yeah, remember that other song? Well, you should because I’m not going to stop bothering you until we listen to it!”
So that explains the slightly more fluid them to these fortnight’s playlist. It started with one song I’ve just started to listen to and then snowballed from there.
In my personal opinion, this playlist would make a great BBQ playlist (’tis the season, after all).
So set up your speakers, grab yourself a beer and get grillin…
And now, I’ve started putting the Spotify playlist at the bottom so it’s so much easier for you to enjoy!
If you have any suggestions for music I should include in the future, I’m all ears. Just drop the info below and I’ll check it out. I’ll also fully credit whoever suggests a song I choose.
1. Cartel – Wasted (Wyclef Jean Remix): If you’re looking for reggae/dancehall inspired pop punk with an upbeat tone and existentially despairing lyrics… you have a really niche taste in music. Fortunately, I have what you need. If you ignore the lyrics (which I would suggest, unless you’re sat in a dark room hugging a pillow), this is a really fun song to enjoy in the sunshine.
2. Pony Up! – The Truth About Cats and Dogs Is That They Die: That took a while to type. Anyway, despite the title, this song is nothing but female driven, upbeat, early 2000’s indie. Imagine jumping on a pogo stick at an artisanal outdoor food tasting event and you’re somewhere close to this song.
3. Shura – Touch: Slowing it down a little here. This is one of my favourite songs, probably ever. It’s so sensual and soft. The tone of the whole song fits perfectly with the lyrics; it’s playful without being too overt. And the story it tells of letting go of someone because it’s a good idea but wishing it wasn’t is told in such a sweet style that you almost miss how hard that must be. Shura’s music is a great thing and I can’t wait to hear more.
4. Vicktor Taiwò – Feathers & Wax: There is a short introduction in this song which seems to portend an abysmally depressing song. But after about 23 seconds, when that note starts to rise, you know it was misleading. Vicktor kicks right in with a soulful, soft and melancholic voice which contrasts with the ominously spoken start. The rest of the song retains this soft, gentle timbre throughout and chills you the hell out.
5. Kwabs – Pray For Love: I chose the live version of this song because I love the raw talent of Kwabs voice. He is exceptionally talented without straining or seeming like he’s putting his all in. That’s not an insult, the emotion is there but Kwabs has managed to find his perfect volume and pitch to make the words fully resonate at the perfect frequency.
6. Lana Del Rey – Video Games: What can I say about this song that hasn’t been said before? The perfect summer song, a hauntingly beautiful voice and a 50’s beach/smoke filled bar vibe which makes me want to put on some linen trousers, a pair of wingtips, a white t-shirt, snap on my braces, throw on a fedora (a cool one, not like a “M’lady” one) and drive through Miami with the top down and the wind throwing my cool ass cigarette smoke behind me. Ignore everything that has been said about Lana Del Rey after this song because it doesn’t detract from the fact that Video Games is one of the strongest debut singles a person could ask for.
7. John Martyn – May You Never: John Martyn has an incredible voice and the reason you may not have heard his voice before is because he released this song in the 70’s. The lyrics and intensity of the song are still just as relevant today as they were then. That’s obvious, I don’t know why I wrote that. The fact is that, if he were to release this song today, it would be met with resounding success and covered across Youtube in a matter of days.
8. The Whitest Boy Alive – Courage: If I were Starsky and/or Hutch, this would be my patrolling song. Just wandering around the streets as the clipped, clean, 70’s-esque guitar rhythm somehow played around me wherever I walked. Piano chords playing in rhythm to both my footsteps and finger guns at everyone that passes me. Montage! This would be my montage song!
9. Friendly Fires – Hurting (Tensnake Remix): I miss Friendly Fires. They aren’t played nearly enough anymore. Remember when they were on every advert and TV show? Friendly Fires were the go-to anthem for a mildly hedonistic summer. Let’s bring that back! Go make a massive punch bowl which has been spiked to the point of it almost being dangerous (Note: drink responsibly) and have an absolute blowout. Organise a slip ‘n’ slide! Make a day of it! And this song is the jump off point.
10. Hot Chip – I Feel Better: So you got [responsibly] drunk and now there’s a Goddamn bouncy castle in the garden! What would be the perfect song for some rip-roaring fun? This song. This would be the song you need to give you the boost and vivacity to act like a teenager again and cut loose!
11. The Cure – Close To Me: Aaaaand… calm. You’ve had your fun. Now we sit down and chat like adults about stuff. The Cure are one of those bands that everyone has heard of but not enough people listen to on the regular. Of course, some of their music was the precursor to emo but a lot of it is contrastingly fun against the angst of the lyrics. Close To Me is another one of my favourite songs, so now make it yours.
12. Miike Snow – Burial: This song was my ringtone for so long, I still look at my phone when it goes off. Just a little anecdote for you there. I suppose it’s a testament to the fact that I never became bored of it. Probably because I don’t receive that many phone calls… The xylophone (or is it a glockenspiel? I hope it’s a glockenspiel) that starts the track gives an air of childish frivolity which plays throughout the track, even as the echoed vocals, piano and various other electric instruments start to take over.
13. Mos Def – Mathematics: Mos Def is massively underrated as a poet and artist. Intensely intelligent lyrics which preach without being preachy are delivered with a flawless strike which sounds more incensed than angry. Like he’s getting annoyed at the state of things but isn’t ready to give up yet. Mathematics is what rap music started off as. You won’t find bitches and bling here. You’ll find social commentary, impeccable delivery and thoughtfully crafted verses.
14. Blackaliscious – Alphabet Acrobatics: I’m not going to say a damn word about this. Just listen to it and your mind will be blown.
15. Craig David – 7 Days (DJ Premier Remix): Craig David has had somewhat of a resurgence these past few months and fair play to him. Craig David was the voice of Garage for me growing up. Obviously, there were artists before and after him but his collaborations with Artful Dodger started making people take more notice. 7 days is somehow cheesy and impeccably cool. For anyone outside of the UK reading this, the original song is about meeting a girl on a Monday, getting her number and going for a drink on Tuesday and then just having a frankly ridiculous amount of sex for 4 days. Then they were chilling on Sunday.
This is the definitive version for me. With Nate Dogg and Mos Def dropping in to show their faces, how could it not be? And it took me ages to find, so justify my time and slam it on!