It’s been over a month since my last playlist! Why did no one remind me!?
Obviously, it’s entirely my fault but still…
So, the sun is shining. That’s a good thing. The problem with British Summer is that there is a constant threat of it being taken away from you. You can’t make concrete plans because Sod’s Law dictates that the instant you do, Zeus will throw a thunderbolt at your house and Thor will make it rain. Not in a strip club fun way, like a Biblical, quick build an ark kind of way.
Because of this, it’s damn near impossible to fully let go and enjoy yourself. We all long for, what I like to call, the “L.A. Feeling”. That notion you see in films where there are blue skies from dawn til dusk. The sunset looks like a Turner painting and the night is clear and full of stars.
We get midges. So many midges. And wasps and light pollution and looming grey clouds. We get a sudden heatwave which we, as stoic British folk, cannot handle. We have “Taps Aff!” and poorly drawn football tattoos. We get EDM, vicarious festivals on varying channels and the smell of BBQ everywhere you walk. And the smell of weed. It’s just everywhere.
But we don’t need to settle for this!
We are a proud people who will party until the wheels fall off. We can BBQ in the rain, we will go to festivals which end up being indistinguishable from post-apocalyptic wastelands. We will enjoy the brief Summer and we will do it proudly.
And we will do it to some sick beats…
1. James Vincent McMorrow – Rising Water: What can I say about this song? It’s utterly perfect. It’s got an amazing 80’s vibe to it, it’s so much more upbeat than James’ usual body of work. It should be the soundtrack to 2016. It’s a ballad, a party tune, driving music, drinking music all rolled into one.
2. The Wombats – Emoticons: The first few beats of this song always throw me for a loop. I keep thinking that Drake’s “Hold On We’re Going Home” is about to start. Fun fact, I have met The Wombats, they came into a bar I was working in, much shorter than you’d expect. Anyway, Emoticons is a fun indie track which fits perfectly in this month’s (sorry again) playlist.
3. The Wombats – Greek Tragedy: I was umming and ahhing about which of these two songs to put in the playlist until I realised that they’re both worthy. So take another dose of The Wombats for your listening pleasure.
4. Plan B – The Recluse: Where has Plan B gone? He drops the incredible “Defamation of Strickland Banks” in 2010, I think he’s done a few films and the soundtrack for “Ill Manors” but I’ve heard neither hide nor tale of him for ages. Come back, dude. You were awesome. A sublime mixture of Wilson Pickett-esque vocals with some pretty decent grime/rap in there too.
5. Route 94 ft. Jess Glynne – My Love: I really wanted to put the acoustic version in here but it just doesn’t fit. That being said, you should definitely check it out. Jess Glynne is a phenomenal singer. I saw her on Jools Holland and she was impeccable. I think it was either this or the song she did with Clean Bandit that thrust her into the spotlight. This is a great, chilled out House track. You can imagine sitting poolside with a fruity cocktail just basking in it all.
6. Mnek – The Rhythm: I just love Mnek’s voice. It’s so powerful and smooth. He sounds like someone is holding their hands over your ears and they have had a manicure and moisturised so it’s soft and tender but not at all threatening. You’re in a safe place with Mnek just cupping your ears and blocking out all other noises.
7. Elbow – Ground For Divorce: I know, One Day Like This is the more recognisable song but that’s not what these blog posts are about. They’re about stepping out of your comfort zone and into mine. I love this song, it reminds me of spit and sawdust bars where they just leave the bottle and you’re in danger of a chair to the back of the head at any moment. And the barman refers to you as pard’ner.
8. The Maccabees – No Kind Words: A little bit on the darker side, but still a great track. It’s a pounding assault on your eardrums (in a good way). Prior to this album, The Maccabees were much more upbeat and pop-indie. This album showed a darker and (I am loathed to use this phrase but I can’t think of another one) a more mature sound.
9. Florence and the Machine – Cosmic Love: This is easily my favourite Florence and the Machine song. I love the softness of the beginning and the slow rise to an epic crescendo. It is an absolute work of art. Then again, so is all of her music so it’s hardly a surprise.
10. Kate Nash – Foundations: If you’ve ever watched a British-made comedy since 2007, there is a high likelihood that you will have heard this song. It was the epitome of British summer for ages. You could hear it on adverts, Skins and more. I miss Kate Nash. I want to know where she’s gone and when she’s coming back because her music is really quite something.
11. Jake Quickenden – Blindfold (OPTIXX Remix): 2 things to get out of the way before I suggest this song. I have known Jake for years. I think most of my life. I knew he was good at football, that’s how I met him. Never knew he could sing. I was watching The X Factor (I only watch the auditions because some of them are hilarious) and I just remember thinking “Hey, that guy looks just like Jake…” obviously, it was him.
2nd. I don’t like EDM generally. It’s repetitive, poorly thought out trash made for idiots who are so off their faces they probably can’t spell EDM. However, I really like this remix of Jake’s song. I normally find his music a bit saccharine (no offence, dude, but I hardly think I’m your target market). This remix is really quite fun! Kudos, Jake.
12. Ruen Brothers – Summer Sun: I really do have some famous friends… my prom date was in Harry Potter. I went to primary school with Henry and Rupert… oh! Just got the name… smart… smart. I remember their dad as being like a clean version of Keith Richards. He was just incessantly cool and mellow. This has obviously been transferred to his sons who are immensely talented. This song is a hark back to the days of Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis and the like. You can almost hear the squeak of a leather jacket and the slick of pomade in each track