Well, that was a long break! However, I’m back now and I really hope to stay. Unfortunately, my life is mostly school work as I hurtle towards exams, more exams and then uni at an ever increasing speed but I’m also trying to find more time for the things I love, like writing this blog and playing music. As you might have been able to predict from my previous post, I am no longer an English lit student which seemed scary at first but was the right decision and has freed up more of my time. Basically, there is no excuse for me not to be a bit more proactive on here.
The next couple of weeks are going to be pretty exciting for me – I’m seeing Slowdive, followed by British Sea Power and then I’m going out to Germany for 10 days so expect to see plenty of stuff about that on this blog. Oh and, by the way, if you haven’t given both British Sea Power or Slowdive’s recent singles a listen then you really should.
The weather here is grey most of the time. Sometimes I like to imagine that it’s that kind of shimmery grey that brings snow. I never is. Often there is so much grey that it feels like I am drifting through some kind of dreamlike fog with neither the sharpness and light of sun nor the cleanness and excitement of snow. It’s on these kind of days that suddenly grey becomes the most interesting colour and I just stare out of the window where I am supposed to be working at the invisible clouds rolling into one. They are both the stuff of dreams and of boredom.
At these time I have a specific type of music that I listen too. It’s hard to describe but for the purposes of this blog I’m going to try. The songs are kind of dreamy, not too loud and normally drenched in reverb and fuzz. Often there is a sort of electro-pop feel to these songs. The original playlist of this kind of music was made from songs my dad played on the drive home from London after seeing Slowdive play their first show in 20 years at the Village Underground. Over time this kind of music has become a sort of genre for me.
Here are a few songs from this genre/ idea/ thing.
As far as any kind of remotely creative thing is concerned, I’m struggling with enthusiasm so I’m going to try and write a bit more about things I that I think about and stuff that I like. English A Level seems to be sucking my creative enthusiasm and, while sometimes I love it, sometimes it just feels like an incredibly cliched move. English Lit people read poetry, novels, like cool music and belong in bands like Belle and Sebastian. Is that who I want to be? It’s just all so confusing sometimes.
While I ponder my life choices, the country is hurtling towards Christmas at an ever increasing speed which means all of the shiny blue lights and consumerism that goes with it are right on my doorstep now. I thought that I would come up with a few Christmas songs that are a little more cosy and warm than the shiny packaged Christmas that is being sold in stores up and down the nation. I have resisted the temptation to put Low’s It Was Just Like Christmas on here because I recon that most people will have heard it before plenty of times. That said, it is a very good Christmas song and on their recent UK tour dates they have been playing a nice version which you can probably find on YouTube somewhere.
(These songs are a selection from my Spotify Christmas playlist that you can find here)
As promised last week, normal service has (sort of) resumed! This week I’ve been trying to get back to playing music as I had a break to start school after the gig in September. As part of this, I have been testing out a few synths on Cubase and what better way to test them than to play a brilliant (albeit redundant) anthem. I present my effort at the DDR anthem.
If you have read this blog for any time at all, you may have worked out that I have a deep love for Glasgow so this week’s music choices are going to have a distinctly Glaswegian feel.
Here are The Vaselines with Son Of A Gun (famously later covered by Nirvana)
Okay, I know this probably looks like I’m being a poser, maybe I am. Who knows?
As you may have noticed, I haven’t posted on here in a long while. I took some time out of running this blog because I had my GCSEs to concentrate on alongside doing some really exciting stuff that I will get on to later. I’m back on this blog now and normal posting will resume next week so watch out.
After GCSE mega panic was over, I spent a load of time rehearsing with Dad for Is It All Back + White Festival which was held a few weekends back in Shoreditch in the beautiful St. Leonards Church. I had an absolutely brilliant time playing live as part of Winterlight and the experience of playing with a choir was really unusual and interesting. The whole festival was really good overall and it was really cool to see how a variety of musicians worked with a choir . There are a few videos on YouTube which are a bit too embarrassing to post on here but here are some really nice photos of Dad and I taken by Stevek Photography (website linked below).
I’m also really enjoying Teenage Fanclub who everyone told me I’d like for ages and I, in the way that only teenagers do, told them that they were talking rubbish. They were right and I was wrong! So I’m going to leave this post with one of my favorite songs of theirs which is the final song from Bandwagonesque, probably my most played Teenage Fanclub album.
“Live your life on a merry-go-round, who starts a fire just let it go out”
Alvvays are back with new songs and they are as good as ever – dreamy, oddly sad and with plenty of reverb. At Coachella Festival in California, Alvvays debuted some new songs that will presumably make their way onto their new album (whenever their dare to share it with us).
Personally, I have a lot of love for Alvvays because they are That Band that I will always associate with being a teenager and so much of my life right now. Their music has been a special part of my life in that it has also inspired my to make my own music and be a happier person. Basically I’m just one massive fangirl but that’s OK, I have no shame because I am grateful that I can make such a positive connection with music.
I do more than my fair share of crying to Alvvays and it will come as no surprise to anyone that I spent a few minutes on my bed crying after hearing their new songs. Not Your Baby is a Camera Obsucra-esque song which I really like and I think may have been floating around for a little while before Coachella. For me, the real highlight of these songs is Dreams which starts out as a keyboard based song and then builds with guitar lines and harmonizing vocals. It’s pretty good.
So here’s to the new Alvvays album. First up is New Song AKA Dreams (what it said on the setlist)
Unless you are a big Sarah Records fan, its unlikely that you will have ever heard of Brighter. Their music was a kind of fuzzy, acoustic brand of indie-pop with lyrics that often spoke about being young and confused. They made quite a few releases on the now cult classic label, Sarah Records and these releases have really shaped the way that I write songs and my outlook on music.
The Brighter 7″ Around The World In Eighty Days would probably have to be my favorite 7″ of all time. When I am sad I like to put on Tinsel Heart which features the lyrics ” Don’t you ever let them touch you, don’t you ever let them in ” – it’s my power song against the world but twee style. The entire release feature no drums, which is a common theme with Brighter, but they are not really missed and (when they do make an appearance on other releases they add that little bit more because they are a rarity). One of my favorite parts of Brighter songs of the piano riffs that you don’t necessarily notice at first, they are subtle yet add a certain kind of richness to the songs which you wouldn’t get from only using guitars.
For me, Brighter songs are somehow both the song that you would listen to on a sunny day down the park and the song the that you would cry in your bedroom to. This is perhaps why I like them so much as I am able to take them songs and make them fit my narrative for that day. Despite the people in Brighter now being my Dad’s age, I do feel like these songs understood the part of adolescence that is forever confused and doesn’t quite know where it’s place is.
I am really pleased that one day I decided to pick up a Brighter record from my Dad’s collection because now I know that indie-pop doesn’t need drums and that it’s okay to write sad songs about your life (sometimes). I will now leave you with a YouTube mix of Brighter’s singles – enjoy!