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?
And finally Belle and Sebastian.
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.
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!
I have grown up less than 100 miles from Bristol, 91 miles to be precise. It’s always been a part of my life, like a distant relative you just know you have but only because they send you cards for Christmas. As a child, I remember visits to Bristol in the evening for gigs. I was mesmerised by the how big and how bright everything was. Because we always visited in the dark, buildings seemed to rise up only in blocks of lights and the city sprawled on forever. For me, a highlight of every trip to Bristol was the Bear Pit roundabout, with the intriguing bear sculpture in the middle and high-rise buildings towering above.
As I grew older, my visits to Bristol grew more frequent and as we would drive through I would imagine myself as one of these people, someone who lived in Bristol. This would quickly descend into “if I lived in Bristol, I would…”. I began to see Bristol as a more than an exciting place where I got to go to see bands play, it became a symbol for an aspiration that I couldn’t put into words. Bristol became the object of my desire to be in a place where things were happening.
Now Bristol is my gateway to music; I fall in love with new bands there, my obsession with Bristol label, Sarah Records, has led me to things I didn’t know were possible, Bristol influences songs that I write. Bristol has become a part of the person I am as much as the music that it has introduced me to.
On September the second of last year, I spent a day in Bristol which had as bigger impact on my life as all of my other visits put together. I spent the day chasing signs with names of Sarah compilations on, buying vinyl and experiencing a life beyond my small Plymouth bubble. I always knew that other places had more vibrant culture than my hometown but the sheer amount surprised me; record stores had poster of bands I loved, there were multiple shows on any given day, there were student ran publications that discussed music and film that i loved too.
Still, the highlight of my day was seeing Alvvays live in the evening at The Fleece. I could ramble on for ages about how amazing they were and how long I had waited to see them but this post isn’t really the place for that. What I really took away from the evening, and that day to be honest, was that I, an ordinary person, could have an interesting life. These people I saw were just like me. This made me think that maybe I could be in a band, run a paper or curate a small gallery. As we drove home that night, my mind was brimming with possibilities of what I could do with my life. It’s funny how just being a small girl in a big city for one day can inspire you so much but I’m glad that I am a small girl in bigger cities.
I have been gone for a little while because of exams but I am back now. Normal service should resume.
First of all, this year has already got off to a good start with Hinds brilliant debut album Leave Me Alone and looking ahead, this year should be pretty interesting in terms of music. I, in particular am waiting very patiently for some new material from Alvvays and have already started saving for Frankie Cosmos’s full length which will be released on Bayonet later this year.
The music this week is courtesy of a bit of a regular on here, Keel Her. You can buy her music on Bandcamp if you are interested. I think this song has a slightly Hinds feel which is definitely a good thing – especially since Stephen Pastel is a fan.