Sunday, 20 August 2017

MUSIC

I love music.

To the point where, I can't go a day without it.  There is nothing more satisfying than flipping on some tunes and putting in my earplugs.  In my humble opinion, as with all creative outlets, music is an experience and it is the emotions building within an opening line, a chorus and a soft, slow finish that quantify the experience of the listener. 

I've always been a rock chick, born when I was 13 years old, sitting in a friend's house and listening to the opening beats of 'Lay your hands on me' from Bon's Jovi's New Jersey album - on vinyl.   I love music that grabs you by the throat and demands you listen to it, through all the rough edges, the the hard bitten words and to the heartbeat behind the soul of the song. 

These artists, in no particular order, have followed this path. 

Oasis

It was my Dad and brother that got me into Oasis.  So when it comes to the 90s band war between the aforementioned and Blur.  Oasis won for me.

Noel still writes crackers and Liam, as ever, continues to be a loveable brat.

For me, their song 'Stop crying your heart out' is a perfect symmetry of Noel's songwriting and Liam's soulful over pronunciation of every lyric.  

Pure fricking magic.

Calvin Harris 

What can I say?  A fellow Scot done very, very good. I love the zaniness, the pulses, the guest artists and his clever talent of immersing the combination together. 

His recent number one, 'Feels', ticks all the boxes, however, it's 'Feels so close' that makes me lose my it on the dance floor.  Every single time.  Pure dead brilliant.

Bear McGreary

I caught the soundtrack to Outlander two years before watching the actual series.  What a mighty soundtrack with a spellbinding twist of magic and storytelling woven between Scottish pipes and Gaelic linguistics. 

'The Veil of Time' is a composition of majesty and theatrics, encouraging you to search the Scottish Highlands for a standing stone offering a passport back to the 17th century.

Alanis Morrisette

Ah, Jagged Little Pill. What an album.

These songs symbolised my 20s, along with a memory of being on a silly o'clock morning bus to Edinburgh listening to this album and being told an older man, three rows back, that my music was too loud.  How on earth can you listen to music quietly?

Gut wrenching lyrics and a powerful voice filled with teenage angst.  Twenty years later - seriously - her song 'Thank You' is a retrospection on gratitude has come to mean so much.

"The moment I let go of it was the moment I got what I could handle,
The moment I jumped off of it was the moment I touched down."

Now, that's poetry. 

Eddie Vedder/Pearl Jam

I re-discovered Pearl Jam in the last year, having been briefly acquainted in the 90s with 'Alive'.  However, it was a movie that brought them back. 

'Into The Wild' directed by Sean Penn is the story of inspiring but ultimately tragic adventure of Chris McCandless.  Vedder produced an epic soundtrack which captured the innocence of this free spirited soul who travelled America before reaching Alaska.

The song 'Hard Sun' is beautiful, capturing the hopeful spirit of a new adventure. 

Pearl Jam have a quality back catalogue with 'Just Breathe' and 'I am Mine' amongst my favourites. 

Jay-Z

He may have 99 problems, but what can I say? Jay-Z is just cool.

Any man who grows up in the projects, busts his ass to work in the rap scene and then becomes a mogul with his own record label is one to be admired. 

His collaboration 'Otis' with Kanye West is one of my favourites.  

"I guess I got my swagger back. Truth."


Hans Zimmer

The double combination of a movie and a soundtrack by Zimmer is a treat to behold. However, for me, it is his partnership with director Christopher Nolan in The Dark Knight and Interstellar amongst others that spawns a masterpiece. 

For me the piece de resistance has to be 'Time' from Inception.  A masterclass in simplicity and elegance.

Foo Fighters

I had to mention the Foos.

I have a special love for this band with a combination of ear busting drums and carefully concealed pointed lyrics.  It is this relationship with a healthy dose of self deprecating humour that makes me go and see them every time they tour. 

I could mention ten songs that are contenders for favourites.  So instead, I'll share the tribute by the Rocking 1000 who congregated in the middle of Italy on a sunny day to sing "Learn to fly' to their favourite band.

I dare you not to listen and not sing along.


Ray BLK

I caught this new artist listening to to radio recently.

The first unsigned artist to win the BBC's Wall of Sound earlier this year, Ray BLK is a fresh new voice who began releasing music while studying at university.

I love her song 'Doing Me'.  Luckily, she has garnered the support of Radio 1 and also appeared at Glastonbury.  I'm hoping she gets signed up a label who shares her with the world and allows her to express her authenticity.  

Most definitely one to watch.


For easy listening, I have enclosed a playlist with all the songs together.  Enjoy. 

In the meantime, I'm away to listen to some more music.