Written 20th May 2021 - by Ryan
Oh no! It’s nearly JUNE 2021, where does the time go? This time last year Sass, Georgy and I were about ⅔ the way through our first lockdown period in the old Darlington house and away from our beloved Jack but there was a few things keeping us ALIVE AND KICKING! The weather was beautiful, we had a Sainsbury's delivery slot and there was so many Barbecues (and I’m not lying, there was shit loads). All of the time spent between us, if we weren’t slaying The Tiger King or Snowpiercer, had a rotation of our Spotify accounts rolling on in the background and we listened to an endless pit of music. I just wanted to share a few tracks that had an effect on me!
Please note: These tracks aren’t from 2020, just what I was bopping to at the time.
Daði Freyr - Think About Things (2020)
Ayoooooo! It’s Eurovision season so I HAD to start the list off with this one - The first time I listened to this (Eurovision rundown 2020) I couldn’t stand it - A bunch of Hipsters with long hair and annoyingly catchy hooks? Mate, I already left the Manchester music scene in the dust so why would I want that up here? Because it’s INCREDIBLE, there isn’t a single vocal line, instrumental melody or beat in this tune that’s useless or redundant. I can’t decide whether to sing, dance or do my best air keytar impression.
There’s an obvious 80’s influence here so anyone from little sibling, your GEN X Dad or Boomer gran would be able to get behind this tune. For extra viewing pleasure see the video below. Good vibes only.
Like That - Doja Cat & Gucci Mane (2019)
What happens when you whack a random Soul playlist on youtube? Doja Cat! I never heard this tune or any of her other stuff before, but I’d heard her name thrown around and I’m so glad I found it - It’s a proper snappy tune with SO MANY dimensions and vibes and voices that you just want to buy a phat sub and blast it through a city centre. Another big tune that a full house is happy to listen to.
Side note: I never thought Gucci Mane would be so relatable.
Big Yellow Taxi - Joni Mitchell (1970)
Unlike the last two tunes, this is an old one that sounds fresh! Just an acoustic guitar, a set of bongos, clackers and a triangle with an endless amount of vocal positivity thrown on top, which makes for a timeless tune! What makes this special is I’ve heard it countless times since I was little but this was the summer I truly listened to it’s meaning - After moving away from the hustle and bustle of the 0161 to north-east and being locked-down-sun-lounging in a beautiful personal paradise, this song put some perspective on how lucky I was in my personal situation at that point. Got to keep posi about the good stuff
Turn Blue - The Black Keys (2014)
Now then, if there was ever a song that could claim to be the MOODIEST song this would be a top contender. Being ½ of the duttiest rhythm section of all time, I fell in love with this song immediately because of the clunky wide open sounds of the bass and drums, but how could a song so droney be so good? Literally, the bass just sits on 1 note with a little change and the drum beat is so bare bones straight up until the chorus and even then it doesn’t change that much - except a waterfall of musicality just wash over you and put you in the strangest, somber world of psychedelia (without an obnoxious bathtub reverb).
The best way I can describe this is it’s like sticking your head in a box made of glitter paper and mood lighting - an absolute steamer pls listen
When You’re Gone - Bryan Adams & Mel C (1998)
Brian, oh Brian! This one goes wayyyyyyyyyyy back! I went out for a drive to stretch my metaphorical legs and had Radio York on (non-stop bangers at that point) and this little gem came on. I remember when I was younger this was a staple tune that was being played everywhere and I knew I was into it but I wasn’t sure why, now coming back to it as a certified rockstar has really put it into LOVE territory; the harmonies and mix of voices between our Bry and Mel is so interesting, especially with the ad libs in the last chorus. Name a more iconic duo, bet you can’t!
HONOURABLE MENTIONS -
THE MARS VOLTA - ROULETTE DARES
THEM CROOKED VULTURES - ELEPHANTS
SUM 41 - FAT LIP
HUEY LEWIS AND THE NEWS - I WANT A NEW DRUG