Mixtape Mondays | 2016 Wrapped Up

Monday, December 26, 2016 3 Comments A+ a-

This is the last post of 2016. The first full on year of this blog, so I better make it count. When Spotify dropped me that link with the title Your 2016 in music I was awfully skeptical. 

Although I am to some degree a weird cross between Monica from Friends and Hermione Granger - so annoyingly organised and irritatingly methodical (I am also terrible at "selling myself", as you can read) - when it comes to my relationship with music and how eager I am to listen to new stuff, I am, for lack of a better word, a whore. With standards, but a whore.

Top 3 artists in this year's playlist, 3 snaps from the blog: Dan Owen, Seafret and Will Joseph Cook

I will often throw myself into a very intense one day relationship with a song, which there and then will mean the world to me, and I will listen to it on repeat until I am over it, done, ready to move on onto the next one. So, in my head, this playlist would be absolutely all over the place. The songs would have no sort of connection, thus no appeal to me - or anyone, matter of fact.

Very surprised I was indeed that despite having listened to 1361 artists and 3236 unique tracks in one year, topping the list there was Sinking Ship, by Seafret - a song which pretty much sums up how I felt throughout the year.

Mixtape Mondays | 2016 Wrapped Up

Similarly, the other tracks which followed - instead of a schizophrenic catalogue of 300 and something tunes I had a one night stand with and played it on repeat, until I fell asleep - would them as well also portray not only emotions and estates of mind, but tell the story of what this year has been to me, narrate the ups and downs, bring up memories of gigs, chats, heartbreaks, challenges, achievements, adventures and moments of joy and laughter.

The artists are mostly well known to you because I think, without exception, they've all featured here at least once: Will Joseph Cook, Dan Owen, Vance Joy, Nothing But Thieves, Catfish And The Bottlemen, Flyte, Palace, Isaac Gracie, Kaleo, Damien Rice, Tom Odell, Russian Red, Kate Nash, The Fratellis, Arctic Monkeys, James Bay, Mumford & Sons, Travis, Radiohead to name but a few...

I thought of editing this playlist and taking the odd Brazilian song out or wiping a bad memory which I did not need reminding, but then I thought again against it. So you have the uncut, 101 tracks, 6 hours 19 minutes long version of what my - and PMM's - year has been like. Here is to an even crazier, random but oh so very well filled with music 2017 to all of us! Happy New Year!

Mixtape Mondays | Sad Santa

Monday, December 12, 2016 0 Comments A+ a-

A post by Charlie Hole,
a.k.a @charliehole

Christmas time can often get too jolly.

The shameless joy on a child’s face as they unwrap their presents, the unconstrained merriment of long-distance loved ones as they’re reunited after time apart, and the unforgivable levels of good-will aimed at unsuspecting strangers. It’s all a bit much, isn’t it?

If you’re finding yourself accidentally over-joyed this Christmas, pour yourself a vat of mulled wine, curl up around the fire and indulge in these festive heartbreakers to get your emotions back on an even keel.

What draws you in more in Christmas Card From a Hooker in Minneapolis, Tom Waits' piano or voice?

First down the chimney of despair, we’ve got The Pogues & Kirsty MacColl’s Fairytale of New York. By far the greatest Christmas song ever written and I’ll bare knuckle fight anyone who tries to tell me differently. If Christmas means anything to anyone, it means that Shane MacGowan is in a Dublin pub, toothless and shit-faced, drinking dry his royalties. And frankly, good luck to the bloke.

I heard that a publisher once offered The Pogues’ manager £60K for their back catalog. He said “You can have it for thirty”. The publisher was taken aback…

- But I just offered you double that?!
- I can’t give Shane MacGowan £60k, he’ll die... The man once left twelve-hundred quid in the back of a cab.

Now that’s probably not true. But who cares.

Some people complain he can’t sing, but these are people who’ve watched too much X Factor. People who judge "singing" on hitting all the notes in a scale or sounding like Mariah Carey. Singing is about so much more than that. It’s all about carrying an emotion, conveying real feelings and communicating truth. When Shane MacGowan sings “I love you baby”, it doesn’t sound cheesy in the slightest, you feel it in your actual gut, you believe him, and that’s what matters.

Ever heard Ronan Keating try to sing this song? It’s note perfect. And shit.

"You scumbag
You maggot
You cheap lousy faggot
Happy Christmas your arse
I pray God
It's our last"

Lovely stuff…

Next up from under the tree of misery is the Tom Waits’ classic, Christmas Card From a Hooker in Minneapolis.

Christmas Card.
From A Hooker.
In Minn-e-a-polis.

Show me a better song title and I’ll show you a liar.

But it gets better than the title, the song is a masterpiece. A letter from a prostitute about her pregnancy and her new boyfriend who "takes me out dancin’ every Saturday night". It’s the sweetest Christmas song about an escort you’ll ever hear. Fact.

At the end of the song there’s a twist and you find out none of the story is true, she’s just in prison and needs to borrow money to pay her lawyer. No-one writes in a more absurd way than Tom Waits and I just love this line right here about grease in hair.

"Hey Charley I think about you
Every time I pass a fillin' station
On account of all the grease
You used to wear in your hair"

The last song I want to show you from the stocking of suffering is River, by Joni Mitchell. Now, if this song doesn’t make you weep then you’re not allowed out in public. Go straight to jail and do not pass go.

Mixtape Mondays | Sad Santa

When she sings "It’s coming on Christmas, they’re cutting down trees", you realise what an intelligent songwriter Joni Mitchell is. She’s taken something usually associated with joy and happiness and turned it into a negative emotion. When she talks about the tree being cut down - rather than the tree being put up in people’s homes like a traditional Christmas song would - you see the whole thing from a different perspective. She turns convention on its head and draws you in to her world of heartbreak and loss.

"I'm so hard to handle
I'm selfish and I'm sad
Now I've gone and lost the best baby
That I ever had
I wish I had a river I could skate away on"

She’s self-deprecating, you sympathise with her, mourn with her. But it’s not just about the lyrics here. Her trembling falsetto will bring even the most fervent merrymakers to their knees. The power of music is incredible and Joni makes you feel it right where it hurts.

Anyway, enjoy the rest of the playlist, but not too much eh…

Merry Christmas x

P.S. If anyone has any suggestions for the playlist then stick a comment below or tweet me @charliehole and I’ll check it out!

Mixtape Mondays | About a girl

Monday, November 28, 2016 0 Comments A+ a-

I don't think I've had a playlist in the making for any longer than this one. It was on the verge of entering its 12th month, so I thought I might as well celebrate PMM 1 year anniversary by finally putting it together. Yay!

It is an incredibly personal playlist. Before you ask, yes, it started with a couple of songs which seemed at the time like an introduction to a future biography, but as time went by, it watered down slightly. Some favourites are surely Oasis' She's Electric, Ash's Girl From Mars, Arctic Monkeys' She's Thunderstorms, James' She's a Star and from the same title film, God Help The Girl.

Olly Alexander (from Years & Years), Emily Browning and Hannah Murray in God Help the Girl, directed by Belle and Sebastian's Stuart Murdoch

I could possibly go on and on forever about these songs, lyrics and what they mean to me, but I don't intend to bore anyone to death, so I'd rather you listen to it and make your own mind. But before I leave you, I thought it wouldn't do any harm to indulge myself a little (if there is a post when I can do it, it surely is on the blog's anniversary, right?) and share some of my favourite bits from these witty, sometimes cheeky and fun lyrics. Have a great week folks and happy listening!

Mixtape Mondays | About a girl

"I love my room,
I'm getting used to sleeping
Some nights I really like
To lie awake"
God Help The Girl 

"All I need's a soul to squeeze Eloise, 
Not a worrisome and weary 
way of weakening the knees"
Please Eloise

"She came and substituted
The peace and quiet
For acrobatic blood
Flow concertina cheating heart beat, rapid fire"
She's Thunderstorms

She's been in disguise forever
She's tried to disguise her stellar views
Much brighter than all this static
Now she's coming through
She's a Star

So now you pour your heart out
You're telling me you're far out
You're all about to lie down for your cause
She Moves In Her Own Way

And so if you're crazy, I don't care you amaze me
But you're a stupid girl, oh me, oh my, you talk
I die, you smile, you laugh, I cry
Whistle For The Choir

Going through the motions of
Strange ways here we come and teenage love
Can see there's something inside
Her voice is telling her to stay behind
She Said

Mixtape Mondays | Randoms vol.2

Monday, November 07, 2016 0 Comments A+ a-

I will keep this short and sweet. As with Randoms vol.1 published back in February, this is a mixtape that is held together simply by the fact these are artists I didn't know much about, but came across either via Discover Weekly, Sofar Sounds, supporting gigs or friends suggestions. Since then, I decided to "save them" so I could listen to more songs later on... And here we are, eight months later.

As with Seafret, Haunt The Woods is a name which really encapsulate the sounds of these guys 

I had the pleasure to see the first three artists in this playlist live and I was mesmerised by their music. After Sofar Sounds London with Cornwall lads from Haunt The Woods a few weeks ago, I could not stop singing to the lyrics of Beautiful Catastrophe. Do keep an eye out for future London gigs. Same can be said of Irish singer-songwriter Eve Belle, who supported Dan Owen back in September at St. Pancras Old Church. She's got some beautifully sad songs, but I won't forget her version of Dire Straits' Romeo and Juliet, she's made it her own and it was breathtaking.

Mixtape Mondays | Randoms vol.2

Last week I was surprised to know Matt Maltese was supporting Tom Chaplin at the Islington Assembly Hall gig of The Wave tour. I only then remembered I had come across Even If It's a Lie before. And if I liked the song listening to it on Spotify, I absolutely fell in love with it after hearing Matt's vocals and piano live. If you're free on the coming 14th you should check him out at the Servant Jazz Quarters (one of our favourite little London venues!).

That's it folks, have a lovely weekend and I will see you next Monday with another mixtape!

Mixtape Mondays | Monster Tracks Revisited

Monday, October 31, 2016 0 Comments A+ a-

This is probably the quickest playlist ever put together, but have you been in a situation when thought after thought, one thing leads to another and suddenly you cannot ignore it? So let's see if you can follow me on this one or if at the end you will be most definitely certain I am out of my mind.

Who never danced and banged their head to The Cranberries' Zombie? Please tell me I am not alone...

Today is Halloween and I just came back from a Tom Chaplin gig. Yup, that guy from Keane. Keane, a band which's been on a break for 3 or so years, but that only a couple of months ago released a song for the film A Monster Calls... Can you see where I am getting with it?

Mixtape Mondays | Monster Tracks Revisited

I wasn't planning on a Halloween playlist, but then I remembered the first ever collaborative mixtape I've attempted. And so it happens it was called Monster Tracks and I had the help - to be honest, he pretty much took over after my first two songs - of one of my best friends, who at the end of this week moves to New Zealand.

Well, there you have it. This is not exactly the same playlist we made a couple of years ago, but I did revisit it for inspiration. Without further ado, a bunch of pretty awesomely spooky tracks from the likes of Royal Blood, Radiohead, Nothing But Thieves, The Smashing Pumpkins, The Cure, Queens Of The Stone Age and of course, a handful of classics - from The Cranberries' Zombie to Michael Jackson's Thriller - if you're in the mood to extend the Halloween spirit for another week.

Mixtape Mondays | Acoustic Sessions vol.4

Monday, October 10, 2016 0 Comments A+ a-

It's been May since the last acoustic sessions playlist! Jeez time does fly over here it seems. This only means I've enough to share another great compilation. 

There is something about stripped down versions I simply cannot get enough of, so I will cut it down to what in matters. In this week's mixtape we have a couple from James Bay as I had forgotten how great he is live, but thankfully T in The Park helped reminding me of it. There are also two by Franz Ferdinand, because I am going through a very nostalgic phase, so thought it appropriate.

Twin Atlantic released their 4th album GLA last month. Any thoughts?  

We've also Twin Atlantic and Paolo Nutini (I could not leave out some Scottish flavour, of course), Vance Joy (genuinely considering going to Argentina in March next year to see him live at Lollapalooza, that's probably as extreme a trip for a gig I've ever planned, just as a fun fact for you), The 1975 (every time they do an acoustic version I end up loving it more than the original) and Seafret (always! And it yes, they've managed to strip it down even more, what a beautiful version of Wildfire). These just to name a few...

Mixtape Mondays | Acoustic Sessions vol.4

On the female front we've some incredible vocals from Birdy (Wings is just a classic, I could not leave it out), Russian Red (with a cheeky take on Fuerteventura), Foxes (this version of Clarity could have been in our Piano Tapes mixtape and it gives me goosebumps) and some new to this blog names, such as Swiss/German duo BOY and Canadian born musician LIGHTS. My little dose of old school comes in the form of Lily Allen, Alanis Morissette and Adele because it felt right to do so...

Happy Monday! :) 

Mixtape Mondays | Introducing Spotify Daily Mix

Monday, October 03, 2016 0 Comments A+ a-

Hello folks, it is been a while and I can only apologise, but yay, I am back! And if you're like me a big Spotify fan you probably have noticed that since last week a new icon appeared on your library, right above your Playlists, named Your Daily Mix. Well, that pretty much says it all, or does it? If you're keen on the Discover Weekly playlist which Spotify puts together every Monday with tailored suggestions of new music based on your listening habits, then Your Daily Mix might also hit the spot.

The Birmingham lads from Broken Witt Rebels, these guys have such good energy live!

The main differences I'd say are it does not comprise of only one set of 30 songs which are completely replaced every Monday, but... It can be up to 6 different ever growing tailored playlists which very cleverly group together your favourite music and, every so often - so far, at least for me, only very sporadically - comes up with a new suggestion. 

So far I've 4 daily mixes and although Spotify doesn't "allow" you to share those playlists, it has a feature for you to easily copy the songs into a playlist, which I did in order to share with you lot. 

These are not genre specific playlists, don't let the "grouping" fool you. Yes, there is some logic to the madness of the clever algorithms, but it goes beyond rock, blues, r&b... You get a taster of what to expect from the bands which these playlists are named after. So let's get down to business and here they are:

Mixtape Mondays | Daily Mix 1

We Are Scientists, Travis, Jake Bugg
This is pretty much my every day playlist. No wonder it has already 4 hours worth of music! Not many surprises there, just a few unheard tracks from bands a listen to a lot and a couple of new finds so far.

Mixtape Mondays | Daily Mix 2

Érika Martins, A Banda Mais Bonita Da Cidade, Los Hermanos
The Brazilian Music playlist. Forget genre, it goes from 80s, to indie, to MPB (Brazilian Popular Music) to samba.

Mixtape Mondays | Daily Mix 3

Queen, Redbone, Lynyrd Skynyrd
The surprise playlist. Not too sure how this came into being. It feels like Spotify had to group everything I listen to and it couldn't be categorised in any of the other 3 in this playlist. I didn't even have any recollection of a single Redbone song, but somehow it works, it has Beatles, Elton John, Bowie, Dire Straits... I mean, I can work with it.

Mixtape Mondays | Daily Mix 4

Broken Witt Rebels, The Districts, Kaleo 
Been thinking about this one and why not describe it as the Postmodern Mixtape playlist? It is filled with what I can only imagine are upcoming bands as I haven't heard of many of them, but already love. So far it has 146 songs and I can't wait to see what's gonna come next

*** I will keep you updated and add more to these 4 as and when there is enough material. And you can expect a fresh new post if any of these start to shape in a different way. Keep tuned. 

Mixtape Mondays | Piano Tapes

Monday, August 29, 2016 0 Comments A+ a-

When I heard Tom Odell's second album I had mixed feelings. My first thought was "where's the piano?". However, after a second listen I could eventually spot - between very complex arrangements - the moments of brilliance which made me fall in love with Long Way Down. But it was hard work.

Seeing him live a couple of months ago confirmed it. The material was once more outstanding and he was indeed careful to pick a band big enough for it. But I was no more in love with him. His debut album had me at the simplicity of his piano and at how I could hear emotion resonating from its strings, but Wrong Crowd did not have the same effect on me. Well, that was until East 1st Street Piano Tapes was released earlier this month. I can't stress enough how over the moon I am this was made available. It is perfection. And it is there to remind us great music can only benefit from the rawness of stripped back versions.  

Do listen to the full East 1st Street Piano Tapes by Tom Odell, I cannot fault it. Stunning record of a record in the making

These demos inspired me so much I thought of putting together a playlist with some of my favourite piano tracks and a few recently found gems. It includes Sinking Ship, I dare say my favourite Seafret song - which did not make the album, but it is available as part of Oceans EP - and Dan Owen's latest release Made To Love You, which I could not in a million years foresee becoming a piano led arrangement. 

They are followed by two of my favourite female vocals, Regina Spektor and Russian Red, here represented by Samson and The Memory is Cruel, both beautiful and sad tunes I've once could not stop playing on repeat. The same could be said to Damien Rice's albums O and 9, but how not to fall in love with not only the piano, but the violin and vocals in 9 Crimes?

On the new found front we have the likes of Lancashire duo Aquilo with a live version of Almost Over, an acoustic take of I Found by the Nottingham lads of Amber Run and Cambridge born Kyan's stunning Sometimes

From Tom Odell's first album we've Heal, followed by London Grammar's Help and some cheeky almost classics. Who doesn't remember Alicia Key's live performance of Empire State of Mind - it takes me back to good old times of MTV unplugged albums although it was definitely released a decade later than most of those. And in the sequence there is still space for Nina Simone, Coldplay - every so often I remember something they did worth a mention - Sam Smith with an acoustic version of Latch, Faith No More because when we think piano Easy needs to feature, a version of Rihanna's Stay by Thirty Second To Mars which you may have heard in this blog before and two of my favourites famous for making indie piano driven records, Keane and Kate Nash.

Mixtape Mondays | Haven't Listened To In Forever

Monday, August 15, 2016 0 Comments A+ a-

Hi folks, first of all apologies for missing a playlist last week. I want to say my work is currently taking most of my time, but the truth is, it is taking ALL of my time. It should get better by mid September - one can only hope... But so it happens I put together this playlist last week, just didn't have a chance to write about it. 

I am not alone when I say The Libertines second album marked a generation, who never danced to Can't Stand Me Now hasn't lived, right?

It came into being following a recent series of events which made me think about quite a few of the bands here and it culminated with me opening good old iTunes on my once forgotten desktop and suddenly coming across music I didn't even remember I had. I mean, it is not like I did not remember these bands, but I simply haven't played them in such a long time! At least considering how much I used to listen to them a few years ago. So I thought of compiling a selection and, why not, to share it here with you. 

Mixtape Mondays | Haven't Listened To In Forever

Starting with The Bravery, a band I came across on - brace yourselves! - MySpace. I am not sure about how well known they were in the UK but I though them worth a mention. And so is Franz Ferdinand. Their self titled debut album and You Could Have It So Much Better were played back to back and on repeat one too many times. They're followed by The Coral, a band I had completely forgotten about until I saw them last month at T in the Park. Ironically, something very similar had happened with Razorlight a few years ago, when it wasn't until I was en route to V Festival, where they were due to play, that I remembered how much I used to listen to them. 

By that way, V Festival 2009 must have been one of the best line-ups in history, I still can't believe how good it was! And it was also simply the stage to Oasis' last ever live performance. On that note, also playing that year were Snow Patrol, The Killers and Pete Doherty, all represented in this mixtape. And to close the selection, a triple bill of London bands, starting with The Rakes. I remember being obsessed with their album Ten New Messages. Despite their somewhat short career (2003-2009), they've marked my early 20s. And so did Klaxons and Bush - the least British sounding band of the lot, but who regained my respect after putting up a good gig in 2013 during British Summer Time

Mixtape Mondays | Awesome Covers vol.4

Monday, August 01, 2016 0 Comments A+ a-

I can't believe it was March when I last published an Awesome Covers mixtape! So often I come across great versions of classics or simply interesting interpretations of the latest pop chewing gum sticky like track. I hope I've made it worth the wait 

Because I've been really struggling with time over the last few weeks - and until mid September I don't see it getting any easier - I will keep this short and sweet. This week's playlist stands out to me in many ways, but first and foremost I think it contains a fair few versions which I dare say sound better than their originals. I guess the best example I can throw out there is London Grammar's take on Nightcall, originally a track by French artist Kavinsky.   

Really wondering when London Grammar's second album may come out... It is been 3 years since If You Wait

I think credit needs to be given to any cover which allows you to pay attention to a lyric for the first time - and actually catch yourself thinking "this is surprisingly quite clever". Perhaps it is down to the the stripped back factor, but it was the case for me with Stitches, Hey Ya and - brace yourself! - Wrecking Ball. Fun fact for one's amusement, it took actually 6 people to write the latter! 

If you think I had exhausted the pop factor in the last paragraph, you know nothing Jon Snow. From Myley Cyrus to Rihanna & Beyoncé. This playlist brings you yet a Thirty Seconds To Mars version of Stay - I blame last week's Shortlist Jared Leto cover for it - and Halo by Norwegian musicians Ane Brun and Linnea Olsson

Some other great tracks worth a mention are AURORA's beautiful interpretation of Oasis' Half The World Away, Birdy's version of Fleet Foxes White Winter Hymnal, Velvet Underground's Sunday Morning in a collaboration between BØRNS and French artist Petite Meller and, last but not least, Radiohead's High and Dry in the lovely harmonies of US duo Colin & Caroline. Have I mentioned I've managed to include No Diggity here? We've Chet Faker to thank for it though. Hope you enjoy it!

Mixtape Mondays | Animal Style

Monday, July 25, 2016 0 Comments A+ a-

A post by Adam Smith,
a.k.a @adsmith85

Hey guys, it's great to be back. After my last contribution to these hallowed halls, I went back and re-read every Mixtape Mondays post... I was shocked, looking at the sophistication of the writing and the thought behind the playlists. I felt like I let the side down barely scratching the surface of what Zaira and the other bloggers are putting into this.

With that in mind, I felt the need to up my game if ever I was asked back (unlikely, I thought). I trawled the depths on my conscious self to come up with a mind expanding playlist to introduce the world to new music and push the boundaries of understanding within the universe. But my head started to hurt, so here's a playlist all about Animals!

Two strikes: great track, Elephant by Tame Impala features in this week's mixtape

Yep that's right, songs with animals in the title and one about "a device created by a spider out of proteinaceous spider silk extruded from its spinnerets, generally meant to catch its prey". Sorry Zaira it's like Lebowski's rug, it just ties the playlist together, No Doubt.

Mixtape Mondays | Animal Style

I love getting a double hit when building these lists, when the band and the song match your theme, and this one was rife with them. Elephant by Tame Impala, more Elephants by Them Crooked Cultures I even had a triple with The Ballad of Queen Bee and Baby Duck by Eagles of Death Metal (not about animals at all, but Brody Dalle and her husband, EODM drummer Josh Homme). However it got ruthlessly cut. It's the joy of finding these weird connections, thinking about music in a new way and just making time to think about it again that's been really fun.

We start with a song that just means summer to me. From The Macabees' Pelican, firing into We Are Scientists and Twin Atlantic. Then run through some Heart, Florence and the Machine, Jamie T, make acquaintance with Biffy Clyro, Foo Fighters and finish up with The Pixies and a fairly recent find from the Strumbellas - thank you Discover Weekly.

Thanks again to the boss, she rocks! I hope you enjoy the playlist and my somewhat playful tone, hopefully see you again soon.

Mixtape Mondays | Reading & Leeds

Monday, July 18, 2016 0 Comments A+ a-

Hello again, I am sorry for the absence, but if you too were at T In The Park you'll understand it takes over a week to recover from the madness. And yes, madness is the best word I can find to describe what an experience that was. After a 12 hour long road trip from Strathallan Castle back to London last Monday, there was very little left of me to compose a playlist or even a post summarising the experience. It will come, eventually, but for now I thought of another quick fix, just to make sure we don't spend another week playlist-less.

A friend of mine was trying to tempt me to another UK Festival adventure this summer. I really don't think I can gamble spending anymore of my annual leave days embracing the beauty of Britain's summer-knee-deep-in-mud adventure - no figure of speech here, I swear it is literal - however, if I had to... If only I had to pick another awesome line up, then it would have to be Reading & Leeds.

What an awesome debut album these guys have, love Nothing But Thieves since their first EP - proudly NBTid #270

>> Friday 26th August in Reading starts with Maverick Sabre, Frank Turner - whatever voice I had left at T by Sunday evening when he started playing I Believe left me not to come back until Wednesday morning - Nothing But Thieves and Foals. Ok, perhaps 4 great acts, but not enough to keep you busy all day or justify a day trip one may say... 

>> Saturday 27th August has...
  • Vant - Do You Know Me? has to be one of the best songs to jump to at a gig. 
  • Palace - Slowly but surely becoming one of my favourite bands, there doesn't seem to be a single song of theirs which isn't anything but great. London peeps, do not miss them in Brixton November 23rd. 
  • Sunset Sons - Another highlight of T, even though they were one of the first acts of the last day, great energy. 
  • Blossoms - Only came across them fairly recently and am hooked up, really like My Favourite Room.  Unfortunately had to miss them at T to watch BØRNS instead. 
  • The Courteeners - They've so many good songs that is impossible to stay still at their gig, T as V last year was just amazing! #spoileralert if you've haven't seen them live stop reading now. Their cover of James' Tomorrow with What Took You So Long? is just brilliant!
  • Two Door Cinema Club - Still can't believe I haven't seen them live... 
  • Imagine Dragons - Or them... 

I left out of this playlist, but you also might be interested to know Haim, Jack Garratt and Red Hot Chilli Peppers are also playing Saturday (the last 2 were also at T if you're wondering...).

So I guess we have to agree, Saturday's line up it's just one of a kind, and for £66.50 for a day ticket, no wonder they sold out. Keep an eye out on Twickets folks!

>> But then there is still Sunday 28th, with Isaac Gracie - since Spotify suggested Last Words in my discovery weekly I've been watching out for this guy - Will Joseph Cook - if you ever read this blog you will know, big fan - BØRNS - another very early in the day gig at T, but totally worthwhile - The Temper Trap - which although I haven't seen life, I've heard great things about them at festivals. They're also playing in London at the Lexington on August 24th, obviously sold out, but again, Twickets is surprisingly good for this small events. As with Saturday, you may also like to know that The Wombats, The Vaccines, Third Eye Blind, Biffy Clyro and The 1975 (still slightly heartbroken I missed them at T, but they're on at the same time as Travis... And it was Travis in Scotland) are also playing on Sunday...

Mixtape Mondays | Reading & Leeds

So long story short, this "super quick post" turned into an essay and the more I wrote the closer I was from booking another 5 days of pure madness. So before adding anymore songs to this playlist, I will love you and leave you whilst I still have some self-restrain. Enjoy and let me know your thoughts on this week's mixtape and what you're up to this summer!

Mixtape Mondays | T In The Park

Monday, July 04, 2016 0 Comments A+ a-

This is the quickest ever post probably in the history of blogging but I have literally 2 hours 59 minutes and counting (down) to sleep before I hit the road from London to Strathallan Castle for T In The Park.

Like with Bushstock recently, I could write a book about the line up. But with all the time constraints in the world - by the way, excuse the extremely hyperbolic post - I'd rather leave my comments for the follow up review.
I am yet to listen to their new album The Ride more, but absolutely dying to see Catfish and the Bottlemen live

So, without further ado, enjoy this awesome collection. Pictures on Facebook to follow from sunny and warm Scotland. 

Mixtape Mondays | T In The Park

Featuring the lines of Catfish and the Bottlemen, Frank Turner, The Last Shadow Puppets, The Courteneers, Jake Bugg, James Bay, Kaiser Chiefs, Bastille, Bear's Den, Tom Odell and Travis to name but a few... 

Mixtape Mondays | Almost The Same

Monday, June 27, 2016 0 Comments A+ a-

This playlist is so weird. It started as a joke, just something in the back of my mind. But the more songs I came across the more I thought there was a theme there. Differently from most of the things I post here, there is very little which holds this together apart from the fact all of the songs in this mixtape share their title with another one. And as Adam did last week, why not to pair them, right?

Check Will Joseph Cook's latest single, Take Me Dancing, another lovely track!

I can't help but have here some of the usual suspects: yes, Seafret appears twice, with Oceans - also a song by Twin Atlantic - and Something In The Air - potentially a British classic by Thunderclap Newman, which I happened to come across only recently thanks to the wonders of Spotify.

From the most recent The Lumineers album, My Eyes is a beautiful song - very much like the material on their amazing self-titled debut record. Its slow pace contrasts with the song of same name by Travis, but both share lovely lyrics.

Discover Weekly recently suggested a couple of really easy to listen to songs: Patrick James' Message, who to my surprise came out of Ireland's The Voice, and made me think of Will Joseph Cook's track (by the way, WJC is incredible live, second time watching him last week and what a talent. Great musician, brilliant song-writing skills and what a sweet lad). The second pick was Valerie, by Australian Tim Wheatley. I have to say it wasn't easy to choose between The Zutons and Amy, but the Mrs. Winehouse won this week. 

Mixtape Mondays | Almost The Same

Because of Bushstock - can't wait for next years' edition! - I came across the beautiful Better Man, by Bella Figura. And it took me back to a couple of years ago, when Paolo Nutini released Caustic Love. The last addition to the playlist came only yesterday. Last Friday I've been asked to listen to a band called Amber Run. After a bit of Facebook digging I've learnt they're from Nottingham and it looks like they were also at Bushstock?! (although they do not appear on the official line up). Loving their debut album 5AM, which includes track Shiver. Oh the time when Coldplay was worth listening to... Anyway... 

Probably the most nonsensical pairings close the playlist: Smashing Pumpkins vs Bring Me The Horizon with Drown, Scouting For Girls vs Bon Jovi with This Ain' A Love Song (does it get any cheesier?!) and The Breeders vs Damien Rice with Cannonball. I hope you enjoy it. Happy Monday!

Check our latest albums on Facebook!

*** Will Joseph Cook @ Barfly, Camden and Boston Music Room, Tufnell Park
*** Bushstock Festival @ St. Stephen's Church, Bush Hall, Sindercombe and more
*** Seafret @ The Garage, Highbury and 100 Club, Oxford Street

Mixtape Mondays | Then & Now

Monday, June 20, 2016 0 Comments A+ a-

A post by Adam Smith,
a.k.a @adsmith85

Hi fellow followers of Postmodern Mixtape,

Then & Now is my first stab at this sort of thing and should give you an idea of what you're getting yourself into when I'm at the deck. This is full to the brim with artists that have been with me for many years: it grabs a track from when I got on board and pairs it with a more recent offering that I also love.

The likes of Biffy Clyro and Queens Of The Stone Age describe my overarching tastes for the loud and immediate kick through the headphones. ...Like Clockwork was perfect as far I'm concerned and I can't wait to learn all the secrets held within Ellipsis.

Biffy Clyro 7th album Ellipsis comes out on July 7th. They also feature on last week's playlist Made in Scotland

Who knew when I caught Frank Turner supporting The Futureheads at the iTunes Festival he'd leave such a stamp on my listening habits. I Still Believe chimes at the heart of what this playlist is all about. When Positive Songs For Negative People landed last year it struck so many chords with me that picking one song was very tough, but Get Better it is. Both this and The Next Storm will always tie me to a particular time and place, for good or bad.

Blink 182 were one of the first bands my friends and I went big for around the time when I was 15/16. The sense of fun and Californian sun brought to our 6th form building from The Mark, Tom & Travis Show would inform my tastes for years to come. Alkaline Trio sneak in as an easter egg with Matt Skiba joining Blink on the latest album, I can't wait.

Mixtape Mondays | Then & Now

My love of Grohl and his merry band of miscreants - a.k.a. Foo Fighters - simply can't be contained here. From the Astoria in 2005 to Islington Town Hall in 2014, they form part of my core. Rounding out we have the likes of Arctic Monkeys - whose evolution has been such a sight to behold from exposure artist on XFM to Ally Pally rock stars - We Are Scientists, Kaiser Chiefs as well as the recently revived Death From Above 1979.

Lastly I'd love to thank Zaira for letting me play with her toys over here in the blogosphere. I hope I didn't make too much noise and mess the place up.

P.S. I know this is a little radio friendly but now we know each other a little better I'll drop in some curveballs next time...

Mixtape Mondays | Made in Scotland

Monday, June 13, 2016 0 Comments A+ a-

I remember having this conversation with a friend a couple of years ago when we've debated if the reason behind me liking so many Scottish bands had anything to do with their accent. So he decided to do a test and sent me It's My Own Cheating Heart That Makes Me Cry, by Glasvegas. A point had been made. And another band added to my favourites. Perhaps because I am counting the days to T in The Park (8th to 10th of July), this week's mixtape is dedicated to all the amazing Scottish artists I've come across over the years. From back in 2001, when Travis released The Invisible Band and Sing would play on repeat on my headphones, to some of the latest Spotify suggestions such as Daniel Docherty, who I am going to see live for the first time on September 20th at the O2 Academy, in Islington.

Franz Ferdinand and You Could Have It So Much Better are two albums which marked a generation

My slight obsession with Scottish bands goes back in the day. I look back at the 00s very fondly. They were a time of discovery and the soundtrack of those many club nights with uni friends was most definitely Franz Ferdinand's Take Me Out. I was lucky enough to see them live for the first time back in 2006, in a fairly small venue in Rio, and it was simply electric. Funnily enough, 2006 was also the year in which The Fratellis released Costello Music - if you're in London in December you don't want to miss the 10th Anniversary tour (13th, Forum Kentish Town, tickets on sale now £25). I thought this playlist deserved both Chelsea Dagger and Whistle For The Choir, both from this album.

But whilst most of my friends were listening to Belle & Sebastian - and now I fear giving away how old I am - I was browsing good old MySpace in search of slightly more obscure tunes. That's how I came across The Cinematics, back in 2007, when they had released one of my favourite albums of all time, A Strange Education. Human for example has one of my favourite lyrics ever "I can't pick you up again, I've been breaking my back with the weight of your heart".

Mixtape Mondays | Made in Scotland

Another Scottish artist which has not one, but two of my favourite albums is Paolo Nutini. His first, These Streets, is a record pretty impossible to fault, but when Caustic Love came out in 2014 I was completely obsessed with it. His music matured so much and this is such a sexy album - as unusual as it may sound - but listen for yourself and let me know.

Also in this week's mixtape we've the likes of Biffy Clyro, Frightened Rabbit (playing at T) and some bands which I came across more recently, such as Twin Atlantic, We Were Promised Jet Packs - who I saw one year ago supporting Death Cab For Cutie - and The Twilight Sad, who are opening for The Cure on December 1st, at Wembley Arena. I am sure there are enough bands to make it into volume 2, 3... But these were the ones which came into my head first. Hope you find it pure dead brilliant!

Mixtape Mondays | Roots

Monday, June 06, 2016 0 Comments A+ a-

This is definitely my most obscure playlist to date. And I am undoubtedly indulging myself a tiny bit by sharing it here. But I hope you can somehow relate to it. So how did we get here? I was listening to BC Camplight Blood And Peanut Butter when I thought "oh my, this sounds just like that band I used to listen to when I was in my early 20s, what are they called again?" And on my online quest, this mixtape came into being. 

Little Joy is a side-project by Rodrigo Amarante (Los Hermanos, Orquestra Imperial) and Fabrizio Moretti (The Strokes)

The band in question is a power pop group from the South of Brazil called Wonkavision. I remember when a musician friend of mine brought over a couple of their EPs and said "you need to listen to this". I got into it straight away. Both NaNaNa and Comprimidos were songs in these EPs and are now in this playlist. Ironically, this very same friend who introduced me to them was a drummer on another band also in this playlist: Ramirez.

I have to say Rio indie scene in the early 2000s was pretty small. Everyone knew absolutely everyone. So I am sure even if it wasn't for Rodrigo, I'd still have come across Ramirez. Particularly considering both them and Móveis Coloniais de Acajú had been compared a few times to my favourite Brazilian band, Los Hermanos. You most likely won't have heard of either, but as a fun fact, after Los Hermanos split up, Rodrigo Amarante went on playing with Fabrizio Moretti, the drummer of The Strokes and together they've made supergroup Little Joy - do listen to The Next Time Around, it is the perfect summer soundtrack!

Mixtape Mondays | Roots

Watch out for the odd London listing/date. Only in July last year, Amarante was touring with his solo album Cavalo and played an amazing gig at the Hoxton Bar & Kitchen. Fabrizio was also there.

But back to my indie rock Brazilian roots... Also in this weeks' mixtape another favourite of mine. They're not only two of the best people I've ever met, but Bruno Vouzella & Fernanda Marques, the duo behind Columbia, know how to write lyrics and sing our hearts out like no other indie rock band in Rio back in 2008/2009. It is a shame you can only find their first album O que você não quis dizer on Spotify, their second release, Um Quarto Escuro, is as good as if not better. Please tell me if you can also spot Radiohead in the melodies of Amanhã.

There is a lot more in this playlist and I could potentially write a dissertation on how I came across all of these bands, which other sounds they remind me of or about how much essentially British genres such as rockabilly, britpop and garage rock have influenced them. But I'd rather just wrap up with two videos. One which I remember watching on repeat so much it broke my heart first time I had seen it. And another which was released after I had moved to the UK, but it is such a catchy song and brilliant idea for a video that I simply had to. I challenge you not to fall in love with the cat in Gram's Você Pode Ir Na Janela and not to hum to the chorus of Oração, by A Banda Mais Bonita da Cidade,  even if you can't make out the lyrics in Portuguese.

Mixtape Mondays | Bushstock 2016

Monday, May 30, 2016 0 Comments A+ a-

I am slightly overwhelmed as I write this post. It is hard to believe this is Mixtape #27 or that it's been just over 6 months since that first post from 16th November. I was very much looking forward to a Seafret gig - ok, not much changed in that front - and in the build up to the Communion New Faces Tour I've put together a playlist of the line up: Seafret, Dan Owen, Jack Watts & Flyte. The legacy of that night was having found 4 of my current favourite bands/artists and signing up for the Communion newsletter to literally keep an ear out for anything they put out there. Having said that, I could not miss Bushstock. Not only because it will take me back to St. Stephens Church, in Shepherd's Bush - yes, it is an actual church which doubles up as a super charming venue - but first and foremost because it appeals to me as the best London festival line up if you want to come across new music worth listening to.

If you haven't yet you should definitely check Bear's Den debut album Islands 

In this Mixtape Mondays you'll find some of the artists playing on June 18th. You can also read more about them on the festival's website: www.bushstock.co.uk/line-up. I am very much looking forward to hearing again some of Flyte's new material. The small preview back in February at the Tooting Tram & Social got me very much looking forward to the album. I also can't wait to see Bear's Den and Palace. Ironically, despite both being London bands, I still haven't had a chance to watch them live.

Since I heard Palace's Veins I fell in love with them. Both their EPs, Lost In The Night (2014) and Chase The Light (2015) are incredibly good and it makes one wonder how come they haven't yet released an album. Do check also their latest single Break the Silence, which came out last week. And if you're struggling to understand the concept of alt-country or indie-folk, fear no more, just listen to Bear's Den debut album Islands. It is hard not to compare them to Mumford & Sons, although I find their sound more eerie and Andrew Davie's voice of a soothing quality (and so very different to Marcus' raw and hoarse style).

Mixtape Mondays | Bushstock 2016

Some of the names in this playlist which have intrigued me although I haven't been listening to them for that long are:

Bella Figura - In the most simplistic way, a mix of country and blues with deep lyrics and sad guitars. Do listen to Better Man.

Cape Cub - a.k.a. Chad Male is from Marske-by-the-Sea - yes, I had to google it - There is something really catchy about his music, check The Start and let me know your thoughts.

Júníus Meyvant - I particularly liked Gold Laces by Icelandic folk pop singer-songwriter Unnar Gísli Sigurmundsson, from his debut EP titled, very originally, EP.

Pleasure Beach - Their music takes me back to being in my early 20s. It is impossible to stand still, indie rock like I haven't listened to in a long time. It is fresh, but with a heart on that old school vibe that made us dance to Strokes, Killers and Franz Ferdinand.

The Big Moon - Still with a foot on the indie rock 90s front, I challenge you to watch the video below for Nothing Without You and not fall in love with this power pop quartet. They're just brilliant!

More about Bushstock 2016
When: June 18th
Where: Multiple venues, all around Shepherd's Bush
Facebook: www.facebook.com/BushstockFestival
Line up: http://www.bushstock.co.uk/line-up
All early bird tickets are gone, but still some Tier 2 tickets for £32.50 (+£3.25 S/C).

Mixtape Mondays | Acoustic Sessions vol.3

Monday, May 23, 2016 0 Comments A+ a-

This is a pretty self explanatory playlist and as it has been a pretty intense week, I thought it doubly appropriate: it is chilled and it doesn't require too much introduction.

I am - still and as you're probably well aware by now - in a pretty folky / acoustic phase and this is another collection of acoustic tracks I came across by some of my favourite bands and some new found artists. I guess the fun factor in this volume 3 mixtape is that because perhaps I got a bit nostalgic listening to We Are Scientists - after the amazing gig at KOKO - Spotify started suggesting some peculiar tracks. One thing led to another and suddenly I'd collated a series of songs I used to listen to over 10 years ago and somehow remind me of the time I lived in America very much.

Chris Cain and Keith Murray have such energy on stage, impossible not to love We Are Scientists live, acoustic or not

I am talking pretty much about the last 10 songs in this playlist: from Lifehouse to Jet, from Maroon 5 to The Cinematics. I know it is sounds a bit random, but hopefully you can also see the connection. And at least the acoustic aspect ties this all together (or one playlist maker would hope so...).

Mixtape Mondays | Acoustic Sessions vol.3

Back to this day and age, we've the likes of James Bay, The 1975 and a song I very much fell in love with when I listened to its acoustic version live at V Festival last year, Jess Glynne's My Love. Last but not least, if you can forgive the cheesiness, I've allowed myself a couple of guilty pleasures: Jason Mraz' I'm Yours and Katy Perry's The One That Got Away are also in this one.

>> Click here for We Are Scientists album at KOKO, in Camden Town

And check Acoustic Sessions vol. 1 and Acoustic Sessions vol.2 on Spotify. 

Mixtape Mondays | Changing Of The Seasons

Monday, May 16, 2016 1 Comments A+ a-

I tend to live for the summer. Sunlight has a pretty special effect on me. I am one of those people whose mood will improve dramatically let there be sunshine. But then, funnily enough, I am also the proud owner of a T with golden leaves which says "Fall in love" and not many things make me as happy as a caramel latte as I walk through a Richmond Park painted in the most beautiful reds and yellows.

Two Door Cinema Club Changing Of The Seasons is such a happy song it had to be the title of this playlist

As you can imagine, I am not a big fan of cold weather (I mean, is anyone?), but there is something about wrapping yourself with a fleece blankie and getting cozy by a fire with a mug of mulled wine which I very much enjoy and look forward to every year. And then, when you've just about had enough of it, you notice the colours coming back, the daffodils breaking through the grass you barely remembered being there in the first place. And there is a certain freshness in the air as you suddenly feel all this energy setting the mood for summer again.

Well, all this talk is simply to justify the theme of this week's mixtape: Seasons. It's fascinating how seasons can affect us. No wonder they inspire so many songs! And you can tell their influence is not only in the lyrics, but in the mood of the tracks. Have a think about it as you listen to Open Season by the High Highs. Vance Joy's Great Summer seems to have been written for you to listen as you sit by the sea. Whilst The Courteeners' Summer seems like the perfect festival soundtrack for those beautiful July sunsets.

Mixtape Mondays | Changing Of The Seasons

Kodaline's After The Fall is the kind of song I'd have on my headphones as I cycle through a park covered in golden leaves. And talking about leaves, Autumn by Paolo Nutini starts setting the mood for the winter in the horizon. No wonder I've chosen to have James Bay's Clocks Go Forward right after it.

"Darkness bleeding in, the sun is getting low
No diamonds in the trees, only leaves of gold
And our long days in the heat haze start to fade

We can hide under sheets, under heavy covers
So deep as the night draws in
And we'll be slow honey lovers 'til the clocks go forward again"

And if you're not convinced by now, try reading the lyrics as you listen to Winter Winds by Mumford & Sons...

"As the winter winds litter London with lonely hearts
Oh the warmth in your eyes swept me into your arms
But if your strife strikes at your sleep
Remember spring swaps snow for leaves
You'll be happy and wholesome again
When the city clears and sun ascends"

There are many more songs in this playlist and many I chose to keep out just because I thought appropriate to have some kind of genre consistency. But fear not, seasons always return and so may this theme very soon... With more tracks to keep you company during summer walks or to keep you warm on those winter nights. Happy listen!

Mixtape Mondays | Songs About The Sea

Monday, May 09, 2016 2 Comments A+ a-

A post by Charlie Hole,
a.k.a @charliehole

I have a strange and natural affinity with the sea. I grew up swimming in the shallows, watching it move, twist and speak through the seasons. I learned to respect its beauty and danger, its mystery and vastness. It was peaceful in the calm, but vicious and dark in storms.

I chose these songs because they all reflect the emotions that flow from the sea, as well as the ways the sea has impacted on our lives in different ways.

Ben Howard's Old Pine encapsulates everything that the sea meant to those who grew up next to it.

Elvis Costello’s Shipbuilding, for instance, tells the story of working class shipbuilding communities in the north of England, building warships for the Falklands War. They were saving a dying industry, yet sending their young off to war in the very same ships.

It opens with the line "Is it worth it?", the human cost for the economic gain…

"A new winter coat and shoes for the wife,
And a bicycle on the boy's birthday"

And the immortal line:

"With all the will in the world,
Diving for dear life,
When we could be diving for pearls"

Likewise, The Lake Poet’s Shipyards tells a more personal story of how the shipyards of the north east reminded him of his late grandfather, where he used to work, and how the shipyards are all gone now.

My personal favourite is Randy Newman’s Sail Away, which is a masterpiece of sarcasm, wit and irony, written from the perspective of a North American slave trader trying to sell the idea of America to an African slave. It’s as twisted and funny as it is poignant.

"In America you'll get food to eat
Won't have to run through the jungle
And scuff up your feet
You'll just sing about Jesus and drink wine all day
It's great to be an American"

Mixtape Mondays | Songs About The Sea

Josh Ritter’s Another New World tells of the discovery the sea used to offer sailor’s sailing for the promise of a new world. And what’s not to love about Van Morrison’s Into The Mystic… The sea is as much about going away as it is about coming home.

"When that fog horn blows
You know I will be coming home"

That’s what the sea is to me, it’s home. And no-one puts it better than Ben Howard in Old Pine. Ask anyone who grew up by the sea, these words encapsulate everything that the sea meant to us. Sleeping down the beach, making fires from driftwood, singing, laughing and drinking with friends in "the boom of summertime".

"Careless and young, free as the birds that fly
With weightless souls now"

I’ll always remember the feeling of "Hot sand on toes, cold sand in sleeping bags".

Check out the playlist on Spotify for loads more Songs About The Sea…

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