Mixtape Mondays | Randoms vol.3

Monday, March 27, 2017 1 Comments A+ a-

It is Randoms playlist time again! I suppose I can blame this craving for fresh new music to Spring coming. There was definitely a bigger gap between Volume 1 (February 2016) and Volume 2 (November 2016) than there is now, but I've been lucky enough to come across some great findings and could not wait to share them with you! 

I am not sure how I've never come across them before, but glad I've Embrace's entire discography to discover!

Differently to the two previous collections, none of these came out of gigs. But I can certainly say more than half of it came out of running! You ask how? I've a feeling both my Discover Weekly and Daily Mixes changed considerably since I started using Spotify's Your Running Mix tool - if you're not acquainted with it, the script works suggesting songs by artists or genres you like, but matching your running tempo. For example, ISLAND and Daughter are both bands I listened to when running, although not necessarily the tracks I've chosen to feature here. 

Just over a third of this playlist came from - running - friend's suggestions. Two favourites are most definitely The Decemberists and Bright Eyes, both old school bands, which makes me wonder how on earth I had never come across them before? Talking about earth... Do check out Bright Eyes' song Lua, which in Portuguese means Moon. I haven't added it to this playlist, as it wasn't the song which introduced me to them, but am in love with its lyrics. 

I suppose because of this new found range of classics, others started to pop by my feed and amongst them, Gravity by Embrace. Already one of my favourite songs of all time. It is a strange feeling, but it somehow made me think of being in my teens, good old days of laying in bed listening to radio late at night in the hopes of coming across new music, looking at the sky out of the window and feeling the cool breeze on a summer's night. 

Some other great findings which I want to spend a bit more time exploring before I elaborate on them, but so far seem pretty promising, are:

- New York based The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - I absolutely love this name! - Contender is proper old school indie pop. * Spoiler Alert! Their cover of James' Laid is brilliant, coming soon on Awesome Covers vol. 5 *

- 21-year-old YouTuber sensation Dodie. I had never paid that much attention to her until coming across this original, Sick of Losing Soulmates. She's done some pretty decent covers, but it is the witty lyrics of this song which took me back to Kate Nash's Made of Bricks era. 

- Please do spend 18 minutes of your day listening to Learn to Kiss, the brilliant debut EP by Dancing Years, a Leeds based quintet. I've chosen Neon Lights for this playlist, but I am very much in love with the violin in the melancholic April and can't help but find Valentine has some Radiohead quality to it. Do check them out!

And that's about it for now. Happy random Monday y'all, catch up again very soon! 

Mixtape Mondays | Star Gazing ★☆★

Monday, March 20, 2017 0 Comments A+ a-

I think I was 12 years old when in one of the rock magazines I used to buy as an avid 80s collector, I came across a quote attributed to Jon Bon Jovi which said "I like stars cause they are free". I've never heard or read anywhere else him saying these words, but they've never left me. 

You see, I was a weird kid - yes, it goes that far back! I liked the usual drawing and colouring kids do, but I could spend my evenings sitting in our backyard with my ancient great-granny, listening to her stories as I drew pages and pages of tiny little dots. I've had many maps of Rio's night sky by the time of my first visit to a planetarium. 

Some songs are simple but know how to strike a chord: When The Stars Go Blue, by Ryan Adams, is definitely one 

I can't really tell how it started but I was always drawn to them, the stars. So yes, this playlist has a special meaning and it was particularly challenging as I did not want to let go of it. I thought appropriate to also include the video below - as well as the original track by Bad Company - as this particular recording marked the time of my life when I first acknowledged this fascination with stars. Funnily enough, it happened just around the corner from me today, in Hammersmith, on January 10th 1990 - my birthday is the 9th! The teenager me could have never dreamt of where I'd be 15 years later... 

I think it is also brilliant to hear Jon Bon Jovi singing these lyrics so far back in the day, as they pretty much became a self-fulfilling prophecy, apart from the fact he is still standing.

This playlist is a mix of classics, personal favourites, some new findings and, to my surprise, a few soundtracks. Also called Shooting Star is the Air Traffic opening track, followed by Radiohead's classic Black Star. Still in the 90s vibe, we've the likes of James - and here is She's A Star once more - and Blur. And as the 2000s creep in, The KillersFoo Fighters, Stereophonics, Ryan Adams and Coldplay make an appearance.

Mixtape Mondays | Star Gazing ★☆★

On the personal favourites I've Tom Odell's Constellations and Palace's Veins. Two new finds which have intrigued me are Stargazer, by London based ISLAND - they're playing their biggest headline gig to date at Heaven on May 3rd, they haven't released an album yet but do check the singles on Spotify, I particularly like Spotless Mind - and Star Star, by Irish folks of The Frames, which somehow I had never come across.

Closing the mixtape we've a series of - some would say cheesy - soundtracks. I've lost track of the amount of films we've Corinne Bailey Rae's Like a Star. Yes, it is dated, but if you can get past it, it's got a nice somewhat jazzy melody, which led me to think of the next song, the impossible-to-get-out-of-your-head La La Land's City of Stars. Thoughts on the film aside, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are indeed adorable singing this. And if we're going down that route, I might as well bring Keira Knightley's version of Adam Levine's Lost Stars, from Begin Again. And, ultimately - feel free to go ahead and judge me - I've not only watched, but sobbed throughout The Fault In Our Stars, so here is Ed Sheeran and All of the Stars, just because. Happy listen! ★☆★

Mixtape Mondays | Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness

Monday, March 13, 2017 0 Comments A+ a-

Over the last few weeks I've made two playlists, not for the blog, but for a friend - I know, I am sorry peeps for not sharing, but the songs have all been featured here before, so suppose I am excused?! Anyway, it will all make sense in a few more lines... 

When I am compiling mixtapes for the blog and writing about these I've my journalist cap on. Don't get me wrong, I am a hopeless romantic (I have a t-shirt to prove it!) and I don't pretend to be impartial when sharing my thoughts about the songs & artists I choose to bring to your attention. They tend to be my favourites on a very personal level, be it a song released last week or 30 years ago. And the writing, well the writing will focus on the theme and theme itself: sea, seasons, acoustic, piano, covers... Perhaps the one playlist which I had to contextualise a bit further was About A Girl, but even though, every track had "girl" in the lyrics, so you would have got there either way...

Definitely two of the most melancholic albums I've ever came across, O and 9, by Damien Rice

So here we are. How did this one came into being?

Have you ever made anyone a mixtape? If you're not careful, you can end up with a selection which resembles Will Smith's wardrobe in Fresh Prince of Bell Air. I am far too obsessed with logic for it, so after throwing in pretty much anything I liked into a playlist in no particular order, there I went trying to make sense of it. And then it hit me. There was a pattern in the supposedly themeless bowl. And strangely enough, it said more about myself than the About A Girl playlist had. Instead of me thinking it through, it simply took shape subconsciously.

If you know me or if you've read a few of these posts you're probably aware I've learnt to live with depression and anxiety. I say I learnt to live because I do not take for granted being in a good place today. And because I see these, as well as other mental disorders I've presented symptoms of a while back, as inherently part of my life, but ones I can today keep at bay, on close watch, and hopefully not let them take over ever again.

Mixtape Mondays | Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness

So off I went trying to repair the damage. Of course I had to edit the mix. It was interesting knowing these were the first songs I had chosen, but as with life, I knew I did not have to stick to them and I could shape the said mixtape to tell the story I wanted it to. And so I did. But I've also since made this playlist because in my mind it had a story of its own to tell. And here we are. As you can see, it is named after the Smashing Pumpkins song mostly because I thought it illustrates it really well - and also because Spotify has already a playlist named Life Sucks. Just kidding! But it does exist.

So make yourself a cup of tea, turn the lights down, grab a book and enjoy a bit of Travis, Radiohead, The Lumineers, Keane, Tom - as Chaplin alone wasn't enough, I brought Odell and McRae to the mix - Damien Rice (necessary!), Russian Red, Air Traffic and my favourite Brazilian band, Los Hermanos. It's a very old school playlist indeed! I hope you enjoy it, see you in a couple of Mondays!