Ever since snow hit London around December, I have been trying to be better prepared for 2011. I suppose this should include things such as saving up money, taking lessons in self-defence, or doing some form of exercise. But, no. The snow taught me that I should have music on my MP3 player for all situations, especially as I had to walk home every night, ankle-deep in snow. I was also so busy around this time that my “snow playlist” consisted of “Chinatown” by Destroyer and some Christmas songs. So here are some songs that you can download and save for when that moment happens, because moments usually only happen once.
Wanting to feel older than you really are
This tends to happen quite often because I am always being asked for my ID at bars, club and, most embarrassingly, the cinema. The most immediate thought I had was for 1960s era Scott Walker – stylish crooning, begging for you to sip wine out of an awkwardly shaped glass on a window balcony, exchanging zippy one-liners with the non-Hollywood equivalent or Rosalind Russell or Cary Grant. But that would probably make you feel old, rather than older. And what’s more exciting than the classically hazed, energy exersions of Creedence Clearwater Revival. In Sinister Purpose, guitars and vocals compete to see which can be more hypnotising, and already I feel older than everyone in this room, especially that bartender looking at the birthdate on my passport.
It’s July, so why is it snowing?
It’s a cliche: the weather’s becoming more and more unpredictable. So, at this rate, it will be snowing in Summer, which is great because I love snow. Also, I prefer ice cream in the cold because it doesn’t melt too quickly. And, before you say that’s not the point of ice cream, let me remind you that it’s eaten for the taste, not body temperature control. The band Headlights released Cherry Tulips as a single a few years ago, in which the singer swoons over wintery instrumentation, whilst blissfully singing about endless cherries. This is the amalgamation of Summer and snow that might be crucial for when you least expect it.
Creating unncessary panic in the middle of the night when you can’t sleep
I find myself drinking a lot of caffeine when I’m at work, and I can’t really handle caffeine, so I often find myself awake all night. I then feel even more tired the next day at work, and need even more caffeine, and the cycle continues until I eventually die (hopefully not before the new Batman film comes out next year). So, for me, ‘night time’ music is what most people would consider ‘evening time’ music. While I do enjoy “chilling” out to Air and Slowdive late at night, I prefer something more energetic, without necessarily being Side 2 of Led Zeppelin’s Houses of the Holy. I was just tidying my room last night at 4am when Broken Heart by Channel Swimmer came on. It starts off like the playful tide you see at the beach, then transforms itself in a wash of idiosyncratic samples, ending in an attack of distortion. It wasn’t what I was expecting, and actually made me panic a bit, although that might just have been the usual feeling of existential despair I feel at 4am. On Channel Swimmer’s website, there is a section called “Who?” (it’s as if he read my mind) which explains that he’s a 24-year-old Welsh DJ, producer and electronic musician called Mathew Mayes. His biography shows that not only is his name spelt in an interesting way, his life has been much more fun than mine (the only excitement I have is caffeine), while receiving daytime play on BBC radio (which is more daytime play than I’ve received on BBC radio). Really, the only thing we have in common is that we both shout “Help!” in our sleep.
Ending a relationship with Jay-Z
Jay-Z’s a pretty cool guy. Reasonable Doubt and The Blueprint are both great albums. Still, there’s no denying his music is going downhill, and he’s running out of time to prove his doubters wrong. Kanye West’s Monster may have been one of the best songs of 2010 (also featured on Danielle’s 2010 mixtape), but Jay-Z’s verse was unintentionally hilarious. On a recent guest verse on a Drake song, he boastfully compares himself to Windows 7 (yes, as in the computer software), which is quite a surprise considering how often he raps about his former career as a drug dealer and surviving a broken home. He has two albums coming out this year (one solo, one with Kanye West) in which to rescue his reputation and, well, this has just been an excuse so that I could post a song I can’t get out of my head at the moment, which happens to be about hypothetically ending a relationship with Jay-Z: