I love music. I listen to it as I wake up for my alarm and I listen to it as I drift off to sleep at night. However, I do recommend something nice and soft for a morning alarm as the first test I did was Metallica’s Master of Puppets and that was the closest I have come to having a heart attack. Rest assured, I now have the soothing voice of Carole King to wake me from my slumber these days. I learnt my lesson the hard way.
I am also very open to all music. Apart from the Pet Shop Boys. I just can’t. Don’t ask why.
I originally intended to write about my all-time favourite albums and artists but after about five minutes I realised that this was an impossible task. So instead, I thought it would be an easier task to talk about my favourite albums from the past two years (ish). So buckle up! Here we go:
1. The Murder Capital - When I Have Fears
I am obsessed with this band. Do not be put off by their name friends, because their sound is majestic. For the first time in years, I counted down the days to the album's arrival in August 2019. And boy it didn’t disappoint. This album has everything you could ever want. Feel like having a little cry? Well, listen to ‘How The Streets Adore Me Now’. You want to dance around your room shouting a very catchy chorus then go with ‘For Everything’. I hear you want to sing along to an anthem about the transitory nature of life? Then ‘Don’t Cling To Life’ is your pal. Also, if you get a chance to see them live after all this ends (and it will) then do. I’ve seen them three times and I hope to see them again. Their live performance is just as breathtaking as their debut album. I literally could go on and on about how much I adore this album, but I shall carry on.
2. Fontaines D.C - Dogrel
Again. I have a huge soft spot for this band. And another Irish contender. The Irish music scene is rather fantastic at the moment. I love how each song is a poem in itself. The lyrics are both catchy and meaningful which is a rarity these days. I also have fond memories of seeing this band live. The first time I saw them was at a dot to dot festival in Bristol a few years back. It was in Rough Trade and by the time we had made it over to the venue the place was rammed. So we tried to tiptoe from the back to get a glimpse (because NO ONE likes the people who arrive late and shove their way to the front… Don’t be one of those people!) After the second song, the fire alarm went off. Gutted. But my pals and I walked very slowly back towards the exit. We sniffed the air for smoke and realised there was no fire! So we pegged it back to the front of the room and the band started to play again! Such a great gig! I saw them again last year, this time in the Thekla in Bristol. Who wouldn’t want a gig on a boat?! However this time, I left with an injury. After a few songs, I couldn’t help but join the mosh pit but there was a rather tall bloke flailing his arms around and his elbow smashed into my cheekbone. Now, this is an area that shouldn’t be hit very hard. Even the people behind me echoed with a sympathetic ‘oooooh, that must have hurt’. But the show must go on and I carried on moshing.
3. The Manic Street Preachers - Resistance Is Futile
I am embarrassed to admit that it took me years to fully appreciate this band. As a Welsh gal, I had heard ‘Design For Life’ my whole life and left it at that. But thanks to my older brother, I went through their back catalogue and I have been hooked ever since. This album came out in 2018, and I played it over and over. My favourite songs to listen to are the demo tracks that come after. I love how raw they sound and I love how the harmonies are stronger. The tracks I keep going back to are the warped love story of ‘Dylan & Caitlin’ and the beautiful ‘Distant Colours’. I also can’t forget my style icon and favourite person, the wonderful Nicky Wire and his unmistakable voice on the track ‘The Left Behind’. I was able to see them live in Cardiff Castle last summer and as the sun went down to them playing the entire album ‘This is my truth tell me yours’ all I could think was:
LIFE IS GOOD.
Again, there was a bit of a kerfuffle with a very drunk girl taking a swing at one of our group, but that's a story for another day.
4. JoJo Rabbit Soundtrack
Oh, man. This. Film. Is. Wonderful. Of course, being set in wartime Germany, the subject matter is horrific, but the spirit of the film is just infectious. I don’t want to outline the entire film or even briefly describe it. How does one gloss over the fact that the main character’s imaginary best friend is Hitler? But Taika Waititi directed and starred in it so what more do I need to say? Anyway, the soundtrack is impeccable. From German versions of Beatles songs to Ella Fitzgerald to original scores, it’s just great. There’s even the German version of David Bowie’s ‘Heroes’ or ‘Helden’ which just made my heart sing. You should go and watch the film NOW and then listen to the soundtrack straight after.
5. David Bowie - Glastonbury 2000
I couldn’t make a list of my favourite albums and not include Bowie could I?
Although recorded in 2000, the official album wasn’t released until 2018. I got this album for Christmas that year and listened to it religiously. David walks onto the stage to a jazzy rendition of Greensleeves and waltzes his way through all the classics. From ‘Changes’ to ‘China Girl’, ‘Life on Mars’ to my personal favourite, ‘Station to Station’. He really aimed to please all fans old and new. I still haven’t come to terms that he is no longer here, so I shall continue to distract myself with his musical genius again and again.
And that is it. A very detailed list of my favourite albums from recent years. Give me a few decades and I might be able to collate a list of my all-time faves. But for now, this will have to do.
I hope this post was a nice distraction from the bizarre world we currently find ourselves in. Everyone needs a bit of distraction from time to time!
Stay safe. And listen to music ALWAYS.