While April has been a quieter month for live music, I still managed to see the magnificent PWR BTTM (new album out May 12th), Bruno Mars (with Anderson .Paak), and my mates lose their minds in a karaoke booth (again). Kendrick finally did an album (just the one, though), Paramore released a new song which has divided opinion (imo it is good but not as much of a hit as I would like it to be), the new Harry Styles song is Bad but yes I’m going to buy that album anyway, and Frank Ocean played a Trust Fund song on Blonded. April also marked a year without Prince, a year during which his back catalogue was added to Spotify almost definitely against his wishes for us all to enjoy with a side of guilt.
March: new Drake, new Kendrick (y’all got til April 7th to get your shit together, by the way), new Creeper (that I can only begin to imagine how much I would have loved aged 14). This month I saw The XX being extremely incredible, flew to Berlin to watch Depeche Mode play for one hour in the Funkhaus to launch their fourteenth studio album, saw Cold Cave for the first time, saw Slowdive in a really little venue, and had a very very nice time at the Creeper gig. On top of all that I got the Arctic Monkeys’ When the Sun Goes Down and Ed Sheeran’s Castle on the Hill stuck in my head for 48 hours and about a week respectively, and realised I hadn’t yet included Closer by The Chainsmokers, the greatest song of this decade, in one of my monthly playlists. I also took some time to listen to some great new bands, including Lo Moon (who I caught supporting The Lemon Twigs), The Big Moon (full length out April 7th) and Little Cub (sounds a bit like Death Cab).
February 2017 was a month which saw many a significant event in this former-but-not-really-former-at-all emo kid’s life. I saw AFI for the first time in New York, watched Adam Lazzara swing his mic (again), did a My Chemical Romance song at karaoke on a Monday night, went to a Drake concert on valentine’s day (this counts), spent more than one post-night-out belting out questionable pre-2010 pop punk in someone’s living room, and FROM FIRST TO LAST PLAYED A SHOW WITH SONNY MOORE. Also, every popular emo / pop-punk playlist on Spotify includes songs that were released after 2010 and is therefore extremely trash. Thus I present to you an extremely carefully curated playlist of bangers made overwhelmingly by mediocre white men who somehow managed to dominate the most defining era of my youth, that you waited eagerly for Kerrang and Scuzz to play when you got home from school instead of watching actual television, that are responsible for some of the most alarming haircuts since the popularisation of the mullet, and that you definitely still know all the words to so stop trying to pretend that you don’t.
January, as it often does, has lasted forever. I returned to London after an extended Christmas break, The XX, Wiley, Kehlani, Migos and Bonobo all put out new records which range from pretty good to excellent, JAMIROQUAI released a single, I found out about that video of Take That covering Smells Like Teen Spirit, I saw my new favourite live band Dream Wife who I am now in love with, Trump actually happened, I partook in some of the monumental womens’ march in London, went to a Madonna club night, watched at least 100 overdubbed vides of neo-nazi Richard Spencer getting decked to music (thread here), and today I am flying to New York City. This month’s playlist loosely reflects most of the above, enjoy!
It’s December, it’s New Year’s Eve, and everyone could use a bit of uplifting come January so I thought I’d make this monthly playlist a bit more party. These songs span decades and genres and are not necessarily all floor fillers, but are definitely all hits and all good for getting drunk in a living room with a few mates or to soundtrack getting ready for a night out, imo. And yeah alright I did put Mr Brightside on there.
Strictly speaking there are a number of songs from either mixtapes, EPs or single releases on this playlist, and it isn’t really a conclusive ‘albums of the year’ list at all, but I digress. I have selected one or two tracks from my some of (well, a lot of) my very favourite releases of the year, not including a few that I foolishly slept on until recent weeks and other peoples’ AOTY lists, and not including Lemonade because it isn’t on Spotify. I also put The 1975’s ‘Somebody Else’ on there because, although I don’t particularly care for the rest of that album, it categorically rips. December’s monthly playlist is still incoming at the end of the month, I’m planning something more ‘party’ less ‘sitting in bed crying’, but no promises.
Abra – Princess (EP)
Bleached – Welcome to the Worms
Blood Orange – Freetown Sound
Bon Iver – 22, A Million
Carly Rae Jepson – Emotion Side B (EP)
Chance the Rapper – Coloring Book (mixtape)
First Hate – The Mind of a Gemini (EP)
Frank Ocean – Blonde
Kanye West – The Life of Pablo
Leonard Cohen – You Want it Darker
Liss – First (EP)
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree
Porches – Pool
PWR BTTM – New Hampshire (single)
Rihanna – ANTI
Savages – Adore Life
Skepta – Konnichiwa
Solange – A Seat at the Table
Travis Scott – Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight
Whitney – Light Upon the Lake
Young Thug – Jeffery (mixtape)
Yumi Zouma – Yoncalla
The 1975 – I Like It When You Sleep…
Here’s this month’s playlist! I ~curated~ this one by adding songs that I have really enjoyed listening to over the course of the last 30 days as I went along. Looking reflectively at the songs I’ve chosen, they are for the most part are very chill, some are a bit sad, and many of them make my heart feel ‘some kind of way’ (looking at you especially, Leonard and Frank). I hope you enjoy, and if you’d like to listen to last month’s playlist you can do so here.
This is my very first monthly playlist post. You asked, and I have delivered. Or perhaps more accurately, in response to my feeble attempt to try to gather info about what you’d like to see more of on this website, a few of you said that you would like more music posts. So here we go.
October’s playlist is comprised new and new-ish music that I have been listening to a lot, have seen live recently, or am just particularly enjoying. This month is not themed in any way by genre, and includes everything from dream-pop to post-punk. As such, it doesn’t necessarily flow but is more like having lots of very good songs on shuffle.
I really hope that you enjoy this – please do let me know who you like, and if you’d like to hear more of these!
I have properly ‘done’ festival season this summer, and I’ve had an absolute blast. I’ve never been a massive festival person, weirdly, because I have always been a massive live music person. It is perhaps the immersiveness, the committing to a full weekend, the organisation and the camping that has put me off in the past, but I’ve gone all in and have had the opportunity to do some really fun festivals this time around.
My final festival of the year was Electric Picnic, which Rocket Dog kindly flew me over to Ireland for, and kitted me out with the white trainers pictured above (reserved for first day dry weather only) and the appropriately named waterproof ‘rainy’ boots in the other outfit here (very necessary by the second day).
Millie and I started our festival on Friday evening with Nas, The 1975 and Chemical Brothers and lots of beer and chips, followed by an night of getting extremely lost in the woods (drop a pin at your tent, kids).
The most pleasant surprise of the festival came in the form of Whitney, whose easygoing, heart swelling and just plain lovely songs were exactly what I needed to drag me out of the (figurative) bin on Saturday afternoon – I don’t think I have gone more than a day or so without listening to Light Upon The Lake since (actually though). After a dance at Mura Masa, we headed over to Noel Gallagher and I sang my northern heart out in the rain to Oasis banger after Oasis banger in what turned out to be one of the highlights of the whole weekend. The reason I wanted to go to EP in the first place was because LCD Soundsystem were headlining the Saturday – they absolutely did not disappoint and, let me assure you, I danced my lil socks off.
The Sunday of a festival can be a struggle, but Savages‘ set got me in the mood to power onwards. I don’t know if I want to be Jehnny Beth or marry her, but Savages are one of the most incredible things to watch live. Afterwards, we watched the extremely talented and frankly adorable Nao before (another festival highlight) New Order. For a band I thought I would maybe never get to see, I’ve now seen New Order three times and dancing along with all the dads (‘1987! What a year! Before you were born that’ said one to me during Bizarre Love Triangle) isn’t getting old. Lana Del Ray headlined the main stage on Sunday and, as much as I love Born To Die, I found her somewhat boring (although I’d love to try to watch her again in nice weather or at her own concert) and we decided to escape the rain and watch Skepta instead who was, obviously, class.
See you next year, festival season.
From Camden Market or Afflecks Palace bootlegs, to £40 allegedly ‘vintage’ looking Metallica shirts in any given high street store, to, you know, actual gigs, band t-shirts are everywhere. Throughout my life as a teen emo kid, to a grown up emo kid and frequent concert-goer, I have owned and worn my fair share of them. Looking back, many have been horrendously ugly (but I loved the band and obviously I had to buy something, to make sure everyone else knew that), so in my old age I have reigned myself in a bit and refined my taste, and will now only buy a shirt if I like it in an aesthetic capacity, as well as liking the band it represents. Thus, I am able to wear my band t-shirts as part of an outfit more #fblogger appropriate than black skinny jeans and Dr Martens.
This ‘look’ is an example of my idea of dressing up a band shirt. I wore my Sheer Mag shirt with some smart wide legged trousers (which you’ve also seen here), all white Converse and my standard biker jacket, and accessorised with very #fashion skinny scarf (tied at the back, for a nice change), Dior round sunnies and my Stella McCartney bag. I think that this all balances out quite well – the outfit dresses up the band t-shirt, and the band t-shirt dresses down the more formal trousers.
There’s something I really like about considering old (or new) band shirts as an actual sartorial option, rather than just a souvenir or hungover Sunday only outfit, and I hope you’re off to dig out your old merch after reading this. I’ve also put Sheer Mag video (for their absolute 10/10 hit ‘Fan the Flames’) above, in case you fancy a listen!
Photos by Joe Davenport