The songs that will get you through:
Updated: Mar 25, 2020
So, you're stuck in self isolation and you don't know what to do. Everyone is praising it as a 'new opportunity' to learn a new skill, or pick up a new hobby. Well, reader, the truth is, you're adjusting to a new reality, you're scared and confused, and the last thing you want to do is have another guilt fuelled relationship with the duo lingo owl. Instead, take comfort (and hopefully interest) in my songs (and albums) to get you through this strange and uncertain time. All of these artists have one thing in common - I wish I could listen to their albums for the first time again, just to experience that feeling you can only achieve by stumbling on a masterpiece: complete and utter, unapologetic joy.
First up, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill - whether it's the classic beat of 'Doo Wop (that thing) that earned Hill her Grammy in 1998, becoming the first hip-hop record to receive a huge 11 nominations, or the soulful tone of 'Nothing Even Matters' - there's absolutely no denying that her creation must be classed within the top ten albums of my childhood.
Secondly, Julia Jacklin's 'Don't Let The Kids Win' - to me, her voice is completely unparalleled; from her classic 'pool party', to the heartbreaking love letter that is 'LA Dream', Jacklin could silence a room with one note, her talent up there with greats such as Amy Winehouse or Joni Mitchell . Although still an upcoming artist, those that love her, adore her, and those that don't know her, you're in for a treat. Have a listen to her playlist 'Bread Alone' on spotify, and try not to fall too in love with her.
Next, 'Build me up buttercup' by The Foundations - This isn't an album, but it was my first favourite song, and with it comes lots of fond memories of walking home with my sisters from school, annoying them because I could only remember the chorus. It was also my first ringtone, although that quickly got changed to Kylie Minogue's 'Can't get you out of my head' (she will not be appearing on the list, thank God). To be frank, it's upbeat, it's happy, and it's great to cook breakfast to.
My next choice isn't an album, or a song, just the band itself. If you're stuck in your house with nothing to do, just binge anything by The Jam. My first memory of them is being in the backseat of my Mam's car in winter, and my Dad had bought the CD of their best hits. We drove on, with him suddenly jumping to turn the volume down so that little eight year old me didn't hear Paul Weller say 'fuck'. So, if you want to listen to the more upbeat songs, try 'move on up' or 'Boy about Town', but if you want some songs to tap your toes to, give 'When You're Young' or 'Down in the Tube Station at Midnight' a listen. Basically, do yourself a favour and listen, pronto.
Lastly, Kanye West's 'Graduation' - now, this isn't an album I thought I'd add to this list, but looking at it, I discovered it during a pretty weird time in my life, so maybe it's worth being confused all over again. I wouldn't give it the same level of admiration as the others, because it isn't like the others. The actual production, the music itself, is something to be admired here. It massively reflects the style of manipulating that earned Kanye his status today. Whether you think it's genius or not, you'll appreciate the talent that absolutely tore through this album. More on Kanye later, for now it seems a natural way to end.
To clarify - these are absolutely not my favourite albums of all time (sorry Kanye), but they're the albums that would be saved on my spotify in case of an emergency, to get me through whatever it is I needed. Take a listen to this week’s playlist..
This was brief, but thanks for taking the time to read
See you soon,