September is all about reflection, change, and new beginnings. I always feel a bit uneasy in September because it usually spells big changes, which can be exciting but also a bit painful and daunting too. There has certainly been a lot of changes recently at K_N, and one of these is taking the time to write more. I love to write, and I don’t spend enough of my time doing it.
This is the first of a monthly series of blog posts. Every month i’m going to share a new 10 track playlist, picking out the songs i’ve been enjoying the most this month (new or old). I have a bad habit of listening to the same stuff over and over, so I look forward to Apple Music’s ‘for you’ playlist which is updated every Tuesday. They usually contain a few crackers that I love but haven’t listened to in a while, some ‘how did they know?’ tracks that I’ve been into recently but haven’t streamed (they’re reading our thoughts!), mixed in with a whole bunch of weird stuff the bot chucks in for good measure. It usually leads to me rediscovering an old album that I love, which I then obsess over for a few days.
This month I was inspired by the new Muse single ‘Pressure’ (Track 1) which instantly made me want to dance around like an idiot. The riff has been rolling around in my head since I heard it yesterday. I’ve also been enjoying the new single ‘Forever & Ever More’ (Track 2) from Nothing But Thieves, a band which I can’t say i’ve ever listened to until it came on the radio last month, but I instantly took a liking to its ‘Josh Homme’ esque guitar sounds.
In other music related news, I recently saw Biffy Clyro play an all acoustic gig at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh on their MTV Unplugged tour. The gig was incredible, and amazing to see a different side to one of my favourite bands. This was the 8th time i’d seen them live, and it was a truly unique experience. ‘Biblical’ (Track 8) was a highlight from the night. I also took home an awesome screen print from the gig which I’m going to hang in the studio illustrated by Matt Glasby.
My favourite album produced by MTV is the ‘Collision Course’ EP where Jay-Z & Linkin Park mash up their most famous songs. I still listen to it on a regular basis, and think the songs work so well together. The lyrics are very contradictory with the confidence and ego of Jay-Z paired against the anxious and self loathing Linking Park. Especially on ‘Big Pimpin’ / Papercut’ (Track 5) - Love it.
In the lead up to Biffy’s MTV unplugged, I ended up scouring the internet for any and every acoustic Biffy song I could find. I stumbled upon an obscure Simon Neil appearance on a radio show in the Netherlands where he covers one of my favourite Queens of the Stone Age songs ‘I sat by the Ocean’ (Track 9). You can only find it on youtube but it’s an absolute gem. I’ve added the original QOTSA Track to the playlist but you should definitely check out Simon’s cover!
Probably the most random track on this months playlist is ‘Another Day of Sun’ (Track 3) from the ‘La La Land’ soundtrack. Recently on my travels to Cologne I re-watched the movie ‘Crazy, Stupid, Love’ on the plane (another weird habit of mine). The chemistry between Steve Carell, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling is something really special, and I always enjoy when a combination of the three are together on screen. This quickly escalated to re-watching ‘the Big Short’ followed by ‘La La Land’ (culminating in the abyss of a full blown soundtrack binge!).This opening song in particular makes me so damn happy that I could float away into the clouds! It features the most gleeful, vomit inducing piano riff!
‘Ain’t it fun’ (Track 4) by Paramore opens with an equally gleeful xylophone solo, an instrument my Mum famously attempted to teach me when I was little. At the time I wasn’t particularly impressed by this, insisting that it wasn’t a ‘real instrument’ and demanding that I learn a ‘valuable’ musical skill which resulted in me learning the drums. I do love the drums, but I wish I had taken her more seriously and learned the xylophone too, it sounds super fun!
Foster the People reminds me of when I worked for a shop-fitting company straight out of University. I used to listen to them while driving to and from the office over the Forth Road Bridge. It was my favourite part of the day swooning over the famous Railway Bridge when I should have been watching the road. ‘Helena Beat’ (Track 6) is one of my favourites and sounds like something out of a SNES game.
‘Long Gone’ (Track 7) by my favourite artist Jamie Lenman recently hit NO:1 in the Vinyl charts which is the most obscure yet brilliant accolade for 2018! Its about letting go of the past and looking to the future. On point for this time of year.
The last song ‘Say Hellow to Heaven’ (Track 10) popped up on my ‘for you’ playlist last week and is a brilliant tribute song written by Chris Cornell back in the early days of grunge. I’m a huge Audioslave fan and a guy I worked with a few years ago recommended that I get the Temple of the Dog album, stating that it was the “greatest work Cornell ever produced”. It did not disappoint.
Enjoy em, hate em, laugh at them, whatever you do check back next month for another 10 studio favourites.