K_N Studio Playlist 04
Happy New Year!
Last month was all about relaxation, reflection, and rest. I had a lovely 2 week break from the studio over the festive period, the first time I’ve managed to do this since starting up. Previous years have seen me frantically finishing technical drawings in the gap between Christmas and New Year, mainly due to the industry rush to finish product samples before Chinese New Year when factories close for a full month. This wasn’t an issue this year, and my wider team put tools down over the festive period, which meant I could too.
I had a very relaxed break, spending the majority of my time in full hibernation mode. It was a great opportunity to take stock of the jam packed year that has just flown by, appreciating all the amazing projects I’ve been a part of, and having gratitude for this great life that my Wife and I have the privilege of sharing. We got to recharge our batteries, take care of some overdue life admin, and map out a plan for the next year and beyond. We both work hard through the year, late nights and weekends a plenty, so it’s especially important to take breaks and get some quality time together. We spent a few days in the hillfoots visiting family, and brought in the new year with good friends in Perth.
In the spirit of this slower pace, we begin this month with a very calm and pretty song which comes from the closing scene of my favourite movie ‘Crazy, Stupid Love’. ‘Blood’ (Track 1) by now defunct Australian band ‘The Middle East’ is a tranquil track which floats along effortlessly. The na na nah’s will most certailny get stuck in your head! This song eases us comfortably back into the new year, with a twinkly softness.
Continuing this theme, we delve into ‘Misguided Ghosts’ (Track 2) by Paramore. Completely stripped back, Hayley Williams almost whispers the lyrics in a gentle voice. In the final working weeks of December I discovered a few acoustic versions of my favourite Paramore songs. I ended up pretty obsessed with these, which then led me back to the select few acoustic songs in their discography, including this little gem.
I seemed to be in a bit of an acoustic haze during December. Earlier in the year my favourite artist Jamie Lenman played a free acoustic show at St. Pancras church in London (which I unfortunately missed due to a work commitment). Luckily for me (and now you) it was recorded and released, and I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the unplugged versions of some of my favourite songs. Included amongst them is ‘Nobody Loves You’ which was the first dance at our wedding. Despite the brilliance of this version, I haven’t added it to the playlist as it makes me pretty emotional! Instead, I’ve included ‘Body Popping’ (Track 3) an upbeat song which perfectly captures his typical humour and energy on stage (over the years, I’ve seen him live too many times to count).
Another album I’ve been obsessing over is Frank Turner’s latest ‘Be More Kind’. This has been on repeat in our house and car for the past month and I adore every track. ‘21st Century Survival Blues’ is a strong favourite and encapsulates the overall theme of the album. It covers the unpredictability and uncertain times that we live in with a positive wink and a smile. Things will be OK if we stick together!
Onwards to a song which Frank has been know to cover is ‘Build me up buttercup’ (track 5). This classic by ‘the Foundations’ is a truly happy song with so many delightful elements, from the occasional bongo tap, to the spring-in-your-step piano riff, it has so much to offer the ear. I defy anyone who can resist smiling and dancing when this comes on! Like a lot of my favourite songs, I first discovered it on a movie soundtrack, in this case the end credits of the ridiculous ‘There’s something about mary’.
Next up ‘Summerboy’ (track 6) manages to sneak its way in, and before I know it, i’m bobbing my head on a beach somewhere, winter fading into distant memory. This is my favourite Lady Gaga song which frequently pops up on my weekly favourites list. (Turns out I’d just fallen asleep on the couch with the heating on).
I’m abruptly woken by sirens from ‘London Bridge’ (Track 7) a swear-y anthem by ‘Fergie’ from the Black Eyes Peas. This is just an awesome song with a really weird ‘English’ chatter at the end! (Also, look up the radio edit version for the hilarious “oh snap” chorus!). Now that we’re officially awake, we’re back in the swing of things with more sirens and a bouncing debut E.P. from the self titled ‘Prophets of Rage’ (track 8). The fact that the original RATM trio are still palying together is more than enough to get my attention.
Straight into more heavy guitar, we have ‘Hash Pipe’ (track 9) by Weezer. This song is sooo good, and reminds me of my teen years watching music videos in my old bedroom. It’s short, simple and extremely catchy, bringing the pace back up to our usual workflow.
One of the few times we ventured out of the house during the break was to catch ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ at the cinema. It’s an epic biopic of one of the greatest bands of all time, Queen. I found it fascinating and sad, and Freddie Mercury will remain in history as one of the greatest musicians, story tellers and entertainers to ever grace this earth. We end this month with the epic ‘Another One Bites the Dust’ (track 10) which opens with the iconic bass line. This one is guaranteed to get you dancing into the New Year.
Enjoy em, hate em, laugh at them, whatever you do check back next month for another 10 studio favourites.