K_N Studio Playlist 05
At the start of January I returned to the studio feeling refreshed and inspired. I’ve been riding that wave all through the month, and intend to keep the momentum flowing. There’s a lot to be said for R&R, allowing time to think and reflect is invaluable. Something has clicked for me recently, and I feel full of energy and gratitude, more than ever before in my life. My new years resolution is to make 2019 the year of action! I’m fully embracing my gut feelings and letting inspiration and ideas lead me.
I’ve made several breakthroughs so far, forming habits which I’ve struggled to adopt for years. The main changes I’ve integrated are getting up early, practicing meditation, keeping our flat tidy (specifically the kitchen!), reading regularly, and generally feeling consistently energetic. Some of these things might seem mundane or easy, but personally they are huge leaps of progress. I’ve struggled with getting up in the mornings for YEARS, and now I spring out of bed when the alarm goes off, and dance with my wife in our kitchen over breakfast. I don’t know where this new energy is coming from, but I intend to cultivate it!
Diving in, we start this month with a pop-punk anthem ‘Drug’ (track 1) by Simple Creatures, featuring Mark Hoppus (Blink 182) & Alex Gaskarth (All Time Low). This track is super catchy and reminiscent of my high school years, mainly consisting of a long fringe and terrible dress sense! (I wore A LOT of ill-fitting black t-shirts).
We take the intensity up a notch with the punch to the face that is ‘Hate to say I told you so’ (track 2) by Swedish rockers The Hives. This song is sure to get you riled up, and ready to take on the world. Before we can catch a breath, the slap bass from ‘Higher Ground’ kicks in, and we’re bouncing around and kicking the air like an 80’s movie montage. Speaking of movies, the first time I heard this classic Stevie Wonder cover (track 3) by the Red Hot Chili Peppers was in the opening scene of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
It begins with a casual group sky dive, where the rangers jump out of a plane, doing flips and twists (some of them on snowboards, obviously) as they gracefully make their way down to a cheering crowd. Pretty standard stuff. I had this movie on VHS growing up, and I wore the tape out. It has so many amazing characters, and I love the old school prosthetic make-up, although looking back, the sound effects are a bit cringe! (whooph / whooph).
I seem to be re-living my teenage angst this month, following on with ‘Surprise Surprise’ (Track 4) by Canadian emo band Billy Talent. This song comments on todays culture, our personal brands, curated social media profiles, and online dating apps. Not to mention the individualised adverts which follow us around. The lyrics are cynical, critical, and pretty on point.
The drum and bass intro to ‘Karen’ (track 5) may fool you into thinking we’ve shaken off the emerging alt-rock theme, but you are sorely mistaken. Recorded by (now defunct) underground band Reuben, this is an obscure cover of Vex Red who were another lesser-know act from the same scene.
Speaking of shaking things off, we do finally change genre with the banging ‘…Ready for it?’ by Taylor Swift (track 6). One of my favourite female artists (poppy stuff, country albums not so much), I ofter find myself dancing to her music in the kitchen (we should really get a disco ball installed).
Finally we take a breather with the very chilled ‘Redbone’ (trach 7) by Childish Gambino. This song is ultra mellow and floats along like a fluffy cloud in a blue sky. Quickly back to rock, we ‘roll’ (I’m so sorry) into ‘Gold on the ceiling’ (track 8) by the Black Keys. This song is also pretty laid back, with the most satisfying distorted-organ sound.
Next up is a whiny guitar laden track by Them Crooked Vultures. Made up of Josh Homme (QOTSA), Dave Grohl (bloody everything!) and John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin), ‘No one loves me, and neither do I’ (Track 9) is a mesmerising, un-apologetic thrash fest which is not for the faint hearted. This song features one of my favourite lyrics… ‘I know how to burn with passion, hold nothing back for future ration, give all you are do not make haste, savour every single taste you get’… WOW. This is basically my new mantra!
This February marks the 6 year anniversary of my favourite Biffy Clyro album - Opposites. This album is quite frankly f***ing incredible! From start to finish, it takes you on a journey of struggle, heart ache, immense challenge, personal and collective growth, and relentless optimism. This is Biffy’s best work, a true masterpiece with absolutely no filler tracks (unlike many double albums). Each song is steeped with meaning, purpose, and musical mastery. The production is like no other.
We finish with the closing track from that album ‘Picture a knife fight’ (track 10) featuring an epic church organ. This song is a re-birth, emerging from the ashes like a phoenix, bigger, better, and stronger than ever.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this month. I appreciate the support and interest in these little blog entries. Writing them, and curating the songs has become something I really cherish and enjoy, and it means a great deal that you are here now, indulging me.
Enjoy em, hate em, laugh at them, whatever you do check back next month for another 10 studio favourites.
P.S. Did you know K_N has opened a print shop? Each month we design and manufacture a limited edition print which is added to our shop. Our first print “Less, but better” is inspired by and features the wise words of Industrial Designer Dieter Rams. Go check it out!