Under my bed, amongst the make up, tax returns, video tapes and wires that I’m certain have a function- lie stacks of NME Magazines. Most are in boxes, with a handful spilling over and gathering dust. It’s been a while since I’ve fingered through them, and although I’m not sure when I’ll next be dipping in to see who won the NME Awards in 2008, or to hear about Simon and Lovefoxx’s nu-rave-relationship (ah, hazy days)- I simply can’t bare to part with them. After doing several weeks of work experience at the magazine- with editors Conor McNicholas and Krissi Murrison- the publication holds a special place in my heart. One piece in particular I used to love was their Soundtrack of my life feature- where artists would talk about their most treasured and sentimental listens, and the records that they feel shaped them in some way- beautiful, huh?
I hadn’t thought about it for a while, and after reading my friend Lauren’s post felt inspired to give it a go myself. Perhaps it’s a little self-centered, but I definitely took a deep satisfaction in taking a slow jaunt down memory lane- albeit by way of Spotify (which definitely acts as a handy reminder when playlists from 2010 are involved). So, without further ado, the soundtrack of my life (so far)…
My First Album: Steps – Step One
This one is a little fuzzy for me, but one thing I do remember was my unadulterated love for buying singles in Woolworths and albums in Virgin Megastores. I loved seeing the charts and following along (whilst taping it from Capital FM)- and two of my earliest purchases go to Blue and Atomic Kitten (the later line up, in case you were wondering). One album that I do remember listening to most from the onset was definitely Steps Step One, and I’m pretty sure their later hit Stomp still remains one of my most played tracks over the years… Cool, I know.
Long Term Relationship Album: Sufjan Stevens – Illinois
There are so many albums that I listen to again and again, but one album that sums up my literal long term relationship (avec Joe) would probably be Sufjan Stevens’s Illinois. When Joe and I were doing long distance a few years ago, with Joe in Nottingham, I remember him willing me to listen to this on my train home, so it became the sleepy soundtrack to many London Midland services.
Song That Makes Me Happy: Ride A White Swan – T.Rex
Choosing a song that makes me happy is a bit like trying to pick a favourite child (or pet, or TV show). One song that I kept hearing on a Friday on a heart radio playlist recently (cough, nana, cough) is KC and the Sunshine Band- which is now very much my Friday song. One favourite though is definitely Ride a White Swan by T.Rex as it reminds me of car journeys to Hastings with my dad and Joe (and makes me feel like I can take on anything). I also love Funny Little Frog by Belle and Sebastian and O-o-h Child by The Five Stairsteps. My friend Sarah made me an amazing crème de la crème playlist when I was feeling down recently and it’s got some amazing tunes on it.
Song/Album That Makes Me Want To Dance: Dirty Dancing/Graceland
It doesn’t take a lot to make me want to cut some shapes (which I’m sure anyone could vouch for) but you can guarantee I’ll put out my best Swayze if you pop on the Dirty Dancing soundtrack with Hungry Eyes for preference. I’m also partial to a bit of Graceland by Paul Simon too- if I’m pushing the boat out.
First Gig: Steps, Steptacular
This was never going to be my coolest answer, but it was possibly steps at Wembley- deely boppers and all. I also saw Busted play Hammsersmith Apollo (pre-arena days folks) and my first festival was Electric Gardens in Faversham when I was obsessed with Patrick Wolf and Late of the Pier in 2007. I also adored going to Underage Festival in Victoria Park, which was probably one of the first times I felt like a ~proper grown up~ going to a festival on my own and it acted as such an amaing inclusive space for music and cool acts too.
Song I Wish I’d Written: A.K.A The Toughie
Although I’d love to say something by Regina Spector (maybe Samson)- I’m pretty obsessed with every Last Shadow Puppets song (total copy from Lauren, but she’s bloody right here). The Age Of The Understatement has this incredible cinematic feel and just manages to tell the most beautiful stories- and never ever gets old. Loser Liv actually quoted one of their lyrics in one of her final a level exam essays- and got an A. Thanks Turner and Kane. I also adore Neighbourhood #1 Tunnels by Arcade Fire, and the line ‘And if my parents are crying,
then I’ll dig a tunnel from my window to yours’- which is one of the most beautiful lyrics and reminds me of a pretty significant part of my life too.
Song That Reminds Me Of Being A Teen: Sorry You’re Not A Winner
Oh my god THIS QUESTION. I had about 15 different musical phases when I was a teen- going from punk pop, emo, screamo and metal to nu rave and indie. One of the most stand out songs is probably something like Sorry You’re Not A Winner by Enter Shikari (or anything from Panic! At The Disco’s first album). I used to go to loads of local underage gigs and they’d constantly play this and Violent Pornography by System of a Down and I just remember it feeling like the biggest anthem ever. I also went on to become slightly embarssingly obsessed with MGMT, and still stand by their second album being one of the most underrated of all time. Big words, but give it a listen.
Sweatiest Gig: Hellogoobye/NME Awards
I remember going to a Hellogoodbye gig years ago with my best friend Gemma (and my dad, naturally) and it being So. Damn. Hot. Maybe it was just 2007 as a year in general (sweaty weather, music, gigs)- but going to the NME Awards tours were always super sweaty if you wanted to get involved (read: stand)- especially being in venues like the Astroria (R.I.P) where you could barely swing a cat.
Karaoke Song: Here Comes Your Man (and, ahem, Superbass)
Because I think I’m Tom Hansen from 500 Days of Summer I love a good ol’ Pixies rendition of Here Comes Your Man (or Talking Heads)- but have a secret talent (if that’s what you’d call it) or being able to whip out a Nicki Minhaj song or two. Last week I pulled out Super Bass to an unsuspecting audience and I think I surprised a few people (LOL).
Best Gig: Arcade Fire, Reading, 2010
One of my most standout gigs is probably seeing Arcade Fire in 2010 at Reading when The Subrubs was released (there’s the link so you can experience it too). It was the last act of the evening and just after a set by The Libertines (also amazing), so lots of people left meaning we could wiggle nearer centre stage. Being amongst such an enthusiastic and excited crowd who knew every word is unbeatable and that whole album is truly magical to me- so seeing it live with the amazing visuals and atmosphere was incredible. Also seeing Wake Up/Rebellion live is always an experience, and I may have shed a tear or two (or three, or four).
Songs That Remind Me Of Home: David Bowie, Kooks
I’ve always grown up in a pretty musical household. My mum is bit of an eighties loving babe (give her Simon Le Bon any day of the week) and my dad was definitely the first person to play me Bob Dylan and Bowie (even when I’d have rather been listening to Busted). I always remember hearing Bowie’s Kooks and my dad always said it was like him and my mum when I was at school- ’cause we believe in you, soon you’ll grow, so take a chance with a couple of kooks’. My dad also used to have a Tony Ferrino tape (a niche reference if anyone ever saw one) in his car which we’d have on the way to school every now and again. That definitely got my Coogan love started at a young age…
Least Favourite Song: Mad World
There aren’t many songs I don’t like, but there’s something about Mad World which I just don’t get. It just feels really bleak…
Ultimate Desert Island Disc: HELP
Although one of my favourite ever bands are Artic Monkeys and my favourite album is Suck It And See, I’d probably want something with a little more variety if I was stuck on a desert island (plus I probably wouldn’t want to ruin it for myself down to serious overplaying). Perhaps Rumours? Hmm. Or even a good film soundtrack- I’m a compilation girl through and through so perhaps a Now! Album so I wasn’t too limited. THIS IS SO HARD.
I’ll get back to you on that.
I’d also love to hear any of your favourite ever records and the songs that have shaped you too, this was so much fun to put together so I’d love to know if you do it too!