Well I’m a few hours deep into a second week of half term (I know, a second week, we’re just being plain greedy!) and I’m spending the next few days eating ice cream, having picnics and putting off writing reports. And also figuring out what the heck to wear in this heat!? It’s Monday which means Good Music Monday, a feature where I’ll be sharing with you some things I’ve loved listening to over the last few weeks.
I begin with a playlist for you. A playlist that over the last few weeks has soundtracked kitchen dance sessions, meals with friends and car and train journeys. If you’re expecting a well thought out, seamlessly linked playlist then you’ll be disappointed – this one is a mixed bag of beautiful melodies, soaring vocals and the odd stomping pop tune but I hope you find something you like amidst it all. I’ll leave you with the link below (and the track listing for all you non Apple Music-ers, other streaming services are available…) with some track comments that you don’t really need but are gonna get anyway. My vision is that you will read each useless comment and then listen to the track but I get it, life isn’t always as organised as this.
So here you are, I hope this Good Music Monday adds to your Monday joy or soothes your Monday blues. Happy listening!
Listen to Good Music Monday #1 by on Apple Music.
AURORA – Running With The Wolves – If you’ve never seen Aurora dancing to her track Conqueror on Jimmy Fallon, you need to view this immediately (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwNoXFgg8lo). Her dancing is out of this world, she’s a real don’t-give-a-shit hero and this is my favourite track from her new album.
JAMES BLAKE – I Need A Forest Fire (featuring Bon Iver) – It is a surprise to me that this collaboration hasn’t happened already but regardless of how long it took to get here, it’s a match made in eerily beautiful heaven.
THE STAVES – Outlaw – It is seemingly impossible for these ladies to release anything that is less than utterly amazing.
JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE – Can’t Stop The Feeling – This song, this man. *heart eyes emoji* Quite simply pop gold.
FOY VANCE – Fire It Up – My favourite track from Foy’s third album released early this month. Stay tuned for the incredible Irish bagpipes at the end, magical.
SEINABO SEY – Still – I heard this on the last episode of New Girl (no spoilers, I promise) and it was so beautiful it stopped me in my tracks. Love the words, love her voice and when you see the scene it’s in you’ll love it all the more.
HOLYCHILD – Rotten Teeth (featuring Kate Nash) – I found this on a whim after someone retweeted something Kate Nash had said and this song grabbed me straight away. This may have featured highly in the aforementioned dancing in the kitchen moment…
BRAND NEW – I Am A Nightmare – In my previous life as a full on emo whose love of Brand New has taken her to many locations around the country in search of that incredible moment when Jesse looks intensely sad whilst performing Jesus Christ, I am in awe of this new song. If you are or ever were a Brand New fan, this is highly reminiscent of the Deja Entendu days.
CLARE MAGUIRE – Elizabeth Taylor – There’s a wonderful spirit of Kate Bush in this Clare Maguire track and her voices haunts me in the best way.
MATTHEW AND THE ATLAS – Elijah – I always feel like Matthew and the Atlas tell a story so beautifully and this song feels like the soundtrack to a coming of age moment.
AMY MILNER – Have It All – This song has a banging chorus perfect for belting out at the top of your lungs. It’s a bit like Laura Marling meets Bon Iver. If you can imagine that, you’ll like this one. I love Amy’s voice, definitely sounds older than her years.
THE STRUMBRELLAS – Spirits – This song is feel good, pure and simple. Singing along in the car to this has been a favourite thing to do this week.
MAX JURY – Numb – Another track that sounds like James Blake has collided with someone in the musical ether, this time Ryan Adams. I adore this song, Max’s album is fantastic and this song has a driving-through-American-deserts kind of vibe. The collective voices in the chorus and at the end build up to something really special.
NOAH GUNDERSON – Slow Dancer – Again, hauntingly beautiful vocals and a gorgeous melody that is pure chill. (Sensing a theme here with all these haunting adjectives.)
MUMFORD & SONS, BAABA MAAL, THE VERY BEST & BEATENBERG – Wona – This EP collaboration has been born out of a South African tour and it’s a real mix of styles, so catchy and reminiscent of Paul Simon – Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes which in my opinion can only be a good thing.
FRANCES – Don’t Worry About Me – I always cried at that Amazon ad with the Frances song in the background. It’s about a kid making friends okay! Don’t judge me. I love her voice, it’s so ethereal and for want of a better word, cute. This song is absolutely lovely and reminded me of some lovely friends.
ONEREPUBLIC – Wherever I Go – Ryan Tedder is responsible for some of the biggest hits of the last few years and man does that guy know his way around a pop hit. This doesn’t disappoint.
MEGHAN TRAINOR – No – This tune is, yes. This beat is, yes. This girl is, yes. It’s just a shame the song is basically about being harassed by a man who won’t leave her alone?!
THE OH HELLOS – Bitter Water – Give me a banjo and a strong chorus any day, I’m a sucker for it. I love The Oh Hellos and their Americana folk. Maggie’s voice is incredibly beautiful and they always sing about such uplifting things, it’s positively poetic.
NEEDTOBREATHE – Money & Fame – This song is a new offering from NEEDTOBREATHE’s forthcoming album, H A R D L O V E which I’m so excited to hear judging from this anthemic beginning.
RY X – Only – I loved Australian Ry’s previous EP Berlin and his voice is so beautiful. Someone else who reminds me of James Blake… sensing a theme to this playlist! If you like Bon Iver and James Vincent McMorrow, this guy is for you.
OH WONDER – Without You (BBC Session) – Josephine and Ant have been a part of various musical projects over the years which I’ve followed closely but without a doubt, Oh Wonder is the amalgomation of all their hard work. Their voices complement each other so well and I love this live version of Without You from their debut album.
BILLIE MARTEN – Milk & Honey – You will no doubt have heard Billie’s track Bird in various places and her gorgeous tones continue in this new single.
RADIOHEAD – Burn The Witch – What can you say about Radiohead? They deliver again and again. The video for this is incredible too, think an episode of In The Night Garden with political themes. No, really.
JOSEPH – White Flag – I’m a sucker for great harmonies especially if they’re combined with a great folk song which this definitely is. Joseph are 3 sisters from Portland, Oregon which immediately tells me that someone is going to be eccentric or amazing or a mix of both (too much Portlandia?). This track is great and I’m looking forward to hearing more from them on their forthcoming album I’m Alone, No You’re Not which is released in August.
JACK GARRATT – Surprise Yourself – And finally I leave you with one of the best live acts I’ve seen in years, Jack Garratt. I saw him support Mumford earlier in the year and was absolutely dumbfounded. This is the new single and is another mix of great beats and Jack’s unrivalled voice.
So readers, thanks for those of you who made it thus far through my musical ramblings. Enjoy your Good Music Monday and let me know in the comments if you’ve listened and enjoyed particular tracks!
Yours in good things,