I have been listening to and discovering some fabulous music of late, so rather than post my usual Sunday song, I thought that I would make a playlist. For each artist, I have written a little description, and each song links to a YouTube video. I hope you find something here which you love!
Mumford & Sons
1. Believe – Mumford and Sons; the newest offering from London folk-rockers, this song contains – shock horror! – no banjos. The band are moving in an exciting new direction, and I can’t wait to hear what their forthcoming album sounds like.
2. Cope – Manchester Orchestra; an incredible post-rock band, who have released some stunning albums. Lead singer Andy Hull has one of my favourite voices in music.
3. Drown So I Can Watch – The Twilight Sad; moody and brilliant Scottish indie rockers. I absolutely adore lead singer James Graham’s vocals.
4. Black Eye View – Heartwork; rather coolly, I know this guy. His music is angsty, honest and, above all, beautifully constructed; a definite for fans of Bright Eyes/Conor Oberst, City and Colour and Noah Gundersen.
5. No Room in Frame – Death Cab for Cutie; one of the songs from Death Cab’s forthcoming ‘Kintsugi’ album, which I could not be more excited about if I tried. Just marvellous.
Death Cab for Cutie
6. Tickets for Teasing – Le Wrens; the younger brother and sister of the incredibly talented Noah Gundersen, Le Wrens write beautiful, clear folksy songs, which I could happily listen to all day.
7. Divorce and the American South – Aaron West and the Roaring Twenties; I probably wouldn’t have heard this if it hadn’t been for a recommendation from Heartwork himself (cheers, Dan). Aaron West is the frontman of band The Wonder Years, but I far prefer his solo stuff. Emotional acoustic songs with intelligent lyrics – what’s not to like?
8. Quiet Little Voices – We Were Promised Jetpacks; more Scottish indie. This song is incredibly catchy, and if you like it, you’re sure to love their other stuff. They also have one of my favourite band names, ever.
9. Lordy May – Boy & Bear; an absolutely lovely song by an Australian band. There are hints of early Mumford & Sons here, but the boys manage to make a song which is original and keeps you coming back for more.
City and Colour
10. Pompeii – Bastille; an old one, but a good one. I don’t dance as a rule, but this makes me want to throw caution to the wind and start bopping.
11. Girl of Mine – Jesse Gabriel; half of fabulous New York-based band The Narrative, Gabriel’s solo project is a thing of wonder. He is also one of the nicest guys ever.
12. Grand Optimist – City and Colour; Dallas Green, one of Canadian band Alexisonfire’s frontmen, is an incredible singer-songwriter and this is one of my favourites of his. Gorgeous.
Another playlist attuned to my favourite novel of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
1. A Year Ago Today – Bear’s Den
2. City With No Children – Arcade Fire
3. Poor Man’s Son – Noah Gundersen and The Courage
4. Slow and Steady – Of Monsters and Men
5. Migration Season – Mockingbird
6. Into the Wild – Lewis Watson
7. At the Bottom of Everything – Bright Eyes
8. Angels in the Snow – Sam Duckworth
9. Life’s for the Living – Passenger
10. Oh Woe – Benjamin Gibbard
11. Lamplight – Bombay Bicycle Club
12. I Knew You Before – Dustin Kensrue
13. Thorns – Charlie Simpson
14. Gracious – Ben Howard
15. Nantes – Beirut
I feel, after finishing Slaughterhouse Five, that I should have started reading Vonnegut’s work a long while ago. For me, the premise of this novel is a wonderful one, and its standing within the canon of American literature made it seem like a good book of Vonnegut’s to begin with.
The storyline in Slaughterhouse Five is an amalgamation of the events in Dresden during the Second World War, the life of protagonist Billy Pilgrim, and the somewhat bizarre customs of another planet, Tralfamadore, on which Pilgrim finds himself during his bouts of time travel. I liked the way in which the threads of all of these different stories were pulled together through a series of scenes and small vignettes, and the entirety was told in such an engaging manner.
Billy Pilgrim has come unstuck in time.
Billy has gone to sleep a senile widower and awakened on his wedding day. He has walked through a door in 1955 and come out another one in 1941. He has gone back through that door to find himself in 1963…
Billy is spastic in time, has no control over where he is going next, and the trips aren’t necessarily fun. He is in a constant state of stage fright, he says, because he never knows what part of his life he is going to have to act in next.”
Vonnegut is rather clever in Slaughterhouse Five. The story is both historically grounded and suspended in a sense of non-time. The structure which the author has used is interesting. The time periods in question jump all over the place, but it somehow still flows marvellously. Overall, Slaughterhouse Five is an odd novel in many respects, but it is so very difficult to put down.
Suggested accompanying playlist:
1. ‘Deathbeds’ by Bring Me the Horizon
2. ‘Trouble is Temporary, Time is Tonic’ by We Are The Ocean
3. ‘Time Turned Fragile’ by Motion City Soundtrack
Some wonderfully catchy rock songs greet September.
1. In Too Deep – Sum 41
2. The Ghost of Eddie – Twin Atlantic
3. Anthem Part Two – blink-182
4. The River – Good Charlotte ft. Avenged Sevenfold
5. All I Want – A Day to Remember
6. When Your Heart Stops Beating – +44
7. I’m a Bore, Mostly – Deaf Havana
8. Honesty – Attack! Attack!
9. Trouble Is Temporary, Time Is Tonic – We Are The Ocean
Twin Atlantic (Photo credit: baileykd)
10. Pretty Handsome Awkward – The Used
11. Happiness by the Kilowatt – Alexisonfire
12. The Rock Show – blink-182
13. The Sound of You and Me – Yellowcard
14. The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows – Brand New
15. Blinded – Thrice
16. Captain Killjoy – InMe
English: Sam Duckworth, live at Nottingham Splendour. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
With the first of the month comes our monthly playlist, the August theme of which is ‘Boys with Guitars’.
1. Love Ire and Song – Frank Turner
2. Lua – Bright Eyes
3. Gracious – Ben Howard
4. Skinny Love – Bon Iver
5. The A-Team – Ed Sheeran
6. Parachutes – Charlie Simpson
7. I Knew You Before – Dustin Kensrue
8. Casey’s Song – City and Colour
9. It Could Be Better – Lewis Watson
10. The Way I Tend to Be – Frank Turner
11. Jesus, Jesus – Noah Gundersen
12. The Lighthousekeeper – Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly
13. From the Water – William Fitzsimmons
14. Slowly (Oh So Slowly) – Conor Oberst
15. Bigger Than Love – Benjamin Gibbard
16. The Miracle of Science – Sam Duckworth