At the risk of sounding like a crazy hamster lady, there are few things more relaxing than lying in my newly Nordic nest (by which I mean I have added stripy grey sheets and a massive fur throw to my already cushion-laden bed), playing with Eddie Vedder the Chinese dwarf hamster and listening to the mellifluous tones of my favourite tunes. These are the ones Eddie and I have on repeat at the moment.
1. Volcano Choir: Comrade
Justin Vernon is a musical Midas. I don’t know anyone who would dispute that Bon Iver produces some of the most beautiful music at the moment, but I actually prefer his involvement in Volcano Choir. This song is best listened to in Pitchfork’s City of Music, a live series that you can check out on YouTube.
2. Arcade Fire: Reflektor
Arcade Fire are one of those bands who don’t really have a stand out tune, because if you’re into one of their songs, you’ll have all of their albums and play them equally. Having said that, if there was one song that is slightly more recognisable, it’d be the seven minute namesake of their 2013 album. I love the way the weight of the song crashes in and pulls back.
3. Glitches: Organelles
I’ve seen Glitches a small handful of times – once at a gig somewhere in East London in 2010 and once at a house party last year. Since then I’ve been jonesing for their debut album. iD posted their ace new track last week (ok, you caught me: I totally wrote this post a week or two ago… my bad), complete with my favourite video of the moment. I was utterly shit faced the other weekend and was having a chat with one of the band members in our mutual friend’s kitchen. If I remember correctly, which I almost certainly don’t given the gravity of my consequential hangover, I think they choreographed it themselves! If I got that right, it’s fucking impressive.
4. Sia: Elastic Heart
Let me be the millionth person to say: that video has nothing to do with paedophilia. It’s bloody beautiful and is a visual exploration of this amazing song’s lyrics. Also I totally want to be able to dance like that. With Shia La Boeuf.
5. The National: Blank Slate
Well, no one would believe me if I didn’t include at least one National song in here. Check out my review of their last gig here.
6. Modest Mouse: The Good Times Are Killing Me
Definitely one to put on when you’re achingly hungover; if nothing else, it will make you feel better about your indulgences. Despite the flurry of Jagerbombs that will have contributed to your state, at least you’re not as debauch as Modest Mouse. And if you are, I’m telling your mother, you little scoundrel.
7. Ludovico Einaudi: Divenire
I’m not much of a classical music connoisseur, but I ought to be. This is just downright beautiful. Have you heard the 100 Most Beautiful Songs As Chosen By Reddit? Google it; it’s exactly what it says on the tin. Some legend was following a Reddit thread about the most beautiful songs ever and compiled the most popular ones on Spotify. Classical music features heavily on it, but this one is my top pick. Great for stamping out stress.
8. Tom Waits: How’s It Gonna End?
I’m not one of those people who worships Tom Waits. Does it make me sound small-minded to say I think some of his stuff is just… a bit weird? How’s It Gonna End, though, is perfect. It really reminds me of my favourite film, Wristcutters. The film is based on the fable Kneller’s Happy Campers, and Tom Waits actually plays Kneller in Wristcutters, so I guess that’s why. I’m going to watch it again (I mean, it’s been a few weeks since I last saw it) to see if this song appears in it.
9. Bedroom Walls: Do the Buildings and Cops Make You Smile?
I came across this little ditty when I was watching a particularly bad Netflix box set, The 4400. In bad TV, it would appear, there’s both comfort and good tunes to be found. This is the kind of song I want to be playing as I’m on a long, beautiful stretch of road in Sweden as I drive from Copenhagen to Oslo. Which WILL happen one day.
Let me know if there are any more ditties I should be adding to my most-played-of-February-2015 list!