This is not a typical post about things I’ve been trying to put out, but rather an experiment and depending on how well it does, I might try something like this again.
I should mention this post owes it existence to a movie I’ve seen a few years ago, Mixtape.
It isn’t a movie I would normally choose but I normally read plot before watching anything and it just sounded awesome. And, it actually is an amazing movie!
So I’ve decided to put 16 songs together and kind of link them with some experiences I had and create a musical adventure that is also an invitation into my world.
Song 1 – Placebo – Try Better Next Time
Placebo released the official visualiser for this song a few days after I quit drinking and even though the song is dedicated to humanity as an advice to try better next time we inherit a planet, when I heard it for the first time, I’ve immediately thought of all the times when I hated myself for drinking and not being able to stop. I was a few days clean, I think it was 4 or 5 days and this song became my anthem to forgive myself every time I fall and try better next time.
Song 2 – Amy Macdonald – Run
I have been a huge fan of females in rock ever since I started to listen to music. It started with Dolores from The Cranberries and then came Anneke from The Gathering and since then I have always been keen on getting to know rock bands fronted by females, as well as female solo artists. I was absolutely blown away by Amy’s first album and after watching her few performances on YouTube I became a huge fan of her personality and her Scottish accent. It’s hard to say exactly why I’ve picked this song, but watching her sing this with orchestra, I might have, might not, shed a tear. I love music that can do that to a grown up man.
Song 3 – The Cranberries – In The End
If I was explaining this choice to my sister, I wouldn’t need to say any words. She would just know.
I still remember that cold January when I found out about Dolores passing.
When the In The End album came out I couldn’t stop listening to this song. There is a lot of sentiment in it because of it being last by The Cranberries, but I always found the “ain’t it strange how everything you wanted was nothing what you wanted” verse incredibly sad, yet insanely beautiful and somewhat prophetic, as we all make choices for future without actually knowing much and often what we wanted and get, feels different to how we imagined it would feel.
Song 4 – The Strokes – Chances
I didn’t actually like the song very much originally, I mean, I liked it but it didn’t become special to me until I saw a video of Capital Children’s Choir preforming it. There’s plenty of low key breakup references one can pick up if one fancies some reflection on post breakup sadness. There’s some strange redemption in this song for me. Julian’s voice is bit different to his usual more rock n roll singing.
Song 5 – Manic Street Preachers – Motorcycle Emptiness
Easy choice. One of the most iconic rock anthems, one of the most impactful bands when it comes to my life and growing up. There is no better way to enjoy this song than walking at the night with only neons lighting the streets. That feeling of loneliness and sadness is liberating.
Song 6 – The Gathering – Travel
Of course that The Gathering must be on the list. I have chosen a song dedicated to Mozart. Some people travel to places, with songs like this, I don’t need to travel in the outer world when I can travel inside. My most favourite song of all time. When Anneke sings “I wish you knew” I just swoon. I travel.
Song 7 – Travis – Idlewild
I loved Travis since the album The Man Who. I saw them in theatre in Nottingham where they played the whole album and it was phenomenal! This song isn’t from that album, but it being a duet with amazing Josephine Oniyama made me choose it for this list.
Song 8 – mewithoutYou – In A Sweater Poorly Knit
Song I dedicate to my brother, as he was the first one to point it out to me. Since then it became an anthem to me. Especially after finding out that You in the band name refers to God. A wonderful metaphor about us trying to catch someone, only to get trapped ourselves.
Song 9 – Moby – The Last Day
I always loved Moby for choosing incredibly fitting voices for his songs. Skylar Grey manages to sing here in a way that makes this song a masterpiece. I read that this song is about a poor man who is looking for his last day, day that will free him from his misery and it is on his last day when he manages to see the sun. The way I feel listening to this song, isn’t far from that moment.
Song 10 – Tokyo Shoegazer – Bright
Shoegaze (originally called shoegazing and sometimes conflated with “dream pop”) is a subgenre of indie and alternative rock characterized by its ethereal mixture of obscured vocals, guitar distortion and effects, feedback, and overwhelming volume. It emerged in Ireland and the United Kingdom in the late 1980s among neo-psychedelic groups who usually stood motionless during live performances in a detached, non-confrontational state. The name comes from the heavy use of effects pedals, as the performers were often looking down at their pedals during concerts.
This song captures the mood of shoegaze magically. If I was a music genre, I will definitely be shoegaze.
Song 11 – A-ha – Cast In Steel
I am a rocker at heart, but I am also a huge fan of A-ha. This song reminds me of everything that once was and isn’t anymore. And is my deepest expression of gratitude for all the darkness that took me a while to accept as a gift too. There’s no greater pop band when it comes to expressing sentiment of life than A-ha.
Song 12 – Adrian Bouldt – Never Lovers
I’m giving this song out for the first time as it’s my secret song. It reminds me of someone very special. I kind of promised her not to share this song with anyone else, but I think time has come for me to share it. Since then I’ve met a few more girls with which I didn’t end up being a lover, but a few of them remain my good friends. And who knows if that isn’t for the best.
Song 13 – Anathema – Endless Ways
It was hard to choose a song from Anathema as they have been a godsend for me in many ways, in endless ways. Album Eternity is still in my top 10 and whilst this song isn’t from that album, the lyrics of Endless Ways made me to choose this one. If I ever need a reminder that I’m loved in endless ways, Lee Douglas is a great choice.
Song 14 – Bruce Springsteen – Long Walk Home
I was trying to pick a song about home. And I managed to get one mentioning walk too. I don’t often meet with overly appreciative reactions from people when I mention Bruce, but it doesn’t change my opinion on him. He is The Boss.
I was considering Outlaw Pete for this list, but I’ve decided to put Long Walk Home as I keep thinking about my parents back home in Slovakia these days and I just wanted a little reminder of the feeling one gets travelling home. Sometimes I even think of walking there one day. That will definitely be a long walk from UK!
Song 15 – Habitants – Runners
When I learned about the project Habitants, I was super excited as I was already loving Anna Van De Hoogen in Rosemary And Garlic. Her voice with the music of the members of The Gathering was promising a magical album and One Self indeed turned out to be just that.
The mood of Runners reflects much of my life that very few songs do and whilst it definitely is a sad song, it works as a medicine whenever I listen to it.
and I’ll try justifying it
so I can taste it again
it’s better to erase
than to live with
you were not mine
Song 16 – Karintytär – Anna Anteeksi
During first lockdown I came across a project by by Marten Berger, Sounds Like Van Spirit, https://soundslikevanspirit.eu. It really impressed me and I purchased the album. Anna Anteeksi became my most favourite song right away, especially after I read the lyrics in English. I really liked how I originally had no clue what she’s singing in Finnish, but I immediately knew it’s a beautiful song. I also absolutely loved how she was shown in the video. It captured the spirit of the project exactly how I imagined it was meant to be presented, a wonderful collection of songs collected on the European streets.