This blog has followed me through both obsessions and trends over the past 10 years. In the past, I had trouble finding the confidence to write truthfully and honestly about my life and the things I love. When I was younger, I also struggled with the idea that anyone would listen to me. (gettin’ deep) So a lot of the time I was trying to put myself in a box that didn’t quite fit. For the past few months I’ve been editing this blog to be in line with what I truly love. I plan to cut down on trends, and I’m going to be writing what I want to write about. Today I’m going to talk about one of the most treasured things in my life: Music.
Music is Life
I come from a musical family, so music is incredibly important to me. My dad was a musician/compere/entertainer when I was growing up, and I was encouraged to follow a similar path. I did competitions when I was a child, and as a teenager I sang in choirs. I played clarinet and even reached Grade 7 in Musical Theatre! But in all honesty, the spotlight in that sense never felt natural to me.
My musical interests were so varied that I wanted to just soak it all up. I also found it much more fulfilling expressing my love for music through writing about it. I grew up listening to anything and everything. Sometimes I’ll listen to one thing, and not listen to anything else for months. Last year I spent a month where I listened to nothing but Pinegrove’s album Cardinal. Obsessive doesn’t even cut it.
What do you love about music? Well as Russell Hammond says in Almost Famous –
“To begin with… everything”
Anything and Everything
I sang classical music throughout my school years, much of the time in Latin. Having done musical theatre, my obsession with The Sound of Music, My Fair Lady and Annie has also followed me right through into adulthood.
Dad shared his favourites of the 1940s-70s, from The Rat Pack to Matt Monro, Uriah Heep to Carole King. My sisters’ favourites of the 90s ranged from Toni Braxton to Oasis. My brother shared my love for Steve Perry (Journey) and Stereophonics. Having this kind of variety, and learning to respect and understand what each type of music can give you, meant that my focus shifted and I became more and more intrigued with what the music was actually trying to say.
It quickly felt like exploration and the written word was my calling, and my analytical nature suddenly had me picking at every lyric and melody. I found solace in Simon & Garfunkel when life was disappointing, and strength in Joni Mitchell when life was grinding me down. I still do.
Notes on Music
Notes on Music is a series of album reviews, with a difference – I only ever talk about the music I love. Music is a personal thing so if I don’t like something, it’s most likely because I can’t take or ‘get’ anything from it.
“if you listen to that music and you see me, you’re not getting anything out of it. If you listen to that music and you see yourself, it’ll probably make you cry and you’ll learn something about yourself, and now you’re getting something out of it.”- Joni Mitchell, in an interview with Jian Ghomeshi.
In Notes on Music I talk about the albums that have, in a way, given something to me. I also attempt to give my understanding of what the songs are trying to say, by placing it alongside whatever was happening in the musician’s life at that time, or in society.
Film & TV Soundtracks
As I also blog about films and TV shows that have inspired me, every now and then this will include a soundtrack playlist. For a lot of films, the soundtrack is an integral part in why people love it. Dumb and Dumber gave us one of the most authentic roadtrip soundtracks that balances on humour and sincerity. While Wet Hot American Summer celebrates 80s classics that may have gotten lost as time passed by. Blended with new songs by Craig Wedren and Theodore Shapiro to make us laugh and sing through the summer nights.
I put together playlists of the songs that make an appearance, in order of when they are played in the film. So when you’re craving a show or film, but aren’t able to watch it, you can listen to the playlist and let that take you there instead. If you’re not on Spotify, you can access any platform through our Soundsgood playlists.
As well as Notes on Music, I do something called GD Playlist. I want music to spark a feeling, thought or idea in my mind. If it doesn’t, it is almost always because of two things: you’ve heard something better and/or you’re not in the right setting/frame of mind.
Most of the time, that’s why people hold on to favourite albums and bands – because they’ll do you right, right? They’re your favourite because, in your opinion, there’s nothing better. And you rarely obsess over new music because you don’t like what you hear on the radio.
For many, the search ends there. But according to Album of the Year, there were 900+ albums released, just in January! So we could, realistically, just live off new music. I am not saying that we should, but I am saying we should be more open to the idea that new is (sometimes) good.
Every month, I trawl through as much as I can bear from said new releases. I add my favourites to an annual playlist that you can listen to and follow! The 2017 playlist is available on Soundsgood, so you can listen to it on your chosen platform. You can listen to it on your journey to work, or when you’re washing the dishes. At the end of it all you can say you gave ‘new’ a chance, and who knows? You may find something you love.
* I listen to Folk, Folk Rock, Alternative Rock, Pop Punk, Indie Pop, Pop Rock, Ambient, Post-Punk, Psychedelic, Singer-Songwriter, Americana, Indie Folk, Indie Rock, Alt-Country, Dream Pop, Electronic, Neo-Psychedelia, Alternative R&B (all genres as listed on Albums of the Year).
To keep up to date with all the playlists we are working on, you can follow me on Spotify. That way, whenever a new playlist goes live, you’ll be the first one to know. If you don’t have Spotify, you can follow me on Instagram, where I will post regular updates in Stories. The playlists will always be made available on Soundsgood after they’ve gone live on Spotify!
You can see all of my Music-related posts here.
Until the next one…