Monday, August 1, 2016

July Playlist: Your Mother Wouldn't Approve

Another month has passed, which means it's time for another monthly playlist. Here are ten tracks that I enjoyed listening to in July...and look, I've (perhaps belatedly) discovered a slick new way to share them with you!

1. You Can't Beat a Boy Who Loves the Ramones by Helen Love

(from Smash Hits)

"Who you gonna call when you're on your own? It's not the Ghostbusters - it's the Ramones!" Poppy punk fun from Swansea's finest, with a bit of Bonnie Tyler thrown in for good measure. Read my thoughts on Smash Hits here.

2. Can We Be Friends? by MJ Hibbett & The Validators

(from Still Valid)

A charmingly awkward account of what it's like to make friends when you're over forty. I roped my mum in to help me review Still Valid last month - find out what we made of it here.

3. Do Whatever by Martha

(from Blisters in the Pit of My Heart)

It's that little guitar figure at 2:02 that makes this song for me. I love the way it sort of gradually unmutes as the music builds back up to the chorus. I wrote a blog post about Blisters in the Pit of My Heart (specifically the way it tackles themes of love and romance) last week - read it here.

4. In the Air Hockey Fire by The Low Anthem

(from Eyeland)

This track - one of Eyeland's calmer moments - reminds me very much of Sparklehorse. If you liked Sparklehorse, I reckon you'll like this too.

5. If You Can't Be Honest, Be Awesome by Johnny Foreigner

(from Mono No Aware)

This is the lead single from the latest Johnny Foreigner album, which came out a couple of weeks ago on Alcopop! Records. Read what the band themselves had to say about Mono No Aware - and every other album they've ever released - here.

6. The Ties That Bind by Bruce Springsteen

(from The River)

The River was originally going to be called The Ties That Bind, you know. I think Springsteen recently brought out some kind of deluxe expanded edition of this album, but that's not why I've been revisiting it recently. I just really like it.

7. Your Best American Girl by Mitski

(from Puberty 2)

I've seen a surprising number of writers compare Mitski's music, and this track in particular, to Weezer recently. I can kiiind of hear it, mostly in the sudden loud 'n' fuzzy guitar part that crashes in for Your Best American Girl's chorus, but this song is far more emotive and compelling than anything on The Blue Album or Pinkerton. Read my take on Puberty 2 and what it's like to be in your twenties here.

8. No Regrets by The Walker Brothers

(from No Regrets: The Best of Scott Walker & The Walker Brothers, 1965-1976)

I'm not sure how the No Regrets comp ended up back in my rotation last month, but I cannot stop listening to its title track. I just love how Scott Walker slowly transitions from not really minding that his relationship has ended to sounding haunted and utterly lonely by the end. The chorus sounds less truthful with each repetition.

9. The T-Shirt Song by Robberie

(from Beneath Your City; As You Dream)

A lovely, nostalgic song about being young and trying to get your crush to pay attention to you. There's an ever so slightly gut-wrenching bit at the end where the lyrics snap back to the present tense and you realise that you've been listening to a memory of events that are long in the past. Read my review of Beneath Your City; As You Dream here.

10. Untitled by R.E.M.

(from Green)

I came back to Green last week after it emerged triumphant from my World Cup of R.E.M. Albums poll on Twitter. I remembered Untitled as a slightly jokey throwaway track that was tacked onto the end, but after one play through, I was reminded that it was in fact an extremely adept heartstring-tugger. I love the soaring, interweaving vocal lines: "I've seen the world, and so awake and stay up late to hear me sing..."

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