Spotified: April and (the start of) May

I came on here to write another thing, but I forgot what it was, so I thought I’d do that thing I do every now and again where I make a spotify playlist and share it. Here’s the latest one I put together. Includes a winner of The Voice, a few legends, a couple of legends in the making and stuff that reminds me of my student days, among other things.

The playlist will probably get bigger as I go along, which means I might end up renaming it again at some point. Feel free to keep coming back to it and/or follow it if you like.



Ten Song Sunday

When I first got Spotify, I was mad on making playlists. In fact, that was and still is, the best thing about it. I always like to share what I’m listening to, usually by posting a tweet of a link to a current favourite with a #nowplaying hashtag attached. I used to post a few of my playlists on here too, until I started to slip out of the habit.

Today I decided that I wanted to start posting playlists regularly again, so I came up with this. I aim to post a spotify playlist of ten songs every Sunday. This kind of follows on from the “Ten Songs” playlists that I did as part of my NaBloPoMo challenge last year, which I quite enjoyed doing if I’m honest. Why only ten songs? Because I think it’s a decent length for a playlist made on spotify to have. Nothing against the long ones, but yeah I do find myself getting bored of the ones that seem to go on for hours after a bit. Although I suppose you can always dip in and out of them, I guess. The playlists themselves won’t have a specific theme, aside from being made up of some of the songs I’ve been listening to over the last seven days.

Anyway here’s the first one. The playlist includes:

  1. The Supernaturals – Alone With My Thoughts
  2. Gene – Fighting Fit
  3. Flyte – Please Eloise
  4. Everything Everything – Spring/Sun/Winter/Dread
  5. Editors – All Sparks
  6. Puressence – This Feeling
  7. Shannon Saunders – Bodies & Beats
  8. The Hoosiers – The Wheels Fell Off
  9. Mansun – Legacy – Radio Edit
  10. Florence + The Machine – Ship To Wreck

NaBloPoMo Day 24: Another Ten Songs

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in all the years that I have been blogging is this: when in doubt over what to write, make a playlist. I’ve done a ten songs list earlier in my NaBloPoMo challenge but this one is a bit more of a random thing.

In other news, I am once again thinking about maybe going back into education. Usually when this happens, it’s because I’ve seen a university publicising itself on Twitter or FB or whatever, but this time, it seems to be pulling more than it has done. I don’t think I could afford to do it, or have the time to do it, but if ever I did I’d want to move far away from here.

NaBloPoMo Day 3: Taylor Swift and Spotify (me being topical)

Today Taylor Swift removed all her albums from streaming service Spotify, following on from comments made in an article in which she criticised the streaming service and said that for a musician to let fans listen to their music for free was to “undervalue their art”.

While she isn’t totally wrong in saying that Spotify’s business model isn’t perfect (certainly not in terms of how much it currently pays per stream), I’d probably have more respect for her stance if she wasn’t as hugely successful as she is. Like others critical of streaming services who have withdrawn their music from them, she isn’t going to lose too much from doing it. Her new album 1989 has apparently sold well over a million copies already and she’s just announced a massive world tour. She is apparently worth around 200 million dollars, which is a HELL of a lot of money.

Taylor doesn’t necessarily need a streaming service to top up her humongous income. But while she can afford to remove her music from this outlet, there are plenty of those especially in the younger side of her fanbase who probably cannot afford her albums and would be saving up for ages to get a ticket for one of her concerts (and likely miss out altogether). You can’t necessarily blame these people for thinking that their idol might be being a little bit greedy for denying them the chance to listen to their tunes on a free (but you can pay for if you want to), legitimate platform and plenty on Twitter have been thinking this. I doubt very much that she will lose loads of fans over it though. She certainly still has the love of Spotify, who are trying to persuade her to put her albums back on there like an ex-boyfriend trying to win her back, even creating a playlist for her.

Whatever the outcome, let’s just hope that Taylor doesn’t write a song about this particular relationship.

NaBloPoMo Day 2: Ten Songs

Day two of this thing and I didn’t know what to write about. I had a couple of goes, but ended up ditching them after two sentences. It was then I thought that I would go to that old standby, the playlist. And so I have created a playlist of songs on Spotify called “Ten Songs” (because that’s how many are on it. Original huh?). They are all songs that I like including one or two I haven’t heard for years and/or I didn’t even know were on Spotify. Have a listen, if you like:

Isn’t it annoying when a song gets stuck in your head?

Isn’t it even more annoying when several songs get stuck in your head?

This happens fairly frequently with me and while I tend not to mind as much when it’s a song (or songs) I like it can be a bit annoying when you’re trying to do something. Like writing blog posts, for instance. It’s difficult to come up with something interesting when your cranial jukebox is stuck on repeat.

Anyway, these songs have been in my head a lot in the last week so I thought I would share them with you. They are all pretty decent tunes, but that’s my opinion.

A few notes on…Everything Everything’s new album, Arc

My signed copy of Arc. (Sorry for pic quality)
My signed copy of Arc. (Sorry for pic quality)

Arc is the new album by Manchester based four piece Everything Everything and is the follow-up to their debut Man Alive, which earned them a Mercury Prize nomination. At the time of writing, it had entered the album charts at number five. For those unfamiliar with their music, they are often labelled as being “indie pop” or “art-rock”, however to me, they are pretty much in a league of their own in terms of their sound. What you’ll note is their fondness for intelligent, witty lyrics that even their most ardent fans will scratch their heads at thinking “great song, but what on earth are you on about?”, and the distinctive falsetto of Jonathan Higgs.

I first got into the band about three years ago, when I stumbled upon the video for their track Photoshop Handsome, which someone I follow on twitter had posted the link to. I was hooked the moment I first listened to them, their sound was nothing like I’d heard before. I loved Man Alive and was hugely looking forward to Arc from the moment I first heard Cough Cough (the first single from the album). This album is much like its predecessor except it’s stronger, more assured and less frantic in pace.

Everything Everything are not to be confused with Everything Everywhere (EE), the mobile and broadband network formerly known as T-Mobile and Orange that has Kevin Bacon in its adverts. It really isn’t worth tweeting the band¬†moaning about how you’re having problems with your 3G signal. (Tbf, it probably isn’t worth tweeting the company’s account either, but anyway).

Favourite tracks from the album – Cough Cough, Kemosabe, Duet, Undrowned, Torso of the Week, Feet For Hands, Radiant, Don’t Try – it’s probably predictable that I have picked the two singles among my highlights of the album, but who cares? Both were brilliant choices and in Cough Cough, you have one of the best opening tracks of any album I’ve heard in some time. Out of the others I’ve mentioned, I feel that Duet in particular must be a single, as I believe it has “massive hit” written all over it.

Tracks I’m not as keen on: The House Is Dust, Armourland – it’s not that I particularly dislike these tracks, it’s just that I haven’t really got into them as much as I have the other songs yet. The former is looking like the one I’m more likely to skip at the moment, but it’s probably going to take a couple more listens before I make up my mind on them.

Overall, Arc is a brilliant album that is surely set to send Everything Everything into the big league of British bands. Album of the year already? Too early to say, but don’t be surprised to see it in a few “albums of 2013” lists by the time the year is out.

N.B. This blog post relates to the standard edition of Arc. There is also a deluxe edition available on iTunes which has six more tracks including an alternative version of Duet (which is just as good as the original) and a remix of Don’t Try plus a short film, Sequence_01, that shows behind the scenes footage of them recording the album.