The Letter ‘A’ Mixtape.
This year I have decided to take the mixtape element of my blog down Sesame Street and work through the entire alphabet so naturally this weeks mixtape is brought to you by the letter….
1. Aaliyah Feat. Timbaland – We Need A Resolution (Aaliyah was such an amazing talent, production was always perfection on her music, the biggest names wanted to work with her. Such a tragedy that her life was cut short as I have no doubt she had the talent to maintain a long and successful career).
2. Arrested Development – People Everyday (I remember learning all the words to this when I was 15 with my best friend, we’d take the male/female parts and possibly perform the most painfully white rendition of this track ever to exist. There’s a VHS of us performing it kicking round my parents somewhere. Huey Morgan (who else) played this on a 6 Music show recently and I can still KILL the entire song. Memory has served me well).
3. Au Palais – Tender Mercy (This track instantly creates a festival collage in my mind. I think it’s the perfect soundtrack to cider, mud on your knees, hearing rain on your tent as you lie with a loved one stinking to high heaven and deciding if you can get away with peeing in a bottle).
4. The Alps – Not So Laughable Now (One of those bands I was sure would gain a huge fan base but the only person I recruited as a fellow fan was my brother. Catchy indie, chiselled cheek boned singer. I shared some of his rum in The Good Ship, Kilburn once. It was a nice moment).
5. Architecture In Helsinki – Do The Whirlwind (A band that make me happy, Tilly and the Wall. Love the childish joy in this track, like a playground rhyme set to music. Video is also kitsch with its cartoon graphics).
6. Arctic Monkeys – Fluorescent Adolescent (Consistently brilliant, a band to be truly proud of as a Brit. They exude all the confidence of their talent without veering into the swagger and ego some bands have been guilty of. Alex Turner is like Larkin armed with a guitar, bleak and ruthless honesty in his lyrics, this track is especially poetic to me).
7. Anna Calvi – Desire (Beautifully gothic, dark talent who manages to remain quite a mystery. Entire album is a belter from start to finish, hope I get to see her again live in 2012 as she creates a brooding atmosphere on stage that’s hypnotising).
8. The Animals – Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood (A classic, you don’t have to be a huge fan of 60’s music to adore this track, often the greatest lyrics are timeless and something we can all relate too. Nina Simone’s original is amazing yes, but I think The Animals make this their own. Perhaps the difference coming from a male singing it?)
9. Al Green – Lets Stay Together (I’m not particularly romantic by nature but I hand on my pumping heart I think this is my favourite ever love song penned . So perfect and simple.)
10. Arcade Fire – In The Backseat (Almost impossible for me to pick one Arcade Fire track as I am a huge fan, but this song is so overwhelmingly sad. Fragility in Regine’s vocals backed by the type of melancholic strings that cause a lump in the back of your throat, too scared to swallow in case it gives way to tears. Stunning. Emotive.)