LOVE THAT TRACK – HALL OF FAME _ An Introduction [Jan 26th 2022]
Welcome to the HALL OF FAME podcast, a show where I’ll be discussing the songs that fascinate me and my guests, digging deep to discover the reasons why.
I’ll start with the formal introductions.
Hello, my name is Carrie and I have spent most of my life studying and teaching music. From designing courses about song-writing and lyrical concepts, to immersing myself in the work of writing and performing my own songs, touring with various projects and experiencing the music of many different cultures, there is one thing I am certain of and that is the universal truth and underlying power that music holds.
The functionality of music provides our very own soundtrack in life, whether we’re driving, dancing, cleaning the house or saying good-bye to a loved one, there are certain song that stay with us forever and I’m keen to discuss the reasons we connect so strongly to these pieces of music. So, every month I’ll be chatting to a different guest about one song that they love and together we’ll build a HALL OF FAME playlist for everyone to enjoy.
As this is my podcast, I thought I better take the plunge and kick things off with a couple of tracks that I love.
The first track on our HALL OF FAME playlist is LOUNGE ACT by NIRVANA
Taken from the bands’ breakthrough 1991 LP Nevermind, this is maybe not the fans or the critics favourite track but it is definitely mine. Grunge was a genre that just swept me off my feet and Lounge Act was one of the first tracks that made me want to write songs so that I could connect with people in the way that this song connected with me. This song started my love affair with lyric writing. The 2nd verse in particular really spoke to me, it was the first time that I really felt a song was saying something that I wanted to say.
“Don’t tell me what I want to hear, afraid of never knowing fear
Experience anything you need, I’ll keep fighting jealousy”
As a teenager who was feeling all the feels, in the way that only teenagers do, this song said everything to me and these lyrics in particularly about not telling me what to do, about control and jealousy, want and need, they were all wrapped up in this one track and I just fell in love. As an adult I hear it differently, but that because music changes meaning as we grow and change over time. This track also instigated my fondness for a killer bassline and that is something that hasn’t changed. I really love the motion and tone that Krist Novoselic brings to this track, aparently inspired by this Shocking Blue track (the band responsible for Venus).
The second track on our HALL OF FAME playlist is YOU by KEATON HEANSON
Keaton is an artist, who for me delivers honestly with every breath, beat and lyric. With every melody, harmony and instrumentation choice, Keaton’s music always feels real and truthful and this track epitomises those qualities in a way I’d never experienced before. The lyrics is in this track hit hard, and one lyric in particular is like a musical slap every time I hear it.
“If you must die sweetheart, die knowing your life was my life’s best part.”
I think this is one of the most beautiful lyrics that has ever been written, anywhere at any time.
The guitar tone and delivery on this track is every bit as tender and resolute as the vocals and both come together along with the use of rubato (which is just the disregard of strict tempo in music), in a wonderfully mournful partnership that keeps the listener hooked right from the get-go. This is a song that starts off seemingly delicate, you can even hear the fret noise between those first few phrases, inviting you in. Inviting you to be quiet and listen.
By the time the strings join the arrangement and then the drums, with a simple pattern using beaters on the floor tom, I’m usually lost. I’m somewhere inside my own mind, full of past regrets and fears for the future. The instrumental section and following vocal bridge provides a space to hear those inner conversations, feelings and thoughts. That’s why, when we get to the final verse section and the instrumentation has dropped back, you are ready to release all of that tension, and these final lyrics seem even more poignant.
Some writers just seem to have a knack of tapping into these universal truths and emotions and that’s what I’m fascinated to talk to my guests about. So, join me every month, as I chat with fellow music lovers and we go on a magical musical journey together, discovering the reasons they LOVE THAT TRACK.
Thank you so much for listening. If you enjoy the episode don’t forget to hit the subscribe button and you’ll be notified every time a new show is posted on the LEITH FESTIVAL PODCAST NETWORK channel.
Why not join the conversation over on Instagram and share your thoughts on these tracks.
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!
Welcome to the first LOVE THAT TRACK playlist of 2022 – I’m hoping you’ll find a track you love and share with others who you know will do so too.
I’m still living in those “before the bells” musical moments and that has definitely shaped my JAN. 22 playlist.
For those who aren’t based in Scotland, “the bells” is a local term for the countdown to midnight on NYE (or Hogmanay as we like to say), and Hogmanay is a time of great reflection in Scotland. We tend look back at the year just gone and take stock of the emotions and events that have most recently shaped up. It’s also a time to look forward, not so much in the NEW YEAR, NEW ME Instagram way, but in a more holistic and rooted in nature. Then there’s the Scottish new years’ day tradition, the loony dook. A (freezing) cold water swim to start the year refreshed and clear headed, ready for the challenges that lie ahead. We are a weird but beautiful nation of human-beings us Scots.
So as I begin this new year, with a whole host of new and exciting challenges, I will be leaning on music as always to keep me entertained, inspired, calm, focused, mindful and so much more. Here’s what I’m listening to this month.
1 – Sister Ray by FOXES
Party vibes and lyrics that reference my star-sign & The Velvet Underground are always a winner plus bonus points for the Dua Lipa inspired production. This track has all the hallmarks of new year; making plans and dreaming big!
“We could make tonight – One of those sister ray kinda nights”
2 – Breathe Me In by HARRISON
Another anthem from dancefloor filler Harrison, I love the simplicity of this one. It hits all the classic electro buttons for me and I particularly like the effect of the high-end synth part creeping back in towards the end of the breakdown.
3 – Moth To A Flame by SWEDISH HOUSE MAFIA + THE WEEKEND
I’m starting 2022 back in the land of freelance working after a year temping, and as such I have reclaimed control of my time. This has led to more time for my own creative projects, writing songs and also committing to finishing at least the first draft of the novel I started way back at the start of the first lockdown 2020. This track has inspired a conversation and moment I’ve been struggling to edit so I’ve been listening to this track a lot.
4 – Drive by CLEAN BANDIT + TOPIC (feat. WES NELSON)
It annoys me that I love this track so much, but there we have it – I do.
For some reason, certain musical acts, shall we say, ‘slightly annoy me’… it comes from years of studying and teaching music; analysing everything, pulling songs apart and making critical judgements. The judgements I make of Clean Bandit are rarely kind, but they do a few belters!
I may be a music snob but NOTHING gets tagged as a ‘guilty pleasure’ with me – there is no guilt. If it’s good, it’s good and I’m happy to hold my hands up and own these moments of musical judgement juxtapositions.
5 – The Distance by Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs
Disclaimer: I love T.E.E.D. From Garden, Household Goods and Trouble released back in the early 2010’s, I’ve been a huge fan. I went to Paris one spring to see a TEED show that was hosted in a super-cool suburban club and it was a truly amazing night. I’m always excited when an artist I love releases new music and I was not disappointed when The Distance EP was released in October 2021. It’s got all the sultry house vibes you expect, thoughtful lyrics and intelligent production – another stunner.
6 – Silent Voice by LOMAN
This is one of those tracks that sits perfectly in the background of a house party playlist. The kind of music that provides a pause, a much-needed break in the early morning conversations that linger on. The kind of music that makes you want to stop everything and let the cinematic soundscapes sweep over you. Allowing the music to fill your head and heart, absorbing the lyrics as you sink into yourself before you refocus your energies and attention back in the real world. It has tinges of early U.N.K.L.E and that is never a bad thing.
7 – Victory Time by TILBORG
It’s time for a bit of instrumental synth-pop and no one does that better, right now, than Tilborg. Having worked with some of my favourite artists, I decided to check out his own repertoire and there are some real gems in that back catalogue. It is always worth digging a bit deeper into the songs you love and interesting to see what has contributed what, which often leads to a magical music rabbit-hole of discovery.
8 – No Choice by TAME IMPALA
Fuzzy guitars and tons of reverb on the vocal – what’s not to like?
This track has got a definite ‘summer’ vibe and leaves me longing for some sunshine, which we are sadly lacking at this time of year in Scotland. Songs like this one, with lyrics about “choice” and there being “something more”, posing questions about the meaning of life and the future provide a perfect foil at this time of year, as we are turning or dreams into plans and goals.
9 – Spies by TORI AMOS
Another of my all-time favourite artists, Tori release a new LP in 2021 which I received as a Christmas gift and haven’t been able to stop listening to it since. Not only for the inspirational piano playing, vocal delivery and song-writing genius, but because Tori Amos is an artist that is steeped in memories for me. As I continue to linger in those “before the bells” moments, mindful of the past, inspired by renewed ambitions and hopes, this record brings all those things together.
So thank you to the friend in high school that first introduced me to Tori Amos at a time when I was very confused and in need of guidance. Guidance that came in the form of songs sung but a siren – a voice of strength that gave me hope. And thank you to the giver of this gift. It could really have been any track from her newest LP that ended up on this playlist but I went for this one because it fits well with my theme of memories. Enjoy.
10 – Beggin’ by MåNESKIN
Finally, a cover of the Four Season’s Northern Soul hit Beggin’. I love music in all it’s forms and am fascinated by song-writing styles and key features from different genres and cultures. This could be why I’ve always been fascinated by the Eurovision Song Contest. Or it could be the glorious costumes and immense sense of fun that emanates from the televised competition. It definitely has a little to do with the fact that I have always insisted that one day I would represent Scotland at Eurovision. My mum used to laugh and tell me that was silly, because Scotland couldn’t entre, but you never know… one day maybe. Anyway, the 2021 contest was won by Italian X-Factor finalists Måneskin, the prettiest glam band since KISS and this is their most recent release.
I’m going to leave you with this cover and will be back at the end of the month with an introduction episode for LOVE THAT TRACK – HALL OF FAME a series of interviews about songs people love and their reasons why. Till then, hit me up on the LOVE THAT TRACK Instagram page and tell me what you’ve been listening to this month.