Soundtrack to Summer 2014

The album of the summer was Lissie’s Back to Forever (2013). Her catchy tunes and big, confident sound was just what I needed to hear over the last few months. The more reflective and stripped-down acoustic versions of the songs are also excellent.  Ingrid Michaelson’s delightful Lights Out came a close second with its smart, witty lyrics and great vocal arrangements. It makes me want to dance so much (thanks to @infamy_infamy for the recommendation).

We’ve been listening to Janelle Monáe’s albums, The Archandroid (2010) and The Electric Lady (2013). I think I have a slight preference for the first, but they’re both dizzyingly creative and exciting. You can hear all her influences at work, but the music sounds so fresh.

This has been a summer of pop music. I finally started getting into Janet Jackson, who my possibly cooler sister liked way back when Rhythm Nation came out (I was a Madonna girl). Prince is beginning to grow on me too. I’ve never been into his music, but my work colleagues kept going on about him until I felt I had to make more of an effort. I listened to a fair bit of Beyoncé and Rhianna as well.

I got the 32-song epic Purgatory/Paradise (2013) by Throwing Muses earlier in the year and have been listening in bits and pieces because I find it too intense, too raw and rugged, for one sitting. I can’t wait to see them play in a couple of weeks’ time. Ex-band member Tanya Donelly will be supporting at the gig. I’ve been loving her recent Swan Song series which is “An ongoing series of EPs made up of collaborations with various musicians, authors, and friends”.

I’m late coming to Stevie Nicks and have been making up for it by keeping Crystal Visions, The Very Best Of on heavy rotation. This is sexy, grown-up woman pop and the 9 minute live version of ‘Edge of Seventeen’ (with symphony orchestra) is pretty mind blowing.

The recent BBC Four documentary, The Kate Bush Story – Running up that Hill focussed on her music and its influence on other artists. It also set me off on a Kate Bush spree, especially Never Forever (1980) and Hounds of Love (1985).

Summer 2014 Mix Tape

1. Lissie, The Habit
2. Ingrid Michaelson, Time Machine
3. Shakespear’s sister – Hello (Turn your radio on)
4. Emiliana Torrini, The Sound of Silence  (favourite cover)
5. Manic Street Preachers, Rewind the Film (so, so melancholy)
6. David Bowie, The Man who sold the World (“I thought you died alone, a long long time ago”)
7. Janelle Monáe, Tightrope
8. Prince and Sheena Easton, U Got the Look
9. Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Sacrilege
10. Janet Jackson, Black Cat
11. Uh Huh Her, Explode
12. Hesta Prynn, Recall
13. Stevie Nicks, Sorcerer
14. Throwing Muses, Milan (live)
15. Tanya Donelly, Making Light
16. Kate Bush, The Big Sky (Meteorological Mix)