I can’t remember who introduced me to good music but whoever it was I owe them big time, especially as my youth was spent listening to the soundtrack of Disney’s Tarzan and Britney Spears’ early albums. I was lost in a world I knew nothing about and thank that Jesus guy that I was pulled to safety through the discovery of some rocking tunes. My iPod and taste is now significantly better. I want to pay this forward, ensure all lost souls out there will peace in their playlists. These are my basics, the top 10 songs I won’t go without, the anti-80’s cheese to my cracker.
10. Freaks and Geeks- Childish Gambino
I’ve inherited my mother’s love for puns and if you were to mix it with my underlying secret sass, you get “Freaks and Geeks”. It’s rude and derogatory like most rap songs but the cleverness of Gambino’s lyrics makes it refreshingly funny.
9. Birds- Kate Nash
Whenever I feel particularly nostalgic or dorky I listen to “Birds”. Kate Nash has an unusual talent of stringing words together in a playful, almost childish way that makes me wish I was 15 and still receiving that awkward first kiss with the boy I sort of liked in the middle of a scary movie that wasn’t all that scary.
8. I’m Still Here- Goo Goo Dolls
I find melodramatic moments of pure teenage angst deserve a good theme song. “I am a question to the world” must be the greatest line for describing the emotions of the seemingly misunderstood.
7. The Most Beautiful Girl (in the room)- Flight of The Conchords
I’m a bit of a sucker for comedy bands, I find them delightful. The satire of Flight of The Conchords is one of my favourite things about them. They’ve taken the clichéd ballad with its sweeping overdone statements of universally beautiful girls and made it a bit more realistic. I laugh every time.
6. Baby Blue- JackValve
Old school rock ‘n roll seems to be rock ‘n rolling into oblivion these days. Electric guitars have been replaced with banjos and the deep growling lead vocals are now whiny, soft and significantly more girly. JackValve have made it their mission to resurrect old school rock, and are doing it incredibly well with “Baby Blue”. I love the rough masculinity of the vocals and the obvious talent behind that sick electric guitar.
5. A Poem on The Underground Wall- Simon and Garfunkel.
This song is just magical. If anyone can take the simple and frowned upon act of vandalising a subway station advertisement and turn it into 2 minutes of the sweetest music and verse known to man, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel can.
4. She’s Electric- Oasis
I’ve made this my alarm tone; it’s the best motivational song especially if you consider it to be self-prophesising. I like to think I’m being electric, and listening to the sweet lilting voices of Noel and Ian Gallagher encouraging me to be so makes my day a little more epic.
3. Bikini Weather- Shortstraw
In a country as hot and bright as South Africa, every day is “Bikini Weather”, Shortstraw is probably one of the most internally successful South African bands, with a beautifully patriotic sound and good beat, Bikini Weather is my favourite sunny day song.
2. First Day of My Life- Bright Eyes
What the lead singer of Bright Eyes lacks in vocals, he makes up for in the way he writes. “This is The First Day of My Life” has me weeping like an over-emotional yuppie every time I listen to it. I find it raw, soul-revealing and exceptionally soppy.
1. Spark-Amber Run
Every once in a while I find a song that makes me want to scream with happiness. It’s like the music fills me up and the only thing that can release it is if I dance and yell like it’s made me wild. Some songs can make you wild with emotion, they can strip you down to your very basic animal instinct and tap into your sense of control. Some songs destroy your control for a little while. This is Spark by Amber Run.