#mixtape is a feature in which we ask someone to send in a playlist of 10 of their favourite tracks of all time and then get them to say a few things about each track – memories they associate with them, why they’re cool and so forth. The idea being to see what we can gauge from someone’s music taste whilst listening to some bops.
I’ve been extremely passionate about music for so many years. The first record I ever bought was Queen’s Greatest Hits and, since then, it’s been like this crazy love affair. I tend to think I hate people who describe their taste in music as ‘eclectic’ but I’ve been inspired by everything from the likes of Fleetwood Mac to Nicki Minaj, so I guess I am what I hate. I’ve loved so much music over the years but some things have had a deeper impact on me than other things. Here are 10 of my all time favourite songs.
1. The Chain – Fleetwood Mac
Fleetwood Mac are probably one of my all time favourite bands. If you were to look at how the face of pop has changed over the last 40 odd years, it wouldn’t take much digging around to realize that Fleetwood Mac are the architects behind a lot of what pop sounds like now. Any time I hear ‘The Chain’ it’s like something in me completely changes. I’ve often said that the bass solo in this song quite literally has the power to rearrange my DNA. There is something that feels so primal about the bass solo and even the rest of the song.
2. Such Great Heights – The Postal Service
I think that ‘Such Great Heights’ was quite literally my introduction to electronic alternative music. I actually think that it was a lot of people’s introduction to contemporary electronic alt. The Postal Service (God rest their musical souls) were doing things that not a lot of bands were doing with alternative music at the time (except for maybe Trent Reznor and Bloc Party). I think I owe a lot of my musical tastes and sensibilities to this one song. It was definitely my Myspace profile song for a long while.
3. Flawless Remix (feat. Nicki Minaj) – Beyoncé
One of my favourite things in this life is the magic of a Nicki/Beyoncé collaboration. They make music for grown ass women who don’t have to justify their blackness or sexuality to anyone. These two have too much money and too little time to hold your hand and guide you through the nuances of adult sexual relationships. I love the ‘Flawless Remix’ because there is something there for everyone. Overt feminism, trap, the line ‘flawless titties’. There’s just no denying how special and perfect they are – especially on this track.
4. Wood – Rostam
I’ve been listening to quite a lot of Rostam lately. I think there is something so base and transcendent about Rostam’s work, especially on ‘Wood’. It’s almost as if he is here to make you hear sounds and patterns that you don’t hear every day in Western music. I remember this song being on a Yoga playlist that I made for myself in my first year of University so my strongest memories of ‘Wood’ are of me on the floor doing 30 minutes of yoga before class. You can only guess how long that lasted.
5. Just Like Heaven – The Cure
This is me and my fiancé’s song. I will never not love this song.
6. I Wanna Be Adored – The Stone Roses
Once you get past the 2 minute long intro (which I objectively hate), ‘I Wanna Be Adored’ has to be The Stone Roses’ opus. I’m from the West Coast and, despite The Stone Roses being Brits, everything about ‘I Wanna Be Adored’ reminds me of driving down the coast, thrift shopping in Santa Cruz on the weekends, and my (retrospectively) troubling grunge phase (read: just a lot of flannel).
7. Night Drive – Jimmy Eat World
At the height of my mid 2000s indie phase, Jimmy Eat World were a huge part of my life. I just about wore a hole into my copy of Futures. I listened to that record every day on my red sony CD player and then my first gen iPod touch (a relic by today’s standard). Futures, especially, was an album that resonated with me in a big way. It really explored themes of isolation as well as new love. I definitely remember putting ‘Night Drive’ on a mixtape for a guy I liked. I mean, it was the biggest non-starter. I basically was letting him know that I thought we should hook up in the back of his car and, in return, I think he made me a mixtape and put one of the non-romantic b-sides from the Beatles’ back catalogue on it. Shame.
8. The New Year – Death Cab For Cutie
For a really long time this song was a big part of my New Year’s ritual. Probably for a solid 6 years I listened to this song on New Year’s and just angsted it out. I haven’t completed this ritual in years but Transatlanticism will always be one of my favourite albums and ‘The New Year’ a huge part of my adolescence.
9. Wicked Game – Chris Isaak
This song is Chris Isaak’s best song. It’s so melancholy and romantic in a way where the soundscape contradicts the lyrics. The first time I heard it I couldn’t get it out of my head for days. There is something distinctly moving about the idea of falling in love against your will for fear of loss. “I never dreamed that I’d meet somebody like you. I never dreamed that I’d lose somebody like you,” is the lyric that gets me.
10. Thrash Unreal – Against Me!
When I was in high school, my best friend and I were big into Against Me! There may actually be a photo of me somewhere on the internet holding two orange popsicles at Warped Tour (aged 17) meeting Against Me! New Wave was an album that actually changed my life. Amongst the countless Against Me! songs we loved, “Thrash Unreal” was our very favourite. Sometimes we would just put it on and truly thrash unreal or the hell of it. This song reminds me of high school and everything I loved about growing up.
Nicky is a blogger and digital creator from San Jose, California. She made a daring escape to London for university and now write full time about her first love: music. She loves alternative, pop and rap the most but is a firm believer that everything has merit and will almost certainly give your SoundCloud link a listen. Aside from music, Nicky loves film, podcasts, and television and has taken up permanent residence in Shondaland.
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