Okay, look people, I’m of the opinion that if there weren’t any music in this world, there would pretty much be no reason to exist. At all.
Imagine we had to wade through our lives sans soundtrack.
No soppy love songs to accompany the mushy first flutterings of butterflies-in-the-stomach.
No epic oeuvres to guide us along winding coastal roads at sunset.
No palm muted punk rock to soothe our angsty teenage souls (and take us right back to those best-of-worst-of days unexpectedly on a Tuesday night in our late twenties.)
No Alanis Morisette (or Taylor Swift/Adele/death metal if you’re that way inclined) to blast at top volume when those butterflies suddenly turn into sharp little shards of ice.
No Bohemian Rhapsody to… actually just that. No Bohemian Rhapsody.
Doesn’t that just sound unbearable?
In fact, I’m quite partial to the idea that if there weren’t any music in this world we probably wouldn’t exist in the first place. At all.
An age old concept Bruce Chatwin highlights poignantly in his amazing Australia travelogue, The Songlines:
“Aboriginal Creation myths tell of the legendary totemic beings who had wandered over the continent in the Dreamtime, singing out the name of everything that crossed their path – birds, animals, plants, rocks, waterholes – and so singing the world into existence.”
Don’t you just love that? The idea of everything being sung into existence!
So, I guess it’s no surprise that discovering the kind of soulful music we crave is always a rejuvenating, life-giving experience.
Here’s what I’ve had on repeat in my ears for the past week or so:
After months and months of pretty much listening to only to various forms of indie, indie folk and folk music, I suddenly had an overwhelming craving for really pretty, ambient, almost ethereal electronica.
So, I decided to dig around a bit and get some recommendations. Within a few hours I had constructed a Grooveshark playlist that comes pretty close to perfection, featuring Felix Laband, M83, Andrew Bayer and Air. Give it a listen, yo!
It was a blog post by the lovely Emma-Jane that introduced me to these local lads earlier this week.
Originally from Cape Town, this six-piece band has been making quite a name for themselves overseas with their delighful eclectic electronic reggae.Their songs have a very definite African tinge to them both in sound and name – there’s one called Muizenberg, another Lusaka by Night as well as a Limpop and iYongwe.
According to their website they will be traversing Europe till deep in November, but I really hope they do a little December home run!
This super cute German duo’s sound has been described as alternative pop folk rock with reggae and electronic undertones. Which means their tunes are actually quite similar to John Wizards. But then there’s the voice. Oh the voice! Slightly gruff with that sexy folky twang. Hmmm… and the man behind it isn’t too bad either.
Okay, yes. I have a huge crush on the singer dude. HUGE.
Thanks to my friends Marli and Bronwyn for introducing me to my new obsession with this song that just makes one want to boogie.
Also check out this super cool video for their song, Down by the River.
Nahko Bear and the Medicine People
I’ve been listening to Nahko Bear for a while now and fall just a little bit more deeply in love every time I hear one of their songs. It’s difficult to describe their sound, but guess it comes down to a vibrant blend of a little bit of everything – jazz, folk, hip hop, Native American tribal, surf rock… All I know is that it’s full of good vibes and happiness.
It really makes you “believe in the good things coming,” as ‘Black as nigt‘ professes.
Oh and Nahko is just gorgeous!
These are my two favourite songs:
Last, but not least… an assortment of vinyl
After wanting one for close on forever, I finally took the plunge and invested in a record player about a month ago. It’s a super cute little thing – a pink Crosley Cruiser the size and shape of a suitcase, with tiny built in speakers that make a big sound.
Currently I own only about 15 records, which I picked up for dirt cheap at flea markets and second-hand shops. And unfortunately most of them don’t sound that great. But ever willing to help me pursue things I’m passionate about, my parents kindly lent me some of their old vinyls to get me into the swing of things so long.
My current favourites include an assortment of greatest hit collections, including Queen, Beach Boys, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Leonard Cohen, Peter Sarstedt and the Eagles, as well as Dire Straits’ Making Movies.
On a mission, though, to build a mighty collection!
I absolutely love the ritual of it – getting home after a long day at work or waking up on a lazy Sunday morning, opening up the suitcase lid, lifting that little arm, picking a record, placing it gently on the turntable and carefully letting the needle drop just right to crank some old school tunes.
It’s my best!
If you’re looking for a little Crosley of your own, check out Superbalist.com