14 Aug 2015

the sound of a place - soundtracking a walk through central london

As an introduction to this slightly more obscure piece I thought I would explain my inspiration for this writing. A lonely Saturday, an early rise, I decided I wouldn’t simply stay at home, I would venture outwards. London has always been a fascination of mine, and going alone (with all the time in the world) gave me piece of mind to fit together any activities with the songs and moods that I felt aptly accompanied my day. Armed with my headphones and enthusiasm I went on my way, taking pictures of some of the places I visited. Make of this journey what you will… this was my day in music.

The journey
The Bus : When waiting in anticipation for a day or event to begin, I often sway towards a sort of scatty and erratic type of song (A song that will only intensify the feeling of excitement). So perhaps predictably I turned to  British Intelligence by  Jamie T. Ultimately, the thrashing lyrics of “and they wont catch no one so they wont catch me” gave me an inner sense of “f**k it I’m going to do this” . I also wouldn’t be surprised if passers-by saw me doing some kind of dance in anticipation and revelation. Jamie T often has this power in his music, that I am  sure not only affects me, but it creates that infinite buzzing sense. I feel this was a perfectly apt choice for a  somewhat bumpy and sickening bus journey to the train station.

Train : Opposite to my bus journey, the train was somewhat more relaxed. The rolling hills passe me by, and calmed me continually throughout the journey. For this I chose the first instillation of Mac Demarco’s new mini album Another One. Highly anticipated, and fresh off the press The way you’d love her is a beautiful song and with Mac’s signature rough and ready tone this is not only a perfect song in general, but perfect for this moment.

Arrival : There’s something about walking through the ticket gates at Waterloo that makes me insanely happy. Therefore, it was a natural choice to listen to the ironic tone of Happy by Misty Miller. A somewhat underrated female artist, Miller’s song Happy starts off as what seems to be an oxymoronic confession of sadness and happiness. Confusing indeed, but excellently crafted and wholly underappreciated. I cannot wait to hear more of Misty Miller, she deserves to be recognised.

Southbank walk
As I wandered aimlessly across London I walked all along Southbank.  A delightful walk filled with bright colours and culture. I thought it only right to pick Between Cans by Hinds as a reflection of the multicultural vibrancy of the city. Labelled as garage rock, Madrid formed Hinds have a certain European twang and interest to their work. Supporting Glass Animals on their up and coming tour, it's once again great to see an all female band launching themselves to inevitable success.

Covent garden
After breathlessly hauling myself up the Covent Garden steps, I stumbled upon a tiny bakery selling pastries and drinks, and sat, central Covent Garden sipping on my over priced London orange juice. This moment was all about watching the busy people of London that passed my seated self. And for this exact reason I picked one of Little Comets’ more refined songs B and B from their most recent album Hope is just a state of mind. Rich in everything harmony related the songs narrative is mainly frustrated and political, two things I think can be associated with London.

Butterfly exhibition
Perhaps one of the more random of destinations, I found myself in South Kensington visiting a butterfly exhibition. For a random moment, I have chosen an utterly random song… Not a crime by Gogol Bordello is a gypsy punk fusion and it is weird yet wonderful. The harsh, almost screaming of the lead vocals and accompanying tambourines really shouldn’t work, but still gives you a sense of *time to dance*.

I merely walked though Chelsea. However it had an air of classiness about it and for this I felt like there was no other voice to match the moment than Lana Del Rey. Carmen is song where her oozy vocals further melt the ears into easy submission. Almost hypnotic, I felt entranced listening to Lana’s voice through my headphones full volume. I felt obliged to listen to her command to “put my lipstick on”.

Show – Miss Saigon
As a controversial lover of musicals, I managed to get cheap tickets for Miss Saigon in Leicester square. For this moment I am picking a song from the musical, “last night of the world”, a totally emotive and moving song from an emotionally challenging musical. I recommend to any musical lover to book tickets.

The journey home was one of complete darkness, and totally alone. For this I picked a song from Gengahr’s new album, which is totally haunting, and whimsically beautiful. She’s a Witch, contemplates “maybe she’ll sink, maybe she’ll fly”, and this philosophical thought of the night was totally correct for this conclusive journey back home, and back to reality. The second song for the 1 hr journey was a retrospective choice, of The Cat Empire’s Chariot.  A song that builds, chariot is the perfect song to accompany any moment in my opinion, especially a lonely late night train journey of contemplation.

(written by grace goslin)