HARKIVE ’16.

As the only guaranteed piece of writing you get from me annually these days, it’s fourth Harkive time, and unsurprisingly, I still find it as interesting and fun to get involved in as the last, but that might just be because I have an apparent taste for writing about what I listen to. For the fourth year in a row, it also falls on a day where I have no plans of leaving the house, which is going to make this year as banal yet packed full of music as the last 3, and my tastes are genuinely starting to shamefully not vary as the years pass, this is evident by the first track sliding me into Tuesday being Suede‘s (audible groans) Weight Of The World via iTunes, of course, & after a quick decision of what the last track of the night should be I inevitably settle on their Picnic By The Motorway – spotted a recurring trend yet?

It’s now just before 12 and I’ve been up ages but yet to settle on any music bar a video of Hanson singing Mmm Bop acoustic 20 years on that landed on my Facebook feed, before realising I’d have to admit to that here. Prior to that my amalgamation of head music (ha ha) upon waking was Father John Misty‘s Real Love, switching into Grace Lightman‘s Faultless (I adore this track) upon realising she was playing in London tonight & I cannot go (sad face etc.), into a few instrumental demos I wrote yesterday that I’ve definitely decided I still don’t like any better the day after, and a megamix of my workplace playlist of consistently awful unsigned music that plagues me even on my days off.

Just writing this thinking about Grace Lightman again I instantly fire up Youtube to put Faultless on a real life spin, the track truly is – she sounds like a new age Kate Bush with luscious synths and it gets me completely everytime.

I’ve got a lot of writing that I’ve been putting off to do today but it’s also stiflingly hot and i feel like i’m drowning in it after half an hour out of bed, so it’s set to be a playlist of all sorts of nonsense to help me get through from here on in..

After the third glass of water to clear my head and procrastinating on Twitter as hard as I could, I really need to actually get some work done, and my first task is condensing the majesty of Gabriel Bruce‘s newly released Come All Sufferers LP into 200 words, so I stick it on via iTunes for inspiration, before i can even press play though, a tweet showcasing someone’s new purchase of a Postman Pat single gets the theme tune swiftly stuck in my head, we’re off to a great start. 4 tracks in to the record and the article is done (yes it’s that good friends) but my eager urge to move onto the next thing battles that to stick with the record til the end (a whole 6 tracks away) and as much as I am an avid advocate for the album in all it’s glory, I’m questioning a bit how much the Endless fields of music that can be accessed daily is also getting to me at points like this – it all ends in me attempting to sing every single overlapping vocal part at the frankly mind-blowing end of the records title track and sticking with it. It’s worth pointing out this is the first year I’ve finally invested in some proper monitors for my bedroom cum messy studio setup, and everything sounds infinitely better though them.

A quick pause of the record led to another weird Facebook timeline viewing ft. Grace Jones and a Citroen CX…

After dousing my face in egg whites and lemon juice (god knows) in hope things will improve, I can’t help but get on my mac to check a mix of a track I’m working on and not at liberty to disclose yet but one you should keep your eyes out for in the near – not too distant future at an earsplitting level, it sounds rather good too, before Chain Wallet‘s Muted Colours takes hold of my iTunes, a shining track with an inexplicably enchanting video I can’t seem to stop watching.

After a scathing political review of the day (still awful generally), I check on a demo I did yesterday to see if it’s any more salvageable than i thought, it’s not. But i fire up another which is my take on virtually ambient whale music and work on that for a while before my ears need a rest and something more tangible in the form of The DA‘s Fine Thanks, You? via downloading it from Soundcloud and another shot of FURSNatives via a tweet on my timeline.

I’m still struggling unmist my head and have more writing to do so stick on a shuffled Spotify playlist to soundtrack the sunny afternoon I made the other day based on a handful of Gold Panda, Massive Attack & Floating Points tracks that turned into a monster led discovery of ace new stuff by Spotify’s ‘You might want to add this’ feature when I was making it, listen at your peril below..

The playlist takes me through some Battles, Blood Orange (another stellar album out) and Giraffage (what a name) before I call it quits and dare to dive back into the demo. After an hour or so I give in and decide I’m done with it and get on the upload whilst I’ve got a sudden unexplained hankering to listen to the Electric version of Blur‘s Far Out, a track I haven’t heard in years but one I used to be mildly obsessed with because Space AND Alex James. This is the artwork, not sure why.

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Unsure how to quite follow that up I go for just shuffle, that jumps straight to some messy live late 90’s Suede cuts, a live Brandon Flowers cover of Bette Davis Eyes (brilliant fyi), some Sonic Youth, Smiths and Foxygen before constantly checking my upload paranoid of the endless glitches that follow in my wake everywhere.

Having slumped in the heat, nearly fallen asleep & given up on my book, i inevitably re-fire up my laptop to listen, and unsure what to pick I turn to twitter where someone champions Father John Misty and I realise I never did actually listen to Real Love Baby other than as an earworm earlier, so it goes straight on Soundcloud & is still beautiful listening.

A trip into iTunes after dinner turns me onto a track titled skinDivesedit3, I listen and remain still clueless til Siri informed me it’s one by psych newcomers Tangerines, it’s alright, and the resumed shuffle spins me through Jay Z, The Crookes, Suede (obvs), The Cure (Extended mix of Love Song is a true gem). This is interjected by reading an article, a posthumous review of Viola Beach‘s debut record that hits the nail of the issue on the head, see here, and I play the video at the end, their BBC session for Like A Fool, that leads me further on to Boys That Sing, Cherry Vimto (A* song title) and Swings & Waterslides for that sparkling indie switch up.

The Fall merge into more Facebook clips of bands playing that merge into an amalgamation of my further library depths (The Killers, Suede, Brian Jonestown, more Suede, Jamiroquai,  all the regulars, and before i can stop myself !! more Suede !! (I am seeing them in 4 days so it’s allowed to be overboard) in the form of a horribly out of sync Jools performance they did a few years back via Vimeo.

After it getting to 5 to 10 and inevitably giving up on the rest of the writing I was supposed to do today (I did one bit and this definitely counts aswell okay), i switch to Spotify playlists for variation, starting with Flyying Colours‘ new one It’s Tomorrow Now, I love this band to the point this is exactly what I want every single band I’m ever in to sound like I think. It’s another chain of Kane Strang, Outfit‘s enchanting New Air, some french respite in the form of Moodoid feat. Melody’s Echo Chamber, Sam Flax‘s Another Day and Suede‘s (them again) Still Life in full, which it’s been ages since I properly listened to, and the ending is just still unbelievable, swiftly interrupted by a pop punk album advert…fantastic.

Before the end of the night I escape back via Dios Mio, Preoccupations, Whitney, The Clientele and Yet Another Suede interruption via another video posted on my Facebook (it’s directed a worrying amount of my music today somehow) of a double live hit of Sleeping Pills & The Wild Ones before I call it a night on one more listen of that Grace Lightman track and end as we started on Suede‘s Digging A Hole barely after 11pm, a new record for me.

This Harkive has probably been even less so interesting than the last because I really haven’t varied as much as previous years but I’ve written it now anyway so make of it what you will, it still always shocks me a bit about how easily my tastes and listening switches at the drop of a hat (or tweet as it may be) and how indecisive and mixed up it all always is with so much at our disposal, but there you go. Until next year..

(oh and shameless self promo here’s that weird ambient whale music I was referring to earlier, enjoy)

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