Charity Swales

What’s in your Earphones? – Charity’s February Playlist

February, a dichotomy of feelings can be felt towards it depending on the state of your romantic life and your opinion on pancakes. Despite being the month of St. Valentine’s day and Pancake day, an indifference of mine towards the two means it’s not really themed by either of those dates (sorry guys!). Anyway, it’s been a great month for new releases and a rediscovery of old favourites.

Two Headed Boy– Neutral Milk Hotel

I remember buying this album for a fiver on vinyl when my local record shop shut down a couple of years back, and it was one of the best fivers I’ve ever dismissed from my possession. After getting particularly intoxicated the other night, this was weirdly my album of choice to put on, and ever since then I’ve been listening to Two Headed Boy almost daily. It’s one of the most stripped down track from the album with only Jeff Magnum and his acoustic guitar, but possesses some of the most memorable lyrics of the album.

REALiTi (Demo)– Grimes

Grimes is the ultimate ethereal angel and I absolutely adore her and respect her as an artist (the girl writes, mixes and produces all her own tracks!). Her blend of electronic, techno pop music is the most compelling from an artist in recent years, and this version of Realiti from 2016 album Art Angels is my favourite, its stripped back haunting reverbs are way more raw and more captivating than the album version.

Animated Violence– Thee Oh Sees

A recent change of name and a progressively experimental new release, Animated Violence is one of the heaviest from their latest record Orc.The interplay of binaries, the quiet and loud, and the ominous growl of lead singer John Dwyer, is mind blowing and reminds me of Sleep.

Let’s Make Out– Dream Wife

A fitting song for February. I was lucky enough to witness Dream Wife at the unfortunately deceased Magnet in October (read my review here)  and the energy they brought is incomparable to any I’ve seen in a while. Forget the year of the dog, 2018 is undeniably the year of the woman, and they’re not simply opening doors in the music industry, but kicking them down with reckless abandon. The candy coated harmonies eventually accumulate into an explosion of seductive guitars and the menacing roar of lead singer Rakell Mjioll. Make sure you check these guys out next month on their UK headline tour.

Catch it – iceage

This month marked the return of brooding Danish trio iceage with Catch it after their 2014 output Brooding Into The Field Of Love. It’s dark and sultry, with it’s brooding vocals over a plain, lurching chord progression. I’m excited for new material from these guys.

Pig– Sparklehorse

I don’t know why it took me so long to listen to Sparklehorse, but I’m so glad I did. This track contains more energy than the contents of a double espresso, with it’s grungy distorted guitars and satirical attack on modern consumerism (“I want a new face right now and I want it bad”).

Freak Scene– Dinosaur Jr.

Dinosaur Jr. always seem to revert my mood to irrationally optimistic, even when my life may or may not be falling apart. I usually listen to this on the morning walk to uni, to lift my spirits before the thrilling uni day ahead.

The Louvre– Lorde

Lorde is endlessly fascinating and Melodrama was one of my favourite albums of last year. Great for when you want to romanticise your whole life, to the soundtrack of a hedonistic, immersively bliss pop song in the form of The Louvre. I’m going to be seeing Lorde next month at Parklife which makes me a very happy bean, as like Grimes for me she is another pioneer of pop music at the moment.

On Hold (Remix)- Jamie xx

Taken from The xx’s third album In Colour, Jamie xx puts his own stamp upon On Hold sampling the staccato. He manages to change this track into something hedonistically sublime (exhibit a: his remix of Take Care). Like Lorde, Jamie XX is also at Parklife next month, which means I will be definitely seeing off the weekend in front of the decks of the man himself (sorry Liam Gallagher).

A Real Hero– Electric Youth

Another song that puts me in an irrationally positive mood, I rediscovered this song after watching Drive, which has a beautiful soundtrack. It’s convincingly 80’s with it’s hypnotic synths and driving drum bass line, and if I could drive this would definitely the tune on repeat, but for now I’ll just have to make do with walking.

This Twilight Garden– The Cure

One of my favourite Cure songs and in my opinion one of the most beautiful love songs (it’s February, I had to include one somewhere). The Cure have a knack of creating an ambience like no other, it’s hypnotically beautiful and Robert Smith delivers emotionally like no other.

911/Mr Lonely– Tyler, The Creator

Tyler, The Creator really stepped up his game with the release of Flower Boy and this is one of my favourite tracks from the album. It represents perfectly the alter egos hes integrated into his music over the years, on this old school style track featuring Frank Ocean. However, beneath the upbeat track are darker undertones to the lyrics (“I say the loudest one in the room/ Is prolly the loneliest one (that’s me)”)

Haxel Princess– Cherry Glazerr

Another fabulous female fronted band, I’ve had Haxel Princess on repeat from 2014 album of the same name. A moody and aggressive track with a lo-fi punk vibe, a definite staple of the month.

To listen to Charity’s playlist, and all the other fab playlist our music team churns out every month, visit our Spotify account at ellipsismusicteam.

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