This week we have a special guest curator for our WWLTTW playlist – Georgie Thompson! Georgie is a Client Manager, based in our Amsterdam Studio. You’ll often find Georgie, headphones on, living vicariously through other people’s musical talent. Here’s Georgie to introduce herself and the music that she – and we – are listening to this week…
All my life I have grown up around people who seem to ooze talent and this natural ability to play music. Whether it’s an instrument, singing, DJ-ing, producing or writing, I was unfortunately never graced with the gift (or patience) to create music. It took me a while to come to terms with the fact that I would never actually be able to produce a musical masterpiece, so I decided to take it as the perfect opportunity to absorb and appreciate what others create.
A musician needs an audience and we, as the audience, become part of their craft. Music is made so that others can enjoy it. Otherwise it’s like being a doctor but having no patients, a lawyer with no clients, a brand with no consumer. Before moving to Amsterdam in November last year, I loved spending my time in London listening to and seeing as much music as possible, always on the lookout for something new and eager to hear what my friends and colleagues were bopping to under their headphones. And I intend to do exactly the same here. Only now, I will be wearing clogs whilst doing it.
So this playlist is dedicated to all the music lovers, the toe tappers, the out of time clappers, the shower singers, the dodgy dancers and the gig goers who, despite living and breathing the world of music, can’t even master ‘Smoke on the Water’ on the guitar. My WWLTTW playlist is a selection of some of the acts I’ve seen live over the past couple of years – and a couple of extras thrown in who I’m still waiting to see!
Hope you enjoy!
Josh T. Pearson
I’ve been to a few gigs at St John’s Church in Hackney, and it’s probably one of my favourite venues. There is something so hauntingly beautiful about hearing live music in a church – the acoustics, the grandeur of the building. I’ve always liked country music but had never really seen anything live until a good friend invited me to go and see Josh T. Pearson with her at St John’s. It was one of the most emotional things I’ve ever witnessed. Without sounding like a huge sap, it was one of those moments where I actually had to fight back tears because I felt myself becoming so involved in the heart wrenching performance. Maybe not one for a Friday pick-me-up, but definitely give his album ‘Last of the Country Gentlemen a listen’.
Tusks – Dreamcatcher (Bodhi Glitch remix)
Artist and producer Emily Underhill performs under the stage name ‘Tusks’, and is a rising talent on the alt-pop scene. I caught one of her performances at Birthdays on Stoke Newington High Street a year or so ago, and her sound was incredibly emotive and cinematic, and she was completely captivating to watch. There’s nothing I love more than seeing a talented woman owning her craft. And I also love a remix… so I’ve chosen the Bodhi Glitch remix of Tusks’ Dreamcatcher.
Waking Aida – Incandenza
So my brother is actually the bassist in Waking Aida, but I promise you that this isn’t a plug! (OK, I can’t promise that, but you should seriously check them out, they’re excellent). What I love about these guys is that they are instrumental. I think we tend to rely on lyrics too much to influence our emotions in music. Taking away the vocal allows you to focus on the full architecture of the song, rather than being lost in the voice of one person. The guys do sample in their tracks and the particular voice you hear in my choice is that of spoken word artist Sarah Kay, The poem is titled ‘if I should have a daughter’, and you can watch her perform it at TED here, it’s pretty beautiful.
(A little somethin’ extra for you – new remix of Incandenza fresh of the decks below.)
Boxed In – Mystery
I saw Boxed In play at XOYO a couple of years ago now. I hadn’t really heard a huge amount from them before I went, but a friend was good mates with Oli Bayston, the lead singer/keyboardist, and told us to come along. What struck me immediately was the pure grit and passion I felt from these 4 blokes. Normal-looking chaps who you could tell were just beyond grateful to be doing what they love in front of people who were doing what they love – listening to good music. Nothing gets my toes tapping like Mystery. Super upbeat tempo, perfectly crafted, quirky 90’s pop vibe.
Maybeshewill – In Amber
I saw these guys play at the album launch for ‘Fair Youth’ at The Garage in Highbury. Instrumental, rowdy yet melodic, and purely brilliant to watch live. Unfortunately the boys have gone their separate ways following their most recent tour, but I still love to listen to them when I need a bit of momentum.
Gwilym Gold – Triumph
Another St John’s gig, where I saw the stunning Gwilym Gold play alongside London Contemporary Voices and Phoria. This is one of his more uptempo tracks which adds a little something more to his moody electro pop style. Previously the frontman of indie band Golden Shivers, Gwilym produced his own generative music format, Bronze. The premise was that if listeners played his debut album ‘Tender Metal’ through the platform, the songs would never sound the same twice (don’t ask me how it works…)
CHINAH – Away from me
This Danish three piece played at a venue just round the corner from me in London, so it would have been rude not to pop by. And boy, I’m glad I did. Fine Glindvad is one of the most charismatic frontwomen I’ve ever seen, and it was a real pleasure to watch the Copenhagen natives perform live. A synth pop-lovers dream that hooks you from the word go.
Beirut – After the curtain
I’ve always loved Beirut, so I was beyond excited when my parents told me they’d bought us tickets to go see them play at the Roundhouse in Camden for a tour of their latest album ‘No No No’. They’re a funny bunch – sort of geography teacher come Mariarchi band. Who knew it would turn out to be such a great combo? ‘After the Curtain’ is the last track on their first album ‘Gulag Orkestar’, and will always be my favourite. Any band with a glockenspiel gets my vote.
First Aid Kit – When I grow up
Believe it or not, my Dad actually introduced me to the Swedish sisters a couple of years back and I have loved them ever since. It’s hard not to be completely absorbed by their folksy harmonies, which whisk you into a world of rhythmic storytelling. I only heard ‘When I grow up’ a couple of weeks ago when I was testing out a cute bar near my new flat in Amsterdam when this song came on. Originally by fellow Swede Karin Dreijer Andersson’s (aka Fever Ray), ‘When I grow up’ was covered by the young duo back in 2010. Listen to the original on Spotify here.
Yet to see these girls live, but when they next announce a tour I’ll be first in line.
That’s all for my playlist this week, I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have putting it together.
You can also follow WWLTTW on Spotify here. New playlists added most weeks!