Monday, 17 January 2011

Breaking Out of this Two-Star Town

If you recognise the lyric in the title, I love you forever. Yes, it's Music Monday and this week's theme (because I do like a good theme) is pretty personal to me, but hopefully the songs are awesome enough to transcend that.

I'm one of those people who likes to 'soundtrack' their lives; it may be morbid, but I'm always thinking about songs for my funeral. And for my wedding, I guess. But mostly my funeral - I figure I can be more sure that I'll have one of those than a wedding.

My Gap Year then (sounds so pretentious!), as my first taste of freedom after years of education, and my first opportunity to really, really go see all the world I wanted to (well, at least some of it), was just begging for its own soundtrack.

And as usual, the gods of music delivered.

Here's a run-down of the songs that accompanied me on my travels, enjoy! (Disclaimer: Brace yourself now for a very, very long post.)

1. The Killers - Read my Mind
Obviously. This song is more the soundtrack to my life. It's probably one of my favourite songs of all time, and as a small town girl (originally) who moved to the big city and has since been looking even further beyond, it speaks to me like no other. And makes me tear up every time. Plus Brandon Flowers is a genius, hands-down. (I listened to Sam's Town loads in general that year, especially on roof-down drives with my Mum while I was at home; For Reasons Unknown and This River is Wild are other particular favourites.)

Of course, it helped that when the song came out, the (awesome) video was set in Tokyo, the very place I was saving up for a flight to. 

2. Yves LaRock - Rise Up
'My dream... is to fly... over the rainbow, so high'. Duhh!

3. One Republic - Come Home
More than the whole 'missing home' thing, I chose this song for that first line, 'Hello world, hope you're listening'. It was like my mantra for the year.

4. Bob Sinclar - Love Generation
This song is awesome and always makes me super happy. I love the official video; the little dude getting on his bike and cycling all over the place. What a legend. And eco-friendly too.

5. Jason Mraz - I'm Yours
An obvious choice maybe, but the perfect accompaniment to the beaches of South-Eastern Asia, and to elephant rides through the Thai jungle. (p.s. check out the amazing hotel I stayed in on Koh Chang here)

6. Tina Turner - Missing You
Again, not actually because of the 'missing you' message but because my friend and I enjoyed rocking out to this on the overnight train between Beijing and Hong Kong.

7. Bruce Springsteen - Dancing in the Dark
This could just have easily have gone in my 'Married a Music Man' post, but it's here instead. 'You can't start a fire, worried about your little world falling apart'. The Boss. Enough said.
p.s. Courteney Cox!

8. Kanye West - Home
Not as well-known as his more recent version of it, Homecoming (feat. Chris Martin of Coldplay), but I much prefer the soul of this version. Strange how a song that is seemingly so personal and so obviously about Chicago can feel so applicable to anyone and their own home town. This is without a doubt, my favourite Kanye West song & one of my favourites in general.

9. The Pipettes - Pull Shapes
Like, the funnest song ever. My travel-companion (The Danner) and I had soooo much fun dancing to this when train-station stopovers got a bit much. If you like vintage-inspired music, you'll like this.

10. Underworld - Born Slippy
Not sure why, but this song makes me think of, like, everything all at once. Just before I went away, my Mum and I took some us-time driving through the countryside just outside London at dusk with the roof down and this song on. It was nice to know that I had that to come back to.

11. Train - Drops of Jupiter
My Mum told me one day that this song always makes her think of me. It's one of my favourite songs ever ever.

12. Bobby Darin - Somewhere Beyond the Sea
I think I told my then-boyfriend to listen to this whenever he missed me! I'm always thinking about what's out there, so sometimes I forget to think about the people I leave behind, but this song brings me back to them.


13. The Source [feat. Candi Staton] - You've Got the Love
Say what you want about Florence and the Machine, her version of this is very good. But this is The Source's remix of Candi's original and - for me - it's just so much more soulful and uplifting: 'When food is gone, you are my ddaaaiiilly meeeaat'. Plus, it's the last song in the last season of Sex and the City.

14. Adele - Hometown Glory
I was listening to this on the plane on the entertainment system. I have to admit to getting a bit emotional over it, but in a good way - it paints such a perfect picture of London for me. I also listened a lot to Make You Feel My Love because I love Dylan's songwriting and Adele's voice.

15. Eva Cassidy - Somewhere Over the Rainbow
First off, this version actually accompanies me everywhere (as I may have mentioned before, it's my ring tone), but again, this was a flight-home song. I remember sitting on the flight home and feeling so happy-sad, as I was going home to be in time for my Mum's wedding. It's just such a beautiful song and has been a favourite of mine since I was teeny-tiny

16. Lights - Last Thing On Your Mind
I love love love Lights. I don't know why this song in particular is travelly for me, but it gives me a sense of freedom, I guess. If you're not already into Lights, find a few of her songs on Youtube. 

17. Augustana - Boston
Ok, so I didn't go to Boston. But I totally could have done. Again, the theme is kind of... breaking out, doing your own thing. Plus it's beautiful. Like I can't stress how beautiful it is.

18. Plain White Ts - Hey there, Delilah
If you don't love this song you probably don't have a heart. Or maybe have just heard it one too many times. It's the perfect soundtrack to being separated from the person you love because you're pursuing your dreams, though.

19. Depeche Mode - Enjoy the Silence (2004 Version)
For some reason, to this day, this song makes me think of Tokyo. Maybe it's the synths and stuff, maybe it's the innate coolness, maybe it's the sense of complete longing that I associate with Tokyo. (I cannot stress how much I love that place, for real). It's also a fantastic song.

20. Moby - In My Heart
Ahhhh, this song inspires me so so much. I think it's one of the songs (along with Read My Mind) that made me turn around and go - I'm gonna save up some money, fly to the other side of the world, and just... do that for a while. The chorus section gives me actual tingles, I swear. I love Moby so much, and 'Why does my Heart Feel So Bad?', 'One of these Mornings' and 'I'm not Worried at all' are just a couple of his songs that could have been included on this list. He was very prominently on my travelling playlist. 

It's just occurred to me that I've totally left off my anthems for when I interrailed around Europe, so I guess that's another Music Monday post in the making. (Yes, I'm still trying to make it a thing.)

Hope you enjoyed the playlist and that maybe they inspired you to take a chance and hop on a flight somewhere amazing.

Ciao for now,

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