This week, in the Knowles residence, we’ve been going through Dad’s mountains of CDs in an attempt to declutter and, eventually, redecorate. We don’t really have visitors to the house much because it’s essentially a contained, yet messy pile of things that aren’t even ours! One thing I’ve learned about my Dad through all of this is that he was a collector, through and through, and a bit of a hoarder to boot.
So, baby steps. I came across some of my old CD collection amongst his, and realised that there are actually a few albums (and singles) that ‘changed’ my life – or at least shaped me into who I am now. It’s been nice and nostalgic to listen to them and let all those old feelings wash over me.
1. The Black Parade – My Chemical Romance
Oh man, this album. Typical melodramatic ’emo kid’ of 2006, TBP was the first album I ever properly connected to and cared about more than just hearing the songs on the music channels. It was my gateway album into the whole emo/rock/pop-punk body of music, which was so different and exciting compared to the ‘chav’ music that most other people at my school enjoyed in 2006 (lol). It also inspired me to dye my hair ketchup red and wear pink-and-black stripy fingerless gloves, but everyone makes mistakes. TBP showed me there can be a lot more to music than the melody you hear, and MCR remain one of my all-time favourite bands for that reason.
2. Made of Bricks – Kate Nash
When Kate Nash first came onto the scene in 2007, I was obsessed. It was actually my Dad who suggested I give her song Foundations a listen, so I went the full hog and bought the album without hearing anything on it beforehand. As well as being an album of great indie-pop, it came out at *just* the right time – I was going through a big teenage transition in terms of my friendships, wanting to dress in crazy colourful clothes and branch out to do more exciting things and make more friends. Made of Bricks helped a great deal with my accepting that it’s okay to be a bit different and quirky, as long as you’re happy and being yourself. I needed that.
3. We Were Here – Joshua Radin
Joshua Radin’s music is so great. It’s a peaceful, quiet night with the fire on, or a walk in the sun with a bit of a breeze. It’s just nice. As a family, we discovered his music while watching Scrubs, after ‘Winter’ was featured in one of the series’ most emotional scenes ever (somewhere in season 3, episode ‘My Screw Up’). Winter is one of my all-time favourite songs. His album ‘Simple Times’ is a big one for me too, as I listened to it religiously before seeing him live in 2008 – and for months afterwards. My go-to artist if I need to just sit the fuck down and relax.
Some other songs that deserve an honourable mention in a post like this:
Just A Song About Ping Pong by Operator, Please – because it’s barmy and this post would not be complete without it:
Harry Rag by The Kinks – for all the ‘living room discos’ I grew up having before bed (this really was our song of choice, at the age of ~6):
What’s My Name? by Rihanna – for giving me the confidence to be the ‘new kid’ at sixth form on my walk over every day:
What If? by Safetysuit – the song that reminds me of fandom. I’m not kidding. My first ship was Kradam and there was a beautiful fan video going round at the time set to that song:
Bubbles by Biffy Clyro – a song I used to help me get over someone that didn’t really help me get over them. It’s a great song though:
Summertime by My Chemical Romance – a song, the song, that I wish was written about me:
Down by Dodie Clark – I’ve only discovered Dodie in the past year or so, but she’s really helping through what I can only describe as the worst time of my life, mental health wise:
Obviously there are many, many more songs and artists that I love, have seen live and been influenced by. These are just a few. Music’s great, isn’t it?
Until next time,