”Written byJosh Raynham
Music will forever and ever be the great connector.
Music has the ability to transport you to another world, or a memory. It can make you feel low, high, or just somewhere in between. Music is such a powerful way to express emotions and I believe it to be the catalyst for many of the beautiful things we experience in this life. From a throbbing baseline to the sweet sound of a violin the choices and feelings we can encounter are endless.
So here is a playlist for those memories. The ones I have had with the people who I have held closest to me. So, whilst these songs may not be a memory for you, I feel they have the power to take you to a place you hold dear.
With an intoxicating blend of reggae, dub, soul, and funk, the seven-piece group, Dr Reknaw, have developed a live show that brings with it the sounds of summer. “Advocate” follows the smooth hat hit of the snare drum along with the bass line of horns and accentuates singer and bassists Sophie Cooper’s low and dreamy voice. This song brings me to a place of no worries, the sun is always shining high, and I too am looking out at a low cresting wave break over a long sandy beach, it is a beautiful day.
With the trumpets entering you into a song about love there is very little not to like about “Sweet Love Affair“. I remember days lying around thinking about those who I love and resonating so strongly with this song, haha their name speaks LOUD! It reminds me of a sweet sweet memory but also just has me singing along to every word.
Appearing on my soundwaves sometime in 2021, but around for much longer before, Nigerian singer and songwriter Oby Onyioha expresses just how much one can experience and enjoy the life around them. “Enjoy Your Life” reminds one that every moment is a precious one and enjoying those moments can bring you the truest of happiness.
Sticky Fingers walk a tightrope of sound, finding a balance somewhere between heavy psychedelic rock and laid-back reggae. I have always felt a connection to their range of music and their ability to carve out poetry through their lyrics. “Napalm” brings me to a time when new friends were abundant and music gatekeeping was not a thing. Sharing this song brought happiness and a deeper connection with the ones I spent my time around. Napalm brings out the inner thoughts we have and the beauty that surrounds intimacy in one’s relationships. A balance of the soft sound yet powerful lyrics allows for a couch moment where one thinks about their own existentialism.
“Marinade” is the brainchild of Angus Stone, part of the duo with his sister Julia Stone, but also better known as Dope Lemon. Experiencing this song and then the rest of the album brought to me the feeling of a moment once lived, not that of my own life but of someone else’s. It transports you and has the ability to bring you right back to the place you just came from, but changed. Dope Lemon has always had a special place in my heart and with their unique ability to just be I feel their energy speaks through their songs.
A talented musician who I had the pleasure of calling a friend, Diego Telge brings out his soul in his music. From my travels through Peru, I came across a town by the sea. A beautiful place with beautiful people. Diego’s music follows stories of his life and the experiences which we feel as a collective. “Mundo de Fantasia” (“Fantasy World”) slows you down and grounds you in whatever space you may be. Listening to Diego’s soft lyrics and sweet guitar I find myself right back in that incredible place, a memory which is good.
Again, another song that brings out the joys of life “Move on Up” takes me to a place where I see myself dancing at home, oblivious to load shedding, spinning around in my socks. Devon Russel brings that Jamaican sound we so hold dear and moves from his earlier reggae rock years in the Tartans to the upbeat grooving sound we hear in “Move on Up”. Enjoy simply for the pleasures of life.
In the 70’s Al Green transformed soul music, bringing in the era of seductiveness and sweet, creamy sounds. “Jesus is Waiting” accentuates Al’s unique sound of lean grooves, lush strings, and a fat snare that lags ever so slightly behind the beat. It will always remind me of the times I’ve spent searching for a spirituality of a higher degree and ending up just connecting with the world around me instead. Take it as you will but I believe you just can’t not go into a trance of passion and feeling when listing to this song.
Francisco Javier Aravena Rivero’s sounds are as intense, creative and free as the land he hails from. His expression through instrumental music is marked by an image of opaque forests, animals, and wild mountain ranges and embodies a symbol of South American unity. Delivering under the name Ocelote Rojo, Francisco takes the mental image we have of a small Chilean village and turns it into music. “Untitled, Pt. 2” transports you and reminds me of a time when I too was passing through these villages, totally in awe of the world around me. Put this on when you’re feeling adventurous or just want to listen to some simple yet sweet guitar solos.
The era of surf rock is not dead! It is thankfully very much alive and kicking. Spooky Mansion delivers that sound discovered by Dick Dale all those years ago in the surfed-out communities in Southern California. “I’m the Moon” replays those days driving in your car with the window down in search of the perfect wave. To be played whenever the sun is out.