1. Joanna Newsom | Sawdust & Diamonds
I really adore this song and it’s been a favourite of mine for a long time. I think Joanna Newsom is such a brilliant, intricate, songwriter and this track showcases some of her most ambitious writing. Watching her perform this is absolutely heart-wrenching, there’s a real emotional journey from beginning to end over the course of ten minutes and it always gets me.
2. Arcade Fire | Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)
The first song I ever heard by Arcade Fire was Tunnels and it’s still my favourite by them. I love the lyrics, it has a very nostalgic vibe to it but it’s also very uplifting. I saw them live at their second ever UK show, and many times since then, but that first time I went on my own and queued up before doors opened; I was so excited to see them. I got to meet some of the band a couple years later which was fun, they’re good people.
3. Gang Starr | Work
Someone put this on a mixtape for me before I had heard it and ever since then it’s been a favourite, and a sort of motivational anthem for me. I really love Old School Hip Hop.
4. A Tribe Called Quest | Find A Way
A Tribe Called Quest are my favourite Rap group and this is my favourite track by them, it’s so smooth. Their samples are really well selected, I definitely admire their production. My introduction to them came by chance; I was in a record store about 8 years ago in Charlotte, North Carolina, and I was picking up CDs to listen to in my friend's car and I bought The Low End Theory because I liked the look of the cover.
5. Aly-Us | Follow Me
This is the perfect House record in my opinion, the bass hook is so catchy and upbeat and the vocal has such a positive message. My ex housemate Laurence (Citizen) got me into this track.
6. Fleetwood Mac | Dreams
I’m not a huge Fleetwood Mac fan, but I just love this song, it’s such a classic. I like slipping this into my DJ sets when appropriate as well, the Gilgamesh remix is awesome. It’s always nice to end a night with a big sing-a-long to some Fleetwood Mac.
7. Hole | Violet
I love the energy in this track, any time I hear it in a club or at a party it makes me want to jump around like an idiot. It’s also a song I like to put on when I’m angry or upset as a way of venting. I met Courtney Love a couple times and she’s quite intense but cool. I’m also a big Nirvana fan.
8. Sparklehorse | Sunshine
I used to lie in the Sun in the park and listen to this song with my eyes closed, and like the narrator I’d think about how fickle yet beautiful Life can be sometimes and it would make me smile. I was very sad when Mark Linkous passed away.
9. Low | Dinosaur Act
Low are one of my all time favourite bands and this track perfectly showcases them at their best. I love the tension in their Music and the Minimal arrangements, it’s cool how much they achieve with so little. I have never seen them live, but I had tickets to see them at an intimate show once and missed it by accident and I’m still angry at myself for that.
10. Blur | Tender
I once lit 200 candles to spell I Love You and played this song for someone.