Playlist of the month: Alcohol

Screenshot of the alcohol playlist on Spotify

Time for the fourth instalment of my Playlist of the Month, and this month, it’s all about alcohol and drinking seeing as Dry January is over. Unlike last month, this was a relatively easy topic to come up with.

Here’s the Spotify playlist if you want to listen along.

  • Drink – Alestorm. As you’d expect from a band called Alestorm, they’ve written a lot of songs about drinking over their seven (soon to be eight) albums. This was the first single from the fourth (and in my view best) album. Indeed it’s about 11 years ago since I saw them in Leeds.
  • Cigarettes and Alcohol – Oasis. I’m not a big Oasis fan but any playlist about alcohol would be remiss without this.
  • Vodka – Korpiklaani. This Finnish folk metal band has several songs about alcohol, with others including ‘Happy Little Boozer’ and ‘Bring Us Pints Of Beer’. ‘Vodka’ is probably their best.
  • Whiskey in the Jar – Metallica. It’s a traditional Irish folk song but this version by Metallica is probably its best known recording. A staple at any ceilidh.
  • Love Drunk – Boys Like Girls. You can be drunk, and indeed hungover, on love as well as alcohol, and this is one of my favourite songs in this genre.
  • Drinking in LA – Bran Van 3000. Quite the one-hit wonder from 1997.
  • Tequila – Terrorvision. A local band coming from just up the road from me in Keighley; this was probably their biggest hit thanks to a remix by Mint Royale.
  • Tubthumping – Chumbawumba. Another big song from the 1990s. Whilst Chumbawumba have released 16 albums to date, this is by far their most well-known song.
  • Drunken Lullabies – Flogging Molly. Another Irish-themed song; again, Flogging Molly have no shortage of songs about drinking but this is their most well-known song.
  • Beer – Reel Big Fish. And finally, a bit of ska to finish off.

Playlist of the month: duets

When I started this, I thought that thinking of 10 songs each month on a common theme with a bit of context would be easy. It turns out that it’s not. I can easily think of 4-5 songs to fit a theme, but getting 10 is harder than I thought it would be. Hence why this is being posted at 9pm on the 30th January and has been typed out on my iPad.

Last month was, of course, Christmas-themed. This month, it’s all duets, and you can listen along on Spotify.

  • Rewrite The Stars – Zac Efron and Zendaya. The Greatest Showman soundtrack is just amazing. This isn’t my absolute favourite song from the album, but it’s one I come back to a lot.
  • Bring Me To Life – Evanescence. This was never intended to be a duet, and to mark the 20th anniversary of their album Fallen, Evanescence released a demo of this without the added male vocals. The band’s label felt that they wouldn’t have been successful unless this song was a duet; maybe they were right but also being featured on the soundtrack to the film Daredevil (with Ben Affleck) probably helped.
  • It’s Over – Nemesea. Less well-known and sounds a bit like an Evanescence collaboration with Linkin Park. This is my second favourite Nemesea song after ‘Caught in the Middle’ from the same album.
  • What Have You Done – Within Temptation. From the same genre as above, and as a big Within Temptation fan I needed to include at least one of their songs here. They’ve done several duets over time but this is probably their most well-known. Male vocals are provided by Mina Caputo from the band Life of Agony, before she transitioned.
  • Broken Strings – James Morrison and Nelly Furtado. I watched a lot of music TV around 2008/9 and this was massive at the time. Very catchy.
  • Beautiful South – You’re The One That I Want. Yes, it’s that song from Grease, but slowed down. I prefer this version. I think I heard it the first time in a Virgin Megastore, which dates it somewhat.
  • When You Believe – Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey. Released to promote a somewhat forgotten Dreamworks animated film called The Prince of Egypt in 1998. Both singers get to stretch their ample vocal ranges here.
  • Kids – Robbie Williams and Kylie Minogue. A big single released at the height of Robbie’s solo career and just as Kylie was getting back to her pop roots. Great thumping chorus.
  • When You’re Gone – Bryan Adams and Melanie C. Apparently Bryan originally offered this to Sheryl Cole, but this ended up being Mel C’s first solo single. There’s also a version with Pamela Anderson, but it’s geo-blocked from UK Spotify. Maybe that’s for the best.
  • The Boy Is Mine – Brandy and Monica. I bought the CD single of this back in 1998. This musical argument between the two singers allegedly reflected real world animosity, and also wouldn’t pass the Bechdel Test.

So there we go for this month. Hopefully, I’ll have another themed playlist for you for February some time within the next 4 weeks.

Playlist of the month: my favourite Christmas songs

Screenshot of the cover of my favourite Christmas songs playlist on Spotify

Now that I’m blogging regularly again, I’ve decided to start a new monthly feature where I post a playlist of 10 songs, all around a theme. Last month was guitar heavy indie rock, and this month, because it’s December, I’ve chosen Christmas music.

If you want to listen along, here’s the Spotify playlist.

  • ‘Underneath the Tree’ by Kelly Clarkson. Probably the best new-ish Christmas pop song that I’ve heard of late, although it’s still a decade old.
  • ‘Fairytale of New York’ by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl. We’ll disregard the gay slur in the lyrics, but it’s a good song with humour. If you prefer, this cover by Grace Petrie is good too. Sadly we lost The Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan last month.
  • ‘I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day’ by Wizzard. Probably my favourite classic Christmas pop song, although Wizzard’s lead singer Roy Wood is a bit racist nowadays.
  • ‘Stay Another Day’ by East 17. Is this a Christmas song? The lyrics are not explicitly about Christmas, but it was a Christmas number one in 1994 in the UK and the addition of bells make it sufficiently Christmassy for me.
  • ‘Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End)’ by The Darkness. There’s room for more than one glam rock band to have a Christmas song, and this mid-2000s song by The Darkness is a better ‘new’ song.
  • ‘Christmas Truce’ by Sabaton. Sabaton are a Scandinavian metal band who sing historically accurate songs about war. This one is about the Christmas Truce from the First World War.
  • ‘Last Christmas’ by Carly Rae Jepson. Whamhalla is over for 2023 – I got out after just 36 hours this year. But if you were playing, then covers didn’t count, and this is my favourite cover version.
  • ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ by Our Last Night. This metal cover band pops up regularly in my Release Radar playlist on Spotify, as they release new songs regularly. This is their interpretation of this Christmas classic.
  • ‘Merry Axe-Mas’ by Nine Inch Nails. More metal, but not a cover this time.
  • ‘Wonderful Christmastime’ by Pentatonix. Paul McCartney’s original has always been just a bit too eighties for me. I prefer this a cappella version.

I’ll be back with another playlist sometime in January.

Playlist of the month: guitar-heavy indie rock

Screenshot of the guitar heavy indie rock playlist on Spotify

Now that I’m blogging regularly again, I’ve decided to start a new monthly feature where I post a playlist of 10 songs, all around a theme. With a few hours to go until the end of the month, here’s this month’s playlist.

These songs are all indie rock songs with a big guitar riffs, and are some of my favourite songs. If you want to listen along, here’s the Spotify playlist.

  • ‘Steve McQueen’ by The Automatic. This was the first single from this band’s second album, ‘This Is A Fix’. It starts with thumping guitars, and never lets up. Whilst The Automatic are best known for their debut single, ‘Monster’, this is my favourite.
  • ‘When We Wake Up’ by Asylums. I can’t quite remember how I came across this song but it’s great, and only has around 60,000 streams on Spotify so far. There’s a catchy chorus and powerful guitar riffs all of the way through.
  • ‘Praise Be’ by The Plea. Another less well-known band who I found out about because they supported Ash on tour. I really like this song and it’s surprising that it’s not more well known.
  • ‘Boulevard of Broken Dreams’ by Green Day. I’m sure people will argue whether this fits the theme, but I would argue that it’s one of their best songs from their best album.
  • ‘Ruby’ by Kaiser Chiefs. The first single from their second album, with strong guitars from the start and a catchy chorus.
  • ‘Nothing’ by A. Calling your band ‘A’ probably made sense in the days when people bought singles from high street record stores, but the move to digital platforms makes this song a little harder to find.
  • ‘Dirty Little Secret’ by The All-American Rejects. Another first single from a second album; whilst it’s not my favourite song by this band, it fits the theme.
  • ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’ by Arctic Monkeys. Their debut single, and their best, in my view. I know it’s a controversial opinion but none of their subsequent singles have been as good as this.
  • ‘Orpheus’ by Ash. I mentioned Ash earlier, and as they’re the band I’ve seen the most (three times) I should include one of theirs.
  • ‘Just A Day’ by Feeder. Originally a B-side to ‘Seven Days In The Sun’, this ended up being a single for a later Greatest Hits album, and is arguably among their best songs.

I’ll do another playlist of 10 songs next month. With it being December, no prizes for guessing the theme.