If you haven’t noticed… It’s Valentine’s day, this can either fill you with joy or dread, but we’re a fan of low key presents here at YADA HQ. So here’s a quick and easy idea for something you can make right now. Have you ever received a mixtape? Okay let’s not get too eighties we can extend it to a playlist (but it’s nice to receive something physical – not like that…) It can be one of the best gifts. It’s a personal gift someone has to go to the effort of making and thinking about (and incredibly easy). It can have your favourite songs together, link to memories or just show how well you know someone to recommend new music to them. It’s a highly romanticised gesture thanks to many a cult 80’s or early 00’s indie movie.
But it can also be a really hard place to start. The entire world of music can seem more than a little daunting. So we thought we’d throw out some tunes for you guys to start off your playlist and go genre by genre to hopefully get you outside that special someone’s window with a boom box- John Cusack style in Say Anything.
This one is both easy and hard, when it’s a genre where so much of its music is focused around love, life is easy because you don’t have to think a lot for a good choice, but difficult because there is so much choice. That’s also true in the case of the artist we’ve picked to represent the Goliath genre that is Soul music (also true in terms of stature- coming in at 6ft plus). But you can’t think of Soul music without Otis Redding coming to mind in the top three greats of the genre. He was a genius song writer and had many classics. So which song? Sitting on the dock of the bay? I’ve been loving you too long? Nope. If we’re starting a soulful mixtape we may as well be a little more refined and choose something a little less synonymous with Otis. So ‘that’s how strong my love is’ does that. It’s a classic soulful love song, that does what it says on the tin. Take a listen and let it lay your feelings out for someone special:
Okay we know that’s a bit of a mash of genres/styles, but we all know the style of music we’re thinking of. Your classic Mumford and Sons style “we’re not folk but we’re not rock” kind of music. It’s the kind of thing that get’s either used in a rom-com montage or a car advert based in the desert.
But it’s many people’s favourite kind of music and well suited to a valentine’s mix tape, so we couldn’t miss it out. So what’s our choice? It’s a cheesy one, but that’s part and parcel with Valentine’s. It’s ‘Home’ by Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros. It’s a classic couple duet you can belt out in the car, bedroom or even at the end of a night out, but it focuses on the two of you together because ‘home is wherever I am with you’ and what more can you need on Valentine’s? (Some people just chundered – but that’s okay) Take a listen:
This might be a little out there, but not all Hip-Hop and Rap is about its stereotypes of profanities, being derogatory to women or gang culture (although that side of things is definitely popular). A lot of Hip-Hop is inspired by its roots from Funk and Jazz and that’s exactly what our suggestion does. So what is it? Tom Misch and Loyle Carner’s ‘Crazy Dream’. Tom bring’s his signature chilled out jazz inspiration to the South London rapper’s lyrics to make a relaxing song about enjoying the fleeting moments of a relationship. The song off Tom’s Reverie E.P has a great spring/summer feel and if you and your special someone like to focus on the moment and trying to be present, then this chilled out love song might just be for you. Take a listen:
Okay I know you think we’ve gone mad, and to an extent we have. But some people love House music and we liked the idea of finding a song to try and inspire a playlist with such an out there genre. We think we might have done it….with Mariah Carey. Okay we’ve definitely gone mad but hear us out. We know you’re definitely a massive Mariah fan… But if you asked most people what her worst song is, if they actually managed to reply with anything. They might say ‘touch my body’ – A classy title we know. So why are we recommending a terrible song in the wrong genre. Well, there’s a remix, which is more of a completely different song, made by a Swiss producer called Cyril Hahn (a name which sounds like it belongs in a germanic Downton Abbey – but we digress), which changes the song in to a more ethereal, graceful, sensuous – you might see where we’re going with this…song. It basically transform a terrible song into a more romantic one for the later hours shall we say. Anyway take a listen and if you were trying to make a valentine’s mixtape around house music, this might be your place to start…. It had to get dirty at some point:
There you have it, some songs to inspire the start of your budding mixtape/playlist. It’s a cute little gift that takes some thought and that is what it’s really about anyway. If you’re struggling though here’s a quick tip:
Give your significant other one song a day for the next week or so, draw out the romantic process and then at the end give them a CD with all the songs on. Make sure to have fun making/doodling your own cover art. They’ll have a keep sake and a memory that’s filled with the anticipation they had getting their tune each day.
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