Do you find yourself always listening to your most recently purchased music, permeated occasionally by the odd classic? For example, today I am listening mainly to Friendly Fires, seasoned occasionally with a biggy from the archives like One More Time or Pretty Fly For A White Guy. Naturally we want to hear new and fresh music, but I usually overplay new songs until after three days I am done with them for life.
If you are suffering from the same depressing symptoms induced by a music industry too fast for itself, then you may be interested in my new scheme called From The Old We Travel To The New, or FTOWTTTN for short (pronounced towtin’(silent F) and spelt this way too from now on).
Okay, so what you do is pick an old album and play it in its entirety, maybe while walking somewhere with your iPod, or maybe while cooking. Then afterwards you travel to the new and select three songs which you feel are in someway derived from the old album, or build upon it in someway.
I am not claiming to be in any way innovative with my discovery for towtin’. In fact, my Mum always plays old albums from starts to finish, and then puts the radio on afterwards because she ‘fancies a change’.
Tonight my towtin’ choice was 'The Sweet Escape' by Gwen Stefani. It reminds me of winter 2006, playing loud from the night-time interior of a car while we drove to collect a Christmas tree. I remember playing it at a small party one night through the ceiling speakers in Rupert Everard’s swimming pool house. The album features the single Wind It Up, for which Sophie Muller directed the post-modern highly choreographed Sound-Of-Music-inspired video in which Gwen marches around chanting about LAMB in a nun outfit). There is also the annoyingly summery title single The Sweet Escape, and 4 In The Morning – Gwen’s lovesick ballad sang while she sits croning in a bath and then rolling around aimlessly in some crisp bedsheets. My favourite tracks are Fluorescent with its rigid yet understated Prince sample, and Breakin’ Up – which is icy minimal pop with a deep urban synth sound and topped with mobile phone chimes, the ridiculous mobile phone-based relationship metaphors are Gwenderful.
My three new tracks were then Paris (Friendly Fires), Must Be Love (Fya) and Love + Pain (Clor). Cannot be arsed to explain their relevance.
Words: Jack Cullen