As we know all too well, as lovable and quaint as St Andrews is, there come moments where not even the sight of the never-ending North Sea can alleviate the feeling that we’re being held hostage within the town’s three streets.
Here’s a thought: imagine if you were stranded on the sands of St Andrews..?
Taking inspiration from BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, every week our resident writers will deliver their choice of five albums and one track, to be their one and only soundtrack, if they were ever forever stranded on the beaches of St Andrews…
Stranded on St Andrews Sands, nothing to do, no one to see or keep me company. Luckily I have five of my favourite albums and my favourite song to keep the grooving goin’.
1. Shakey Graves, Roll The Bones (2011)
Described as an “anti folk phenomenon” by NPR Music’s Alejandro Rose-Garcia, Shakey Graves’ music is obsessively addictive. This one-man band from Austin, Texas has been on the continuous rise since 2011 and has just released his second album entitled Donor Blues.
Roll The Bones tells the tale of today’s “unlucky skin” to make it as an artist in the “big cities,” notably Los Angeles and New York. His songs emphasize a modern country folk style as the acoustic guitar, harmonica and accordion echo a soothing yet graphic tone of struggle.
2. Daft Punk, Discovery (2001)
Released in May 2013, Random Access Memories re-exhibited Daft Punk’s intentions to shift electronic music away from the realm of heavy house/dubstep and back towards its origins in Chicago electronic rhythms. Throughout Discovery, the French duo inspires cultural references of the 1980s; notably, disco and pop. The synthesizer and vocalizer are used to fuse with these sounds of the 80s to create tracks such as Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger, and Digital Love. The fourteen track album exhibits this nostalgia as the 11th track, Veridis Quo, which could be interpreted as “very disco,” after this, simply switch the words to obtain the album’s title: “disco very” = Discovery.
3. James Blunt, Back To Bedlam (2004)
Back to Bedlam is James Blunt’s first album and was released in 2004 in the UK. The album vacillates between subjects of lost relations (Billy, Tears and Rain) and love songs (Cry, Wisemen). However, the subtle tones of romance eventually lead us towards a realm of war and loss (No Bravery), influenced by his personal experiences in Kosovo. The album title Bedlam, is a common surname to the psychiatric institute in London: Bethlem Royal Hospital and hints at his post-war struggle and heartbreak. Although, this is one of the most beautiful albums I have ever heard, I do not advise you listen to it in troubles times.
4. Red Hot Chili Peppers, By The Way (2002)
By The Way is the band’s eighth album and what critics describe as a departure from the bands previous styles, indeed less metal-like and more of an emphasis on their signature punk-funk fusion and lyrics. Although, the album hints at different genres, Cabron for one is entirely played on the acoustic guitar and gives off a Hispanic sense; where as Throw Away Your Television is much more Chili Peppers-like through its rapidly sung lyrics, much like Can’t Stop.
By The Way’s classics are responsible for where the Chili Peppers stand today: Rock Stars.
5. Metronomy, The English Riviera (2011)
The English Riviera is the English groups’ third album and has been described as a fusion between Daft Punk and The Eagles. The album balances both a renovation of pop and indie rock, which differentiates it from their previous album: Nights Out, which featured tracks: A Thing For Me, Holiday and Heartbreaker.
On The English Riviera, The Look was the only song that made the UK charts at 190th, despite the album’s nomination for the Mercury Music Prize in 2011.
The incredibly talented group just released their newest album this past March 10th 2014 entitled Love Letters that seems to have drawn a lot of its influence from The Beatles, with titles such as I’m Aquarius and I’m very excited to see what this English band might have in store for us this time.
Beethoven’s 7th symphony was composed between 1811 and 1812, and consists of four distinct movements; my favorite of which being the 2nd movement Allegretto, which also features as the main soundtrack in the motion-picture The Fall (2006).
Unlike the 6th Pastoral symphony, where each movement was dedicated to a different season, the 7th symphony illustrates a return back to a strictly musical composition without an ethnic meaning. Beethoven himself lead the symphony’s first viewing in Vienna in December 1813 as a tribute to the wounded Austrian and Bavarian soldiers after the Battle of Hanau against Napoleon’s French Empire.
Words: Oliver Harrison