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…
1. Brand New, ‘The Devil & God Are Raging Inside Me’ (2006)
A major influence on the music I write myself, Jesse Lacey’s knack for intense, simple song writing is very inspiring. He packs a lot of intelligence and a literary aptitude into his songs and this album showcases this particularly well. I feel their progression as a band has mirrored my own growth as a music fan. From their pop-punk roots through to their incredibly experimental and heavier releases of recent years. This album is the pinnacle.
2. Frightened Rabbit, ‘Midnight Organ Fight’ (2007)
Frightened Rabbit are probably the first band that really made me fully appreciate the ability of music to present creative ideas in a literary sense. I think they’re one of the best bands to have come out of Scotland, and Scott Hutchinson’s lyrics are pure poetry. They possess a cinematic quality which I absolutely love. Frabbit, as they are affectionately known, definitely were there at the start of my musical education.
3. Mogwai, ‘Hardcore Will Never Die, but You Will’ (2011)
As one of my favourite band’s this was the first Mogwai album I ever bought. It’s always brilliant when music can introduce you to a whole new world of bands and albums and ‘Hardcore Will Never Die…’ really got me into more experimental and instrumental music like This Will Destroy You & Hammock. As an album it conveys so much emotion and feeling through really beautiful, subtle musicianship and furious, crashing crescendos.
4. Morrissey, ‘Years of Refusal’ (2009)
This is, purely because it was his first solo album I bought, the album that ignited the fire of my obsession with The Smith’s frontman. Lyrically witty and intelligent, Morrissey here produces yet another collection of songs which bristled with a renewed confidence and flamboyance. “I was a small fat child in a well fed house” remains one of my favourite lyrics and this particular release opened my ears to the rest of his wonderful backcatalogue.
5. Sparklehorse, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ (2001)
I bought this album a few months before the tragic suicide of frontman, Mark Linkous. All the songs are effortlessly beautiful, delicate and sparse and the sound is one that really inspired my own music. The timing of my getting into the band has certainly created an emotional bond with this LP simply due to the connotations that you apply to the music and lyrics. Certainly an experience which can be related to by fans of Elliot Smith.
Queens of the Stone Age, ‘Make It Wit Chu’ (Era Vulgaris, 2007)
This song made me realise that musical simplicity can sound absolutely amazing and that there is nothing wrong with falsetto! QOTSA carry off their groove especially well on this track with bluesy guitar lines and Homme’s trademark vocals oozing.
Words: Leo Bargery