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, to be their one and only soundtrack, if they were ever forever stranded on the beaches of St Andrews…
Channel Orange – Frank Ocean
Frank just announced that the sequel to Channel Orange is dropping in July and it couldn’t have come sooner. Ocean’s 2012 album is flawless, and I understand that’s a strong start but it soundtracked the first half of my university career. The only way this album could be better is if he let ‘Novocaine’ be on this album instead of his unfinished EP from 2011, but that’s really semantics. Throughout the album, Ocean creates a host of characters while, at times, including the autobiographical. Ranging from hardworking exotic dancers to destitute crack addicts, Ocean has a spectrum of types to play with, all while subtly hinting at his own sexuality that was later revealed in a Tumblr post. In particular, Earl Sweatshirt’s verse on ‘Super Rich Kids’ really got into the roleplay; he barely slurs a monotone through the eight bars.
3 Feet High and Rising – De La Soul
3 Feet High and Rising was the first hip hop album with inter-song sketches and is framed within a game show, so maybe I can pretend that a television came along with the total-isolation situation. The sampling is amazing on this album with some Johnny Cash and Steely Dan in the mix. De La Soul is making a ‘come back’ as of late with a new KickStarter for another album following a free release of their entire discography back on Valentine’s Day 2014. Listen to the whole thing in one go, but if you insist on a single, there is the obvious choice of ‘Me, Myself, and I’, or for some ~deep cuts, check ‘Eye Know’.
Tapestry – Carole King
I imagine there will be weepy days on this island in solitude, and Carole is the woman you want to hold you through the winter of your life. ‘Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?’ will commiserate with you, but the rest of the album pulls you out into a 1970’s I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar celebration. Yes, its cheesy. Yes, the Gilmore Girls theme song is on this album, but no one is on this island is with me. I get to blast Tapestry like a wine-drunk mom and belt every word that I’ve had memorized since I was 13.
My Aim is True – Elvis Costello
This is where Costello peaked. This is Costello’s first – and only good – album. Everything after this is a booze-soaked, overly orchestrated, weep fest that should be kept in a dive piano bar (with maybe one or two exceptions on This Year’s Model and one on Armed Forces). This opinion may be influenced by two reasons a) a 1993 copy of the re-release was one of the only CDs that would work in my first car and b) I had a particularly terrible live experience with Costello involving a full theatre and no new-wave to be found. A little bit of Reggae in ‘Watching the Detectives’ will help me pass the tropical days on the beach and ‘Mystery Dance’ will serve as comedy to cut through the schmaltz-predicting ‘Alison’.
Room on Fire – Strokes
I struggled between choosing this or Whatever People Say I Am, I’m Not by the Arctic Monkeys and then realized that Julian Casablancas will always be a tad tighter than Alex Turner; Casablancas being harden by years on the Upper West Side. Room On Fire, the Strokes second album, perfectly encapsulates the always-careening-off-the-side nature of the still-young band and is before it became evident how much the members hate each other. It captures twenty-something narcissism and is just a bit repetitive, which may say too much about myself.
Words: Emily Corvo