After a fantastic first day of songs, the Courier’s 30 days of music is powering ahead to day two. The theme for the second day challenged our writers to pick their favourite songs with a number in the title.
‘Song from the Sixteenth Floor’- Paul Kelly
The song by the Australian singer/songwriter once described as the best songwriter the country has ever produced is all about the desperation to be with someone. It’s full of descriptions of what the singer would do if they “could only get next to you”. Despite being part of numerous bands over his life this song comes from the album Wanted Man, a solo work from Kelly and this is evermore apparent in the songs which have a far more personal feel than many of his other works.
‘Song 2’- Blur
Another well known song for day two, specifically ‘Song 2’. Everybody knows this one with the funky little guitar riff intro by Graham Coxon before Damon Albarn launches into the staple “WAHOO” that kicks the rest of the instruments off. A short song, it was initially supposed to be a demo track before their label decided they loved it, and it kept its original name ‘Song 2’. An explosive little track, ‘Song 2’ is a worthy day two choice.
‘One More Chance/Stay With Me’- The Notorious B.I.G.
My choice for today is the song ‘One More Chance/Stay With Me’ by The Notorious B.I.G. Hip-hop has not reached quite the same level as it had at its peak in the 1990s (although it’s getting there), and this track is a great example of why I love that era so much. This song encompasses all of what made it so great – the smooth R&B vocals, the subtle yet moving beat, and of course the iconic Biggie Smalls.
I am generally a fan of Notorious BIG, which could make me a bit biased, but I nonetheless recommend a listen to his discography – they’re all bangers.
‘Three Little Birds’- Bob Marley and The Wailers
This is my message to you-ou-ou: Nothing screams “good times” more than a bit of Bob Marley & The Wailers. Growing up, ‘Three Little Birds’ was truly an anthem of our household. Barbeque? ‘Three Little Birds’. Road-trip? ‘Three Little Birds’. Aimlessly pondering life’s biggest questions? ‘Three Little Birds’. Bob and his gang managed to create a song that quintessentially defines summer and happier times. In such times of hardship, I think what we all need is to whack on a bit of ‘Three Little Birds’ and imagine we are lounging on a Caribbean beach sipping a Strawberry Daiquiri.
‘Anthems for a Seventeen-Year-Old Girl’- Broken Social Scene
I first heard this song as a seventeen-year-old boy, a few months ago, right before I set out to Newcastle for my first year. It was part of a playlist I made about being seventeen. ‘Anthems for a Seventeen-Year-Old Girl’ by Broken Social Scene, off their 2003 album, You Forgot it in People is a song about growing up too fast, and about nostalgia for the careless days of youth. The song’s repetitive lyrics paired with the haunting vocals of Emily Haines strike a certain chord with me, reminding us to cherish youth and innocence while we still have it, before it so fleetingly slips away from us.
‘Two Steps, Twice’- Foals
This song is beautiful and banging, and I would do anything to be able to hear it live. The melody is completely unique and when it changes in tempo as the guitar progresses its really a different experience. The thought of being at a Foals gig and being in a circle in a crowd waiting for “that’s one step…” – it’s so easy to picture the atmosphere. I remember the first time hearing this in the gym, not the same atmosphere.
‘Five Years’- David Bowie
I think David Bowie is the greatest musician, and possibly the greatest person, ever to have lived, and ‘Five Years’ is one of my favourite songs of his, so this was an easy choice for me. I love Bowie’s voice and ‘Five Years’ shows it off brilliantly, as it starts out calm, clipped and melodic and rises to a cry as the song goes on, the pace gets quicker and the lyrics get darker. The apocalyptic vibe of the song also fits brilliantly with the current situation.
‘10%’- KAYTRANADA feat. Kali Uchis
‘10%’ is such a catchy, feel good song that I have had on repeat for the past month. The different elements of the song mesh together flawlessly – the layered vocals, the steady drums and the use of synthesised sounds. It’s a perfect, low key song to play at a chilled pre-drinks as it is sassy and upbeat whilst being easy to listen to. Sadly, this song can’t be played at pres right now, but it makes a great song to walk/run to, so fingers crossed the government don’t ban outdoor exercise!
‘505’- Arctic Monkeys
For me, this was my easiest song to pick for the challenge.
Arctic Monkeys are one of my favourite artists of all time, with ‘505’, being my favourite Arctic Monkeys song.
Lyrically, it’s one of Alex Turner’s greatest pieces of work, the build up of the song is slow and cements itself as a classic in the last minute of the song with its now explosive pace.
Since the songs release there has been debate of what ‘505’ is. I think of it as a hotel room, or a time in Alex’s life he’s desperate to get back to. Perhaps he’s pining over a girl he’s still in love with and this is her apartment number?
It’s a song that has always resonated with me and seeing them perform it live at TRNSMT 2018 was the highlight of their set.
Be right back, going back to 505.
I felt that I couldn’t go through these 30 songs without including some Arctic Monkeys, and ‘505’ is one of the best songs to showcase the Sheffield four-piece. One of their older songs, this alternative/indie anthem combines a mellow synth beginning with a harder vintage rock ending which takes its listeners on a journey. While they’ve adopted this synth sound with some of their more recent hits, this little gem remains a token of the sound many fans grew up with and loved. It’s one of the first songs I listened to of theirs and I haven’t looked back since. I never get tired of this one!
‘1/1’- Brian Eno
Ah yes, Music for Airports: An album designed to relax people in terminals that did its job so well it caused people to fall asleep and miss their flights. The only music that can ever truly calm me, Brian Eno intended it to be interesting enough to listen to, yet easily ignored also. The first track, ‘1/1’, is my favourite – definitive ambient music, with soft, bell-like pianos and sounds that do not give up easily their instrument of origin. Best left on in the background, whilst doing other more important things.
‘Disco 2000’- Pulp
I’m unashamedly loyal to my hometown of Sheffield when it comes to music, so I might as well start as I mean to go on by including some of Sheffield’s finest in this challenge. Pulp are an incredible band, and ‘Disco 2000’ is arguably one of the greatest offerings from Jarvis Cocker and co. It is a nostalgic yet upbeat love song to the past, and its iconic, catchy chorus is one that I have spent many a night out in Sheffield singing along to. ‘Disco 2000’ is a classic, and yes, Deborah is a real person, which perhaps makes this track that little bit better.
‘7 Days’- Craig David
‘7 Days’ by Craig David is the ultimate vibe song. The iconic guitar plucking intro instantly transports you to 2000, you’re wearing low rise jeans and a headband, and life is good. It’s a modern-day love story, sure it moves quite quick, but after all he is a “smooth talker”, something evidenced by his slick lyrics. I also get a somewhat childlike satisfaction from the song; most of the lines are in rhyming couplets and the weekday countdown is always a bit of fun. Craig David is the king of British R&B and this song, his first big hit, is a royal anthem to me.
‘Summer of ’69’- Bryan Adams
I’m keeping it predictable today, with ‘Summer of ’69’ by Bryan Adams- to be fair, it was the first song that came to mind when I read today’s brief! Sometimes, or even most of the time, iconic songs can be over-rated. It’s almost as if they’re famous just because they’re well-known, rather than because they’re actually a good song. Every now and then though, a song comes along that’s actually worth the hype. For me, this is one of those songs. It’s deserving of its reputation as a ‘classic’, and never fails to make me smile. Just remember to play it loud!
’10 Bands’- Drake
From the opening keys on ’10 Bands’ you already know this is one Drake song that goes hard. The third track from Drizzy’s 2015 playlist If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late is without a doubt one of the Toronto rapper’s finest. With a combination of a Caribbean-inspired instrumental- something Drake was experimenting with on the album- and clever writing the rapper presents a different perspective on wealth. Drake discusses all the good that has come from his success and how he has had to work to get where he is. Still, it would be rude of me not to mention one of Drake’s most iconic lines which comes from this track: My ex asked me “where you movin’?” I said “onto better things”. ICONIC.
1/1 10 10 Bands 30 day song challenge 30 days of music 505 7 Days Anthems for a Seventeen-Year-Old Girl Arctic Monkeys Blur Bob Marley and the Wailers Brian Eno broken social scene Bryan Adams craig david David Bowie Disco 2000 Drake Five Years Foals Kali Uchis KAYTRANADA Music One More Chance/Stay WIth Me Paul Kelly Pulp Song 2 Song from the Sixteenth Floor The Notorious B.I.G. Three Little Birds Two Steps Twice
Last modified: 6th April 2020