This is a frequently asked question, right? And it seems straight forward enough. Maybe to some it is. But I find it impossible. The sheer volume and variety of music. How could you name a favourite? Or even a handful of favourites. I tend to have a few bands or genres ready for people. They find it easier to have a tangible answer. But honestly what kind of music do I like?
It depends on the day. It depends on the season, on my mood, on whether I feel like dancing, on whether I’m cooking or cleaning, on whether I’m drinking, on the weather, on who’s around me, on if I want to smile or not, on if I’m trying to drown something out. And I don’t think I can be the only one. So, no, I don’t think that’s a simple question.
I was sat on a train yesterday and I decided to put Hozier’s album on. No reasoning, it just called to me as I was scrolling. My mum was the one who introduced me to him so I haven’t listened in a while. And as I sat there listening to Jackie and Wilson it hit me. My music taste is the music taste of my family. My family love music. Actually, that doesn’t seem a strong enough emotion. I’m not sure I can articulate how my family feel about music. It understands them. And they understand it. Now in a family of six there is a crazy amount of crossover but there’s also wild difference.
There’s U2, Pixies, Childish Gambino, Nick Drake, Fleetwood Mac (all formations), Elvis, The Specials, Chic, Spice Girls, SG Lewis, All The Luck In The World, Feeder, Genesis, Beyoncé, Travis, Snow Patrol, The Velvet Underground, The Selecter, The Jackson Five, The Eels, Frank Ocean, The Lemonheads, The Lemon Twigs, Green Day, Bowie, Of Monsters and Men, ABBA, The Beatles (obviously). And that’s barely the tip of the iceberg. My whole life I’ve been surrounded by music. And yeah, I find my own music too. Sometimes. But often really I just pick and choose different parts of my families archives and throw it together to make the absolute insanity that is my Spotify starred playlist. I trust the taste of my family so I know I’ll love the music I choose. It feels like a hug when I listen to a song and think of how I ever first heard it and realise my brother messaged me it. My family have led me to some of my absolute favourite music, all from their different corners.
And I think it’s more fun that way. How can you say you only like indie rock or pop or reggae? What do you do when you experience an emotion that doesn’t fit your genre? It seems mad to cut out vast sections of the musical palette of the world. Just so we can fit into a meaningless box.
So I’m happy with not knowing when people ask me. Some days I listen to Of Monsters and Men or Snow Patrol, sometimes I listen to jazz or Blink 182. I also love a good soundtrack like La La Land or Hairspray. I also like Dua Lipa and Ed Sheeran. Some days all I listen to is Fleetwood Mac from their Blues days. Sometimes Bowie does it for me. For some reason I love Childish Gambino whilst I’m idling hours away in my room. When I drive with my sister it’s whatever the radio throws at us cos why not? If I’m cleaning I love something like Years and Years or Betty Who or Troye Sivan. In the shower it’s always All The Luck In The World cos it’s my favourite album of all time. When I’m in the car with my dad it’s anyone guess. Could be The Beatles, America, Walking On Cars even The Thrills. Sometimes you just need The Strokes. And sometimes I need The Thermals to remind me of a simpler time. Is there never not a good time for Beyonce? If I’m drinking with my other sister it’ll be ska or rock and roll or disco. Other times I’ll listen to a playlist I’ve made of bands I know one song of but just haven’t got round to exploring yet. On a sunny day it’s Best Coast. When I miss my brother it’s a playlist he made almost a decade ago called ‘This’ll do nicely’. And when I think of my mum it’s U2. Always. I live for the variety. Makes every day different. I don’t see that changing ever.
And you thought I could pick just one song for this post?