As you will know if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, I like to play music whilst I’m working. I take photos of what I’m listening to and share them via social media – the pictures above are from some of my recent ‘now playing’ posts.
I have an iPod with speakers down in my workshop, together with a record player, because I’m old enough to have a collection of vinyl records from when I was younger, before they became fashionable again. I like to think I have fairly varied musical taste, although anything too funky is a big no-no. My biggest thing is being able to hear the lyrics, because my favourite songs are the ones with a narrative, songs that tell a story. I love finding something new, and I tend to latch onto some albums, listening to them repeatedly, obsessively, until I can sing (very badly) along with every track.
I’m having a bit of a love affair with King Creosote’s From Scotland With Love at the moment. If you’re not familiar with King Creosote, he is, according to his Wikipedia entry, Kenny Anderson, a singer songwriter from Fife, Scotland.
Like British Sea Power’s From the Sea to the Land Beyond (which features above), it was written as the soundtrack to a film made of archive footage. From Scotland with Love (the film) was created as part of the 2014 Commonwealth Game celebrations, and it is made entirely from Scottish archive film, with no narration or commentary. To quote from the film’s publicity, “A journey into our collective past, the film explores universal themes of love, loss, resistance, migration, work and play. Ordinary people, some long since dead, their names and identities largely forgotten, appear shimmering from the depth of the vaults to take a starring role.”
And really, it is brilliant, and you should seek it out if you possibly can. I just love watching old film footage, and for me having a beautiful, shimmering, melancholy soundtrack to accompany the images wins hands down over an ironic voice-over, and the usual celebrity suspects dredging up barely relevant anecdotes between clips. You can get a flavour from the video below, which is the official trailer.
The soundtrack is a perfect fit with the images, but it’s a wonderful album in its own right too. I keep going back to the beginning again as soon as it finishes, and I think I’m going to have to force myself to listen to something else soon, probably Tracey Thorn’s Tinsel and Lights, which I will play obsessively until January. But I’ll maybe just have one last listen first…