So, lately I've been working on a feature centred around the Late Night Tales series. Naturally, when you do these sorts of things, the idea of making your own as a sort of pet project for fun will inevitably spring into your head. Which is what I've done.
The thing is, it'd be easy for me to just blandly link to a Spotify playlist, but that'd just be like giving a blank card to someone - faceless and meaningless. I recently reviewed the Saint Etienne film 'What have You Done Today, Mervyn Day?', and found myself unsurprisingly comparing it to their earlier work, 'Finisterre'. As both are a celebration of London above all else - albeint in different ways - neither have an especially vivid storyline. 'Finisterre' is about a mythic 24 hour period in the belly of the capital, while '....Mervyn Day?' uses a mythical paperboy to explain the way it criss-crosses the now-redeveloped Lower Lea Valley. That said, the latter DOES add a sense of cohesion and focus that draws and immerses the viewer into its own world.
With that in mind, I decided to base my eventual playlist on a story, or perhaps more accurately give it a definite sense of time and place. In the Late Night Tales feature, Bill Brewster spoke about how his favourite editions all had a certain sound throughout, as though a sound had been imagined and the songs picked to fit. A sense of conceptualisation, if you will. Whilst the playlist doesn't have a unified sound running through it per se (not to me anyway), I'd like to think that giving it a setting and picking the music to fit has in some way given it a greater sense of focus. As follows:
The playlist draws on personal experiences, of travelling over for a night out with close friends and ending up sat up well into the small hours for no good reason drinking, listening and reflecting. That perfect kind of party-that-isn't that sits nicely between the dinner party formality and Skins style tearing-down-the-wallpaper mayhem. It starts off relatively uptempo, representing the high-spirited first couple of hours before gradually becoming more introverted, hazy and quieter as the hours slip away and late night gives way to the early morning. The last few songs represent the bleary-eyed awakening from whatever little sleep you've managed to get - if any - before watching the sun come up, unsteadily making your way through the city centre and finally the bittersweet moment when you board the train home equally content at the wonderful few hours you've just had and saddened that it's all over and you've had to say your goodbyes.
Whilst it's based on previous experiences the songs picked don't necessarily represent what we listened to. They just happened to fit into the scheme or idea that I had in my head.
The playlist can be found here. I genuinely hope you enjoy it Late Night Tales
For those of you who eschew such services, the tracklist is:
Fool's Gold - The Dive
Napoleon IIIrd - The Unknown Unknown
Meursault - Crank Resolutions
Shocking Pinks - This Aching Deal
Over The Wall - Settle Down
Orange Juice - Simply Thrilled Honey
Saint Etienne - Nothing Can Stop Us
Here We Go Magic - How Do I Know?
Dobie Gray - Out On The Floor
The Ronettes - Do I Love You
The National - Apartment Story
The Field Mice - Emma's House
Everything But The Girl - Are You Trying To Be Funny?
Pelle Carlberg - Pamplona
Jens Lekman - A Higher Power
Allo Darlin' - Let's Go Swimming
The Microphones - The Moon
The Spills - Lockets
Titus Andronicus - No Future Part 1
Arab Strap - (Afternoon) Soaps
Belle & Sebastian - Slow Graffiti
Felt - Mexican Bandits
Standard Fare - Darth Vader
The Modern Lovers - Girlfriend
Ballboy - Empty Throat
Scott Walker - Wait Until Dark
Mint Royale - Dancehall Places
Hefner - Don't Flake Out On Me
The Radio Dept - Your Father
Richard Hawley - Can You Hear The Rain Love
James Yorkston - Woozy With Cider
Aidan Moffatt + The Best Ofs - Living With You Now
Air - Ce Matin La
Taken By Trees - Dreams
Darren Hayman - London Fields
Stephin Merritt - One April Day
Jeff Lewis - Roll Bus Roll