Despite what it might seem like, I actually love listening to albums. I love the ebb and flow of them, I care and attention put into track listings, into inlays, the cover art. They often so much more than the songs that appear on them – and a single track in itself can rarely reveal in itself as much as an entire album can. When I post singular mp3s of bands, I feel like I’m potentially selling them short, which is always a pity, but without causing the DMCA to shut this down, there’s very little that can be done.
Of course, compilation albums are a completely different matter. Usually a disperate group of songs flung together for a vague purpose, they’re far from being as personal as an individual record, but they can be just as rewarding and exciting for the listener. With that in mind, I’d like to introduce to you the first in a hopefully monthly series of mixtape albums brought to you by this blog. With being based in Manchester, I thought it fitting that the first Pigeon Playlist feature artists based in and around the Rainy City. Over the past week or so I’ve been e-mailing and begging some of my favourite artists from the region, asking them if they could spare an mp3 so that something could be cobbled together.
The result is some of the most exciting and talented bands in the country, jammed together into a 10 song, 30 minute .rar file that isn’t even too jarring, to be honest. If you’ve read and enjoyed this blog in the past, there’s probably something for you – from Jam on Bread’s jangly ukelele pop to Weird Era’s shoegaze inspired noise, it’s got a broad spectrum of material on it. There’s no real genre for it all, but as long as it wasn’t a bunch of ‘lads’ trying to be Oasis, it was considered for inclusion. Tracklisting and the link for download is below. Hope you enjoy:
1 Run Toto Run – Platic Gold
They’ve been featured on blogs the world over due to their sensational cover of ‘Sleepyhead’, but it’s their own work that’s truly brilliant. Taekn from their EP of the same name, ‘Plastic Gold’ is the perfect showcase for their unique talents. Infectious and brilliant, I was utterly thrilled that the band let me include this.
2 Egyptian Hip Hop – Rad Pitt
EHH often get a bad press on the local music scene. I’ve yet to see them live, but judging by the tracks I’ve heard, they’re truly special. The NME agree, having given the band a full page feature in the magazine. Definitely destined for great things.
3 Jam on Bread – It’s always sunny inside
The man with the greatest beard in the world succintly sums up a wasted childhood transferred into growing up. Outside is rainy and horrible, whilst inside has wikipedia and TV on demand. Jam on Bread has the best ukelele riffs and lyrics that will warm your heart with joy. I am in awe.
4 Awesome Wells – You’re flogging a dead horse, Jon
Originally featured on the ‘Awesome Wells & Friends’ EP, but it could’ve just as easily been an early Beirut track. Releasing work through Manchester’s superb Red Deer Club label, it’s an utterly beautiful song.
5 The Shrieking Violets – Summer
Some people have so much talent it’s enough to make you sick. Whilst I sit here typing blogs, Natalie ‘Shrieking Violet’ Bradbury is out penning awesome pop tracks inbetween writing issues of her massively impressive zine. Summer is yet another amazing track from her.
6 Weird Era – Ghost
Most Myspace friend requests from bands are given by awful American hardcore bands filled by 13 year olds. If Weird Era prove only one thing, it’s that going on the old decadent social networking site still has some use – even if that’s only to listen to some Deerhunter inspired noise.
7 The Middle Ones – Countdown
It might be fair to say that a little bit of cheating has been involved in this one, but I’m not bothered. Despite the fact that they may inhabit Norwich now, their heart and myspace status still lay in the rainy city. They make music that with personality and warmth that is utterly guarenteed to make you smile.
8 Mazes – Bowie Knives
The other week, my girlfriend went to a party. I stayed at home, because I was a bit tired. The next morning I was told that not only had photographers from Vice magazine been there, but also Spectrals and Mazes. I’m still bitter, but this song eases the pain. Fuzzy and glorious, expect big things.
9 Young British Artists – Small Waves
Another Red Deer Club artist, another testament to the depth and diversity of artists that Manchester holds. Sometimes disparate, often distorted but always engaging and inspiring, it’s taken from an EP of the same name.
10 Cats in Paris – The One
Despite not being named after the amazing website of the same name, they make angular, jaunty pop songs that can only make you want to shake your body and wave your arms. There was absolutely no way that I wasn’t going to end this mixtape on the line ‘I’m the King of Norway/No way!/Yes way’.
If that sounds okay with you, then you can get the whole .rar file below:
Pigeon Playlist #1 – Manchester (mediafire)