Today’s Life Is Like A Box Of Records is with journalist Nina Glencross. You can find her writing for the likes of DIY, The List, Buzzfeed and more. She is also one of my favourite Scottish music journalists.
Kudos and mention must also go to Neil Slorance who drew the artwork of Nina featured. You can find out about his work here – www.neilslorance.com
Neil Sedaka – Oh! Carol (Neil Sedaka Sings Little Devil And His Other Hits)
This is one of those songs that instantly takes me back to my childhood. When we were wee, my sister and I used to spend quite a lot of time at my gran and pop’s. We’d often go for long runs in the car or spend weekends at a caravan park during the summer holidays. They’d always play this song on those journeys. I can still smell the cough medicine scent of my pop’s car.
Echo And The Bunnymen – Crocodiles (Crocodiles)
I was brought up on a lot of blues, glam rock and post-punk, namely these guys. My parents love this band and would often go see them live as the sis and I were babysat by various aunts and older cousins. When they briefly separated and my dad moved out for a while, we’d visit on weekends and he’d have albums like Crocodiles, Porcupine and Ocean Rain blasting from the kitchen on repeat. In that sense, although I’m not their biggest fan, the band’s music has always had a rose-tinted, bittersweet feeling for me, which I kinda like, because I’m weird like that.
P!nk – Don’t Let Me Get Me (Missundaztood)
I found P!nk when I was on holiday in Ibiza in 2001 and my cousin let me hear Missundaztood. From the moment I heard this song, little 12-year-old me was hooked, obsessed even. Just like Ginger Spice before her, P!nk became a bit of an idol for me, and it was never lost on me that she was a great role model to have. She’s smart, funny, stands for some great causes and even opened me up to the music of the late, great Janis Joplin, for which I will be eternally thankful. To this day I still look up to her as she continues to be awesome.
Amy Studt – Just A Little Girl (False Smiles)
In my teens, I held a lot of internal misogyny. People think I’m shy because I’m quiet, but if I’m told I can’t do something, I’ll go out of my way to prove otherwise because I know I can. I wasn’t the slightest bit feminine and whenever I felt that my own gender was holding me back, I was quick to curse my XX chromosomes, foolishly believing I was a member of the weaker sex. The fact that my name is Spanish for ‘girl’ didn’t help matters either. When I heard this song, it felt really empowering and Amy perfectly vocalised how I felt at the time. Although I wasn’t ready to embrace my femininity quite yet, I was happy to be reminded that there were others out there who weren’t willing to let society define them by their gender. Times change and I am now a proud feminine feminist who can rock a pink frock with the best of them.
Muse – Citizen Erased (Origin Of Symmetry)
It seems to be a thing nowadays that it’s ‘cool’ to hate Muse, but if life really is like a box of records then, for years, my life was Muse’s entire discography, obscure b-sides, bootlegs and all. After discovering them in 2003, my family and I became obsessed. Instead of going on proper family holidays, we’d take trips to see Muse. I’ve so far seen them live about 23 times in five different countries. One time we watched their Glastonbury ‘04 performance every night for like a month straight. What can I say? We were hardcore. Although I’m not *quite* as crazy on them these days, I still consider myself a Muser (yes, we have a name) and this song will forever remain one of my favourites. Shivers. Every. Time.
The Dresden Dolls – Girl Anachronism (The Dresden Dolls)
When I first saw the video for this song on TV back in 2005 (anyone remember the music channel The Amp?) something clicked and I was instantly aware I’d just made a very significant musical discovery, but what I didn’t know was just how life-changing that moment would turn out to be. Anyone who knows me is probably well aware of just how much I completely and utterly adore Amanda Palmer. As well as providing me with hours upon hours of audio enjoyment, over the years she’s taught me so much about so many things, life, love, art… She’s definitely a controversial figure at times, but that’s kinda why I love her. Both she and her music will always hold a very dear place in my heart.
Maximo Park – Apply Some Pressure (A Certain Trigger)
It makes me quite sad that I find it so difficult to appreciate albums in full. So when such records come along, I tend to cherish the hell out of them. Along with the likes of Bombay Bicycle Club’s I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose and My Chemical Romance’s Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge, A Certain Trigger is one of those rare albums that, from start to finish, I just can’t fault. I can’t really pinpoint why I love it so much. Maybe it’s the energy and passion that’s present throughout the album, even on the slower numbers. Or maybe it’s Paul Smith’s amazing Geordie accent. Either way, it’s bloody fab.
Granddaddy – The Group Who Couldn’t Say (Sumday)
I discovered Grandaddy through my dad. He’d played them on and off in the car, but it wasn’t until our trip to Leeds festival in 2006 that I really sat up and paid attention. Over the following few years, I would slowly descend down Jason Lytle’s seemingly endless musical rabbit hole, immersing myself in the band’s entire back catalogue, as well as Jason’s solo and Admiral Radley stuff. To me, their music is timeless and it hits the nail on the head when it comes to that intricate balance of uplifting yet melancholic. Sumday will always be a masterpiece.
Karen O – Strange Love (Frankenweenie Unleashed)
OK, sick bags at the ready. I’m a massive, massive fan of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Karen O, but this song in particular is pretty special to me. I’m not going to lie, the reason why is simple but pretty damn soppy. My boyfriend and I were watching Frankenweenie (we’re both major Tim Burton geeks) and, as this song played during the end credits, we were having a wee cuddle and it just felt like a proper little moment, the kind of sickly sweet moment you only see in indie rom-coms. I wouldn’t say it’s ‘our song’ or anything but it always reminds me of that moment and perfectly sums up our silliness, howls and all.
The Xcerts – Live Like This (There Is Only You)
Last year was probably the worst year of my life so far. I’d just finished my Masters the previous year and was struggling to find a job in journalism. Receiving daily rejections and failing interviews made me feel worthless. The indyref left me mentally and emotionally drained. Then in winter I lost my gran and my best friend/beloved dog within the space of two weeks. By that point I was feeling pretty broken, then The Xcerts’ new album came out. I’d been eagerly awaiting its release for months and I remember getting home from work, putting on my headphones, turning up the volume and letting the music wash over me. After a beautiful intro, this was the first song and it was such a cathartic experience, just what I needed at the time. For that alone, I feel I owe this band a lot. So, aye, cheers guys.