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12 August 2016

Life Is Like A Box Of Records: Yvonne McDonnell

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Life Is Like A Box Of Records today is from folk newcomer Yvonne McDonnell who has recently released her latest EP Not Her Own via Reality Is Over.

Regina Spector – Sampson 

I remember first hearing this song and thinking I’d never heard such stunning lyircs! I listened to it over and over throughout a summer, that happened to coincencide with a summer love. I stopped listening to it around the same time things ended with the person and I didn’t hear it again for about three years. It then came on in a coffee shop and all those feelings of the summer three years previous shot back at me. I could almost smell that person and felt the exact feeling of excitement and naivety as intensely as I had back then. Although music has always moved me I will never forget that first experience of learning just how powerful music is. 

The Pogues – The Irish Rover 

Growing up in an Irish family this song is the sound of my upbringing. I went to the Pogues Christmas tour every year at The Brixton Academy, it was always played at family parties and wherever I was on St Paddy’s day. A true soundtrack to my roots. 

Arcade Fire – Antichrist Television Blues 

I’ve been a die hard Arcade Fire fan since the release of Funeral, over ten years ago, and I had listened and loved this song after listening to Neon Bible. But I randomly downloaded it a few months ago in the midst of a career/life crisis. Knowing music is unstable, like any creative pursuit, I began to think I wanted stability. This song kept playing and I found a love for it I had never realised before. The first two lines are ‘don’t wanna work in the building downtown, no I don’t wanna work in the building downtown.’ And I realised of course I don’t want to work in the building downtown! Win Butlers words hit me like an obvious brick and it encouraged me to keep pursuing what made me happy. The desperation and passion in the rest of the song, the confusion of trying to figure life out and to be dignified and happy, coming from my favourite band picked me up when I was battling passion with practicality. 

Bright Eyes – Lua 

I started listening to this when I first started gaining some independence, which for an east Londoner, pretty much meant going out and getting wasted more often than my parents would ever want to find out about. Many of the lines in this resonated with me in a poetic way – ‘But what was normal in the evening, by the morning seems insane.’ The freedom of being drunk and thinking everything is great, to waking so suddenly to reality is a weird thing to start experiencing and this song put that into words and made some of it make some beautiful sense, despite the song being about something much darker… 

Noah and the Whale – Second Lover 

A song I listened to a lot when I loved (was infatuated by) someone, they never knew, they were married, it was sad. I was very young. 

Jamie T – Sticks and Stones 

A song I listened to a lot at university, going through a rather bad experience with a few unavoidable people, this song helped me. Sticks and Stones. 

Natalie Imbruglia – Torn 

This was the first song I ever loved, and the first song I ever made my mum buy me and forced my dad to play over and over. My first realisation of how much I loved music, at four years old. 

Perfume Genius – Queen 

I love this song. Perfume Genius writes a lot about homophobia, particular everyday homophobia that a lot of society ignore/don’t notice, but he does and is not ok with. This song is full of anger for this, but also empowerment. He is fighting back and telling us what he has experienced. I find it very brave, very inspiring and is exactly how I try to fight back to any injustices in my own life; by acknowledging them, writing about them and speaking out about them. It’s the same method I use for I’m Not This Layer of Skin and I owe it to artists like Perfume Genius and those who have done it before me for giving me the confidence to do it myself. 

Janis Joplin – Summertime 

Janis Joplin’s full discography is the real soundtrack to my life, but I had to choose one song, so Summertime it is. Decades later and Janis’ version of this still, in my opinion, remains one of the most unique, amazing, inspiring and great performances of all time. Full of emotion, talent, darkness – everything I love in music. There aren’t really any words to describe it. Love.

Joy Division – Atmosphere 

I’ve been a Joy Division fan for years, but heard this one a bit later on. I then didn’t stop listening to it. I think the greatness of this track is timeless, just like a few of the songs listed above. Even if it gets copied, or oversaturated, its authenticity and originality just cannot be taken discredited and will never wilt. It stands on its own, in a league of its own. 

One thought on “Life Is Like A Box Of Records: Yvonne McDonnell

  1. On the very first page of the sequel novel, Forrest Gump tells readers “Don’t never let nobody make a movie of your life’s story,” though “Whether they get it right or wrong, it doesn’t matter.

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