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Quaran-tunes #2

Katie here, bringing you a very niche Quaran-tunes. I can't promise the same variety and cheerfulness as Jess, but in the glorious spirit of 'you do you, boo', here's my collection of primarily melancholic female singers. Being engaged to a Musician and working at the Beehive have significantly widened my musical tastes but I come back to these tunes over and over. They represent what I love about music: its ability to make you feel, to tell stories and to get you singing your heart out. These songs are a mix of those loves - so please, warm up your lungs and sing along.

8. Joni Mitchell - Amelia

In a 1996 interview with the Los Angeles times, Joni Mitchell says she wrote this song ‘addressing it from one solo pilot to another, sort of reflecting on the cost of being a woman and having something you must do.’ I love how music makes possible the linking of lives that are otherwise decades apart and keeps the spirit of adventure and inspiration alive.

7. Karine Polwart – I Burn But I am Not Consumed

A different take on a major world leader, which both puts him in context and critiques him in the way only a lilting Scottish folk song could. I’d love to have Karine’s imagination and her ability to process emotion and circumstance through lyrics – this song was one of many I could’ve chosen from her repertoire.

6. Kate Rusby – Big Brave Bill

Another brilliant story-telling-as-song folk artist, who can mix up the serious and silly with equal amounts of beauty. Her serious songs have got me through some hard times but I picked a slightly more light-hearted tune because who doesn’t want a song about a hero who drinks Yorkshire Tea all the time?

5. HAIM – Want You Back

As Jessie Ware says in her Table Manners Podcast with HAIM, “I want to be a HAIM sister.” Let’s be honest, it’s a lifetime dream of mine to have a family band and to spend all our days singing together. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I love HAIM.

4. The Staves – Mexico

It is also why I love The Staves. This one in particular is a road trip harmonising favourite for the long Christmas drive because it captures perfectly the transition from the city into the wild and rural North – ‘I want to see the colours of another sky.’

3. Simon and Garfunkel – America

Male voices! Just throwing in an element of surprise there. I grew up with Simon and Garfunkel on the record player (before it was cool) and this was my favourite to play on the piano. I also love making up characters when people watching and top of my holiday-ing hit list is to road trip across America, so this ticks all the boxes.

2. Phoebe Bridgers – Motion Sickness

My current earworm, most likely because it’s a pure, melodic, angsty rant. I feel like that’s what we need at the moment, while we navigate the lurching (e)motions of lockdown. Phoebe Bridgers is one third of boygenius (and therefore an easy way to cheat and include Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus who were both brutally cut from this short list).

1. The Magnetic Fields – The Book of Love

I heard the Peter Gabriel cover of this song in the wedding video of one of my favourite worship leaders long before I was introduced to the original. (Niche place to discover something, I know). I love it. It’s possible it may feature in another important Beehive wedding shortly. Watch this space.*

*Might also be the reason this is the song I’m officially declaring I’ll save from the waves!


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