Joy Prescription - Six-track playlist to take at six-key times
Updated: Apr 16
By Callum Gray
It’s spring (in 4 days), the flowers are starting to bloom, bunnies are beginning to get involved with one another and of course summer is around the corner! There’s also a global pandemic, looming recession, strikes and a great deal of uncertainty. Still, for most students they must work in one sense or another, whether that’s a part-time job, or trying to write an essay or revise (quite difficult when it's unclear it will even be due). This playlist should help carry you through your day and hit the right pick-me-up points. Gathering 70s Krautrock and Afrobeat, indie-rock, house-soul fusion, northern soul and of course 80s post-punk synthpop in one place.
Allah-las – 'Houston'
Whether you’re leaving the house, or just waking up, 8am can be a bit difficult. Especially for the student. Allah-las’ Houston is a good remedy for this. The slick, watery guitar rides wonderfully alongside the gently vacillating bass-line. Nothing much happens over the two minutes, but it hits like the first breath of fresh air when you leave the house in the morning (or open the window for all those self-isolators).
Tidiani Koné & the T.P. Orchestre Poly-Rhythmo – 'Djanfa Magni'
You’ve been awake a few hours, it’s not quite lunch. But lunch is so tempting. If you do it you’ll be hungry again by two and that’ll just throw everything off. You opt for a snack, maybe a tea or coffee. Djanfa Magni performed by the T.P. Orchestre Poly-Rhythmo and accompanied by the masterful Malian saxophonist Tidiani Koné is a shot of adrenaline that would get anyone to the finish line, or the dancefloor. Running at just under 10 minutes, this times your mid-morning work-break perfectly.
SAULT – 'Let Me Go'
Two-PM is the point of the day in which you are the most tired. So SAULT is of course the best thing to pick-you-up (accompanied with a coffee). Combining house, soul and the energy of Northern soul it is addictively eclectic. In fact, it’s a necessity to listen to the entire album as it’s potently first-rate. This is some great new music which you can hear everything good from the past thirty years in.
Pete Shelley – 'Homosapien'
You hit the conditioned 5pm, your body wants to leave wherever it currently is stationed. This could be your office, the library or a self-isolated bedroom. The commute to that day-topping cup of tea can be hard, regardless of if it takes forty minutes or thirty seconds. Homosapien’s asexual sonic-assault has enough punch, drive needed to get home. Initially banned by the BBC for the lyrics ‘homosuperior, in my interior’, this defiant and dissenting hit delivered by the late punk hero Pete Shelley is a must in any musical diet.
Franki Valli & The Four Seasons – 'The Night' (Wigan Casino Version)
Whether bolting out of the door to make that film date, or dancing around the kitchen while your ratatouille (ready-meal) roasts (microwaves?) away, this track is enough to lift the spirits at the end of the day. This version is fantastic, the vocals have the energy and kick that the 1972 version lacks, the brass section is punchy, and each snare snap bites and interlocks with the tight Motown-inspired bassline superbly.
La Düsseldorf – 'Time'
On this track, krautrock superstars La Düsseldorf deliver driving positivity that can get you to get ready for bed early, or finish that fatiguing referencing. The driving hum, combined with the ecstatic melancholic uplift found across the board in krautrock records will help you do whatever you need to do at this time, and all with a spin of positivity. The guitars whir and spiral around the insistent beat, grounding you yet still capable of launching you into hypothetical space on a customised cosmic journey of your choosing.
Full playlist here: