So I was listening to Desert Island Discs on Radio 4 (I know, old nana Lottie strikes again!) on a Sunday morning a couple of weeks ago, and it really got me thinking about which songs would make my desert island playlist. I’m pretty much listening to music non-stop, but I am also very much a creature of habit so I also tend to be listening to the same things over and over. Sometimes even the same song. On full blast over the speaker in the kitchen. Oops!
So as I’m a fairly repetitive listener, I didn’t think it would be very hard to choose only 8 songs to listen to on a desert island. I was very wrong. In the end I had to bend the rules of the game a little, as I there’s far too much music I love to choose just 8 songs, so I settled on 10 (and even that was a struggle, believe me). I also gave myself the rule that it had to be a song I just loved sitting and listening to, rather than something I would definitely dance to at a party but wouldn’t listen to at any other time.
After many weeks of deliberation, here is my desert island playlist:
01.Napoleon – Bear’s Den
This song comes out every time I need a bit of a kick up the butt – don’t ask me why, but it really works to help me get motivated again. I just plug my headphones in, crank it up and do a weird solo headbob until I feel like facing the world (and most likely my to-do list) again.
02. Blackbird – The Beatles
If I had to choose just one Beatles song, it would be Blackbird. I know it’s a little bit cliché, but I just think it’s such a lovely song; and one I always imagine singing to my future children when I rock them to sleep (I don’t know where this idea came from, but I think it makes the perfect lullaby song).
03. In Dreams – Ben Howard
If you’ve watched my Instagram stories, you’ll probably know the intro to this song well by now. But literally any song by Ben Howard could be on this playlist; all of his songs are absolute melancholy perfection, in my opinion. I often tease Felix that he’s the only man I’d ever leave him for! I know his music can be a bit depressing for some people, and I’ll admit that he’s not the most interesting person to watch in concert. But what can I say? I have a taste for sad songs.
04.South London Forever – Florence & The Machine
Felix and I went to see her in concert for our anniversary in November, and we also watched her at Glastonbury a couple of years ago, and she’s honestly one of the best live musicians ever. So any time I hear Florence & the Machine I get all the notalgia – and this song is pretty nostalgic anyway, so it’s like nostalgia squared for me!
05.Both Sides Now – Joni Mitchell
I first heard this song the way I think most people seem to: Love Actually. But the earlier version has actually become my favourite – it’s really sweet and happy, and her voice is wonderful. On a sunny day I can put this song and ‘A Case of You’ on repeat and just nod away happily for hours – perfection.
06.Feel – Bombay Bicycle Club
Felix and I had a heavy Bombay period where it was literally the only thing we listened to on car journeys for about a year, and this song was our jam. We don’t listen to them anywhere near as often now, but I feel like we’ll always come back around. Every time I hear this song I just think about us in the car with the volume on full blast, singing the samples at the top of our lungs. There’s also an excellent cover of this song by The Staves (I’m all about great covers too), that is also on my Spotify heavy rotation.
07.Don’t Go – Rae Morris
I don’t really have words for this one, Rae Morris is just one of my absolute favourite musicians. One of the rare songs that makes me cry on the reg – told you I was dramatic! I also already told you I had a thing for sad songs so… Fair warning, if you’ve recently been through a breakup, strap in for all the feels, folks!
08.Friday I’m In Love – The Cure (or Phoebe Bridgers)
I don’t think this song really needs an introduction – you have been living under a rock if you don’t know it! This is a pretty recent addition to my heavy rotation, but I don’t know why I never really listened to it often before. When I’m feeling in a more buoyant mood I’ll listen to the original, but I also love the Phoebe Bridgers cover for a more chill playlist.
09.Bookends – Simon & Garfunkel
This song came to me through one of my favourite films (500 Days of Summer), and so the song will always remind me of the scene where Tom and Summer go to the cinema and watch ‘The Graduate’ before they break up (sorry, spoiler alert!). It’s also such a nostalgic song for me; I think I was about 16 the first time I watched it, and I instantly became obsessed with this song and put it on pretty much every future playlist I ever made. It’s just such a beautifully simple song – I only wish it was longer.
10.No Me, No You, No More / Let Me Down – The Staves
Okay, so you got me – technically this is 2 songs, but they run into each other so I’m counting them as one. I love the harmonies The Staves use in all their songs, and they work particularly well both unaccompanied and with the stripped back instrumentals of the second part of this track. Seriously, eargasm alert.
I’ve put all my song picks from this post (plus a few more sneaky bonus tracks) onto a Spotify playlist here in case you want to listen to them – this post might even make more sense if you listen whilst you read. I’m also thinking I might do an update on this post every so often – I’m always becoming obsessed with something new music-wise, so it would be interesting to see how my tastes change.
Do you agree with my choices? What songs would be on your desert island playlist?