soundtrack series: december

It’s December. December.

I say this every month, but where did that time go?

So far it’s been chaos: new job, new city, new house. But in among the crazy, I’ve also discovered some new songs which have kept me sane and have been added to my playlist thanks to Meg and her family.

Christmas hasn’t really been hot on my agenda this year (and even though it’s happened, it feels like a million moons ago) so most of these songs are just good to dance along to in the kitchen – all year round.

Here’s my five:

1. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) – Darlene Love

The perfect Christmas duet, Meg and I can be found singing along to this randomly in impromptu moments when we’re in the same room. Weirdly we’ve even managed to start singing it at the same time unplanned, and it has been constantly stuck in my head all month.

2. Mr Brightside – The Killers

This features in arguably one of the most relatable movie scenes I’ve ever seen. Cameron Diaz headbanging to this after a few too many tipples is something I can watch and get on board with. We’ve all had one of those moments, and what a tune to headbang to.

3. Jump – Girls Aloud

I am not the only one who dances along to Hugh Grant, surely? December wouldn’t be December without the annual showing of Love Actually in the living room, complete with mid-film-quoting and the Girls Aloud danceathon, led by the Prime Minister himself. Not a song I’m usually partial to, but who can resist at Christmas?

4. The Tide Is High – Atomic Kitten

As well as moving to Sheffield and starting a new job, I also seem to have been recruited into a new, up-and-coming girl band ‘0114 Girls.’ Coming home after work I now find myself partaking in band practice, complete with dance routines and attempted three part harmonies. It. Is. Gold.

5. Angel In The Night – Basshunter

Top of the list for our pre-drink playlist, this was played several times over the month. New Year’s Eve partying started with a solid twenty minutes of pure Basshunter (and headbanging). Starting the New Year as we mean to go on!

Any songs you’d recommend from this month? Let me know!

love sophie

soundtrack series: november

It’s been a busy bee kind of month (isn’t every month!?) and I’ve found myself rarely listening to music just for the fun of it. I’ve moved (yep, that’s right. You can read all about it here) and changed jobs and now my usual routine has vanished.

I am no longer singing (and dancing) along to eighties classics from a speaker in an empty bookshop, but rather I’m sat on a tram with headphones in, trying to drown out the tram speakers and the beeping doors constantly opening and closing to let on more commuters.

I’m excited to have a fun few weekends coming up where I’m out adventuring with good friends, good food, and hopefully some good music which will make an appearance in my December soundtrack series.

As for November, here goes:

1.Norah Jones – A Long Way Home

An absolute classic. The Long Way Home has been on my marmalade skies playlist since it was created, and I never bore of listening to it. I love her voice, and her songs are great to listen to at any time of day. I also enjoy listening to the Norah Jones Radio on Spotify. If you have it I’d 10/10 recommend!

2. Bruce Springsteen – Dancing In The Dark

The Boss is back, but this time in true original glory. This one has made its way onto my soundtrack series before, but as a cover. This month the original has been blasted from my speakers more times than I can count. I blooming love Bruce.

3. Tears For Fears – Everybody Wants To Rule The World

It’s all eighties at the moment, especially living with Meg! This is just one example of the tunes blasted out the kitchen radio when Heart 80s is on. We do like to have a boogie when we’re washing up, so what’s better to dance to than the 80s?

4. Sara Bareilles – She Used To Be Mine

I love Sara, but only came across this song when I listened to the Norah Jones radio. I absolutely loved it and added it to my playlist straight away. It’s now a regular running through my ears on my commute, and I love it. It’s good for getting me geared up for work, but doesn’t make me want to dance in public (apparently it’s not appropriate on an 8am tram.)

5. James Blunt – 1973

Last but no means least comes from this beauty. And what a tune. I absolutely love James Blunt and was devastated when I didn’t get tickets to see him when he showed up in Leeds for the night. I started singing the first line to Simon, the cat, when I moved to Sheffield and the song has since stuck.

Let me know what you’ve been listening to!

soundtrack series: october

Along with the blog’s first birthday, and my new job, it’s been a busy one this month! I did however make it out of the house for some treat trips which was nice, including seeing A Star Is Born at Cottage Road which was AMAZING! I’d definitely recommend going to see it if you haven’t – it’s definitely had an influence on the soundtrack series this month.

In no particular order, here are my top five of October…

1. A Star Is Born Soundtrack

Okay, I know there is a lot more than one song on the soundtrack, but I just loved it. A firm favourite is Shallow, sung by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, as well as Music To My Eyes, and Maybe It’s Time. Gorgeous songs, gorgeous film!

2. Freya Ridings – Lost Without You

The lyrics in this song are absolutely divine (if you listen closely.) The soft piano backdrop is all her voice needs because it is stunning. It’s slow, one for a cold night reading, or snuggled up in blankets. Be warned, tears may be shed.

3. Trampled By Turtles – Wildflowers

I love this song. It’s got a bit of Noah And The Whale about it, and it’s a quiet but upbeat one I can imagine on in the background of a film where sandcastles are being built on the beach. It’s good in the car, and when you’re cooking (IMO.)

4. Nirvana – Come As You Are

I watched Definitely, Maybe on Netflix earlier this month, and ever since I’ve had this song practically stuck in my head on repeat. It’s a good one, and also features on my driving playlist.

5. Green Day – Jesus Of Suburbia/Whatsername

I’ve been spending a lot of time in and out of other people’s cars this month, particularly going on longish journeys with my brother, and I’ve found the only CD he seems to own is Green Day. I like them, and do listen to them, but now I feel like I know all the lyrics from their American Idiot album, and am all maxed out. It’s loud, and some of the songs make you want to drive a little faster, but they’re good, and I’m rather prone to a singalong.

 

What have you been listening to this month? Let me know!

love sophie

channeling my inner dolly parton

Welcome to the real world, Sophie.

After several applications, lots of CV editing, and interviews, I landed my first job – post MA – at the gorgeous The Little Bookshop in Chapel Allerton last week. It’s the only children’s bookshop in Leeds, and it’s right up my street.

As well as teaching me how to use a coffee machine, it’s keeping me on my toes about my knowledge of children’s books, as well as what’s current and up and coming in young fiction.

What I love most, apart from being surrounded by books all day, is seeing books I’ve never come across before. There really are some scrummy books out there for children, illustrated so beautifully. The big, hardback non fiction books are my favourite at the moment. They make learning about space, history, and the world so fun, and fancy.

I’m still getting used to how things work, and what sells, but I am thoroughly enjoying being back near books. If it’s quiet, I enjoy putting them back in alphabetical order and organising the shelves, getting a closer look at the covers and reading lots of blurbs. It’ll be chaos again after little fingers get intrigued, but I don’t mind. (I’ve got a to be read pile longer than my arm and I’ve only been in a couple of days!)

As much as I probably should feel like an adult now, I’m still enjoying letting my imagination run wild when kids, and parents, come in and ask me for recommendations or ideas.

As for the gorgeous autumnal smells coming out of the kitchen, it’s a heavenly torture. With the new menu, and increasing popularity, it’s lovely to see so many people trying it (even if it does make my jealous tummy rumble as I bring it out of the kitchen!)

I’m looking forward to a bookshop Christmas, and dressing the shop ready for it. There’s something so magical about bookshops, and the festive season, so I’m excited for what it will bring, and the books I’ll discover.

love sophie

 

soundtrack series: september

The final month of my Masters is finished. My novel has been handed in. I am free (aka officially an adult). Here are my five favourite songs from the novel writing process. They got me, and my characters, through a lot of uncertainty, and inspired me in many ways. I owe them a beer (or several).

1. MIKA

Another Kilimanjaro reunion means another throwback artist. This time, one of those classics you just can’t forget. Mika came into full force in the car, with singalongs on the regular. What’s a car journey without some Lebanese love? Firm faves have to be Stardust, Live Your Life, Blue Eyes and Origin Of Love. But they’re all good.

2. George Ezra

A popular one on the soundtrack series this year, and popping up all over the place. One of my favourites, Hold My Girl, was on repeat a lot whilst I was writing the majority of the last half of the book.

3. The Coral

One of those controversial choices, The Coral are fab, and In The Morning was a song that would get me feeling motivated to get up and write (don’t ask me why – the lyrics tell a completely different story entirely!)

4. Fleetwood Mac

Absolute Legends. What more can I say? Dreams, Everywhere, The Chain, Landslide, Go Your Own Way… there are too many good songs to shout about. They were a constant background noise to my keyboard tapping, and I thoroughly enjoyed their company.

5. Birdy

The girl who started it all. I don’t think I would have got through the whole book if it hadn’t been for the beautiful music Birdy creates. Skinny Love was the first song I ever began writing to, and it will always be a firm fave. But there are many more that have made a name for themselves within my novel. What a babe.

What have you been listening to this month?

love sophie

soundtrack series: august

It’s been a crappy series of weeks, and I’m using music as an outlet more than ever. The writing is officially on hold whilst I try to get as back to normal as possible. Here are some of the songs that have helped me out:

1. Tee Shirt – Birdy

One of those songs I could listen to on repeat all day. Gorgeous guitar tangled around beautiful harmonies.

2. Higher Love – James Vincent-McMorrow

Up there with Birdy as one of my acoustic favourites. He is just captivating. I’ve seen him live and his performances are so personal and emotive, it’s hard not to love. This song is my favourite of his, although I like We Don’t Eat, too.

3. Tyrone Wells – You Make My Dreams Come True

One of my favourite covers. I love this song, and its upbeat quality. But this cover focuses in on the lyrics and it is simply wonderful.

4. Beautiful Birds – Passenger feat. Birdy

Two gorgeous voices in an acoustic gem of a song. What a treat. Something I could listen to all day. Harmonies galore, and simple piano to let the lyrics speak for themselves.

5. Silhouette – Aquilo

A stunning song. I have a love of simple lyrics paired with simple piano. This song is one you need to hear, so if you haven’t listened yet, do it. You won’t regret it. It gives me goosebumps.

 

What have you been listening to this month? Let me know!

love sophie

soundtrack series: july

And another month has flown, and this time it’s been a tough one. Instead of the upbeat and happy clappy songs I’m usually listening to, this month has been a more sombre soundtrack after some sad news. I’m sure you’ll still love them.

1. Place We Were Made – Maisie Peters

One of those beautiful, reflective songs which makes you think about your childhood. A gorgeous, believable vocal and some beautiful guitar.

2. Wildfire – Seafret

One of those voices that you could listen to all day. I love the folk-y side to this song, and that it’s still a bit upbeat with the addition of percussion. Those lyrics though, are just something.

3. I Try – Jasmine Thompson

A gorgeous version of a popular song. Very tranquil, very emotional, very beautiful.

4. Joshua Radin – You Got What I Need

One of my favourite staples for a quiet playlist, for those downpours and dark days. Joshua Radin has the most relaxing voice. Winter is another favourite of his.

5. Let It All Go – Birdy and RHODES

One of, if not, my favourite Birdy songs. It’s lyrics are so personal and telling and the eerie music, and simple piano is truly gorgeous. I love Birdy, and she will always be a writing soundtrack, but this song is one that I could listen to forever and ever.

 

What songs help you when you’re struggling? Let me know!

love sophie

soundtrack series: june

The last month of term is looming, and so are the summer vibes. This heatwave is making me crave the sea, and my bike, and the deadlines are standing firmly in the way. I’ve picked some of my feel good faves this month to give you a slice of the nice life whilst I’m typing away on my latest word count.

1. Jess Glynne – I’ll Be There

Not normally a fan of hers but this is one I will listen to. It’s a proper windows down, wind in your hair, dodgy truckers arm tan kind of vibe. She’s got some pipes on her, that’s all I’m going to say.

2. George Ezra – Shotgun

Bae is back and he’s done it again. I listened to this a lot this month, mainly whilst in the car with Nina, windows down and often late at night. It’s a proper feel good classic and has hit summer hard. George, I love you.

3. Post Malone – Better Now

Not an expected choice, but this song really grew on me this month, and I have to say I am now a huge fan. Well done, Post Malone.

4. Calvin Harris feat. Dua Lipa – No More Tears To Cry

This is one of those classic chart songs I always tell myself I shouldn’t like but guiltily indulge in when I’m by myself. It is good on long journeys but I have to be in the mood otherwise it doesn’t sit quite right.

5. Tom Walker – Leave A Light On

Not the most upbeat song in the world, but it’s been a good one to stop me procrastinating. It’s relaxing, for the nights you’re regretting being out in the sun so much, and wearing more after sun than clothing. His voice is melt in the mouth and I love this song and the lyrics.

 

What’s on your most recently listened to? Let me know!

love sophie

soundtrack series: may

Birthday month = banging tunes for a whole 31 days, so I made the most of it, testing out my birthday playlist (and questionable dance moves) before my party. Here are five birthday staples that should be on everyone’s party playlists.

1. ABBA

Old and Gold. With the second film on it’s way to us, what better time to rekindle your love for the Swedish quad? They never fail to get me dancing, and I know all of the words to most of their songs (I’m not joking.) They’re a party staple, and if you notice someone struggling to let loose and boogie, one play of Dancing Queen will see them to their feet in no time.

2. The Supremes

There’s a theme here, but old and gold is the way to go with party music. Everyone knows it, and it’s good to dance to. What more could you ask for? You Can’t Hurry Love is a personal fave, and goes down nicely with a cocktail (or two!)

3. Bruce Springsteen

The Boss is back. I seem to have inherited my love of Bruce from my mum, his biggest fan so I’m told, but I am partial to a bit of Born To Run, or Mary’s Place (a song I presumed until I was old enough was named after my Grandma.) I also adore Dancing In The Dark acoustic which is simply gorgeous (and helps ease the headache the next day.)

4. Courteeners

Not Nineteen Forever is one of my favourite Indie hits and I love it. I was first introduced to it by my brother the week before I turned nineteen and since then I’ve learnt the words and added it to my frequently played. It’s a gem, and a good reminder to get out and do things because you definitely aren’t nineteen forever. (I wish.)

5. The Black Keys

One of my favourite artists, unknown to many, are The Black Keys. Lonely Boy and Gold On The Ceiling are two of the greats, which punctuate most get together’s and parties I have. If you haven’t met the sound yet, go listen. It’s loud and proud but it’s so worth it.

 

What would you add to your own party playlist? Let me know!

love sophie

soundtrack series: april

I’m home for Easter and stewing over yet more deadlines which are looming. They seem to be never ending, but I also got to go to Italy for a week on rugby tour, so not all is bad. With a 28 hour coach journey each way, there was lots of chance for music in my ears. Here are my top five.

1. Party In The USA – Miley Cyrus

It wouldn’t be rugby tour without our club song, would it? This one, although an oldie, is absolute gold. We all know the words, and can sing it on demand at the drop of a hat (much to other people on the ferries frustration.) It’s sung at most home/away games, in changing rooms, and on fun buses, and it wouldn’t have been tour without it.

2. Wannabe – The Spice Girls

Another classic that doesn’t stray far from my music library. I love this song because I know all the words and can perform the rap if I’m feeling happy. It’s a trip down memory lane and I love that when the song comes on, everyone knows it and sings along.

3. JoJo – Leave (Get Out)

We’re on a throwback theme here, and I am loving it. JoJo is a firm fave in my playlist at the moment and I love Leave and Too Little Too Late, which are both so sassy. Independent women singing about being independent women is rather empowering.

4. Dolly Parton – Jolene

My county bumkin babe is back, firmly where she belongs and on repeat. This song is amazing, and if it comes on in a club, or when I’m out, it makes my night. I love country music, and this upbeat version which is a great singalong is great for getting me in the mood for a boogie.

5. Rusted Root – Send Me On My Way

One of my favourite songs since I climbed Mt Kilimanjaro back in September 2015. One of my fellow trekkers included it on his montage video and I’ve sung it hundreds of times since. The recent reunion is obviously still on my brain as this song has been stuck on loop in my brain for the past week. At least it’s a good’un!

 

What have you been listening to this month?

love sophie