Today sees the release of the new album by The Bads, Travel Light. It feels like an album that will travel well, an album that will work for a car-trip. With new music coming into the house we make lists of albums that will "be good for a car-trip". Sometimes I even organise an iPod playlist ahead of time. Driving is a good excuse for listening to music; great music enhances the trip and at the least, in a busy life, it's a chance to kick back with some old favourites or create a chance to really enjoy that new album you've only heard hints of brilliance from.
The most recent album on the list here is Rhian Sheehan's forthcoming Stories from Elsewhere. I'm fortunate to have an advance copy and already feel familiar with the album. I love it. But I haven't yet taken the big car-trip with the new album. I imagine listening to it driving at night. Before that it was Nicolas Jaar's Essential Mix, not technically an album, but still one of my favourite musical discoveries of this year; perfect for any time of day (or night) in any setting. And, yes, great in the car.
I always try to road-test, as it were, albums from New Zealand. I guess it's a vague idea that I could be taking in some of the vistas that inspired the music. So I want to create a Kiwi music playlist for road-tripping, some old and new favourites. Then you can do your version, or simply critique mine.
Travel Light kicks off with California, so I'm going to use that as the start of a playlist of great Kiwi music to travel around New Zealand with. When I was interviewed on Breakfast TV last year about my book, On Song, I mentioned that a reason for choosing Anything Could Happen by The Clean was because it evoked a great Kiwi summer road-trip for me.
So that - and a few others from the list in my book - would be on the list. In fact, I made a CD of the tracks that make up On Song and played it, often, in the car during the months when I was thinking about the book, writing down ideas in spare moments and then coming to it as a serious project. There were songs that worked so well in the car - Anika Moa's In the Morning, The Mutton Birds' A Thing Well Made, The Verlaines' Death and the Maiden and (of course) The Chills' Pink Frost.
But I can't just go including every song from On Song.
So I'm going to offer a Kiwi music playlist below that I reckon would work well for a drive around this great country. I imagine it taking me up the coast to Hawke's Bay sometime in the future.
Feel free to add your own playlist below - or to add to this. But, er, For Today (as it were) my Great Kiwi Driving Playlist would be:
1 - California, The Bads
2 - Anything Could Happen, The Clean
3 - Lie in the Arms, The Stereo Bus
4 - Papa People, Bressa Creeting Cake
5 - There's a Limit, The Mutton Birds
6 - Come Home, The Chills
7 - Thawed Ice, Doug Jerebine/Jesse Harper
8 - Forever Dolphin Love, Connan Mockasin
9 - Chord, David Kilgour & Sam Hunt
10 - A Call from Decades Past, The Verlaines
11 - It Don't Work Out, The Cakekitchen
12 - Peter Pandemic, Sharkness
13 - Don't Hold Your Breath, Dave Dobbyn
14 - Underwater Mountain, Tim Finn
15 - North by North, The Bats
16 - Jim, The Pin Group
17 - Kingfisher Call Me, The Ruby Suns
18 - Could It Ever Get Better?, The Eversons
19 - All in an Afternoon, The Phoenix Foundation
20 - Cherry Pie - Leila Adu
21 - Creebin, Julien Dyne
22 - Home, @Peace
23 - Swimming Through the Ashes, The Impending Adorations
24 - Sea Bird, Space Waltz
25 - Craig Terris, Ahead of the Storm
25 - Sileo/The Upper Sky, Rhian Sheehan
That just feels like a nice playlist to drive to. Now I want to try it out. How about you? Do you enjoy driving around New Zealand listening to New Zealand artists? Do you pick particular albums (Salty, Bressa Creeting Cake, Pegasus, Syd's Pink Wiring System, Falling Debris, The Sailor Story, Stumpy and The Islander are some of my favourite albums by Kiwi artists for driving around New Zealand with) or are you more about playlists?
If you could pick 10-20 classic (old and new) Kiwi tracks to drive with, what would you pick? And what do you make of my list? Any good? Or no good at all?
Postscript: Rhian Sheehan's Stories from Elsewhere is released March 26.
You can also check out Off the Tracks for The Vinyl Countdown, reviews and other posts.
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