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Tracey Thorn – Get Around To It
I bought this album in Mumbai because I love how Tracey Thorn sounds but somehow the more uptempo songs on the album just didn’t sit right and I only listened to one song (Here It Comes Again) repeatedly. I didn’t listen to the album in its entirety until I was in Berlin for a two-week music composition workshop and competition at the Berlinale Talent Campus. It was the morning of the big award ceremony, I was nervous and trying to do something to make my hair presentable. The album came on and suddenly in that hyper quiet, cool room, the music just fit. I had never had that experience before, of the environment radically altering the way an album feels. I listened as I got ready and it was relaxing and enjoyable and I wasn’t nervous for too long after. I will always associate this album with Berlin, that day and getting ready for the award ceremony. I came second, in case you’re wondering.

Mumford & Sons – The Cave
E and I always feel more cheerful after listening to this song. I’m linking to the video because it was shot in Goa and is really quite cool.

Sister Hazel feat. Blues Traveler – All For You (Acoustic)
Mad energy straight through. I loved it when this song came on the radio and I can still listen to it and feel the joy of hearing it for the first time. You have to sing along, especially the harmonies. Doesn’t matter if you do them badly, it’s just so much fun.

Brazilian Girls – Don’t Stop
My musical choices tended to be fairly earnest and sunny growing up. I had rarely come across something this cool, laid back and sophisticated so when I heard this song for the first time I was very impressed. That it’s kind of cheeky doesn’t hurt, and they have monkeys in the video! Wait, did I say sophisticated?

Taj Mahal – Queen Bee
Taj Mahal was in India in 2012 performing at the Mahindra Blues Festival in Mumbai. E and I made a documentary about the festival so we got to hang out behind the scenes. We walked into Taj’s soundcheck in the afternoon, exhausted from running around, having slept very little, and settled in to film. A few songs in, he played the opening bars of Queen Bee and I was immediately super alert. Just the acoustic guitar and his voice sounded incredible in the empty concert area. They weren’t announcing song names at soundcheck so I ran up to the sound booth and quickly found out what the track was. On the night of the show E and I waited for this song and the crowd went nuts when he played it. We put it on the DVD and the CD. You can listen to the live version from the Mumbai show here. A studio version of the full song is below.

Images: Elvis D’Silva