Un-Writing the Summer Soundtrack

394548_2802Why the notion that songs “should” fill your summer soundtrack is a myth…

The line “soundtrack to your summer” could be one of music writing’s biggest clichés. I’m guilty of using it – often out of ease or some overwhelming desire to appear cheesy – and I know many others are, too.

During the summer months, music falls under the influence of some mystical magic, a malevolent and melodic force to guide us through the late nights and long mornings. It goes largely unnoticed, and remains undefined. But it’s there, nonetheless.

That’s why summer soundtracks can’t be pre-defined. They’re created retrospectively, subconsciously, and in the presence of a perfect storm of factors – right place, right moment, right song. No square-headed, orange-chested so-called “expert” is going to tell us otherwise. You’ve been warned, Cowell – so kindly point your rear end towards the toilet come mid-July, not towards your latest “sensation”.

If we think about movies – the most common source of soundtrack material – it’s clear to see which comes first. I largely doubt the likes of Spielberg et. Al write scenes in order to squeeze in their latest “hot track”. Of course they don’t – they find (or compose) a song to match the scene. As much is true in real life – we don’t act a certain way simply because we hear a song, often we remember songs because they mirror our feelings and actions at a given moment.

So, if you’re reading a past review of mine containing such a phrase, I’m sorry. It’d be boring if I could tell you which songs you’re set to like throughout the summer.

The truth is, I don’t even know which songs I’m going to like. I’ve got a holiday, a friend’s wedding and a new job on the cards – who knows which songs will end up on my list? I won’t even know for sure until my pickle has been well and truly tickled.

So, you lot – go out and find your own soundtracks. I’ll be glad to hear them once the nights start getting longer again…


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