Rowan listens – 100 songs down, 900 to go

Me listening. Odds on to Jeff Buckley
So in July  I drafted my life list : the ways in which I, Rowan January was going to fulfil my life’s ambitions, one step at a time. And then… Well life, namely university, started kicking my arse. I’ve been very lax in short. The one task I have made inroads is no 1: listen to 1,000 new songs. (I believe in starting at the top. Next stop New Zealand) As I said back in July:

I love music. But I tend to listen to same twenty songs over and over and over again. I need to expand my musical horizons. I’ll be starting out with the Mighty Life List song list. But I need your help. If you have any recommendations for new or obscure music (anything instrumental would be good) head over to the comments and tell me about it.

Below are the first 100 new songs.
A few caveats: by listen, I don’t mean have on in the background while I am doing something else. These are songs I’ve actually sat, listened to and formulated an opinion on. Mostly meh, but still an opinion. In the same line, although I can’t  guarantee I’ve never heard all these songs before, I’ve never registered them. Also it would be easy for me to gobble up some artists back catalogues as a quick way of populating my list. In the interest of broadening my horizons, I’ve tried to avoid this.
My comments are italicised and recommendations are starred. If you want to listen along with me, you can subscribe to my Rowan listens playlist on Spotify. (NB some of the songs listed aren’t on Spotify so I’ve linked to youtube instead.)
100 songs down, only 900 to go…

  1. “Too Many Dicks on the Dancefloor” by Flight of the Conchords – *HEH, also I need to watch Flight of the Concords asap.
  2. Bubblegum” by Mr. Loco
  3. “Stars” by Aspidistra Flies – * whimsical and wondrous
  4. “Stars go blue” by Ryan Adams
  5.  Hatikiva, the National Anthem of Israel – * Just exquisite, soul lifting music. But so, so sad
  6. “Country” by Empire of the Sun
  7. “Everything is Alright” by Motion City Soundtrack
  8. “Dirty Sunshine” by Lillix 
  9. “I Can’t Stay Away” by The Veronicas
  10. “Push” by Matchbox 20 – *Love it, so I listened to a lot of Matchbox 20
  11. Easier To Run” by Linkin Park
  12. “Stay” by Safety Suit
  13. “Bruised” by Jack’s Mannequin
  14. “The Only One” by Yellowcard
  15. Leaving California” by John Parish and Polly Jean Harvey
  16. Asle Bjørn” BY Fyresvatn
  17. All the Umbrella’s in London” by The Magnetic Fields
  18. Sea of Love by Cat Power” – * aah I love this tune
  19. Mun Ja Mun” Adjagas – *Shamanic yoik music from Norway, I like a lot
  20. Ozan” by Adjagas
  21. Sargasso Sea by Suzanne Ciani
  22. The very thought of you” by Billy Holiday
  23. Lovesong” (A Cure cover) by Tori Amos
  24. Lovesong” by the Cure
  25. “Goodnight Lovers” by Depeche Mode
  26. “Strangelove” by Depeche Mode
  27. “I’ll Be Your Mirror” by The Velvet Underground.
  28. “This Will Be Our Year” by The Zombies – *on repeat, repeat, repeat
  29. “With a Little Help From My Friends” by James Taylor (The Beatles cover)
  30. “Alone Again Or” by Arthur Lee
  31. “I Was Made to Love Her” by Stevie Wonder
  32. Divine Romance” by Phil Wickham
  33. “I Love you for Sentimental Reasons” by Nat King Cole – * what a voice
  34.  “The Winner Is” by Devotchka – * love the movie, love the soundtrack
  35. “Crazy Love” by Van Morrison
  36. “Sleepyhead” by Chris Pickering
  37.  “I’ve got you and you’ve got me” by New Buffalo – HATE
  38. “Safe and Sound” by Hawksley Workman
  39. “You are the best thing” by Ray Lamontagne
  40. “Winter Waltz” by Serena Ryder – *beautiful voice
  41.  “Just Like Heaven” by The Cure
  42. “In the Summertime” by The Rural Alberta Advantage
  43. Crazy Love” by Van Morrison
  44. “Love you till the end” by The Pogues
  45. “Dream Girl” by Dave Matthews Band
  46. “Heavenly Day” by Patty Griffin – too warbly and full of vocal gymnastics for me
  47. “Space They Cannot Touch” by Kate Miller-Heidke
  48.  “Hold You In My Arms” by Ray LaMontagne
  49. “Heart It Races” by Architecture in Helsinki
  50.  “Say Hey (I Love You)” by Michael Franti & Spearhead
  51.  “No Ones Gonna Love You (More Than I Do)” by Band Of Horses – lovely
  52. “Christmas wish” by She and Him
  53. Tuesday”  by Paper Aeroplanes
  54. “Dance Me to the End of Love” by Leonard Cohen – I’m a big fan of Leonard but I’d never heard this before. FAIL.
  55. “Stick By You” by Brick
  56. “I Can Hear Music” by the Beach Boys
  57. Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing” by Sufjan Stevens
  58. Homesick for the Moon by The Dirty Urchins.
  59. All My Days” by Alexi Murdoch
  60. “Gracie” by Ben Folds
  61. “The River” by Anathallo
  62. White Blank Page” by Mumford & Sons
  63. The Wolves (Act I & 2)” by Bon Iver
  64. “The Chain” by Ingrid Michaelson
  65. Saviour King” by Sweet Little Band
  66. Awake My Soul” by Mumford & Sons
  67. Ára Bátur” by Sigur Rós
  68. Wide Eyes” by Local Natives
  69. Colorado” by Paper Bird
  70. Northern Lights by Bowerbirds
  71. Vesuvius” by Sufjan Stevens
  72. Can You Tell” by Ra Ra Riot
  73. Moonage Daydream” by David Bowie
  74.  “Innocence” by Airborne Toxic Event
  75. “My Best Friend” by Weezer
  76. We Are Man And Wife” by Michelle Featherstone
  77. “These arms of mine” by Otis Redding
  78. Halloween” by Misfits 
  79. Essence” by Lucinda Williams
  80.  “Comptine D’un Autre Été, L’après-Midi” by Yann Tiersen
  81. La Valse D’Amélie (Version Piano)” by Yann Tiersen
  82. You Send Me,” Sam Cooke
  83. We Rule The School” by Belle & Sebastian
  84. I’m in Love With a Girl” by Big Star
  85. God Blessed Our Love” Al Green
  86. “Sir Duke” by Stevie Wonder
  87. Generous Palmstroke by Björk
  88.  Zueignung by Richard Strauss
  89. Ombra Mai fu” by Handel
  90. Vampire’s Kiss” by John Gold
  91. Heartlight” by Neil Diamond
  92. Fever” by The Cramps
  93. Un homme et une femme” by Patricia Kaas
  94.  bowling with margo” by David Torn
  95.  “in the forest” by David Torn
  96. Postal Service” by Such Great Heights
  97. The Way I Feel Inside” by The Zombies
  98. “Downtown Train” by Tom Waits
  99. “Be My Baby” by DM Stith
  100. “It’s all so bright” by Gilbert

I am pretty familiar with the genre of white-boy rock and angsty female singer songwriters. Classical, reggae, folk, funk, techno, pretty much every other genre not so much. Hit the comments and tell me what I’m missing.


  1. Beth
    October 31, 2011 / 5:55 pm

    More Magnetic Fields. Always more Magnetic Fields.
    Architecture in Helsinki, Momus, Parts & Labor, Shannon Wright, Tunng, Iron Crease, Lamb, The Hinkley Veltones, Low, SJ Esau, MC Paul Barman, Why?, Odd Nosdam, Rose Kemp, Pivot, Throwing Muses, The Auteurs, The Mountain Goats, Sebadoh, War Against Sleep, Robin Allender, Galaxie 500, The Amps, Flying Saucer Attack, The Rezillos, Linda Perhacs, Azaelea City Penis Club, Cardiacs, The Jesus Lizard, dirty projectors, John Zorn, Richard Hawley, Teenage Fanclub, Annisteen Allen, Atmosphere, Dirty Three, Jonquil, Hefner, Guided By Voices, Longpigs, The Polecats, Silver Apples, Animal Collective, Venetian Snares, Dinosaur Jr., Fugazi, The Postal Service, A Hawk and a Hacksaw, Vialka, Stereolab, Broadcast, The Sea and Cake, My Bloody Valentine, Les Savy Fav.
    On you go.

  2. Maddy
    October 31, 2011 / 9:49 pm

    First a couple of cover versions: Sweet Jane – Cowboy Junkies and Blue Raincoat – Tori Amos. Also Siren – Tori Amos. Then: Never There – Cake, The Frank Sonata – The Longpigs (previous comment made me think of this, although I cannot get on board with the Cardiacs), Last Stop, This Town – Eels, Granite Statue – Salad, 25 – Veruca Salt, Cyclops Rock – They Might be Giants, Broken Homes – Tricky and PJ Harvey, Nothing But a Heartache – The Flirtations.
    I’m up to five on your list. Love this idea!
    Maddy x

    • treefin82
      November 2, 2011 / 8:17 pm

      Thanks Maddy, you’re a star. Love the Longpigs and They Might be Giants. I’m going to add these to Spotify in a mo xxx

  3. Alice
    November 1, 2011 / 8:37 am

    The Promise – Tracey Chapman, I am the Sun- Darkstar, This boy’s in love/Talk Like That / The Girl and Sea – The Presets, Liberation/Anything -Pet Shop Boys, Lipgloss or anything off His’n’Hers – Pulp, Goddess on a Hi-way – Mercury Rev, Alice Practise – Crystal Castles, Anything – Eels, One Night Stand – The Aloof, Where’s me jumper – Sultans of Ping FC

    • treefin82
      November 2, 2011 / 8:18 pm

      Heh, I knew you’d get a bit of Jarvis in there! I LOVE Goddess on a Hiway. Will check all the rest of this out xxx

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