For this week’s Picks, we have a very special guest indeed; Lia-Jo, fka Alien, an artist and transcendental tastemaker whose producing skills have been crucial in keeping Threads radio going over lockdown, and recently took over a new Monday slot (check the first show here). All songs are gathered in this Spotiplaylist, take it away Lia!
The last third of the year has been a powerful moment in time. An unravelling of ego, a breath of fresh air, finding deeper strength within myself and a different appreciation and understanding of the beautiful people who surround me. Capturing the quiet, screaming and self-enveloping in the solitude. Processing lost love and deep trauma. Analysing my faults, my vices.
As life comes hand in hand with music, we’ve been on a journey together. Here’s what some of my journey sounds like.
During lockdown I’ve tried to focus as much of my attention as possible on myself. Building myself up by nurturing the elements of my life that mean so much to me. Music. So I’ve been learning how to play guitar. This song was the first track I learnt to play on my baby pink electric nearly a year ago. It represents my progress.
I’ve been a proper fan-girl of KLO ever since her 2017 self titled debut album. This May I’d FINALLY planned to see her perform her up and coming album Inner Song for an intimate one at Rough Trade East. I was truly gutted that of course it didn’t ahead (like everything else in the calendar). It brought me an awful lot of joy when this single dropped. The track is therapeutic to say the least, and it has nursed me through some painful moments when I’ve had to just ‘let go’ and ‘move on’.
Missing. Missing you, missing them. There’s been a lot of that lately. This album takes me back to a buried time of heartache that I’ve had to relive over the last few months to move forward. Healing but still hurting.
Just pure nostalgic joy. The stuff that makes you feel all gooey inside.
My ‘daily exercise’ consisted of swimming in the river, going for runs and having silent distanced discos with my pal, Ben. We’d sit cross-legged by the water, 2 metres apart, both with our headphones on. Every 3-8 minutes one of us would count “THREE, TWO, ONE, GO” and play the next tune we were so eager to share with the other. I remember losing my shit to this track. Dancing like a freak to this as the dog walkers passed us by made me feel so alive.
More nature dancing/drunk cycling in the rain. This has been one of my go-to feel-good tunes. Like “I just don’t give a fuck what you think of me and I’m going to be loud and obnoxious and happy in my own company, because my soundtrack is better than yours.” Shit has been weeeeeird!
There was a really fun chapter amongst the madness where I was crashing with a mate, and we were smoking a lot of weed and jamming a lot. We listened to this album on repeat. It reminds me of feeling carefree, lazy and well fed.
It must of been April time that SAULT appeared in my orbit. I got lost into their first two albums 5 & 7, as well as the mystery of the funk & soul, disco-infused band (nobody knows who the 12 or so piece band comprises of). June arrives, and their unannounced album, Untitled (Black Is) drops at the peak of the Black Lives Matter movement. The album cover is a raised fist, and the 20 tracks are powerful and insightful. All of the proceeds go to charitable funds. This is a seriously special record.
James Blake just gets me. Most of his music feels ‘melanphoric’ to me (a beautiful mix of melancholic and euphoric). Are You Even Real is a beautiful & relatable love song that makes the idea of falling in love again not so bad.
Late night starlit walks and moon gazing. This track arrived in my life at the right time. It helped me appreciate being alone and surrounded by nature. It made me feel pure gratitude for it all. I hope that when I start to lose sight of what I’ve learnt, I can listen to this, feel it, and smile at the sky once more.