Music To My Ears: Ruth Walbank


Song that reminds you of childhood: ‘Underneath the Stars’ – Kate Rusby
Back at my first gig, aged 6, my parents took me to a Kate Rusby folk gig in Manchester. It was one of my earliest experiences of music that wasn’t the primary school Halloween discos. About halfway through that first gig, my parents thought I had fallen asleep in the seat under my dad’s jumper, but as it turned out, I was listening to the songs and remembering every word. It’s one of those family songs that will come on, and I’ll sing it in the car with mum. It’s not just a childhood song; it’s a family one too.

Photo by Drew McLellan, via Flickr

Song that makes you want to dance: ‘Hot Blood’ – Kaleo
I’m not sure what it is about this song that makes me want to dance except the fact that it’s fun and it’s groovy. What can I say? I’m a sucker for a good guitar riff and a bit of Icelandic Indie music.

Song that you listen to when you’re sad: Petricor – Ludovico Einaudi
There is something somewhat calming and beautiful about this song; even it’s name means “the smell of the earth after rain”. Einaudi’s work always makes me think of old dance routines from my dance school back home, so it evokes a kind of nostalgia in this way. Plus, I find classical music, especially contemporary classical, to be quite relaxing. This track has both the ability to make me feel so much better, a lot worse or sometimes both depending on how I feel. In either case, it’s my go-to for those sorrowful moments.

Favourite ever album: ‘Flit’ – Martin Green
This is an album that is very weird and experimental in its sound, to say the least, and it’s probably not everyone’s cup of tea. However to me, this album came out a few years ago at a very powerful moment, and I remember going to see it performed live. It is a gig that will stay with me for the rest of my life because the groups’ ability to make this into a performance piece, with animation, incredible staging on top of beautiful music was insane. In the wake of the refugee crisis, this album was created to explore this theme as well as the movement of people. Tracks such as ‘Laws of Motion’ had apparent reactions to the Trump campaign, but it managed to surpass these to reveal something incredibly innately human. If you can cope with some weird and slightly creepy sounds, then the story this album tells is worth some time.

Guilty Pleasure: ‘Singing In the Rain’ – Gene Kelly
The dancer in me is showing again here with favourite musical moments. How can you not love ‘Singing In The Rain’, with its fun dance sequences and uplifting tunes? This song and its famous image of Kelly balancing off the lamppost is without a doubt a classic, and I refuse to take anyone seriously who doesn’t feel better after listening to this song.

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