music

Noel Gallagher’s ‘Chasing Yesterday’ Is The Perfect Driving Album

‘Chasing Yesterday’ released in February of 2015 and is quietly one of the greatest driving albums of all time.

The roar of a V8 or the hiss of a turbo may be all the petrolhead needs for a Saturday morning thrash around the bends, but on the daily commute or a long road trip, the stereo makes its case. This is where former Oasis guitarist/singer/songwriter, Noel Gallagher and his High Flying Birds take the stage.

‘Chasing Yesterday’ is a blend of terrace rock riffs, blues and jazz that sets the canvas for the perfect drive. Here are some of the album’s highlights:

Riverman

The album’s opening and arguable best track, ‘Riverman’ plays like a road movie. The kind of song that comes on past midnight when you’re the only car on the road. The engine hums in the background, crisp night air wafts through a cracked window as the chorus fades into a haunting guitar solo that elicits the blues and purples of lights in the distance. It’s a song that lets our minds wonder and replay old memories of love lost in a journey down the open road.

Lock All The Doors

‘Lock All The Doors’ is the speed freak,  a song for the kind of hard hitting drive that makes your hair stand on end as your adrenaline takes you to a primeval place that every racing yearns for. It’s Senna at Jerez, the delicate dance between total control and chaos.

Do The Damage

Everyone has that one perfect road – it’s quiet, the bends are plenty and it confirms exactly while we all love driving. ‘Do The Damage’ is the song for that perfect road, the soundtrack for chasing every apex, the perfect heel-toe downshift and the welcome backfire from the exhaust. It fuels an excitement that causes us to shout from behind the wheel in pure driving bliss.

You Know We Can’t Go Back

In California we have the Pacific Coast Highway, an epic piece of tarmac the follows 655 miles of coastline. It captures that out of body experience when we become the stars of our own films, the wind tussling our hair as the warm sun begins to set behind the Pacific horizon.

Ballad Of The Mighty I

‘Ballad Of The Mighty I’ is the grand finale and it begins to play as your reach your final destination. There’s something beautifully somber in this song about a person on the hunt, perhaps it’s a metaphor for every petrolhead seeking that car that got under their skin. The echoing reverb of Johnny Marr’s guitar solo sets the table for the final verse, just as you ease off the accelerator, flick the indicator and coast down the exit ramp.

As far as I know, Noel Gallagher isn’t a petrolhead but his music certainly provides a compelling soundtrack for us all.

Video credit: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds

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I Need A Dollar

I can’t think of a better song to sum up 2010 (so far).

It’s been a rough year and everyone I know, myself included are having their struggles. The most important thing is to stay positive; what goes up, must come down and vice-versa. You also may recognize Aloe Blacc’s I Need A Dollar as the theme song for HBO’s How To Make It In America; one of my favorite songs and shows of the year, without a doubt.

Song Of The Minute

I’ve been rebuilding my art portfolio over the last few days. Good music is essential when I’m working on art and I tend to prefer more of the instrumental stuff. Been breaking out some old school Rob Dougan tracks the last few days including, ‘Speed Me Towards Death (Instrumental)’.

For those of you that watch Top Gear, you may recognize this track from their bobsled race in the Winter Olympics Special. Speaking of Top Gear, the new series starts June 27!

RIP

Ronnie James Dio is a legend and as many of you know, he lost the fight against a long battle with stomach cancer. I’ve been a fan of Dio for years and I think the earlier work with his band Elf and as lead singer of Rainbow are what I most appreciate. About 3 years ago I was staying at the Intercontinental in Sydney and I saw Dio and Tony Iommi checking in the hotel. They were in town with their band Heaven & Hell for the Australian leg of their tour. True metal heads will remember Dio’s answer to We Are The World with his own collaboration of epic proportions, Hear N’ Aid.

Without Dio this and metal music would not be where it is. Rest in peace.

Beats, James Beats

If any of you are big 007 fans like I am than you’ll definitely dig this mix tape by Shy Guy.

Beats, James Beats is a mix tape featuring remixes of all the classic Bond theme songs. I’ve always felt like the brassy songs of the original Sean Connery films would make for a perfect foundation to add hip hop beats. Turns out every Bond theme works really well. This is a great album and it’s free for download here!

Missing The Bay

I’ve been missing the Bay Area a lot lately. It’s the longest I’ve gone without going home in a long time. I’m working full-time now, so it’s tough to squeeze a trip to the Bay Area in one weekend. I’ll be heading back for Memorial Day which I’m really looking forward to. In the meantime I’ll have to keep ‘SF Anthem’ on repeat.

Many say Hyphy is over, but this track never gets old.

Songs Of The Moment

Sometimes I like listening to new genres of music I’ve never heard. Other times I like listening to classics I haven’t heard in years. Here’s a sampling of what I’ve been listening to lately.

‘I Remember’ – deadmau5 & Kaskade

I’m not into the whole raving thing at all, but I dig the music. deadmau5 and Kaskade have to be two of the biggest names in electronic music right now and it’s all because of this song. I love listening to it while drinking coffee in the morning. It’s great way to start the day.

‘You Know How We Do It’ – Ice Cube

I love hip-hop’s ability to evolve these days but sometimes you just have to go back to the classics. I was driving through downtown Los Angeles the other day with Ice Cube on blast. The vibe of Los Angeles can be summed up with the sound of the synthesizer in this song. I’m lucky I didn’t get shot LOL!

‘With You Forever’ – Pnau

For those of you Empire of the Sun fans (and I’m one of them), this is where it all started. Besides coming up with all the beats for Empire of the Sun, Nick Littlemore is one half of Australian dance group Pnau. ‘With You Forever’ was his first collaboration with Luke Steele. You can definitely hear the roots of Empire’s sound in this one.

‘Screwtape (feat. L-Universe)’ – DJ Deckstream

When I’m working on Photoshop or drawing, I always put on Deckstream. ‘Screwtape’ features lyrics by Deckstream’s long-time collaborator Verbal from m-flo and Teriyaki Boyz. I’m not too sure why he’s under the name of L-Universe on this one?

That’s just a taste of what I’m listening to right now. If anyone’s got suggestions, I’m always down for new music.