Julian Lage’s 2015 album World’s Fair is the perfect blend of catchy melodies and driving rhythms, all played on solo acoustic guitar. This album reminds me of evening bus rides back from university, and all the feelings that come associated with it – maybe that’s why it holds such an important place in this nostalgia list. While the places referred to in these songs might not elicit any particular reaction from us, the songs themselves undoubtedly will. My favourite tracks include 40’s, Gardens and Missouri. There are no real standout bad tracks on this one, go for a walk at dusk with the album playing. If you like acoustic guitar – you’ll love this album. Even if you don’t think you do, this album might change your mind.
While this is one of the newer releases on this list – it ticks all the boxes. It’s got the synths, the beats, the hooks – what more do we need? Not only is the production great overall – the songwriting is also solid with great structure and memorable lyrics. This album is pulling from a lot of different influences – I’m hearing some Daft Punk, Lady Gaga, The Weekend, and even some K-pop. There’s definitely a few favourites here: Physical, Hallucinate and Break My Heart – they’re all strong tracks with not much to complain about. It pains me to not put the title track in that category but the verses aren’t good. Only the track Good In Bed is a definite skipper, the hook is unbelievably annoying. With some ups and downs, it’s solid album that should be checked out.
Now we’re really going back in time with some lovely 60s bossa nova. Antonio Carlos Jobim is a titan of the genre and one of its best composers. While this album doesn’t feature any of his best hits (Corcovado, Once I Loved, Girl From Ipanema) it’s a hidden gem for any fans of the genre or the composer. It blends passionate string arrangements with playful melodies and rich harmony. Some suggested lockdown activities to accompany this album include cooking, drawing or having a bath. It’s a relatively short album with a runtime of about 30 mins, most the songs are around 2mins. I wish these musical ideas were fleshed out for longer – it’s a shame to move on from one to the next so quickly. The melody for Morer de Amor is the reason I keep coming back to that album, but I’m constantly reminded of how great the whole thing is. Listen to it!
Telluric is Australian singer-songwriter Matt Corby’s debut album. Featuring a great vocal performance, dreamy soundscapes and lazy backbeats, this album is another great one for evening driving. Reverb heavy electric pianos and guitars give a lot of depth to the mixes while the top end is used for added textures and effects which pull you further in to Corby’s dreamy world. If there’s any album that should be appreciated on headphones, this is the one. For me, the first half of the album is so strong that the rest of it feels weak in comparison. Overall it’s a great listen, and I wouldn’t be mad if you only listened to the first half – but give it a go, it’s a good one.