Saturday 12th of October is #NationalAlbumDay and since we can never agree on what music to play in the Contact office, we thought it would be nice to do an expose piece on what music keeps our staff ticking! Here’s a cross-section of some of our staff’s Top 3 albums of all time.
Ellis, Sales and Communications Assistant
Bon Iver: i,i (2019)
Bon Iver’s most recent album took the staples of his style to the next level. This album is designed to listen to with headphones on. Bon Iver takes you on this incredible audio journey. Weaving incredible, precision-engineered electronics with acoustic textures. For me, the climax moment is the track Salem. Listen alone in the dark, plugged-in with your best headphones.
Nico Muhly: Mothertongue (2008)
This album was my introduction to the alt-classical scene. Nico’s album Mothertongue (released on Bedroom Community) got me asking big questions about the boundaries of classical music. I first heard some of this music (The Only Tune) live at the Barbican Centre in 2012. It was an unconventional concert with an all-star line-up. Bonus track Skip Town, is like a musical exploded diagram for piano – I love its twitchy rhythmic complexity and momentum.
Parcels: Hideout EP (2017)
Originally from Byron Bay, Australia, these boys now live in Berlin. They take a keen interest in disco and the golden age of jet-setting. Their EP, singles and album artwork depict them chaperoning a mysterious woman around. We only know her initials (PHS) and first name (Penelope). Their EP Hideout got me hooked and their song Older is a particular favourite.
Bianca Danielle, Digital Content Officer
Pink: Can’t Take Me Home (2000)
I was 10 years old when this came out and I felt like it embodied my super girlie yet tomboy, soft yet rock and roll teenage years!
Destiny’s Child: The Writing’s on the Wall (1999)
I’m a 90s kid so R’n’B was my life! I went to see Destiny’s Child in concert during this time and it was the first concert I had ever been too and I remember feeling so overwhelmed and crying when they sang the songs from this album.
Frank Ocean: Channel ORANGE (2012)
I used to play Thinkin Bout You on repeat and loved how his voice was soulful and raw. Frank Ocean’s vibe was and is just uber chill.
Markus, Data and Reporting Coordinator
AFRODEUTSCHE: Break Before Make (2018)
Her music is a galvanizing mix of electro and techno. I remember seeing her downstairs at The Peer Hat two years ago and now she is playing Sonar and with Aphex Twin – mad!
Björk: Utopia (2017)
Bjork is a true visionary and a great innovator in modern popular music. As a composer and producer, she didn’t hold back whatsoever with her latest album which is a majestic synesthetic mix of birdsong, flutes, airy synths and organic beats. Her most challenging and rewarding album IMO, maybe even her magnum opus.
Kelly Lee Owens: Kelly Lee Owens (2017)
Kelly Lee Owens. Once a nurse in Manchester, her patients told her to quit her job and follow her dreams. And so she did! KLO is now producing and performing as a solo artist. Her music is electronic, warm, comforting, a little bit surreal and healing.
Wez, Box Office and Audience Insights Manager
King Crimson: In the Court of the Crimson King (1969)
Opened my eyes to what music could be and is probably the best prog album ever!
Tom Waits: The Black Rider (1993)
This is a chaotic, dark fairground horror. It will always be special to me since I used it to create the eery background sounds of my first properly directed theatre piece Watching Over Alice.
Jeff Buckley: Grace (1994)
It’s a classic and I still haven’t found anything else close to Jeff’s sound!
Sam, Projects Manager
Dr Dre: 2001 (1999)
Mainly because of the sounds of the West Coast music. One of the first albums I never skipped a track on. P.S I think this is the first album I ever paid for.
Bohemia: Skulls & Bones (2016)
A Punjabi rapper from California, this is another West Coast sound I loved, also because of the representation of South Asian people on major record label.
Lowkey: Soundtrack to the Struggle 2 (2019)
I loved this album because of its lyrical content, message and poetic generosity. In the world of cars, bitches, autotune and baby rhymes this one made all other rappers sit back down.
Olivia O, Commerical Services Coordinator
Green Day: American Idiot (2004)
This was the first physical album I bought in HMV with my pocket money and still relevant (sadly!) to today’s western world.
Janelle Monae: Dirty Computer (2018)
All complete and utter bops that make my journey into work so thought-provoking and joyous at the same time.
CHVRCHES: Every Open Eye (2015)
If I’m running (a very rare occurrence, sadly) this album makes me zone out from the day and my life like no other.
Nancy, Head of Marketing and Communications
The Stone Roses: The Stones Roses (1989)
I discovered the Stone Roses when I started going out to the finest indie clubs Manchester has to offer, circa 2001. Despite the same songs being played in the same order every week at 5th Avenue and 42nd Street, I thought these nights out were the epitome of cool. The highlight of the evening was, of course, the DJ playing the extended version of I Am the Resurrection and the whole club shouting out ‘Stone F**king Roses’ during the pause at 5 minutes, 20 seconds in.
I thought everyone did this but later found out when at university in Sheffield it’s definitely a Manchester thing – I looked a *bit* of a fool shouting this out at the top of my voice on my own.
The Rolling Stones: Beggar’s Banquet (1968)
My Dad loved The Rolling Stones and we used to listen to them together when I was younger. We’d also listen to the Stones when we drove over to Sheffield together to drop me off/pick me up from university. Dad would always rock out at family parties and weddings to their music, so it holds particularly happy memories for me.
Fat Boy Slim: You’ve Come a Long Way Baby (1998)
Disclaimer – I love a bit of commercial EDM. So much so that I went to Creamfields last year with my friend and mum of two, Helen, we looked far too old to be there (and far too sensibly dressed for the weather). Fatboy Slim was DJing and it was amazing.
This album is cracking and if you’re having a bad day, it will not fail to cheer you up and get you dancing around your kitchen (just me?)