MIXTAPE: CUCKOO YOUNG WRITERS | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Kate Bush

This month’s magazine comes with the added bonus of the brand new issue of Cuckoo Press, New Writing North’s annual publication containing poetry, short stories and journalism by young writers. For this month’s Mixtape, some of the writers involved in Cuckoo Press have picked their favourite songs.
www.cuckoowriters.com

Bon Iver – Skinny Love
From first listen, this track’s vibrant guitar melody and the artist’s soft voice have remained with me. The folky style reminds me of home and it has become one of my go to songs when I’m feeling homesick. (Jowita Krasik)

Kate Bush – Wuthering Heights
I hasten to admit this, but I cannot be certain that my fascination with Wuthering Heights isn’t simply owed to my obsession with the novel. Nonetheless, there is something undeniably enchanting about Kate Bush’s voice that makes her eccentric dancing a thing of wonder. Maybe it’s the way Bush has condensed the entirety of this – the best of literature – into three blissful minutes, or perhaps it’s simply that I love Heathcliff that makes this song otherworldly. (Chloe Allan)

Little Mix – Salute
Opening with an air raid siren and featuring military-like chants and a strong underlining marching beat, the empowering lyrics call for women to stand together and stand strong against struggle or negativity. (Miriam Atkinson)

Lady Gaga – Yoü And I
Yoü And I is a great example of how combined genres can create a beautiful mixed up baby – electro pop and classic rock fuse to offer a nostalgic love song. (Jen Szandrowska)

Vashti Bunyan – Train Song
Ever since first confusing a love of pointy Cuban-heeled boots and parkas with a deep-seated appreciation for the 1960s at the age of sixteen, the whimsical folky nonsense of the decade has held a bit of a special place in my heart and I absolutely love this song. A little eerie and achingly ethereal, it’s sort of like the audio equivalent of early autumn sunsets. (Samuel Polgrave)

The Carpenters – Sometimes
This song is slower than The Carpenters’ usual material, and every time I hear it I get tingles. Listen if you want to feel warmly reflective. (Suky Whettam)

Lucius – How Loud Your Heart Gets
No, not the Malfoy kind. Lucius is a relatively new indie pop feminist band from New York, taken from their album Wildewoman, which is chock-a-block with earworms and excellent lyrics. (Helen Bowell)

The War On Drugs – Red Eyes
Adam Granduciel sings about neurotic, restless journeys as the band’s familiar indie rock rhythms play out, punctuated by poignant, insanely good guitar solos. This song reminds me of summer; sun-dappled days and insomniac nights. (Zainab Abbass)

Seventh Angel – Farewell To Human Cries
Seventh Angel are one of the pioneers of white metal, this song contains heavy bass drum and a punchy, repeated riffs. As it veers towards more reflective instrumental breakdowns, with the electric guitar creating eerie and haunting sounds, the bass-centred thrash is all the more effective. (Sam Morden)
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Eminem – Stan
Eminem tends to get a bad rap in the press, but anyone who can mix Dido’s mellow vocals with hard-hitting hip-hop is a genius in my eyes. Stan is an angry monologue, with Eminem taking on the persona of an obsessive fan. It’s direct and powerful, and he’s probably our generation’s most underrated poet. (Dani Watson)

The Civil Wars – Barton Hollow
Released in 2011 by American indie folk duo Joy Williams and John Paul White, this song is short but sweet. The dual vocals offer a fantastically haunting quality and there’s some skilful guitar work giving the tune a great sense of melancholy. The track has a storyteller’s way of transporting the listener to another world and keeping them there until the end. (Amy Luxton)

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