We’ve all put together compilation tapes. They may be for company in the car, they may be intended to introduce a friend to some new music, they may even be used to woo that person you’ve had your eye on a few months by demonstrating exactly how cool your musical taste is. Now, it turns out, if you’re in a reasonably successful band those compilation tapes can be released as a record in their own right.
The Trip is a relatively new series of compilations, which follow in the Another Late Night and Back To Mine series. The general idea is that a band choose their favourite records, which are all mixed together seamlessly to create that particular band’s mix tape. Saint Etienne received The Trip treatment recently, and now it’s time for Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol fame to promote his musical taste.
The first thing to say about The Trip is that regular Snow Patrol fans should be warned that this is not what they might expect. They are no Coldplay style ballads here or uplifting yet melancholy indie anthems of the sort that Lightbody’s band do so well. Indeed the hardcore dance sounds of the first disc in particular may well scare Snow Patrol’s casual fan away.
It would be a shame if it did though, for The Trip is quite brilliant. Beginning with the minimalist ambient sound of Low & Spring Heel Jack, it’s clear from the start there will no cries of “light up, light up” here. The seamless mixing together creates an superb atmosphere, at once both brooding and upbeat. Highlights include the hypnotic sound of TV On The Radio, and the breezy ‘folk electronica’ of Four Tet.
There’s also a fantastic remix of Check It Out by The Beastie Boys and the marvellous Seelenluft which features the unmistakeable vocals of Jim Reid from the Jesus And Mary Chain. Ending with the absolutely lovely sound of punk-folkie Feist, most people will be scrambling to put the second disc on to see what treats await them there.
Disc Two is, if anything, even better. It’s a more eclectic mix of songs which moves away from the hard dance of Disc One. This will probably be the more palatable disc to Snow Patrol fans, especially with the likes of The Shins kicking off proceedings. Yet there are still tracks here that will have listeners eager to explore more by the bands featured here – an excellent cover of Joni Mitchell‘s Both Sides Now by Husky Rescue (entitled Rainbow Flows confusingly enough) will whet people’s appetites for more, as will the excellent tracks contributed by Rilo Kiley and Duke Spirit.
Elsewhere, The Fiery Furnaces bring their brand of deeply strange, yet compelling, psychedelic progressive rock to the party and the touching sounds of Joy Zipper‘s Christmas Song is another welcome addition. Mum meanwhile show exactly why those Sigur Ros comparisons are made with the utterly gorgeous Green Grass Of Tunnel.
Rounding off the disc are the shimmeringly beautiful sounds of Nina Nastasia‘s Superstar, by which time you’re convinced that Gary Lightbody is a man with some exquisitely eclectic taste in music. This may not be an album to buy if you’re expecting another Final Straw, but if you’re a fan of wildly differing musical sounds, or are just looking for some new bands to discover, this is one Trip you should certainly take.