Letter #124

17.07.20
Hello,

How are you? I hope you and your friends and family are healthy, happy, and staying safe.

Me? I’m a bit frazzled, but in a good way. After a really busy few months with work (new clients, big projects, launching our latest State Of UK Culture report, and making plans for next year), taking on some new responsibilities, new mentees, upping my reading, upping my running, moving to writing Love Will Save The Day on a weekly basis, and researching and writing that insanely long letter on afrofuturism for last week’s letter… I am empty. And it feels great. Deeply satisfying, even.

But it means I need a little break to recharge.

So next week I’ll be off camping, but I might come back for a letter the week after. I’m also thinking about taking some time off writing and compiling mixtapes during August. I know that doesn’t really give you much certainty, and I know that a lot of you have enjoyed the increased frequency during lockdown. I’m going to have a think about how I / we could sustain that going forward, without it dropping in quality. On that note, if you’d like to contribute a guest letter, please let me know – I’ve already got a couple of great guest letters to share soon, but I’m always looking for interesting people with interesting musical taste and stories.

So, this week I’ve got some stuff to tide you over. There’s no letter (but if you missed last week’s then that should give you your fill, and there’s loads of old letters in the Old notes too), and a very small TL;DR Section, and a mixtape of music pulled from what I’ve bought over the last month or so that I’ve not shared yet. It’s sunshine music, so dig in. Also, before I let you go, the first link in the TL;DR Section is an essay that is absolutely must read.

Right, see you in a few weeks, if you need me, you know where I am.

As ever, please stay safe, and stay in touch xxx

PS. If you’re new then this is how it worksHere’s what you’ve missed so farAnd this is me.

PPS. If you’re wondering why you’re getting Love Will Save The Day so soon again, then it’s because I’ve taken it back to being weekly while we’re on lockdown in the UK – we all need more music, more culture, and more of each other ☺️

PRESS ME TO PLAY (Spotify)
🌪 TL;DR Section 🌪
It’s a small but perfectly formed TL;DR Section this week. These are all must clicks. 
🙋🏻‍♂️ Driving change 🙋🏻‍♂️

  • Platforming; If you are black, a POC, or you’re a person that has been marginalised, and you would like to guest edit an edition of Love Will Save The Day, please get in touch with me. I want to ensure that your voice is heard. Just reply to this email.
  • Mentoring; As a senior white man in a media agency, I hold a very privileged position. If you, or any one that you know, is interested in a career in advertising or media and needs a mentor and/or a leg-up, please contact me / get them to contact me at jed.hallam@initiative.com
📖  Old notes  📖
Notes on culture
Notes on music

Notes on mental health

📃 The tracklist  📃
  1. Jeff Bridges – Feeling Good
  2. Matthew Halsall (ft. Josephine Oniyama) – Badder Weather
  3. Dee Dee Bridgewater – People Make The World Got Round
  4. Rick Holmes – Remember To Remember
  5. Voilaaa – Bark
  6. Ann Peebles – I’m Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down
  7. Milton Wright – The Silence That You Keep
  8. Love Affair – You’re So Good To Me
  9. Calendar – Comin’ On Strong (Jamie 3:26 edit)
  10. Sheila & B. Devotion – Your Love Is Good
  11. Incognito – Nights Over Egypt (Masters At Work remix)
  12. Nenor – Carefree
  13. Chez Damier – I Never Knew Love (MK remix)
  14. Keita Sano – Party Vibes
  15. Kat Mandu – The Break
  16. Circle – Disco Break
  17. Rheji Burrell – Epiphany
  18. Felipe Gordon – Jupiter
  19. K15 – Elemental
  20. First Floor – Rhodes
  21. Graham Van Pelt – Sense Appeal
  22. Jackmate – Werk
  23. Velour – Pose (Mr. Fries remix)
  24. Ruby Rushton – Sun Khosi
  25. Tenderlonious & Jaubi – Impressions
  26. 4hero – Star Chasers
  27. Cleveland Watkins – Kamikazi
  28. Kutmah – Stoned In Brixton
  29. Vibration Black Finger – Only In A Dream
  30. Angel Bat Dawid – No Space Fo Us
💥 If you enjoy this letter, then please take a second to forward this email, or share this link with a recommendation on Facebook or Twitter 💥
See you on the dance floor.
Love Will Save the Day

Letter #123

10.07.20
Hello,

How are you? I hope you’re ok.

Big thank you Tom for last week’s excellent letter and mixtape. It was just the tonic, and from your feedback a lot of you felt the same.

Now, I pride myself on living by a mantra of ‘under-promise, (try and) over-deliver’, but this week I might accidentally under-deliver on that. This week both the letter and the mixtape have been a mammoth task to put together. Both have been in the pipes for ages now, and I’m really excited to share this with you.

This week is about three things; the importance of afrofuturism, the sense of ‘total freedom’ that can be created through art and music, and how escape and release are fundamental to our mental health. The notes cover a huge cross-section of subjects, and the mixtape has been arduously put together to emulate some of the feelings and ideas in the notes.

To quote Trevor Jackson, “a lot of anger, frustration, love & passion went into [this], if you listen I hope that [comes] across and you connected to it in someway. This is much much more than just playing records to me, more than ever the right music HAS to be heard”. He was talking about the latest episode from his latest excellent NTS show, but it’s a sentiment I share sending you this today.

As per lockdown tradition, all of the music is pulled from my record collection – and I’ve gone deep. I’ve programmed it to tell a story across three phases of going into space (the morning of the day of launch, the intensity of the launch itself, and the feeling of floating in space – there’s more explanation in the notes below). The lyrics tell a story, but so does the texture, pace, and timbre of the music.

This is music that should be felt, loudly. This isn’t background music, and it isn’t dinner party music either. This is about getting out of your head, and creating a new space for yourself. However you want to interpret that.

The notes are loaded with links to interesting bits, and as such the TL;DR Section is a bit lighter than usual – but rest assured there’s still gold, and lots more gold in the notes too.

Right, on with it.

As ever, please stay safe, and stay in touch xxx

PS. If you’re new then this is how it worksHere’s what you’ve missed so farAnd this is me.

PPS. If you’re wondering why you’re getting Love Will Save The Day so soon again, then it’s because I’ve taken it back to being weekly while we’re on lockdown in the UK – we all need more music, more culture, and more of each other ☺️

PRESS ME TO PLAY (Spotify)
🌪 TL;DR Section 🌪
🙋🏻‍♂️ Driving change 🙋🏻‍♂️

  • Platforming; If you are black, a POC, or you’re a person that has been marginalised, and you would like to guest edit an edition of Love Will Save The Day, please get in touch with me. I want to ensure that your voice is heard. Just reply to this email.
  • Mentoring; As a senior white man in a media agency, I hold a very privileged position. If you, or any one that you know, is interested in a career in advertising or media and needs a mentor and/or a leg-up, please contact me / get them to contact me at jed.hallam@initiative.com
📚 The notes 📚
Hello. This week’s notes might be my most ambitious yet – it’s certainly been the hardest to write, and it’s had me lost in my thoughts a lot, but hopefully it makes for an interesting read. Broadly it covers the importance of afrofuturism,  the total freedom that can created in art and music, and how escape and release are fundamental to our mental health. I’m incredibly conscious of being a white man writing about black history – and even more so in the areas where I’ve spoken about my personal experiences in needing escape and release. Hopefully you’ll see that what I’ve written is respectful, thoughtful, and that I’ve tried to avoid cultural misappropriation. I’m sure I’ve made mistakes, but hopefully I’ve avoided what Drexciya’s James Stinson called ‘caucasian persuasion’.

I’ve been interested in afrofuturism since hearing Theo Parrish play Sun Ra’s That’s How I Feel early one morning in a dank club in Hackney Wick about a decade ago. Looking back now, most of the times I’ve seen Parrish play, there’s been undertones and overtones of afrofuturism in almost all of the music that he plays, but my breadth of understanding never went much further than Sun Ra, and I had almost zero cultural or historical context beyond knowing that Sun Ra talked of being an alien from Saturn. After hearing him play That’s How I Feel, I started listening to more and more Arkestra. The more I listened, the more I read, and the more I became interested in the world that he had created. Sun Ra was different. Then a few years ago I started reading more and more books and essays on afrofuturism, spiritualism, and cosmology in music and culture. Slowly threads and connections started to appear in my head, and I could start to understand what linked Sun Ra and Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, to Drexciya and Afrika Bambaataa, to Beyonce and Janelle Monae.

Each of those artists (and of course many more, across all art forms, not just music) used symbols, language, visuals, and myths in order to create different visions of the future. They created new worlds. They were all (and are) part of the afrofuturist philosophy and culture. While afrofuturism has been in existence for close to 200 years (Martin Delany is broadly thought to have been the first author to introduce afrofuturism into literature in the late 19th century), it was Octavia Butler and Sun Ra that really expanded the universe in the 60s and 70s. Then in the 1990s, cultural critic Mark Dery coined the term ‘afrofuturism’ in an essay and series of interviews that were focused on understanding more about black science fiction. Dery stated; “speculative fiction that treats African-American themes and addresses African-American concerns in the context of twentieth – century technoculture — and, more generally, African-American signification that appropriates images of technology and a prosthetically enhanced future — might, for want of a better term, be called Afro futurism”.

While that explains what afrofuturism is, it doesn’t explain where it came from, or why it is. In the late 90s Jeff Mills explained with absolute clarity that “if you are Afro American and you’re in a country where your relatives were not able to practice the culture where they were from – because they were slaves brought over from Africa – you adapt in other ways, you recreate your universe, it was done a long time ago out of necessity to stay sane in an insane world”. Delany, Butler, Sun Ra, George Clinton, Alice Coltrane – these were artists creating a new world because they were oppressed, abused, and marginalised in their old world.

Black culture and history was simply erased, and then forbidden. In his book A Pure And Solar World, Paul Youngquist talks about how through the horrific slave trade, “America took aliens into its midst”, and that America is “not their home. Music, the sound ship of Sun Ra’s Arkestra, will become the means of transporting them, mass transit for aliens seeking other climes and brighter futures”. The artists creating new worlds were doing so because their old one was destroyed, and their current one was filled with discrimination and persecution. At the same time I was reading Youngquist’s book on Sun Ra, I was also reading Ibram X. Kendi’s book How To Be An Antiracist.

Reading both books in parallel was an intense but important education (and by accident rather than by design). Kendi’s book gives a huge amount of historical context as to the world that Sun Ra was born into – and the world he was escaping by his own means. Sun Ra talks about the necessity to create a new space and a new future, because colonisation and the horrific American slave trade took African’s and made them aliens. At the same time, Kendi explains the horrendous history of how colonisation and the slave trade put nations and continents back decades – if not centuries – in terms of development. Despite having their culture and history erased, artists like Sun Ra and Octavia Butler still pushed forwards to create something better.

Afrofuturism paints an exciting future for us all – and its increasing popularity and adoption into the mainstream (such as Beyonce’s Lemonade, or the film Black Panther) means that its appeal is growing. Which opens more eyes to the possibilities of the future, and opens more doors to culturally diverse alternative futures to be imagined (and created). These things will push not only culture along, but it will push our species along too. The shameful part is that this could’ve happened centuries ago.

When we look to the impact that Afrofuturism has had, it has been massively far-reaching and enduring. Sun Ra, Octavia Butler and the other first wave of afrofuturists not only created the notion of creating a new space, but then inspired waves and waves of new artists to take up the mantle too – with each generation the waves grow, providing hope, optimism, and escape.

Lee Scratch Perry, Don Cherry, Alice Coltrane, Jimi Hendrix, George Clinton, Erykah Badu, 4hero, Janet Jackson (never forget the video for Scream), Beverly Glenn-Copeland, UR, Moodymann, Missy Elliot, Jeff Mills, Beyonce, Solange, Hieroglyphic Being, Theo, Actress, Ras G, Janelle Monae, Shabaka Hutchings, Batu, Flying Lotus… There is now an incredibly rich canon of afrofuturism that stretches back nearly 200 years (and this show on worldwide.fm from the excellent Laani shows a lot of that rich canon). But its impact is by no means limited to music; and its impact can be felt in architecture and designartfashion. There are also an increasing number of black women shaping afrofuturism too, as outlined in this excellent article from Jonita Davis.

What’s exciting is how those artists continue to develop the myths and narrative. Drexciya, for example, adapted an afrofuturist narrative to incorporate the horrific stories of the middle passage, and built a world that draws parallels with Atlantis (this documentary on Drexciya and afrofuturism is excellent). Drexciya, like their predecessors, realised that myth was more important than reality. They knew that our innate human desire is to find meaning and belonging, and that myths create a vehicle for telling stories that give meaning, and give belonging. As Joseph Campbell famously said; “every myth is psychologically symbolic – it’s narratives and images are to be read, therefore not literally, but as metaphors”. Afrofuturism is a way to tell stories about the future, without a past, and as Tola Onanuga writes, it puts black people “at the centre of their own narratives, allowing them to tell their stories on their own terms”.

The desired result of the afrofuturist philosophy, however, is to create “total freedom”, as Sun Ra would put it. He saw that the route to true societal change could only come from culture, and could never come from politics. Politics was a rotten orchard, and planting a different type of tree would only result it in that tree eventually rotting too. It didn’t need a new approach, it needed a whole new frame of reference. A new form of civilisation. Culture, politics, and society are all hyper-objects – they’re almost too big for us to totally comprehend, and Sun Ra knew that to drive real change, you had to demonstrate mastery of whatever it was you were trying to change. But rather than dedicate his life to the study of the existing world, he dedicated it to building an entirely new one, outside of the world that existed. He would go on to create an entirely new world, language, genesis story, values system, and series of myths that helped show people the endless possibilities of being liberated from the rotten orchard.

This is a true but forceful act of peaceful protest – by creating a new world in this way, the rules change and the world becomes impenetrable to ‘outsiders’ (those who were ‘insiders’ in the old world). This turning of the tables creates an intense energy and sense of empowerment for those that once were outsiders. It provides “total freedom”, and a genuine space and escape. If you’re from a marginalised group, and you exist in a marginalised part of society, where you don’t find yourself belonging to the dominant culture, then finding or creating alternative worlds are your only choice.

We see the same on dancefloors around the world too. In an essay a few weeks in Resident Advisor, I read this utterly beautiful account of a dancefloor epiphany; “When we are dancing, our melanin boldly takes up space without any shame. The dancefloor becomes a safe space to break free from what goes on in our everyday life. We are surrounded by love from fellow dancers. A wordless understanding of “I see you and you matter” is shared by all who come to this space”. That space is an alternative from the mainstream. It’s a safe space in every sense, and it’s critically important to giving people meaning, and a sense of belonging. For a few hours, it provides total freedom.

This desire – no, necessity – for total freedom is something I experienced growing up too. Now, I’m by no means comparing my life with those that have (and continue to) experience intense discrimination, abuse, and marginalisation, but instead want to share my personal feelings as a way of bringing us back to the potential that this sense of total freedom holds. I am incredibly lucky, I have a good life, a wonderful family, and I get to spend my days doing things that I love. But still, even I need escape and a sense of total freedom sometimes. It isn’t about escaping my life, but more about exorcising the negativity that I internalise. That escape provides a release valve – one that I’ve probably always undervalued until the UK lockdown took it away. I’m an intensely optimistic person, but that’s not because I’m naive or have limited critical faculties, but because I internalise a lot of the anger, frustration, and pain I feel and try to turn it into positive energy. What remains is what is released when I can feel the pressure of bass frequencies on my chest, in a dark dank basement. The release creates a wave of endorphins and serotonin, that gives the moment an almost celestial feeling. The dancefloor does the final bit of heavy lifting on turning the remnant sadness, anger and pain that I feel into something positive.

That universal vibration is where I find my answers. The music and people littered with symbols, myths, tone, and unspoken language that gives me a sense of belonging and a sense of total freedom from negativity. Music is a healer.

Darkness and light both play an incredibly important role in creating that sense of total freedom – music can be oppressively heavy, but that sense of submission to low frequencies can feel like a release just as much as lightness in music can. What I’ve tried to do with this week’s mixtape is try to recreate that sense of dark and light, while telling a afrofuturist story too. The artists aren’t all strictly afrofuturist artists – there are a handful of white artists that have been heavily influenced by afrofuturism – but for the majority, the music is from the canon. The programming should convey a three part narrative; walking up on the morning of a space flight, filled with pensive excitement for what is ahead, the intense and overpowering feeling of take-off, and the final section should feel like floating in space, gravity-less, in total freedom, like a celestial being.

There are moments of intense light and darkness, and rhythmic changes create drama and intensity. I’ve borrowed heavily from Sun Ra, who used to open shows “with a chaos of sounds that cleared the air for the music to come. Horns squeal, drums thump, the bass growls, and the piano piles chord on chord”. If you’ve read this far, all I ask is that you properly listen to the mixtape. Sitting down, truly listening. You’ve taken the effort to read this much ramble, and I thank you for that, but I promise that the mixtape is far greater than this essay. Turn on, tune in, drop out.

Now, for my final – and hopefully optimistic – point; all outsiders need escape and release. The pressures of a world not designed for you can grow and grow – and that’s why we find solace in outsider environments. More importantly though, that escape can be more than just a release valve. That escape can become a new world, a new space not only for you, but for people just like you. Changing the world through politics is hard – when the orchard is so rotten – but through culture we can reimagine not only the land that the orchard is on, but the planet it’s on too. Myths are more important than history – as history is always the perspective of those in the dominant culture, and not always reflective of reality. Myths help us tell stories that cross generations, languages, borders. Myths help create culture, which creates belonging. Belonging gives us strength, and strength gives us power to find freedom.

Let’s end on a classic from Herman Poole Blount (AKA Sun Ra); “If you’re not mad at the world you don’t have what it takes. This planet is like a prison.”

📖  Old notes  📖
Notes on culture
Notes on music

Notes on mental health

📃 The tracklist  📃
  1. Actress & London Contemporary Orchestra – N.E.W.
  2. Don Cherry – Utopia And Visions
  3. Sun Ra & His Arkestra – There Are Other Worlds (They Have Not Told You About)
  4. Alice Coltrane – The Sun
  5. 4hero – Planetaria (A Theme From A Dream)
  6. Dexter Wansel – Rings Of Saturn
  7. Sun Ra – Door Of The Cosmos
  8. Astral Travel – Tomorrow’s Destiny
  9. Hieroglyphic Being, Sarathy Korwar, and Shabaka Hutchings – Dimensions Of Frequency & Vibrations
  10. Theo Parrish – Suns of Osiris
  11. Boof – Solar Eclipse On A Friday Morning
  12. Actress – Hubble
  13. Daniel Avery & Alessandro Cortini – Sun
  14. Mr. Fingers – Qwazars
  15. Ras G – Find Ya Self (ANU Wrld)
  16. Flying Lotus – Satelllliiiiiiteee
  17. rRoxymore – DR1-2
  18. The Comet Is Coming – March Of The Rising Sun
  19. Planet Battagon – Salacians Of Trans-Neptunia
  20. Steve Reich – It’s Gonna Rain, Part I (1965)
  21. Batu – Flash React
  22. Karenn – Raz
  23. Efdemin – A Land Unknown
  24. Aphex Twin – Heliosphan
  25. Flying Lotus – Auntie’s Lock/Infinitum
  26. Alice Coltrane – Radhe-Shyam
  27. Beverly Glenn-Copeland – Ever New
  28. Saloli – Barcarolle
  29. Biosphere – Dissolving Clouds
  30. Carl Stone – Banteay Srey
💥 If you enjoy this letter, then please take a second to forward this email, or share this link with a recommendation on Facebook or Twitter 💥
See you on the dance floor.
Love Will Save the Day

Letter #122

03.07.20
Hello,

How are you? I hope you’re ok. It’s July. JULY. WHAT. Time as a concept is well and truly broken. Never mind…

Big thank you to Mils for last week’s beautiful guest letter and incredibly floaty mixtape – it’s one for the ages, and music to slip away into a daydream to.

It also turned out that I needed something to drift away to. I mentioned last week that my nerves have felt a bit frayed, and this week that stretched on a bit, and they’ve frayed a little more. Nothing personally disastrous has happened (don’t panic dad!), but sometimes the peaks and troughs of life can get a bit much. Part of it is being really busy and not sleeping well, part of it is reading some stuff that triggered some other stuff (maybe more on that another time), and part of it is just… Just.

Then a moment of serendipity came, and I got a message from Mark Pinsent (who put the excellent Letter #49 together), who sent me a clip from the latest Nick Cave email (which you should definitely subscribe to). The quote was;

“Love enacts a kind of vigilant perception — whether it is to a partner, a child, a co-worker, a neighbour, a fellow citizen, or any other person one may encounter in this life. Love says softly — I see you. I recognise you. You are human, as am I.”

It’s beautiful, and Mark sent it to me (I’d imagine unknowingly) at the perfect moment for me to read it. Thank you.

I’ve also spent a lot of the last two week’s trying to figure out a new mixtape and letter, one that connects what’s going on at the moment with hope, and optimism. As with everything vaguely creative that I try to do, it’s hard going – I never want to turn in something half done, and so I pour myself into it completely. The positive is that once something is done, it feels like a sort of mad release – a beautiful purge of an idea, and sharing that with you then gives me a massive high. The negative side is that it can be emotionally exhausting, and take a temporary toll on my mental health. I know this sounds maybe a bit over the top, but I think (hope) you’ll be able to empathise. From the tiny kernel of an idea, to hitting send can feel like a huge effort – but the catharsis and response makes it worth while every time. Well, at the moment that huge effort is still building, and I’m behind where I should be…

Then I had a second moment of serendipity; an email from Tom Armstrong.

I’ve known Tom for a few years now. He’s the founder and editor of the London culture bible The Move, and one the most humble-yet-inspiring people I’ve ever met. After reading the first edition of The Move, I invited Tom to join a panel on music culture at work, and I’ve been bugging him ever since. He very kindly wrote a guest letter waaaaay back in December 2017, that’s sadly even more relevant today than it was then. Ninety five newsletters later, and he’s back. And it’s excellent.

In his email to me, Tom talked about writing the letter and putting the mixtape together with a “frustrated energy”, and that’s a feeling that I carry with me constantly. An agitation for change. A desire to make things better. And what draws me to people like Tom is that same energy. I’ve not read much this last week (so no TL;DR Section, sorry!), but I am reading a book on Sun Ra and afrofuturism (this one), and there’s a famous quote in it that I’d forgotten; “If you’re not mad at the world, you don’t have what it takes”.

Tom’s letter and mixtape exude that same energy, but in a much more positive way than I’ve been able to articulate these last few weeks. It’s just the tonic. It’s a classic. And this week – selfishly – it’s been exactly what I needed. Get stuck in.

As ever, please stay safe, and stay in touch xxx

PS. If you’re new then this is how it worksHere’s what you’ve missed so farAnd this is me.

PPS. If you’re wondering why you’re getting Love Will Save The Day so soon again, then it’s because I’ve taken it back to being weekly while we’re on lockdown in the UK – we all need more music, more culture, and more of each other ☺️

PRESS ME TO PLAY (Spotify)
🙋🏻‍♂️ Driving change 🙋🏻‍♂️

  • Platforming; If you are black, a POC, or you’re a person that has been marginalised, and you would like to guest edit an edition of Love Will Save The Day, please get in touch with me. I want to ensure that your voice is heard. Just reply to this email.
  • Mentoring; As a senior white man in a media agency, I hold a very privileged position. If you, or any one that you know, is interested in a career in advertising or media and needs a mentor and/or a leg-up, please contact me / get them to contact me at jed.hallam@initiative.com
📚 The notes 📚
Easy,

Today’s playlist is inspired by epiphanies. Seeing the light. Guidance from above. Some small drop of divine wisdom trickling down from the heavens and hitting like a thunderbolt of pure, uncut clarity.

These moments can be life changing. When we know better, we do better. They give us the strength to realise a dream or the vision to forge a path toward what we know is right. But what struck me is that, in my case, all these flashes of cerebral euphoria were triggered by music. I can’t recall what I could smell or taste, what I said or the intricate details of my surroundings, but I will always remember what song was playing when the stars aligned and brought order to the world.

Some of the tracks on this playlist relate to my own revelatory moments. Others are simply artistic expressions of joy, love and revelation. I’ve realised since writing this letter that quite often, they’re both. This says something to me about the power of music. The first time I stumbled into the NYC Downlow as Luke Howard put the needle on Melba Moore’s ‘You Stepped Into My Life’, I felt my world do a handbrake turn. That split second was to be the beginning of the rest of my life. Clubland, in all its transgressive, Bacchanalian unity, was the home my volatile young spirit needed. I later learned Luke had a similar epiphany to the same track years before. It’s no coincidence the lyrics talk about a sudden moment of clarity.

And on that note, this playlist is dedicated to all the Downlow / Maceos crew who have set the stage for so many of these times over the years. If you want to change the world, change the record. Stay safe and well everyone x

📖  Old notes  📖
Notes on culture
Notes on music

Notes on mental health

📃 The tracklist  📃
  1. Maxwell – Ascension (Don’t Ever Wonder)
  2. Blaze – Found Love
  3. Marvin Gaye – God Is Love
  4. Kleeer – I Shall Get Over
  5. Eighties Ladies – I Knew That Love
  6. Aquarian Dream – It Ain’t Watcha Say
  7. 4hero – Without Words
  8. N.E.R.D – Things Are Getting Better
  9. Mariah Carey (ft. Snoop Dogg) – Say Somethin’
  10. Reel People (ft. Vanessa Freeman) – The Light
  11. Arnold Davis – Rising Into Joy
  12. Jasper Street Co. – Till I Found U (DJ Spen & Karizma mix)
  13. Magou – More More More
  14. Norman Connors – Once I’ve Been There
  15. Melba Moore – You Stepped Into My Life
  16. Linda Williams – Elevate Our Minds
  17. The Brothers Johnson – Caught Up
  18. Henry Wu – Joint Seventeen
  19. T.Williams – Heartbeat
  20. Bobbi Humphrey – Harlem River Drive
  21. Manzel – Midnight Theme (Dopebrother 7 Inch remix)
  22. Barbara Mason – Don’t I Ever Cross Your Mind
  23. Melba Moore – Love’s Comin’ At Ya
  24. James Vincent – People Of The World
  25. B. Bravo – Midnite
  26. Ashanti – Happy
  27. Barbra Streisand (ft. Barry Gibb) – Guilty
  28. Mayer Hawthorne – Maybe So, Maybe No
  29. Bobbi Humphrey – You Make Me Feel So Good
  30. Bobby McFerrin – Don’t Worry Be Happy
💥 If you enjoy this letter, then please take a second to forward this email, or share this link with a recommendation on Facebook or Twitter 💥
See you on the dance floor.
Love Will Save the Day

Letter #121

26.06.20
Hello,

How are you? I hope you’re ok. The rollercoaster of emotions that 2020 has bought with it are exhausting. I think, to be honest, that my nerves are a bit frayed. Anyway, I hope you’re ok. I hope you’re staying safe, and healthy.

Thank you for all the birthday wishes from last week too (both for Love Will Save The Day, and for me!). I still can’t believe that either of us have aged a bit 😂.

The sun is shining in the UK (well, at least it is at the time of writing!), and I think sunshine is a sort of bleach for melancholy, so I hope you’re all getting plenty of outside time. The sunshine is also the perfect accompaniment to this week’s mixtape, which comes from a wonderful guest editor. Amelia Ryan is a poet with exceptional music taste (you’ll see). As you’d expect from a poet, the letter is glorious. The mixtape is… The best explanation I can think of is this; the mixtape sounds like it feels to float out to sea on a lilo. It feels like summer on the water. It feels like an escape. It’s excellent. I think you’re going to love it.

One final thing; I know that the black squares are gone, and the press is moving on, but racism hasn’t stopped, so please don’t you stop either. Read, learn, listen, protest, vote, sign petitions. Be active. Don’t let the silence creep in. As always, there’s lots of links below, so stay involved. Don’t stop.

As ever, please stay safe, and stay in touch xxx

PS. If you’re new then this is how it worksHere’s what you’ve missed so farAnd this is me.

PPS. If you’re wondering why you’re getting Love Will Save The Day so soon again, then it’s because I’ve taken it back to being weekly while we’re on lockdown in the UK – we all need more music, more culture, and more of each other ☺️

PRESS ME TO PLAY (Spotify)
🌪 TL;DR Section 🌪
Anti-racism resources
🙋🏻‍♂️ Driving change 🙋🏻‍♂️

  • Platforming; If you are black, a POC, or you’re a person that has been marginalised, and you would like to guest edit an edition of Love Will Save The Day, please get in touch with me. I want to ensure that your voice is heard. Just reply to this email.
  • Mentoring; As a senior white man in a media agency, I hold a very privileged position. If you, or any one that you know, is interested in a career in advertising or media and needs a mentor and/or a leg-up, please contact me / get them to contact me at jed.hallam@initiative.com
📚 The notes 📚
Firstly, big thank you to Jed for creating and sharing the gorgeous gift that is Love Will Save The Day. I was introduced to it by a pal (shout out to @simonkmatthews) just before lockdown and my goodness what joyous discoveries it has given me over the last few months.

Secondly, I don’t want to dwell on talking about this situation we all currently find ourselves in.

For me, the whole point of creating this mixtape and listening to music during this period (and throughout my life) is that it serves me as an outlet of relaxation, relief and escapism or ‘travel’ if you will.

Living in East London, in a flat with no outside space during ‘lockdown’ has been tricky to say the least and so I have turned to meditation through music on many occasions to portal my way out of this space.

I always start by lying beneath the skylight in my room and watching the clouds drift by. Taking a deep breath in I find myself amongst a lush green woodland with the whispers of a cool clear stream twisting its way through the trees. Or thawing out my skin upon hissing summer lawns, sticky with sweat and spilt fizz. Idle days that roll over into candy floss glowing sunsets. Via a heady evening on a rooftop surrounded by all my friends, laughing, dancing, hugging, kissing… god, I miss kissing.

Smiles beaming, arms raised we transcend into a jewel-filled sky. Stars glisten around us as we tip-toe over a giant pink moon. Finally, we dive off a cluster of stardust. I roll over and fall back, arms outstretched into a gentle, dreamlike decent. Like a feather swaying from side to side, I float until grounded.

And I’m back, in my little spot here in Hackney. I bat my lashes open, wiggle my fingers and toes. Feel the cool floorboards beneath me and notice the skylight, so blue above me. The kind of blue you cannot touch. No more clouds. I think about all the special, beautiful people in my life.

And I exhale.

Now I’m going to need you to get cosy, press play, and take a deep breath in.

📖  Old notes  📖
Notes on culture
Notes on music

Notes on mental health

📃 The tracklist  📃
  1. Floating Points – Falaise
  2. Leon Vynehall – From The Sea / It Loos (Chapters I & II)
  3. The Cinematic Orchestra –  Arrival Of The Birds
  4. Andy Bey – River Man
  5. Joni Mitchell – Woodstock
  6. Nico – The Fairest Of The Seasons
  7. Cosmo Sheldrake – Wriggle
  8. Kool & The Gang – Summer Madness
  9. Herb Alpert – Rotation
  10. Jorge Ben Jor – Oba, La Vem Ela
  11. Ray Barretto – Acid
  12. Mr Twin Sister – All Around And Away We Go
  13. Lemon Jelly – Space Walk
  14. The Avalanches – Since I Left You
  15. Crazy Penis – There’s A Better Place
  16. Orbital – Halcyon And On And On
  17. Underworld – Low Burn
  18. The Chemical Brothers – Star Guitar
  19. LCD Soundsystem – Home
  20. Breaka – Get Your Sweat On
  21. The Paradise – In Love With You
  22. New Jackson – Having A Coke With You
  23. M83 – Lower Your Eyelids To Die With The Sun
  24. Spiritualized – Shine A Light
  25. Brian Eno – An Ending (Ascent)
  26. The Durutti Column – Requiem Again
  27. Yo La Tengo – You Are Here
  28. Julia Holter – Hell Stranger
  29. BADBADNOTGOOD – To You
  30. The Beatles – Because
💥 If you enjoy this letter, then please take a second to forward this email, or share this link with a recommendation on Facebook or Twitter 💥
See you on the dance floor.
Love Will Save the Day

Letter #120

19.06.20
Hello,

How are you? I hope you and your friends and family are all safe, and healthy.

First of all, I’ve got to say big thank you to Stefan for his excellent letter and mixtape last week. Both were incredibly powerful, and I feel lucky to have been able to share it with you.

Now, this week. I’ve not personally put any music together for three weeks now, but this week I’m back. I’ve spent a lot of time considering whether this is the right mixtape to share, but I’ve come to the conclusion that it is. This week the mixtape is filled with music of despair, of anger, and finally, of hope. I’ve scrapped the usual structure of Mancuso bardo’s, and this week – more than any other week, I think – is all about telling a story. Through lyrics, through the context of the records themselves, and from the feelings these records elicit.

It has taken a huge amount of effort to put together, and I think I’ve easily spent three times the time on this mixtape than any of the others. I think that that time was spent though, and it was important to get it right. The message I wanted to convey is that from despair comes anger, and we can turn anger into hope, and into a positive energy for change. This very project was named after a party that helped provide a space and an escape for marginalised communities – but the message was always very clear; Love Saves The Day.

This week’s mixtape is the truest incarnation of what this whole project is all about.

In a similar way to a lot of the mixtapes I’ve done while we’ve been on lockdown, this week’s was put together not on Spotify, but in my back room, late at night, with my own records. I think I must’ve pulled close to 1,000 out over the last few weeks, trying to find the right story, and the right songs. So, please listen, but really listen. This isn’t background music, this is music with a point, and music played with passion (both by the artist, and by me).

This week is also the three year anniversary of Love Will Save The Day, and today is my birthday too, so rather than just include a Spotify playlist, I’ve also put together a special live version of the mixtape that features some hidden extras too, as a thank you to each and every one of you for being here, and for being part of our community. The mix was recorded live last weekend, and I think it tells the story better as a live mix than as a Spotify playlist, but I’ll let you be the judge of that.

Finally, a big welcome to our new members this week; there’s lots of you, but I hope you all find this letter, and every subsequent (and every archived) letter interesting and worth your time and energy.

So, no more waffle from me. “Hate knows love’s the cure”, #BlackLivesMatter.

As ever, please stay safe, and stay in touch xxx

PS. If you’re new then this is how it worksHere’s what you’ve missed so farAnd this is me.

PPS. If you’re wondering why you’re getting Love Will Save The Day so soon again, then it’s because I’ve taken it back to being weekly while we’re on lockdown in the UK – we all need more music, more culture, and more of each other ☺️

PRESS ME TO PLAY (Mixcloud)
PRESS ME TO PLAY (Spotify)
🌪 TL;DR Section 🌪
Anti-racism resources
🙋🏻‍♂️ Driving change 🙋🏻‍♂️

  • Platforming; If you are black, a POC, or you’re a person that has been marginalised, and you would like to guest edit an edition of Love Will Save The Day, please get in touch with me. I want to ensure that your voice is heard. Just reply to this email.
  • Mentoring; As a senior white man in a media agency, I hold a very privileged position. If you, or any one that you know, is interested in a career in advertising or media and needs a mentor and/or a leg-up, please contact me / get them to contact me at jed.hallam@initiative.com
📖  Old notes  📖
Notes on culture
Notes on music

Notes on mental health

📃 The tracklist  📃
  1. Angel Bat Dawid – What Shall I Tell My Children Who Are Black
  2. Lonnie Holley – I’m A Suspect
  3. Melanie De Biasio – Your Freedom Is The End Of Me
  4. Solange – Weary
  5. Darondo – Let My People Go
  6. Bobbi Humphrey – Chicago, Damn
  7. Past T.L. Barrett – Nobody Knows
  8. Gil Scott-Heron – Whitey On The Moon
  9. A Tribe Called Quest – We The People…
  10. Jaimie Branch – Prayer For America pt. 1 & 2
  11. Curtis Mayfield – We Are The People Who Are Darker Than Blue
  12. The Pointer Sisters – Yes We Can
  13. James Brown – Say It Loud – I’m Black And I’m Proud pt. 1
  14. Stevie Wonder – Black Man
  15. Sons Of Kemet – My Queen Is Doreen Lawrence
  16. Tenesha The Wordsmith – Why White Folks Can’t Call Me Nigga
  17. Ras G – Great Black Music
  18. Moodymann – On The Run
  19. Gregory Porter – 1960 What? (Opolopo remix)
  20. George Benson – The World Is A Ghetto
  21. Theo Parrish – This Is For You
  22. Miles Davis, Robert Glasper, & Stevie Wonder – Right On Brotha
  23. Pharoah Sanders – You’ve Got To Have Freedom
  24. Kamasi Washington – Testify
  25. Ms. Lauryn Hill – Everything Is Everything
  26. Robert Glasper Experiment – Afro Blue
  27. Stevie Wonder – As
  28. MFSB – Love Is The Message
  29. Casbah 73 – Love Saves The Day
  30. Beverly Glenn-Copeland – Heaven In Your Heart
💥 If you enjoy this letter, then please take a second to forward this email, or share this link with a recommendation on Facebook or Twitter 💥
See you on the dance floor.
Love Will Save the Day

Letter #119

12.06.20
Hello,

How are you? I hope you and your friends and family are all safe, and healthy.

The response I got from last week’s letter was immense (and pretty intense too). Thank you, and thank you for clicking on so many of the links I shared. It makes me proud to be part of a community like this, but please we have to keep it going. This isn’t a done-once-and-forgotten subject. Keep talking, voting, petition-signing, emailing MPs, reading, learning, listening, watching. It’s not enough to be ‘not racist’. We have to actively anti-racist. This is a drum that I will keep beating. I will not be silent, and I want you to stand up too.

We have a wonderful guest editor this week – Stefan Shillingford – who I met through agency life years ago, after bonding over a love of NightSlugs and wild creative thinking. Stefan has put together an incredible guest letter and mixtape, and as well as talking about his experience as a Black British man, shares some amazing links and stories about his selections too. It’s a classic. You’re going to love it.

This week there’s a trimmed down TL;DR Section, mainly because I’ve had my head in books (below) and work this week. I’ve also reposted some of the links from last week too, because they’re important. Right, that’s enough from me; get reading to Stefan’s letter, and listening to his mixtape.

As ever, please stay safe, and stay in touch xxx

PS. If you’re new then this is how it worksHere’s what you’ve missed so farAnd this is me.

PPS. If you’re wondering why you’re getting Love Will Save The Day so soon again, then it’s because I’ve taken it back to being weekly while we’re on lockdown in the UK – we all need more music, more culture, and more of each other ☺️

PRESS ME TO PLAY
🌪 TL;DR Section 🌪
🙋🏻‍♂️ Driving change 🙋🏻‍♂️

(This is going to be a permanent addition to the newsletter from now on. Here are two of my commitments to driving change)

  • Platforming; If you are black, a POC, or you’re a person that has been marginalised, and you would like to guest edit an edition of Love Will Save The Day, please get in touch with me. I want to ensure that your voice is heard. Just reply to this email.
  • Mentoring; As a senior white man in a media agency, I hold a very privileged position. If you, or any one that you know, is interested in a career in advertising or media and needs a mentor and/or a leg-up, please contact me / get them to contact me at jed.hallam@initiative.com
📚 The notes 📚

To contextualise this Love Will Save The Day guest edition, here’s a little backstory. I’m Stefan. A curious, existentialist trying to beam positivity into this life. I’ve known Jed for many years now. We met at work, my first proper job – in media and advertising. I was impressed by Jed’s maverick and curious thinking and all-black uniform. We bonded over a love for music and curiosity around big questions, if my memory serves me right. This is likely a familiar story for some of you. Following Letter #118 I messaged Jed, as I sometimes do, with positive feedback and to my surprise, following a lil’ chat, I was invited to do a guest mix. I was shook (scared)! And here we are. It was a fun experience, and nothing to be scared of.

My immediate idea was that this needs to reflect the shared global reaction to the heinous murder of George Floyd. This didn’t feel sincere enough – though well-intentioned. My second idea was to make this about my personal experience of race as a Black Brit, reflecting on race relations in the UK and US. This felt somewhat ego-driven and potentially preachy, but note that the Akala track is a notable key reference to this. My third idea was to try and facilitate a journey of ups and downs, blind corners, forks in the road, starts and stops, and an energy that all people could experience as the journey of life. I think I’ve ended up with a subtle blend of all three.

Essentially, what I am trying to communicate is that it should now be clear that many people have been unaware or unobservant of an alternative experience of reality, faced by groups of under-represented, mis-represented and oppressed people (best explained by James Baldwin in early this video). As such, it makes sense for these groups of people to be angry, disappointed, depressed, combative or uninterested – or even suspicious – of the new attention on issues that have been raging in their lives for many many years, without positive progress, whilst the majority of people ignored or dismissed their cries of unjust mistreatment, pain and suffering as delusions, exceptions or exaggerations.

The mood could be visualised as ‘chiaroscuro’, which is the use of strong contrasts between light and dark in art, usually using those bold contrasts to affect a whole composition, and achieving a sense of volume in modelling three-dimensional objects and figures (wiki explanation). I tried to find a painting of Plato’s cave at first but this didn’t work. Then I tried photographs by Philip Lorca Di Corsia, and Gregory Crewdson, both masterful chiaroscuro photographers but couldn’t find the right one which obscured the individuals enough to make the image feel universal. Then on one of my many Pinterest boards, I found this image of Brazillian youth by Hick Duarte, which somewhat evokes the interplay of dark and light, whilst anonymised individuals create a sense of narrative, but you must create the meaning within the frame.

The music is contemporary and covers a wide variety of styles because I wanted it to create a sense of movement throughout the structure; omnidirectional, sometimes stuttering, or abruptly switching, rather than it being fixed on a smooth course as this definitely does not reflect our modern lives, certainly not mine. The lyrics and sounds reflect a blend of human experiences, that I can relate to specifically as a London-born Black man but I hope that most of these songs speak to the commonality of the human experience; with tenderness, pushing and pulling between light and dark forces, progress and failure, belief, resilience, joy, discomfort, confusion, passion, heartbreak, celebration and hope.

Here’s a brief insight into each selection and therefore some of my life experience that I’d like to share with you. Also I’ve included a couple of links to other bits of inspiration and key references.

Aisatsana [102] – Aphex Twin. A palette cleanser that sets the mood. Tune in and let go. Taken from the amazing album Syro.

In god’s childlike hands – Lauren Auder. A stirring and cinematic soundtrack that portrays, in many senses, the world of my fairly lively South London council estate and the mindset of all inhabitants seeking to elevate themselves or escape from the surrounding throng.

Doomed – Moses Sumney. I often ask myself if I am living a true life; one based on love and courage, or presenting a ‘self’ (as Erving Goffmanproposed) with what Sumney describes in a romantic sense as an ‘idle heart’. This tune expresses this whirling internal monologue and emotions. I found this sumptuous tune through season three of Westworld. A true “must watch” if you like Black Mirror and sci-fi, you’ll like this more cinematic, perplexing and quite violent series.

God willing – Mansur Brown. Reminiscent of my journey into consciousness; meditation, religiosity, spirituality, CBT, journaling etc. From the amazing album Shiroi. Possibly one of the most expressive guitar players around right now.

Rats in a sack – Ghostpoet. A reflection on the Windrush scandal and racism in British society. My favorite track taken from Ghostpoet’s most recent album I Grow Tired but Dare Not Fall asleep. Sometimes you can’t help but pay attention to politics.

Amandla’s Interlude – Steve Lacy. Things get heavy but we can choose to stop and smell the roses, laugh and gratefully experience the beauty in this life. Apollo XXI is an amazing album that repeatedly had me in my feels for months. Lacy is a brilliant musician. Check out his iphone recording approach, and his music as part of the band The Internet (all of which have amazing solo projects).

Slow Jam – Tirzah. Family, love and relationships. Single mum matriarchy and the safety of the nest. All of Tirzah’s writing and composing stirs me to think, feel or to dance.

Fire in the Booth, Pt..1 – Akala. A lyrical lesson in the plight of Black British people, class inequality and self-determination. Akala has a brilliant mind on race in Britain and beyond. He is a great orator (so much stuff on YouTube) and writer also.

Thoughts and Prayers – Manga Saint Hilare x Novelist. This conjures up ideas of belief and faith in a God that is protecting and guiding, with a banging beat (hypes me up!). Religiosity has long been on the decline in England, but in Black British life, it’s a support for millions that isn’t going anywhere.

Touch Absence – Lanark Artefax. That sense when you want answers, so you look to philosophy, socio-political commentators, art and generally people who make sense of stuff… Then when you find something, and your mind is blown with your new understanding… The Whities label is one of my top five G.O.A.T with many mind-blowing tunes.

iii’s Front – Overmono. Just when you’re getting into a rhythm and seemingly nailing life, celebrating your wins and overcoming trials, you think, ‘am I nailing it’? Then your rhythm gets all weird and you think ‘I dunno, forget trying so hard – let’s party’.

Roots – LSB, Kinross. Some lightness that reminds me everything is fine and we’re making progress so let’s meditate on compassion and gratitude. D’n’B like this always hits the spot. A truly Great British invention.

Vula Vala – Dj Maphorisa, Kabza de small, Nokwazi, Virgo Deep. I still believe that by travelling, we’ll understand the universality of life and learn from others that will, in turn, encourage growth. Maybe I won’t go back to SA in the post-COVID-19 world, but I can still venture beyond the areas I know in the UK. Amapiano House from South Africa is dangerously hypnotic, hype and simultaneously chilled.

Night – Kelly Lee Owens. Perfect for my night owl sessions, thinking, creating, reflecting, being alone, calling for epiphanies in the stillness of the night. Haunting and hopeful, an insight into the feeling of my busy mind which battles with ANTS (Automatic Negative Thoughts) in the day yet it is clear and positive in the small hours of the night.

U.FOrb – The Orb. Day breaks and we’re slapped back to reality of the rat race, family, capitalism, political nonsense or the pace of the city and you know you’ve got to keep on going. Chug along. Found this track via the amazing book Bass, Mids, Tops by Joe Muggs. Thanks Becca!

Phase Two – Afrodeutsche. A meditation on the Black British experience and its parallels with the African American experience. Dave goes a great job of describing a shared reality in his tune Black. Afrodeutsche will set any dance floor on fire as a DJ; riotous fun, hands in the air happiness and visceral stomping.

BBoy – Fotomachine. Ecstasy.

Hall of mirrors – B12. True OG Detroit Techno sound, but made by two British geezers! In Hak Baker’s voice – “Yeah mate, it’s proper, innit”.

Bromley – Joy Orbinson, Overmono. Great things can happen when you let your mind wander when listening to a good banger, especially if in Corsica Studios. There is something in the water in South London.

Gwindingew Rine Shumba – Thomas Mapfumo. Political activism is a lifelong pursuit and must forgo personal comfort for the betterment of others. Nicknamed “The Lion of Zimbabwe” Thomas Mapfumo is a legendary musician known for his acerbic criticism of the government of Rhodesia and President Robert Mugabe. He was imprisoned and exiled. A reminder that the resistance isn’t pretty and might require sacrifice. We must actively resist what we oppose.

Strings of Light – Yussef Kamaal. A heady mix of energy. Start, stop, driving, shifting, evolving, elevating, exploding sounds to summarize the journey in the previous two thirds of the mixtape and signal a new chapter in the mix.

Never change – Obongjayar. That dynamic voice. Aiy yi yi! What a beaut?! Nuts music video for this track too. The kilter of the beat and his lyrics struck a chord with me. Reflecting on many of the themes discussed in these notes, these lyrics are profoundly linked to my journey and reminiscent of my experience of learning more about the history of systematic racism as a tween.

Black Truck (extended version) – Mereba. Oi! That beat and synth grove is solid! I used to play the drums as a kid and dreamt of playing as crisply and cooly as this. Importantly again, the lyrics are personally inspiring. Love the harmonies to close this out. Another beautiful video.

Tuff Seed – Stonebwoy. This tune is an anthemic pick-me-up. It makes me think of the strength of character encapsulated in all people that speak truth to power, but more specifically the strength to be derived from Maya Angelou’s life and incredible poem Still I Rise.

Jah Blessing – Sizzla and Luciano. A sweet reggae anthem to remind all Black people how to live with love, by two lyrical legends of the sound. An education in living with light, spirit and a reminder that the system can’t win if We fight with love.

Eternal Light – Free Nationals & Chronixx. “Good vibrations”… nuff said.

As long as ropes unravel fake will travel – Dean Blunt. Maverick music from the inimitable artist. This is a bit of an anomaly in Dean Blunt’s quite punk-edged discography. A pre-desert or a palette cleanser to bring us down to a more reflective state following the previous intensely lyrical section.

Goodbye Blue – BADBADNOTGOOD. I hope you’ve listened, learned, contemplated, been moved by emotion and fizzed with energy during the mix. At this point it’s time to say goodbye. The repeated lyric “did I say it right?” is what I was thinking when composing the mixtape and notes [editors note; you said it perfectly].

Ti-De – KOKOROKO. UK Jazz had me in my feels in 2018-19. This slow swinging groove gets me everytime. I’d like to play it at some point during my funeral, probably early in the mix before the upbeat tracks ring out.

Total Praise – Sunday Service Choir. So, you’ve got a fairly detailed insight into my views on life experiences and maybe, into the lives of countless others. Amen or we can say so be it.

Thanks,
Stefan

📖  Old notes  📖
Notes on culture
Notes on music

Notes on mental health

📃 The tracklist  📃
  1. Aphex Twin – aisatsana [102]
  2. Lauren Auder – In God’s Childlike Hands
  3. Moses Sumney – Doomed
  4. Mansur Brown – God Willing
  5. Ghostpoet – Rats In A Sack
  6. Steve Lacy – Amandla’s Interlude
  7. Tirzah – Slow Jam
  8. Akala – Fire In The Booth, Pt. 1
  9. Manga Saint Hilare & Novelist – Thoughts & Prayers
  10. Lanark Artefax – Touch Absence
  11. Overmono – iii’s Front
  12. LSB & Kinross – Roots
  13. DJ Maphorisa – Vula Vala
  14. Kelly Lee Owens – Night
  15. The Orb – U.F.Orb
  16. Afrodeutsche – Phase Two
  17. Fotomachine – BBoy
  18. B12 – Hall Of Mirrors
  19. Joy Orbison & Overmono – Bromley
  20. Thomas Mapfumo – Gwindingew Rine Shumba
  21. Yussef Kamaal – Strings Of Light
  22. Obongjayar – Never Change
  23. Mereba – Black Truck
  24. Stonebwoy – Tuff Seed
  25. Sizzla & Luciano – Tuff Seed
  26. Free Nationals & Chronixx – Eternal Light
  27. Dean Blunt – As Long As Ropes Unravel Fake Rolex Will Travel
  28. BADBADNOTGOOD – Goodbye Blue
  29. KOKOROKO – Ti-de
  30. Sunday Service Choir – Total Praise
💥 If you enjoy this letter, then please take a second to forward this email, or share this link with a recommendation on Facebook or Twitter 💥
See you on the dance floor.
Love Will Save the Day

Letter #118

05.06.20
Hey,

I hope you are safe, and I hope you’re healthy. Usually I’d say that I hope you’re happy, but I know that you most likely all feel heartbroken and furious at what’s currently going on.

Of the 3,510 songs that I’ve shared, in 117 mixtapes, over nearly three years, every single song has its roots in black music. Of the links that I’ve shared, most are connected to black culture. Even the name Love Will Save The Day is a tribute to a party that was created to unite marginalised people. The reason you’re here right now, is because of our shared love of black culture, and music from black cultures.

So this week, there’s no mixtape, only a plea from me; I want you to support black people how we support black culture and music.

(Before I start, to our black and POC family, what I’ve written below most certainly contains unintentional mistakes and missteps. I will own them, and I will get better, and I’m sorry in advance.)

Last week I wrote ‘don’t be like me, don’t be passive’. I’m writing it again. Please, don’t be passive.

Donate. Vote. Sign petitions. Email MPs. Read. Learn. Ask questions (but don’t burden). Listen. Tell your friends. Tell your family. Don’t turn a blind eye to someone saying ‘all lives matter’. Explain to people that anti-racism isn’t a political issue, it’s a humanitarian issue. Support black artists. Buy black music. Buy books from black authors. Follow black activists on Twitter. Watch documentaries on black history and racism. Do any one of these – preferably do all of them – but for the love of god don’t stay silent.

I know this is going to make white people uncomfortable. Possibly even reading this right now is making you feel uncomfortable. It makes me feel uncomfortable too. To talk about it, to ask questions, to try and not be a burden, trying to say the right thing, trying not to look like your virtue signalling, trying not to be seen as performative, to show genuine intent. It’s uncomfortable. But do you know what’s worse than feeling a little uncomfortable? Spending your entire life existing in a system that is fundamentally geared against you. So please, don’t stay silent. Silence is violence.

We must face into feeling discomfort. We must show solidarity. We must show action. We must amplify black voices. And most importantly of all, we must sustain our actions.

Here’s how to start. Here are some links to things that I’m personally finding useful in driving my own education and actions.

How to be an ally by Amélie Lamont. This is a five minute read, but the most important thing I think you can read on how to actually be an ally, rather than just say you are. Must read.

Ayeisha Thomas-Smith’s essay for Vice clearly demonstrates that systemic racism is NOT isolated to the US, and we cannot and should not ignore that this is a global crisis – and we have a huge problem in the UK too. On that note, sign this petition for justice for Belly Mujinga.

How to help if you’re in the UK, from Citizen Helene. An excellent collection of links and articles on how you can help fight racism in the UK.

This Twitter thread from Obioma Ugoala was an education and contains lots of UK specific points as well as recommending books to read, and black voices to follow on Twitter.

Alyssa Klein and Sarah Sophie Flicker put together another great Google Doc of resources including charities to support, and books and films to look up.

This Google Doc from Perkin Amalaraj is good too and has lots of links to petitions to sign that are UK specific as well as also having lots of groups you can join or volunteer with too.

Those four links above contain lots of links to articles to read, charities to support, books to buy, films to watch, and things you can do to help.

#BlackLivesMatter also has a list of actions you can take to help now.

This essay from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the LA Times sets a very clear and broad context for what’s going on, which is worth reading if you haven’t spent the whole week glued to Twitter and the news.

There are also a number of books that have gone straight to the top of my reading list too, namely;

Today, go and buy music from black artists on Bandcamp – Bandcamp has waived its fees again – here’s a handy list of black artists on Bandcamp. Then on the 19th of June, go buy as much music as you can, as Bandcamp is donating it’s share of revenues to NAACP’s LDF.

Finally, an enormous thank you to everyone that’s taken the time to write essays, or threads, and collate and share lists of links that help educate white people on how we can help. Thank you to; Amelie Lamont, Heather Lewis, Citizen Helene, Obioma Ugoala, Maya Kulemeka, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Perkin Amalaraj, Alyssa Klein, Sarah Sophie Flicker, and Ayeisha Thomas-Smith.

Alongside educating myself, donating, voting, signing petitions, and spreading awareness, I also want to make another two commitments.

  • Platforming; I’ve said this for a few weeks now, but please, if you are black or marginalised, and you would like to guest edit an edition of Love Will Save The Day, please get in touch with me. I want to ensure that your voice is heard.
  • Mentoring; As a senior white man in a media agency, I hold a very privileged position. I’ve made efforts to mentor black people and POC internally, but I know that I need to do that more broadly, and so now I want to do it externally too. If you, or any one that you know, is interested in a career in advertising or media and needs a mentor and/or a leg-up, please contact me / get them to contact me at jed.hallam@initiative.com

As Ayeisha Thomas-Smith reminds us in her essay above, Dr. Martin Luther King famously said “the great stumbling block in our stride towards freedom is not the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to order than justice”.

We must face into feeling discomfort. We must show solidarity. We must show action. We must amplify black voices. And most importantly of all, we must sustain our actions.

Love Will Save The Day,
Jed

Letter #117

29.05.20
Hello,

How are you? I hope you and your friends and family are all safe, healthy, and happy.

Big thank you to Jumi for an excellent guest letter last week – her leftfield groove mixtape has barely left my ears all week.

Now, this week. This week has been filled with heartbreak and despair. The systemic racism that exists in not only the US, but around the world, created an environment whereby George Floyd could be tragically and needlessly murdered by a policeman. George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Ahmaud Arbery. Read their names. Read their stories. Feel the pain of their friends and families.

I’ve been quiet for a long time, and I’ve felt helpless. I’ve always abhorred racism and any form of discrimination, but I’ve been a weak ally. That passivity makes me complicit. In trying to be neither part of the problem, nor part of the solution, I’m actually part of the problem. Racism cannot be eradicated by people being passive and ‘not racist’. It can only be defeated by people being active and actively anti-racist.

I won’t be part of the problem any more. This is a great list of things white people can do to help, and this is a great resource too.

Don’t be like me, don’t be passive.

I will never not believe that Love Will Save The Day, but we all have to be part of the process. Love is not some mysterious force, love is us.

Now, on to more minor matters. I’ve intentionally left the TL;DR Section out this week, because the two links above are the only two that I want to share this week. This week’s mixtape is made up of disco and deep cuts – disco to take us away, deep cuts to give us space to think. Like the letter before last, I put this week’s mixtape together based on records I’ve bought recently, I hope you enjoy.

As ever, please stay safe, stay home, and stay in touch xxx

PS. If you’re new then this is how it worksHere’s what you’ve missed so farAnd this is me.

PPS. If you’re wondering why you’re getting Love Will Save The Day so soon again, then it’s because I’ve taken it back to being weekly while we’re on lockdown in the UK – we all need more music, more culture, and more of each other ☺️

PRESS ME TO PLAY
📖  Old notes  📖
Notes on culture
Notes on music

Notes on mental health

📃 The tracklist  📃
  1. Chassol – Music Is God My love
  2. Odyssey – Inside Out
  3. Rene & Angela – I Love You More
  4. First Choice – Smarty Pants
  5. Kenix – There’s Never Been (No One Like You)
  6. Al Kent – Just As Long
  7. Mixed Company – Let’s Go Disco
  8. GQ – Is It Cool
  9. Sergio Mendes – I’ll Tell You
  10. Mildlife – Zwango Zop
  11. Herbie Mann – Stomp Your Feet
  12. Peter Croce – Jaco Disco
  13. Gregory Porter – On My Way To Harlem
  14. Coflo – Lux (Kaidi Tatham remix)
  15. Ben Hauke – Nightwork
  16. Zeitgeist Freedom Energy – Still Swag
  17. Village Of The Sun – TED
  18. Hidden Spheres – Soon We’ll
  19. Strip Steve – Burst
  20. Felipe Gordon – The Semimodular Bird Of Jazz
  21. Daniel Maunick – One Nite Stand
  22. Space Dimension Controller – Planète Contraire
  23. Mr Raoul K – Bara (Pablo Fierro remix)
  24. See Wildblood – Hazy House Vol. 2
  25. Niko Maxon – Light Drizzle
  26. Szare – Kodiak
  27. Martyn Bootyspoon – Tom Tom Club
  28. Elkka – Breathe
  29. Anunaku – Forgotten Tales
  30. India Jordan – For You
💥 If you enjoy this letter, then please take a second to forward this email, or share this link with a recommendation on Facebook or Twitter 💥
See you on the dance floor.
Love Will Save the Day

Letter #116

22.05.20
Hello,

How are you? I hope you and your friends and family are all safe, healthy, and happy.

Last week I said I had a couple of absolutely killer guest posts lined up, and this week you’ve got the first of them. A couple of letters ago Jumi Akinfenwa was in the TL;DR Section, and this week she’s your guest editor. I read her article a few weeks ago and immediately got in touch with her, a couple of Zoom calls later and she agreed to write a guest letter. It’s not often that I’d invite someone so new to our Love Will Save The Day crew to write a guest letter, but I knew within minutes that Jumi was one of us (I don’t want to sound cult-ish, but we are a bit cult-ish, just not one of those bad cults, you understand).

The mixtape is themed on leftfield groove, and it is absolute fire. There’s music from Marianne Faithfull, Pete Shelley, Thelma Houston, Duran Duran, the B52’s, Divine, the Stones, Bowie, Prince… And a whole bunch of artists I’ve never heard of. I think of the thirty tracks, I recognise maybe four. I. Am. SO EXCITED to listen. I’ve even held off the temptation of listening ahead of today. In her letter, Jumi explains more about her life and her work, as well as the inspiration behind some of the songs she’s picked. If you love her letter, let her know on Insta, Twitter, or even LinkedIn (!), and if you like her writing as much as I do, there’s loads more here too.

Right, on with the show ❤️. And as ever, please stay safe, stay home, and stay in touch xxx

PS. If you’re new then this is how it worksHere’s what you’ve missed so farAnd this is me.

PPS. If you’re wondering why you’re getting Love Will Save The Day so soon again, then it’s because I’ve taken it back to being weekly while we’re on lockdown in the UK – we all need more music, more culture, and more of each other ☺️

PRESS ME TO PLAY
🌪 TL;DR Section 🌪
📚 The notes 📚

After kindly featuring an article that I wrote on No Signal’s NS10v10 in a previous letter, Jed has let me compose a guest letter for Love Will Save The Day. As a bit of an introduction to who I am, I’m a music supervisor, which essentially means that I source and license music for use in visual content, be that adverts, TV, film etc. By virtue of what I do for a living, you would assume that I’d be good at this sort of thing but putting together a playlist of thirty perfectly sequenced tracks is surprisingly difficult, but I’ve had a stab at it!

I decided to use my playlist as a bit of an overview of who I am as a person and the music that I like. Given my job, I have to be somewhat of a musical encyclopaedia, so I guess this represents only a small percentage of my taste but is perhaps the most appropriate when considering the newsletter being an homage to David Mancuso.

When it comes to ‘party music’, I definitely find that my favourite tracks are those that are a bit left of centre. I would categorise these tracks as ‘leftfield groove’, being tracks that have inflections of disco, R&B and pop, but with a slight edge. You might say that a lot of these tracks are post-punk, and quite a few of them are, but others very much aren’t, yet they all have a similar groove in common. Talking Heads are probably the best example of this but I decided to omit them as I couldn’t whittle it down to just one track by them! It’s difficult to describe but when you listen through, hopefully it’ll make sense.

Starting with ‘Ebb Tide’, this is a track that you certainly wouldn’t hear on any dancefloor. I have an immense love for all things outsider and lo-fi. There’s something particularly touching and warm about tracks that just don’t fit anywhere. You have no idea how to describe them or where to place them but they just work. The next track ‘Should I Say Yes?’ is one I have to credit my mother for. Growing up, there was always music playing, mostly 80s R&B, freestyle and pop, as well as the classic Heart 106.2. The former has definitely shaped my taste today, and is a sound that I always go back to. Similar to the previous track, there’s something sweet and naive about it. You can’t quite put your finger on it.

A brief mention goes to ‘Let’s Be Adult’, the first of two ‘guess the sample’ tracks in my playlist (note: this is the original, but someone sampled it for a pop hit in the 00s).

Skipping ahead a few tracks is the wonderfully depraved ‘Why D’ya Do It?’ by Marianne Faithfull. I was a huge Rolling Stones fan as a teenager (more on them later), an obsession which introduced me to Marianne Faithfull, an artist who should receive much more credit than she has over the years. This track in particular is probably the first track that is most indicative of ‘my taste’, as it were. The formula for a ‘Quintessentially Jumi’ track is, funky bass, infectious beat and slight punk edge. Bonus points for some smutty lyrics – and Faithfull doesn’t disappoint here when she refers to someone as having ‘cobwebs up her fanny’.

Another very brief mention goes to the wonderful Thelma Houston with ‘I Don’t Know Why I Love You’, the only disco track you’ll find here. Denis Sulta revamped this a few years back and unfortunately, his version is a bit too ‘uhnz uhnz’ for my liking and only really makes for truly enjoyable listening whilst in a k-hole (certainly not speaking from personal experience!). Houston’s original is packed with emotion and simply lush Philly production. So gorgeous I had to sneak it in.

Jumping forward, there are some brilliant 80s synth tracks from Pete Shelley and Duran Duran, another band that was an object of my teenage obsession, bear in mind I was a teenager in the late 2000s…

This love of 80s synth – again thanks to my parents – has given way to a more recent obsession which is the world of italo disco and hi-NRG. There’s something about this particular genre that just screams ‘studio magic’. The production is slick and precise – the epitome of studio engineered. The finest example of this is ‘Witch’ by Helen, complete with lyrics that are equally profound and nonsensical. Upon further research into the track, I found out that Helen doesn’t actually exist and is actually just a session singer. Italo disco to a tee!

Closing out the foray into hi-NRG is the one of a kind; Divine. I’m a huge lover of RuPaul’s Drag Race as well as Paris is Burning. On the outside, I’m a pretty monotone and minimalist person but on the inside, I’m insanely camp. For the pageantry that the likes of RuPaul and Pepper LaBeija bring, Divine brings the opposite – being completely profane, if not grotesque, and that’s why I love her so much. Introduced to audiences by arguably the king of smutty camp, John Waters, Divine launched a music career in the 80s, with a bit of help from none other than Stock Aitken and Waterman and this track is a highlight for me.

From glitzy pop production to durgy punk, these next few tracks are arguably the most ‘leftfield groove’ of the bunch. Funky punk is typically how I describe them. Lots of edge but still enough groovy bass in them to entice the pop purists. SebastiAn has the honour of having the second ‘guess the sample’ track, taking its beat and bassline from an 80s one hit wonder…

Towards the end of this section, you’ll find a Rolling Stones track, ‘Too Much Blood’. The Rolling Stones are one of my favourite bands, a fact that I rarely admit to publicly, despite the fact that a large part of my undergraduate dissertation was linguistically unpacking ‘Exile on Main St’. As I said, I’m not really that open about my love for the Stones, probably because they are firmly in the realms of dad (or grandad) rock and the fact that Mick Jagger is a raging Tory. That said, they soundtracked my teen years so I feel somewhat of an obligation to back them and defend them to the death, despite how problematic they can be. 80s Stones is never really looked at particularly fondly, however, this track is a real standout. The track also follows the same formula as the aforementioned Marianne Faithfull track, with smutty lyrics, this time referencing Issei Sagawa, an infamous cannibal from the 1970s (who is currently alive and a free man!), in a questionable spoken word section from Mick Jagger.

A quick stop off in the land of early 90s R&B/pop by way of Jane Child and the Purple One, Prince. Picking a Prince track was probably one of the hardest decisions for this playlist, next to choosing a Bowie track (soon to follow). I decided to go with ‘Gett Off’ purely because of the line, “Tonight you’re a star / And I’m the big dipper”. Prince does what few others can, somehow fulfilling the dichotomy of being tastefully bawdy.

Now onto Bowie, another insanely hard decision. Yet another artist that I had an unhealthy obsession with, but this obsession is arguably the most persistent and genuinely appreciative of his music as an art form, so much so that I have ‘serious moonlight’ tattooed on my arm. Bowie isn’t short of leftfield groove, so I decided to go with a bit of a leftfield track within his catalogue. Apparently this track was meant to be a bit of a laugh but I think it’s perfectly suited to a set filled with a sophisticated groove.

I’m a real sucker for when DJs pull something completely random out of the bag as their set finisher. Something that isn’t like anything else in their set but just leaves you with a smile on your face. Finishing out the playlist are two tracks that are from my childhood and remind me most of my mother, and are both tracks that are really needed during the COVID-19 period. Growing up, I always looked at my dad as the musical one as he was really into jazz and just generally niche stuff, but on further reflection, I think my mother was a much greater influence. The Temptations are another act where you would ignore their catalogue post early 1970s, however, this was a song that has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. This is a track you’ve probably heard before as there have been quite a few versions, probably the most notable by the New York Community Choir, but this is one I know and love the most. Perhaps another reason why I keep going back to this track is because I’m quarantining with my mother and this is the first track on a minidisc (remember them?!) that has been stuck in her stereo for the past few years so it’s inescapable.

The last track pretty much does what it says on the tin. Whilst I grew up in the Catholic church, I’ve always had a real love and admiration for gospel music. It is the epitome of uplifting for me and this track, ‘Optimistic’ by Sounds of Blackness, never fails to make me look at life in a positive way, even if it is only for 5 mins 19 seconds. Try to listen to this song without cracking a smile. Go on, I dare you!

📖  Old notes  📖
Notes on culture
Notes on music

Notes on mental health

📃 The tracklist  📃
  1. Houston & Dorsey – Ebb Tide
  2. Nu Shooz – Should I Say Yes?
  3. Anika – In The City
  4. Arto Lindsay & The Ambitious Lovers – Let’s Be Adult
  5. Parallel Dance Ensemble – Weight Watchers
  6. Marianne Faithfull – Why’d Ya Do It?
  7. Thelma Houston – Don’t Know Why I Love You
  8. Pete Shelley – Witness The Change
  9. Duran Duran – Friends Of Mine
  10. The B-52’s – Dirty Back Road
  11. Sheryl Lee Ralph – In The Evening
  12. Desireless – Voyage Voyage
  13. Yehudit Ravitz – בוא לריו
  14. Helen – Witch
  15. My Mine – Hypnotic Tango
  16. Divine – Shake It Up
  17. Maximum Joy – Stretch
  18. A Certain Ratio – Lucinda
  19. SebastiAn – Love In Motion
  20. Priests – Suck
  21. Killing Joke – Change
  22. The Rolling Stones – Too Much Blood
  23. Heaven 17 – Penthouse And Pavement
  24. Jane Child – Don’t Wanna Fall In Love
  25. Prince – Gett Off
  26. Freeez – Southern Freeez
  27. David Bowie – The Secret Life Of Arabia
  28. Wings – Goodnight Tonight
  29. The Temptations – I’ll Keep My Light In My Window
  30. Sounds Of Blackness – Optimistic
💥 If you enjoy this letter, then please take a second to forward this email, or share this link with a recommendation on Facebook or Twitter 💥
See you on the dance floor.
Love Will Save the Day

Letter #115

15.05.20
Hello,

How are you? I hope you’re keeping safe, and staying happy and healthy. There’s a whole bunch of new people this week – so hello, welcome to our community. I hope you enjoy getting this email as much as I enjoy putting it together.

Working from home at the moment means I’m surrounded by records, and while record shops and digging through my own collection has always had an impact on how I put each mixtape together, at the moment it’s having a huge impact. In pre-COVID-19 times, my process would start by digging through 100s of Spotify playlists to find unexpected songs – now I’m doing the same, but digging through my own record collection. It’s giving me a sense of calm and helping me escape the screen too, which is great. God bless records.

After last week’s OOO mixtape, this week it’s back to full force. It’s broadly inspired by a live-streaming thing I did last weekend, where I was just playing different records I’d bought recently. Now, without structure, I tend to end up in all-out-party territory, but last weekend something different happened, and I went down a rabbit-hole of different rhythms. Partly because that’s what I’ve bought recently, but also because I really enjoyed playing around with wildly different genres,  generations, tempos, and rhythms – with the only consistency being that they all had a similar feeling. Anyway, I’m rambling. This week I’ve tried to replicate that same feeling – as well as adding in some additional gems too. Everything I’ve picked out this week, I own on record, and at some point this weekend I’ll put the whole thing together as a continuous mix. But for now, it’s the usual mixtape, I hope you like it.

The TL;DR Section is back (and it’s bumper and filled with gold), and while there’s no essay or notes, I have decided to start including a mini-archive of notes and essays so that there’s always something to read (even if it’s not new).

Finally, last week I put out a shout for people that are non-white or non-dudes to get in touch to take on guest editor duties – there was a mega response, so thank you to everyone who got in touch. Some great guest letters coming soon. The point still stands too – if you’re non-white, or non-male, and you’d like to share your story, ideas, and music, then please please please get in touch. Just reply here.

Right, on with the show ❤️. And as ever, please stay safe, stay home, and stay in touch xxx

PS. If you’re new then this is how it worksHere’s what you’ve missed so farAnd this is me.

PPS. If you’re wondering why you’re getting Love Will Save The Day so soon again, then it’s because I’ve taken it back to being weekly while we’re on lockdown in the UK – we all need more music, more culture, and more of each other ☺️

PRESS ME TO PLAY
🌪 TL;DR Section 🌪
To read
To watch
To listen to
📖  Old notes  📖
Notes on culture
Notes on music

Notes on mental health

📃 The tracklist  📃
  1. The Hawaiians – Red Sails In The Sunset
  2. Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto – Corcovado
  3. Azymuth – Morning
  4. Al Charles – Outstanding
  5. Yvonne Archer – Ain’t Nobody
  6. Filo Machado – Quero Pouco, Quero Muito
  7. Marcos Valle – Estrelar
  8. Azymuth – Seems Like This
  9. Conclave – Sunny
  10. Alejandro Duran – Cumbia Costena
  11. Nando Carneiro – G.R.E.S. Luxo Artesanal
  12. Gerardo Frisina – Blue Latin
  13. Tradisyon Ka – Latilye Valo
  14. Ivan Conti – Que Legal
  15. Azymuth – Jazz Carnival
  16. Esa – Sábela de Cuba (Afro Synth mix)
  17. Brylho – Joia Rara
  18. Spiking – Liberation Train
  19. Gilles Peterson’s Havana Cultura – Rumba Tierna (Tenderlonious remix)
  20. Ivan Conti – Ecos da Mata
  21. Eddie Palmieri – Un Dia Bonito
  22. Los Hombres Calientes – Comparsa de Carnival
  23. Daniel Maunick – Macumba Quebrada
  24. Ivan Conti – Bacurau
  25. Dengue Dengue Dengue – Banyuwangi
  26. Equiknoxx – Enter A Raffle… Win A Falafel
  27. Ariwo – Ireme
  28. Gilles Peterson’s Havana Cultura – Mi Yimboro (Djoyvan remix)
  29. Dengue Dengue Dengue – Dileke
  30. Rhythm & Sound – Let Jah Love Come (Sweet Substance remix)
💥 If you enjoy this letter, then please take a second to forward this email, or share this link with a recommendation on Facebook or Twitter 💥
See you on the dance floor.
Love Will Save the Day