Letter #95

Hello, hello, hi, how are you,

I hope you’ve had a really great few weeks. Since we last spoke I’ve been on a stag weekend, a family holiday (Turkey is pure bliss, if you haven’t been, please please add it to your list of places to go), and a wedding up t’North.

I also had a massive week at work this week, as we entered the final phase of the process to be crowned Campaign’s (the advertising trade bible) agency of the year. It’s been a really emotional week, as two years ago we were largely seen as one of the worst agencies in the UK, and many people thought we were shutting down. So to be shortlisted for the award of being one of the best – just two years later – was pretty overwhelming. Add to that standing alongside some of the brightest and nicest people I’ve ever worked with as I presented… Yep, totally overwhelmed! 💙

As such, while I’m back off holiday, I’m still on Love Will Save The Day holiday, and so this week you’re in the hands of a wonderful guest editor. I’ll be back for the next letter, and fully recharged (I’ve already got around 800 tracks saved for you to filter through, and I’m also halfway through an epic set of notes too), but for now, you’re in for a treat from Bibiane.

I’ve never actually met Bibiane, but I can hand-on-heart say she’s a wonderful human. Since she joined our crew, she’s been incredibly passionate about the project, sharing music, ideas, links to gigs, and massively supportive. She’s the driving force behind many of the conversations in the Love Will Save The Day WhatsApp group (message me if you’d like to join), and when she’s starting great chats, she’s a costume designer, wardrobe manager, creative, and runs Crisis in Finsbury Park (London).

Her letter this week is heartfelt, and her guest mixtape is like nothing we’ve had before. It’s a wonderful tribute to some of the brilliant female talent around at the moment, and it’s a really thoughtful collection of songs. I found the structure surprising (in a good way), and the journey of the mixtape is really nice. I think you’re going to love it, I certainly do.

Press play and enjoy ❤️

PS. New here? Here’s how it worksHere’s what you’ve missed so farAnd this is me.

🌪 TL;DR Section 🌪
  1. Prince was working on a biography with Dan Piepenbring, while it was never finished, this piece in the New Yorker is eye-wateringly good. What I found mesmerising was how Prince bought Piepenbring into his world, slowly, with baby steps and unspoken tests along the way. While Prince didn’t like his music to be described as magical, there was something incredibly magical about him as a person. “Music is healing.” “Music holds things together.”
  3. 5Mag has a brilliant explanation on some of the forces that are driving clubs to close around the world
  4. There’s a new edition of the Jazz I Like playlist available
  5. Sarah Woolley wrote an excellent piece on the problem with John Peel this week, which I’m still trying to process (Peel was a hero to me). It’s a great article and I think it’s finally pushed me away from adulation. I’d really love to know what you think about this…
  6. Very sadly this week the enormously influential Daniel Johnston passed away
  7. Get fired up with Sherelle’s new mix for Crack
  8. This feature on Courtney Love is exceptional, and a brilliant takedown of the rampant sexism that exists in rock’n’roll
  9. We need time to reflect to process and develop our inner self – being ‘lazy’ has benefits
  10. A new Miles Davis documentary is coming soon – and looks a bit like Chasing Trane, but for Miles (no bad thing, Chasing Trane was great)
  11. Beane Noodler played Spiritland a few weeks back and it was exceptional
  12. This piece on Guy Dubord and the society of the spectacle was interesting, so now I’m trying to read as much as I can by Dubord, Vaneigem, and Baudrillard
  13. Fancy learning something new? Open Culture has a list of more than 3,700 free open courses starting this month
  14. Finally, once you’ve finished todays mixtape, get yourself listening to the latest and greatest soul / disco / jazz / house mix from Rustam Ospanoff at BierWax
📚 The notes 📚

Hi everyone, I hope your Friday is going well!

I always loved getting letters, so much that I used to wait eagerly for the postman when I was a kid. There’s probably no need to tell you that I eagerly await this letter each Friday/music-letter-day, with the same joy! What a beautiful idea you had Jed, and thank you so much for having me here.

Music is my everything.

I am not a musician, or a DJ, and I don’t even work in or near the industry. I don’t know genres or what make a song a good song. And most of the time, I struggle remembering the names of artists (I am really bad with names). But I wake up with music. I can’t travel without it. I need music to go through the day. I need it to go to sleep.

I listen to music when I am angry, sad, happy, in the mood to dance, when I need to chill, or when I need to think. Music makes me feel good.

I’m addicted to it, big time.

This summer I went to the fantastic We Out Here festival, and I realised that most of the artists I wanted to see were female artists. I saw everyone I wanted to, and I can confirm that  they were amazing – many of whom you’ll hear today.

Being a woman in the industry isn’t be easy. Most of the female artists aren’t recognised for their music skills. Many aren’t recognised at all. Sexism is rife, making your way is challenging, and when you do get recognised it still doesn’t get any easier.

So today I wanted to introduce you to few of them, with the simple wish of bringing them recognition for the amazing music they create, and for keeping going it despite an unequal environment.

Today’s artists (and links to their work or websites) are; Rosie LoweOkay KayaRegina SpektorElsa HewittKate TempestHania RaniCleo SolAllysha JoyMali HayesMadison McferrinHAAiColleenMarie DavidsonLizzoWild, BelleSalt-N-PepaDua SalehNeelamLittle SimzEtta BondAlice ClarkSophie FaithMaria UsbeckAkua NaruHejiraLaura MischKaleemaMim SuleimanFemina, and Alice Coltrane.

📃 The tracklist  📃
  1. Rosie Lowe – Birdsong
  2. Okay Kaya – Believe
  3. Regina Spektor – Fidelity
  4. Elsa Hewitt – Mermaid
  5. Kate Tempest – Keep Moving Don’t Move
  6. Hania Rani – Glass
  7. Cleo Sol – Sweet Blue
  8. Allysha Joy – Know Your Power
  9. Mali Hayes – Hate On Me
  10. Madison McFerrin – Insane
  11. HAAi – Be Good
  12. Colleen – Soul Alphabet
  13. Marie Davidson – Work It (Soulwax remix)
  14. Lizzo – Boys
  15. Wild Belle – Rocksteady
  16. Salt-N-Pepa – Let’s Talk About Sex
  17. Dua Saleh – Sugar Mama
  18. Neelam – Run It
  19. Little Simz – Boss
  20. Etta Bond – Emotional
  21. Alice Clark – Never Did I Stop Loving You
  22. Sophie Faith – Bad Blood
  23. Maria Usbeck – Obscuro Obituario
  24. Akua Naru – Joy
  25. Hejira – Joyful Mind
  26. Laura Misch – Elevator
  27. Kaleema – Ritual
  28. Mim Suleiman – Uutu
  29. Femina – Brillando
  30. Alice Coltrane – Turiya & Ramakrishna
💥 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

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