The sun came out and I thought it would be a good time to kick off a new project...
The aim of "20 songs" is to compile a playlist of twenty songs on a particular theme, taking somewhere between 30 and 60 minutes to come up with the final selection. Like my best games of blitz chess, the hope is that this enforced deadline will boost instinctive creativity and stop me getting bogged down in analysis paralysis (like my worst games of chess).
Depending on where you are right now, the sun might have gone, gone away, but perhaps this summer playlist will help you get over that. Entirely co-incidentally, BBC6Music's People's Playlist earlier this week was all about the sun, but mine was compiled first and is clearly the superior collection
The Cardigans - "Rise and Shine"
We kick off with The Cardigans, back in their sunniest days, long before they got all serious on Gran Turismo, and the almost impossibly bright and breezy "Rise and Shine":
Belle & Sebastian - "Legal Man"
From there, we move to another occasionally twee artist, Belle & Sebastian, only here they're dipping a toe into their Northern Soul crossover waters. On the face of it, "Legal Man" doesn't seem like a summer anthem, other than in its sheer exuberance and fun, but wait until you get to those final lines before you cast judgement
Kurt Vile - "Wakin on a Pretty Day"
The disappointingly short-lived The Maybes? are up next with "Summertime" and their wise advice to "dance, dance, dance with the radio on", advice roundly ignored by Jason Pierce on "Lay Back in The Sun". The delicate and bewitching BC Camplight (real name Brian Christinzio) follows with "I Wouldn't Mind The Sunshine" - Christinzio, fact fans might like to note, has played live with The War on Drugs, a band whose former members include one Kurt Vile, up next with "Wakin on a Pretty Day".
The Style Council - "Long Hot Summer"
Taken By Trees (aka Victoria Bergsman of The Concretes) carry us off to distant shores, then that bloke from The Strokes' dad warns us of possibly metaphorical downpours in southern California. And then it's time to get in a boat with Paul Weller and ask him why exactly it was he had to split The Jam up so soon and go all coffee-shop jazz on his fans:
The first half closes with Caribou's one-word solar paean, "Sun".