Music of the month – February

This is a short column to take a look at the music I’ll be playing this month, and exploring why.

Balance. It’s a word you’ll probably get sick of reading on this blog by the time we’re done. The whole of Lagom Hue is an exploration of the word, a journey through how we become balanced, how others do and what we can do better. Improvement upon improvement, our experiences laid out in front of you to help everyone. But it’ll all come back to balance. And balance is how I want to start this feature.

What do I mean by balance? Obviously balanced is when two sides are the same, so in this case, I mean when the stresses of a situation equal the relaxation. That’s a completely theoretical principle – you know that in reality there will be moments when you are more stressed than relaxed and vice versa. So my aim is never to shoot for an impossible ambition, it is merely to bring the two opposites as close to the middle as possible.

What does this have to do with music? One of the hardest times to find balance is when working. When writing an essay, making a presentation, or in the adult world: in retail, driving around, in an office etc. For me, like many others, finding balance in those stressful periods means turning to music.

Music got me through my first degree (that and just a hint of stubbornness), thanks to the ability to put it on and get lost in the words, imagery and beat rather than battle through with physics. Of course, the battling through came as well, but it was easier because my mind was distracted by something I actually enjoyed. As you’ll find out throughout this feature, I’m not fussed by music. I have a massive range of songs, albums, artists and genres on my iPod, most of which I know and love. All of them relax me; all of them help me to find balance.

Emma doesn’t enjoy listening to music when working – she can’t concentrate. I think she’s weird, but each to their own and all. And that’s meant that I’ve had to adapt to what she likes. We’ve found a middle ground (one might say balance, however that word has been slightly overused already), something that works for both of us. It’s a lot quieter than I’m used to, a little more acoustic too. It’s definitely more traditionally relaxing than what I used to work to!

But I’ve slowly pushed my old preferences onto her. And in turn, our likes have shaped each other and maybe the perfect balance has been found, even if it took 42 months!

Shura. Aleksandra Lilah Denton. The realisation of balance between Emma and I. In my opinion, perfect to listen to while working for both of us – soft enough to not give Emma a headache, enough of a beat to keep me focussed.

Who is Shura? She’s a Mancunian (extra bonus points from our resident Manc here for that) electropop singer-songwriter who released her debut album Nothing’s Real in July of last year.

How do we know her? We saw her support Chvrches at the Royal Albert Hall in March of last year, but it took until Christmas for us to get her album. I bought it as part of Emma’s Christmas present and hence, that’s why I’ll be listening to it throughout February.

From what I’ve heard, the album is full of what made her good to see live – passion, beats and tunes that are hard to get out of your head. Songs that sound instantly familiar and make you want to listen to them again. One listen isn’t enough, which is, in essence, what I’m trying to achieve with this feature.

Artist – Shura

Album – Nothing’s Real

Song – Indecision



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