Many of the artists in this list have countless songs that I could have chosen, but I’ve tried not to include more than one song per artist, and I’ve gone for the tracks that hold the most meaning for me individually. Some are songs that have helped me through hard times, some are songs I’ve related to during those moments, and some are just songs that make me happy.
I’ll start with a classic. My Chemical Romance were my first real love in music, and this song may be an obvious choice, but it is an undeniable masterpiece. No matter what kind of mood I’m in, this song always seems to fit. It’s one of my favourite songs of all time, and I’ll never get tired of listening to it.
Last year was tough. In May 2018, girlfriend of 8 years was diagnosed with Leukemia, and our lives turned upside down. It was the lowest I’ve ever felt, and the first time I listened to this song after her diagnosis I cried my eyes out. Rou’s lyrics took on a new meaning for me. It helped me through a very tough time.
On a much brighter note, not long after her bone marrow transplant and receiving the all-clear, we went to see The Midnight play in London. It was one of the first gigs we had been to together since her cancer, and they closed the show with this song. It’s such a feel-good tune, and that moment felt like a transition into brighter days to come.
Franky T is the man, and his album Tape Deck Heart is one of my favourites. It’s heartbreaking, but hopeful.
A few years back, I moved out of a house that I had lived at with some of my best friends, and this song got me right in the feels. Shout out to Junior, without question one of the UK’s best pop-punk bands.
I’ll never forget this song dropping at the Royal Albert Hall with a full orchestra and choir. One of the best live sets I’ve ever seen.
LP saw me through my teenage years with all the appropriate angst. Chester’s death absolutely broke my heart, they were a band that I never fell out of love with, and I love their recent albums just as much as the classics.
My Dad used to have this song on a mixtape cassette that he would play when he was taking me an my sister swimming as kids. He‘s the kindest, most loving, most supportive father in the universe, and this song reminds me of him.
This song has always stuck with me, it reminds me of a great time in my life. One of the first gigs I ever attended was to see The Blackout at the Muni in Pontypridd, and in 2011 I watched them play the main stage at my first Reading festival. To see a band from my home town doing what they were doing was a massive inspiration. Merthyr Tydfil represent!
This is such a beautiful piece, and it always helps me to relax if I’m stressed out.
I had TØP’s Vessel album on constant repeat when it came out, and the sheer passion and emotion in this track hits hard.
I make no secret that I love musicals, and I started listening to Hamilton during a particularly tough period of my girlfriend’s cancer treatment. I’m yet to see it on stage, but losing myself in the soundtrack helped me so much during that time.
American Idiot was the first album I ever bought myself, I picked it up on CD from a service station on a school coach trip.
The closing track from Shipwreck In The Sand. It’s epic, haunting and moving. The outro gets me every time.
My mother introduced me to Pink Floyd, and The Wall has been one of my favourite albums ever since. It’s shaped the way I think about writing music, and it’s been a constant source of inspiration for me.
Here’s a link to find out more about Taf’s awesome band Nightlives: