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From Nirvana to Serge Gainsbourg: The Far Out Weekly Playlist

@josephtaysom

The weekly playlist wraps up the previous seven days across the Far Out website and brings them all together into one handy place. Whether this is a thirst for new tunes or an old favourite with a landmark celebration, here is the one-stop shop for all your music needs.

Over the last seven days, the most poignant moment is the 27th anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death, which infamously is the same age that the Nirvana frontman sadly lost his life. Cobain was an enigma, and his presence in music will never dissipate. The tragic circumstances of his death often overshadow what he achieved, and we celebrated his songwriting credentials by chronicling his six definitive songs.

As Nirvana’s chief songwriter, Cobain discussed themes covering parental abandonment, childhood isolation, heroin addiction and depression. Consequently, he became widely regarded as the spokesman for Generation X, a heavily politicised demographic of young adults, whose socio-economic situation was often related to Reaganomics. The “MTV generation” were characterised as cynical and disaffected, a stark contrast to their baby boomer parents.

There is no doubt about Cobain’s dark genius. His penchant for blending pop melodies with heavy musicianship was era-defining, culminating in Nirvana leading the Seattle grunge scene.

It’s also been 30 years since the world lost one of its most complicated geniuses, Serge Gainsbourg. The French icon did things only on his terms, which made him the artist he was. However, it also made him someone who often overstepped the mark, such as when he tried to make sexual advances to Whitney Houston on a French TV show or called a press conference to his hospital bed after suffering a sudden heart attack.

It’s hard to look past his importance in shaping French pop, even if he did play into the archetypes associated with his countrymen by always having a cigarette in hand while shoehorning in the liberal attitudes that oozed out of his lyrics. However, there was another side to Gainsbourg, one which we explored by examining his wildest moments.

It was 55 years since David Jones offered the world the first glimpse of his new persona, David Bowie, and shared his debut single ‘Can’t Help Thinking About Me’. While the track isn’t squeezing its way onto any greatest hits compilations anytime soon, it marked a pivotal moment in his career. We explored the story of the song, which kickstarted his legendary journey.

Elsewhere, exciting rising stars The Goa Express spoke with Far Out about what lays on the horizon. The band arrive as the perfect addition to your playlist with their ferocious amalgam of garage punk that hits you right in the gut and leaves you craving more. While the band may only have two songs currently available on streaming services, with a combined running time of fewer than five minutes, you’ll be hard-pressed to spend a more exhilarating few moments than in the company of ‘The Day’ and ‘Be My Friend’.

Elsewhere, The Snuts currently top the UK’s album chart with their debut album, W.L., leading Disney’s Demi Lovato by 1,100 copies as they go into the final few days of their race. The band’s singer Jack Cochrane spoke with Far Out for our Doctor’s Orders feature in association with mental health charity CALM about his nine favourite records. Cochrane picked a diverse selection, including Joni Mitchell, Bon Iver and Kanye West.

Their debut features as Far Out’s Album of the Week. Even though The Snuts aren’t Gen-Z friendly bedroom pop – or fit into any other categories currently en vogue – one thing that will never go out of fashion is solid songwriting destined for audiences to sing at the top of their lungs back to the bands as if their lives depend on it.

Check out the playlist, below.

The Far Out Weekly Playlist

  • Nirvana – ‘Lithium’
  • Bill Withers – ‘Lean On Me’
  • Serge Gainsbourg – ‘Bonnie and Clyde’
  • David Bowie – ‘Can’t Help Thinking About Me’
  • Muddy Waters – ‘Mannish Boy’
  • Allen Ginsberg – ‘America’
  • R.E.M. – ‘Nightswimming’
  • Alice In Chains – ‘Man In The Box’
  • Pixies – ‘Debaser’
  • Chuck Berry – ‘Johnny B Goode’
  • The Goa Express – ‘Be My Friend’
  • The Snuts – ‘Glasgow’
  • Gil Scott-Heron – ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised’
  • Prince – ‘Adore’
  • Dry Cleaning – ‘Every Day Carry’

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