Songs for Insane Times

Norfolk Soul: Tim Burgess curates a lockdown playlist for isolated times
By Alex James Taylor | Music | 6 April 2020
This article is part of Playlists – Tunes to live by

You could say that Charlatans’ frontman Tim Burgess has been preparing for our current isolation lifestyle for a while now. Moving out to rural Norfolk, the Salford-born musician has been living “in the middle of the countryside, with the nearest shop eight miles away.”  A lifestyle shift with creative implications, this seclusion filtered directly into Burgess’ latest record, I Love The New Sky (out May 22nd), which saw him switch out his usual collaborative writing process in favour of a more personal, intimate and consequently dreamlike sound – wrapped around tales of everyday minutiae and universal experience.

It’s from his East Anglian lockdown bolt-hole that Burgess has been in touch, offering his sonic expertise by curating an exclusive playlist for HERO. Finding time between hosting record listening parties featuring the musicians behind the music – from Franz Ferdinand to Oasis – Burgess has deep-dived through his enviable record collection and emerged with sonic gems: from established icons to nascent sounds championed by his label, O Genesis, here are Tim Burgess’ sounds to see you through.

“Hey, folks. Hoping everyone is good and doing their best to keep well. I’m locked down and so far, all good. Music can help get us through these tough times so I’m doing my bit making a playlist for your ears. Take some time out and allow me to introduce some of my friends – Hey Quelle Chris, hola Sofie – and some I am, well, a bit of a super fan of. It’s time to help everyone get through this with your amazing music…”

99 Glimpses by Sofie
“When you least expect it, an artist comes and knocks you sideways then helps you back up again and dusts you down. Classic songwriting, done in such a fresh enchanting way, which is key to moving everything forward beautifully.”

Song for Insane Times by Kevin Ayres
“On the playlist for the title alone, but it also happens to be an absolute beauty. Like a friend talking to you.”

Buddies by Quelle Chris
“Quelle Chris with one of the most original hip hop tracks in years. Updated daisy age for the lockdown generation.”

TV As Eyes by Chrome
“If you like the sound or a plane taking off inside your head then this one is for you. lockdown day seven. Current mood.” 

Jericho by Robert Lester Folsom
“Mid 70s songcraft at its most Todd Rundgren meets Steeley Dan. Handlebar moustache a go-go – actually, the best thing I’ve heard and it took me 33 years. Thanks to our friends at Anthology and Mexican Summer.”

Harold The Barrel by Genesis
“Prog is the favoured genre of the lockdown. No time restrictions and also has faint notes of eccentricity and underlying madness.”

Vexation by The Garden
“Orange County hunks The Garden keep things super simple, who needs a studio when you can use the toilets of your favourite bar? I hope they wash their hands.”

One Hundred Years by The Cure
“Everyone loves The Cure, right? They’re literally the cure for lots of ailments.”

Illusion by Norma Tanega
“Soft, meditative and of hope – designed to sign off your listening session with an uplifting feel.”

Tim Burgess’ new record I Love The New Sky is out 22nd May.
Follow Tim on Instagram and Twitter.


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