We’ve slightly shamelessly pinched this concept from a little known radio show called ‘Desert Island Discs’. So you can get to know a little more about our writers, each fortnight one of us will pick six tracks and a book which we want with us if we were stranded on a desert island. We’ve dropped the luxury item, assuming that it’d be a record player or MP3 or something to prevent the track choices being entirely useless.

Conor Giles

Week 3 :: Conor Giles

Conor is currently studying journalism at Lambeth College and has been writing for DYC since March 2012, as well as running his own folk music blog. As you’ll discover below he has a penchant for folk singers who take too many drugs and sing about how sad they are. He is an avid collector of vinyls, CDs and unnecessary band merch.

More from Conor: Twitter // Folklore Music

If I could have six tracks…

Bright Eyes – If Winter Ends

“I fell for the promise of a life with a purpose, but I know that that’s impossible now.”

If I had a pick a lyric that has stuck with me more than any throughout my time as a music obsessive, it would be this line from Conor Oberst. I know opinions of Conor Oberst are massively split into two. There are those who cannot stand his whiney, warbling voice, and there are those who hyperventilate at the slightest sound of his breathing. I fall into the latter of those two. Bright Eyes were the band throughout my formative years I would always listen to no matter what and so it only seems fitting that they would start off my list.

Bob Dylan – Girl From The North Country

The only congruous way to follow up from Conor Oberst would be Bob Dylan. Choosing one Dylan song was always going to be a struggle considering how around half of my favourite songs are by him. In the end though, ‘Girl From The North Country’ usually prevails over the others, even if only because it contains Dylan’s best harmonica solo.

Simon and Garfunkel – America

I have my dad to thank for this one. For as long as I can remember listening to music, Simon and Garfunkel have always been there. America is such a beautifully written song and features some of the most beautiful harmonies in musical history (along with most other S&G songs). If the aforementioned Bright Eyes song had my favourite lyric of all time, then “Kathy, I’m lost I said, though I knew she was sleeping. I’m empty and aching and I don’t know why” is a close second.

Frank Turner – The Ballad Of Me and My Friends

Where do you start with Frank? A friend of mine recently said to me “Never trust anyone who doesn’t like Frank, because those who don’t like Frank obviously don’t like life.” I couldn’t agree more. This is one of the most inspiring songs in my opinion, written as a put up or shut up to anyone who has ever just sat around doing nothing to make plans to do what they’ve always wanted to do.

The Postal Service – Sleeping In

I have always been a strong advocate of the idea that Give Up is that perfect album that Ben Gibbard could never quite achieve with Death Cab for Cutie. I think this must be my most played album of all time and ‘Sleeping In’ has always been the standout track on an album of standout tracks.

I appreciate that my list has by no means been the happiest of all lists but that is all about to change. Oh, who am I kidding…

The Cure – Catch

My sixth and final song comes courtesy of The Cure, fronted by the godfather of sadness, Robert Smith. ‘Catch’ is the most criminally underrated song in The Cure’s extensive back catalogue. Everything about this song is perfect from Smith’s inimitable vocal style spouting his usual glum lyrics to the simple violin accompaniment throughout the song.

And one book…


Liverpool: A Complete Record 1892-1986 – Brian Pead

Yes, this may seem like a very odd choice but hear me out on this one. I was about to choose Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, but then I thought practically about this. A novel like that when on a desert island will become arduous after reading it a few times. By choosing ‘Liverpool: A Complete Record 1892-1986′ I would have something to occupy my mind. Just imagine it. Over 400 pages of scores, scorers, league positions, red/yellow cards and appearances to memorise. I’d never get bored.

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