If you’ve recently seen the film, Baby Driver, you’ll understand the power of music. It is a fantastic medium, one that can free the mind and soothe the soul. It has a massive effect on health and wellbeing, including lowering stress and anxiety levels. It may even make us healthier and may, according to one report, potentially increase our immune system responses. Music can also aid memory, such as foreign language studies, and make us more active by providing a major motivation boost, as discovered by this report. So, you better whip out those vinyls or dust up that YouTube search, but if you’re struggling for inspiration, take a peek at some suggestions below.

1. Harlem Shuffle – Bob & Earl

Written and released in 1963, this LA-based duet is funky and soulful. You may recognise the opening notes of the song, which was sampled in House of Pain’s hit, “Jump Around”, but the flashy opening soon smooths out with silky beats. The song will have you swaying and smiling in no time, as your mood inevitably soars.

I don’t want you to stumble now
You just groove it right here to the Harlem Shuffle

2. What You Don’t Do – Lianne La Havas

Powerful vocals and soulful rhythms make this song great. Lianne La Havas is from London and is very passionate about her music, a fact made obvious when listening to her music. Passion can be heard and felt through her work, the energy lifting your spirits high.

Oh, all I need is to see you smile; I’ve forgotten how to be blue

3. Boxes and Squares – Tank and the Bangas

Prepare yourself for eccentric and eclectic lyrics, supported by powerful vocals and energetic beats. Hailing from New Orleans, Tank and the Bangas are a jazz and soul band with Tarriona “Tank” Ball as lead singer. Her background stems from slam poetry, which explains the awesomeness of the band’s lyrics, and they are just as fun to watch as they are to listen to.

Would have been your greens and peas
Apple vines and leaves
Anything you need me to be
I will be for you

4. Break – Kero Kero Bonito

Another band for eccentricity, Kero Kero Bonito comes from London and mixes J-pop with electro beats, culminating in catchy rhythms and lyrics that you can relate to. The lead singer and writer, Sarah Midori Perry, mixes Japanese with English, creating songs that will stay with you for days after just one listen.

Just move very slowly to the beat

5. Take Me Dancing – Sløtface

This Norwegian punk band delivers a fantastic performance on this track, with punchy beats that will make you dance through all three minutes of it. The lyrics are easy to relate to and connect with the band’s feminist attitude (hence their name, pronounced “Slutface”, a way to bring attention to their message).

Please take me out dancing this Saturday night

6. Circles – Kate Tempest

Punchy lyrics and powerful messages are strongly felt when listening to English-born Kate Tempest, which isn’t surprising when you consider her background as a poet. They are very interesting to listen to, but if you just want to kick back and listen to the beats, that is easy to do, made easier by the great sound of Tempest’s voice coupled with catchy rhythms.

I go round in circles
Not graceful, not like dancers

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