So. The Darkness is a big deal to me. I love them. I love them so much that I burst out crying and then squealed when I found out that they were playing Download 2015. I love them so much that when they split, my mum looked after me as if I was going through a breakup. I love them. They are everything I love about 80s rock and roll in a modern band. I haven’t met many other people who love them the way I do but one friend who does is Euan. It’s the first thing we had in common and it’s led to over a decade of us talking about, and sharing music.

It started with a simple enough question;

Have you heard The Jezebel’s new album?

This question was the catalyst for our playlist. It was a joint place where we could share the music we wanted to introduce each other to in an easy way. 746 songs later and it’s so much more. It’s become our place of sharing new music, old music, songs that shaped us, songs that can only ever remind us of 2005 and even the place for games. (5 cover songs that are better than the originals.. and… not already on The Playlist.) We actually realised the other day that we have only 1 Phil Collins song on there. Unreal.

The playlist that was initially supposed to be a place to share new music that we could discuss later has become a digital escape. It’s even become something of a diary; when I look back over the past 18 months and the songs I was adding, I can see growth, I can see aching, I can see hope.

The songs that have been both introduced and reintroduced to me have been tiny, consistent gifts. I’m at an age, and in a place in my life where I feel I have very little time and I’m losing time for my hobbies and interests so to bring music back to me in such a simple yet meaningful way has been a treat. Not to mention the “for every sad song you put on there, I’ll add a hopeful one” rule that was made after my relationship of seven years ended.

Music has always been a deeply personal thing for me – I use it to complement the moods that I’m in, I know which songs to go to in order to help me through certain things. I can pinpoint where I was when I heard some of my favourite songs for the first time. To me, music is intimate as hell. Having this playlist, this corner of my silly streaming account dedicated solely to sharing music has been so incredibly enriching. Sharing it with an old friend, who is as busy and stretched as I am, has made our friendship so much better than it ever was.

We have no rules, no accusations of “guilty pleasures” – for there should be no guilt around the music you enjoy! It’s just everything we love, we want the other to love and to be honest, it’s the purest and best approach to sharing music that I’ve ever known. It’s been a constant at a time when I’ve felt I’m losing all of my constants, my eras.

But isn’t that just music anyway?

Thank you for the music, pal and the odd little escape from reality.