To alleviate the tedium of the deadly task of washing the winter jumpers to put into the loft, I tuned into Fearne Cotton on Radio One for an energy boost while I kneaded and scrubbed the knitwear at the kitchen sink.
I rarely listen to the radio, but I have enjoyed today's adventure.
Amongst a tangled skein of processed vocals, Lianne La Havas stood out a mile. I have recently had an overwhelming impression of tracks sung by women being invaded by male rappers, but that doesn't seem so bad at the moment. It used to sound as though we weren't allowed to express anything private without a bloke being there to comment and monitor. Bursting through the doors of the song, the guy boomed out an assertive message that reduced the female singer to decorative hummings and twitterings, her own message superseded by Mister.
I also enjoyed Courtney Barnett's Dead Fox, despite it sounding bit Brit School round the edges.
There are quite a lot of London accents about on the airwaves (Tinie Tempah was there too); but where are the regional accents from other parts of the UK? Urban music must surely strike a chord (sic) in Birmingham, Glasgow, Liverpool, Newcastle, Manchester, Bristol and Cardiff. If I was an A&R person (which thankfully I'm not, if being one is anything like the 'listening to 45 songs on Monday' experience) I would trawl round the regions to find out who young people are listening to. Does LIPA encourage young northern acts to northernise their output? They definitely should.
In amongst the backing track undergrowth, I heard echoes of early Depeche Mode (or 'Depressed Mood' as their publicist Claudine used to call them, when I worked for her in the 1980s), with a strong Vince Clarke influence, and swooping through the vocal mixes I heard the Bee Gees, no less!
Pop music hasn't changed that much, I don't think.
If you look back at old Top of the Pops episodes, you can see and hear just how dire it used to be; some of it is rubbish (and always will be), but there's some great stuff out there too. For every clumsy rapper who can't fit in the bars there's a hilarious wordsmith, and for every over-manipulated (sic, sorry) young female vocalist signed for the looks we can't hear on the radio (meow, sorry again), there's a genuinely beautiful voice that authenticates meaningful lyrics with its loveliness.
It has been a very interesting listening morning.