Burum Collective Column : Good Taste, Music & Booze
Written by Rachel Hendry
It took me an embarrassing length of time to develop a taste in music. I was always too afraid to voice my preferences, worried it would out me as uncool, or undateable, until I realised that anyone who made me feel unworthy of their time because of what I listened to was, in fact, not worthy of mine.
Now I revel in the personalised nature of it all. From playlists to accompany my morning coffee, to ones that boost my mood, calm me down or keep me company throughout the day. It’s one of the few gifts from the quiet and the isolation of lockdown that I’ve carried with me as the world opens up. I’ve always enjoyed pairing drinks with food, but now I can pair music with mood and the possibilities are endless.
If you work in hospitality, as I do, you will understand the politics of the FOH playlist. As a customer you will only experience this for a few hours at most, but as a worker there may be only one playlist that accompanies the length of your working week. I’m lucky in where I work now that our music choices can range from ABBA Gold and the Dirty Dancing soundtrack on a packed out Sunday to Radio 6 and Italians Do It Better covers of classic Madonna on slower mornings.
Playlist politics aside, there is always a focus on what drinks best with what food, and vice versa, but our sense of hearing and what is being listened to is rarely taken into account. Research has been conducted into how music affects our perception of sugar, acidity and astringency, yet when curating a drinks list to match the menu it is rare the same care is applied to the playlists that will sound out alongside.
There are, of course, exceptions to this. Little Pomona have QR codes on some of their labels that link to playlists they feel best suit each blend. The ever wonderful Grant Hutchison of re:stalk cider put together this great list of songs to match ciders for Salford Beer Fest last year. My place of work made a playlist that best represents the team for Burum Collective’s coffee month in September, best drunk with your morning brew.
Taste is an amalgamation of who you are, it’s subjective, personal to you and you alone. That’s what makes it so special. I can recommend song after song, in the same way I can recommend what wine with what cheese, but the only person that gets to decide if it’s any good is yourself. There is so much fun to be had in really tuning into what does and does not work for you.
So here’s a little playlist I made. One for drinking to , for accompanying friends, for setting the mood, and one that unapologetically includes everything I enjoy listening to. And if it doesn’t suit your taste? You may simply put together one of your choosing instead, for, as discussed, that’s the joy of it all.