Our holiday playlist (and stories)



Sharon Tanton | Hector Taylor | Alice Turner | Mark Waite | Owen Johnson | Nazli Ekim | Andy Williams | Imagery - Natalie Connel

A lazy, amber sunset over tranquil sea, reflected in a spinning vinyl

We all have that song. A song that floods our brains with vivid pictures of a long-forgotten memory, a song that revives the soul, and that we always go back to. In the spirit of summer holidays, the Cohesive team collected their most favourite, even nostalgic, songs and the story behind them.

Dive into summer memories, and enjoy our holiday memories playlist.

Andy’s walk down memory lane

I’m remembering a summer of shifting horizons and new freedoms. A few of us could now drive – yeah, that summer – and an old Triumph Herald got bought with the profits from odd jobs. We pointed the nose southwest, and just…drove. We were the first humans to discover the lighthouse at Start Point, you know. We cooled our beer under the tide line on Blackpool Sands. And we partied at Dartmouth. My Valley’s accent was thicker than clotted cream, but Fran from Cornworthy understood me. A huge crush followed – all meta and hardly physical at all. 

Some excellent tunes back up those memories: ‘Come on Eileen’, Dexys Midnight Runners, or ‘Abracadabra’, The Steve Miller Band. But if I had to pick one I’d stay with the bitter-sweet of  ‘Annie, I’m not your Daddy’ by the excellent Kid Creole and the Coconuts.

Alice’s walk down memory lane

As a teenager, my family started going to Italy in the summer with another family including my Dad’s best friend and his two daughters. Because there were so many of us, we hired cars and spent a lot of time driving from our remote , crumbling holiday rental in the hills near Siena to local places of historic interest. I remember my parents being really happy on these trips because as archaeology students, they had spent their 20s digging all around Italy. The drive out in the morning was always tense; getting five teenagers or would-be teenagers out of a house for sightseeing was the cause of great stress for those two Dads. It was always worth it, whether we were going to the top of a remote mountain town with roads the width of a Vespa, or into the main square of a beautiful city. On the drive home, we’d be full of carefully concealed awe at what we’d seen, hopeful and excited about what was to come.. My strongest memory is one journey back to the house, driving in a hot hired car through fields and fields of sunflowers, and switching on my favourite new CD full of, to me, undiscovered gems including California Soul by Marlena Shaw. Sitting in the front seat next to my Dad driving and tapping the wheel in recognition felt perfect. 

Liz’ walk down memory lane

Picture this: It’s 6pm on a Friday, it’s warm, but not that horrific can’t breathe British heat, the nice kind. There is a slight breeze, you have a cocktail of choice (passionfruit martini for me thanks) and that’s when it hits you. It couldn’t get any better. But it could. Now imagine that same situation but with the uplighting and empowering sound of the original girl bosses, the Spice Girls. That’s what I remember about summers as a child, a teenager, and even now. My dance partner has changed over the years, dad, mum, and now my reluctant fiancé – but that’s the beauty of it, you don’t care, you’re just living.

Not that I would ever need to defend the Spice Girls for a holiday playlist, but I’m going to because I can. Not only do they lift you up, but they just bring the immaculate vibes that you want on a nice summer evening. Wannabe is the pinnacle of their power and I don’t think a holiday playlist is complete without it.

Niya’s walk down memory lane

In July 2020 I moved into my first shared house in Cardiff and met one of my really close friends Charlotte. Charlotte was a wild, untameable soul and we quickly struck a friendship that was one of a kind. Charlotte also had a very cute, small red car – no aircon, barely any heating in the winter, a broken radio and a sometimes working AUX cable. As we all know, summer 2020 was a summer of lockdowns and uncertainty. For us, the only certain thing were our car drives – we’d go out with the car whenever it felt unbearable to stay in and we’d go to the big Tesco, ASDA on NorthRoad, or roam HomeBargains eating sweets. And our cute, red car would accompany us everywhere, blasting “Loud luxury ft brando – Body” at least three times a car ride. I’d say “I’m gonna play our song”… and she’d know to take the windows down to feel the wind in our hairs and turn up the sound, so we could scream our lungs out. It was a shameless summer – and that song meant freedom in times when that was a forbidden word. 

Sharon’s walk down memory lane


It was the summer after finishing O’levels. We were going abroad – or almost – to Guernsey. And without parents – well, my friend Lucy’s parents camped discreetly on the other side of the campside and we pretended they weren’t there. The holiday was half famous fiveish fun – cycling to the beach everyday. And half pretending to be what we thought grown up was. Getting drunk of vodka and lime (the height of sophistication) in nightclubs, having holiday romances with local boys with cars, and then both splitting up with boyfriends at home via letters and phone calls made in windswept phone boxes. We passed the still warm receiver to one another with determined solemnity. It had to be done. The drama! The tears! The guilt! The sunburn! The exhilaration! The friendship! The feeling that life was really beginning! The song that brings it all back was ubiquitous that summer.  Club Tropicana by Wham, you can’t beat it.

The full playlist is here. For faster access from your phone, hit the search icon in your Spotify app and select your camera to scan the share code below. Enjoy!

Opens a Spotify playlist.

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