March 18

As a sign of how my brain is working this morning, deleting a spam email with the subject line “Are You Online? Browse Singles NOW!” sends my brain spiraling back in time to when I was a student and music was my radar, to steal a phrase. Mondays meant new releases, and I have such strong memories of being in record stores and eagerly checking out the singles that had been released that week — it was the height of Britpop and so there would be new releases from the big bands everyone knew like Blur, Oasis and the like, and smaller bands that few remember these days: Astronaut! Mover! Heavy Stereo!

Each week would be a revelation; I’d buy whatever I knew I wanted — I was an eager listener to Radio 1 and reader of NME and Melody Maker, so had a good idea about what would be coming out — and always try and pick up something new if I could afford it. There was always excitement about what would be on the B-sides (Really, CD extra tracks), and much time would be spent listening to songs over and over again as I fell in love with them or tried to convince myself that it was happening. In many ways, I miss that kind of thing — the hours I’d spend in a record store, wandering from the singles section to the albums, educating myself on a world out there that I didn’t know enough about.

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