The best music is universal — it transcends location and context, and manages to speak straight to your heart, no matter where you’re from. But that doesn’t mean that it can’t have a sense of place — and indeed, we got to thinking recently about how some of our favorite artists over the years have been inextricably linked with the cities where they’re based, either through their lyrical depictions of their environment or just because they’re the first artist to spring to mind when you think of the city in question. So here’s a list of ten musicians who we think embody the cities they live (or lived) in. If you can think of any more, feel free to add them in the comments.
To people (i.e. Americans) who know this band as “The London Suede” anyway, this might seem like cheating, but the name aside, few bands have captured the experience of England’s capital as perfectly as Suede did. A friend once told us that “you don’t really get Suede until you’ve lived in London” — and sure enough, after a couple of years of grafting it out in basement flats, living on Tesco toast and Tetley’s tea, copping cheap E’s, and doing our best to live out the Wildean cliché of being in the gutter and looking at the stars, Suede’s tales of council estates and desperate hedonism did indeed make perfect, perfect sense.
Key lyric: “With all the love and poison of London…”