The Futureheads’ frontman Barry Hyde shares his ultimate Spotify Playlist with Brighter Sound. 

We’re delighted that Barry Hyde, frontman of post-punk band The Futureheads will be joining us this December to lead a very special Sing City masterclass.  Barry Hyde has been working as a professional musician since 2002.  He has released five albums, had over 100 songs published, played over 800 gigs including extensive touring across America and Europe and has played at some of the UK’s biggest music festivals alongside bands such as Foo Fighters, Oasis, Muse and The Pixies. Barry is a prolific teacher of music and songwriting, working in schools, colleges and universities around the North East, and is also one of the founders of Split Festival in his hometown of Sunderland. He is a huge advocate of his local music and arts culture and is involved in many different projects.


Barry Hyde’s Spotify Playlist

Roforofo Fight – Fela Kuti

The first time I heard this was a life changing, almost, terrifying experience. This raw, ecstatic music puts forth an explosive energy that I have heard nowhere else. A perfect balance between structure and improvisation this is Mr Kuti at his very best. A political activist, musician, poet, songwriter, philosopher, freedom fighter breaking down musical boundaries whilst masterfully mixing 20th Century western music with a distinctly African twist. My heart almost exploded when I heard the horns come in for the first time.

Sea Song – Robert Wyatt 

This song is entirely peculiar. I love everything about it. It has a beautiful minimalism to it, a precision of composition, the utterly bizarre chords and his transcendental vocal performance which is utterly mesmerising. I have never heard anything like it.

Humpback Whale – Nic Jones 

Regarded by many as the definitive solo folk album of its time, Penguin Eggs is a stone-cold classic and this for me is the best song on the record. This long story is about the life and experiences of the men that would go out on to the ocean to catch wales in the 19th century. Obviously this is a moot topic – I certainly don’t think that humans should be killing wales – but Jones manages to bring a almost heartbreaking poetry to the topic, and his guitar playing is astounding.

Frozen Warnings – Nico

Nico’s music is challenging – I would imagine deliberately so. Uninterested in mainstream success Nico is a true musical artist. The first time I listened to her album The Marble Index I had to turn it off because I became scared. This otherworldly masterpiece brings about the feeling of a bleak, freezing, baron landscape. It’s the soundtrack for the end of the world. Not for the faint hearted.

Street Hassle – Lou Reed

Lou Reed has been always been a bit hit and miss for me. I guess with an artist that has made so many albums it’s inevitable that some will turn out to be less than brilliant. However, If I had to name my favourite song of all time it would be this one. It is a ‘suite’ of songs based on a musical motif. For me it is truly iconic, Reed paints a picture of a transvestite paying a prostitute but portrays the story as a piece of high romance. The next verse features a drug overdose. I love it because it breaths beauty and fragility in to a world that is harsh and horrific.

Prelude No. 1 in C Major – JS Bach

This was the first piece of music that I learned to play when I was about nine year old. It was my way in to becoming a pianist. 25 years later I’m still playing it and it always blows me away. It has been my companion. I recently adapted it in to a song called ‘Crazy Love’. We would be in a totally different music reality if Bach hadn’t have created what he did. The master.

Ek Ladki Ko Dekha from 1942 A Love Story (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) – Kumar Sanu

I bought a Bollywood compilation from a charity shop and found this song. Every single person I have shown it has loved it, some of them have been profoundly affected by it and obsessed by it’s gentle, elegant form. Based around a simplistic percussion loop, it weaves through colours, tones and emotion. It is gorgeous.

Pickle Your Knees – Ivor Cutler

Ivor Cutler’s music has the unique ability to bring about all emotions at once. There is always something tragic hiding in his rich almost monotonous voice. His surreal humour fuses observations of the obsurdity of the modern world from the perspective of an innocent soul.

That’s Us/Wild Combination – Arthur Russel 

It seems that I like music which has a melancholic feeling especially when juxtaposed with upbeat positivity. In that case, this is the disco classic of sad, beautiful, fragile, happy music. It contains the lyric ‘It’s a big old world with nothing in it, I can’t wait to see you another minute’, which is perfect to express the anticipation of those that are love sick. It is immaculate.

Music for a Found Harmonium – Penguin Cafe Orchestra

Apparently the composer was walking home from work and he found an old harmonium, he took it home and wrote this. It’s musical perfection and perhaps the greatest melody ever written in the British Isles. It would fall in the category of ambient/classical, but to me it’s a modern pop masterpiece. It is so tuneful but harmonically sophisticated. I love it.