I’ve fully embraced the world of Apple Music, far more than I have any other streaming product. It’s not perfect, but considering how many Apple shaped gadgets I have, it fits into my life better than other streaming services do. It’s had quite a big impact on my listening habits, which is perhaps a story for another day, but the bottom line is I’m listening to a lot more music than I used to.
Beats 1 radio hasn’t been my number one choice when it comes to choosing an Apple Music option to listen to. For a start, much of their launch promo centred on Zane Lowe, who could potentially be my least favourite DJ of all time. And my early forays into listening to the other live DJ broadcasts made me realise that, generally, I’m just not cool enough for it.
That being said, I really like the concept of the single artist-hosted shows that they’ve been doing. Familiar names and faces get to share the music they love, and there are some pretty famous (and not-so-famous) musicians having a go. Elton John gets an hour to play his favourite tunes, Mary J Blige is at the helm of an advice-style talk show, and even Jaden Smith gets some time on the air! These kind of things are hit and miss depending if you like the artist or not, but I found myself in for a surprise with one of them - Haim Time.
Haim floated into my consciousness a year or so ago, and I didn’t quite get on board. I respected what they were doing, firstly that three sisters can get on well enough to sustain a band, secondly that they had their own unique sound and thirdly, that they were clearly individuals, not worried about what other people thought. But their songs weren’t really my cup of tea.
Their choice of music for their radio show though? Now we’re talking. The hour long episodes are framed as a battle between the siblings, around a certain theme. The first episode was a battle of the birth years, for example. Este, Danielle and Baby Haim picked three songs from their respective birth years and then got special guests in to judge who had the best choice.
The song choices are eclectic, and span many decades of music, but there’s a certain air of nostalgia to most of the selections. A look back at songs you know and love, or a surprise over which you missed out on and now know better. The tunes flow together well, and are complemented by a bit of sibling chatter about shared memories or behind the scenes info regarding the song choices.
I am really enjoying it. This week the fourth episode appeared, and I’m just about to listen to it. I’m sure these artist shows aren’t destined to run and run forever, but they’re definitely a lot of fun while they’re on.
Apple don’t make it easy to find these Beats 1 shows, mind you. If you know what you’re looking for, you can get away with searching and there is a dedicated on-demand page, but there’s still a lot of work to be done on the usability front. I do like that there’s a playlist of the songs featured on each show, as well as the replay itself, so you can add them to your own music collection if you so desire!
I highly recommend having a listen, see what you think, and then you’re just left to decide which songs you would put forward for each week’s battle theme.