So this is it. The big day. We've all woken up early, wolfed down a big, nourishing bowl of Lidl granola, washed it down with a tumbler of tap water, put on our best shirt, and marched to the polling station.
We've hovered inside primary schools up and down the land, transporting ourselves back into a childhood that we'll never have again, found ourselves sodden with saudade as a nice elderly woman with thick-lensed glasses valiantly tries to find our name on a list. And we've done our democratic duty, scrawled an X, slid our slip of paper into a black box, and left, knowing that we might, just might, have made a difference.
And now we wait. This time tomorrow we'll know whether we were right to hope, to dream, to admit to wanting a different, better nation. Until then, we'll be nervous wrecks, refreshing Twitter even more than normal, soothing ourselves with cans of Tyskie and episodes of How It's Made.
With that in mind, we've put together this playlist of pre-election anxiety-busters. See you on the other side.
1. MD + VS + LR feat. Mike Dunn - Nothing Stays The Same (Victor Simonelli's Lost In The Groove Mix)
It's that time of the year again where I find myself asking the same old question. Why isn't Mike Dunn running for Prime Minister? Bringing to every single track the kind of stirring and reverberating vocal poetry you'd expect from a battlefield pastor, Dunn's refrain 'nothing stays the same (everything must change)' is the mantra you must whisper to yourself over the next couple of days. Let it become your quiet promise, your solemn prayer.
2. Scalameriya - Ouroboros
Without wanting to sound too defeatist, for many people politics—the idea of it rather than the actuality—is exhausting. It requires a seemingly endless devotion to gossip, in-fighting, and tittle-tattle. It forces you into viewing life and the forces that mould life into whatever the fuck it is in 2017 as little more than a Radio 4 parlour game, a point scoring exercise that benefits no one but ruddy-faced Telegraph columnists. British politics is an infinite cycle of posh blokes berating the poor; an odious ouroboros that turns us all into idiots. All of us but the ruddy-faced Telegraph columnists, obviously. This punishing slab of brutalist avant-techno acts as a mental palate cleanser, allowing you to momentarily believe in a world where peace and unity are achievable, and Michael fucking Deacon didn't exist.
3. Schatrax - Restless Nights
For the ruddy-faced, election night is like combining the World Cup final with a honeymoon; an almost orgiastic experience that rolls and roils, a clammy affair that invariably leaves all involved feeling sweaty and slightly ashamed of themselves. From the breathlessly delivered news of the first exit poll result just after 10, through to a bleary-eyed goodbye from the reanimated corpse of a Dimbleby, the whole thing is priapic, the televisual equivalent of shelving a bottle of Viagra after a slap up oyster dinner in a Mayfair hotel. For the rest of us, it's a usually morose event fraught with anxiety, despair, and eventually the kind of sad resignation that's usually only associated with the crumbled acceptance etched onto the face of recently divorced dads in motorbike showrooms.
4. Chris & Cosey - Walking Through Heaven
Imagine it. Imagine waking up tomorrow morning, grabbing your phone off the pile of books you'll never read because you're too busy looking at your phone, and looking at the phone and seeing the wave of texts and alerts and voicemails. Mum's said "Labour won." Dad's said "Jeremy Corbyn PM." Your younger brother's sent you approximately 1329 words on parliamentary reform. You smile, you sing in the shower, you treat yourself to a big, flaky, hot almond croissant on the way to work. You're going to get a Big Mac for lunch. You're going to drink twelve pints later. This is it. We did it. We're walking through heaven.
5. Needs - Walkin' Thru Circles (Part 2 - Thump Mix)
One for the undecided. One for the politically in-activists. One for the seen-it-all-befores. One for your Tory nan. Just like this slow building, deep weapon from forgotten giants Needs, whether you "believe in politics" or not, it has a tendency to sneak up on you and get you moving in all different directions, often against your will. Yes, party politics often seems like some dystopian board game being played by a fated elite class. Yes, when you get to your local nursery or methodist church on Thursday, it looks like you're dropping your ballot card into a clunky black Victorian prototype of an office paper shredder. But I'm afraid these tedious circles are all we've got right now, and this year it looks like might have a chance to break out of them. Why the Thump mix? Why'd ya think budday!
6. Apiento - The Orange Place
What's the point of Tim Farron. Why does Tim Farron exist? Why was Tim Farron thrust into a bad suit and told to look into the lens of the camera like it was the barrel of a pistol and the Channel 5 news studio was, in fact, a subterranean den in a favela? When he stands in front of literally several people at Lib Dem rallies does his mand wander to happier times, nicer places, old Prefab Sprout b-sides and gala pies? We'll never know any of this, because Tim Farron isn't actually a r eal person, let alone a real politician. Constructed from luncheon meat, PVA glue, and the thoughts of undecided floating voters who think that Vince Cable is an honorable, decent man, Tim Farron was actually built by Balearic big boy Apiento in his shed in North West London. Apiento, when approached, declined to comment on why he'd spent several years building a highly ineffectual leader of a party never likely to have any power ever. This was, we discovered after raiding a few bins, meant to be the party's conference anthem but sadly Andy Blake was too busy throwing a 19 hour party in a dump in Deptford to attend and press play on the CDJs. Sad!
7. Norm Talley - Change (Mike Huckaby Remix)
Norm Talley and Mike Huckaby. There's a political partnership I could get behind. Would make Corbyn and McDonnell look like PJ and Duncan. If anything is going to make you at peace with the universal truth of change and growth, this has to be the track. With Change as the manifesto, Huckaby gets hold of it and smoothes out every u-turn into a delicate spiral. Instead of knocking back a valium on Thursday night, beatmatch "Changes" with your racing heart-rate and feel yourself vibrate with the inevitable throb of fate and destiny.
8. Voyager - Hypersleep
Incredible spacey drum and bass with a cosmic sci-fi sample straight out of Alien: Sigourney Weaver awakes from "hypersleep" to find she's been unconscious for… fifty-seven years. Come election night and this may be a fantasy that you might enjoy indulging in. Save yourself the night of sleepless turmoil and stomach churning BBC political coverage by locking yourself in a pod and sleeping for five and a half decades. When you're finally awake, still in your youthful and nubile body, you'll get to wander around a planet you no longer understand. But this time you'll at least have some illusion of control over your ignorance. It's 2074. Fake News has been replaced with Real* News. You look for where the asterisk leads and it's tattooed on the inside of your eyelid. The Paris Climate Agreement has become a bit like a TV license you can opt into or just not pay for. People live inside domes now. Seems OK.
9. LNR - Work it to the Bone
OK, OK. If we really are in for another five years of Tory rule, we should probably begin to acclimatise ourselves to the drudgery of labouring inside the high-capitalist machine whilst public services crumble around us like sandcastles stamped on by a kind of grotesquely chubby Baby BoJo, stinking of yoghurt and toilet roll whilst his parents look on from their deck chair thrones sipping Pimms impassively. If virtual reality and the cultural echo chamber has taught us anything, reality is what you make of it maaaate. Zero hour job in a coffee shop with no workers rights? Nah mate, you're an artisan in an apron making Matisse cut-outs in the foam! And your boss is a bloody lovely guy! He buys the coffee in hessian sacks and everything! Yeah of course I'll work all weekend! And 50 hours next week too. Holidays?! Why would I want to get away from this steaming java?! Let's work it to the bone! Five more years! Five more years!
10. Captain Sensible - Glad It's All Over
See you in 2022.