Back in those anterior days of childhood asthma and 20+ minute miles, I had rightfully acquired the nickname, “Pale Hale”. Rightfully. I was an active kid who spent plenty of time outside, but my mom’s irrational fears of me developing skin cancer at age 8 left me dripping with SPF 50 at every beach, park, and schoolyard. (On the flipside, at nearly 30 years old I have her to thank for my boyish complexion and a very minor chance of developing any form of melanoma. Woo hoo!)

So my point being, up until I went to school in North Carolina and realized – gasp – that I could actually develop what some would generously describe as a “suntan” or “lobster-colored-reddening”, I was often asked if I was British or if my parents were from England. It had gotten to a point where by middle school I had this self-envisioned image of myself as one of those coal-covered pauper boys from a Charles Dickens novel. And all through those adolescent days of paleness, my taste in music was budding, changing and developing. As declared loud and clear in my first post and to anyone that knows me, music has helped shape who I am and made an impact in ways that the average music aficionado wouldn’t understand. Coincidentally, it came as no surprise over the years as I grew to admire UK artists of every genre – from the legendary Led Zeppelin, Beatles, and Cream to modern emerging artists like Metronomy, The Streets, or Arctic Monkeys. 2012 has already yielded an impressive offering from budding songwriters and bands from across the pond. Super impressed.

So, have a listen to these songs below on your next run. My indoor 5K treadmill training at the gym has been soundtracked by more UK artists than I had even realized until the other day. Hopefully these tracks will inspire you to push a little harder, maintain a strong pace, and open your minds to some artists that are deserving of an American audience. And as my mom would always say, “Remember to wear your sunscreen”. Especially as these unseasonably warm days continue in Chicago or wherever you are. Cheers!

SUBTRKT – “Wildfire

Bombay Bicycle Club – “Shuffle”

Jonquil – “Get Up

Foals – “Total Life Forever”

The Streets – “Has It Come To This