July Music Favourites!

Again this is slightly on the late side so sorry about that but this is a round up of what I’ve been listening to recently 🙂 I have to admit that over the past month I’ve been listening to slightly less music. I’m not really sure why that is but it might be to do with work and other commitments like trying to watch Game of Thrones right from the beginning 🙂

 

Ariana Grande – Sometimes

To be honest I’ve been listening to all the songs on Dangerous Woman. Ever since the Ariana’s massive charity concert in Manchester following the terror attack at her concert I’ve had a newfound respect for her as a person, and that seems to have affected me love of her music. She’s the queen of pop at the moment and every time she releases a single it’s a hit. Sometimes wasn’t released as a single but to me its one of the standout tracks on the album. Right from the get go with the “la la la” vocals (by an unknown person) I was interested to see where the track would go. It was something a little bit different, and more mellow, compared to the other big tracks on the album. Instead of being a cynical ballad about a failed love or a high paced hit chronicling flirtation and sexual tension, this song is unashamedly optimistic and is about a love that lasts. Sometimes it’s nice to listen to something like that 🙂

Tom Odell – Wrong Crowd

On a different note Wrong Crowd by Tom Odell is decidedly melancholic. It reflects on a turbulent childhood, failed relationship and essentially an inner turmoil that results in both a mentally and physically unhealthy lifestyle. The whistling and melody at the start of the song is what really captivated me (much like Sometimes) but Tom Odell’s effortless, understated vocals are what really carries the song and adds depth to his, already emotional, lyrics.

Twin Atlantic – No Sleep

I listened to Twin Atlantic a fair amount in July in the lead up to Belladrum Festival (which my last post is about, click here to read). They’re a Scottish rock band (with very noticeable accents) and are really pretty popular up here. I’m not sure of their success outside of Scotland but every time I’ve seen them here the venues have been packed out. No Sleep is my favourite song from their album GLA because of the roaring chorus. It feels quite epic, particularly when performed live. There is no getting away from the cringey lyric “I take pills and I drink alcohol”, I mean way to be subtle about it. Other than that though, I like this song very much.

Oasis – Don’t Look Back in Anger

Ever since I watched the documentary Supersonic about Oasis’ career and the… difficult relationship between Noel and Liam Gallagher I’ve been listening to Oasis a lot more. This was heightened when I began following Liam on twitter, I think I followed Noel as well but let’s be real Liam’s twitter is far more entertaining. Liam’s nickname ‘Potato’ for Noel ‘because he looks like a potato’ is pretty much perfectly catered to my sense of humour and I’m trying hard not to laugh writing this. Other than making me laugh these two have created some classic hits over the years. Despite Wonderwall probably being their most referenced hit I’ve been listening to Don’t Look Back in Anger and Rock n Roll Star a lot recently. Liam’s rendition of Rock n Roll Star at Ariana Grande’s One Love Manchester concert was the most exciting part of the evening for me and, as per usual, his percussionist skills were impeccable (tambourine AND maracas).

Niall Horan – Slow Hands – wasn’t a fan of other song

I didn’t really have high hopes for Niall Horan’s solo career, probably because he always faded into the background of One Direction somewhat (at least from my perspective). When he released his first single This Town I wasn’t blown away. I found it quite forgettable and didn’t really make much further effort to keep up with his music. Then I heard Slow Hands on the radio once and it got stuck in my head. The guitar riff is catchy and I found myself thinking I had an old rock ballad stuck in my head, only to remember it was actually little Niall. Despite thinking it was “Small Hands” for a few weeks which, in hindsight makes absolutely NO sense and is pretty hilarious, I not have the lyrics right and enjoy this easy listener.

Harry Styles – Sign of the Times

Sign of the Times is just an AMAZING song. I couldn’t have imagined that Harry would release something like this. I firmly believe that he has the strongest career prospects of any of the One Direction leavers. Also after seeing Dunkirk for a second time last night I am massively impressed with not only his vocals and lyrics but has acting skills as well (who knew). I actually think Sign of the Times and Dunkirk have quite a few things in common. Mainly, they’re both understated and rely on the sheer quality of the content they’re based on (in Sign of the Times case, strong chorus lyrics and Harry’s vocals and in Dunkirk the raw, real story being told and the astounding direction). There’s no unnecessary eccentricities to either of these works and, in my opinion, that is the best thing about them.

London Grammar – Strong

I think I’ve spoken about London Grammar before on this blog but that’s because they are unique and brilliant. Hannah Reid’s clear vocals manage to make every song far more thought provoking and memorable than they perhaps would have been. Live, they are touching and a sight to behold. Hannah stands relatively still by her microphone throughout the performance and the boys (Dan and Dominic) do not move around much either. Their concert is a display of pure talent with no need for bells and whistles. I’ve been listening to every song on their album If You Wait but Strong (their most successful single) is the song I always find myself humming in my head and wanting to go back to the most.

I hope you enjoyed having a little peruse of what I’ve been listening to the past month. Please let me know what you’ve been enjoying as well, I’m always looking for recommendations!

Until next time,

J x

June Music Favourites!

I know it’s late and it’s already pretty much halfway through July but I’m here and ready to deliver my music favourites!

Early this month I was at TRNSMT festival (another post on that soon) which was a festival in Glasgow taking place over three days and hosting a LOT of awesome bands. SO what I was listening to in June was influenced quite heavily by this as I knew it was coming up!

Catfish & The Bottlemen – Kathleen

This is my favourite song from their album The Balcony and potentially my favourite song of theirs overall? My main reason for loving this song is the strong chorus. I love the kind of shouting/scratchy vocals from Van McCan and the strong guitars. It sets an rhymically upbeat yet decidedly uncheerful atmosphere when played, and I love it!

My Chemical Romance – Sleep

Before you say it I KNOW this is a blast from the past but I can’t help it and as I say, this list is a representation of what I’ve been listening to the past month, definitely not what’s been released! This song just sounds sinister, the lyrics, the strength and emotion of the vocals and the minor chords throughout. My Chemical Romance were known for being one of the main champions of the “2000’s emo movement” so it’s unsurprising that their lyrics aren’t exactly brimming with positivity. I genuinely think that pretty much every single song of theirs is amazing as it’s own entity, I’ve never heard one and thought “that’s a filler track”.

Miles Cyrus – Malibu

Firstly think this is a lovely, pensive summer song. Unlike something like This Is What You Came For by Calvin Harris, you’d probably listen to this later on in the evening as the suns setting and everyone’s already pretty tipsy. I’m not necessarily the biggest fan of Miley’s country voice but I think the chorus is brilliant and not enhanced when you consider the real life context surrounding the song (Miles Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth’s relationship).

Paramore – Let the Flames Begin

This song is iconic and I go through phases of kind of forgetting about it and then remembering it again. The “oh glory” lyric sounds ominous when sung by Hayley Williams and overall the song is just thrilling to listen to. The fast paced chorus and defiance in the lyrics is basically just super empowering and epic! Paramore can really do no wrong in my eyes and I’m constantly impressed by Hayley Williams’ vocal ability.

Radiohead – Glass Eyes and Lucky

Radiohead were the headline act on the first night of TRNSMT so I’d been listening to them a fair bit in the run up. I’m a big fan of A Moon Shaped Pool and Glass Eyes is my favourite! It’s just so beautiful and dream like, if you’re ever struggling to get to sleep and need a relaxing lullaby like song to listen to, TRY THIS ONE! Lucky is from Ok Computer, perhaps Radiohead’s best known album and Lucky is a melancholy ballad (or at least that’s how I’d describe it, probably not technically correct). Listening to the two one after the other really demonstrates Radiohead’s ability to completely change everything about their sound, and that’s my favourite thing about the band.

Kasabian – Underdog

Kasabian headlined TRNSMT on the second night so I’ve also been listening to them a lot. By far my favourite song is Underdog. I can’t even think of any reasons why I love it other than I just really like the sound of it. It’s an awesome song about defying expectations and sometimes that’s just what a person needs to hear!

The Kooks – (Junk of the Heart) Happy

How lovely is this song? It’s just about really wanting to make someone happy right? If there’s some double meaning to it that I don’t know about that’ll blow my mind. It’s so summery and sounds great on single carriageway roads with the windows rolls down. That’s all I can ask for 🙂

Stormzy – Shut up

This is the kind of angry, defiant song that’s just really great for when you’re in the gym. Whether you’re into this genre of music or not you have to admit, it is energising and empowering. The way Stormzy repeatedly spits the line “shut up” does make me chuckle as well!

Marina and the Diamonds – Valley of the Dolls

Haunting music is Marina Diamandis’ speciality, with songs like Immortal and Savages to back up that statement. Valley of the Dolls is, presumably, inspired by the 1966 novel by Jacqueline Susann of the same name and depicts the feelings of dissatisfaction and constantly yearning for something more, only to be routinely faced with disappointment. A starkly realistic and familiar emotion for many of us but, nonetheless, makes for a beautiful song.

So these were my picks for June, I hope they’re of interest to you. As with last month I have created a Spotify playlist with a few more choice tracks (clearly fancying myself as a bit of a DJ, that was a joke).

June Playlist

Until next time,

J x