Hi everyone, I hope you’re all well and that you made the most of the UK sunshine while it lasted. It even managed to stay dry and sunny on Bank Holiday Monday – that never happens! 😮
I know my blogging schedule has been a bit up the wall lately, and all I can say to that is that I’ve had a really busy and stressful summer. But, I’m back today to bring you my ‘Tracks of the Month’ for both July and August. Honestly, the phrase ‘Late-to-the-party’ seems to be a bit of a recurring theme throughout this month’s selections, but I thought I’d share them with you anyway 🙂 . Let’s go.
Niall Horan – This Town
The first solo single from ex One Direction-er Niall Horan, ‘Little Town’ is a stripped back acoustic ballad with a folk-pop vibe. This cutesy, yet sentimental love-song also comprises a very simple, soft arrangement; making it all the more poignant as it allows the romantic lyrics to be the main focus. This, coupled with the beautiful guitar-led melody, works to create something delicately impactful.
The Chainsmokers ft. Coldplay – Something Just like this
If you’re a fan of either of these bands, or you’ve just generally been keeping up to date with the current pop charts, you’ll know that this song was actually released way back in February. So, I hear you ask, why have I waited until now to feature it in a ‘Tracks I’m Loving’? Honestly, it was a bit of a slow burner for me; I’m not the biggest Coldplay fan so it never really struck me as something I must listen to. However, I kept hearing it in passing and eventually the chorus got stuck in my head and I decided I had to listen to it properly. Taken from the Chainsmokers debut album ‘Memories…Do Not Open’, ‘Something Just Like This’ is upbeat, totally infectious and an all-round absolute banger. As is their signature style, it’s a whirlwind of electro-pop brilliance, topped off with vocals from Coldplay frontman, Chris Martin. I’m glad I gave it a proper chance.
The Subways – Rock & Roll Queen
I only recently discovered this 2005 release after it featured on BBC Three’s dramatization of the death of Sophie Lancaster, ‘Murdered For Being Different’. However, seeing as it has also been included on multiple TV pieces – including noughties cult favourite ‘The OC’, as well as the trailer for 2008 Guy Ritchie Movie ‘RocknRolla’ – I can’t fathom how I’d never heard it before. ‘Rock & Roll Queen’ is a dark and gritty indie track drenched in old-school punk rock vibes, with Billy Lunn’s unique vocals giving it a distinctive edge. Boasting a great rhythm that you can’t help but groove to and an insanely addictive chorus, I can imagine it’s a massive crowd pleaser at gigs and festivals.
If you want to check out my review of ‘Murdered For Being Different’, click here.
Placebo – Running Up That Hill
A total re-discovery for me, after it was also featured on ‘Murdered For Being Different’, is Placebo’s eerily haunting cover of Kate Bush classic ‘Running Up That Hill’. Set to the sound of Brain Molko’s undeniably distinctive vocals, this version of the song has more of a brooding, atmospheric, almost filmic quality. I feel that it worked really well in ‘Murdered For Being Different’ due to where and how it was used; as I said in my original article about the programme: ‘The film closes with a selection of images of Maltby and Lancaster together, set to the tune of Placebo’s version of Kate Bush classic ‘Running Up That Hill’ – the lyrics making it even more poignant.’ It stayed with me long after the film had finished.
Linkin Park – Numb
This is another definite throwback to my teenage Emo days. Taken from Linkin Park’s 2003 full-length release ‘Meteora’, ‘Numb’ is arguably one of the rock band’s most popular, iconic songs. The instantly recognisable synth-led opening, closely followed by the crashing mix of drums and guitars, has a somewhat nostalgic feel: like re-visiting an old friend. Tragically, Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington took his own life in July, and I listened to this track a lot in the wake of his death; it’s without doubt my favourite song from the band. Bennington’s vocals are flawlessly smooth and powerfully gritty at times, and their angsty lyrics – bursting with emotion – hit even harder now. As I said in my previous blog post: ‘It’s music that gave so many people, so many ‘outsiders’, something to relate to in one way or another; voicing things that perhaps we as listeners, couldn’t. It brought the ‘outsiders’ in; helping people through their personal tribulations by sharing their own.’
If you’d like to see my previous tribute to Chester Bennington, click here.
As always, thank you for reading! I hope I inspired you to give these songs a listen, if you somehow haven’t heard them already. If you like what I do here and want to keep up to date with my upcoming posts, feel free to come and join me on: