Artists I’d Like to See Live In 2017

Greetings readers,

It’s nearly the end of January; we’re a month into 2017 already! I hope you’ve all had a great start to the year and that you’re keeping up your new year’s resolutions (if you made any!)

If you’ve been following my blog for a while then you may remember that I did a post like this in 2015 as part of my ‘Journaling In January’ series, where I listed the artists I’d like to see that year, followed by a separate list compiling the artists I’d like to see again. I thought it’d be nice to make it an annual thing to see how my choices evolve, if any become staple and crop up more than once, and who I do actually manage to see live over the next 12 months.

I felt it unnecessary to split the list into two parts this time but, some of these artists I have seen before, so I’ll include links to any previous live reviews where applicable. So, before I ramble on too much, here are the artists I’d like to see live in 2017 – not in any particular order because trying to pick would take me far too long.

 

The Summer Set

The Summer Set at the Electric Ballroom

The Summer Set at the Electric Ballroom

I included The Summer Set in last year’s ‘Band’s I’d Like to See’ post, and my reasons for featuring them haven’t changed much. I feel as though my previous explanation perfectly sums up why I want to continue to see them live when they visit the UK and why I encourage anyone who hasn’t seen them live to do the same. As I said in my previous review:

If you’ve read my blog before then this Arizona based quintet don’t really need any introduction, as you’ll know that I’ve seen them a fair few times already. And there is one very simple reason for that: They put on an awesome show. Every single time I’ve seen The Summer Set live it’s been an insanely fun pop/punk party that nobody wants to end. Their energy is infectious and their set electrifying; with plenty of opportunities to jump around like a loon, as well as poignant moments that you can’t help but get caught up in. One thing’s for sure, they put everything they have into that moment and it always makes for a killer performance.

I’ve previously seen The Summer Set live a number of times, whenever they do a UK tour I try to get tickets as their live show is always insane.

Click here to see my most recent live review of the band at Portsmouth’s Wedgewood Rooms, on the UK leg of their ‘Stories For Monday’ tour.
Click here to see my review of their newest album ‘Stories For Monday’.
Click here to see my live review of The Summer Set from back in 2014, with support from Paradise Fears & William Beckett.

 

Set It Off

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With Set It Off’s Cody Carson after their show at London’s Electric Ballroom

The last, and only, time I saw Set It Off was in 2013 when I got invited to interview them after their London show at Camden’s Electric Ballroom, supporting Aussie quintet Tonight Alive. Admittedly I hadn’t listened to their music before that night, so I was going in totally blind, and I wasn’t disappointed. After immediately buying their debut album ‘Cinematics’ from the merch table that night, Set It Off quickly became a firm favourite of mine.

Since then they’ve released follow-up record ‘Duality’, and their newest offering ‘Upside Down’ dropped in October this year. After following the progression of their albums over the years, it’s clear that their dark, orchestral pop-rock sound has evolved into something lighter and increasingly more pop-driven. Personally, I would like to see how that translates into their live set-up – as I know their performances to be quite chaotic and very befitting of a typical rock show – so it’d be interesting to see how this shift in genre correlates.

I’ve also included Set It Off in quite a few posts over the last year so, if you’re interested in those, please check them out if you’d like to:

Click here to see why I included the four-piece in my ‘Band’s I’d Like to See Again in 2015’.
Click here to see my review of the band’s sophomore album Duality.
Click here to see my Q&A with Set It Off’s Cody Carson at Camden’s Electric Ballroom.
Click here to see my review of the band’s debut album Cinematics.

 

Against The Current

I only got into Against The Current’s music in mid-2016, but I became a huge fan pretty quickly. I’d seen some of their cover videos on YouTube – often featuring other unsigned artists such as Alex Goot and Max – but I didn’t get around to listening to their original music until more recently. However, I’m so glad I did because I absolutely love it. I reviewed their debut studio album ‘In Our Bones’ as part of my ‘Jammin’ In July’ series, and as I said: ‘the band are quickly making a name for themselves and…look set to take the music world by storm’.

I’ve since seen a lot of live footage of the band (thanks to YouTube) and it looks as though they put on a great show full of energy and fun. Chrissy Costanza’s vocals also sound just as amazing live as they do on record, as evidenced by their unofficial video for ‘Young and Relentless’ – which sees them play their way through the busy streets of London – as well as the above video from A-Sides on YouTube. After missing them on their last visit to the UK in September 2016, I’m crossing my fingers that I can get tickets for their upcoming tour in March.

Click here to see my review of ATC’s debut album ‘In Our Bones’.
Click here to see my review of the band’s cover of Carly Rae Jepsen’s ‘I Really Really Like You’ featuring pop solo artist, Max.

 

You Me At Six

You Me At Six have been one of my favourite bands since I was 17 and, now in my mid 20’s, the amount of times I’ve seen them live is well into double figures – and for good reason. With headline shows at The 02 and Wembley Arena under their belts, as well as a whole host of others, the Brit rockers have come long way since their beginning in 2005.

Now they find themselves at the forefront of British rock music, gaining recognition from the mainstream, receiving airplay from the likes of Radio One and reaching number one in the mid-week charts. They never disappoint with their live show, it’s always a whirlwind of energy and fun, and I have nothing but fond memories of seeing them. The last time I saw them was in 2012 and I think that seriously needs to be rectified.

Click here to see my live review of the YMAS at London’s Brixton Academy, on the ‘Sinners Never Sleep’ tour in 2012.
Click here to see my review of the band’s most recent album ‘Cavalier Youth’.

 

Ed Sheeran

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, I’m guessing you know who Ed Sheeran is. Named the biggest selling artist of 2014 – scooping numerous awards and playing multiple sell-out shows at Wembley Arena – Sheeran took some time away from the limelight in 2016, using the year to work on new material and to re-charge.

After catching his stunning live performances at The BBC Music Awards and The Brits, to name a few, and having watched his live DVD ‘Jumpers For Goalposts’, I’d love to experience his live show. He’s one of the few mainstream artists I’d pay good money to go and see.

Click here to see my dual review of Sheeran’s newest singles ‘Shape of You’ and ‘Castle On The Hill’.
Click here to see my album review of his previous offering ‘X’.
Click here to find out why I also included Sheeran in my ‘Artist’s I’d Like to See in 2015’.

 

Stevie P & Sketch

A video still from Stevie P & Sketch’s debut offering ‘Everything (Pt 2)’

Again, if you’re familiar with my little corner of the internet, then this rap/rock duo should need absolutely no introduction as I feel like I’ve been banging on about them over the course of this year. Stevie P and Sketch (the latter of whom you may also recognise from E4’s Tattoo Fixers) have dropped some great tracks this year including, beaut rap ballad ‘Street Lights’ and abruptly raw number ‘Nightmares’.

I have absolutely no idea if the guys are planning on – or even able to – fit any live performances into their busy schedules but I’d love to see it happen, mainly for the fact that they never cease to surprise me. Each time they unveil a new track they seem to add in new elements that leave you wondering what else they’re going to work into their sound, almost drip feeding it to us. As a result it definitely makes you want to hear more to see where they’re going to take it next.

As well as wanting to hear more of their stuff, I’d also like to see their on-stage personas for myself and how that correlates with the music (if you’ve seen any of their music videos you’ll know what I mean.) I just think it’d be interesting, in the best possible sense, and you’d get to hear some great music – bonus.

As I said before, I’ve featured the guys in a few previous blog posts so, if you’re interested in those, please see the list below and have a read if you’d like to.

Click here for my review of Sketch and Stevie P’s debut track ‘Everything Part 2’.
click here to see my review of their follow-up single ‘Street Lights’.
click here to find out why the duo are #3 on my ‘Top 10 Interviews Wish List’.
click here to read my original article on ‘Tattoo Fixers’.
click here for my follow-up article on spin-off show, ‘Tattoo Fixers On Holiday’.
And, if you’re interested, click here to check out my blog about getting tattooed by Sketch at his studio in November last year.

 

Talia Mar

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© Skins Elliott Photography

I became aware of singer-songwriter – and beauty/lifestyle vlogger – Talia Mar’s music when I saw her perform at a showcase event I went to back in November, known as ‘Musique LDN’. Because of the sheer volume of names on the bill each act only played 2-3 songs each, so it was a bit difficult to get a proper feel for the artists, however, I was immediately struck by Talia’s performance and really enjoyed her set on the day.

Since then I’ve checked out (and totally fell in love with) her debut release ‘Stolen’, which is entirely self-produced. I also did a review of the song in early December, and gave it an honourable mention in my ‘Tracks of the Month’. I’d love to see Talia Mar live because she has a great voice, to hear more of her material, and to just get more of a feel for who she is as an artist.

Click here to see my review of the ‘Musique’ event where I saw Talia Mar perform.
Click here to see my review of her debut offering, ‘Stolen’.

 

And that’s about it. Are there any bands/artists that you’d love to see this year? Who are your absolute staples that you know are sure to put on an amazing show every time? Feel free to let me know in a comment 🙂 .

 

As always, thank you for reading! If you like what I do here and you want to keep up to date with my upcoming posts, be sure to come and join me on:

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My Top Album Picks of 2016

Hello everyone,

If you’re a regular reader around here you may have seen that for the last few years I’ve posted a ‘Top Albums’ list at the beginning of each year to, kind of, round-up the previous one and let you know which releases stayed as firm favourites long after the reviews went up. So, today I thought I’d share my ‘Top Album Picks of 2016’ with you.

The eagle-eyed among you may also have noticed that I uploaded reviews of the following albums already, each of them having been released earlier in the year. To that end, in the interest of not wanting to repeat myself, I’ve included snippets of my previous reviews with a link to the full articles if you’d like to check them out.

Enjoy, and if you’ve heard either of these albums feel free to let me know what you think of them.

 

The Summer Set – Stories For Monday

the summer set stories for monday 2016

Almost a full three years after the release of their most successful album to date, pop-rockers The Summer Set are back, with an offering that looks set to see them continue their ‘Legendary’ high to even bigger and better places. Released on April 1st, ‘Stories For Monday’ is the album that almost wasn’t – with details emerging that the band initially ‘broke-up’ in September 2015 – luckily though, they pulled through, and are back stronger and better than ever before…

To see the full review, click here.

 

Against The Current – In Our Bones

ATC In Our Bones album cover

Two years after the release of their breakthrough EP ‘Infinity’, New Yorkers Against The Current have finally unveiled their debut full-length offering ‘In Our Bones’. Having begun their career online – posting both covers and original material on YouTube – the band are quickly making a name for themselves.

And, rightfully so; with tours with All Time Low and Set It Off under their belts, a headlining world tour to their name, and not to mention taking the stage at this year’s Vans Warped Tour alongside the likes of Issues, Mayday Parade and New Found Glory. The band – made up of frontwoman Chrissy Costanza, lead guitarist Dan Gow, and drummer/keyboardist Will Ferri – look set to take the music world by storm…

To see the full review, click here.

 

I know this list isn’t as long as previous years but, we’re going for quality over quantity :). What albums have you been loving this year? Let me know in a comment if you think there are any that I should check out.

As always, thank you for reading! If you like what I do here and you want to keep up to date with my upcoming posts, be sure to come and join me on:

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Happy New Year 2016 (and Here’s to 2017!)

Happy New Year everyone! I hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas, and that 2017 got off to a great start whatever it is you got up to – whether that was downing shots in the pub or cosied up in front of the TV. As has come to be tradition around here, I wanted my first blog of 2017 to look back on the previous year, talk you through the highlights and give some much-deserved thanks.

If you’ve been around here for the last couple of years then you’ll know that I totally re-designed the blog at the beginning of 2016. After starting this site back in 2010 it had become increasingly apparent that it was showing its age and in desperate need of a face-lift. Honestly, I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out – it’s undoubtedly a massive improvement!

Speaking of behind-the-scenes type things, we managed to hit over 5,500 views last year, with an average of 400-500 hits a month. Considering that it was on (just over) 3,500 in 2015 – with an average of approximately 2,000 over previous years – it totally blows my mind. To have grown by that many views – for someone who just sits in her bedroom and writes about things she’s passionate about – is an amazing feeling. Another thing that I’m always indescribably thankful for, is when an artist I’ve written about shares my work.

alex-marshall-blog-love

Click here to see some of the really lovely things people have said about my work.

As I’ve said in previous blog posts, I never expect – just because I’ve written about someone – that they’re going to share it with their followers in any way, so it’s always really flattering when it happens. Throughout 2016 my work was liked, read and shared by artists that I have great admiration and respect for, as well as people who have read and found something they like in it. That never goes unappreciated – after all, there wouldn’t be much point to me writing this blog if no one was reading it!

On that note, I’m beyond proud of all the posts that I uploaded last year. I remember when I interviewed Brian Dales (The Summer Set) back in 2012, he said “the more you practice your craft, the better you get at it”, and that is something that really resonated with me. When I set up this blog it was as a requirement for a university project, so priority-wise it always came second to something, whether that was my degree or a full-time job. However, over the last 2 years I’ve really focused a lot of my time and energy on writing and I think that shows, both in my skills as a journalist, and the amount of views this blog has gotten over the last 12 months.

However, whilst I feel like I’ve really honed my skills as a writer and I’m happy with my current style, that is by no means saying that everything I do is perfect – it isn’t – and that there isn’t always more to learn and improve on – there is.

My Top 5 most viewed posts this year

My Top 5 most viewed posts last year

I also saw some great artists live last year, including The Summer Set – on the UK leg of their ‘Stories For Monday tour’ – and Waltzz, the latter of whom approached me to possibly review some of his music at the beginning of the year. Following that, and also meeting up with him at a music showcase event in November, we’re now on each other’s Christmas card lists!

As well as that, I also reviewed Costa-Blanca based band Snowblind when they came over for a UK tour in the spring. Subsequently my review was then published in Spanish/English magazine ‘QR’. This was a huge achievement, and very flattering, for me as it’s not every day that I’m approached to have my work published. Seeing it in print was such a surreal feeling; I love how it came out.

Snowblind review in QR

Snowblind review in QR

There were also some amazing releases from some fantastic artists including, The Summer Set, Against The Current, rap/rock duo Stevie P and Sketch, and former member of The Cab Alex Marshall, who dropped his debut solo single during the summer. I won’t go into that in too much detail though because I have my ‘Top Songs of 2016’ coming in the next few weeks, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for that.

Going forward into 2017, I’d like to incorporate more of my interests into this platform that aren’t necessarily music based but more lifestyle. Over the course of last year I wrote about non-music related subjects and they seemed to be really well received. I opened up about my disability ahead of The Paralympics – something I’d never thought I’d do but I’m proud of all the same. And, I wrote a follow-up to my Tattoo Fixers article about the ‘On Holiday’ spin-off of the show. If you’ve started following my blog recently then you’ll also know that I actually got a piece done by Tattoo Fixers’ very own Sketch, at his South-east London studio Reppin Ink in November. Having wanted a piece done by him for a few years (not to mention being a big fan of his music) that was a major highlight of the year. It was a really fun experience, and he’s one of the nicest, most down-to-earth people you could ever hope to meet.

Click here to see the blog post all about my tattoo experience with Sketch

Click here to see the blog post all about my tattoo experience with Sketch

I’d also like to make these lifestyle posts a bit chattier; I’m thinking of posting one a week and calling it ‘Chatty Tuesday’ or something. I also hope to make my ‘Book Club’ reviews more regular again, and perhaps even do a ‘YouTuber of the Month’ segment; I have a lot of ideas. As I’m getting older I just want to widen the scope a bit, while also making sure that the blog remains very music-based. As such, I met and discovered some amazing talent last year, so I hope to get some interviews in the pipeline too.

With that being said, I also want to remember to live in the moment and spend time with family and friends. This means that I’m not going to try and review everything anymore, but instead focus on the music/things that I 100% love and have a strong desire to promote. So, if you’ve ever sent me something to review and I haven’t got back to you, I’m sorry but I am just one person, it’s a busy life and I can’t do everything – as I’m sure you can understand.

However, thank you for your support over the years and I hope that you’ll continue on this journey with me throughout 2017 – let’s make it a great one!

 

As always, thank you for reading! If you like what I do here and you want to keep up to date with my upcoming posts this year, be sure to come and join me on:

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Against The Current – In Our Bones (Album Review)

The young and relentless three-piece prove they’ve got too big for the cage they’ve been locked up in, with debut album ‘In Our Bones’.

ATC In Our Bones album cover

Two years after the release of their breakthrough EP ‘Infinity’, New Yorkers Against The Current have finally unveiled their debut full-length offering ‘In Our Bones’. Having begun their career online –posting both covers and original material on YouTube – the band are quickly making a name for themselves.

And, rightfully so; with tours with All Time Low and Set It Off under their belts, a headlining world tour to their name, and not to mention taking the stage at this year’s Vans Warped Tour alongside the likes of Issues, Mayday Parade and New Found Glory. The band – made up of frontwoman Chrissy Costanza, lead guitarist Dan Gow, and drummer/keyboardist Will Ferri – look set to take the music world by storm.

Released on May 20th, ‘In Our Bones’ is ATC’s first release with record label Fueled By Ramen – home to the likes of Paramore and Panic! At The Disco – after being signed in 2015. Explosive album opener ‘Running With The Wild Things’ kick-starts proceedings and sets the tone for the record; this is a band that won’t be held down. This dark and brooding rock vibe is carried through tracks like ‘Blood Like Gasoline’ and the creepily atmospheric ‘Wasteland’.

Alongside this, there is also a strong pop element in the mix, demonstrated in addictively upbeat numbers ‘Forget Me Now’ and ‘Runaway.’ Acoustic title track ‘In Our Bones’, shows another side to the band’s sound; stripping everything back and letting the music speak for its self. Similarly, there is something beautiful to be found in slower songs such as, haunting ballad ‘Chasing Ghosts’, the inspirational ‘Brighter’, and album closer ‘Demons’ – where, arguably, some of the most standout moments lie.

Overall, ‘In Our Bones’ incorporates a mixture of sounds and vibes, giving a taste of the different facets of Against The Current’s sound. Having said that, everything flows and there are no eyebrow raising moments. This is a brilliant debut full of stellar tracks showcasing what the band are capable of, and I suspect we haven’t heard the best of them yet. “I bet you won’t forget me now”? Couldn’t have said it better myself.

 

Favourite Tracks:
Forget Me Now
Chasing Ghosts
Wasteland
Blood Like Gasoline
Roses

‘In Our Bones’ is one of my favourite albums at the moment; I’ve been listening to it non-stop and I’d recommend it to anyone who’s partial to a bit of pop-rock with strong female vocals.
To see my previous single reviews of ‘Chasing Ghosts’ and ‘Blood Like Gasoline’, click here.
To see my previous review of the band’s cover of Carly Rae Jepsen’s sophomore hit ‘I Really Like You’, featuring singer-songwriter Max, click here.

 

As always, thank you for reading, I’m blogging every Monday and Thursday throughout July. To keep up to date with my upcoming posts, come and join me on Facebook & Twitter, and to see what else is coming up throughout the rest of this month, click here.

Tracks of the Month: June

Greetings readers,

It’s the end of June already! We’re officially over halfway through 2016 (does a perfect impression of the shocked emoji after coming to that realisation.) I can’t believe how quickly this year is whizzing by; we’re already in the middle of Summer – though it feels like should remind the weather gods of this fact – and it seems like we haven’t been out of jumpers and winter jackets for five minutes… because in truth, we haven’t.

But, aside from this runaway train of a year and the non-existent British summer, as it is the end of the month I’m going to be sharing with you the songs that I’ve been listening to non-stop these past few weeks. Enjoy!

 

The LaFontaines – Pon de Floor

I’ve been obsessed with this song ever since I saw The LaFontaines supporting The Summer Set on the UK leg of their ‘Stories For Monday’ tour. This stylish remix of Major Lazer’s ‘Pon de Floor’, seamlessly blends the band’s Scottish-tinged rap/rock with the dance style chorus – getting the crowd jumping along like crazed Jack-in-a-boxes. It’s such a fun song to dance to and I’m surprised the guys are yet to release their version of this track (because they definitely need to!)

PS. I love vocalist Kerr Okan’s ‘Yeah, man’ at the end of this video :).

 

The LaFontaines – Shark in the Water

Another one from The LaFontaines that I’ve been listening to is ‘Shark in the Water’; again, a re-worked cover, this time of Indie/pop singer-songwriter VV Brown’s track of the same name. Opening with the insanely addictive sing-along hook – which will for sure have crowd’s screaming along with their hands in the air – the song instantly has an entirely different and darker feel. The addition of Ker Okan’s almost aggressive, yet tuneful, Scottish rap vocals also set it apart from the original, so much so that you’d be forgiven for thinking it was entirely their song from the off.

 

Ariana Grande – Leave Me Lonely

I’ve never really listened to any of Ariana Grande’s music before, so I didn’t actually know of this song until I listened to a cover version posted online by popular beauty vlogger Gabriella Lindley (AKA Velvet Gh0st,) featuring fellow YouTuber/musician Hobbie Stuart. I thought I’d listen to both versions to compare the two, as I really loved the cover, and ‘pleasantly surprised’ doesn’t even cover my reaction. Taken from Grande’s ‘Dangerous Woman’ album, released in May this year, the almost-ballad also features vocals from household name Macy Gray. The darker, brooding nature of the song is different to anything we’ve heard from Grande so far (that I’m aware of) and arguably is the most real; it has a much more relatable feel rather than something that’s drowned in a danceable beat. The uncluttered instrumental is a great fit for the tone of the song and also shifts all focus onto Grande’s truly stellar, R’n’B-tinged, powerhouse vocals. It makes me want to listen to the rest of the album to see if the other tracks are as great as this one.

 

Against The Current – Chasing Ghosts

I’ve fallen in love with pop/rock band Against The Current this month! ‘Chasing Ghosts’, taken from their recently released debut album ‘In Our Bones’, shows a softer side to the band that fans haven’t really seen previously. The ethereal-sounding ballad feels very intimate from the get-go; combining subdued verses with a crashing chorus and emotionally honest lyrics. Chrissy Costanza’s vocals are mesmerising; her powerful, almost husky, tone captivating – and keeping – your attention throughout. Definitely one of my favourite songs on the album.

 

Against The Current – Blood Like Gasoline

Another one from ATC but, contrastingly to ‘Chasing Ghosts’, ‘Blood Like Gasoline’ has a much darker rock sound coupled with a heavier, explosive chorus. Again, Chrissy Costanza’s captivating vocals tie everything together as she hits every note flawlessly; the scattering of higher notes in certain places creating a beautiful effect.

 

As always thank you for reading and I hope that I inspired you to give these tracks a listen if you hadn’t heard of them before (or even if you have!) I usually post blogs once a week so, if you like what I’ve written and want to keep up to date, feel free to come and join me on:

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Jammin’ In July: Track(s) Of The Month

Greetings readers,

It’s that time again! Yes, July is nearing an end (is it just me or is this year going ridiculously quick?) so what better time to share with you the tracks that I’ve been obsessed with over the past month. From a super catchy pop-rock crossover cover, and two songs from a New York-based emerging singer-songwriter, to a pop-punk classic – it’s fair to say it’s a pretty mixed bag!

 

Wake Up Call / Secret Girl – Alex Goot

I’ve known of Alex Goot’s music for a while – I even reviewed one of his earlier songs in a ‘Tracks I’m Loving’ a few years back – and recently I stumbled across a few of his songs again on YouTube, the first of which being ‘Wake Up Call.’

 

‘Wake Up Call’ is a fervently romantic pop track that centres on missing someone and the intensity of that emotion. The verses are soft and understated, allowing the chorus to burst through and grab your attention – giving it maximum impact. The lyrics are honest and passionate, with a sense of realness which, for me, only adds to its beauty. Goot’s passion also comes across in his unique vocals, making his voice more powerful and full of conviction. I love it!

Another of his songs that I’ve been listening to constantly this month is ‘Secret Girl.’

 

A bit more of an up-tempo affair, ‘Secret Girl’ tells the story of having a crush on someone and finally finding the courage to tell them – through song. Goot’s vocals are full of a passionate intensity as he glides through the lower notes and tackles the higher ones with ease, and lyrically still retains that honesty; this man means what he sings. This track has more of an electronic feel in regards to the accompaniment… and I’ve been caught dancing to it in my desk chair more than once!

As you can probably tell, I’m really enjoying Goot’s music at the moment. He actually did a tour of the UK back in June but, as luck would have it, I was on holiday! so I’m hoping that won’t be his only visit because I’d love to catch him live. I’m planning to write a ‘One To Watch’ post on him in the next few weeks, as well as getting my hands on the ‘In Your Atmosphere’ and ‘Wake Up Call’ albums, to either include mini-reviews in the ‘One To Watch’ or to do two separate full-length album reviews at another point. Either way, this won’t be the last you hear of him from me!

 

Tell That Devil – Nashville OST

 

Something that you may not know about me is that I LOVE the TV show Nashville. I’ve wanted to write a post on the show its self for a while, but I also wanted to be sure that it wasn’t something I’d ‘go off’ of, and after three seasons and an upcoming fourth, that shows no signs of happening. The music on the show is chart-quality and all the actors have outstanding musical talent, as well as killer acting chops – you can’t help but get sucked in!

Recently I’ve found myself listening to, and singing, this track a hell of a lot. Performed by Hayden Panettiere (Heroes) the song is full of attitude from the get-go. The smooth tone to Panettiere’s voice gives a sassiness that perfectly reflects the tone of the lyrics, and she hits every note effortlessly, being able to inject bucket-loads of power into her vocal without it sounding strained or forced. A brilliant track that I’d happily turn all the way up if I heard it on the radio.

 

I Really Like You – Chrissy Costanza & MAX

 

I really really really really really really like this cover (see what I did there?! 🙂 .) Originally by Carly Rae Jepsen, this version incorporates a pop-rock sound with a heavier drum beat and an altogether more edgy vibe. The track has also been turned into a duet, with vocals by Against The Current’s Chrissy Costanza and pop solo artist MAX.

I love the vocals on this cover; I think they complement each other brilliantly, but are also strong stand-alone voices in their own right. Chrissy’s vocals are bold and powerful – while still being able to hit higher notes beautifully – and MAX has a deep and husky tone, with a smooth and down-right mesmerising higher range. This, together with the rock accompaniment, makes the song a bit more interesting and gives it a fierce, explosive quality that demands your attention – and holds it.

 

Tell Me I’m A Wreck – Every Avenue

 

Unfortunately, Every Avenue aren’t around anymore 😦 but I’ve recently re-discovered this song and fallen in love with it. Frontman David Strauchman’s vocals are gruff and powerful, set to a fun, upbeat, pop-punk sound with contrasting ‘anti-lovesong’ type lyrics. (‘I told you when you asked I knew this wouldn’t last, at least I could be honest about that.’) Totally addictive.

 

If you got this far, thank you for reading and I hope that I inspired you to give these songs a listen. What tracks have you been obsessed with this month? Feel free to let me know in a comment – I’m always on the lookout for new things to listen to!

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(Would mean the world! 🙂 )

Journaling In January: My Top 6 Favourite Covers

Good evening readers,

I wrote a Journaling In January post at the start of the month about cover versions of songs and my thoughts on them in general (if you haven’t seen that post click here.) I’m a total sucker for a really good cover; I love it when an artist can breathe new life into a song and transform it, whether that be by modifying the arrangement, switching up the vocal style, or completely changing the genre of the song.

It is a hard job to take a track people already know and turn it on its head, to attempt to re-write people’s perceptions of it and make it good. It’s easy to make a bad cover, it’s harder to make one that’s so good it rivals the original.

When I started compiling this list I slightly took for granted how difficult it was going to be, given that there are a lot of covers out there that I like. For that reason I decided not to include covers from TV talent shows – I.E The Voice and The X Factor – as well as the fact that if I did, this list would just go on forever. Instead, I have simply opted for the ones that have stuck in my mind, because they must have made a lasting impression for a reason right?

 

#6 Harder to Breathe  – Anavae and Tides (originally by Maroon 5)

While not a million miles away from the original version, the arrangement of this cover makes the track sound fuller and gives it more dimension. The guitar has also been amped up which gives more of a straight rock feel. This version turns the track into a duet consisting of both male and female vocals, the strength of the two voices complimenting each other brilliantly and working with the instrumental to add light and shade throughout.

 

#5 The Liar and the Lighter – Gabrielle Aplin
(originally by You Me At Six)

This takes the guitar-lead, raw-sounding original and completely transforms it into an understated yet powerful, almost haunting, track. The addition of the piano and high female vocals add a certain poignancy, and the arrangement works to give a whole new emotionality to the lyrics.

 

#4 Wrecking Ball – James Arthur (originally by Miley Cyrus)

This stripped back piano-led version of Cyrus’s hit Wrecking Ball, sees the X Factor winner put his soulful stamp on the UK number 1 single… and what a powerful stamp it is. If you’re not a fan of Miley Cyrus, or the song, I recommend listening to this cover because it may just change your mind.

 

#3 Empty Space – Rogue Re Vera (originally by The Story So Far)

If you follow me on any social media, or if you’re a regular visitor to my blog, then you may know that I’ve been really into this band lately. I actually included this in a previous Tracks I’m Loving post so rather than repeat myself – because what I have to say would be much the same – simply click HERE if you’d like to know why this cover made it into my Top 6.

 

#2 Give Me Love – Demi Lovato (originally by Ed Sheeran)

Simply put, this is a beautiful cover of a great song. The whole thing has a compelling sense of emotional honesty to it. The delicate sounding verses add a sense of vulnerability, while the middle-eight adds a whole new dynamic, beautifully showing off the power-house vocals that Lovato possesses.

 

#1 Uptown Funk – Against the Current ft. Set It Off (originally by Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars)

This is my most recent discovery; orchestral pop-rockers Set It Off and fellow pop-rock three piece Against the Current, teamed up for this cover of Uptown Funk – and it’s pretty great. I was dubious at first, I didn’t think I’d ever hear a cover of this song that even came close to the original, but I love the rock edge that these two bands have given it. Chrissy Costanza’s strong and powerful vocals add a whole new vibe to the track, and Set It Off’s Cody Carson is as sassy as ever, his smooth, unique vocals harboring a slight R’n’B twinge. The two complement each other brilliantly and I can’t get enough of it at the moment.

 

Ok so, I’m kind of breaking my own rule here but I couldn’t end this post without mentioning this song somewhere. If you’re a fan of The Voice USA then you may know that ex-Hey Monday frontwoman Cassadee Pope captured the nation’s heart when she won the competition back in 2012. Pope delivered an unrivalled vocal performance on the show each week and sang some amazing covers, but there was one that has always stood out to me more so than most.

Pope’s cover of Country singer-songwriter Miranda Lambert’s emotional ballad Over You completely turned the tides. Praised by all four celebrity coaches for her ability to connect with the lyrics and convey the poignancy of the song, as well as her astounding range, the cover also went on to top the ITunes all-genre chart – and it’s easy to hear why.

This cover gives me chills every time I hear it and I can’t help but get a little teary-eyed. I think that if a track has the ability to have such a strong effect no matter how many times you’ve heard it, it’s definitely a mark of something great.

 

Thank you for reading my Top 6 Covers, and I hope that it maybe inspired you to give some of the songs a try. What do you think of the covers? Are there any covers that you think  I should know about? Do you have a favourite cover that has always stuck in your mind? Let me know in a comment, I’d love to hear what you think.