Jammin’ In July: My Musical Alphabet

Greetings readers,

Today I’m taking inspiration from fellow music-blogger Daria, from The Music Wonderland, who created her own musical alphabet. I thought it was a great way to share your favourite artists, so I asked if I could upload my own version and she said yes. So, I’ve combed my ITunes, album collection, and previous blogs to bring you my favourite artists for each letter of the alphabet – complete with some throwbacks in there too.

(There are a few gaps towards the end though, sorry!)

 

A – Against The Current

One of my favourite bands at the moment, New Yorkers Against The Current also dropped one of my favourite albums of 2016 with their debut release, ‘In Our Bones’. They have a lot of different elements to their sound, from danceable pop-driven tracks to dark, brooding rock vibes, which all combine to make something undeniably addictive.

To see my review of ATC’s debut album ‘In Our Bones’, click here.

 

B – Bring Me The Horizon

BMTH have been around since my early teens but, admittedly, I have only really gotten into their music recently. Whilst I liked the rough and raw screamo sound of previous releases, I couldn’t listen to it for too long; I couldn’t understand the lyrics, I couldn’t sing along, it just didn’t hit me in the same way that bands like Bullet For My Valentine did at the time, with their darkly twisted debut album ‘The Poison’. However, with their newest release ‘That’s The Spirit’ came a new sound that I’m totally into. Gone are the undecipherable lyrics and discordant arrangements, to be replaced by a melodic stadium-rock vibe. Their trademark ferocity is still there, but has evolved into something different – a change for the better in my opinion.

To see my review of Bring Me The Horizon’s newest release ‘That’s The Spirit’, click here.

 

C – Cassadee Pope

If you were into the pop-punk scene in early 2007 when the female fronted era exploded, then you may recognise ex Hey Monday front woman Cassadee Pope. Having been a fan of the band since their formation in 2008, I was crushed when they decided to go on hiatus with only one album to their name – 2008’s ‘Hold On Tight’. Following their short-lived time as a band, I was beyond intrigued when I found that Pope went on to become a contestant on The Voice USA; following her journey through the competition, which ultimately saw her crowned the winner. She has since released her debut album ‘Frame By Frame’, which reached #1 in the US Country music chart.

To see my article on Cassadee Pope following her win on The Voice USA, click here.

 

D – Demi Lovato

Quite simply, I absolutely adore Demi Lovato. From her musical ability and captivating power-house vocals, to her confidence to speak candidly about her personal struggles, I think that she is someone to be admired.

For more about why I like Demi Lovato, and why she is #1 on my ‘Top 10 Interview Wish-List, click here.

 

E – Ed Sheeran

Simply put? Ed Sheeran is amazing. I truly believe that he is one of the biggest icons of my generation. He has gone from strength to strength within the industry over the years, not just with his own albums but working behind the scenes on hits for other artists, including Justin Bieber, Major Lazer and One Direction. Everything he has done, to this day, has been absolute fire; with one chart hit after another. And, since the release of his newest album ‘Divide’, 2017 has so far been another massive year for our favourite red-head – already having made history by occupying both the #1 and #2 spot in the charts with ‘comeback’ singles ‘Shape Of You’ and ‘Castle On The Hill’ respectively. He gets better and better with each album.

To see my review of ‘Shape Of You’ and ‘Castle On The Hill’, click here.

 

F – Francheschi (Elissa)

I’ve been a fan of Elissa Franceschi’s music since my late teens. Introduced to her after she did guest vocals on You Me At Six track ‘Always Attract’, I then went on to check out her solo music – and fell in love. The soulful songstress has a beautifully delicate, yet powerful, quality to her vocals and her music is always mesmerising; full of honesty and overflowing with poignancy. She is currently on a musical hiatus, as she has been for the last few years, but there have been some little signs online that could hint at a possible return to music soon – here’s hoping! It’s been far too long.

To see my review of Elissa Franceschi’s EP ‘Devoid of Rue’, click here.

 

G – Green Day

One of my first favourite bands back when I first discovered rock music, Green Day were a huge part of the soundtrack to my early teens. Admittedly, I don’t listen to them nowadays, but there will always be a special place in my heart for them.

 

H – Hobbie Stuart

Honey-voiced heart-throb Hobbie Stuart, is a pop singer-songwriter and vlogger. Having built an online following via YouTube over the last six years, Stuart uploads both cover videos and original material to his channel. His smooth, r’n’b-tinged vocals seem to be able to wrap themselves around any song; leaving their own stamp on existing tracks and giving life to his own songs. Having seen him play a short set in Brighton, where he also turned on the town’s Christmas lights, it’s fair to say that he’s just as good live as he is on record – a rare quality nowadays. As well as his hypnotising vocals, Stewart’s hilariously candid personality also comes across in his vlogs, making them even more entertaining. You just can’t help but love him, really.

To check out my initial ‘One to Watch’ on Hobbie Stuart, click here.

For my live review of Stuart’s short set at Brighton’s Christmas light’s switch on, click here.

 

I – Issues

I discovered this metalcore six-piece after recommendation from a friend of mine, and I’m so glad I gave them a listen. Their thrashing yet melodic sound draws on a multitude of different genres, from heavy rock to electronic, and even some R&B. There is a brutal heaviness running through every track, which is lifted by honey-voiced vocalist Tyler Carter’s melodic tone as it drizzles over the gravelly sounds of Michael Bohn’s aggressive screams. This provides a great contrast and incorporating elements of other genres also brings something different to the table, keeping things interesting.

To see my introductory ‘One To Watch’ on Issues, click here.

 

J – Justin Timberlake

Sorry, I’m not sorry. Justin Timberlake is up there with some of the best male vocalists in the pop scene. From the curly-haired kid in boyband Nsync to the suave pin-up that girls fantasize over, JT and his music continue to stand the test of time – his smooth brand of r’n’b drenched pop still winning hearts, and awards, worldwide.

 

K – Kelly Clarkson

Again, another artist whose vocals continue to always cause a stir in the pop charts, fifteen years after she became the first ever winner of American Idol. Kelly Clarkson has an amazing voice; strong, bold and powerful, both on and off record. The majority of her music centres on themes such as heart-break, self-empowerment and independence, much of which really speaks to me. Her second studio album ‘Breakaway’ was a big part of the soundtrack to my early teens, with its pop-rock sound and dark undertones.

 

L – Luke Pickett

Luke Pickett is an artist that, I don’t think, gets as much recognition as he should. I discovered Pickett’s music 10 years ago, thanks to my friend using his track ‘Empty Corridors’ as her profile song on Myspace – remember those days?! I fell in love with it and soon became addicted to other songs such as ‘Going Down With This Ship’, ‘Dream Love Cure’ and ‘Cruel Love’. I even came close to interviewing him for this blog at the very beginning, after emailing his management, but somehow it fell through. I still go back and listen to those old songs from time to time, and I’m always keeping an eye on his new stuff. With his level of talent, impeccable, addictive vocals and ability to craft a captivating, poignant song, I can’t understand how he’s not a mainstream artist!

 

M – My Chemical Romance

The mouth-piece for an entire musical movement, and responsible for starting a conversation about the misunderstanding of subcultures, My Chemical Romance became the voice of a generation of misfit teens and in the process became revered; seen almost like heroes. Their music spoke to so many people (including myself) and created a community. Over the years, and the many colours/styles of Gerard Way’s hair, they created so many iconic moments that will always be remembered. I’m so glad I got to see them live before they split; it still hurts my heart a little that they’re not together anymore.

 

N – Nirvana

Another band that I, admittedly, don’t listen to anymore, but who influenced my music tastes back in the day. When I started listening to rock music in my mid-teens, Nirvana were a band that I inevitably came across; I say inevitably because you can’t have not heard of them if you’re into rock, I mean everybody knows who Kurt Cobain is, right? I loved the overall vibe of their music, (I used to be into the heavier stuff!) Kurt’s gruff and gravelly vocals, and I’ve always been interested in their/his compelling story. It’s not at all surprising to me that their music continues to influence musicians and have an effect on people, to this day.

 

O – Out Of Sight

Having disbanded quite a few years ago, you might think it’s weird that I chose to include pop-punk band Out Of Sight. However, after seeing them supporting You Me At Six live back in 2009, they were a band that left a lasting impression and I loved their music. Luckily, when I did work experience for Kerrang! that same year, I was given a copy of their demo CD by Katie P after I told her how much I liked them. To this day, I’m still so thankful to her for that because, if she hadn’t, their music would be 100% lost to me – and I’m so glad that it isn’t. I still listen to it from time to time and it never fails to put a smile on my face.

 

P – Panic! At The Disco

Another band that were a big part of the 2007 explosion of ‘emo’/pop-punk artists in the rock scene, you couldn’t not like Panic! At The Disco. Their single ‘I Write Sins Not Tragedies’ is now a cult favourite among people of that era – there was a time when everyone was singing along to that chorus!. Over the years they’ve headlined the likes of Reading Festival and gained national airplay on Radio One, and continue to sell out arenas to this day.

 

Q – Queen

Not a band that I listen to regularly, but Queen is an absolute classic – there’s no doubt about it. ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’, ‘I Want To Break Free’… everyone knows at least one of their songs, and they’re great to dance to!

 

R – Room 94

I discovered Room 94 thanks to Twitter back in 2012, and they quickly went on to become one of my favourite bands at the time. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, then you may know that I tried for an entire year to get an interview with the boys and, after meeting them at multiple shows, luckily got that chance at the Brighton date of their 2013 ‘Three Brothers and One Kit’ summer tour. It’s still one of the most fun interviews I’ve ever done and they’re really lovely and funny guys – I’d interview them again in a heartbeat!

To see my interview with Room 94, click here.

 

S – Set It Off

This Floridian foursome have been one of my favourite bands for a few years, after discovering them when I was invited to interview them at a show. I’d never listened to them, or seen them live, but their stage presence and show changed that irrevocably. So taken was I that I went straight to their merch desk after their set and bought their debut – and at the time, only – album ‘Cinematics’, which I listened to in its entirety for months. I’ve kept up to date with their releases ever since, and seen their sound evolve from dark and twisted orchestral pop-rock, to something lighter and increasingly pop-based, all whilst retaining that certain Set It Off something.

To see my review of Set It Off’s second album ‘Duality’ click here.
I’ve also done short reviews of a handful of their songs from newest album ‘Upside Down’. To see those, click here (Uncontainable), here (Something New) and here (Crutch).

 

T – The Summer Set

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, then you’ll know that The Summer Set are one of my Top 5 favourite bands ever! I try to see them live every time they come to the UK and each time is always more fun than the last; they never fail to put on an amazing show, it’s like a party that nobody wants to end. I love their unique brand of inspirational, poignant, summery, feel good pop-rock, made even more distinctive by Brian Dales’ original vocal tone. I’ve bought every album they’ve ever released and their music just gets better and better over the years. Their newest release ‘Stories For Monday’ was one of my top albums of last year and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us next!

I’ve actually been lucky enough to chat to John Gomez, Jess Bowen and Brian Dales on separate occasions and they’re all lovely (the latter I even managed to interview before a show at Kingston Peel, despite him being a little worse for wear!)

To see my review of the band’s newest album ‘Stories For Monday’, click here.
And, to see my review of the last time I saw them live, at Portsmouth’s Wedgewood Rooms, click here.

U – —–

 

V – Versaemerge

Another great band that, sadly, aren’t together in this format currently, Versaemerge were part of the second wave of the pop-punk/emo scene. When the likes of Fall Out Boy and Panic! At The Disco were established they paved the way for similar bands to breakout, one of them being Versaemerge. After being signed by the front-running label of the era, Fuelled By Ramen, Versaemerge released their debut – and sadly only – album ‘Fixed At Zero’. Over the years they battled a lot of obstacles, including significant line-up changes, as well as the long wait between releases. By the time a second album looked to be forming it came with a change of sound, gone was the dark melodic rock, in favour of an electronic vibe; times and the scene had changed. Shortly after, remaining members, Sierra Kusterbeck and Blake Harnage decided to reinvent themselves as Versa, an entirely new entity. However, the status of the band is unclear as no new material has been released, and vocalist Sierra now fronts new musical project ‘Neaux’. One thing’s for sure, I hope they revive Versa at some point because I’d be so sad if they just faded away.

As a female, Sierra was one of my main inspirations of that time, and while I was at university I was actually lucky enough to interview Blake Harnage for an article I was working on about fan-funding. To see that article, click here.

 

W – Waltzz

A young aspiring rapper that reached out to me for a review back in 2015, Waltzz is now a name that you’ll definitely be familiar with if you follow my blog regularly. Full of passion and unrivalled drive, Waltzz – real name Liam Stewart – is an artist that I really admire. From his music (and his passion for it) to the overall message he tries to convey, he is definitely worth checking out. I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting him and he’s a really great, down to earth guy too – which is always a plus!

To see my review of Waltzz’s most recent single ‘I’m Alright’, click here.

 

X – —-

 

Y – You Me At Six

You Me At Six have been one of my favourite bands since I was seventeen and, now in my mid-twenties, they still are. Over the years I’ve seen them grow with their music and, in turn, I have grown up with it. So many of their songs serve as a reminder of many different events and happenings, and I have nothing but fond memories of seeing them live – all 10+ times! They have yet to make an album that I dislike, and my only hope is that they continue making music for a long time yet!

To read my review of You Me At Six’s latest album ‘Night People’, click here.

 

Z – —-

 

And there you have it – if you got this far, to you I give the biggest of high-fives. I hope that I inspired you to give some of these artists a try, if you’ve not heard of them. What did you think of my choices? If you’ve got any recommendations for the letters I missed feel free to let me know in a comment.

As always, thank you for reading! I’m uploading twice a week throughout July so, If you like what I do here and you want to keep up to date with my upcoming posts, feel free to come and join me on:

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Tracks of the Month: November

Hello everyone, I hope you’re all doing very well. I feel like I say this in every one of these posts but seriously, where has this year gone?! Christmas is just around the corner and the festive music is coming out in force. But, just before we welcome that, I’m going to talk you through the songs that I haven’t been able to get enough of these last few weeks. So, without further ado, let’s get into it…

 

The Chainsmokers ft. Halsey – Closer

After enjoying moderate chat success with their singles ‘#Selfie’, ‘Roses’ and ‘Don’t Let Me Down’, The Chainsmokers dropped, arguably, their most successful song to date back in July this year. The American DJ Duo – made up of Alex Pall and Andrew Taggart – have teamed up with electro-pop singer-songwriter Halsey for ‘Closer’; a track which earned them their first number one single.

The song has an electronic/dance vibe, coupled with a synth-led chorus – lending to a very dreamy, summery feel. Taggart lends his vocals along with Halsey, and the two complement each other brilliantly. Taggart’s smooth and deep tone provides a great contrast to Halsey’s higher, powerhouse pipes, giving the track a sense of dimension, and creating a beautifully powerful effect overall.

On a personal level, this song has been my absolute jam lately. If you’re a regular reader around here, you may know that I got tattooed by Tattoo Fixers’ Sketch a few weeks ago – and this song was playing in the studio as I was getting ready to have it done. One of my first memories of the day was Sketch sitting down next to me singing along to the chorus just before we got started. So, this song will always remind me of getting tattooed that day, and how much fun it was!

 

Favourite lyrics:

“So, baby, pull me closer / in the backseat of your rover.”

 

 

Bring Me The Horizon – Oh No

Again, if you’ve read my blog before, then you may remember that I did a full album review of Bring Me The Horizon’s ‘That’s The Spirit’ at the beginning of the year. However, this is another song that will always remind me of when I got tattooed by Sketch recently, so I couldn’t not include it. My friend and I were sat in the front of the studio while Sketch was in the back drawing up the design and, all of a sudden, this song just started blaring out from the other room. Naturally, we had a bit of a sing along while we were waiting!

As I said in my previous review:

‘Album closer ‘Oh No’ brings back the dance-pop musicality, while contrastingly highlighting the darker subject of seeing the pitfalls of addiction through sober eyes. Overall ‘That’s The Spirit’ has quite a dark theme, highlighting internal struggle and showing a sense of emotional vulnerability. However, there are pockets of positivity in the form of empowering, sing-along choruses – and its Sykes spitting the lyrics with such an aggressive passion that really drives it home.’

BMTH also released the official video for the song this month, and a rather bizarre one at that – if anyone knows what the weird trumpet playing thing is, please let me know!

Click here to read the full album review. 🙂

 

Favourite Lyrics:

“No we’re not on the level, you’re just off your face.”

“Don’t call it a party cause it never stops / now one is too many but it’s never enough.”

“You’re holding onto heaven but you’re hanging by a thread.”

 

 

Hinder – Lips of an Angel

This throwback of a song has been a major rediscovery for me this month. Released way back in 2009, ‘Lips Of An Angel’ was Hinder’s first major hit, reaching number one in multiple countries, and it’s not hard to figure out why.

Detailing the story of getting a phone-call from the ex that you never really got over, the rock ballad is captivating from beginning to end. Set to the sound of, ex-vocalist, Austin Winkler’s gruff and husky tone – with a sprinkling of higher notes during the chorus – the whole thing has a very brooding, poignant feel. I come back to this song every now and then, and every time I remember why I love it.

I stumbled across this track when I was flicking through the music channels back in the day, and I’m so glad I did because simply put, it’s flawless.

 

Favourite lyrics:

“Girl you make it hard to be faithful with the lips of an angel”

“My girl’s in the next room, Sometimes I wish she was you / I guess we never really moved on”

 

 

Set It Off – Something New 

Taken from Set It Off’s recently released third studio album ‘Upside Down’, ‘Something New’ marks the start of a new chapter for the band – as the title would suggest. Opening with a funky guitar-led pattern, and a super fun gang vocal refrain, the track is undeniably more pop-based than previous releases.

Sophomore offering ‘Duality’ showed the beginning of a transition into something more pop-based in certain numbers, but retained a darker, brooding vibe overall. Now, gone is the darkness and in its place is something full of optimism and light, set to Cody Carson’s smooth, distinctive vocals.

It’s jaunty, fun and will no doubt whip audiences into a frenzy – it always puts a smile on my face and makes me want to sing along. So, go on, “turn up the sound to Something New” – what’re you waiting for?


*
Released on October 7th, Set It Off’s newest album ‘Upside Down’ is now available to download through ITunes.

Click here to check out my review of the band’s previous album ‘Duality.’

 

Favourite lyrics:

“And if there’s one thing in my life, that I’ve been fighting day and night, well it’s the fear of changing nothing / So when I open up my eyes, and shake that worry from my mind, I checked the clock and it’s still running.”

“I think it, I say it, I write it, erase it, and break my back so I don’t let you down.”

 

Brit rockers You Me At Six have made an explosive comeback to the scene recently after going into hibernation while writing their hotly anticipated fifth album. They’ve dropped a few videos for various tracks from the upcoming new release, including title track ‘Night People‘, ‘Plus One’, ‘Give‘ and ‘Swear.’ I’ve been listening a lot to ‘Give’ and ‘Swear’ in particular, but I thought rather than write mini-reviews of both tracks, I’d just do a full album review when it’s released in January. 🙂

 

 

As always thank you for reading. I’ve been (trying to) blog every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday during November as its ‘National Blog Posting Month’. To see all the the uploads throughout this month, click here.

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Tracks of the Month: February

You know the drill…


Omi – Hula Hoop

Released back in August 2015, ‘Hula Hoop’ is the second single from Jamaican-American singer OMI’s debut offering ‘Me 4 U’. Much like previous chart hit ‘Cheerleader’, the song incorporates brass accents as well major keyboard chords, giving it a very summery, almost, Caribbean sound. The steel drums and clap-like rhythm also inject flair, creating an infectious beat, resulting in a great chorus and an overall addictive track. I dare you not to dance to this. It’s great for those of us already longing for the warmer days of spring and summer (because I can’t be the only one, right?)

 

Nicky Jam Ft. Enrique Iglesias – El Perdón (Alex Selas Extended Edit)

Originally a solo track by American Reggaetón artist Nicky Jam, this version of El Perdón also features vocals from Spanish singer Enrique Iglesias. This song really reminds me of my time in Spain, as it’s sung entirely in Spanish, which also gives quite an exotic vibe. This ‘extended edit’ also see’s DJ/producer Alex Selas whack up the tempo, enhancing the beat and giving it more of a danceable quality – which I love.

(Inevitably some of you are probably thinking, ‘but I don’t speak Spanish,’ there is also an English version of the song, but personally, I prefer this one; I just think it fits the instrumental and overall sound of the track better.)

 

Fall Out Boy ft. Demi Lovato – Irresistible

Pop-punk veterans Fall Out Boy premiered this remix of ‘Irresistible’, featuring guest vocals from Demi Lovato, back in October with a music video featuring internet sensation ‘Doug the Pug.’ Another video then dropped in January referencing NSYNC’s iconic ‘It’s Gonna Be Me,’ in which the band are depicted as dolls (complete with appearances from former NSYNC members Joey Fatone and Chris Kirkpatrick – genius.)

The song is much the same as the original musically – Patrick Stump’s soulful tone injecting a certain sassiness to the lyrics – the thing that sets it apart is the addition of Lovato’s powerhouse pipes. While some people aren’t keen, I think the added harmony gives a texture to the track that wasn’t there previously and creates a sexier vibe. They also recently came together to perform the song on The Ellen DeGeneres show, and absolutely slayed it. Lovato sings back-up for much of the song and the contrasting vocals complement each other brilliantly…the only thing I did miss was hearing the ‘mon Cherie’ line in a French accent.

 

All Time Low – Kids in the Dark

Seeing as this song was initially released almost a year ago, I’ve found myself thinking ‘how have I not heard this until now?’…nope, I don’t know either. Taken from the band’s most recent album ‘Future Hearts’, ‘Kids In The Dark’ is everything we’ve come to expect from Baltimore rockers All Time Low, in the best possible sense. Alex Gaskarth’s smooth and steady vocals shine against a melodic whirlwind of guitars and drums, reminding anyone who’s ever felt like a black sheep that they’re not alone. I love it.

 

The Summer Set – Figure Me Out

I’ve also been listening a lot to The Summer Set’s new single ‘Figure Me Out,’ which I did a full review of not long after its release. In my review I use the term ‘elegantly explosive’, which I think describes it perfectly. It continues along the same musical vibe shown in previous album ‘Legendary’, with the inspiring lyrics and their personal brand of pop-rock-party chorus that we are so used to. Lyrically I really identify with the song, as it’s one about losing your way, but also recognising the fact that you need to figure things out (and let’s face it, we’ve all been there right?) It’s kind of become my anthem of 2016. ‘I believe there’s more to life than all my problems, maybe there’s still hope for me to start again, get my feet back on the ground and pull my head out of the clouds. I think it’s time for me to figure me out.’

Click here to see my previous review of the song.

 

I’ve also been listening to Bring Me The Horizon’s ‘That’s The Spirit’ album, which I reviewed earlier this month, click here to have a read.

 

What do you think of the songs included in this post? If there are any you haven’t heard, I hope I inspired you to give them a listen. What’s been dominating your stereo this past month? I’m always on the lookout for new music so feel free to let me know in a comment.

 

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Bring Me The Horizon: That’s The Spirit (Album Review)

I need a cure for me ‘cause the square doesn’t fit the circle.” With an album this good Brit rockers Bring Me The Horizon have re-defined the circle.

Bring Me The Horizon burst onto the metal scene back in 2006, when their debut full-length ‘Count Your Blessings’ propelled them to the forefront of British rock music. Fast forward 10 years and the six-piece have just dropped their fifth studio album – and there have undoubtedly been some changes in the BMTH camp over the years.

Released at the tail-end of 2015, ‘That’s The Spirit’ see’s the band move away from their metalcore roots and embrace a cleaner, more radio-friendly sound, combining elements of melodic rock, pop, and EDM. With that being said, their trademark ferocity hasn’t been completely lost but rather, adapted; vocalist Oli Sykes’ gravelly, growl-like tones are still present (but the upside is that you can actually understand it these days.)

Tracks like ‘Throne’, demonstrate this change in direction; its synth-heavy opening would typically land it firmly in EDM territory, but the addition of the guitars and crashing drums add that heavier Linkin Park-esque edge. ‘True Friends’ also retains that certain BMTH sting, with a blistering chorus that puts us in mind of the band’s earlier days.

‘Drown’ and ‘Avalanche,’ possess an anthemic, almost cinematic, quality that really packs a punch. Slightly reminiscent of 30 Seconds to Mars’ ‘This is War’ era, the epic-sounding production ensures both are made to fill every corner of an arena. The former’s captivating chorus and swelling ‘you know that I can’t do this on my own’ chant, is sure to get crowds screaming along with their fists in the air.

Further proving they aren’t just about the brutal whirlwind of thrashing guitars and harsh vocals, ‘Follow You’ takes down the tempo with a more sombre, melodic sound – Sykes’ rasp giving the chorus some bite. Similarly, ‘Blasphemy’ comprises of a very melodic chorus, combined with a dark and gritty old-school quality, lending to an alt-rock vibe.

Album closer ‘Oh No’ brings back the dance-pop musicality, while contrastingly highlighting the darker subject of seeing the pitfalls of addiction through sober eyes. Overall ‘That’s The Spirit’ has quite a dark theme, highlighting internal struggle and showing a sense of emotional vulnerability. However, there are pockets of positivity in the form of empowering, sing-along choruses – and it’s Sykes spitting the lyrics with such an aggressive passion that really drives it home.

“You can throw me to the wolves, tomorrow I will come back leader of the whole pack…” well it looks like BMTH have done just that. The result? An awesome album with some pretty anthemic tracks, and an altogether less jagged edge. If you haven’t liked BMTH’s previous releases I’d suggest you give this a listen – you might surprise yourself.

 

Favourite Tracks:

Throne / True Friends / Drown / Blasphemy

My Top 5 Albums of 2015

Hello again, (as you can probably tell from the title) I’m going to share my Top 5 Albums of 2015 with you.

Now, if you’re a regular reader of my blog then you may notice that I have done full reviews of all-but-one of the following records. Be that as it may, I couldn’t not include them as these are all albums that were like the sound of 2015 to me. While some of them were released before 2015, I personally discovered them all during the course of the year and each of them really stuck out to me. (Please note: The albums are in order of my earliest to most recent finds.)

 

#1 Ed Sheeran – X

ed sheeran x album cover

I was given a copy of ‘X’ for Christmas 2014, and upon receiving it I listened to it every day for pretty much six months. On the whole ‘X’ is a fantastic album that demonstrates Sheeran’s ability to capture his listeners entirely…every song is packed with emotion and demands your attention. I love the seamless mix of the hip-hop and acoustic sound, and no song disappoints – there are some absolute gems here that need to be heard. I’d recommend it to everyone.

To see the full review click here.

 

#2 Taylor Swift – 1989

1989 cover

Whatever your opinion of pop music’s darling, there’s no denying that Taylor Swift is slaying the music industry at the moment. I’ve been a fan of Swift’s music since the early days of ‘Love Story,’ and it’s awesome to see how far she’s come as an artist – deservedly so. I realise she is a little bit like Marmite; some people love her and some people love to hate her, but personally I think ‘1989’ marks a totally new stage in her career. It’s clear that Swift has found her place within the industry and is comfortable in her own skin – and she has every right to be.

To see the full review click here.

 

#3 Rogue Re Vera – Don’t Bet On It, Kid

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‘Don’t Bet On It, Kid’ – the debut offering from New York based four-piece Rogue Re Vera – is a well rounded EP that works to showcase not only the band’s sound, but the diversity of it. Full of addictive tracks with insane hooks, the melodies are stunning and the lyrics, and vocals, are always brimming with passion and conviction. Whether it’s ballsy and raw or stripped-back and heartfelt, both are captivating – albeit in totally different ways. It’s clear that Rogue Re Vera are a force to be reckoned with.

To see the full review click here.

 

#4 Snowblind – Snowblind

Snowblind

As I’ve said in previous posts, Snowblind are a band I discovered whilst in Spain towards the end of the summer. I caught their set in a local bar and, after a brief chat with their vocalist, I was passed a copy of their debut self-titled offering – and the rest, as they say, is history. The album has fast become a firm favourite, as has the band. It’s definitely a case of ‘all killer, no filler’, each song bursting at the seams with emotion and passion that seems invariably deep rooted. With such a compelling sound not one track is flimsy or one-dimensional, it makes you wonder why these guys are not mainstream artists – I could definitely see them on the main stage at Reading Festival.

To see the full review click here.

 

#5 Bring Me The Horizon – That’s The Spirit

BMTH album cover

My most recent favourite; I’ve always known of Bring Me The Horizon but I couldn’t really deal with their hardcore/screamo sound of the early days, so my liking of their newer music kind of crept up on me. A far cry from their 2006 debut ‘Count Your Blessings’, ‘That’s The Spirit’ see’s BMTH shift away from their metalcore roots in favour of a more melodic, electronic sound. But die-hard fans need not fear, their trademark aggressive sound is still intact, complete with the gravelly, growl-like vocal tones from Mr. Sykes (but the upside is that you can actually understand it these days.) The result? An awesome album with some pretty anthemic tracks.

Keep an eye out for a full review of ‘That’s the Spirit’ in the next few weeks.

So, there you have it. What do you think of my Top 5 Albums of 2015? Do you agree with my choices? Are there any other albums you’ve been loving that I haven’t included? Feel free to let me know in a comment – I’m always on the lookout for new music.

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Up Next:

Tracks of the Month (January)

Tracks of the Month: October

Greetings readers,

I can’t believe it’s nearing the end of October already! The jackets have come out, Halloween’s in a few days – it’s definitely not summer anymore. But let’s not dwell on the fact that the clouds are eclipsing the sun, and focus on the positives; one being that Christmas is just around the corner, and two being that, as it is the end of the month, I’m going to share with you the songs that have been dominating my earphones over the past few weeks.

In terms of genre it’s quite a mixed bag; including stripped back acoustic tracks from a popular actor/musician, to a mainstream metalcore band who have recently shifted in style in favour of a more alternative – and at times electronic – sound…

The Darling Buds – Waiting

If you’ve seen Tim Burton’s Sweeny Todd, then you may recognise this artist from the 2007 movie starring Johnny Depp. Jamie Campbell Bower – who starred as Anthony in the film – is also a musician. Previously in a band known as The Darling Buds, the foursome headlined London’s Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen on April 18th this year. The band recently underwent a name change following the departure of drummer Dan Smith; the three remaining members (Jamie, Tristan and Roland) stating that they wish to continue making music under a new name and new sound. Now under the moniker ‘Counterfeit’, the lads have an upcoming UK show at London’s 02 Islington Academy in December, as well as a European tour including cities such as Berlin and Milan.

This acoustic version of The Darling Buds’ track ‘Waiting’ was the first time I’d heard Bower’s musical talent (outside of the theatricality of Sweeny Todd,) and what I was met with was a beautiful melody, great vocals and an addictive chorus. Consisting solely of an acoustic guitar and Bower’s smooth vocals, the two work brilliantly together to create a track that is both catchy and captivating, with a hook that’s sure to get stuck in your head.

Another song I’ve also been listening to of theirs is ‘Better Man. Again, it’s a stripped back version made up of an acoustic guitar and Bower’s vocals, and much like ‘Waiting’ the combination of the elements at play culminate in something that’s absolutely charming to listen to. You can’t fault Bower’s vocals both as he flips between the lower and higher notes, hitting both perfectly, and I think both tracks demonstrate his ability to write a great song. I’d definitely be interested in seeing these guys live.

 

Bring Me The Horizon – Drown

A far cry from the days of their 2006 debut ‘Count Your Blessings’, ‘Drown’ see’s Bring Me The Horizon shift away from their metalcore roots in favour of a more melodic, almost cinematic, sound. But die-hard fans need not fear, the song still has their trademark aggressive sound complete with some gravelly, growl-like vocal tones from Mr. Sykes (but the upside is that you can actually understand it these days.)

Released last year originally as a stand-alone, a re-recorded version made its way onto the band’s most recent offering ‘That’s The Spirit’ – and I for one am glad it did. It’s an anthemic track, made to fill every corner of an arena; both the chorus and the swelling ‘you know that I can’t do this on my own’ chant possess a really captivating quality that is sure to get crowds screaming along in unison with their fists in the air.

 

Bring Me The Horizon – Throne

Contrastingly to ‘Drown’, ‘Throne’ features a more electronic rock sound. It opens with a synth-led pattern that wouldn’t be out of place in a club setting, but as the guitars and drums crash though it retains that BMTH sting. Things smooth out during the verses, and the change in dynamics works to ensure that the chorus really packs a punch.

With lyrics like “you can throw me to the wolves, tomorrow I will come back leader of the whole pack,” the chorus is an empowering one, and it’s Sykes spitting the lyrics with such an aggressive passion that really drives it home.

 

I’ve also been listening to a lot of Costa Blanca-based rock band Snowblind, and Brit singer/songwriter Hobbie Stuart this month; both of which I have reviewed previously.

Click here to see my review of Snowblind’s Track ‘Memories’ (as featured in last month’s ‘Track’s I’m Loving’.) A full review of the band’s debut album is on its way.

Click here to see my most recent post, a ‘One To Watch’ on singer-songwriter and vlogger Hobbie Stuart.

 

What songs have you been listening to this month? Do you like any of the ones that I’ve included? If there are any that you’ve never come across I hope I at least inspired you to give them a listen, and I hope you enjoyed reading 🙂