music of the month: july

June/July was a busy month for me music-wise, with an Ed Sheeran gig and Ocean City Sounds in Plymouth, with Ella Eyre and Bastille. The Mamma Mia 2 soundtrack has also been making regular appearances in my playlist, which you may be able to guess from this list of my top tracks from last month…

U.N.I.// ed sheeran

There are so many Ed Sheeran songs I could’ve put on here, but I’ve gone for U.N.I. because it seems to be so underrated?? It’s quite old but I love it, especially the line “and I don’t get waves of missing you anymore/they’re more like tsunami tides in my eyes” (I’m always a sucker for something a bit poetic/with a geography reference) Also – if you like this, try ‘Cold Coffee’

high hopes//panic at the disco!

Everyone goes through a Panic at the Disco! phase, right? I had mine a year or so again, but it’s been well and truly reignited with the release of his new album, Pray for the Wicked. High Hopes alwayyys gets me awkward-robot-dancing in my desk chair (doing this as I type) and I love the chorus and the little brass bits. Other highlights from the album (aka the only other songs I’ve heard) are Say Amen (Saturday Night) and Dancing’s Not A Crime.

a little more//alessia cara

After not loving the first release from Alessia Cara since 2016 (:(() I’m very glad she then released A Little More, which I’ve listened to a ridiculous amount of times. It’s not the cheeriest song, but it’s chilled and is nice in the evenings.

eastside//benny blanco with Halsey and Khalid

This was co-written by Ed Sheeran, and you can definitely hear his influence, but it also feels fresh. It’s a good walking soundtrack, and I just really like it to be honest. Not got much more to say.

why did it have to be me?, andante andante, when I kissed the teacher & angel eyes//mamma mia 2 soundtrack

Let me start by stating that Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! is a true masterpiece of modern cinema (and I did film at college so I’m 100% qualified to make that statement). I loved it so much I’m going to see it for the second time next week with friends, and I’ve been listening to these songs on repeat, especially when I’m not in the best mood and want to cheer myself up.

medicine//new hope club

I found this either in Spotify’s Discover Weekly or New Releases, and the only other song of theirs I’ve heard is Fixed, but I definitely think I need to keep a closer eye on their music – I like everything I’ve heard so far!

don’t leave me alone//David Guetta ft Anne-Marie

Well this is a summer bop if I ever heard one (blame Elly for getting the word ‘bop’ into my vocabulary), I’ve kinda run out of things to say but I 10/10 recommend (I’m going to spin it and say my lack of description makes it a fun ~mystery song~)


What songs have you been listening to in July? Thoughts on my favourites?

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music of the month – june

I’ve only recently curated my April-and-May-and-June playlist into one that just has the stuff I’m enjoying in June, so I figured I’d set myself the challenge of narrowing it down even further, from 168 songs to my top ten. I’m also going to predict there’s a 98% chance there’ll be more than 10 songs on this list by the end of it, but a girl can try and be decisive.

1 – A Large Amount of Ed Sheeran

Going straight in there and breaking my own self-created rules, I’m gonna just say 75% of Ed Sheeran’s discography – I saw him live in Cardiff last week and ever since I’ve been stuck in that phase of rediscovering every song he’s ever released and how much I love the all. Current favourites are definitely You Need Me I Don’t Need You, UNI and New Manthough.

2 – Quarter Past Midnight, Bastille

omg. this song. is one that I very much like and I’ve not had enough chance to talk about with other people, so if you’re also a Bastille nerd then hello please can we discuss how good this song is.

3 – Shotgun, George Ezra

I’ve almost definitely put this in a playlist on here before but in the last few weeks especially, it’s become my go-to song to make me feel summery.

4 – Torn on the Platform, Jack Penate

I found this song while listening to Radio 2 (I feel old, just to clarify it was not my choice of radio station), and thanks to the wonders of Shazam now being built into Snapchat, a Spotify-streaming-love-affair began.

5 – Spiritual Dark Age, To Kill A King

I went through a bit of a TKAK phase a few years ago but I haven’t really liked/heard much of their stuff since then. Spiritual Dark Age has been the first thing to really catch my ear and earn its place onto my monthly playlist (which is highly selective, as you can tell by the approx. 170 song length…), and I definitely recommend it for something a bit more chilled but happy.

6 – Carolina, Harry Styles

Yes, I did write a whole post about how much I love Harry Styles’ album, but I think Carolina is my ultimate fave. It’s very much ~a bop~, and I don’t say that lightly…

7 – Lost in Japan, Shawn Mendes

I’ve never really considered myself a Shawn Mendes fan, but Lost in Japan plus owning up to how many of his other songs has made me reconsider, even though I still get him, Charlie Puth and Troye Sivan mixed up…

8 – Trigger, Anne Marie

I don’t know what it is about this song over others on her album, but this has become such an earworm for me, and also regularly makes me dance (and as people who know me can testify, I do not dance when sober, so that’s quite a feat).

9 – Smoke and Mirrors, Paloma Faith

Not gonna lie, I first found this song when my best friend was spamming me with ~girl power anthems~ after a breakup, but this is the main one that’s transferred from the ‘yasss you can do this’ pep talk playlist to my everyday one. It’s sassy and brilliant, though that may be more just because it’s Paloma Faith.

10 – Delicate, Taylor Swift

So I know reputation came out approximately forever ago, and I listened to it then and then just kinda forgot about it, but Delicate has suddenly popped up again and become a solid favourite.

11 (told you it wasn’t going to be 10!!!) – If You’re Over Me, Years & Years

This is another post-breakup banger and it’s also something that makes me sing out loud, and a bit like sober dancing, that never happens.

12 – Too Much Fun, Sea Girls

Another Radio 2 find (oh no), this is another summery fun song that just puts me in a great mood.

13 – Barbed Wire, Tom Grennan

I know someone who saw Tom Grennan live a few months ago, and I am very jealous because this is now one of my favourite songs ever. And yes, I’m all too aware I’ve said that about at least 50% of this playlist so far.

14 – Born To Be Yours, Kygo ft. Imagine Dragons

Another classic Kygo banger, don’t think any more description is needed really.

15 – Rise, Jonas Blue, Jack & Jack

Jonas Blue’s always been very take-it-or-leave-it for me, but something about this track has really caught my attention. Again it’s just a song that makes me happy, which is good enough for me.


 

Andddd that’s it, with only five extra songs (pretty good for me and my indecisiveness…). What are your thoughts on my picks, and what have you been listening to lately?

 

the album I never thought I’d be writing a blog post about

I’ve had a few ideas for blog posts tumbling around in my head lately, and although this wasn’t the first one I came up with – that was some top tips for doing the IB, but given my current stress level it may be best to leave that until after my exams – this album has been on repeat in my head for the last few days and is a completely unexpected new favourite of mine. Partly unexpected because its very, very rare for me to listen to a full album (even more so for me to like everything on it) and partly because…well, it’s Harry Styles, of One Direction fame. I never loved One Direction – though equally I didn’t understand the depths with which some people hated them – and didn’t pay much attention to any of their debut stuff when it first came up. A couple of their solo singles made it onto my Spotify playlists, but I made no effort to go and listen to full albums or anything.

This began to change the other week, when I rewatched Dunkirk with some friends and remembered Harry Styles’ existence. In true procrastinating student fashion I then ended up watching his Carpool Karaoke with James Corden, which is pretty great (highlights include their rendition of Hey Ya! and recreation of Titanic). After watching that I ended up listening to all of his album and, completely unexpectedly, I loved it. It’s been in my head so much the last few days that I figured I’d write a blog post about it, breaking it down into each track and my thoughts, in the hope it’ll finally get it out of my head…

Meet Me in the Hallway

This is quite a chilled, laidback start to the album and wasn’t a track I particularly paid attention to start with but, though it’s not one of my favourites, has grown on me a lot. It’s easy to listen to and relaxing and I love the chorus – I think it does a really good job of livening the track up a bit without losing the dreamy feeling of the rest of it. It also opens up the album immediately showing that this is not going to be a One Direction clone, which is nice.

Sign of the Times

This song is probably what actually stopped me from bothering to look into his music before because I was profoundly unbothered by it when it first came out as his debut single. It was OK, a bit different from One Direction but nothing drastic. Listening to it now I definitely like it more than I did then but it’s probably one of my least favourites on the album. The dramatic strings from 1:33 onwards get a shoutout though, and I discovered that it is actually him being suspended from a helicopter in the music video, not a stunt double, which is pretty incredible.

Carolina

Carolina’s the third track on the album and from its opening notes its showing a different side to ‘solo Harry’ – a bit funkier, a bit livelier, a bit less restrained. The opening riff’s the kinda thing you can’t listen to without letting your head bop along (bop is a fantastic verb and this song is very deserving of its use) and as the layers start to build it just gets funkier (I especially love the little ‘oh yeah’s). The vocals start off pretty laidback but quickly ramp up at the chorus, giving it more of a rock-y vibe than the first few tracks. Then the brilliant ‘la la las’ start up, giving the song a really fun vibe – Harry said in an interview that this was the last song written for the album and gave it a kinda missing piece of fun, which is definitely how it feels. The layers keep building up and, in my entirely objective opinion, the song just gets better and better – it definitely cheers me up in the middle of revision, anyway! Also, love the guitar on this.

Two Ghosts

If you’ve heard of this song, you likely know it as ‘the one about Taylor Swift’. This is another one I really like, and I can personally really relate to the lyrics. Musically, the little guitar riff throughout is beautiful, and the return to the more laidback vibe provides a really nice contrast to Carolina. I’d definitely say it’s more pop-y, more along the lines of some of One Direction’s stuff, but that’s absolutely not a bad thing.

Sweet Creature

Sweet Creature‘s another more chilled one, but a little more folk-y? (I’m not very good at identifying musical genres so feel free to tell me there is absolutely nothing folk-like about it at all haha) It’s similar-ish to Two Ghosts and just a really nice, laidback song for a Sunday evening, and I especially like all the backing vocal bits around 2:30.

Only Angel

So the opening to this track is pretty misleading about the overall vibe of it, as it quickly changes into being much more rock-like. This is one that kinda escaped my notice at first, but now I absolutely love it – it’s great for yelling along to in the kitchen while baking cookies (absolutely not that I was doing that ten minutes ago…). It’s veryyyy different to One Direction and more along the lines of Carolina, once again with great backing vocals and clapping bits, and the little instrumental bit around 3:15 is one of my favourite things in the world right now.

Kiwi

This is one of my absolute favourite songs at the moment, and it’s the most non-One-Direction like one on the album – Harry said himself that it started out as a joke but ended up as one of his favourite songs, which kinda explains the lyrics a bit! Similarly to Only Angel it’s great for just yelling along to (very handy stress reliever for a currently very stressed student with exams in three days) and has kinda become my personal hype song? I don’t know how either, but I’m not disappointed. For the optimum first listening experience, I recommend playing it as loud as you can. Side note – I really love the bridge.

Ever Since New York

I wouldn’t say this is one of the stand-out memorable tracks on the album, but its got a lot of good stuff going on (even if the very opening does remind me of the music they use at the start of lots of programmes about schools on TV – just me?!) It’s apparently thought to be about his stepdad’s cancer diagnosis which adds a whole different level of poignancy to the lyrics – my favourite is probably ‘There’s no water in this swimming pool’ (I always love a good water metaphor). It’s obviously quite a sad song, but in a way that feels chilled out rather than full-on make-you-cry, which is nice.

Woman

Woman perks the album up a bit again, going back to the heavier sound of Only Angel and Kiwi, but a bit more chilled out. It starts with a nice bit of piano and guitar, soon followed by some duck-style sound effects (don’t sound as bad as you think they would). Yeah, not sure what else to say except I like it…

From The Dining Table

First things first – I LOVE the opening guitar motif. I know I’ve said that about basically every track on the album but its all true, okay?!? This is definitely one of my favourites, and like Two Ghosts, I can really relate to the theme of the song. This is definitely not one to cheer you up, but its the kinda song that makes me really think and gets me in the feels, as the ~youth~ say. I also love the change in melody around ‘maybe one day you’ll call me and tell me that you’re sorry too’ – there’s just something about it that I really love, as well as the poignancy with ‘but you, you never do’. I just think the whole song does a really good job of capturing heartbreak without trivialising it or being clichéd.

A Few Final Notes (Musical Pun Absolutely Intended, sorrynotsorry)

I feel like you can split this album fairly easily into ‘chilled out, a bit sad’ and ‘jump around and sing along’, though somehow it still manages to feel pretty cohesive. I just really like it to be honest, hence the fact its got a whole blog post to itself, especially as I never thought I’d be such a Harry Styles fan. I’m also impressed by how true to thestudio versions all his live versions sound – I never realised he could actually sing so well. I also now firmly believe pretty much everything he sings ends up golden – see his cover of Fleetwood Mac’s The Chain, Rihanna’s Wild Thoughts (which I don’t even like the original of) and One Direction’s Stockholm Syndrome for proof…

What are your thoughts on Harry Styles’ solo music?

Music of the Month: January 2017

I know there’s 10 days left of January but a) I have lotssss of music in my January playlist already and b) I’m actually in New York (omg) at the end of January so I feel like if I don’t write this now it’ll never get done. Anyhow, here are some of my favourite songs from 2017 so far…

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Let’s Dance To Joy Division The Wombats

When The Sun Goes Down Arctic Monkeys

Foundations Kate Nash

How Far I’ll Go Alessia Cara (from ‘Moana’)

Cocoon Milky Chance

Shape Of You/Castle On The Hill Ed Sheeran (which of these do you like best? interestingly, a lot of guys I’ve spoken to don’t like Shape of You whereas most girls do?? Also, reputable sources have told me COTH is just Ron Weasley’s life story. The more you know…)

Livewire Oh Wonder

Oops Little Mix

No Lie Sean Paul ft. Dua Lipa

We Got U Lemaitre

I Don’t Wanna Live Forever Zayn & Taylor Swift

Inhale Kate Miller – I found this on Spotify ages ago from a Buzzfeed playlist but never really listened to it much till this month, when it’s become one of my go-to songs for walking to college.

Talking To You Izzy Bizu

Records Y.V.E. 48 feat. Hier

Going On Gnarls Barkley (if you like this, I also recommend Ella Eyre’s cover)

Can’t Stop Red Hot Chili Peppers

Naïve The Kooks

Love Is All I Got Feed Me ft. Crystal Fighters (+ the Friction remix of this)

Runaways Sam Feldt

All Night/These Nights/Ways I Can’t Tell/Good Girls Crystal Fighters

Notion/Jungle/Gemini Tash Sultana

Alright Supergrass

Best Fake Smile James Bay

On Hold The xx

Wake Up Circa Waves

Blame – Bunker Sessions Bastille

Redbone Childish Gambino


what songs have you been listening to this month?

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Music of the Month: October/November

I know it’s been over a month since I last posted, but I’m just going to jump straight back in with a mega, bumper Music of the Month which I think mostly covers October and November? I’ve kinda lost track tbh, but here’s a bunch of music I like…

music-of-the-month

Albums

You Haunt Me Sir Sly

Death Of A Bachelor (+ This Is Gospel & Build God, Then We’ll Talk) Panic! At The Disco

Vessel (+ bonus tracks) twenty one pilots

Wild World (Complete Edition) Bastille

Songs

Final Song

Never Be Like You Flume ft. Kai

Human Rag’n’Bone Man

After the Afterparty Charli XCX ft. Lil Yachty

Re-arrange Biffy Clyro

Lovesick Mura Masa

24k Magic Bruno Mars

Water Under The Bridge Adele

Starboy/False Alarm/Sidewalks The Weeknd (+the Kygo remix of Starboy)

Would I Lie To You John Gibbons

Shout Out To My Ex Little Mix

Unknown Tuvaband

Treat You Better/Mercy Shawn Mendes

Fresh Eyes Andy Grammer

In The Name Of Love Martin Garrix

All We Know The Chainsmokers

Love Me Now John Legend

All Night The Vamps/Matoma

The Mack Nevada

The Greatest Sia

Say You Won’t Let Go James Arthur

Rockabye Clean Bandit ft. Sean Paul & Anne-Marie

Highs & Lows Emeli Sandé

By Your Side Jonas Blue

Call On Me (Ryan Riback Remix) Starley

Liquid Lunch/Tangled Up/That Man/A Night Like This Caro Emerald

I’ve Got A Dream/Mother Knows Best/When Will My Life Begin? Tangled

That’s My Girl Fifth Harmony

So Good Louisa Johnson

Don’t Wanna  Know Maroon 5

Quick Step Maceo Parker

Stayin’ Alive Say Lou Lou

Anywhere Passenger

Dye My Hair ALMA

Good Girls Crystal Fighters

Love On Me Galantis

Starving Hailee Steinfeld

Sexual NEIKED

When You Love Someone James TW

Crazy In Love Eden Project ft. Leah Kelly/Oh Wonder

Fuel To The Fire Rationale

When I Wake Up Lions Head

Can’t Help Falling In Love Twenty One Pilots

Feel Good/Put Your Records On Aslove

Let Me Hold You Cheat Codes

This Town Niall Horan

Renegades X Ambassadors

Cheap Thrills Vitamin String Quartet

Danza 2016 Lucky Chops

listen to this playlist on Spotify here


What’ve you been listening to this month?

 

Summer In Songs

As some of you might already know, and might’ve guessed due to the lack of posts over the summer, I had a veryyy busy few months. It was one of the best summers ever, and as much as I want to (and may still) do a mega write up with tons of photos etc, I feel like as a lot of my memories from the summer are associated with music, it made sense and seemed more interesting to make a playlist of all the songs I have distinct memories of, and explain the stories behind a few. I’m still hoping to do a mega playlist post of all my favourite songs from the summer, but these have all been chosen with a specific even in mind…


All The Right Moves – One Republic

Raging – Kygo feat. Kodaline

Viva La Vida – Coldplay

This, as well as the previous two, were all chosen from the Radio 1 Big Weekend back in May. One Republic, Kygo and Coldplay were all amazing, and that weekend was just a real highlight of my whole year – Thursday was my birthday, Friday I had a birthday meal out with friends, Saturday I did a charity 5K with a friend and then on Sunday I went to Big Weekend with so many friends, which was amazing.

Talk Dirty – Jason Derulo

Anaconda – Nicki Minaj

This and Talk Dirty date back to prom specifically, but really encompass my last three years at school…Talk Dirty has a very specific memory from our Year 9 battlefields trip that involves some ~interesting~ dancing, and Anaconda has music GCSE memories and a lot more attached.

Lovely – twenty one pilots

Bonkers – Dizzee Rascal

I think this has been played at every party I went to this summer, and every time it was amazing. Such a classic.

Mr Brightside – The Killers

I remember everyone wanting to hear this at the end of one party, but not being able to find it, then it ended up making me cry at the last party of the summer because a) it always makes me emotional and b) ALL THE FEELS about leaving school and my friends and it all just kinda hit then.

Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen 

Same as Bonkers. And everybody always knows the words so it just turns into singalong squad goals.

Step Into The Light – Teminite feat. Jonah Hitchens

One Dance/Hasta el Amanecer – Alex Aiono

This and Step Into The Light remind me of a couple of days with two of my best friends between my trips to Holland and Scotland, when we went swimming at a local lido and absolutely froze and then had the best evening attempting hair chalking and just having a laugh. It’s hard to do it justice in words but it was just so, so fun.

Over and Done With – The Proclaimers

This is the product of a trip to Scotland and finally watching Sunshine On Leith…

XO – Eden Project

Middle – DJ Snake feat. Bipolar Sunshine

Can’t Hold Us – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

This is for one of my best friends and her amazing talent that we discovered at a party – she can rap the entire thing, even under the influence of alcohol, word for word. It’s pretty impressive, ngl.

Dance Wiv Me – Dizzee Rascal & Calvin Harris

Same as above, except it was just aforementioned best friend and my boyfriend singing and we were all stood there like ‘how do you know these words’. Fun times.

Wonderwall – Oasis

Same party, but at this point we were all sat round the fire with a guitar singing a bit of Oasis, as you do.

Millionaire – Cash Cash & Digital Farm Animals feat. Nelly

Good Grief – Bastille

Nobody To Love – Sigma

For some reason I can remember that this was on the radio when we were coming back from a beach trip, and yeah, it just reminds me of that trip.

Forest – twenty one pilots

Bouncy Ball (from High School Musical) – Bad Lip Reading

I know this isn’t technically a song, but it was such a big part of my summer I couldn’t resist…the specific memories involve me, two friends and my boyfriend, blowing up balloons, my friend and I walking back from Waitrose to discover the other two bathing their feet in our (admittedly amazing) bath  and then attempting basketball and smashing a light in the process. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination…

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Take On Me – a-Ha (Kygo remix)

That moment my friend and I discovered someone else who liked Kygo at my party and just added half his album to the Spotify queue. Whoops…

This Girl – Kungs vs. Cookin’ On 3 Burners

Hair – Little Mix feat. Sean Paul

This reminds me of driving back when my sister picked me up from work on a really sunny day and we got McDonalds and this song was on the radio or we were talking about it or something and for once we weren’t really arguing.

If You Got The Money – Jamie T

How Would You Like It – Lauren Aquilina

I had to include this because a) Lauren’s debut album finally came out this summer and omg it was amazing and b) I had the best time reviewing it with Eve.

Manhattan Skyline – David Shire

The most recent addition, I played this in jazz band yesterday. It’s 70s disco from Saturday Night Fever and the strings are just amazing and it’s just amazing.

Are there any particular songs you associate with your summer? Which of these songs is your favourite?

Lauren Aquilina – Isn’t It Strange (collab review)

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You might remember that wayyy back in May, the fantastically awesome Eve @ Twist In The Taile and I did a collaborative review of Lauren Aquilina’s Ocean EP and various other newish music she released, in preparation for her ~debut album~ release. And now, finally, (or as of August 25th anyway) her album is out, so of course mega fangirls Eve and I decided we should (virtually) get together again and review it. Amazingly, we managed to flail over the whole 10-track album in just one hour (our fangirling must be getting much more productive/we barely had to listen to the tracks because we knew them so well already) and produced these incredibly concise and well written reviews (jk they’re inarticulate badly punctuated fangirling word vomit I’ve made slightly more coherent but at least it’s REALISTIC (or that’s what I keep telling myself)). Anyway, here are our thoughts, track by track…

isnt-it-strange-album-art

Midnight Mouths

I wasn’t really that keen on this the first time I heard it, but I definitely think its grown on me. I really like how the texture thickens before the first chorus, it feels like it makes it more powerful and I also quite like the new-era Aquilina electronicy vibe. Also, likemost of her songs, the lyricism is amazing…especially ‘it’s just the lonely talking’, and ‘We’re in too deep, so let go of my hand”.

Eve:I wasn’t as keen on this on on my first listen — like, when they were released earlier? I think I was feeling a bit negative about all the electronic production compared to Lauren;s old stuff. BUT BUT BUT now I do really enjoy this one, especially the chorus! It’s VERY catchy. And I also love the whole ‘midnight mouths’ and the aesthetic of it haha.

Wicked Game

This feels like a different, more adult Lauren, more mysterious and and dramatic, especially because, as Eve put it, of the contrast between the darker lyrics and the more dance-y production style, and also the pitch of her voice is much lower than a lot of her others songs. I also really like the contrast between the lower pitched verses and then the higher choruses. Eve and I also both thought the lyrics were specific-but-vague-and-extremely-relatable at the same time…they apply both to the specific situation she’s writing about, but also to a lot of wider aspects of life, like ‘nobody ever taught me to play this wicked game’ kinda reminded me of how much of life you’re just expected to know how to navigate alone It feels like you can apply it to almost anything which is one of the best things for you to be able to do with music. Also, side note, I seriously love the lines ‘He said he didn’t do commitment/With tattoos on his skin/Maybe I wasn’t worth the pain’ and ‘
I’ve been thinking about death/But I’ll hold my breath’.

EveI absolutely ADORE this one honestly, and I do feel like this is a more grown-up song on this album. But asdfjkl the lyrics are so wonderful (‘I’ve been thinking about death but I’ll hold my breath’ arghh). SPOOKY.  Basically the high notes on the chorus just give me the chills every time. man I do just really love this song eek.

Kicks

I love this song so much, ever since I first heard it, and the lyrics are just OMG AMAZING. ALSO KICKS = KICKING ME AROUND = PUNS/WORDPLAY = LOVE. (*pause for Eve and I to flail about amazing wordplay*). Plus yay for positivity, especially ‘I’m done being down about this’…and I also like the more modern-y electronicy-ness. Overall this song feels more mature, and the message feels less naive than some of the old-era Aquilina songs.

Eve:  I love how the production feels, like…really seamless? And YAY for positive songs! Like the claps and the little electronic-y riff thing are so awesome.  I feel like a bunch of songs on here seem older? Not, like, OLDER. But I guess more mature haha. There are loads of different (relationship, song, whatever) dynamics. Lots of different situations and messages and stuff. *nods*

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How Would You Like It?

I love this song so much! It’s more stripped-back and that makes it a nice contrast to the rest of the album and lets the emotion really shine through…it feels very raw and powerful and again, even if not in this context/situation i feel like the whole ‘how would you like it’ message is very relatable and applicable in a number of contexts, which I really like.

Eve: Also gives me the chills. This is one I loved from first listen, I think — although it’s only improved with listening. WOW SO MUCH EMOTION. So much lyrics. And I think the more stripped production works well here. (*is feeling so many things as I listen to chorus woah*) . I also…find myself singing this a lot? Yeah. And THE BRIDGE IS SO WONDERFUL.

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Way Too Good

Okay I absolutely LOVE this song (such sad times when my boyfriend said it sounded like a ‘crappy christmas song’ like oi no this song is a masterpiece. The lyrics are so good and the stripped-down-ness really works well but for me the main thing about this song is the lyrics. I especially like  ‘If nothing is meant to last maybe we should drink to that’. I can totally relate to the feeling that everythings too good and something’s going to go wrong. 

Eve: Okay, this one is ALSO one of my favourites. (I think I’ve said this way too many times but I do adore this.) I looove the kinda humming bit at the start?? Idk what that is but yeah. And I love the ‘I am, I am’ and ‘I know, I know’ bits. And THE CHORUS. All the background things. I love the aesthetic of it like ?? idk it feels so classy to me.I like the whole vibe of kinda…being in the moment? (This is a terrible description. But yes.) And the kinda overlays of her voice on the last chorus are stunning. [insert heart eye emoji] 

Hurt Any Less

The start is so good! A real contrast to the last one but it works really well, then the slowing down at the chorus and yes again the contrast between tempo and melody and lyrics. I also just love the melody of ‘why did you have to let me let you in’. Yep it’s amazing and I also like that it *feels* happy even though it def isn’t, kinda bittersweet, as Eve put it.

Eve: This one…also SO GOOD. *cries* (way too good even) (ha) (anyway) I also really enjoy listening to the pre-chorus bit? Like, I LOVE THAT. ‘this was never love it was chaos’ is such a fabulous line. And yep, the contrast between the tempo of chorus and the rest is so wonderful, works very effectively. I also feel like ‘I gave everything expecting nothing’ is a bit of a theme across some of the songs? (Idk, i feel like there was a similar line somewhere haha.) YES overall honestly this is also absolutely stellar a+. 

 

Fools – Live at RAK Studios

I read somewhere that she rerecorded Fools because her voice has changed and I also agree with something else she said, about the way she sings it now is more serious and less naive because she knows how the relationship ends. Also can we please have a round of applause that she wrote this aged 16?!?! (how can she do this, GCSE music composition was hard enough!!!) Also, it’s very stripped back and bare, maybe because it’s live? Also, because this was one of the first songs she ever released, it feels like quite an important one in her career so it’s nice to have that on the album.

Eve:  I like that this one feels less hurried, too — a little more reflective. Maybe that’s the lack of drums & like less piano and stuff?  (also wow live honestly wow) I quite like having Fools on the album in some ways bc it feels like a sorta…full circle? And as well with that line at the end of Broke. ‘Those hardest to love need it most’ is still SUCH a powerful line tbh. The new piano stuff is rad as well yep. (idk if it’s like new but I think it’s a bit louder & different? Yes anyway wonderful) 

Suddenly Strangers

Ahh this is just WAY TOO GOOD (wink wink nudge nudge). One reason I really love this song  is because just before the album announcement she put on facebook etc a thing about how people can go from so close to completely separate so fast…I also love the ‘isn’t it strange’ line. And ‘from talking every waking hour to not knowing where you are now’ line…and it also feels very relatable because of the fear of how a relationship is going to eventually end. 

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Eve: Ah love the start to this, feels a bit water-y idk. It works v well as the album title too, and once again with the specific/relatable thing — I mean I relate to this a lot  Suddenly Strangers is also such a fab line on its own, tbh. (sibilance! knowledge!) I also liked the combination of slightly electronic but also minimal production? (If that makes sense. The whole thing just feels very smooth to me.) Just hearing a little drum beat thing-y in the pre-chorus and IT IS VERY NICE. also the drum beat on the chorus is pretty nice *nods* 

Thinking About

This feels very pared down, there aren’t many lines or backing but it still feels quite powerful…side note is it me or has the album got more pared down and simplistic and almost darker the further down the tracklist you go? It’s like it follows a relationship’s journey or something, and at the end it’s like the problems are more serious & unavoidable. Overall, I wouldn’t say it’s my favourite song  but “all i’m thinking about is not thinking about you” is one of my fave lines on the album i think. 

Eve: I was so excited to listen to this one because I remember I watched a youtube clip of her performing this live a while ago? And all the time I was waiting for the album I remembered the lyric ‘all I’m thinking about is not thinking about you’ haha. I feel like it gets more…like, serious and reflective? Bc wicked games & midnight mouths ARE the slightly more kinda tunes with more instruments & dance-y production. But also there are some quite dark lyrics throughout the whole album tbh. But I like that it does seem to follow a slightly linear thing…? OKAY just listening to that awesome piano bridge bit thing and WOW. Again getting slightly water-y vibes. The one piano note that gets played is also very cool…? And the verse has such like argh idk it just seems like a great start to the song for me. Mm yes I don’t think it’s one of my absolute favourites overall but definitely another strong song (and reminds me a little more of like kinda liars-y production? Idk yeah with all those floaty piano things and stuff.) 

Ocean

Eve: This is SUCH a great ending tbh. (& sure! Maybe we can touch a little more on like general stuff as well, haha we discussed it a bit above but. Let me know when you have to go!) Yeah so I think this is a great ending, I love the kinda catharsis & freedom of it. It feels a lot more abstract than the others & I think it’s good contrast…? (<— I 100% agree with all of this)

Overall Thoughts

I definitely think it was an album worth waiting for, you can tell its not the first collection of songs she’s released and i really like it. It’s honestly amazing in my humble opinion. 10/10 methinks.

Eve: One random thing I noticed about the whole album in general is that there are a lot more like specific third person pronouns used? I mean, not a LOT more. But there’s also like more than just ‘you’ n stuff which I found interesting. I feel like lyrically it’s less abstract; like still absolutely stunning lyrics but more cutting to the point and less vague imagery if you get me…? Honestly…tbh I adore every song on this. I think I do enjoy it more than the Ocean EP? Although Echoes was fab. 10/10 one of my fav recent albums i will be dying over this forever.


And there you have it, a track-by-track, vaguely incoherent review/fangirl session of Lauren Aquilina’s debut album, Midnight Mouths!

Have you heard the album? What were your thoughts, and which tracks do you especially like?

– n.b. all images via Lauren’s Facebook/Instagram accounts

Music of the Month: July

MUSIC OF THE MONTH (4)

I’m back! I’m back! I’m back! (*mentally sings Back For Good*)

In true ‘me’ style, I’m now just going to gloss over my month’s worth of absence (in my defence I was in Cornwall, then Holland, then Scotland, then Exmouth…and yes, I promise to post about them soon, I was just too lazy to get all the photos together tonight) and throw a months worth of my favourite music at you…

False Alarm – Matoma feat. Becky Hill

Vessel (deluxe edition) – twenty one pilots (specifically Lovely, House of Gold, Ode To Sleep and Forest)

Tilted – Christine and the Queens

Capsize – FRENSHIP feat. Emily Warren

City Bird – Bud feat. Origin One

 

Over And Done With – The Proclaimers (I highly recommend the film of Sunshine on Leith, fyi)

Alarm – Anne-Marie (why oh why has my brain forever tainted songs entitled ‘alarm’ with associations of Nicki Minaj and Pound The Alarm)

Step Into The Light – Teminite feat. Jonah Hitchens (the sax solo on this is just too good and this song is one of my current go-to pick-me-ups, I love it so much <3) 

Cold Water – Major Lazer feat. Justin Bieber and MØ

Addicted Love, I Wish & Make It Funky – Maceo Parker

Wake Me Up – Dirty Loops

Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) – Buddy Rich

Dancing On My Own – Calum Scott (this makes me tearful basically every time but I love it)

One Dance/Hasta el Amanecer – Alex Aiono (bonus points for the flawless Spanish accent) (also his cover of Kent Jones’ Don’t Mind)

Fake It – Bastille

How Would You Like It – Lauren Aquilina

Perfect Strangers – Jonas Blue feat. JP Cooper

XO – Eden Project

Lost Boy/Talk Me Down/For Him – Troye Sivan


And that is my grand return to blogging in a couple of paragraphs and thirty songs. Hopefully it won’t be so long until my next post!

– AOT

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Music of the Month: June

MUSIC OF THE MONTH (3)

OK so the title may lie a bit…this is kinda my favourite songs from June but also a load of stuff from the whole four days of July we’ve had so far, but it’s been so long since I’ve done one of these (/blogged at all, shh) that I thought I’d stick them in anyway. okeydokes, here you go…

You Haunt Me – Sir Sly

This whole album is so good, but my *absolute favourites* have to be Where I’m Going, Ghost, Gold, Helpless/Bloodlines Pt. II – Medley and Too Far Gone. They’re all just so good and relaxing and great though, kinda twenty one pilots-esque, so mega creds to my boyfriend for introducing me to them because they’re now one of my current favourite bands.

We Don’t Talk Anymore – Charlie Puth feat. Selena Gomez

I wouldn’t call either of these artists I especially like, they’re alright but that’s it, but I surprisingly like this song – it sticks in my head and ahh I just really like it. It’s kinda relaxed and chilled and I like it.

Final Song – MØ

If It Ain’t Love – Jason Derulo

Quick heads up: this song is SO. GOOD. for running to, as is Light It Up by Major Lazer feat. Nyla.

Middle – DJ Snake

Hotter Than Hell – Dua Lipa

Give Me Your Love – Sigala feat. John Newman and Nile Rodgers

Buyo and Best Things – Lucky Chops

WILD – Troye Sivan feat. Alessia Cara

This is also co-written by Alessia and she’s basically one of my favourite singers and songwriters ever so yeah, I was pretty much guaranteed to love this.

Are We Ready? (Wreck) – Two Door Cinema Club

Just Like Fire – Pink

This Girl – Kungs vs. Cookin’ On Three Burners (how did they come up with that name?!?)

i hate u, i love u – gnash feat. Olivia O’Brien

Cut To Black – Lemaitre

The Temple EP – Parson James

Take It Back – Ed Sheeran

The chorus of this is really catchy and I just love all of Ed Sheeran’s lyrics tbh.

Know-It-All (Deluxe) – Alessia Cara

I think I might know the words to every song on this album, I love it so much. The songs and the songwriting and everything are just too perfect for words.

Moanin’ – Mingus Big Band

I feel like I might be approximately twenty years late to the party but OH MY THIS IS GOOD. ESPECIALLY THE BARI SAX RIFF AT THE START. *faints and dies*

Groovin’ Hard – Buddy Rich

This is one of my absolute favourite pieces to play on trumpet, and listening to it isn’t half bad either.

Heathens – Twenty One Pilots

Good Grief – Bastille

uh, does this even need an explanation?! At a party last weekend, a Bastille song came on and my friend, who was, uh, fairly drunk, came up to me like “OOH this is Bastille” “yeeeesss…” “you LOVE Bastille” “yes, I do”. Either her ability to recall this is because she’s a really great friend or, much more likely, I occasionally may have let my fangirling get a *little* bit out of control…

Send My Love (To Your New Lover) – Adele (+ most of 25 really)

Gold – Kiiara

Sit Still, Look Pretty – Daya

Say It (feat. Tove Lo)/Never Be Like You (feat. Kai) – Flume

I Remember – AlunaGeorge

I Wanna Know – Alesso feat. Nico & Vinz

The Scientist – Coldplay


aaanddd I’m going to stop there before I add anything else…why am I so incapable of making short playlists?!?

What are your thoughts on my picks? What music have you been especially loving lately?

*listen to all these songs in one playlist here*

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The Start Of Summer: Radio 1 Big Weekend

Wahey, wahoo, callooh, callay (sneaky Rainbow Rowell reference totally intended), I’m back and alive and blogging again, yay. (I didn’t die or anything, just, y’know, GCSEs…although my social life has improved dramatically during exams, which I’m pretty sure isn’t meant to happen).

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But back to the point – about two weeks ago, in fact right before I wrote my last post, I went to a day of the BBC Radio 1 Big Weekend at Powderham Castle, in my lovely sunnyish home county of Devon. Yay. And now I’ve finally got round to writing about it…

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I technically went with two of my friends, though by the end of the day we’d picked up four more and kinda temporarily met a bunch of others – because it was such a local festival, it felt like half the people I’d ever met were there, which was quite nice.  Anyway, we went on the Sunday, and after arriving, getting food because we’re teenagers and permanently hungry and meeting up with the others, we headed to the main stage, we watched One Republic, who were actually a lot better than expected…as they were the openers for some reason I didn’t think they’d be that great, but they actually completely surpassed my expectations.

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After OneRepublic more food was bought because some people didn’t get round to having breakfast and why not, and then we met up with five or six more friends to watch Kygo at the main stage while a couple of people went to see Panic! At The Disco on the In New Music We Trust stage. Kygo was just as good as I’d hoped (though not quite as good as when I saw him on his Cloud Nine tour in London) and there was a suitable amount of confetti…we all just stood in a line a bit off to the side of the stage and danced for the whole set, so yeah, that was a laugh.

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After Kygo, the group shrunk back to being five of us and we went to the INMWT tent to watch Jack Garratt, though we only managed the first fifteen or twenty minutes of his set because, well, the tent was hot and full and we all got a bit too sweaty, to put it bluntly, so we moved outside and sat in the shade for a half hour or so until Alessia Cara was due on (/we got sick of the Star Wars theme tune being played every time the ride next to us started). I think it was also here that we saw some people dressed as hot dogs/ice cream cones and a guy in short shorts and electric blue tights who made one of my friends get up and do the “hashtag dance” (FOR THE LOVE OF THE HASHTAG) so, uh, yeah.

Alessia Cara was one of the artists I’d most been looking forward to (I think I might know all of the lyrics to the deluxe version of her Know-It-All album off by heart…) and she definitely lived up to my expectations. I just really love her music and how relatable her lyrics are and she seemed so down-to-earth when she was talking between songs, which was really nice (plus we were nearer the front but at the side, so there was less of a heat problem). I think my favourite songs of hers, from what I can remember, may have been Here, Scars To Your Beautiful or River of Tears (I swear part of the chord sequence of the latter is the same as some other really famous song, Snow Patrol or something, but I can’t quite figure it out and it’s seriously bugging me so if anyone can figure it out please feel free to put me out of my misery). Oh, and we briefly met about five more friends there so yeah, that was nice.

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oh, and her hair and style and everything is just so great and I want it

After Alessia Cara we headed back to the main stage to watch Iggy Azalea who was, well, rubbish. You could tell because the camera never panned to the audience after the first five minutes because pretty much everyone was just stood there like is this over yet but hey, I got a decent photo of the stage so I’ll stick that in here anyway and we’ll just forget she ever actually performed.

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About halfway through Iggy four of us decided we’d had enough and headed back over to the INMWT stage (via the churros van because ahem who says no to churros and Belgian chocolate sauce? NOT ME, THAT’S FOR SURE) to meet back up with a friend we’d seen earlier and watch the first bit of Skepta’s set before heading back to the main stage for The 1975. In the end we only caught about two minutes of Skepta before we left so the friend we’d met up with, a diehard The 1975 fan, could get back to the main stage and as close to the front as possible for the start of their set which, incidentally, was quite good.

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Oh, by this point I think we’d also decided to invest in getting our faces PVA’d and glittered because hey, what better to spend £5 on? (it did look pretty damn awesome and the PVA smelled weirdly good (I’M NOT A GLUE SNIFFER PROMISE) and it came off surprisingly easily so yeah, it was worth it, even when it felt like half my face was covered in some weird face mask thing). Anyway, after The 1975 we met back up with the two friends we’d ditched for Skepta and got some lovely, slightly undercooked pizza and chips for dinner. Yum. We then just chilled in the sun whilst Ellie Goulding was on with even more people we knew that we found along the way, before heading back to the main stage for the end of The (very sweary) Weeknd’s set and to await Coldplay (YAY!).

 

For some reason I wasn’t actually that excited about Coldplay (I think Alessia Cara, Kygo and Jack Garratt were the people I was most keen to see) but, as pretty much goes without saying, they were phenomenal. They really upped the confetti game with rainbow confetti, and fireworks, and it turns out that when 25,000 people get out their phone torches at the same time it looks pretty incredible, as proven during The Scientist (oh boy, you know you’re hormonal when you nearly start crying watching that back…please help me, for my own sanity). Oh, and if you watched it on TV and saw an inflatable shark right near the start, I one or two people in front of that :). (and is it just me that thinks one of the Coldplay guitarists looks really like Andy Murray?!)

So yeah, I guess you could say it was a good day and a pretty decent thing to do a few days after your birthday 🙂

Here are a just a few more snaps from the day, some courtesy of my friends…

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