Welcoming In The New Era Of Aquilina {collab review}

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A couple of weeks ago, the lovely Eve (who blogs over at Twist In The Taile and is a fellow Lauren Aquilina fangirl, yay) and I got together (well, opened a shared Google Doc) to discuss/flail over newish Lauren Aquilina songs in the name of reviewing them. Yay. We both love Lauren’s old and new stuff (or as we christened them, Old Aquilina and New Aquilina) and so just listening to her music and talking about it together was basically a dream come true. Our fangirling skills were so great that they even extended to technology (“*FLAILS* *REALISES IS FANGIRLING OVER COMPUTER* *REALISES FORGOT TO TAKE CAPS LOCK OFF*” is just one example).
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 And now, amazingly not even that much later given how distracted we got by her other, non-sufficiently-new songs and thinking up questions for her Kicks Twitter Q&A and then flailing wildly when she replied, here are the results of our many hours of hard fangirling…

Ocean

OK, first up was Ocean, which was released way back in October last year. Here are our thoughts on the video…(I’m just gonna copy and paste this pretty much direct so you can get the full effect so sorry if it’s a lil’ jumbled up…)

ME: So…at first i was like wut is this where is she it looks like the blinds are moving but THEN I was like “yass dem cgi skills though” and I LOVED LOVED LOVED the bit when right at the same time as like loads more instruments come in a massive wave comes in (1:51 if you’re interested). YASS THAT TIMING! Also, as usual, I have a massive style crush on her hair. But yeah, generally kinda ethereal vibes and I like the ocean reflection in the mirror near the end. It’s also nice that it links to the lyrics but gives you space to appreciate the song.

EVE: a+ ocean aesthetic. (aah okay wait excitement about fools SAME I just literally love all her songs so much????)  I mean, mostly Lauren’s videos don’t have like massive stories? BUT I LIKE IT LETS ME FOCUS ON THE SONG. And I like the ocean layering, although at the start I thought it was just terrible graphic effects. Like, trying to actually look like they were filling the room with water.

And now song thoughts…

EVE: At first I was a bit worried about WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO LAUREN?? Electronic wow? And I thought it was a bit repetitive. But NOW. Well. *coughs* I loove Ocean; it’s one of my favs! It’s a different style to her old music for sure — like, there’s less of a clearly defined structure I feel? But OCEAN IMAGERY and ‘i lost my head/somewhere between teh surface and the seabed’ eep. It’s super catchy aah.

ME: OK i have a tiny confession…at first I didn’t like this song. Like I listened to it a couple of times then kinda forgot about it because I wasn’t that keen on it. Like you said, it’s very different to her other stuff. BUT NOW, after listening to it again, I like it! JUST LIKE YOU SAID I love “i lost my head somewhere between the surface and the seabed” and also “they call it freedom but how can it be when I live in a time zone unsuited to me”. I feel kinda attached to that lyric because I think she shared it before the whole song??

Anyway I also really like how it kinda starts bare and then the texture builds up and then fades out again? (sorry that’s like classic GCSE music stuff ahaha) but YES NOW I LIKE IT!

EVE: Ah yes that is an excellent point! And one more thing from me ahaha: like I feel like it’s more abstract than such a clear storyline? But yeah more an emotion of the song idek what I’m trying to say haha. And YES  like it

Our rating: 4/5 (but A* for awesome metaphorical lyrics)

Low (also released October 2015)

EVE: Um, I sort of…didn’t like Low AT ALL when I first heard it. It’s probably still my least favourite of like the New Aquilina songs? I just didn’t really like the production that much haha. But, having said that: STILL MEANS I LIKE IT BECAUSE Y’KNOW IT’S COOL And the lyrics are amaazing.I think I agree the video was a bit abstract tho. (Although one take woah.) YES that is a great line eep.

ME: Asdfghjjkl i forgot how much i love this song i haven’t listened to it in too long…I LOVE the like double vocals? Idk what to call it but they’re awesome.Video wise I like that it’s simple and one take and it *kinda* fits with the lyrics but not that much? It’s maybe a bit too abstract though?

Our rating: 4/5

Out Of Our Depth (released in, you guessed it, October 2o15)

ME: OK writing as i think i like the is it guitar? Different instrumentation anyway…I like the chorus but feel like its maybe a bit anticlimactic?  I also like that this is about a relationship but feels like it could also be applied to other stuff (same with kicks tbh).

EVE: I actually love this one so much! I mean it’s not like a ‘main’ single but asdfjkl I think it’s gorgeous okay I need to stop with the superlatives for a bit. OKAY but yeah I think it is less of a big chorus? Hmm I don’t know I do like it though. And yeah, the lyrics are awesome + I think there are a lot of interpretations! I particularly like the kinda echoey piano thing?? Idk what instrument it actually is but yeah. And the drums at the chorus mmm EXCELLENT (oh yes I see what you mean by the guitar! I AM HEARING THAT.) yeah I think that’s it — this is probably like…more of a favourite for me? I mean, I’m saying that but realising I don’t actually know how I’d rate them in terms of fav-> least fav.

Our rating: 4.5/5

Echoes (released December 2015)

(first off we just fangirled excitedly over the bit at the start)

IDK THE INSTRUMENT BUT THE BIT AT THE START

THE LITTLE LIKE UP AND DOWN BIT?

YESSS YES SO GOOD AHHH

I LOVE THAT SO MUCH (*switches onto caps lock*) & I love how it continues throughout + slightly changes!

And then the rest…

Argh I do love echoes soo much. Probably the song I had the best first impression of + then continued to love! Overall I just love echoes a LOT and I think it’s v strong asdfjkl (although like it is upbeat and it took me a while to realise the lyrics haha) same basically haha. I mean I think some songs rely more on lyrics + some on melody? I think Old Aquilina was maybe more lyrics based but I am loving the new era if it’s like echoes asdfjkl.

5/5??? I literally can’t find any faults ahaha i haven’t even thought that much about the lyrics…I think new era is kinda more abstract and metaphorical lyrics?? 

Our rating: 5/5

And then the Tate x Elle session:

I just love that its at the Tate and this version seems to be more focus on the vocals?? I like it it feels kinda calmer…and I love the aesthetics. 

Ooh this version has more audible piano. Yeah I think so too, it’s lovely to hear vocals live. And I feel like maybe less of the ‘background’ vocals if you get me? Very fitting with the black + white Tate aesthetic is what I’m getting haha.

Echoes {Edeema remix}

My thoughts: loving the instrument at the beginning. I mean, it slightly makes me laugh but yeah. & also I like how there isn’t as a much of a buildup to the chorus I guess? It’s just a bit more chill + relaxed. I do kinda miss the little electronic-y bit at the start? But it’s DIFFERENT and COOL. and yeah overall an excellent remix.

I love this, I love the slightly different instrumentation and generally the laid back vibe. I just love it! Yeah I feel like the instrument thing at the start is kinda a nod to that but you’re right, it’s not the same!

Kicks (released April 2016)

[after watching video] *flails* I FEEL SO PUMPED NOW. yesss upbeat video and awesome song. Kicks is definitely more pop-y & the lyrics are less kinda…lyrical ahaha from old aquilina but IT’S POP PERFECTION. Arghhh amazingness. I liked it less on first try (haha sorry I’m just rambling here) but like NOW YAY & THE VIDEOOOOOO

Okay right I love this! YES THE VIDEO IS GREAT and I love that she included fans, only thing is I can see why she made it all girls but idk it feels maybe a little bit unfair to boys,. Makes it less relatable? But i do get that she’s going for the female empowerment thing…also the Asian girl with the plaits is like ultimate hair goals. Yeah this feels really different to all her other music, way more poppy and upbeat…in terms of lyrics i get what you mean but i do love the line i’m done being down about this…positivity yeah!

Idk yeah that was basically my thing. But I guess it’s a girl power message? Oh my god yeah. AMAZING PLAITS. She was very awesome. Yeah there are some awesome lyrics! It’s just like more succinct rather than poetic I suppose?

Yeah I also like the opening instrumental bit but i wasn’t so sure about the slow bit to start with, I think because all the teasers focused on the upbeat chorussy bit?? But overall me gusta mucho, including the vid and album artwork! And i like (this sounds so geeky omg) the perfect videography (idek if that’s the right word) with the timing of some of the punches haha. And I just realised this is one of the first songs that doesn’t have ocean-y artwork! Yep I feel like this is a hint for how some of her new style stuff is gonna be…

I…can’t actually remember if I listened to the teasers? I think I might have got 1 but I don’t have snapchat haha. YES THE ALBUM ARTWORK IS AWEESOME I’m loving the transition from usual kinda face + name + song title ugh helvetica-y fonts yess. & agreed the timing of some of those shots were great!! Oh that’s true — a lot of her previous kinda header singles have had very oceany stuff as well. Overall I think it’s definitely a transition + more upbeat, but it’s an AWESOME upbeat empowerment song.

Our rating: 4.5 or 5/5 with the video

And so I guess that’s it! Big thanks to Eve for joining me for this, it was so much fun 🙂 – you can read her review on her blog here!

Are you a Lauren Aquilina fan? What are your thoughts on our thoughts? Let us know in the comments!

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Tracklisting Tuesday // BØRNS

Hey!

Welcome back to Tracklisting Tuesday, a feature which I haven’t done for…longer than I’d care to remember! Anyway, today I’m putting the spotlight on BØRNS (real name Garrett Borns), an American singer/songwriter who I first (knowingly) discovered when he did a BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge last week. Here are a few of my favourite songs by him…

  • Electric Love 
  • 10,000 Emerald Pools. I didn’t particularly like this when I first heard it, but I absolutely love it now! 
  • Seeing Stars. This is one of those songs you find yourself humming without realising what it is, y’know? Well worth a listen, in my opinion, just beware of the catchiness! 
  • And finally, his Live Lounge cover of The Weeknd’s ‘I Can’t Feel My Face’. He’s got quite a James Bay thing going on with the hair, hasn’t he?! 

Like what you hear? Well, the Candy EP (with Electric Love, Seeing Stars, 10,000 Emerald Pools and another song called Past Lives on it) is available for £1.99 from Amazon! HURRAY FOR CHEAP MUSIC!

Let me know your thoughts! Which is your favourite song, and have you got any other Tracklisting Tuesday/general music recommendations for me? I’d love to hear them down in the comments! Also, I’m SUPER DUPER HAPPY to announce that I’ve recently surpassed 10,000 views on my blog. WHAAAAT, GUYS?!? Thank you so much for everytime you’ve read my blog, whether this is the first or the zillionth, I appreciate all the views :). THANKS AGAIN GUYS. Also, I have a Composer’s Concert tomorrow where I have to sing my own GCSE music composition with a band. I’M TERRIFIED. WISH ME LUCK.

Anyway, thanks for reading! 😀

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The Return of Tracklisting Tuesday: The Genius That Is Ed Sheeran

Wow, its been a long time since the last TT post, hasn’t it?At least a month because of my An Overthinking Song Challenge thing throughout February…but I’m back now! This week I’m going to be featuring Ed Sheeran, who in my opinion is possibly the most gifted user of a loop pedal known to man. That said, I don’t know of many other people who use a loop pedal, so I’m not sure I’m fit to judge…

Aged 24, he’s released two albums – 2011’s World Music Award-nominated ‘+’ – and 2014’s Grammy-nominated ‘x’. Both Multiply and Plus have been nominated the Brit award for MasterCard British album of the year, with x deservedly scooping it this year. Before +, Sheeran independently released five EPs, including the ‘Songs I Wrote With Amy’ EP, collaboratively written with Amy Wadge, and the ‘No.5 Collaborations Project’ EP, featuring grime artists including Devlin and Wiley.

But enough with the Wikipedia facts machine! Lets get on to some of my favourites…

I recently managed to download his Brits performance of ‘Bloodstream’ for free as well as x for £3.99 on Google Play, and I’ve now become addicted to Bloodstream. Particularly the live version…I saw on Facebook or somewhere a thing that said something like ‘Ed Sheeran: the only artist to use a guitar as a drum’. He just manages to make so much noise and awesomeness using just himself and a loop pedal…listening blindly, I bet you wouldn’t be able to tell there was no band. The loop pedal also helps to build up the intensity and emotion of the performance…none of it is prerecorded, meaning everything has that brilliant raw edge to it.

Another favourite is ‘You Need Me, I Don’t Need You’…the explicit version! There’s an unedited, five-minute-long version you can download for free when you sign up to his mailing list,which is just amazing. The lyrics are clever, it’ll all just awesome…I’ve listened to it so much I can now do parts of the rap!

‘Thinking Out Loud’ has to win every award for most beautiful love song ever. The video is so simple yet stunning…it feels like a song that doesn’t need fancy technology to make it sound good (though I’m sure plenty of technology went into the recording of it!).

‘All Of The Stars’, from the TFiOS soundtrack, is another emotional one that makes me tear up…though I think that’s partly because of the context of the film. IT’S SO SAD!!! I like the video too, with all the quotes…I want a room like that!

My final pick is ‘Photograph’, which I really started listening to when I bought his album. There’s some really beautiful imagery in the lyrics – lines like ‘Hearts are never broken/and times are never frozen still’ and ‘
We keep this love in a photograph/We made these memories for ourselves/Where our eyes are never closing’, so basically the whole chorus!

I love so much of his music, it was really hard to pick out a few songs for this post…earlier stuff like ‘Lego House’ is also great, as well as the popular ‘Sing’ and ‘Don’t’.What do you think of Ed, and what is your favourite or least favourite of his songs?

Hope you enjoyed the return of Tracklisting Tuesday (actually on a Tuesday for once!)

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An Overthinking Song Challenge: February 22nd & 23rd

30 Day Song Challenge- Books, Tea and a (1)

Right, yesterday’s prompt first: A Song You Haven’t Listened To In Ages. Well, I have tons of choices, including most of the Bastille Bad Blood album, but I’m going to highlight ‘Talk To Me’ by Lauren Aquilina. I absolutely love the lyrics in this song, specifically “There’s a universe inside your head, constellations of the things you left unsaid”, but I haven’t listened to it for yonks…maybe because it always makes me feel a little bit sad? Anyway, just going to press play on that now…

Today’s prompt is ‘a song you stumbled across accidently’, or words to that effect. My picks for this are ‘Panic Breeds Panic’ by To Kill A King featuring Holly Walker, and ‘So I Go So You Go’, also by TKAK and Holly Walker. I discovered these after finding ‘Choices’, another favourite, by To Kill A King & Friends on YouTube, and downloading the free EP of ‘Ralph’s Balcony – The Collection’, originally released on pay-what-you-like in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital. Once they reached their target, the EP was released for free. Both my choices (ooh, see what I did there?) were on that EP, stood out to me and the rest is history…however, I haven’t listened to them for ages, so it’s quite nice to rediscover them like this. If you want to hear more To Kill A King, I also highly recommend ‘Cannibals With Cutlery’ and ‘Bloody Shirt’, the latter of which Lux Lisbon also did a freely-available and brilliant cover of.

 

What would your choices be? (Ha, ‘Choices’, geddit? Excuse me whilst I continue to make awful puns…)

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An Overthinking Song Challenge: February 18th

30 Day Song Challenge- Books, Tea and a (1)

Today I get to pick a song by my favourite band! As many of you know, I think Bastille would qualify as my favourite band…I was trying to think of another favourite band. There’s the Saturdays, who I’ve recently rediscovered, but I think that’s about it…I also like Little Mix, but I think Bastille are still coming out on top. All that said, I do think I’m going to have to do a girl band edition of Tracklisting Tuesday when I’ve finished this challenge and am back on a more regular posting schedule!

Anyway, back to the actual point of this post. I’ve picked out two songs for you (I’m actually really bad at only choosing one), one of which was on their debut album, Bad Blood, and one of which is currently unreleased. The former, Get Home, (which was by the way totally not the song I was going to choose), is melancholy, desperate and stripped back. It’s good for making yourself slow down a bit and take more time to think about the world around you. The latter, Blame, is only available on YouTube as live recordings, but sounds amazing. It’s much more electronic-and-heavy-bass orientated, but seriously catchy. I had the lyrics stuck in my head once, and spent ages trying to remember the name of the song!

Which song(s) by your favourite band would you pick?

An Overthinking Teenager

An Overthinking Song Challenge:February 3rd

30 Day Song Challenge- Books, Tea and a (1)

Welcome to today’s cheerful topic of a song that makes me sad! I’m afraid this will be replacing Tracklisting Tuesday today, as I’ve had a busy day of zipwires, high ropes, maths revision, haircuts, and moulding RAF berets and frankly can’t be bothered. Anyway.  I’ve picked out two songs for today’s post: High Hopes by Kodaline, and Talk To Me by Lauren Aquilina. I think the latter inspires such emotion because of how Aquilina sings – you can really feel the depth of emotion that went into writing the song. I find High Hopes sad I think in part due to the lyrics, but also due to the haunting melody.
What songs make you sad?
An Overthinking Teenager

A-Z: An Inventory Of My Music Library

A-Z- INVENTORY OF MUSIC LIBRARY

For this week’s not-quite-Tuesday Tracklisting Tuesday’s post, I had a dig around in my drafts archives and found a post entitled A-Z of my Music Library. I clearly remember that this post was inspired by someone else’s post I enjoyed, but as this draft was about four months old, I’m afraid I don’t know who’s post it was 😦 (if this may have been your post, do let me know!) UPDATE: I think this was my inspiration 🙂 Thanks to BearNextDoor for letting me use it! As I have so.many.songs on my phone, if I’m faced with a choice, I will probably go for one I haven’t already mentioned on this blog, just for a bit of variety…Also, for the sake of your attention span, I’ll keep this list to songs that I actually own, rather than ones I love-but-am-too-broke-to-buy.

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Ella Eyre: Live In Bristol

So, two weeks and a day ago (I can’t believe it was that long ago!), I went with my friend and dad to see Ella Eyre on tour at the Bristol O2 Academy. Back in August, I had discovered her song ‘Comeback’ and fallen in love with the video, before discovering she was taking her solo tour to Bristol, the closest it was going to get to where I live. I suggested it to my friend and persuaded my dad that he wanted nothing more than to take me to this concert, and a week later the tickets were booked.

We missed her first support act, Joel Baker, as we were paying a visit to a nearby Burger King (I don’t normally go to Burger King, but I’ve now discovered I really like it!) but caught the second one, Seinabo Sey. Seinabo had a rich, powerful voice that certainly had similarities with Ella’s, though I don’t think her songs were as pop-like as Ella’s were. She wasn’t chatty, saying she would ‘let her songs do the talking’. She kept singing through a powercut, even when some audience members yelled that they couldn’t hear her – it’s not like she could do much about it! I probably would have preferred it if she spoke about herself/her music a bit more, but despite being shy I enjoyed some of her music. Here is one of her songs that I enjoyed most and that I can still partially remember! I personally feel that the electronic elements in this song had a smoother transition when played live, but I think that most of the time they meld into the background well.

The venue itself was actually really interesting – there was the ground floor, and then there were stairs up to a balcony, where there was a smaller raised platform at the back. We managed to get in on the second-floor balcony behind some student-age couples, the males of which actively danced along and knew the words to every single song, whilst at times their girlfriends appeared to act as if they’d forgotten they knew them! The venue was fairly full – the ground floor was pretty packed, and although there was space on the second floor, there were points around the balcony where it was two deep.

Ella Eyre then came onstage at 9:15, in an interesting outfit – some kind of leopard print, barely opaque all-in-one jumpsuit thing. She was full of energy, although I feel the start of her set may have been better if she started with a couple more well known songs. As well as performing most of her own songs, she did a cover of Sigma and Paloma Faith’s ‘Changing’, which she actually wrote, and a cover of Jermaine Stewart’s ‘We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off’. Songs she performed included ‘Deeper’, ‘Waiting All Night’, ‘Home’, ‘If I Go’, ‘All About You’ and to close the show, ‘Comeback’.

After walking off, she reappeared and asked the crowd if we wanted another song. When a reply came strongly in the affirmative, she announced that she actually had two songs left for us! I can’t remember the first of those two but she finished on ‘Comeback’, which she introduced by saying “Now everyone sing along, because after this one we’re all going home!” – it certainly was satisfying to yell along to!

She was a great performer, and gave us a taste of what’s going to appear on her debut album as well as her previous hits. I ended the night by buying/getting my dad to buy me an incredibly soft-if-big T-shirt, and the arrival back home at gone midnight was well worth it, as was the ticket price taken out of my pocket money. I can’t wait for her album now, and am just as in love with her hair as I was before!

Here are a few videos people near the front put:

‘Changing’:

‘Comeback’ *this one’s explicit*:

‘We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off’:

I actually think the guy that filmed this one was just in front/next to me and my friend…

‘Waiting All Night/Changing’ *yeah, this one’s explicit too*:

This was actually from her Bournemouth show, but replicates pretty clearly her Bristol show.

The only down point of the evening was when we waited outside at the end, but she got immediately put into a car to ‘drive back to London’, apparently – although she had announced that night on Twitter she was going to be meeting people before the show by the merch stand, but that was when the doors opened and we needed to eat something and park first!

My dad, who I’m very grateful to for taking us, was pretty funny – he took his iPad, and whenever we looked up to the platform where he was stood, he was on his iPad or looked to be asleep! Haha 🙂 Thanks dad!

Have you seen anybody live, and have you visited the O2 Academy in Bristol?

An Overthinking Teenager

Expectations

I think we all feel like this sometimes.

Tracklisting Tuesday: Fancy Getting Hypnotised?

Is that the right spelling for hypnotised? Who knows?!

Anyway, this week’s Tracklisting Tuesday post is coming to you courtesy of LA singer Jillian Banks, more commonly known as BANKS. BANKS’ music is beautifully hypnotic, relaxing and perfect for Sunday evenings. I won’t elaborate too much and will leave you with just a few of my favourites…