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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An Overthinking Interview: Lauren Aquilina

Background Image from Lauren's Facebook page

            Background Image from Lauren’s Facebook page

*EXCITING THINGS WARNING KLAXON*

Today I have something VERY EXCITING (shush, calm down, me) and a bit different…it’s an interview with one of my favourite singers, the wonderful Lauren Aquilina. (I apologise in advance for my cringy fangirling behavious that will undoubtedly occur during the course of this post!).

                                     Source: gifhell.com, via giphy.com

Those of you who have followed my blog from its early stages may know of my love for her music (she was the focus of one of my very first Tracklisting Tuesdays posts, and I also featured her as part of TT here) Lauren is 19 and from Bristol, and recently signed to Island Records in the UK  (home of such incredible artists as Jack Johnson, Drake, Leona Lewis, Ariana Grande, Annie Lennox, Hozier and even U2) and Republic Records in the USA (think James Bay, Angel Haze, Lorde and Sigma). According to her Island Records artist page, Lauren’s been songwriting since the age of five and playing piano since the age of seven, and says “It’s such a cliché but music literally is everything to me”. She’s sold over 100,000 EPs in total, and is also a big fan of the Bourbon biscuit and “in a deep emotional relationship with biscuits”, which gives her an automatic thumbs-up from me. Oh, also Perez Hilton and Taylor Swift are both fans. Yep, she’s that good!

Career goals or what?

                   Career goals or what?

I got in touch with Lauren by Twitter and email, and she kindly agreed to answer a few questions…so, here are the answers from my very first interview, with Lauren Aquilina!

foolssinnersliars

Each image links to the EP’s Amazon page

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I Think I Have A New Favourite Song: A Gig Review (Kinda-Late-Tracklisting-Tuesdays-Thing)

On Wednesday, having finished school at 12:30, I kicked off my Christmas holidays with my first ever jazz concert.I went with a friend from my jazz orchestra, and met several others there – 80% of the band we were seeing were made up of people in the senior part of the orchestra, and all of them were from the local college, so the audience was made up of mostly local college students or people in the jazz orchestra (and a bunch of parents). Although the audience was relatively small, we were encouraged to think of it as ‘a house party with a particularly elaborate setup’, and once everything got going it wasn’t too awkward.

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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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