Songs of the Week

I’ve been gone a while which probably won’t surprise you, sorry about that. I thought I would update you with what songs I have been listening to recently. Be warned, none of these songs are new releases, they are just the songs that have been on repeat recently. 


1. Guillotine- Jon Bellion

Wow I could talk about this song for ages. I always remember my music GCSE teacher telling us how some songs could be number 1 in the charts but not do well as a GCSE composition because of their simplicity. ‘Guillotine’ has so many unexpected elements that fit together in a smooth, flawless way, it is just musically genius. The song starts as a slow acoustic song, with Bellion’s lilting voice drawing you in with soft harmonies. Then a funky beat is placed in the back ground and the backing vocals become sharp and enticing. The song continues with electronic elements but keeps the acoustic elements in the verses. It is such a good song to listen to I highly recommend just experiencing the song. The bridge is catchy and even though it brings a different element to the song it works so well. The outro is also acoustic but upbeat. You know it is a musically good song when I could write about it for ages. If you listen to any song from this list, please let it be this one! 

2. Cocoon- Milky Chance

If you walk to work/school and listen to music, this song has to go on your playlist.  The husky vocals contrast the electronic sound effects on the song and it is stylistically incredible. The guitar counter melody in the chorus is just as catchy as the vocals and create an unusual extra layer to the song. The song feels very smooth and effortless. The verses are the perfect build up to the chorus and are quite catchy themselves. This is another flawless song I highly recommend.

3. Moving to New York- The Wombats 

This past month I have been into mid 2000s indie rock, with The Kooks being a personal favourite. However, I love this song by The Wombats. I love the heavy guitar and drums and how almost hectic the song feels. I love the guitar in the verses, it adds an extra element to the song. The guitar solo as the bridge is so skilled and interesting for the listener. It removes the need for a bridge section with vocals without ruining the song. I like the garage nature of the song, it adds to the almost rugged feeling to the song. The lead singer, Matthew Murphy,  vocals are bold and exciting. This song is a perfect indie rock song to listen to. 


4. The Mack- David Zowie Remix 
I am reasonably specific about the music I like, however I have recently branched out into other genres of music such as grime and dance music (mind you I will take Arctic Monkeys over Skepta any day, but it is good to broaden your musical horizons).  This dance song in particular isn’t too overpowering in terms of the beat, yet it is still a high energy song which you expect from the genre. The vocals have a soul like feel to them and I love the piano chords being bashed out, it reminds me of late 80s / early 90s dance music (which I have listened to far too much of, thanks to my parents) . Nonetheless the build up to the beat drop is brilliant and focuses on increasing the layers of the vocals as well as the beat, which I like. I don’t know much about good dance music, but I enjoy listening to this song . 

I hope you enjoyed reading and that you check out some of these songs! Be sure to follow this blog and me on Twitter (@phoebs_eyles ) , that would be great. 


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Sheeran’s Sweet Return: My thoughts on ‘Shape of You’ and ‘Castle on the Hill’

Ed Sheeran’s return has been almost bittersweet for fans. Ed had been teasing fans on his social media with lyrics and artwork, leading many to believe he was releasing an album on Friday. Unfortunately this was not the case! However, in my opinion two singles are better than no music from Ed at all. I thought I would share with you my opinions on both songs: ‘Castle on the Hill’ and ‘Shape of You’ – both are number 2 and number one respectively in the charts.

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Castle on the Hill is a homage to Ed’s childhood. The lyrics are everything we would expect from Sheeran- personal and fascinating. I think you can really hear the passion in Ed’s voice when you listen to this song. Or maybe that’s me over analysing it. Contrastingly, Ed sings about experiences all of us can relate to such as childhood friendships and making mistakes. Ed is one of the few artists who can write about something so personal to him without making his songs any less relatable for the listener.

Musically, I prefer ‘Shape of You’ to ‘Castle on the Hill’. ‘Castle on the Hill’ consists of many layers and it has a very acoustic sound. It has a very positive sound to it which I like and I can imagine hearing Ed sing this live would be incredible. I like the burst of sounds in the chorus, which adds to the uplifting feel of the song. The backing vocals in the pre chorus add to the build up leading to the chorus. I think it is personal preference that I prefer the sound of ‘Shape of You’,  if you are into uplifting, slightly rougher sounding songs then you will love ‘Castle on the Hill’.

 

‘Shape of You’ has a slightly sexier vibe to it, particularly through Ed’s falsetto in the pre chorus and the chorus. I love the repetitive motif that runs through the whole song, it gives the song a consistent, clean-cut feel. The percussion isn’t over bearing which to a certain extent it is in ‘Castle on the Hill’. The song is quite simplistic, with little dramatic changes in the song which I think reflects the sultry tone of it. All the build ups are very gradual which works so well with the lyrics. The lyrics perfectly marry to the music of the song. Moreover, we hear Ed singing quick, snappy lyrics which is something you have to love about his music. I love how Ed can effectively write lyrics about anything and they sound perfect. This is quite a contrast to the romantic nature of his previous songs such as ‘Thinking Out Loud’ but it works so well.

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Overall I love Ed’s latest releases and cannot wait to hear the full album. ‘Shape of You’ is my personal favourite and it is number 1 in the UK charts so that seems to be the general opinion. Saying that, ‘Castle on the Hill’ is number 2, so there’s not much in it. I love how different both songs sound yet they are both brilliant songs.

 

Arctic Monkeys New Album- What Can we expect and when?

Two words that every Arctic Monkeys fan wants to hear: new album. Luckily those sweet words were confirmed on the 23rd of December as a bbc journalist confirmed the band was back in Sheffield to work on a new album together. Being the avid Arctic Monkeys fan that I am (credit to my brother who introduced me to them) I did some investigating to make some predictions about the album.

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When will it be released?

It is hard to tell, due to the fact there has been no real pattern of how often the band release albums. The band have released albums in 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013. Therefore if this album gets released in 2017, it will have been 4 years since AM. Additionally we don’t know how long the album will take to write if they have only begun working on it. The gap between ‘Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not’ (WPSIATWIN) and ‘Favourite Worst Nightmare’ was just over a year, showing that it is possible for the band to write an album’s worth of material in a year, suggesting that it could be released next year.  In  my opinion, I believe the band will follow a similar formula to AM, with the lead single R U Mine? being released in 2012 but the album released in 2013. I think we could get at least some new Arctic Monkeys material released in 2017, but perhaps not the  whole album.

What can we expect it to sound like?

If we look back at how the band’s sound has changed over the years, it seems obvious that we won’t be getting the fast spoken type songs seen on WPSIATWIN and Favourite Worst Nightmare. Turner’s songwriting style is more smooth now, however I think we can still expect some tongue in cheek lyrics, such as on the B-Side ‘Stop The World I Want To Get Off With You’ – the title says it all really.

AM was a huge album  for the band and it really emphasised how the band had grown and developed since 2005. With the success of the newer sound AM gave listeners, I think the band will want to keep the best elements of this. The falsetto voice was perfect on AM and it gave the album a cool, classy, somewhat dreamlike tone. I think this will be kept on the new album, as Turner’s work with The Last Shadow Puppets had a dreamlike psych vibe to it, in my opinion. Another strong element on AM was the catchy guitar riffs. In The Last Shadow Puppets Album there wasn’t any stand out riffs. However we have to remember that even back in 2007 The Last Shadow Puppets had a very different sound to Arctic Monkeys, so it is entirely possible that the band’s upcoming album could sound completely different to Turner’s more recent work. In fact I wouldn’t put it past them.

Another songwriter turner has been working with recently is Alexandra Saviour. I will link you to the NME article about the pair here as it goes into quite a bit of detail. Saviour co-wrote ‘Miracle Aligner’ a personal favourite track from The Last Shadow Puppets album. A track that interested me was ‘Audeline’ written by Turner, Saviour and James Ford, a producer for Arctic Monkeys and The Last Shadow Puppets. As Ford was involved I thought this song could potentially give us some idea of what sound to expect. I  will link the song here , in my opinion it has quite a dark, moody sound with a chord sequence I would expect from either Arctic Monkeys or The Last Shadow Puppets . It sounds somewhere in between the smooth tone of AM and  the synth, psych tone of ‘Everything You’ve Come To Expect’ (The Last Shadow Puppets album) so it could be a good indicator of what is to come.

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With Arctic Monkeys you never really know what’s coming next as each album has it’s own individual sound. Based on what music is already out there these are my conclusions, but if you have differing opinions I would love to know. As always, I hope you enjoyed reading and be sure to follow me on twitter for more.

My Most Played Songs of 2016

Thank god 2016 is coming to a close, what a whirlwind of a year it has been. The world might have gone slightly mental this year. However, my music taste has been growing and developing, and I thought I should share with you my top 5 most played songs according to Spotify. I have used Spotify all year as my main way of listening to music, so this should be reasonably accurate.

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5. Stop The World I Wanna Get Off With You- Arctic Monkeys

This is a B-side to ‘Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?’ . I have listened to all 5 Arctic Monkeys albums religiously and this year I delved into the B-sides, because I needed more Arctic Monkeys. I seriously hope they release an album next year, though I’m not too sure they will. Nonetheless this B Side has the punchy bass and the falsetto voice we hear throughout AM, complimented by firey, forthcoming lyrics that we would expect from Turner.
4. The Trouble With Us- Marcus Marr

The fact this is my 4th most listened to track of the year makes me doubt the accuracy of the playlist created by Spotify because I only discovered this song in October. I didn’t realise I had listened to it this much! I love this song for the funky feel it has. It has a great feel-good factor and I love the tone of his voice in this song. In my opinion the guitar makes the whole track a million times better, the riff is catchy in itself. The build up to the chorus is very clever, as it is quite calm compared to the elation in the chorus.

3. What You Know- Two Door Cinema Club

I personally wouldn’t have thought of this song as one of my top five favourites of the year. However, the more I think about it the more it makes sense. I have consistently gone back to this song, I just never get tired of it. I love the slightly electronic feel of the song contrasting with the guitar. The motif is classic, as soon as you hear it you know exactly which song you’re playing.

2. Under The Bridge- Red Hot Chili Peppers

This song is honestly timeless. I love the chilled out nature of the song, yet I listen to this whenever, it doesn’t fit a mood which is what I love. Kiedis’ voice is really shown off in this song, the low pitch in the verses perfectly contrasts the passion you can hear in the chorus from Kiedis,  which is at a higher pitch. The guitar and bass in this song compliment each other perfectly and the backing singers at the end are albeit slightly random, they still perfectly fit the mood of the song.

1. Stronger- Kanye West

I find it ironic that this is my favourite song of the year because it is completely out of sync with my music taste. However I think the fact that even I, someone who would not consider themselves a rap fan, am obsessed with this song just emphasises how great it is. The sample from Daft Punk gives the song an electronic vibe which I love with Kanye’s rapping. Even if you’re not a fan of Kanye, there is no denying that this is a catchy song. It isn’t really harsh to listen to unlike some rap. You can never really get tired of it. It is a universal song too, it featured on my monthly playlists, my gym playlist and my party playlist. Very few artists feature on all 3 for me!

There are my favourite five songs of the year, apparently. It is an interesting feature that Spotify has added. I would love to know your most played song of the year, so let me know in the comments. Be sure to follow my twitter and my Spotify (my username is phoebs_14)

 

 

The Getaway- New Red Hot Chili Peppers Review

Even with a reference to California in classic Chili Peppers style, this song didn’t strike a chord with me. I know my last post was a review of Dark Necessities by the Chili Peppers, but you have to review these songs as soon as they come out because otherwise it is old news. I will be doing my May Playlist soon, so look out for that.

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After being incredibly impressed with Dark Necessities, The Getaway was a slight disappointment, considering it is the album title. The introduction is incredibly catchy, I love that insanely fast guitar riff.

I also love the verses. I like how all the instruments build up and how the whole song grows. The California reference in the second verse made me incredibly happy. It wouldn’t be a Chili Peppers album without referencing California, would it?

I like the chorus, but considering the verses build up to the chorus, I believe there could have been more impact in the chorus. Kiedis’ twang is very apparent in the chorus and the bridge, which as a Chili Peppers fan is something I love. I think the backing vocals repeating the lines in the chorus are an interesting touch, I honestly cannot decide how I feel about them!

After listening to the song numerous times it has definitely grown on me, however I personally do not think it will be the highlight of the album for me. I much prefer Dark Necessities. The Getaway has a slightly similar sound to Stadium Arcadium in my opinion, so I guess how much you like the song depends on what past album is your favourite.

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed. I would love you to follow my blog and I promise I will post more regularly! You can also follow me on Twitter if you like, it would be much appreciated.

Dark Necessities- Red Hot Chili Peppers NEW SONG Review

As soon as that funky bass line entered, I knew the Chili Peppers were back. For those of you that don’t know, the Red Hot Chili Peppers released their first single off their new album called Dark Necessities. And my word what a tune it is. As soon as the song was announced two days ago, I was excited but nervous. What if I didn’t like it? Naturally the Chili Peppers have released a, quite frankly, brilliant song, so I had no reason to be worried.

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The song starts off with some speedy guitar plucking and gradually the piano and drums come in and it all builds up. Then the bass comes in. Oh my gosh the bass! It is essentially everything I love about this band. When the vocals come in you hear the familiar tone of Kiedis’ voice. There is a lot of sounds and effects on the track, which is interesting and keeps their music current, without forgetting their usual sound.

The chorus is catchy, and it features some strings. The backing vocals and harmonies really add to the feel of the tune. Soon enough we are back to the irresistible bass line.

One thing I noticed on first listen is that it is sometimes difficult to clearly hear the lyrics, but that goes away after you hear it a couple of times.

The bridge has a happier feel, featuring a piano as the main instrument. When the vocals come in, it becomes very catchy. I don’t think the bridge has a massive amount of impact, however the rest of the song makes up for that.

The guitar solo towards the end of the song is an impressive sequence and I can tell it will be amazing live. It is a fairly long solo compared to guitar solos nowadays, which I love.

Overall the song features everything which we already love about the Chili Peppers, and demonstrates the bands ability to keep up with the music trends. They are truly a timeless band. I am so excited to see them at Reading Festival this year! Let me know if you are going because that would be pretty cool.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed. Be sure to follow this blog and follow me on Twitter, if you like.

Favourite Worst Nightmare 9 Years On…

Wow this is mental, 2 posts in 2 days? What am I like? I discovered that this day 9 years ago Favourite Worst Nightmare, topped the uk album charts. As this is currently my favourite album, it only seemed fitting to post!

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To me, this is one of those albums where I like every song. Granted, there are songs which I like less, but on the whole the album is a great purchase.
Top 3 Songs
D is for Dangerous, favourite lyric- ‘I think you should know you’re his favourite worst nightmare’

Old Yellow Bricks- favourite lyric- ‘I want to sleep in the city that never wakes up’

505, favourite lyric- ‘I’d probably still adore you with your hands around my neck’

Least Favourite Song
Teddy Picker- This isn’t a bad song to be honest, but personally it would be the song I would most likely skip. I know lots of people who think Only Ones Who Know is too slow and doesn’t fit with the whole album, but personally I like it! It is the first time in the Arctic Monkeys career where we see Turner’s softer writing capabilities and a more delicate side of the band.

This was a very short post, but I simply had to make a post for my current favourite album. I just find myself constantly listening to it and with every listen I always find something new that I like about each song. I hope you enjoyed reading and I would love to know your opinions. As always, be sure to follow the blog and also follow me on Twitter. That would be pretty cool.

Favourite Songs from all genres?!?

Hello everyone, I hope your week is going well. If you have read my (very few) posts, you will know that I like the alternative/Rock genre. I was once showing my friend my music and she said it all sounded the same. THE SAME?!?! Clearly I was outraged, obviously Arctic Monkeys sound completely different from the Chili Peppers! That being said, I do like to listen to songs from other genres, and I am going to share them with you today.

Indie Pop/ Dream Pop- Roses, The Chainsmokers
This song comes from the people who brought us ‘But first, let me take a selfie’ so it was a surprise when I found out they didn’t just do comedy and parody songs. I just love the electronic sounds and the dreaminess of Rozes voice. The beat is soft and interesting, I almost prefer the backing to the melody. I love the pre chorus before the beat softly drops. It is irresistibly catchy and the click where the beat ‘drops’ is my favourite part of the song.

House- The Girl Is Mine (Destiny’s Child), 99 Souls
I think I first stumbled across this song on a Facebook vine. Again, the beat and the electronic sounds are so clever, how they made this song so current. I really like how they’ve arranged this song, and how it’s not heavy beats all the time, because I probably wouldn’t like it if was!

Pop/ Rap- No Interruption, Hoodie Allen
I have been a Hoodie fan for absolutely ages. Rap is not something I typically listen to, but Hoodie’s rap isn’t too harsh, hence why I thought this would go in the pop genre too. I love the build up from the chorus to where the beat drops. Personally I really like Hoodie’s voice when he sings as well as when he raps. It just works so well and is so commercial.

Rap- Stronger, Kanye West
I won’t go into too much detail on this song, because I have already mentioned it on my blog here. But essentially I really like this song, and I love the sample from Daft Punk.

Folk- Skye Waulking Song, Capercaillie
I do music GCSE, and this is one of the songs on our syllabus. I like approximately two songs on our syllabus, this and Grace by Jeff Buckley. Obviously I couldn’t include Grace, as it fits into my ‘normal’ genre. Anyways, I love this song because it is so calming and uplifting to listen to. It is in Gaelic, which almost makes you appreciate the melody more. I have a friend who listens to K-Pop, and I never really got why she would want to listen to songs she couldn’t understand but now I get what she means. This folk song is really good, if you go and listen to any song from this post please let it be this.

There we go, my favourite songs from various genres. As always I would love to know your opinions, and be sure to follow my blog if you like it and you can follow me on Twitter (@phoebs_eyles)

Top 5 Arctic Monkeys Songs

I am back to finish my top 10 Arctic Monkeys song, sorry for the wait. I’m pretty sure I could be a professional procrastinator. Here are my personal favourite 5 Arctic Monkeys, it was hard to choose! I would love to know your opinions.

5. I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not
This is the song that essentially got the Monkeys their initial fame, and what a tune it is. The garage, guitar heavy anthem is iconic. The melody in terms of Turners singing is not as refined as his voice on AM, but this song truly shows how the band have grown. And considering they started off with such a hit, the standard of their music is pretty high.

4. Old Yellow Bricks, Favourite Worst Nightmare.
This song combines the harsh sounds of the first album with the smooth tones of Turners voice. I wrote about this song in my March Playlist post, which you can read here. But essentially this song is very cleverly written with the lyrics, and a personal favourite of mine.

3. Knee Socks, AM
This song was never released as a single, which surprises me, considering it’s one of my favourites. The song tells a story and entices the listener. The utilisation of the falsetto voice in this song is one of the best on the album. I think this song captures the mellow, smooth side of the album as well as the story telling that Turner has always been so good at.

2. R U Mine, AM
This was the song that led me to discover the Arctic Monkeys, and is still one of my favourites. I have listened to this song on repeat for what feels like years, and I’m not bored of it. I love the heavy guitar and catchy bass part. All the parts in this anthem fit so perfectly together, and you can tell the band used all their talents to create something really special. The use of a monophonic texture in the bridge with Turner and the guitar is like a question and answer is captivating. I love this song too much!

1. 505, Favourite Worst Nightmare
505 has to be my favourite. The simplicity of the first half of the song contrasting with the second half is incredible. It makes me feel like some emotion is being held back, almost creating tension, if you can call it that. As the song gradually builds to the bridge and the final chorus, the bridge seems like a sudden explosion of emotion, which you can hear in Turners singing. I also love how Miles Kane is playing guitar in this song, I am also a TLSP fan.

There we have it, my top 5 Arctic Monkeys songs. If you haven’t seen the other half of this post, click here. I will try to post more regularly, I promise!
Be sure to follow this blog and also follow me on twitter, it means a lot.

Top 10 Arctic Monkeys Songs- Part 1 (6-10

I have decided to dedicate this post entirely to the Arctic Monkeys. They are honestly one of the most unique British bands that have improved and evolved album after album. I thought I would give you a run down of my top 10 Arctic Monkeys songs. I also plan on reviewing The Last Shadow Puppets album this month, so I hope you don’t get bored of hearing about Alex Turner. I mean how could you, he is Alex Turner after all.

10. Crying Lightning, Humbug
From the Arctic Monkeys third album, this song features lots of chromaticism, climaxing with the riff in the chorus. The song has quite a spooky feel. Alex’s voice goes perfectly with the song, his tone is so smooth. I personally love the guitar solo and the use of sound effects. The moments where it is just alex singing with no instruments are so effective and really create impact.

9. From The Ritz To The Rubble, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not.
I always forget how much how love this song! Alex’s distinct accent comes to play in this song. The song is full of energy, particularly with the repeated pattern with the guitar and drums. The song has a rugged feel. It is interesting comparing this sound to AM, it is so different.

8. Arabella, AM
This was one of my favourite songs when I first got into the Arctic Monkeys. Personally I believe the guitar with the falsetto voice make this song. The harsh guitar playing contrasts with the soft falsetto voice. It is a more mature feel than the songs mentioned above. However there are still hints of Turner’s Sheffield accent, of course.

7. When The Sun Goes Down, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not
Another of my favourites from their first album. I love the soft beginning and ending of this song, with the more punky feel of the rest of the song. This is a prime example of the Arctic Monkeys storytelling about nightlife in the north. The lyrics are so blunt and honest, it enables the listener to create a clear picture of the scenario Turner sings about.

6. Fluorescent Adolescent, Favourite Worst Nightmare
This song has truly passed the test of time, remaining one of the most popular Arctic Monkeys to date. The lighthearted story like lyrics documents a women getting older and losing her sex appeal. Personally I love this song because it is a easy listen, and is such a typical sound from the early Arctic Monkeys.

That is the first part of this post, check back soon for my top 5 Arctic Monkeys songs.