In an effort to post more often, I’ve decided to make a weekly playlist post about new songs I’m been listening to, songs I’m rediscovering, or songs I just really want to share with others. I hope you guys enjoy, and maybe learn about some new artists or songs along the way!
- “Craving” by James Bay
This is the first track on his fantastic album The Chaos and The Calm, which I highly recommend listening to if you haven’t already. James Bay’s popular hits like “Let It Go” and “Hold Back The River” were much slower, and this song along with “Best Fake Smile” showcase more of the uptempo indie rock than many people familiar with him from the radio might have grown accustomed to. It’s the perfect song lyrically for us college students out there looking out for our future, navigating through relationships, and trying to get a grip on feeling like you’re outgrowing your hometown, and as a writer, James Bay is unreal.
2. “Goodbye” by Who Is Fancy?
I rediscovered this song today upon shuffling my music, and remembered how intriguing it really was when it came out. It’s been about two years since it hit the airwaves, and the cool thing sonically is that it’s very different than the rest of the pop music of 2014-2015. With a darker, soulful tinge and catchy chorus, it got a decent amount of airplay. The other perplexing thing was that no one knew who the artist, Who Is Fancy, was or looked like. He (because we know now who he is) released two videos centered around the same storyline, but with a main character of both male and female genders. The mystery behind this song, plus the dark, brooding production value made me remember why this was one of the few memorable hits of it’s time.
3. “Take Me Home” by Jess Glynne
A lot of the time, the most talented musicians that rise to prominence are from the UK. Adele, Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith to name a few are some of the most naturally talented acts making pop music today. However, I’ve found a lot of truly talented artists from the UK that don’t get as much credit as I think they deserve. Jess Glynne is absolutely one of those artists. She is most notable for singing on Clean Bandit’s “Rather Be” and her solo hit “Hold My Hand”, but her rich soulful voice is reminiscent of Adele, and she’s got quite the range. Where she differs from Adele is her knack for bonafide dance hits. Her album I Cry When I Laugh touches on every aspect of the emotional spectrum. This one just happens to be on the sadder side, but her powerful vocals and the gorgeous orchestration make this an incredibly moving track. Anyone in a relationship or in some middle ground of sorts will be able to relate this lyrically, about what it feels like to depend on someone when you need a shoulder to lean on.
4. “Do I Wanna Know?” cover by Hozier (originally done by Arctic Monkeys)
“Do I Wanna Know?” by Arctic Monkeys has one of the absolute dirtiest guitar riffs I’ve heard as of late (honorable mention going to “The Less I Know The Better” by Tame Impala). As a fan of Alex Turner’s writing and voice as a whole, it takes a lot for me to really delve into a cover of an Arctic Monkeys song and vibe to it when I’m not hearing those vocals. But Hozier’s soulful take on this song, changing the key of it to major and bringing in a small choir to back him up, is somewhat perplexing. It’s a completely different take than the original, while bringing out the lyrics a little more. And maybe it’s just the pure SOUL in this man’s voice, but GOD this gave me chills. If you’re a fan of the original song, I am going to assume that you either really like or really don’t like this version, but it’s definitely worth a listen.
*Shout out to Brenna for showing this version of the song!*
5. “Dive” by Ed Sheeran
I am obviously a minority here, but I have not been able to listen to the entirety of Divide, and I know, it’s crushing me too. However, I am more than confident that it lives up to the hype that I’ve been hearing about it (though the radio stations need to stop playing “Shape of You” because it’s quickly starting to grate on my nerves). “Dive” is one of the ones that I have heard off the record, and let me tell you: this song gets you feeling emotions (Mariah Carey pun not intended, but hey, roll with it). It’s got a great groove that feels a little John Mayer-esque, and the rough grit in Ed’s voice during the chorus of the song only adds to the angst and rawness of the emotion of the words, as he’s basically growling, “Don’t call me baby, unless you mean it,/ Don’t tell me you need me, if you don’t believe it”. A pretty great guitar solo later, and you’re a puddle of tears. Trust me, I was.
*Shoutout to Kiana for showing me this song as well!*
6. “Here Is Home” by Ryn Weaver
An entirely underrated album, I cannot begin to explain how great of an album The Fool is. It’s eclectic in musical influences, intriguing in it’s production and compelling with it’s lyrics. “Here Is Home” is a surprisingly tender song with a pretty basic groove and beat to it that seems slightly out of place with the heavy production on the rest of this record. It feels pretty old-fashioned, but what Ryn does consistently on this record is take an old-fashioned base to her songs and producing it to feel completely new and different, and her lyrics show she’s clearly an old soul. This is just a small piece of the story that is The Fool, and in my opinion, it’s one of the best examples on the record of what Ryn as artist does better than anyone else in her lane.
7. “Heavenly Father” by Bon Iver
Another artist who completely perplexes me with his production value is Bon Iver. His album 22, A Million is a great example of a similar trait that Ryn Weaver displays in her music: an organic base enhanced by ethereal and glitchy production that is so out of left-field, you can’t place whether it’s maniacal or genius. Another solid lyricist as well, Bon Iver uses every element of his music to his advantage to get to you as a listener. If you’re not listening to the lyrics, the spacey production makes you feel emotional even if you can’t place why. If you have ever questioned your religion or belief system, this song can be relatable lyrically. If you’re just looking to be moved by a song sonically, not listening to one thing in particular at all, this is a great song to put some headphones on and listen to, or play on the best speakers you’ve got and immerse yourself in it.
*Shoutout to Jackie for showing me this song as well!*
8. “Marry The Night” by Lady Gaga
Don’t get me wrong, I loved Lady Gaga’s Joanne. It was entirely out of left field for her to depart so far from the dance pop that made her famous, and her undeniable talent is ever present no matter what kind of music she’s singing. However, shuffle struck again, and I found myself jamming out to this throwback. I forget sometimes how many hit songs she’s had over the past couple of years, and this rock/pop opera that is “Marry The Night” is, for lack of a better term, really f**king catchy. If you can make it through the first verse, the swell into the chorus will get you chanting along in no time, and I think we all need a song to let loose to.
That’s it for this week! Let me know what you guys think of my choices, and throw some recommendations my way of stuff to listen to! I love finding new music. Till next week!