I’m hoping (haha, we know how good I am at sticking to things…) that this blog post will become a more regular feature on here, sharing the new songs I’m loving each week. I love discovering new music and try and find it in different places, including blogs, so here goes!
I am a Spotify subscriber and I know it’s not the most well liked platform in the music industry proper (I try and support artists in other ways too!) but it does give me good access to lots of music and through it I have come across many a band or artist I wouldn’t have done otherwise.
Each Friday, Spotify produces as Release Radar playlist, based on your listening habits, and my aim is to pick a few of my faves, some surprises, a couple of disappointments and something softer (I listen to some classical music which is hard to review in the same way!) each week and share them. My music taste is fairly varied, so I’m hoping that there will be good representation. At the end of the post will be the full tracklist so you can see what Spotify offered me for the week. Here’s my selection for this week.
Top 3 Picks
1. the other girl (with Halsey) [the other mix] – Kelsea Ballerini
First on the playlist and it’s a yes from me, although as her album came out a couple of months ago, this wasn’t the first time I’d heard it. I really enjoy this song though. The collaboration with Halsey is a great shout and the song’s focus on cheating, but with the POV of both women is interesting, showing how insecure both people in that situation can be. Is Kelsea Ballerini Country? Is she Pop? People with way more time on their hands argue til their blue in the face online about this and quite frankly, I’m not sure, I just know I like her and this song, along with it’s album counterparts are showing a more open, honest and mature version of Kelsea that I am very much on board with.
2. Oh, What a World 2.0 – Earth Date Edition – Kasey Musgraves
Oh, What A World is one of my favourite Kasey Musgraves songs already, it’s a beautiful soft track that speaks to the soul, and this version is just even better. The true essence of a 2.0, improving on something that was already pretty great. Her voice melts through this in a way that only Kasey can, and I will be going back to this song time and again. This version comes straight into the first verse (with no intro as previous) focussing on the wonders of nature around us, perfect for the Earth Day theme. It’s such a great choice for the Earth Day celebration, instead of commissioning something new, written to fulfill a purpose in a considerably less authentic way.
3. Bleed Into Me – Trivium
Handbrake turn for this one, to a completely different genre. I have loved Trivium for a long time, and although I haven’t yet, would love to see them live as I imagine they put on a stonking show. These Metal maestros sometimes tip a liiiiiittle too heavy for my own personal taste, but I always admire their musicianship and skill and love their ability to still tell beautiful stories over their tracks. This song is a perfect balance of them for me, there’s occasional screaming, but it’s emphasis feels relevant and I can still sing along to the track, which for me is ALWAYS a plus.
1. Better – Radio Edit – Jack Garratt
From years of listening to the radio and a few years in clubs, I don’t mind dance music, I quite like a lot of it, but it’s not a genre I see myself actively seeking out. Maybe with it being a more pleasing radio edit version, I really liked this song. The beat is catchy and I find myself moving every time I listen, without realising it to start with but mostly, it’s the lyrics that caught my attention. They tell a very relatable story about trying to feel better than you’re already feeling, presuming that changing things will make this and that better and make you more appealing to others. It feels relevant and though provoking about our attitudes to life and I really enjoyed the fact it made me stop and think that a) I feel like this too and b) it’s trying to tell me to let go of that sometimes toxic mentality and maybe I should listen.
2. All the Works of Nature Which Adorn The Earth – Moors – Nightwish
This is an instrumental track, it’s by a band I adored as a teenager but will be honest I haven’t listened to much in more recent years. It’s not a surprise that I like it, it’s a surprise because it’s a little different to their norm (although not by much) and it made me sit up and listen. Nightwish have always had a broad range of influence, especially from classical music in their previous work and have always produced huge, symphonic numbers with incredible vocals. This is just as good, but what surprises me a little and what I like most is the use of Gaelic influence, this track makes me immediately feel like I’m in the wilds of Scotland. The pipe sections are mixed in between sections far more like the symphonic numbers Nightwish usually produce and those pipe sections easily feel like they could be on a Tide Lines/ Skerryvore/Julie Fowlis track, some of the traditional gaelic bands/artists I’ve been really enjoying lately.
Not For Me
1. Two – E-Sosa, BighomieQuon, Default
This song will have been put on my release radar because of Default, I have an unashamed love of their 2005 album One Thing Remains, in all it’s emo glory. This is one of their few releases since the skinny jeans/black eyeliner halcyon days and it’s as a featured artist on an RnB track that I can’t really pretend I like. I don’t mind rnb/rap/grime/hip-hop tracks that work well on the mainstream, but the real hearts of those genres just aren’t for me. And if I’m honest, I’m not even sure where Default are meant to feature on this track…
1. Wasted On You – Evanescence
Evanescence were the first rock band I discovered under my own steam, back at the very beginning of my teenage obsession with rock music. My parents bought me up on a healthy diet of rock music and I remember waiting for their Fallen album to be released and buying it as soon as I could, the week it came out. I was obsessed, wanted to be Amy Lee (there are terrible photos in the annuls of time to prove it…) and listened to the CD more times than I can count, and have gone back to it multiple times subsequently. I was pleased to see Evanescence were releasing new music on Social Media and have to be honest, this track fell a bit flat. Full disclosure, bar their cover of Korn’s ‘Thoughtless’ on their first live album, I never liked any of their stuff quite as much as the Fallen album, but I’ve always really liked it. I’ll hold out for the rest of the new album, but really hoping it won’t be as disappointing as this track, it just feels a bit dull and lacking in substance.
2. When the Angels Sing – Bowling For Soup
Similar to above, a staple of my teenage years, who I still like listening to from time to time these days. They provided the fun in a time when life (as a teen) and rock music as a whole could be quite serious- their goofy tunes with funny lyrics and catchy choruses were always a favourite. Now though, from a band who never seemed to be taking themselves too seriously, in an effort to create the same style, it feels like they are trying REALLY hard. It feels so laboured and over the top and completely takes away the spark they had when they were first doing this. I appreciate my music tastes are quite different these days, but I still love their older stuff, so I don’t think it’s that I don’t like that kind of music anymore, it just feels hard work to listen to. Girl All The Bad Guys Want it is not, unfortunately.
1. Mass, Op. 12: Panis Angelicus (Arr. Emanuele Vianelli) – Andrea Bocelli, Cesar Franck, Emanuele Vianelli
I am a big Andrea Bocelli fan, thanks in part to hearing him a lot on Classic FM when I worked at the company who owned that station. The feelings were cemented when I was very lucky to be at a work event where he performed Nessun Dorma and Time to Say Goodbye. I, and the rest of the room, sobbed our way through it and he is just incredible. Although I don’t listen to him all the time, I find myself going back to his music time and again, especially when feeling anxious or in need of something calming. If you haven’t yet seen his concert Music for Hope: Live from Duomo di Milano, I urge you to. He performed alone outside the cathedral in Milan, to mark Easter Sunday in an area of Italy worst hit by the awful Covid-19 events we are currently in the throes of. You can watch it here on YouTube and I will bet my fairly significant hat collection that you will enjoy it, regardless of your usual music preferences. This is one of the tracks he performed and is part of a 5-song single collection released from the concert. It’s beautiful, that’s all there is to it.
A few others that haven’t made the top 3, but are worth a mention. The first is Wild World – Kip Moore, I LOVE Kip Moore, he is one of my absolute favourites. Since I am
impatiently waiting for his new album, also called Wild World, to come out and will likely review it on here, I decided to hold out until the album to talk about this track in full, but it’s gooood. Equally good is What I’m Leaving For – ACM Presents: Our Country – Lady Antebellum, this is the version they performed from isolation on the Our Country show the ACM (Academy of Country Music) put on when the ACM Awards due to be held on 4th April were inevitably postponed. If during the Covid-19 outbreak you are living away from your family/partner, be aware this will make you teary. It hits home in a different, yet similar way from the intentions of the song but it’s poignant and beautiful.
A collection of Beethoven Symphonies, conducted by Hermann Scherchen and performed by the Vienna State Opera Orchestra and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra was released today. The Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op 67: II. (Andante con moto) track that featured in this playlist was a wonderful addition and a lovely piece to listen to. I will be checking out the rest of the album later. And finally, my other quick mention is Oh Love – Otis Big Guitar Mix – Green Day, it’s just quintessentially Green Day and I really, really enjoyed it.
So those are my picks for this week, please enjoy and check them out on whatever music platform you use. I’m hoping to get an album review out before the new Release Radar comes around this time next week. For the full track list of this week, see below!
Explicit Songs are marked (E) at the end, probably don’t listen them at work or near small children…
- the other girl (with Halsey) – Kelsea Ballerini
- Cool Again – Kane Brown
- Oh, What a World 2.0 – Earth Day Edition – Kasey Musgraves
- Wasted On You – Evanescence
- Better – Radio Edit – Jack Garratt
- One of Those Days – Piano Version – Gabrielle Aplin
- When Angels Sing – Bowling for Soup
- Bleed Into Me – Trivium
- Polaroid – Keith Urban
- The Lighthouse – The Used, Mark Hoppus
- Every Other Memory – Ryan Hurd
- We Do – Kenny Chesney
- We’re All In This Together Now –John Paul White, Roseanne Cash
- The Other Side (From Trolls World Tour) – SZA, Justin Timberlake, Ovy on the Drums
- Saviours of the City –Jake Bugg
- When the Way Gets Dark – Lucinda Williams
- It’s About Blood – Steve Earle (E)
- Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op 67: II. (Andante con moto) – Ludwig van Beethoven, Roual Philharmonic Orchestra, Hermann Scherchen
- Light of Love – Florence + The Machine (E)
- Repetition – ChangesNowBowie Version – David Bowie
- Two – E-Sosa, BighomieQuon, Default (E)
- Where the Heart Is – Brett Eldredge
- What I’m Leaving For – ACM Presents: Our Country – Lady Antebellum
- Mass, Op. 12: Panis Angelicus (Arr. Emanuele Vianelli) – Andrea Bocelli, Cesar Franck, Emanuele Vianelli
- All The Works of Nature Which Adorn The World – Moors – Nightwish
- 2016 – Sam Hunt
- Oh Love – Otis Big Guitar Mix – Green Day
- Diamonds – Acoustic – Morgan Evans
- Love Will Turn You Around – Randy Houser
- Wild World – Kip Moore