Song of the Week – To My

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To My – Tess Goodwin 

A talented friend of mine has given up her day job to pursue her dream of being a full time musician, and judging from her first release, I reckon she’s got the talent to do it.

My song of the week is To My by Tess Goodwin from New Plymouth, now living in Wellington. If you’re a lover of ballads with lyrics you get caught up in, then this is a song for you.

To My takes you on a journey. There are many different parts to the song which make you stop what you’re doing and pause and reflect. It starts out with just her haunting vocals and a barely there piano melody, but before long Tess builds in new layers which mean when the chorus arrives the song becomes uplifting and really packs a punch. A clever and modern bridge changes the tempo and draws you back into the message of the song, before it really takes you home with a passionate second chorus.

Tess has a great vocal range and she showcases it wonderfully in this song. But the thing that stands out most to me in To My are the lyrics and the way Tess tells their story with the raw emotion in her voice. Listening to this song you know you’re getting the real her and it is very powerful.

Tess’ song writing technique and her sound are unique and fresh in a time when so much of the music we hear on the radio sounds the same. Tess is off to a great start in her music career with To My and I can’t wait to hear more from this new Kiwi musician.

Follow her on Spotify and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TessGoodwinMusic/

You can also listen on Bandcamp: https://tessgoodwin.bandcamp.com/track/to-my

 

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Song of the Week – Run for Cover

Run For Cover – The Killers

The Killers were the band of my teenage years. They were one of the first I was ever truly obsessed with. In fact their name being on the Big Day Out line up when I was in fifth form was what inspired me to buy a ticket and thus sparked my eternal love for concert going.

These guys know how to write  a rock singalong. With songs like Mr Brightside, All These Things That I’ve Done and When You Were Young they set a high standard for the emo music era of the early 2000s. Their fun-style and upbeat take on rock made it accessible for any music lover and their electric live act ensured they were a band you’d never forget.

So, with all this in mind, you can imagine my excitement when they announced a new album was on its way this year after a decent hiatus. I wondered if they could still do it…did they still have the ability to produce a real timeless track? I never should have doubted them, Run For Cover is hands down one of the most entertaining and exciting songs of 2017.

There is no way you will be able to sit still while listening to this, it’s pure riveting pop-rock and I bloody love it. You MUST turn the stereo up really loud, or put your headphones in, to listen to this track. Be prepared to lose your mind slightly, it is just that good.

Song of the Week – Chateau

Chateau – Angus and Julia Stone

Yippee! Aussie brother sister duo Angus and Julia Stone are sounding snazzier than ever on their latest single Chateau.

This is a modern style tune that makes you want to stop whatever you’re doing and just listen and lose yourself. Chateau features an up-tempo drumbeat, jazzy guitar riffs and the mellow tones of the siblings contrasting voices. It makes me want to close my eyes and spin around in circles singing the magical hook over and over.

I can’t quite put my finger on what makes this song so special but it’s a damn fun listen which makes me grin. I hope you like it too!

Angus and Julia Stone’s new album Snow is due out September 15th, they are set to tour NZ in December:

Auckland, Civic Theatre – December 15th

Wellington, St James Theatre – December 16th

Christchurch, Isaac Royal Theatre, December 17th

Song of the Week – When I Don’t Speak

Terrible Sons – When I Don’t Speak

My latest song of the week award goes to Kiwi duo Terrible Sons, made up of Lauren (AKA L A Mitchell) and Matt Barus (of DUKES), for their new release When I Don’t Speak. The pair have been releasing one track a year since 2015 and each has made for compelling listening. Now they’re set to release their first album in September.

This ballad has stirred something inside of me the more I’ve listened to it. The verse begin withs a gentle guitar strum and short piano melody which repeat over each other. Their simplicity and the softness with which they are played give the song an immediate tenderness.

Then add to the mix the beautifully performed vocals and When I Don’t Speak takes on a whole other layer. Together, the duo’s contrasting voices create an emotional sound which can be prone to sending shivers down your spine. This effect also seems to come about for me when it builds into the stunning piano solo towards the end.

This song is soft and simple production wise. The lyrics, melody and vocal performance carry enough weight on their own and producer Ben Edwards is clever for recognising that. I particularly recommend playing this track and soaking it up when you need a quiet moment, or on a slow and rainy day.

I for one can’t wait to discover more songs like when their album release rolls round in September.

 

Songs of the Week – Creature Comfort and Everything Now

I’m counting down the days until July 28th when one of the best bands of our time put out their latest album. Arcade Fire have been releasing little teasers over the last month and the first single and title track, Everything Now, is a song that everybody should be listening to. But I couldn’t single out that song alone, Creature Comfort is also constantly on repeat in my household at the mo. So I’ll have to have a dual song of the week.

These two new bangers have all the Arcade Fire trademarks their fans have come to worship. Win Butler’s ethereal voice is at its premium, the keyboard melodies and falsetto’s from Régine Chassagne take you back to the joyous times of The Suburbs album, Will Butler’s toe tapping bass lines and synth hooks make you want to bounce across the room and the layers of orchestral sound played in modern style reflect typical Arcade Fire madness.

Listening to these two tracks makes me scream out inside for another opportunity to see this band live and dance around like a person possessed. Arcade Fire embrace rhythm like no other band, each track is an instant party. It’s hard to listen to Everything Now and Creature Comfort and not feel excited about life. If you’re keen on a good time, add these tracks to your playlist and be ready to embrace the full album release on July 28th – it’s going to be a good day.

Concert Review: Coldplay in Leipzig, Germany

IMG_0236.JPGI’ve never found myself in such a state of bliss as I am at a Coldplay concert. I’ve grown up with the British bands music being a soundtrack to my life, each song, each album, is so varied yet all have equal meaning to me.

I still remember singing along to Yellow, Clocks and The Scientist with my friends at primary school, from lyric sheets we’d printed off the slow moving internet.

The first time I heard Fix You I was in the back seat of mums car when the radio station introduced the new single. I harassed mum to turn the stereo up knowing from the first few words, this was a song I was never going to forget. I rushed out to buy the album before our family holiday and it was on repeat the entire week.

Next came the most memorable event of heading along to my first Coldplay concert in 2009, the Viva La Vida tour, and crying with happiness throughout. We were seated in the very back row of the arena but didn’t feel far away, especially when the band left the stage and came and played an acoustic set, including Green Eyes, just metres from me. I made a pact to myself in that moment that I would never miss another opportunity to see this band live.

By the time I got the chance to see them again it was the Mylo Xyloto tour in 2012. Between 2009 and then I’d pestered almost every person I knew telling them about how great Coldplay were in concert and it must have rubbed off on a few people! A huge group of us headed off to the stadium and had the night of our lives dancing with our glowing wristbands and getting chills singing the songs we’d grown up with.

In 2014, Ghost Stories was released and sadly – no world tour, no chance to see them live. But we didn’t have to wait long for the fantastic A Head Full Of Dreams, and the day an email popped into my inbox “Coldplay live in NZ” I dropped everything I was doing to read it. I almost threw my phone at someone on the bus when I read that their one NZ concert was the same weekend I was going to a wedding in Australia.

So my new mission began – where in the world can I see this tour? I was already planning a Europe trip in June 2017… could Coldplay have a concert in Europe around that time by chance? Luck was on my side this time! Coldplay were playing Leipzig, Germany, on June 14th. It was meant to be! We booked our flights, tickets and planned the trip to suit the date – this was a concert I wasn’t going to miss!

Now today, June 15th, I’m sitting on a bus to Prague reminiscing on what was the most magical musical experience a gal could wish for.

Last night was a Coldplay classic. We were taken on a musical journey of their discography, from the original melancholy numbers, to the beat heavy Viva La Vida tracks and through to their modern day pop sound. Never did it get boring, these clever musicians not only played and sang beautifully but performed! The audience was always kept involved, the pace changed regularly to keep it interesting and the theatrical confetti, glowing wristbands and interactive stage were mesmerising.

Yellow, which came second in the set got everyone in the crowd in perfect spirits. It was sung beautifully by Chris Martin, who’s voice was on point all night, despite dancing around like a mad thing 90% of the time. Everglow, lead into with a chat from Martin about how great it is that despite people around the world telling us not to love everybody, people are still trying, was a clear stand out for me. Performed without theatrics, the simple piano ballad brought tears to my eyes and had me completely enthralled.

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Close behind were acoustic versions of In My Place and Us Against the World which had the whole stadium “slowed down”, swaying and soaking up every word. The backing vocals of drummer Will Champion were stunning all night, but really added a lot to these two songs in particular.

My only question – why play Princess of China and Hymn for the Weekend with recordings of Rhianna and Beyoncé when they could have played Fun and had Tove Lo (who opened for them) join them on stage? Seemed like a strange decision to me.

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Fix You was a little lost at first when it came I n the middle of a series of upbeat, newer songs, but it was still incredibly powerful as the crescendo grew. Adventure of a Lifetime was the party song. Martin had everyone crouching down on the ground and leaping in the air while huge colourful balls flew around the crowd. It was three minutes of pure joy. Even my partner (who usually doesn’t dance) was jumping up and down all over the place!

Up and Up was a lovely song to finish on, showcasing each band members many talents, in particular two spine tingling guitar solos from Jonny Buckland, and uniting the crowd in one final singalong.

From start to finish, Coldplay put on a performance hard to rival. This has to be the reason they are unstoppable as a band. Their live shows have certainly never been topped for me, there’s nothing quite like a Coldplay concert and I feel very privileged to have been in the crowd last night.

At risk of annoying people all over again, I’ll be continuing my mantra of ‘you must see Coldplay live’ because everyone deserves a to experience the happiness I felt last night!!

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Song of the Week – Let Me Out

Let Me Out – Gorillaz ft Mavis Staples, Pusha T

Gorillaz, Damon Albarn’s virtual band that’s been blowing our minds since 1998, has just put out their fifth studio album Humanz. In classic Gorillaz style this album is full of collaborations you wouldn’t see coming. Let Me Out, the first single released for the album is the prime example of this. Teaming up with one of America’s most famous gospel singers, Mavis Staples, and then throwing rapper Pusha T into the mix, seems odd. But in reality, it’s just yet another genius idea by Albarn.

It’s been a decent wait for Gorillaz fans to get new music, but boy oh boy has it been worth it. This track has all of the groups trademarks – the funky as hell beat which has you grooving in the first ten seconds, the random synth sound interruptions and of course Albarn’s iconic voice and whispers.

Upon first listen a Gorillaz song often sounds a bit jumbled, but give these songs a bit of time, turn them up loud and really listen. Albarn is so clever the way he takes different musical genres and techniques and mixes them together as if they were always meant to be heard this way. I believe Let Me Out is an epic that will stand up over time like earlier Gorillaz tracks DARE, Dirty Harry and Clint Eastwood. I’m hooked.

NZ concert please??