Summer Spins

Summer is here again! I’m super excited to be interning with The Portland Radio Project during the next few months, a non-profit radio station in Portland committed to showcasing local artists and supporting small businesses. I’ll be doing graphic design and social media work for PRP, which I’m stoked about!

Meanwhile, I’ve been listening to a lot of new music. Listen along below.

Albums

51xW1wRspzL._SS500Twin Shadow: Caer

I discovered this album by chance on Spotify, and I’m so glad I did! With a sound similar to artists like Flume and ODESZA, lead singer George Lewis Jr. has an intriguing voice. It is often complimented by quirky instruments like synthesizers.

You may recognize a few other voices on this record, such as band HAIM and singer-songwriter Rainsford. By far, my favorite track on the record is “Too Many Colors,” mostly because of the super cool intro. When you first listen to the song, it’s easy to mistake it for a children’s song or something straight out of Disney–a xylophone dominates the beginning of the track, which then leads into the first verse.

bridge_leon_goodthing_101bLeon Bridges: Good Thing

This record came out just last month, but I already know every lyric. 🙂 Before the release of this sophomore album, Leon teased us with a little taste of what was to come. He released his two singles, “Bad Bad News” and “The Bet Aint Worth The Hand” back in March. Surprisingly enough, I’d say that the rest of the record is pretty different from these two tracks, though! Through a healthy mix of blues, jazz and soul, Good Thing is a compilation of Leon’s stories: forgiving someone who broke his heart, his mother and her childhood (a continuation of the last record), and the moment he realized he may have found the girl of his dreams. Overall, I think this record is so beautiful–my favorite tracks are “Forgive You,” “Beyond,” and “Mrs.”

Leon will be on tour this summer! See if he’s coming to your city here.

the-search-for-everything-b-iext48856379John Mayer: The Search For Everything

John released his newest single, “New Light,” just last month, and paired it with a HILARIOUS music video. He hired a low-budget Bar Mitzvah video company to produce it. As a result, the video features John singing in front of a variety of incredibly cheesy backdrops matched with wacky transitions. Through out the video, John dances awkwardly in  a pair of dad-esque, purple striped pants and a torn sweatshirt. If you’re in need of a good laugh, watch the video here.

The Search For Everything was released not long before this single. The record follows John’s traditional style of ballads and bops, my favorites being “Still Feel Like Your Man,” “Emoji Of a Wave,” and “In The Blood.” This is one of those albums that anyone who’s ever been in a relationship (and experienced its end) can relate to–you can cry to this record, belt to it, or dance, depending on the song. That’s one of John Mayer’s many talents–he produces a a versatile style of tunes that can fit any mood.

Singles

the-1975-give-yourself-a-try-1527789760-640x640The 1975: “Give Yourself A Try”

On Friday June 1, The 1975’s much-anticipated new single,”Give Yourself A Try” was released. During my 10 am lecture that morning, I snuck out my earbuds and tuned into the premiere on Capital FM, London’s most popular radio station. Obviously, I loved the track immediately. It strays pretty far from the band’s usual style–with repetitive, biting electric guitar laying down the foundation of the song.

“Give Yourself a Try” describes Matty Healy’s (lead singer) experience of “getting spiritually enlightened at 29,” dealing with a drug addiction over the past few years: “And you’ll make a lot of money, and it’s funny, ’cause you’ll move somewhere sunny and get addicted to drugs,” and subtle views on politics: “I found a grey hair in one of my zoots…like context in a modern debate, I just took it out.”

De0tQzKU8AAmJQdDespite what many fans thought, The 1975’s new record didn’t drop on June 1. 😦 Instead, the band released this new single and announced the beginning of a new “era” of music for the band, known as the “Music For Cars” era. The new album, set to release in October 2018, will be titled “A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships.”

Naturally, being the super-fan I am, I threw a The 1975-themed party with my friends to ring in the new era! I covered my apartment with pink, black and white themed decorations, as well as provided The 1975-themed games and snacks (pink Starbursts, pink glowing balloons, pink Goldfish crackers, black and white napkins and silverware, The 1975 album-themed cupcakes, and a game of Pin-The-Tat-On-The-Matty.)

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Betty Who: “All Things” (From Queer Eye)

This is my go-to feel-good song for the summer. This single is a cover of the opening theme for my favorite show on Netflix right now, Queer Eye, a reboot of the Bravo series Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. It features the new Fab Five: Antoni Porowski, food and wine expert; Tan France, fashion expert (my favorite!); Karamo Brown, culture expert; Bobby Berk, design expert and Jonathan Van Ness, grooming expert. In each episode, The Fab Five give straight guys across the country much-needed life, fashion, and home advice/makeovers. Queer Eye is incredibly touching, hilarious, and the Fab Five are beyond lovable. This song, covered by pop singer Betty Who, features Betty’s killer vocals, and the music video for it is EPIC, featuring all five guys!

a3462444518_10Florist: “Vacation”

I’m not entirely sure what it is I love so much about this song, but I’ve had it on repeat the past few days. “Vacation” is a combination of warm, childhood memories and the everyday thoughts of a girl going through life the best way she can. Through out the track, lead singer Emily Sprague sings about reminding herself of the good things in her life in the midst of finding herself. My favorite lyric is: “I don’t know how to be what I wanted to be when I was 5.” Everyone can relate to this line, and I think I speak for a lot of people when I say there are times when it feels like we’re simply coasting through life, unsure of what to do next. It’s easy to start wondering what the five-year-old version of yourself would think of who you are now, and whether or not they’d be happy with the things you’ve accomplished. Songs like “Vacation” are really important, because it reminds us that we aren’t alone in thinking these things. It urges us to examine the moments that have shaped us, and remember that every day we continue to grow and change. Another lyric I love is: “And at least I know that my mom is breathing when we talk on the phone. And at least I know that my house won’t burn down, down to the ground. Or maybe it will.”

Accept things that come your way, and never stop listening to music that means something to you.

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5 Haunting Songs On My iPod

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(Photo by Nan Palmero)

Songs that give you goosebumps are the best kind. Sometimes they’re so well-written, they make you shiver. Or maybe they just speak to you, relating to your exact situation.

In this post, I’m going to focus on those types of songs that stick in your mind even after you’ve finished listening… the haunting, weird ones. I picked the most eerie songs I could find off my iPod, and compiled them below. Enjoy!

1. Transylvania–McFly

This is a chilling song about death, betrayal and love. It follows the true story of Anne Boleyn, who was Queen of England in the 1500s. Her husband, King Henry VIII, had her put to death after finding out about the hidden, romantic relationship she shared with a peasant. This song reminds me a bit of Bohemian Rhapsody–the chorus is powerful and loud, and the song tells a compelling (and weird) story.

2. Riding To New York–Passenger

This somber, somewhat gloomy song is told from the perspective of a man (Passenger) who meets a frail, aging man riding to New York from Minnesota by bike. The man admits that he’s suffering with emotional and physical pain–he’s just found out he has lung cancer, and wants to reconnect with his broken family he’s lost touch with before he passes away. I love this song. It reminds you never to take your life for granted.

3. The Lost Boy–Greg Holden

You may have heard this song featured in season 5 of Sons of Anarchy. According to Entertainment Weekly, “‘The Lost Boy’ is a eulogy for a fallen character, but the song was actually inspired by Dave Eggers’ novel What Is The What, about a group of Sudanese refugees. ‘If you listen to the lyrics, it’s not like you’d know that it was about a Sudanese refugee,’ Greg Holden tells EW. ‘I know what it’s about, but I’m really glad people are able to take their own meanings from it. I like it when songs have more meanings than just the one that was intended, so I’m glad that people were able to relate to it through Sons of Anarchy.'”

I met Greg Holden a few weeks ago, and heard him perform a few of his songs off his debut album. Although he didn’t perform this one, most of his songs were similar–each held a deeper meaning, and shed light on common social, as well as emotional issues.

4. Bronte–Gotye

This song is pretty hypnotizing from the very beginning, and Gotye wrote it about something you might not expect–a dog. It’s based off a true story about his friend who was putting down his 21-year-old dog Bronte. Gotye explained in an interview with Artist Direct: “When you love and care for an animal, you don’t want it to suffer too much. You also respect nature and the natural cause of things. They really struggled with the eventual decision of deciding they had to let go of the dog and put it down. I thought they did it in a very loving way. From what I could tell, it was very instructive and inclusive for their daughters. They did it as a family. I wrote that song like I was vicariously experiencing it. That’s what I’m proud of. In its simplicity, I felt like it captured my feelings of that experience even if it was at a distance. You don’t have to necessarily interpret it as a relationship between people and animals.”

5. Antichrist–The 1975

The 1975 have never performed this song live, possibly because of how controversial it is. Matty Healy, the lead singer, has said it’s their band manager’s favorite song, and that he is always is encouraging the band to perform it live. Matty says this song is really personal, and one of his favorites they’ve written–it represents the fact that he often wishes he was religious so that he had something to believe in, but is however, an atheist. The lyrics in this song are incredibly well-written, with such great imagery. One of my favorites.

My Favorite Album Covers

I love album artwork. I’m a very visual person, so if an album cover looks cool to me, it’s likely that I’ll pick it up and check out the music. I work at a CD/record store, so I spend a lot of time browsing through interesting CD and vinyl covers. One of the main reasons I love buying CDs & having physical copies of my favorite music is because of the artwork. Here are a few of my favorite album covers!

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1. U2–Rattle And Hum

2. Capital Cities —Inatidal Wave Of Mystery

3. Passenger–Whispers

4. Guster–Ganging Up On the Sun

5. The Who–Quadrophenia

6. Led Zeppelin–Led Zeppelin IV

7. Oasis–What’s the Story Morning Glory?

8. War Kites–Skinny Dipping In the Koi Pond

Ever wondered where the picture on your favorite album cover was taken? If you want to see 10 classic album covers in Google Street view, click here! It’s super cool.

A Trip Down Memory Lane

tapesFor my first birthday, my uncle gave me a cassette tape he had made of some of his favorite rock songs. As soon as I was old enough to play it on my Fisher Price tape recorder, I listened to it every day. The songs on that tape bring back memories of being a preschooler, dressed up in my purple cape on a sunny Saturday morning as my sister and I danced along to the tape in our living room. Additionally, they bring back memories of the summer I was 10, where I pulled my hair back into a sloppy pony-tail, grabbed my tape recorder, and blasted the tape from the basket of my bike as I pedaled down the block. All through middle school, while my friends were listening to Shakira and Avril Lavigne, I was listening to my tape. (Of course, at one point I went through the Taylor Swift phase like most people, but the songs my uncle had given me were always my favorites.) I wore out that tape until I was 13, when it finally broke.

(Photo by Slave Unit)

Songs are so powerful. One of the reasons I have such a passion for music is because I love that songs have the ability to instantly take you back to a particular day, season, or year. When I listen to a song I loved when I was little, it triggers memories of smells, lighting, emotions, and precious moments.

Below is a list of some of the songs my uncle included on the tape he made me 17 years ago, as well as a few other songs I love from my childhood. (Follow/listen to my childhood playlist on Spotify here.)

Feel free to tweet me (@SophersC) or comment below: What were your favorite songs/albums as a kid?

Songs from my uncle’s rock tape:

We’re A Happy Family — The Ramones

Fire Brigade — The Liquor Giants

The Wooden Song — Butthole Surfers

(She’s) Sexy + 17 — Stray Cats

Three Little Birds — Bob Marley & The Wailers

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                  (Fun fact…that clown is my dad!)

Other songs I loved (and still love):

Satellite — Guster

Wonderwall — Oasis

Superman (It’s Not Easy) — Five For Fighting

Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic –The Police

Growing On Me — The Darkness

One Less Set Of Footsteps — Jim Croce

Take A Picture — Filter

Operator — Jim Croce

Jim+Croce+Greatest+Hits   police_every_little_thing

P.S. If you’re reading this, thanks Uncle Chris! 🙂

Nothing Beats The Classics

vinylPhoto by Krystian Olszanski

I listen to a variety of music–from pop to alternative, from folk to rock. And although I love highlighting up-and-coming bands on my blog, this post will be a little different. Today I’m going to talk about a few classic, timeless bands that I’ve been listening to since I was little.

Oasis

Formed in 1991 in Manchester by brothers Liam and Noel Gallagher, Oasis is a band no one will ever forget. Their legendary songs such as “Wonderwall,” and “Champagne Supernova” are the most famous, but my favorites will always be “Don’t Look Back In Anger,” and “She’s Electric.” I would jump at the chance to ever see this band live, but unfortunately, they broke up around 2009. I remember Oasis being one of the first things I downloaded when I first bought an iPod in middle school. My parents always played their CDs, so I grew up listening to them. (Photo via Tumblr). They truly changed the music world. Influencing bands like The Killers, Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes, and Coldplay, their legacy lives on.

My favorite lyric: “Please don’t put your life in the hands of a rock and roll band…who will throw it all away.” ~Don’t Look Back In Anger

The Cranberries

-1Listening to “Linger” by The Cranberries brings me right back to 6th grade when I listened to them all the time. I still love this song–I could listen to it on repeat all day. It’s so calming!

This Irish rock band formed in Limerick in 1990, and is still active today! According to Wikipedia, “The group was one of the most successful rock acts of the ’90s and sold over 40 million albums worldwide.” Check out the amazing live version of their song you might know, “Dreams.” (Photo via Concrete Playground)

My old cassette tape of a few of The Cranberries’ songs.

Favorite Lyric: “If you, if you could return, don’t let it burn, don’t let it fade.” ~Linger

Train

Still widely popular today, Train formed in 1994 and released their very first self-entitled album Train in 1998, which you can check out here! It went triple platinum in the U.S. & Canada, and still stands as the band’s best-selling album. (Photo via Rizzo Music)

A few of my favorite songs by Train are “Calling All Angles,” “Drops Of Jupiter,” and “Meet Virginia.”  I love Train’s rock, pop style–none of their songs is exactly the same as the other.

Favorite Lyric: “Since the return from her stay on the moon, she listens like spring and she talks like June..” ~Drops Of Jupiter

Vertical Horizon

Vertical Horizon formed in 1991, and was my first ever favorite alternative-rock band. The first song I loved by them (which is still my favorite) is “Everything You Want.” (The music video is pretty cool, too!)  Another song I love is their chilling single, “Underwater,” which I’ve been listening to a lot lately. (Photo via ear.fm)tapes

Vertical Horizon is one of those bands that has such a unique sound, but doesn’t get enough credit for how talented they truly are! See for yourself how great they are & listen to the live version of their song, “Send It Up,” here.

Like what you hear? Listen to their latest album, “Echoes From Underground,” here!

Songs are precious time capsules! Tweet me: what song brings YOU back?