Soundtrack To My Summer 2015

Here’s what I’ve been listening to this summer!

Bleachers–Strange Desire

a18593e40fc82d3c71832d62ebf09336This is honestly one of the best albums I’ve ever listened to. Every time I put it on, I always find myself saying: “Oh my God, this is SO GOOD.” Jack Antonoff, former member of the band Fun, perfectly blends a nostalgic, seemingly old-school approach to music with modern, electronic bursts & guitar solos. The piano riffs, echoing, deep-voiced solos and intriguing lyrics make this album so unique, & definitely a must-listen for this summer. I have so many favorites on this album, but “Wake Me,” “Who I Want You To Love,” & “Shadow,” are amazing.

Amber Run–5 AM

24449This record came out just a few months ago as the band’s debut album, and since then, Amber Run has instantly become one of my favorites. There’s a perfect mix of slow songs about love & loss, mixed with fast-paced tunes about loving life. I’ve talked about how much I love Amber Run & their amazing harmonies in one of my previous blog posts, which you can check out here. If you’re waiting for Bastille’s new album, and need some similar stuff to listen to while you wait, 5 AM is perfect for you. Check out “Heaven” and “I Found!”

August Rush Soundtrack

500x500This is one of my old favorites that I dug out of my CD collection to listen to this summer. I recently watched the movie again, and it reminded me of how much I absolutely adore this soundtrack. After listening to it, I always have the urge to learn how to play guitar. There’s something for everyone on this album…rock to classical, classical to gospel, John Legend, Van Morrison & more. I recommend listening to it on a road trip or any other long car ride. It sounds amazing in the car for some reason…just make sure you watch the movie, too!

Alexi Murdoch–Time Without Consequence

e405_c353fff2cc908fb89ad7d9c293d1da9a_jpg-originalI love it when you can hear a singer’s accent in the way that they sing. Alexi Murdoch, a British singer-songwriter did an amazing job on this album, & you can definitely hear his cute British accent coming through in each song. The slow, meticulous guitar playing mixed with Alexi’s low, hypnotizing voice makes this a great album for pretty much any situation. A perfect soundtrack to a warm summer night spent outside, a train ride through the country, or just a good record to take a nap to. I’d  recommend this album for Hozier fans!

Walk The Moon–Talking Is Hard

TIHYou’ve probably heard Walk The Moon’s hit single, “Shut Up And Dance” playing on the radio quite a bit. Like Bleachers, WTM perfectly bands an old-school style of music with their own modern/ pop flair. This is such a summer album–every song makes you want to get up and dance. The drums, guitar, fast-paced beats, and unique vocals on each song makes this album SO fun. My two favorites are “Sidekick,” and “Avalanche.”

 

Mumford & Sons–Wilder Mind

mumford-sons-wilder-mindThis album marks a major turning point for Mumford & Sons, and I love it. You won’t hear any banjos on this album. (Although it sounded amazing on their last few!) With an alternative, fresh feel to this album, you may not even recognize that you’re listening to Mumford & Sons at first. When I listened to the intro to “Believe,” the single that debuted their new style,  I thought I was listening to The 1975. I think it’s great to see the band switching it up a bit! I love “Just Smoke” on the album.

Tweet me: (@SophersC) what are you listening to this summer?

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HOW TO: Create a Music Time Capsule

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetLike I’ve said so many times before on my blog, music/songs can represent memories. Listening to a specific song can bring back so many good memories from various times in your life!

For this post, I decided to do a something a little different. I’m a very sentimental person, and I also absolutely love time capsules. I have so many hidden around my house–one from kindergarten that I’m supposed to open when I graduate from college, one for when I graduate from high school, and one I’m set to open in just a few weeks. Because I love time capsules so much, I decided to combine my love of memorabilia with my passion for music & its power to spark memories.

In this post, I’m going to show you how to create your very own music time capsule. You can decide to open it whenever you want–during a major life milestone, next year, whatever. When you open this time capsule, it will help you remember the music you loved and the memories that you made because of it. It makes your memories a bit more tangible, and is super fun to hide, then discover later. Read on to find out how you can fossilize your favorite artists and albums.

THE IDEA: If you’ve never made a time capsule before, the idea is to find a box or some sort of container, and fill it with significant objects that will spark memories when you open it years later. Ideally, you are supposed forget what’s in the box until you open it. Decide on a specific date or a certain year that you would like to open it, and mark it on the outside, then HIDE IT. Don’t open it, touch it, or peek until your target date.

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9 ideas of what to put inside:

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset1. Tickets from past concerts.

Collect tickets from a few (or one) of the best concerts you’ve attended. On the back, write who went to the concert with you. That way, you can call your friend and reminisce about that perfect night after you open your capsule.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset2. Concert & festival bracelets.

These are so much fun to look at years later. Try to save them instead of throwing them away after the concert/festival you attended. I kept my V.I.P. bracelet from when I met The Wanted.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset3. A lotion or small lip gloss that you wore the night of your favorite concert.

Scent evokes strong memories. One sniff of a perfume that you wore the night you met your favorite band will transport you right back to the moment you finally hugged them.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset4. Pictures, pictures, pictures!

Throw in pictures you snapped of your favorite singer on stage, at meet-and-greets, and of you and your friends after/during concerts. One thing that’s super fun to include: Pictures of your reactions after a concert, or after meeting your favorite band/singer. Make it habit to snap a picture of you and your friends after each concert–you’ll have genuine smiles and you’ll capture the excitement of the night on camera. (In the picture below, on the right, you will see a picture of my friend and me after we met Ed Sheeran. We were a little excited…)

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset5. Buttons, stickers, articles and other mementos.

Cut out an article of an interview or photo shoot with favorite singer, and include it in your time capsule. You’ll love reading it years later, and it will help you remember why you loved that particular artist so much. Stickers, buttons and notes are always fun to look at, too.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset6. Albums, album booklets, or a flash drive.

In 10 years, or whenever you decide to open this time capsule, the world may not be using CDs anymore. Putting your favorite album on a flash drive is probably good idea. If you want, though, go ahead and include a whole CD (if you can fit it inside).

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset7. Fan letters.

Make a point to scan and save letters you write to your favorite band member (before you give them away). Or you still have a letter for your fave that you hope to give them one day, consider putting it in your time capsule. (Obviously if you end up meeting the artist/band, you can still take it out and give it to them.) I scanned the letters I gave to The Wanted when I met them, and it’s fun (if a bit cringe-worthy) to read them now. 🙂

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8. A description of your favorite concert, or concert moment.

Write out your favorite concert moment, then read it out loud to someone who went to the concert with you when you take it out of your time capsule years later. Even if you’re not much of a writer, jot down some bullet points and key moments you want to remember.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset9. Tweets.

You know those embarrassing, adoring tweets you’ve sent to your favorite singers? Print them out! Have you ever gotten a reply? Print it out! You will LOVE seeing them years later when you open your time capsule. Plus, who knows if we will even have Twitter in the future? Your tweets will seem so “retro”!

Hope you enjoyed this post! Tweet me pictures of YOUR music time capsules! (@sophersc)

LISTEN UP: Amber Run

Amber Run

19039153581_8401391d47_oI was stalking people on Instagram a few weeks ago (oh, please–you do it too, haha) when I stumbled across a few videos of a new-ish band called Amber Run, who formed in Nottingham, UK, back in 2012. After getting lost in their EPs on Spotify, I soon discovered that this is the kind of band that you can easily listen to on repeat for hours. (Photo by Paul Hudson.)

If you listen to Bastille, you’ll adore Amber Run…because they sound pretty similar. Like Bastille, each of Amber Run’s songs seems to tell a story. And whether the song is about falling in love, partying in the middle of the day, or wondering what the meaning of life is, each song drew me in as the band members’ amazing harmonies (seriously, they’re incredible) and killer guitar solos filled my headphones. (Photos below by MangakaMaiden Photography.)

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Amber Run is made up of Felix, Will, Joe, Tom & Henry, who, while all studying at University of Nottingham, decided to form a band. (Good choice, boys.) Since then, they’ve toured with some big names in music like Kodaline and Lewis Watson, released 3 EPs (Spark, Pilot & Noah), toured the U.K. a bit, and finished recording their debut album, which will be available on April 27th of this year. (Photo below by Paul Hudson.)

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Something I really love about this band: their diverse song style. Amber Run can go from singing a slow, sleepy and mysterious lullaby, to an upbeat, energetic, makes-you-want-to-sing-at-the-top-of-your-lungs tune. My favorites they’ve released are Heaven, Thank You, Just My Soul Responding (the most Bastille-esque one) & I Found. I’ll admit it: I’ve definitely blasted a few of these in my kitchen when I was home alone, and sang every word at the top of my lungs.

Check out my all time favorite song of theirs below: Heaven. Something about the ending of this song gives me chills. Their harmonies are perfect, and it’s as if they are singing straight into your ears.

I’d love to see Amber Run live one day. (If you’re reading this guys, do a huge tour in America!) I’ve been browsing through some videos of their live performances on YouTube, and their energy on stage is awesome.

If you live in the U.K., Amber Run may be coming to an area near you. Check out their tour schedule below, and go for me! (And make sure you tweet me the entire experience start to finish.)

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Amber Run’s social media:

YouTube

Twitter

Facebook

Website

CONCERTS: Bastille

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The Last Stand Tour. One incredible night. November 13, 2014…sold out. On a rainy & blustery Thursday night two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of seeing one of my favorite bands, Bastille. (With awesome opener Ella Eyre!) In this post, I’ll talk about a few of my favorite moments from the show!

Ella Eyre, a British singer-songwriter from London, was Bastille’s flawless opening act.  As soon as she opened her mouth and sang the first note, I was in awe. Her voice filled the stadium as she effortlessly belted out a few of her killer songs. Her voice reminds me of Adele mixed with a little R & B. She was super engaging with the audience; she taught us songs, urged us to bring out lighters & phones during the slow songs, and took some cute Instagram pics of the crowd. Her fun, neo-pop look along with her wild, curly hair intrigued me just as much as her voice did! My favorite song she performed (and my favorite song she’s written) was “Comeback.” It’s a super sassy tune, and so fun to belt out when you’re home alone in your room. Check out Ella Eyre’s YouTube here!

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When Bastille finally came on stage, the crowd went wild. Hundreds of dedicated fans were jumping in excitement from the floor section, and my friend and I were standing, screaming from our seats. (We got tickets for the seated part of the theater ahead of time, and ended up being in the 100’s section towards the very front. We had a great view!)

B2Y1R8wCYAA0Qr5Dan, the main singer in Bastille, was so overwhelmed by the love and support coming from the fans that night. All he seemed able to holler into his microphone after each song was “thank you so much!”

This band is so connected with their fans; Dan hopped down into the pit during the band’s performance of  “Flaws,” hugging and taking pictures with ecstatic fans on the floor. My friend Rhaeley (who waited a dedicated 13 hours to get front row in the pit) threw Dan a Toy Story 4 shirt (which her & Thomas Jensen made) at one point in the show. Dan picked it up from the stage, and said “Woah! A Toy Story 4 shirt! Thank you very much. I didn’t even know that existed yet…it’s that rare.” Check out the photo of Dan admiring the shirt below!

B2Y1R9YCEAAzw-eMy favorite song to see Bastille perform was “The Draw.” The guitars and chorus sounded so great as they reverberated through the theater, and the best part was when all the fans made Bastille’s trademark with their hands: the triangle. Check out this awesome picture Camille captured of her friend representing the Bastille triangle!

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More of my favorite moments during the show:

Dan’s collaboration with Ella Eyre as they performed their cover of “No Scrubs.” Their voices sounded great together, and the energy they had together on stage was infectious! Here’s a little clip I got of the performance.

-The transitions between each song were amazing. Bastille had a large screen mounted on the stage. After/during each song, the screen played clips from their music videos, or projected super cool designs & Bastille trademarks.

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I loved seeing Bastille perform one of their most popular songs, “Oblivion.” Everyone in the audience pulled out their lighters & phone cameras, waving them silently as Dan belted out the lyrics. It was so calming, & looked great in the dark of the theater. Here’s a small clip I caught of the song.

The closing song was definitely one of the highlights of the show. Bastille ended their concert with their hit single, “Pompeii.” During the song, Ella Eyre and her band, along with Bastille’s band were on stage, signing and dancing along, banging drums while the audience sang along with them. My friend and I stood up, dancing, laughing, and singing the lyrics from our seats. It was such a memorable concert experience! Check out a clip of the song below. (Remember to watch it in the highest quality!)

Overall, I had such a great time at Bastille’s concert. I’d highly recommend going to see them if you ever get the chance. It’s so worth it! Check out the band’s social media below.

Twitter

Instagram

YouTube

5 Indie Bands You Should Be Listening To

Check out these 5 indie bands I’m currently loving!

1. Bastille

bastille,JPEGPhoto by Sam Howzit

Dan Smith, the leader singer of this band, named this group after Bastille Day, which is celebrated on his birthday. The band formed in 2010 in London, and has released two studio albums: “Bad Blood,” and an extended version of the first album, “All This Bad Blood,” along with numerous remix CD’s and EP’s. You’ve probably heard Bastille’s most popular single, “Pompeii.” (The video is super cool, too!)

If you listen to Imagine Dragons, Of Monsters and Men, or Walk The Moon, you’re guaranteed to love Bastille. I can’t wait to see them live in November. My favorite song by them right now is “Get Home.” Browse their YouTube Channel here!

2. Bombay Bicycle Club

bombayPhoto by Ian Wilson

With two EP’s and four studio albums, Bombay Bicycle Club is gaining a loyal fanbase. If you listen to Foster The People or Little Comets (who I will be covering on my blog very soon!) you should check out this group. They were featured in the soundtrack for Twilight’s Eclipse. Check out the song, “How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep,” here.

I’m currently loving their song “Luna,” which you can listen to here.

3. The 1975

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(Photo by Carissa Thrush)

Matty Healy, Adam Hann, George Daniel and Ross MacDonald form The 1975, one of the most talented, and addicting bands of all time. Lately, I can’t seem to stop listening to them! I saw them live last year, and since then, I have been a loyal fan. I almost met Matty at one point–he walked right past me, but I was too chicken to stop and ask him for a picture. Next time!

This group has toured all over the world, and even played Coachella this year. The band currently has only one studio album out, but Matty recently tweeted that new music will be coming from the group on October 30th. (Not sure if that means new album or not, but definitely a new song or two!)

Do you listen to The Neighborhood or HAIM? Then check out The 1975 HERE. I love “Robbers,” “Heart Out,” and “Pressure.”

4. Cathedral Pearls

0001509397_10Photo via cathedralpearls.bandcamp.com

This super new indie band from Spokane, Washington, released their first EP “Place Of Our Residence” in June 2012, and since then, have released “Off My Chain.” You can check it out HERE! I recently visited Spokane, and someone suggested I listen to this band. I’m really glad I did! I love the live version of their single, “Off My Chain.” Their sound is so refreshing. If you listen to the band London Grammer, you might really enjoy Cathedral Pearls. Take a few minutes browsing their website and find out more about them! Click here.

5. Two Door Cinema Club

two doorPhoto by Prestor

I first discovered this band when their song, “Something Good Can Work,” was featured in the popular YouTube video, “Obama’s Victory Dance,” about two years ago.

Two Door Cinema Club is the kind of band you dance to alone in your room. 😉 Their fun, catchy singles are the perfect cure for a bad day. My favorites by them are “Do You Want It All?” and “This Is The Life.” I’d love to see them live one day!

Love Vampire Weekend or Arctic Monkeys? If so, you NEED to listen to this band! Check out their YouTube channel here, and their newest single here.

Tweet me what you think of these bands!