Soundtrack to my Summer 2017

My summers at home are made up of memorable sunsets, vibrant colors, favorite foods, lovely smells, special people, the books I get lost in, and notable music. I remember each of my summers differently through these things, and looking back on them brings back the feelings I had during that time.

Every summer, I like to give you a little sample of what I’ve been listening to. I’ve got an extra good feeling about Summer 2017. ❤

alt-J: Relaxer (album)

alt-j-relaxer-album-artworkListen to this album while drinking lemonade in a hammock, or laying out on the grass in the evening. Each song on this album is expertly formulated–with slow, dramatic melodies and soft guitar slides paired seamlessly with their trademark maraca and echoey guitar riffs, this album incorporates these aspects in addition to celctic-esque harmonies in order to create the sound that makes alt-J so unique. According to MTV, the band also apparently tackles themes of climate change in this record. Also, the name of this album is extremely fitting–it’s a great record to simply chill out and relax to, and I’ve even fallen asleep to it a few times.

george-ezra-dont-matter-now-1George Ezra: “Don’t Matter Now” (single)

This is the perfect song to sing along to in the car with friends on a warm summer night. It’s been a while since George released any new music since his debut album, Wanted On A Voyage in 2015. This single, which he launched with a fun music video, is about remembering the fun things in life, taking time to yourself, traveling and being carefree. This song is a great way to remind yourself that the past year is in the past–let it go, it don’t matter now!

32c0dc1effb1c4cbc5068a10bb591eac.1000x1000x1ARIZONA: Gallery (album)

Woah woah woah. This album, lemme tell ya, sounds incredible live. I had the pleasure of seeing ARIZONA open for the band Coin a few days ago in Portland, and they did not disappoint. Their sound is R&B mixed with electronic and dreamy pop, and a few of my favorites off of this album (which is their very first) are “Annie,” “Electric Touch,” and “Oceans Away.” Their opening set was rad, and I absolutely loved the backing guitar in every single song.

jap houseThe Japanese House: “Saw You In A Dream” (single)

I first heard this song when Matty Healy, lead singer of The 1975, tweeted about it. The Japanese House has a very memorable, distinct style–reverberating vocals and dreamlike electric guitar and piano. Definitely one of my picks this summer as a refreshing, new band that are rising onto the music scene.

 

COIN: How Will You Know If You Never Try (album)

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I saw these guys live with my friend and sister a few nights ago, and they rocked! Lead singer Chase Lawrence had crazy amount of energy that kept the crowd engaged the entire show. The band’s stage set was amazing, too–complete with a neon hand hanging from the ceiling, reaching towards a large cardboard cut out of a gravestone with the words: “How Will You Know If You Never Try?” written on it. Coin have a sound similar to the band Bad Suns–alternative rock with a hint of Saint Motel vibes. I love pretty much the whole of their new record, but a few of my favorites are “Boyfriend,” “Are We Alone?” and “Don’t Cry, 2020.” Their fans loved these songs too–they screamed the lyrics back at Chase, seeming to overwhelm him with surprise and love.

16227a22a29ffaf90eaa55a24d26bdd3.1000x1000x1Liam Gallagher: “Wall Of Glass” (single)

If you think you don’t know who Liam Gallagher is, you do. He was 1/2 of the band Oasis, the iconic 90’s band who released the hit single everyone and their mothers know, “Wonderwall.” Liam debuted this new single during Ariana Grande’s One Love Manchester benefit concert a few weeks ago in anticipation of his first ever solo record, As You Were, set to release later this year. Although Liam (and his brother, Noel) are known to be pretty bratty, I gotta admit, their music is stellar. If this new single is anything like the rest of Liam’s upcoming album, it’s sure to be a hit.

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Single Review: “Luna” by Veludo Planes

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Veludo Planes is a four-piece alternative/indie band from the south coast of the U.K., made up of members Mike, Sam, Chris, and Ollie. According to their Twitter bio, they describe themselves as “disillusioned 20 somethings with guitars.”

Two of the band mates, Mike and Chris, are identical twin brothers. With a sound similar to The Kooks and Oasis, Veludo Planes have won the hearts of fans across the world through their killer guitar riffs, and gruff, intense vocals that seem to transport the listener back in time through the band’s 90’s-esque style. Veludo Planes have previously supported big names such as Circa Waves, Blossoms, The Subways and Spring King, whilst performing at various UK festivals over the past year. (Photo courtesy of Veludo Planes.)

The group have released quite a few singles, such as: “The Snows of Kilimanjaro,” “Wicker Man,” and their most recent,”Luna,” which they’ve paired with a sweet music video just this past week. (I wrote an article an article on this group in July of this past year on RadSound. Check it out here.)

9smlo3xhbquqbvmzy89vmi2tohbwckmkyrpdg3ayn7yI’m loving the metallic, nostalgic sound of this brand new track, “Luna,” and the accompanying raw footage of the group enjoying their time on the road while touring for fans around the U.K. I definitely see big things happening for this band in the near future–their music reminds me a lot of the style of one of my favorite bands of all time, Oasis. Make sure you get on board in supporting this rad group by following their Facebook, Soundcloud and Spotify page!

Now Playing

I apologize for my lack of posts lately! I just started my first year of college, so I’ve been adjusting to a lot of new things & I haven’t had time to sit down and write a blog post.

Speaking of new things, I have been listening to a lot of new music (well, new to me) lately. Here’s a few albums that I’ve had on repeat since I started school…

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds (2011)noel-gallaghers-high-flying-birds-album-art1-300x300

After Oasis (tragically) broke up in 2009, brothers Noel and Liam Gallagher went their separate ways. Liam formed his own band and named it Beady Eye, and Noel formed the High Flying Birds with the help of Oasis’ former pianist, bassist, guitarist and drummer. Noel has released two studio albums with this band–a self-titled album, and Chasing Yesterday, which just came out earlier this year. Both are great records, but the one I’m loving the most right now is the debut, self-titled album. I love “The Good Rebel”, “(I Wanna Live In A Dream In My) Record Machine”, “Stop The Clocks” & “If I Had A Gun.” The harmonies in the chorus of “The Good Rebel” are absolutely amazing, & “I Wanna Live In A Dream” and “Stop The Clocks” sound a bit like Oasis–something that all dedicated fans will appreciate. I love blasting this album on Friday afternoons in my dorm.

warondrugs_dreamWar On Drugs: Lost In the Dream (2014)

The soft, lulling guitar riffs paired with lead singer Adam Granduciel’s soothing vocals make this a perfect album to either fall asleep to, or play in the background of a study session. I love albums that have songs over 5 minutes long, and this is one of those albums. There’s one song on the record that’s almost 9 minutes long. (And it happens to be my favorite–check out “Under The Pressure.”) I also love “Red Eyes,” “An Ocean In Between the Waves,” and “Suffering.”

51h3Lf+caiLFleetwood Mac: Rumours (1977)

I know what you’re thinking: how is it possible that she just discovered this album?! I really don’t have a good excuse–I just haven’t. My parents didn’t listen to Fleetwood Mac much when I was younger, so I was never introduced to the band until this past summer when a friend of mine played me “Rumours” for the first time. Since then, I’ve been listening to this album nonstop. I’m in love with the guitar solos and duets between the legendary Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham. Lately, I’ve been playing “Secondhand News,” “Dreams,” “Don’t Stop,” and of course, “Go Your Own Way.” Don’t be like me and wait until the last minute to listen to this album for the first time (if you haven’t already)–go listen now!

UK-Ebb-FlowJudith Owen: Ebb And Flow (2014)

First off, I love title of this record. Ebb And Flow ties in so well with the overall mood of the album–Judith’s voice really does flow through your headphones in each song. I had the privilege of watching Judith perform this past summer with the legendary Leland Sklar (who has been featured on over 2,000 albums and worked with musical superstars such as James Taylor, Willie Nelson, Linda Ronstadt, and Lisa Loeb to name just a few.) My favorite songs on Ebb And Flow are “I Would Give Anything,” and “Hey Mister, That’s Me Up On The Jukebox.” When Judith visited the record store I work in over the summer for a small performance, I sat down with her for “spot of tea” before the show. I chatted with her about music, food, and her life in England. She’s so funny, sweet, and incredibly talented. I’d highly recommend picking up her album this month– a perfect record to play on a rainy day.

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)

Artists Unplugged

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I spend a lot of time browsing YouTube…especially for music. One of my favorite pastimes is finding videos of my favorite singers/ bands covering acoustic versions of their songs. Sometimes, the acoustic version is even better than their studio version. That’s when you know you’ve discovered an artist with true talent! For this post, I compiled a few videos of my favorite artists and their unplugged performances. Check them out below, and tweet me: what songs sound better acoustically? (Photo by Ian Sane)

Taking Over Me –Lawson

Closed Hands Full Of Friends — Foy Vance

Lay Me Down — Sam Smith

Small Bump — Ed Sheeran

Noel Gallagher — Don’t Look Back In Anger

Cherry Wine — Hozier

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

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