Discovering BTS

Sometimes music only needs to be felt to be loved. The connection made through sound alone with the lyrics being secondary. Listening to a band who don’t perform in your native tongue can seem pointless to some. However bands like BTS are giving fans a whole new perspective on music altogether. After being introduced to the seven member K-pop group through an internet friend, I have been swept up in a new and completely engaging wave of music. Not only is the band’s music jaw dropping in its genre range but the members themselves preform to a soaring level of dedication and effort.

Listen to the first BTS song I was exposed to, ‘Not Today’, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DwzBICPhdM

‘Not Today’ is an explosive introduction into BTS, I will admit, however it’s a song and music video that completely encapsulates the band from their high powered vocals to insane choreography. Each of their music videos containing the same cinematic style and magnetism, with their performance style being nothing short of polished. The band have managed to connect with fans beyond their music through not shying away from ‘topics they deem important even in a conservative society.’ Topics such as death and loss as well as school bullying and mental illness. With a taste of their music upon your tongue, we can now delve further into the band themselves.

BTS is a seven member band that were put together by Big Hit Entertainment with various line-up changes from the years 2010 to 2012. In 2010 and 2011 auditions were held for a possible new boy band who eventually became J-Hope, V, Jimin, Rap Monster (RM), Jungkook, Jin and Suga. The name BTS correlates to many things (such as the Korean expression Bangtan Sonyeondan meaning ‘Bulletproof Boy Scouts’ and Bangtan Boys) but has most recently been announced to stand for ‘Beyond The Scene.’

In the beginning of their career, BTS only saw moderate success from their song covers on Youtube and SoundCloud but began gaining attention through various forms of social media. In June of 2013, the band released their debut album 2 Cool 4 Skool, which was to be the first part in their School Trilogy series. Most of their early singles, such as ‘No More Dream’, failed to make it high into the charts however the band persevered through other forms of promotion. For example the guys starred in their own variety show based on a fake broadcast station that allowed fans to get to the boys behind the music. The release of the second in the School Trilogy series, O!RUL8,2?, in the same year, contained the topically important single ‘N.O.’ The single holds this title due to the fact that it is a critique on the educational industrial complex, the music video depicting the solider like obedience expected of pupils.

Listen to the song and watch the music video for ‘N.O’ here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmgxPLLLyVo

By the end of 2013, BTS were slowly gaining more and more popularity and were being recognised with several New Artist of the Year Awards. Once the boys released their final instalment of their School Trilogy series, Skool Luv Affair, they saw success through topping the Gaon Chart as well as peaking at number three on Billboard’s World Albums Chart. From here BTS participated in many events over the year such as acting as judges for a K-pop cover dance competition in Russia and attending KCON in Los Angeles. In 2014 their first Korean studio album, Dark & Wild, was released and sold over 200,000 copies. Dark & Wild explored a different sound to any of the School Trilogy series and contained the singles ‘Danger’ and ‘War of Hormone’ and saw the band entering a more R&B/rock genre to their previous music. ‘War of Hormone’ received some backlash due to the lyrics being labelled as misogynistic causing the band’s label to issue an apology in 2016.

Listen to ‘Danger’ here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bagj78IQ3l0

And ‘War of Hormone’ here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQmpVHUi-0A

With success rapidly building for the boys, it was only inevitable they began to enter the mainstream by 2015, releasing the EP, The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, Part 1. The EP was listed in Fuse’s ‘27 Best Albums of 2015 So Far’ and was the only Korean album on the whole list. The lead single ‘I Need U’ became the band’s first music video to hit over 100 million views on YouTube and won first place on SBS MTV’s The Show. After this, their single ‘Dope’ hit number three on Billboard’s World Digital Chart and was accompanied by a music video depicting the band members in different styles of career dress.

Watch the music video for ‘Dope’ here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVwAVbKYYeM

Throughout 2015 and leading into 2016, BTS continued to release multiple singles as well as commencing with their 2015 Live Trilogy Episode: The Red Bullet world tour and being a part of the Summer Sonic Festival tour in Japan. Their EP, The Most Beautiful Moment In Life, Part 2, also topped Billboard’s World Albums Chart, remaining in that position for several weeks. This made BTS the first K-pop band to own this achievement and lead on to the boys winning Best World Performer at the 2015 Mnet Asian Music Awards. In 2016, BTS released their second Korean studio album, Wings, to sell over 500,000 pre-order copies in the first week alone. The success of this album entered them at number 62 on the UK Official Album Charts and solidified them in history for achieving high levels of success in the western world. Their music video for ‘Blood, Sweat and Tears’ broke a Youtube record by gaining 6 million views in only twenty-four hours.

Watch ‘Blood, Sweat and Tears’ here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmE9f-TEutc

This year has seen BTS appear everywhere you look, with fans all over the world eagerly anticipating their new music. Songs such as ‘MIC Drop’ and ‘DNA’ flooring fans in typical BTS style with captivating music and even more hypnotising music videos. As their success continues to grow, I doubt we will be seeing the end of BTS any time soon.

Links:

Website: http://bts.ibighit.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BTS_twt?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ibighit/videos

 

By Skye W. Winwood

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Dallon Weekes’ departure from Panic! At The Disco

Out with the old and in with the new, is the mind set of many of the world’s population with New Year’s Eve rapidly approaching. A time for putting to bed the past and allowing us to wake up the new opportunities presented to us in the new year.

In a turn of events fans can argue we saw coming, Dallon Weekes has announced his official departure from punk/pop band, Panic! At The Disco. Through the medium of social media Dallon wrote, ‘For the last eight years I’ve had the incredible opportunity to perform in Panic! At The Disco…I’m grateful for the chance I’ve had to be part of [the band]…I will always consider myself indebted to those who made me feel welcome…you changed my life. Thank you all.’ A heartfelt farewell to those he will be leaving behind but also an encouragement for fans of both the band and himself to follow him on his new musical adventure.

Dallon joined Panic! back in 2009 after the departure of band members Ryan Ross and Jon Walker, on a temporary touring basis as the band’s bassist. However, in 2010, his ‘temporary’ status was upgraded to an official, contributing member. Panic! At The Disco greatly benefited from the decision to take Dallon on full time for he was able to contribute artistically to the band’s fourth studio album, Too Weird To Live! Too Rare To Die! The public were made aware of Dallon’s new status via Twitter half way through 2012. For Panic! At The Disco’s fifth album, Death of a Bachelor, Dallon took a step back once more, not contributing to the album and returning to be a touring member only. With the solo direction Panic! seems to be taking, it has not come as a shock to many fans that, on December 27th of this year, Dallon revealed he would be permanently leaving Panic! At The Disco.

The initial reaction of many fans has been disappointment and upset to see Dallon leaving but many people, amongst myself, are eager to see how this new creative freedom will develop in his own band, I Don’t Know How But They Found Me. IDKHow is a project Dallon has been working on with ex Falling In Reverse drummer Ryan Seamen. Already with two songs released (‘Modern Day Cain’ and ‘Choke’) the band are gaining quick traction with their songs preforming immensely well in the iTunes charts.

Having been given a brief taste into Dallon’s musical talent working with Panic!, and beginning to develop his individual style with IDKHow, I, along with many fans, encourage people to continue supporting Dallon in the future. The introduction into IDKHow has softened the blow of Dallon no longer being a part of Panic! and fans are eager to see the direction Dallon will take things in.

Links:

Website: https://www.idkhow.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DallonWeekes

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPeiIDYMwZQpL7aocblfqtQ

‘I Don’t Know How But They Found Me new single ‘Choke’’: https://musicnews2dayblog.wordpress.com/2017/11/01/i-dont-know-how-but-they-found-me-new-single-choke/

 

By Skye W. Winwood

Remembering Jonghyun

With the Christmas period slowly coming to an end and the new year just around the corner, it is important to remember those who will not be moving on with us. In the modern day of invasive technology and overwhelming press, celebrities all over the world are having to find ways to cope with the growing pressure put on them by the media. Unfortunately, sometimes, the struggle becomes too much and leads to the tragic and heart-breaking reality that some celebrities can no longer live this kind of life anymore. With all the artists in the music world already gone in these recent years, one recent death has shattered the hearts of many and left a feeling of emptiness we can only console with one another.

Jonghyun is most known for being a member of the K-pop group, SHINee, as well as being a solo artist, radio host and author. Born April 8th 1990 in South Korea as Kim Jong-hyun, Jonghyun saw fame over many medias and multiple layers of success as an artist. On December 18th 2017, Jonghyun took his own life due to reasons people believe are related to a long time battle with depression. The details of his death will not be discussed in this blog post out of respect for the sudden and recent loss felt by family, friends and fans, but I believe it is important to highlight the life and achievements of a beloved musician.

In recent years, Korean music has made its way over to both the UK and USA to enter the mainstream and become the new music playing through everyone’s earphones. Bands like BTS, Exo and, of course, SHINee have propelled the genre of K-pop into the western music chats where it only continues to rise to the top. Jonghyun was a large part of this movement with his work as a vocalist in both SHINee and his participation in the group project S.M. The Ballad.

Jonghyun began his musical career in 2008 when he was chosen to be a member of the boy group, SHINee along with Lee Tae-min, Choi Min-ho, Key and Onew. Jonghyun quickly established his place in the band and by 2009 was writing lyrics and was the lyricist for “Juliette” the group’s fourth Korean single. The translated lyrics (from Korean to English) are a beautiful arrangement of a burning confession of love, unsurprisingly influenced by the classic Romeo and Juliet story. Jonghyun explained he wanted to create something people could relate to and saw the iconic story as something everyone could understand. SHINee, along with Jonghyun, soon began to cause a storm with their fashion trends spreading among students and their music reaching overseas. The band have been highly praised for their insanely synchronized and intricate dance routines as well as being labelled for being one of the best live vocalists in K-pop.

With the success of SHINee behind his back, Jonghyun began development on other projects such as providing vocals for the song ‘Let’s Go’, which was written with the intent of increasing public participation in the 2010 G-20 Seoul summit. Along with this, Jonghyun has been recognised for his support concerning issues that are otherwise frowned upon. For example in 2013, Jonghyun changed his Twitter profile picture to an image that indicated support for the LGBTQ+ community despite receiving negative backlash from a Korean website claiming to be members of the SHINee fanclub. In 2013, Jonghyun also found his talent as a composer with the song ‘A Gloomy Clock’ that was featured in IU’s third Korean album, Modern Times. This led to another piece called ‘Red Candle’ that was composed and written by Jonghyun. In 2014, S.M. The Ballad returned with Jonghyun being the only original member.

By this time, Jonghyun had quite the history, talent and experience behind him and decided to begin working on his own solo album. In January 2015, he released his debut solo album, Base, which was quickly devoured positively by critics. The album peaked at first place on both the Billboard’s World Album Chart as well as the Gaon Album Chart. Jonghyun soon began working alongside other popular artists such as Exo and Lim Kim, acting as a songwriter and composer for both.

After conquering the music world, Jonghyun moved onto new but not completely unknown territory with his experience as a song writer. September 2015 saw the publishing of Skeleton Flower: Things That Have Been Released and Set Free, a book containing Jonghyun’s experiences and inspirations. In October 2015, he was chosen as one of the top five K-pop idols through a survey conducted by forty anonymous music industry officials.

The shocking and emotionally charring news of his passing has left many fans lost and seeking solace in Jonghyun’s music. The very serious issue of depression in the celebrity world is sometimes overshadowed and forgotten until someone else is pushed too far. Jonghyun will be dearly missed by millions but we can hope his death highlights the dangers of ignoring mental illness in ourselves and those around us, and contribute to the world moving forward with a higher state of awareness.

 

By Skye W. Winwood

Christmas Playlist 2017

Christmas is the most magical time of the year but how can there be magic without music? To infuse your festive day with a chorus of angels, guitar riffs and little drummer boys, here is a Christmas playlist of 25 pop, rock, classic and everything in between songs filled with holiday themes.

Fall Out Boy – ‘Yule Shoot Your Eye Out’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SW3X7-gk8q0

Known for their quirky, catchy and clever song titles and lyrics, ‘Yule Shoot Your Eye Out’ is an original Christmas song in true Fall Out Boy fashion. Of course, Christmas is a time of celebration but sometimes it can also include moments of reflection on past relationships, especially those lost. ‘Yule Shoot Your Eye Out’ is a beautiful heart breaking Christmas tune that will be stuck on your tongue all day.

Mariah Carey/My Chemical Romance – ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’

Mariah: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXQViqx6GMY

MCR: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8rjrPIGZ5U

From Christmas heart ache to Christmas heart longing, Maria Carey has provided one of the most iconic Christmas songs of the modern period. From the first tinkling of those bells in the intro, you know you are about to be propelled into a world of snowy Christmas nostalgia and impossible to reach high notes. Alongside Maria’s original, My Chemical Romance recorded their own cover which could almost be a completely different song, for those of you tired of the same old same old this year.

Set This Off – ‘This Christmas (I’ll Burn It To The Ground)’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Scg_VG982o

If the Grinch had written a Christmas song, this would be it. Devoid of the stereotypical festive cheer and seasonal harmony, ‘This Christmas (I’ll Burn It To The Ground)’ is a punk rock song for those who still want to celebrate Christmas but have had enough of all the commercialised traditions.

The Pogues ft. Kirsty MacColl – ‘Fairytale of New York’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9jbdgZidu8

Released in 1987, ‘Fairytale of New York’ has remained a Christmas classic throughout many of our lives. The calm intro into the song embodies the feelings of calm relaxation we all hope to experience over the Christmas period. However, once the song kicks in at about the minute and a half mark, we tumble into the true chaos but still enjoyable season we all know and love.

Panic! At The Disco – ‘Feels Like Christmas’

Of course, I couldn’t make a Christmas playlist without including Panic! At The Disco’s new Christmas song ‘Feels Like Christmas.’ Although, only released this year, the jaunty, joyous tune will no doubt find a permanent place on everyone’s Christmas playlist in years to come.

Slade – ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0A8KT365wlA

IT’S CHRIIIIIIISTMAS, need I say more? Slade asks the important Christmas questions before launching into a rock ‘n’ roll Christmas classic. Recently, mysterious rock band, Wartoad, have released a cover of the much loved song that will help the homeless with the proceeds collected from people buying the single.

New Found Glory – ‘Nothing For Christmas’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2q9VOAJyuYE

Of course we all love receiving gifts and the excitement of surprise on Christmas morning but New Found Glory’s ‘Nothing For Christmas’ reminds us of the true reason for the season. A song about love, appreciation and a heartfelt message that one person could be enough to make Christmas everything this year.

Andy Williams – ‘It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFtb3EtjEic

A musical masterpiece that belongs on the Broadway stage, ‘It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year’ is exactly what it says on the tin. Even to those who do not celebrate the holiday, it cannot be denied the atmosphere and love spread throughout the season is felt by all. Including the classics of an iconic Christmas, this song is timeless and can always guarantee to have everyone up and dancing every year.

All Time Low – ‘Fool’s Holiday’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jX74HsAVWr0

With a sound akin to The Darkness’ ‘Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End’, All Time Low’s ‘Fool’s Holiday’ is packed full of festive metaphors that will have you singing and swaying this holiday period. The song is a perfect combination of punk and beauty that was tailored made for fans of an alternative Christmas.

Tony Bennett/Michael Buble – ‘Winter Wonderland’

Tony Bennett:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSb-EGXMToI

Michael Buble: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIKt5p3UmXg

Both versions of this song are beautiful renditions of a holiday classic, it was impossible to choose just one to include in the playlist. So, my Christmas present to you, is the gift of both versions of ‘Winter Wonderland’, whether your more for Tony’s dreamlike sequence or Michael’s upbeat jazz tune. Whatever your mood this Christmas, ‘Winter Wonderland’ should always be included.

Sia – ‘Santa’s Coming For Us’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3EYjVPRClU

Although the title may sound a little menacing, the actual sound of ‘Santa’s Coming For Us’ is a festive pop track blessed with Sia’s amazing vocals. The singer’s signature sound has been given a Christmas sprinkle and provides a fun filled track that is only one part of her new Christmas album, Everyday Is Christmas.

Queen – ‘Thank God It’s Christmas’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6V5mtUff6ik

Gone but never forgotten, Freddy Mercury has blessed Christmas with his soulful, harrowing vocals in Queen’s ‘Thank God It’s Christmas.’ The rock ballad was released in 1984 and spent six weeks in the UK charts over the Christmas period and into the new year. The song is a musical release of all the built up tension we feel during the year until we’re crying ‘thank God it’s Christmas’ along with the song.

Relient K – ’12 Days of Christmas’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PA6QsHdXwdI

Tired of the same old Christmas songs? Relient K give a punk revamp to ’12 Days Of Christmas’ and turns it into a head banging track you never would have suspected could become a new Christmas favourite. The humorous track includes every single day from the original song with the band’s own spin thrown into the mix to turn it into something completely new. The fast pace of the track will have you tongue tied even more than usual trying to keep up but no doubt you’ll have fun giving it a good go.

Wham!/Jimmy Eat World – ‘Last Christmas’

Wham!: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8gmARGvPlI

Jimmy Eat World: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3J7trGtpB0

A heart wrenching song that simply has to be played at Christmas no matter how it pulls the tears from your eyes. However, if you’ve had enough pf being emotionally tortured by the classic by Wham!, Jimmy Eats World have given the song a punk cover that is a little more upbeat but no less heart breaking.

Weezer – ‘We Wish You A Merry Christmas’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQ-6sSRej9Q

Even some of the most festive people cannot stand Christmas carols but Weezer are here to change your mind. ‘We Wish You A Merry Christmas’ is an alternative cover of the timeless classic that will appeal to even the most scrooge-like of you out there.

Elvis Presley – ‘Blue Christmas’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5I2f1UJjiAA

It can’t be Christmas without the king, even years after his passing, albums are still being released around the festive season containing the hound dog’s deep and hypnotising vocals. ‘Blue Christmas’ is a smooth yet soaring track from another time when romance is all people wanted for Christmas.

The Brobecks – ‘Christmas Drag’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8w3Vmme361Y

Another song for people who are just not feeling the festive atmosphere this year, ‘Christmas Drag’ reminisces about Christmases past and the want for something new next year. It highlights that not every year can be the perfect Christmas time but next year is only around the corner.

Fall Out Boy – ‘What’s This?’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vb1ZS6lMFuk

Whilst releasing their own festive tunes, Fall Out Boy have also used their musical talent to cover song’s like The Nightmare Before Christmas’s ‘What’s This?’ Originally written and performed by Danny Elfman, the band manage to make the song their own and was included on the Nightmare Revisited album.

The Darkness – ‘Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQhuoY5h2kE

Manging to pull off a Christmas rock classic back in 2003, it may possibly be one of the band’s most well-known songs outside of the alternative community. To this day, many of us still don’t know exactly what all of the lyrics are from listening to the song alone but it doesn’t stop us singing along at the top of our lungs.

Dido – ‘Christmas Day’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMFzQhR9dJw

In beautiful Dido style, ‘Christmas Day’ is an acoustic track telling the tale of a passing love and the wait each Christmas for that love to return. The perfect song to wind down the hectic, family filled Christmas day that transports you into a love story that will go on and on with each replay.

Panic! At The Disco – ‘White Christmas’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Z1j8wB1pmI

Akin to the sound of a barber shop quartet, Panic! At The Disco’s ‘White Christmas’ sounds like it was recorded earlier than 2008. A short and sweet track consisting of only a minute and a half, it’s the perfect interlude between that hearty dinner and the wait for Christmas pudding.

Blink 182 – ‘I Won’t Be Home For Christmas

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sy9_JjLnmZI

After Panic’s ‘White Christmas’, something is needed to wake you back up for a night of joy filled drinking. Blink 182 will provide this pick me up with their ‘I Won’t Be Home For Christmas’, a song that tells the ugly truth about Christmas some of us experience. The too invasive time of year when we’re forced to play polite to people we would avoid at any other time during the year. ‘I Won’t Be Home For Christmas’ is backed with an upbeat sound that turns the otherwise depressing lyrics into something humorous and relatable.

New Found Glory – ‘Ex-Miss’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYGEzmk3UKo

Already having one on this playlist for a new found love, New Found Glory also highlight the other side of Christmas romance with their song ‘Ex-Miss’. A combination of Christmas bell’s and shredding guitar, this is one for anyone who hasn’t had the best year but are armed and ready to beat the next.

Never Shout Never – ’30 Days’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wb0D2IciaxU

A slow and simple track looking back on the year and wishing there was just a little more time before the New Year arrives. A song about last chances and making the most of the few days we have left of the current year whilst also being a song thanking those loved ones in our life that make everything worth it.

Relient K – ‘Merry Christmas, Here’s To Many More’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5J55oKEZMo

Possibly my personal favourite Christmas song, Relient K’s ‘Merry Christmas, Here’s To Many More’ is a song about making it through the tough times faced throughout the year. A song capturing the wholesome message of the holiday season, that you are loved and cared for even when you don’t realise it. It’s the perfect song to finish off this playlist as well as the Christmas day, the lyrics simply about overcoming whatever has tried to drag you down and promising the reward of many more years of joy to come.

 

Merry Christmas everybody and all the best in the New Year!

 

By Skye W. Winwood

Discovering Yiruma

The demand for classical music has been on the decline in recent years, with the rising trend in pop music overshadowing other genres. However this has not stopped the undeniable beauty classical composers are producing every day. One of these composers goes by the name of Yiruma; a man with unquestionable talent and creativity in the classical genre.

Born and raised in South Korea as Lee Ru-ma and going by the stage name Yiruma, the musician has gained an exceeding amount of popularity for his unique twist on the classical genre. From an early age there was no doubt Yiruma would go on to be one of the greats, beginning to play piano at age five before moving to London at ten to continue his education at the Purcell School of Music. After graduating from Purcell he went on to complete a composition major at King’s College London and by the end of his education had released his first album, Love Scene. In 2001, he released the album he is most attributed to, First Love, containing his most popular piece ‘River Flows In You.’

Listen to ‘River Flows In You’ here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsTjI75uEUQ

‘River Flows In You’ is nothing short of audio beauty, the composition and performance of the piece expressing a tear inducing abundance of emotions. The track has a direct attachment to your heart strings and Yiruma is playing every single one of them perfectly. Yiruma’s influence of the romantic music of Paris is apparent in all of his music but none more than ‘River Flows In You.’ The composition takes you on a journey of the soul, easing you in before showcasing Yiruma’s talent with the ivory keys. ‘River Flows In You’ is possibly the number one song for people’s first dance because of how it bursts forth with feelings of love and romance, ending on a melancholy note that just leaves you wanting more.

In 2003, Yiruma went on to release his third album, From the Yellow Room, which saw pre-orders reaching over 30,000 copies and hitting top rank on popular music charts like Phono and Hot Tracks. This album included the equally popular ‘Kiss The Rain’, a twinkling piece that could have been plucked directly from the end of a romance movie that leaves no dry eye in the room.

Listen to ‘Kiss The Rain’ here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=so6ExplQlaY

The piece strikes as one of realisation of something known beneath the surface finally coming to light. The repeating chords resonate deep in your psyche, connecting on a truly emotion level. The track soars high before falling into a soft end that echoes the beginning, giving the piece a feeling of total completion. ‘Kiss The Rain’ is a pretty and admirable piece that leaves the listener in wonder and awe.

After his fourth album (POEMUSIC) and fifth album (Spring Waltz), Yiruma gave up his British citizenship to enlist in the Korean Army, as all South Korean males are required to do. The break in music did not lesson his talent, however, for he returned in 2008 with the Yiruma Come Back Tour. The tour consisted of twenty cities in Korea and followed on with Yiruma becoming a DJ for KBS1FM Yiruma’s Music All Around The World in 2009.

Yiruma’s musical style is unlike famous composers of eras gone by, recognising the rapidly changing world he lives in and adjusting accordingly. Whilst still creating music belonging to the classical genre, Yiruma’s music has been labelled ‘new age’, likened to music used in film scores or television dramas. The modern twist placed on his music has allowed multitudes of fans to connect on an almost intimate level with his compositions, continuing to boost his popularity.

Links:

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/0fauHpmSHwodVYIjTqOGHz

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Yiruma-125708571122/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/YirumaVEVO

 

Review by Skye W. Winwood

Gabbie Hanna’s new single ‘Satellite’ is orbiting the top of the charts

Musicians can spring up from the most unlikely of places and with media platforms like Youtube only gaining in popularity, it’s currently the place to find the next big stars. Gabbie Hanna is proving herself to be one of these stars with shining potential with her new single ‘Satellite.’

Listen to ‘Satellite’ here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZJ5q5objQc

Originally gaining fame on the app Vine, Gabbie Hanna has secured roles as a singer-songwriter, author, comedian, poet and actress – just to name a few. When Vine reached its inevitable demise early this year, Gabbie began putting all of her effort into her Youtube channel, Gabbie Hanna. Her comedy and ability to capture and hold the attention of her audience transferred well into her ‘Storytime’ videos. She easily put forth a likeable and relatable persona before branching out into other forms of entertainment. The time and effort dedicated to her channel has helped Gabbie to reach over five million subscribers and enter a career as a music artist.

September 6th saw the release of Gabbie’s debut single ‘Out Loud’, a song about the heart breaking loss of a loved one, someone once trusted. Gabbie’s intention with the song was to shock people by stepping away from what she had previously been known for. Shocking people is exactly what she accomplished as ‘Out Loud’ still continues to blow away fans. The lyrics of the song alone are a beautiful arrangement of words inspired by the poetry in her book, Adultolescence. The overwhelming emotion and frustration of the song is capture by Gabbie’s sombre vocals. Although ‘Out Loud’ comes across easily as the loss of a romantic relationship, Gabbie has stated she wants the song to relate to the loss of any relationship. Writing the song in direct address has allowed many people to relate to the lyrics and apply them to their own lives. Experiencing music in the personal way we all should.

Listen to ‘Out Loud’ here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNZTec6BbOU

After the release of ‘Out Loud’ fans have been desperate for more from the Youtuber and received exactly what they have been seeking in the form of Gabbie’s new single, ‘Satellite.’ Continuing the theme of relatable issues from her previous single, ‘Satellite’ is about the idea of being on the outside. Being able to see everything that is happening but unable to be a part of it, something everyone has felt at some point in their life. The creativity of the lyrics from ‘Out Loud’ are stepped up in ‘Satellite’ with some truly poetic lines such as ‘I can make it on my own/the fallen star of a one man show.’ Whilst the song is an expression of isolation, there are also hints of inspiration and rising against the isolation felt. As well as this, Gabbie demonstrates spectacular vocal control with a unique sound that is easily recognisable as her. ‘Satellite’ evokes a style similar to Avril Lavigne’s ballads combined with a hint of Cascada.

Gabbie has confirmed the release of a future album and if these two singles are anything like what we can expect from the album, there’s no doubt it will see roaring success. Both singles are available to download and stream on iTunes and Spotify.

Links:

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfBpv6ahDMg7kEClQuMpzzw

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thegabbieshow/?hl=en

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheGabbieShow

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thegabbieshow/

 

Review by Skye W. Winwood

Re-discovering Paolo Nutini

Over the past few months, this blog has published posts discovering new artists. Musicians that are either new to the industry or those who have become lost among the fresh faces of today. Each artist has brought a new perspective to the way I listen to music. However sometimes, when on the search for another enlightening musical experience, it’s important to remember those artists who helped begin the journey. For me, Paolo Nutini is one of those artists, becoming one of the first musicians I listened to outside of the alternative genre. His music infuses a sense of nostalgia within me that stretches beyond his musical talent but I know he is an artist others will thoroughly enjoy. To anyone who has never even heard of him, prepare your ears for a swirling audio mosaic of pop rock, soul and folk music all fused into one.

Born of parents from both Scottish and Italian descent, Nutini was destined to follow his father into their family fish and chip shop business. A place where his musical talent would have wasted away amiss the wafting smells of salt and vinegar. Fortunately, Nutini had an extremely supportive grandfather by the name of Giovanni “Jackie” Nutini who knew of his grandson’s talent before even he really did. With this encouragement pushing him forward, Nutini left school to work as a roadie for Scottish band Speedway. He then went on to have experience working in Glasgow’s Park Lane Studio where he was able to pick up valuable knowledge of the music industry. With this gained combination of experience both in the studio and on the road it was only a matter of time before Nutini released his first album.

After being signed up for his first live show in 2003, Nutini was discovered by business partners Brendan Moon and Mike Bawden – the latter still Nutini’s manager today. Shortly after his 18th birthday, Nutini created his first demo and was signed to Atlantic Records. Now with a music label behind him, he was able to release his first single, ‘These Streets’, as a free download in 2006. A song about a man and his guitar and the turbulent journey both have been on. The song was Nutini’s first appearance on the professional music scene and a beautiful introduction to his unique voice and music style.

Listen to ‘These Streets’ here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ea3f5R3K96o

From here he continued to release chart topping music until his first album, also named These Streets, in 2006. Nutini worked alongside Ken Nelson on the creation of the album, a producer known for his work with Coldplay. Nutini’s first album had inspirations from his own personal experiences with unsuccessful relationships and offered a glimpse into the artist’s life. These Streets only opened the gates of opportunity further for Nutini as he began playing sell out concerts throughout the UK and supported The Rolling Stones in Vienna.

With the success his debut album brought him, Nutini was able to release Sunny Side Up – the album he is arguably most attributed to and the album where I discovered the Scottish singer/songwriter. Sunny Side Up was released in 2009 and proved to be an instant hit, skyrocketing all the way to number one in the UK charts. The album saw Nutini branching out and exploring himself more as a musician as the album is notably different in sound to These Streets. Although it received a mixed critical response, the success of the album is undeniable with a range of sweeping ballad’s and jaunty tunes to keep you elated in any mood. The album consists of cute coming-of-age songs like ‘Growing Up Beside You’ and always-look-on-the-bright-side pieces like ‘Simple Things.’ However the album also has swinging, jazz inspired songs like ‘Pencil Full Of Lead’ that is hilariously accompanied with a music video containing a dancing animated Nutini.

Watch the music video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-xd3NuWQI0

The sound of These Streets still remains, however, in songs like ‘Candy.’ A folk rock track that comes across as being about fighting with a lover only to realise you were in the wrong. Containing heart tugging lyrics like ‘I’ll be there waiting for you’ repeated almost endlessly and made harrowing by Nutini’s soulful voice. The song has been said to draw personal experience from Nutini’s own life much like the music of These Streets.

Listen to ‘Candy’ here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3xYXGMRRYk

Another album was released in 2013 (Caustic Love) where Nutini brought more R&B elements into his music. Lead track ‘Scream (Funk My Life Up) receiving high praise and being likened back to the 70s heyday of soul. Even becoming iTunes Best Album in 2014 and further showcasing Nutini’s talent and how he cannot be pigeonholed into one genre.

Nutini is still active as a musician today and after listening to Sunny Side Up on repeat for the past few days I hope to hear more of his music soon. Whilst Nutini’s other two albums are infused with musical and lyrical beauty, Sunny Side Up will always be a personal favourite and I hope this post encourages more people to discover the joy of it.

Links:

Website: http://www.paolonutini.com/splash/1

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PaoloNutini/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/paolonutini?lang=en

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/paolonutini

 

By Skye W. Winwood

Halloween Playlist 2017

Boys and girls of every age, wouldn’t you like a funky and freaky Halloween playlist on this old Hallows Eve? To kick off the Halloween festivities as October comes to a close here are ten songs to start off your playlist for the perfect spooky night.

The Citizens Of Halloween Town – ‘This Is Halloween’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpvdAJYvofI

Beginning the playlist with a classic that it would be a crime not to include. ‘This Is Halloween’ is possibly the ultimate Halloween anthem celebrating everything scary and weird in a joyous chorus of monstrous voices. This quirky song was written and composed by Danny Elfman for Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, directed by Henry Sellick and released in 1993. Setting loose the weird and wonderful creatures inside Tim Burton’s mind to celebrate their loveable monstrosity to the tune of Danny Elfman’s musical genius. Change it up a bit by listening to Marilyn Mason’s awesome and even creepier cover or maybe that is just me trying to put the song on the playlist twice…

Donavon – ‘Season Of The Witch’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZLNQ_BriSc

A darkly sensual tune that will have you breaking out the cauldron and assembling the voodoo dolls, ‘Season Of The Witch’ is the only way to truly honour the spooky season. Released in 1966 and written by Donovan and Shawn Phillips, the track is a perfect example of psychedelic rock. Infused with warping tones and continuous haunting guitar, the song has been covered multiple times by the likes of Julie Driscoll and Brain Auger and the Trinity, Terry Reid and alternative rock band Luna. Leaving a plentiful harvest to choose from.

Panic! At The Disco – ‘It’s Almost Halloween’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iTFnNU3AYg

Back in 2008 Panic! At The Disco celebrated their love of Halloween by releasing the single ‘It’s Almost Halloween’ alongside a questionable but none the less hilarious music video. The Beatles-esque track is a head bobbing tune that will most likely be quite helpful when your head is swimming for those apples. A completely fun infused song with the underlying story of a Halloween one night stand, ‘It’s Almost Halloween’ takes you through the common rituals of Halloween and makes sure you get out the other end, even if you are a little worse for wear. Plus, the guys manage to create a simple but memorable dance you can spend the night doing with your friends!

Screamin’ Jay Hawkins – ‘I Put A Spell On You’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwXai-sgM-s

Partying hard for Halloween even in 1956, Jay Hawkins released ‘I Put A Spell On You’ and we have all remained under his magical influence ever since. Ranked #313 on Rolling Stone’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time, the rock blues tune has cast a spell over listeners and artists alike. Leading to more covers than can be counted but here are just a few: Annie Lennox, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bonnie Tyler and Nina Simone. The rough vocals of the original are enough to put anyone in a spooky mood and ready for some serious Samhain celebration.

Michael Jackson – ‘Thriller’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOnqjkJTMaA

Not even a song exclusively for Halloween, ‘Thriller’ is possibly one of the most famous songs in the world with over 400,000,000 views on Youtube and a choreography all its own. The release of ‘Thriller’ in 1982 solidified Michael Jackson’s career as the King of Pop and immortalized him in his iconic red outfit. One I can guarantee you will see replicas of this Halloween, as is always the case every year. Creating a classic horror story with both music video and lyrics, ‘Thriller’ embodies everything old school about Halloween and cannot be ignored when creating a Halloween playlist. Time to brush off the old dance moves because ‘it’s thriller!’

The Rocky Horror Picture Show – ‘Time Warp’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-lF106Dgk8

It truly is astounding that ‘Time Warp’ is not part of more people’s everyday playlists, no matter Halloween! Coming into creation in 1975 with the release of Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Picture Show, ‘Time Warp’ has everything you could ask for from a Halloween song. A cheesy 80s sound filled to the brim the nostalgia and an easy to follow dance you can’t help but preform when the lyrics demand. You’ll be doing the ‘Time Warp’ again and again, enough that maybe you won’t need the rest of this playlist…

Bobby Pickett – ‘Monster Mash’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tHyRQOdqf0

Rivalling ‘This Is Halloween’ for the title of Halloween Anthem, Bobby Pickett’s ‘Monster Mash’ is another classic spooky, kooky song combining all the monsters who thrive during October. A pliant, pleasant song celebrating the original beings of our childhood nightmares. Embodying everything that made music in the 60s, ‘Monster Mash’ is a milkshake melody with dark undertones.

Ray Parker Jr. – ‘Ghostbusters’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fe93CLbHjxQ

Much like The Rocky Horror Picture Show, the 80s classic Ghostbusters would not be the same without its wicked soundtrack. A soundtrack containing the iconic ‘Ghostbusters’ theme tune recognisable from the first few tumbling notes before exploding into the song we could all sing in our sleep. Another one for fun and pure enjoyment, ‘Ghostbusters’ has been covered by the likes of Fall Out Boy and still remains one of the most loved songs of all time.

Avenged Sevenfold – ‘Nightmare’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94bGzWyHbu0

Taking a deep delve into darker territory, ‘Nightmare’ is a twisted tune guaranteed to liven up any Halloween party even if most of the residents resemble the dead. A tune of epic proportions and Avenged Sevenfold’s most famous song, it’s a Halloween song that wasn’t even written with Halloween in mind. Exploring the fragile state of the human mind, ‘Nightmare’ will drag you down to a depth of musical enjoyment you didn’t even knew existed as you party your night away. A beautiful combination of hard and soft rock that leaves an eerie edge and creates the perfect atmosphere.

Rihanna – ‘Disturbia’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1mU6h4Xdxc

Halloween is celebrated in different ways all over the world so it only makes sense for different genres of music to celebrate it as well. The last thing people would have expected from R&B princess Rihanna in 2007 was a down right disturbing song, rightfully named. But what wasn’t surprising was how the artist was able to take a genre of music she was not familiar with and combine it with one she is an expert in to create ‘Disturbia.’ A continuously thumping beat throughout the song echoes that of a heartbeat and this song will have yours racing faster and faster. The high pitch in vocals Rihanna uses combined with the dark and sometimes uncomfortable lyrics are enough to make ‘Disturbia’ a Halloween playlist must.

So, there are just a few songs to start off your Halloween playlist but if you’re still dying for more here are some you can explore on your own. Just remember to keep the lights turned on…

The Rocky Horror Picture Show – ‘Sweet Transvestite’

Duran, Duran – ‘Hungry Like The Wolf’

Lady Gaga – ‘Teeth’ and ‘Monster’

Florence and the Machine – ‘Seven Devils’

Panic! At The Disco – ‘Nearly Witches’

Five Finger Death Punch – ‘Jekyll and Hyde’

Iron Maiden – ‘The Number Of The Beast’

Evanescence – ‘Bring Me To Life’

Fleetwood Mac – ‘Black Magic Woman’

Eminem ft. Rihanna – ‘The Monster’

Stevie Wonder – ‘Superstitious’

Rockwell – ‘Somebody’s Watching Me’

Frank Sinatra – ‘Witchcraft’

Love Spit Love – ‘How Soon Is Now?’

David Bowie – ‘Scary Monsters’

Radiohead – ‘Creep’

The Cranberries – ‘Zombie’

Meatloaf – ‘Bat Out Of Hell’

Alice Cooper – ‘Poison’

Marilyn Mason – ‘Tainted Love’

 

Happy Halloween!

By Skye W.Winwood

Mosaic are inviting you on a night out with their new single ‘Rio’

Indie music has gone through a rapid evolution over the years, changing and adapting to survive in the harsh world of the dynamically progressing music industry. The term ‘indie’ stems from the word ‘individual’ to high light how during the genre’s rise, artists achieved success off their own backs. Since then indie music has faded in and out in popularity, flowing through both mainstream and niche audiences but always undeniably in demand. This unwavering demand through the years can be narrowed down to a few bands that stood at the front line of indie music and a band now taking up arms is Mosaic.

Mosaic are an indie band based in Newbury consisting of Craig on vocals, Adam on guitar, Will on guitar, Dan on bass and Simon on drums. The band’s name is fitting as they are a combination of a few genres just as classical indie music should be with elements of both pop and rock in their sound. These five guys are the poster boys for the culmination of the British indie movement, donning the ever growing self-confident personas needed to thrive in the music industry. Mosaic have the potential to become the new favourite of any wandering souls at university with a thirst for down-to-a-‘t’ relatable music.

Their new single ‘Rio’ is a song spilling over with drunken university nights that burst forth into hungover mornings that are made better by the memories made the night before. ‘Rio’ has a sound and lyrics that instantly connect with their audience and makes it seem like the song was written just for you. Craig’s quick and quip vocals turn the song into a whirl wind of fun that is perfect to get you pumped up during any pre drinks, the rest of the music keeping up and only becoming more intoxicated as the song goes on. Taking influence from indie bands of eras gone by ‘Rio’ is akin to The Kooks and The Wombats but with a modern day twist that likens Mosaic to Bloc Party and The 1975. Fans of The Arctic Monkeys, also, may be pleasantly surprised by Mosaic and all they have to offer in the form of indie music.

‘Rio’ is out now and is a must for any university going out playlist.

Links:

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/mosaicofficial

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuenCiVLKdpI_cs-989bsUQ

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MosaicUK/

Twitter: https://twitter.com_mosaicofficial

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/_mosaicofficial/

Website: https://www.mosaicofficial.co.uk

 

Review by Skye W.Winwood

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