Discovering Shakespears Sister

‘It was acceptable in the 80s’ is a common phrase coined to excuse the unconventional-ness of the decade. However, it also allowed for many spouts of artistic expression especially in the music industry. The flow of inspiration poured uncontrollably but every so often flooded into something genre defying. Enter Shakespears Sister, a pop-rock project of beautiful weirdness dressed in a gothic elegance.

Initially, I came across the band after watching an old re run of Top of the Pops that featured British 80s pop group, Bananarama, a girl group featuring Dublin born Siobhan Fahey. It was whilst watching their performance that my mother asked me if I had ever heard of Shakespears Sister and the look of almost betrayal that crossed her face when I told her I hadn’t is an image I wish I could share with all of you. Unfortunately, that is not the case however I can share with you my discovery into the music she introduced me to.

The name alone piqued my interest and set high expectations for unusual lyrics and dramatic flair, both things the band did not fail to deliver on. Shakespears sister was originally formed as a solo act by Fahey in 1988 when she left Bananarama after feeling her musical needs were not being fulfilled. Embarking on her own project allowed the punk turned pop artist to explore her roots once again, this time staying true to herself as a music artist. The name originated from The Smiths song of the same name, the apostrophe being left out after a misspelling that Fahey liked because she felt that it made it her own. Fahey worked alongside many other personalities in the music industry during the process of writing and recording including friend and college Marcy Levy. An accomplished multi-instrumentalist, Levy contributed both musically and artistically by providing vocals and instrumentals. After some time as a ‘hired hand’, Fahey convinced Levy to give herself a new professional name and Levy decided upon Marcella Detroit – the name she would become most known for during her work with Shakespears Sister and thereafter.

Just before the solo act became a duo, Shakespears Sister released the debut single ‘Break My Heart (You Really’), a song that unfortunately did not achieve the success Fahey sought. However it did achieve it’s goal in separating her from her persona in Bananarama and revealing her new darker look to the world. As well as this it made it apparent the chemistry Fahey and Detroit shared in the recording studio. Neither woman was thrilled about the idea initially, wanting to maintain their independence as artists but after agreeing on a 50/50 split, the two united as equal band members. The reluctance in the beginning of their musical relationship would manifest over the course of their time together until it inevitably lead to the band’s break up in 1993.

With Detroit now on board, Shakespears Sister released their second single (but debut as a duo) ‘You’re History’. The song proved to be the breakthrough both woman wanted, showcasing how Fahey and Detroit complemented each other in both artistic creativity and talented vocals. Whilst the music video is a compilation of quirky 80s nonsense, the song itself is a catchy tune introducing Fahey’s and Detroit’s blending of styles. ‘You’re History’ reached number 10 in the UK charts in 1989 and was followed by the band’s debut album, Sacred Heart, that proved just as successful.

Whilst Sacred Heart also featured the popular singles ‘Run Silent’ and ‘Dirty Mind’, it is the band’s second album, Hormonally Yours, that produced the song Shakespears Sister are most known for and the one that captured my heart. The album was introduced with the first single ‘Goodbye Cruel World’ but it was the second single ‘Stay’ that gave the band their first and only number one as well as the win of Best British Video at the BRIT Awards in 1993.

The narrative music video to ‘Stay’ is truly heart breaking as it depicts Detroit singing to a man presumably on his deathbed. Detroit’s distaught and desperate performance pours into her high vocals and violently tugs on every heart string you possess. The song begins as something soft and full of lost love before Fahey’s entrance a as a malevolent force representing death. Both women fight physically and vocally with their unique voices engaging in a battle for possession. ‘Stay’ is like a dark mixture of two songs, the concoction an appealing elixir of music styles.

Unfortunately, Shakespears Sister fell into the pit that is ‘musical differences’ and went their separate ways after many years together and a brief revival. Although some may find the music to be dated by it’s era and therefore an acquired taste, Shakespears Sister offer something to take you away from modern day and are worth the indulgence.

 

By Skye W. Winwood

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Fall Out Boy are breaking out the Easter eggs early in ‘Wilson (Expensive Mistakes)’

Fall Out Boy have always been known for their eccentric and obscure music videos. Rarely ever do they produce something that visually relates directly to a song’s narrative but still always has a firm base in the title or a particular lyric. We all remember the iconic deer love story from ‘Sugar, We’re Going Down’ and Patrick losing his hand in ‘The Phoenix’ but for anyone who needs a little reminder, ‘Wilson (Expensive Mistakes)’ is a comical look back on Fall Out Boy history.

Watch the music video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wH-by1ydBTM

Set apart from their other music videos, ‘Wilson (Expensive Mistakes)’ depicts the boys both selling and being sold in a commercial style. The song itself is extremely catchy in typical boundary pushing Fall Out Boy fashion and has just further proven how Mania will be a plethora of genres. The song contains many relatable lyrics to the modern-day introvert but as a celebration more than a reflection. ‘Wilson (Expensive Mistakes)’ also offers more of Patrick’s voice with less moderation that has placated complaining fans on the new direction the band have taken with their forth-coming album.

Even before the music video was released, the song title offered a reference in the form of ‘Wilson’ to the movie Castaway and should really have been a warning of what to expect. Yet, there was only one visual within the music video that saw a possible explanation for the choice in title. Although, at this point, fans should probably stop trying to understand Fall Out Boy’s lyrical choices and just appreciate the creative genius.

Upon further inspection, it’s obvious ‘Wilson (Expensive Mistakes)’ is a collection of nostalgia for both the boys and fans with it’s Russian doll of reference to other songs. Before even dissecting each individual reference, the overall style of the music video seems to harken back to ‘The Take Over, The Break’s Over’ that saw Fall Out Boy holding up a middle finger to those calling them sell outs. Throughout their career, the band have come under criticism whenever they try to appeal to a mainstream audience, both fans and critics not understanding that some boxes needed to be ticked in the beginning to ensure success. This ticking of boxes led to many people forgetting the uniqueness and creativity Fall Out Boy have always offered but the band fought back against this and are proving they still are to this day. ‘Wilson (Expensive Mistakes)’ comments on Fall Out Boy as a product with the commercial style it has taken by selling relics from their history. However, the comedy laced into the video allows for a more light-hearted approach to something the band once really struggled against.

The music video is a mixture of in-your-face and blink-and-you’ll-miss it references for every era of Fall Out Boy’s career. Using props and costumes from other music videos like Patrick’s outfit from the music video for ‘Dance, Dance’ to imbedding lyrics from older songs like ‘This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race’ and ‘Champagne For My Real Friends, Real Pain For My Sham Friends.’ Whole albums are even referenced like Franklin the Sheep from Infinity on High’s album art and the instrument weapons used in ‘The Young Blood Chronicles’ series from Save Rock ‘n’ Roll.

The lead up to Mania has offered many gifts and surprises along the way and ‘Wilson (Expensive Mistakes)’ only adds to this. Some fans will, of course, try calling the number shown continuously on screen but those who haven’t will be happy to know it’s completely worth it. Calling the number will be answered by a pre-recorded message by Patrick listing off a number of options the caller can choose depending on what they want.

The music video for ‘Wilson (Expensive Mistakes)’ has just further thrown us off the scent for what to expect from the rest of Mania but the music video has given us something to do whilst we impatiently wait for the album’s full release.

Links:

Website: https://falloutboy.com/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/falloutboy

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

‘HOLD ME TIGHT OR DON’T’ review

‘Champion’ review

 

Review by Skye W. Winwood

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

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

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

Ikkarus are flying high with their new album Stains & Echoes

Many people can have the talent and dedication to make it as a professional musician but the one thing we all battle against stands as a foe: life. Sometimes duties and responsibilities have a louder call than our aspirational desires but that doesn’t mean we should give up on our dreams. Javier Lardizábal has followed in the footsteps of Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson, not only in genre style but by balancing his rock star life with that of an airline pilot. Javier has flown the skies and after nearly ten years has finally reached cloud nine in the form of releasing his band’s album Stains & Echoes.

Listen to the lead track, ‘Nightclub Sundays’ here: https://open.spotify.com/artist/7hXr34FFuQykjrjKNQt9ix

Javier continued to write and develop the tracks on Stains & Echoes during his time as an airline pilot, finally bringing the album to completion when he found Dave Ramos (drums) and Wens Castellanos Garcia (keyboards). The band are based in Mexico City but have plans to take over the world with their alternative indie sound, a feat that should be easy with Javier’s musical talent and pilot training! Javier, himself, provides the guitar and Layne Staley vocals. The bass heavy sound and Javier’s swirling singing give Stains & Echoes a distinct 90s sound with a musical magic that could belong on the Charmed soundtrack. However, the album fits perfectly into the modern world with snippets of trip-hop being mixed into tracks like ‘Nightclub Sundays.’

‘Nightclub Sundays’ begins with a thrumming bass similar to that of classic Red Hot Chili Peppers songs before slinking into a keyboard/guitar tune that brings it more into the modern day. Javier’s soaring vocals echo throughout the whole track with the same resonating sound of Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam and Shaun Morgan from Seether. The elongation and vocal straining evoke a sound similar, also, to the late Chester Bennington, being fuelled with the same raw emotion and passion.

Other tracks such as ‘A Means to Say Goodbye’ head more towards a Shinedown sound whilst still providing that wash of atmospheric keyboard that make the tracks otherworldly. Whilst ‘The Messenger’ is a blazing instrumental track that adds a lighter layer to the otherwise punk attack album. The almost primal drum beats of ‘The Messenger’ really showcase the band’s talent as musicians by making that musical connection to an audience without any lyrics being needed. Whilst the guitar and keyboard solo’s evoke a distorted and chaotic sound similar to Muse.

Ikkarus are soaring high but show no signs of burning up any time soon beyond the fire this album will no doubt create for them, burning bright throughout music history.

Links:

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/stains-echoes/sets/stains-echoes-debut-album/s-EhKgD

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/7hXr34FFuQykjrjKNQt9ix

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCx_8edZX53UC5yRFGLCZExw

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ikkarusofficial 

Instagram: @ikkarusband

 

Review by Skye W. Winwood

Gid Sedgwick is giving an indie twist to the one man band

Indie music has given birth to ground breaking bands such as Arctic Monkeys, The Killers and Radiohead. However Gid Sedgwick has taken on the genre alone to write, provide vocals, play instruments and produce his new album Ochos. A mixture of the best of the 80s and 90s infused with synth soundscapes to create a truly atmospheric yet edgy modern day indie collection.

Refusing any help from the outside world, Ochos is personal to the extreme, a soundtrack exploring the inside of Gid’s mind. Not only did the multi-talented musician create the album solo, he is also self-taught, a fact that just baffles after listening to the professionalism of the songs from Ochos. The vibrating, resonating sound of some of the tracks transports you to a whole other world, removing you from your troubles and basking you in the beauty of sound Gid has created. Although undoubtedly ringing with a personal feel, Ochos has the ability to connect with listeners by how it seems to encapsulate life of 2017. By portraying real and raw emotions allows the album to appeal to a variety of audiences. Tracks such as ‘Paperclip’ hold a powerful melancholy that connects deep where as others like lead track ‘Ochos’ are a slow build, soaring melody that embodies the future sound of UK indie music.

The lyrics of ‘Ochos’ combine with a slow synth sound to lift you gradually higher and higher until you reach the peak of the song’s intoxication where you can sit back and appreciate the bliss it inspires. Although the sound of the song could be compared to the likes of Biffy Clyro and the 1975, Gid has managed to capture a uniqueness that will no doubt become his staple as his career evolves. The swaying sound evokes images of festival nightlife with crowds of people lit up by the low light as they dance in a shared moment of musical ecstasy. Gid’s music really manages to connect on a personal level with the listener and is just one example of the success the artist will no doubt find.

Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GidSedgwickMusic/?ref=bookmarks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GidSedgwick

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/gid.sedgwick/   

 

Review by Skye W. Winwood

Anarchy is coming to Christmas dinner with Wartoad’s cover of ‘Merry Christmas Everybody’

Christmas, a time for peace and tranquillity, for the family to put aside their differences for one family dinner where all the food stays on the plates. Wartoad are spitting in the face of Christmas tradition with an attitude that would make the Sex Pistols proud. Taking Slade’s classic ‘Merry Christmas Everybody’ and turning it into a fusion of punk and anarchy that will have the whole family singing and dancing along this December 25th.

Listen to Wartoad’s cover, along with the music video, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmdKx08zaOQ

Beneath the grunge and shouting, Wartoad have a very serious message behind their formation, focusing on the crippling unemployment rate around the world that is becoming worse as the years go on. Butch Dante (guitar, vocals, whistle) describes unemployment as an ‘apocalypse’ that causes ’65 million people in American, alone, to lose their jobs.’ The band have sited ‘web scale companies that are developing automation (Google, Facebook, Netflix, Uber, Amazon etc.)’ as ‘the enemy.’ The band are ‘on the side of the tradesmen, the artists, the performers, the apprentices; the meatspace dwellers who work with their hands.’

This noble cause, dressed in the spikes of rebellion, is being helped by Wartoad donating sales from the single to The Passage, a charity that helps homeless people get back on their feet based in London. Although, after the charity saw their music video, they’re apparently too spooked to have anything to do with the band so Wartoad have decided to post the money via unmarked envelops instead.

Wartoad have risen as a mysterious force that threatens to do battle with all in their path, rumoured to be a band of several well-known rock musicians from the US. Going under the supposed pseudonyms of Al Dijon, Butch Dante, Calvin Voltz, Charlie Danielson, Diego Fontana, Hal McNulty, Kip Larson, Nigel Stevens and Tony ‘Terk’ Downing, Wartoad are first aiming to take over the Christmas number one spot and then the world. Whilst helping out their fellow man along the way, keeping in the Christmas spirit after all.

Links:

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCp4v3OAPSnr1iZWdeJym5rQ?view_as=subscriber

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WartoadPunkBand

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

Download single: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/merry-xmas-everybody-single/1309759172 

Website: www.wartoad.com

 

Review by Skye W. Winwood

Death Of A Bachelor live album!

Forgive me Lord for I have sinned…again. With Fall Out Boy’s new album only months away, it was probably to be expected that Panic! At The Disco would release something to elicit a little friendly competition. Through both 2016 and 2017 fans of the American rock band flocked in thousands to see The Death Of A Bachelor Tour. Of course not everyone was fortunate enough to have shows near them. Some even falling short on the cash to attend. For these fans who were unable to join the tour, Panic! At The Disco have announced the live album All My Friends We’re Glorious, with a release date of December 15th. The twenty-one track album will be available as a limited edition double vinyl and for digital download just in time for Christmas!

The announcement of this album has had me reminiscing back to over a year ago now when I saw Panic! At The Disco live in November of 2016. The glorious insanity of the show was enough to put All My Friends We’re Glorious on my Christmas list. Of course you could argue my bias considering how long I have been a fan of the band but listening to just one track on the album will be enough to convert you. The show was a beautiful, bursting, burning combination of pitch blowing vocals, awesome guitar solos and dazzling light shows. The live album will unfortunately not include the brilliant and enthusiastic visuals but it was a show that could have been enjoyed just as much with my eyes closed.

With the freedom given to him by performing live, Brendon Urie was able to push his vocal range to a level I’ve never heard on any of the studio albums. The singer has always been known for his unquestionably talented voice but the live show provided high note after high note. Classic songs like ‘Nine In The Afternoon’ becoming a new experience as well as a bonus cover performance of Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody.’ A respectful, dazzling replication of the much loved song that had the whole arena straining their vocal chords. All songs that will be included on All My Friends We’re Glorious. Kenneth Harris killed it on lead guitar, giving songs like ‘Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time’ and ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’ an almost classic rock twist that cannot be heard on the studio version of the songs. Brendon also proved his title as a multi instrumentalist by giving a lengthy, impressive drum performance that somehow still managed to sing without words.

Fans of live music, fans who weren’t able to attend a show or just those wanting to relive those golden days should consider pre-ordering All My Friends We’re Glorious. An album that spans through every era of Panic! At The Disco and reminds us why they have been riding the wave of success for more than a decade.

Track List:

Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time
LA Devotee
Ready To Go (Get Me Out Of My Mind)
Golden Days
Vegas Lights
A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out Medley
Hallelujah
Nine In The Afternoon
Miss Jackson
This Is Gospel
Death Of A Bachelor
The Ballad Of Mona Lisa
Movin’ Out

Emperor’s New Clothes
Nicotine
Crazy = Genius
Let’s Kill Tonight
Girls/Girls/Boys
Bohemian Rhapsody
I Write Sins Not Tragedies
Victorious

 

Links:

Store: https://store.panicatthedisco.com/

Website: https://panicatthedisco.com/

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

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

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UColJTBTSGqaaZr5NOk5r3Pg

 

By Skye W. Winwood

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