Planet Rock: An Underdog Tale

The digital age of music is now fully upon us, with CDs being a thing of the past and vinyl a collector’s item. In this day and age, music has never been easier to access, allowing billions of people all around the world to bask in the enjoyment of sound. Yet, where would we be without the local radio stations of yonder? The, once upon a time, only platforms for people to attain their music fix. Radio stations are arguably a dying breed, with more and more shows being cancelled each year. However, there are radio stations that stand the test of time, kicking back with a ferocious passion for music that has ensured their survival. With pop music thriving, stations such as Radio One will most likely never come under threat. However, radio stations belonging to the alternative genre have been fighting an uphill battle since day dot. Yet, not all is lost, with stations like Planet Rock prevailing in the face of cancellation and laying the way for the continuation of iconic and classic tunes.

Planet Rock is a radio station close to my heart as it has always been the soundtrack to my family home but even I wasn’t aware of how close it came to being forgotten. The show promotes the slogan ‘where rock lives’ and truer words have never been spoken. The channel is a writhing mosh pit of classic rock thrashing to the beat of nostalgia. It embodies everything the old school rock genre brought into the music world and has proven in it’s history to be a station loved by many. However, as previously mentioned, all this nearly never was.

The classic rock radio station began back in 1999, under the company Global Radio (then known as GCap Media), and was to be the only classic rock station during this time. Despite the station performing well for a few years, it was announced in February 2008 that Planet Rock would see it’s final day on March 31st. It was since been cited by former presenter Derek William Dick (most known as Fish) that this was not due to the station itself but the financial state of Global Radio as a whole. Other radio stations such as theJazz began falling down around Planet Rock causing the station to reach out to listeners in a desperate effort to survive. It was made known to the public that the station would be cancelled if a buyer was not found, asking anyone who would listen to help support them in any way they could. Planet Rock was in the hands of the public, relying on listener loyalty to save them in their time of need. Just when all hope seemed lost, a plethora of support swept down upon the station in the form of a campaign that expressed an interest from a number of buyers. Helped along by a consortium headed by Queen guitarist, Brian May, later led to a swarm of star studded DJs and fans of the show.

Since the show was saved on June 4th 2008 by being sold to another consortium, this time led by Malcom Bluemel as well as Black Sabbath’s Tommy Iommi and former presenter Fish. Guest DJs began to include Joe Elliott from Def Leopard since 2010, Alice Cooper since 2011 and blues rock guitarist and singer Joe Bonamassa until 2013. Even The Hairy Bikers have had their own place among the Planet Rock family since 2015 with The Hairy Rock Show every Sunday at 10am. The station has since won Digital Radio Station of the Year at the Sony Awards twice, released it’s own magazine and is available all across the UK from England through the Midlands all the way up to Scotland.

Planet Rock now stands as a reminder of the importance of fans as well as how listeners of music can have just as much influence as musicians or distributers of it. Although music can now be accessed across a growing variety of platforms, the connection and listener inclusion provided by radio stations is something that can only be experienced through one platform.

With this support from listeners, Planet Rock now sees over one million people tuning in each week however this does not always mean complete security in the future. So, this blog post acts as a reminder to keep supporting your local stations and not allow radio silence to ever beat music.

Links:

Website (including a ‘Listen Live’ button): https://planetradio.co.uk/planet-rock/consortium

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PlanetRockRadio

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

 

By Skye W. Winwood

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‘DNA’ cover by RobertIDK

People say the best form of flattery is imitation, when someone admires you so much they feel the need to honour your work. Song covers can be a hit or miss deal, either producing tracks that are equal or greater than their original or letting loose into the world something people never wanted to hear. Taking on a song not originally sang in your native tongue is risky. Taking on a song from a beloved band with an army of fans eagerly waiting to tear you apart shows true bravery in creativity. After promising his subscribers an English cover of ‘DNA’ by BTS, fans of both RobertIDK and the popular K-pop group have been waiting with bated breath to see how the Youtuber will pull this one off. On December 28th 2017, Robert released the highly anticipated cover onto his Youtube channel and it was nothing like fans expected.

Listen to the cover here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEj4PSXZgP8

The video begins with a quick message explaining, ‘This is my English rendition of DNA. I tried to write words that felt right with the meaning of the song. I left in all the original English words, as well as some of the Korean lines that I really love and didn’t want to change.’ The original track by BTS is performed almost entirely in Korean to a background of whistles and acoustic guitar before soaring into an explosive chorus. Although not as hard sounding as some of the K-pop group’s other tracks, such as ‘Danger’, the song definitely contains a beat that demands your body to dance.

Listen to the original here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBdVXkSdhwU

Despite this RobertIDK’s cover takes things in a softer direction, backed completely by a beautiful piano melody that still perfectly fits the message of the song. Not only this but, as stated at the beginning of the video, a few of the Korean lines have been kept the same and delivered in a pleasing harmony that show the dedication Robert put into the cover to learn the pronunciation. The rewritten lyrics are a show of Robert’s rising talents as a lyricist and has given his subscribers a little more insight into him as a musician, previously only being shown unchanged covers or parody songs performed by the Youtuber.

Overall, the song is a beautiful rendition of an already popular song but comments from subscribers on Robert’s Youtube channel have showed BTS could possibly have some competition in the future.

Links

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RobertIDK

‘Discovering BTS’: https://musicnews2dayblog.wordpress.com/2017/12/29/discovering-bts/

 

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

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

It ‘Feels Like Christmas’ with Panic! At The Disco

With five more sleeps until Christmas morning, everyone is finding themselves in that inevitable countdown panic. Rushing around to make sure all the presents are wrapped, that there are enough carrots for all of Santa’s reindeer and fighting over the last turkey in the store. With so much to stress over the commercial side of the holiday season, we need songs like Panic! At The Disco’s ‘Feels Like Christmas’ to bring us back to that feeling of joy and remember exactly what Christmas is about.

Listen to the Christmas jingle here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szaJ5aW-LUs

After announcing on an Instagram Live Stream he had a surprise in store for fans, front man of the band, Brendon Urie, had us all waiting in a giddy excitement akin to that of Christmas Eve. Dropping the brand new festive track ‘Feels Like Christmas’ earlier today, it’s as if the big day has come early. The song mixes classic Christmas nostalgia and the funky sound Panic has evolved into over the years, echoing a more upbeat sound from Death of a Bachelor played to a background of bells and beats.

The track begins with a quick guitar snippet of ‘We Wish You A Merry Christmas’ before jumping into the jaunty jingle of Brendon’s vocals. The jolly tune has elements of a musical number, something that would fit perfectly on a live stage graced in floating snow as the narrator swings around lamp posts after discovering the meaning of Christmas. It’s apparent Brendon’s time on Broadway influenced the track and it perfectly encapsulates the fun and excitement of the Christmas season.

Apart from the uplifting lyrics and twinkling sound, the message behind the song is a beautiful ‘thank you’ to the band’s fans. Below the audio video on Youtube, Brendon says, ‘thank you all for making this year my favourite so far. Through the hard times and the beautiful moments, I’m glad we’re always there to lift each other up. I’m so excited for the new year and what’s to come. So to end this year right, here’s a little holiday jam I wrote. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did making it.’ Once again, reminding us of the importance of musician and fan connection whilst blessing fans with the same gratitude we offer the band. Oh, and the best part? The track is completely free to download here: http://smarturl.it/feelslikexmas 

Links:

Website: https://panicatthedisco.com/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PanicAtTheDisco

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

‘Death of a Bachelor live album!’: https://musicnews2dayblog.wordpress.com/2017/11/22/death-of-a-bachelor-live-album/

 

Review 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

Who is Luuk Lagrange? New single ‘Invisible’ could provide some answers

Many artists rely on their image or reputation to succeed in the music world, however there are those like Luuk Lagrange who want to put their music out their more than themselves. Allowing audiences to soak up their sound without any unnecessary distractions and truly appreciate the talent and dedication the artist has put into their work. Having worked with big name dance producers in the 90s and 2000’s, Luuk has now released the track ‘Invisible’, the first under his own name. The single contains influences of classic house music but is not restricted by the out dated conventions, allowing Luuk to explore the ever changing new wave of EDM music.

‘Invisible’ uses a combination of slow building piano and fracturing drum and bass moments to create a layer of sound that fits into the EDM genre. However the powerful, thought provoking lyrics add a whole other layer to the track, giving it a beautiful, polished sound. Unlike the jarring, clumsy and usually remixed tracks belonging to the EDM genre of the past, ‘Invisible’ is a fresh breeze with a hypnotic and almost liquid sound. The track joins the ranks of Chase & Status and Sigma in appeal whilst evoking a sound similar to Cascada. Luuk bursts into the music scene on a wave of light, walking through the dance fields of nightclubs armed with a genre reinventing track. ‘Invisible’ isn’t the kind of track you jump around to in an intoxicated state but something that infuses your body with a soul capturing rhythm.

Whilst little is currently known of Luuk, it is known he is based in the UK with plans for live festival appearances in 2018. Will these performances allow the world to finally see the face behind the music or will Luuk allow the music to continue doing the talking?

Links

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-746655712/invisible    

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LuukLagrange

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/luuk.lagrange/   

Website: https://www.luuklagrange.com/       

 

Review by Skye W. Winwood

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