MOTM: May 2017

I know. All I ever post are playlist analyses. I’m working on other writing, I swear!

But that’s besides the point.

This month was definitely more artist oriented than theme oriented. Not only did Harry Styles release his album, as did Paramore, I began listening to a new artist, Frankie Cosmos, and became instantly obsessed. So, with that in mind, let’s dive into my Mixtape of the Month.

1. “Breathe”- Mandy Gonzalez

I started this month off with my normal obsession with musicals, specifically Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights. I am constantly enamored with Mandy Gonzalez’s voice, and this almost ballad is no different.

Favorite Lyric: When I was a child, I stayed wide awake, climbed to the highest place, on every fire escape, restless to climb. 

2. “Ever Since New York”- Harry Styles

Ever since (nudge, nudge) he debuted this song on Saturday Night Live, I have loved it. It has a folksy, pop vibe, and I am absolutely here for it. The harmonies in this song are easy to play around with, which is one of the reasons I was drawn to it vocally.

Favorite Lyric: I’ve been praying, I never did before, understand I’m talking to the walls. 

3. “Idle Worship”- Paramore

Another lovely album that came out this month, was Paramore’s After Laughter. And wow. It delivered. I love songs that have a happy, upbeat sound, but have almost uncomfortable lyrics. This song fulfills all the criteria. This song talks about how sometimes we put people up on these pedestals because we don’t see their flaws, and expect them to live up to what we always thought they were, and Hayley explains that it isn’t healthy to do that.

Favorite Lyric: Be sure to put your faith in something more, I’m just a girl and you’re not as alone as you feel 

4. “26”- Paramore

Ahhh yes. Another Paramore song. It’s just so good. Where “Idle Worship” was upbeat and pop-rock, “26” is a soft, acoustic-guitar driven song. I’ve been into a lot of “smaller” songs lately, meaning songs that don’t have belting bridges, and hard-core lyrics (not that I don’t love those as well), and this song is a great example of that. Another song that is easy to play around with the harmonies on, “26” gives you the feel of a quiet afternoon on a back porch when you hear it for the first time.

Favorite Lyric: Reality will break your heart, survival will not be the hardest part. 

5. “Believer”- Imagine Dragons

This May, I watched Riverdale (available on Netflix!) in about two days, and wow. It’s amazing. It’s High School Musical meets Scooby Doo meets murder mystery. And it delivers. It is the most ridiculous show, but I love it so much, and this song is in the last episode, and intros into possibly my favorite scene in the whole show (no spoilers!). Aside from Riverdale, this song is so good for getting your adrenaline going, and the pounding drums and stand out vocals make you feel ready to be captain of the Riverdale Bulldogs.

Favorite Lyric: Hoping my feelings, they would drown, but they never did

6. “Woman”- Harry Styles

Our second Harry Styles song. This song had me shook the first time I listened to it. It’s suggestive, romantic, and tells the story of a jealous Styles. The driving piano and bass riff, give this song the deep backtrack to Harry’s rock vocals. Another song that is easy to harmonize with, “Woman” might be my second favorite on the album.

Favorite Lyric: I’m selfish, I know, But I don’t ever wanna see you with him 

7. “If You See My Boyfriend”- Donora

Another song from Riverdale! This one is an upbeat, break up, see-you-later tune, quite the opposite of “Believer.” I’m not exactly sure when this song was in the show, but it was on several Riverdale playlists, so I’m assuming it was. It has a 50’s doo-woppish sound, but the lyrics are quite the opposite of the conservative 50’s.

Favorite Lyric: If you see my boyfriend, tell him I left him for a guy who wants to hold my hand

8. “Too Dark”- Frankie Cosmos

Frankie. Cosmos. Wow. She’s quickly becoming one of my favorie artists. She’s an indie pop singer, and her lyrics are raw and easy to relate to. Strangely enough, my biology teacher introduced me to her, and I fell quickly into cosmic (ha ha, get it?) black hole of Frankie Cosmos. This song is me, turned into an indie pop bop. The quiet guitar and drums give the spotlight to Frankie’s unique voice and styles of song writing. It was hard to limit myself to only a couple of her songs, but this one is definitely one of my favorites.

Favorite Lyric: If your love was strong as my shame, I’d marry you and take your name 

9. “O Contest Winner”- Frankie Cosmos

This one of her songs from her 2015 EP, “Fit Me In,” and I had to fit it in somehow. This song focuses more on the keyboard, drums and dream-like sound that Frankie is also known for. Her haunting vocals on this track showcase how it feels to be disagreeable, without wanting to be.

Favorite Lyric: No need for a re-test, I know I’m a genius 

10.  “Only Angel”- Harry Styles

Our final Harry Styles song this month. It’s sad in a way, isn’t it? The beginning of this song lead you to believe it’s an ethereal, slow song, but then Harry hits you with the sneak attack guitar! This song is so 70’s rock, and I love it. It’s amazing, Harry’s vocals fit the song perfectly, with his cutting British pronunciation. His “Hazza” days are over.

Favorite Lyric: Open up your eyes, shut your mouth, and see that I’m still the only one who’s been in love with me. 

 

That’s all I got for ya, folks! I hope you enjoyed, and hopefully once school gets out, I will be able to write more than I have now.

-Julie

 

 

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Mixtape of the Month: April 2017

Hey friends! Sorry that this is a late one. In my defense I had two weekends of a musical, a one night play, as well as tech week for both of those this past April. However, now that I can finally breathe (and sleep), here are recommendations for the month of April.

 

To actually begin this month’s recommendation, I’m going to be completely honest and say that I really didn’t listen to a lot of music this month. However, one work of music I was not anticipating to enjoy as much as I did, was Kendrick Lamar’s latest album. I had heard a lot about it on social media, and I believe Lecrae tweeted something about it, so I decided to sit myself down and have a good ol’ fashioned binge listening session. While nearly the whole album is explicit, the themes and styles throughout the album are fascinating to dive into. If you’d like my honest analysis of the album as a whole, let me know.

  1. “Sign of the Times”- Harry Styles

Oooooooh, buddy. This is a good one. I love this song. I love the vocals, I love the lyrics, I love the background vocals, the guitars, the soft quiet piano in the beginning, the whole shebang. As a 1D fan, I really wanted to like Zayn’s music, when he went solo. However, I just couldn’t get behind it. And Niall’s solo music is also pretty good, but Harry’s music is just so raw and you can tell he’s coming from a place of hurt in this song, and the way he performs it live. I highly recommend watching his performance on the Graham Norton Show on youtube. It is phenomenal.

Favorite Lyric: Just stop your crying, have the time of your life. 

2. “That’s My Girl”- Fifth Harmony

Trust me, I am not a Fifth Harmony fan by a long shot. They’re fine, but I don’t love them. But this song just gets me pumped to love my friends and support other girls, and I am one-hundred percent here for that. It’s just got a solid beat which is good for working.

Favorite Lyric: Get mad independent and don’t you ever forget it. 

3. “Thumbs”- Sabrina Carpenter

Okay, I know. Another pop song, by another Disney channel influenced artist, but hear me out! The chorus honestly, I’m not a huge fan of, but I love the verses, and how you actually have to pay attention to the words she’s saying to understand the story she’s telling.

Favorite Lyric: Somewhere in the world you got a robber and a bank, and the bank robbed the people, so the people rob the bank 

4. “Revolutionary Love”- David Crowder Band

Again, this a throwback. Let’s be real though, Christian music in the 90’s to 00’s was just better! Anyway, this song also gets me pumped up to work, and just puts me in a good mood. I don’t know what else to say so here’s my favorite lyric!

Favorite Lyric: You’re a revolution, I want to be a revolutionary. 

5. “Hard Time”- Paramore

Okay, so Paramore has always been great, and since their last album they’ve been leaning towards a more funky pop vibe, and I have been enjoying it so much! It almost reminds of Twenty One Pilots, with the happy sound, but the real lyrics. This song is like a mixture of 70’s pop, with 80’s guitar.

Favorite Lyric: Hard times gonna take you down and laugh when you cry. 

6. “O Praise Him (All This for a King)- David Crowder Band

Again, with the old Christian music, I know. David Crowder Band was so good back in the day. And this song I remember singing at church when I was about 10 or 11. This another song that just takes me back and makes me wanna sing.

Favorite Lyric: How infinite and sweet, this love so rescuing. 

7. “Our God is Love”- Hillsong Worship

It was only a matter of time before a Hillsong song made it here. However, not only am I singing this for church in a few weeks, I also love this song. All of my songs this month have a very uplifting sound (with the exception of Mr. Styles in the beginning), and this just continues that theme.

Favorite Lyric: Every distant and broken heart, every prayer every outstretched arm, finding hope in the love of the Father

8. “LOVE”- Kendrick Lamar feat. Zacari

Okay, I know it says explicit but it’s not I promise! Look up the lyrics! Anyways, like I said in the beginning, his whole album is fascinating to me, besides having a good sound. This song is one of the three that features another artist besides Kendrick. This song openly talks about how Kendrick is during a relationship, and what he wants. Him and his wife were high school sweethearts, and this song I think displays their relationship well, however it feels more as if it was in the beginning of a relationship, versus the mature relationship.

Favorite Lyric: Keep it a hundred, I’d rather you trust me than to love me. 

9. “Jump”- Van Halen

Alright, so I only had eight songs, and I just needed to complete it, so here’s my 9th song! The one act play I was in took place in the 80’s, and to get into character I would listen to a lot of 80’s songs, and this was one of them.

Favorite Lyric: You’ve got to roll with the punches to get what’s real 

10. “Hearts Don’t Break Around Here” – Ed Sheeran.

This is the other place filler of the month. Don’t get me wrong, I love Ed Sheeran, just like I love this song, but I just didn’t listen to a lot of him this past month.

Favorite Lyric: She is the flint that sparks the lighter, and the fuel that will hold the flame. 

 

Again, sorry about this very late post! Now that my schedule isn’t so crazy and summer break is coming up, I should have time to update more!

– Julie