Archive for the ‘Rock’ Category

I have always been a contrarian, never one to follow a crowd. So when everyone in my high school swooned over Dave Matthews Band, I just couldn’t bring myself to get behind them. I spent years rolling my eyes at the mention of their name, refusing to listen.

It took me a while to get over myself, but when I finally did, I was able to hear it. That unique form of rock ‘n roll, full of musicality, versatile vocals, and lyrics that really really stick with you. Then and there, I was obsessed.

Crash is such a musical album. 12 tracks, each at least 4 minutes long, the last track, a solid 9 minutes. There are guitars, drums, saxophones, flutes, violins, trumpets – to name a few – spread throughout the album, giving each track their own personality, their ow story.

Dave Matthews’ vocal range is unlike any other. He can be thoughtful, delicate and sweet on one hand. But also, loud, passionate and all over the place. Sometimes within a single track. You can feel every word of every track, through his voice alone. Lyrically speaking, I mean take your pick – there are many to choose from.

When I heard Crash turned 23 on April 30th, it was a big deal. Not because it made me feel old, or reminded me of all the good times from way back, but because I’m still listening to it all these years later.

The way the music, vocals and lyrics equally play a part in the album, makes it timeless. There’s always something new to hear, something new to feel, something new to understand. Which is why I’m always going back to it.

If you haven’t yet, give this album a listen. Just be open to it. You’ll want to jam, you’ll want to dance, at times you’ll even want to cry. It’ll give you clarity, cause confusion, and leave you feeling both hopeful and hopeless. It’ll change you.

 

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March is one of those months that falls right in the middle of things, this kind of unpredictable lull, which is neither here nor there. The good thing about that is it allows me to take a deep dive into all the new music out there. Here’s what I’ve found.

“Turn the Light” by Karen O and Danger Mouse

Super songstress Karen O (of Yeah Yeah Yeahs) combined forces with producer extraordinaire Danger Mouse (of many projects) to create a collaboration album titled Lux Prima. This track brings the best of both these musical powerhouses to light.

“Here With Me” by Marshmello feat. Chvrches

Marshmello has already established he can make a hit single. But adding the distinct, beautiful vocals of Chvrches’ Lauren Mayberry instantly takes the track to another level. Really dig this one.

“Bury A Friend” by Billie Eilish

Okay, so I just want to point out that I’ve been talking about the incomparable Eilish since 2017. Well, now she’s a grown up 17 year old, and recently released her debut studio album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? The entire album is better than anything out there. This track is just the start.

“All Over Now” by The Cranberries

Admittedly, it took me a while to listen to this one. It’s off the Cranberries’ forthcoming album In the End, which is also the last album recorded with lead singer Dolores O’Riordan (RIP.) Her voice is unchanged, expressive as ever, and just makes me miss her even more.

“Dinner & Diatribes” by Hozier

Hozier has one of my favourite vocals out there. He’s soulful, powerful, emotional, and his voice has its own distinctive sound. This track off his most recent album, Wasteland, Baby! is killer.

“Love It If We Made It” by The 1975

Fun track, fun band, fun album (A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships.)

 

February is the dead of winter. No spring in sight, holidays left far behind, and all that remains is freezing cold temperatures, snowstorms, slushy sidewalks, wind chills, and gray skies. Your time is better spent avoiding the outdoors, and hanging out with these tunes.

“Winter Solstice” by Cold Specks

The ethereal music and her flawless vocals are truly gorgeous; the lyrics, however, take a darker turn. Just like winter: pretty on the outside, cold and miserable on the inside.

“The New Great Depression” by The Moth & The Flame

Pretty sure they’re talking about February here. (Note: this video deserves a medal.)

“Favourite Colour is Blue” by Robert DeLong feat. K. Flay

The haunting music, the raspy vocals, and the overall loudness and anger of the track, all perfectly mirror how I feel about winter.

“A Case of You” by Joni Mitchell

Spending all this time indoors, allows me to discover/catch up on new music. The way this 70s classic digs deep and pulls everything out from your insides is truly remarkable.

“Barefoot in the Park” by James Blake feat. Rosalia

Blake’s sublime music and vocals, coupled with Rosalia’s Spanish verses, transport the listener to better times, warmer temperatures, and the freedom of being barefoot.

“Shiver” by Coldplay

These days, I prefer to think of the other kind of shivering: the nervous-exciting-goosebumpy-I’m so into you-type of shivers, that Coldplay so eloquently puts into song.

“Home” by morgxn feat. Walk the Moon

The one thing I most look forward to during February is going home, putting on my pjs, burying myself under heavy blankets, and drinking tea. It’s the only time I feel warm.

“7 Rings” by Ariana Grande

It’s fun. She’s fun. The whole album is fun. And who couldn’t use a little fun during these arctic temperatures?

“Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen

This track’s chaotic/unique/genius arrangement is exactly how my mind feels after being cooped up indoors for days on end.

“Long December” by Counting Crows

Winter’s always too long, and every year I hope it won’t be.