Songs That Make Me

As we were coming into the new year, I became pretty nostalgic when it comes to music. Listening to songs that meant so much to me that I don’t necessarily listen to all the time. I realized that all these songs are ones that made a huge impact on my life in one way or another.

Each one of these songs brings back a specific memory in my mind that is filled with happiness. We all have them, and that is the beauty of music. It holds a special place in our hearts and holds the power to bring back happiness for just over 3 minutes.

Below are just a few of the songs that “made” me who I am today and hold a special place in my heart. Let me know what your songs are and maybe the story behind them.

  1. I Will Follow You Into The Dark – Death Cab for Cutie
  2. Vegas Skies – The Cab
  3. Fred Bear – Ted Nugent
  4. Jamie All Over – Mayday Parade
  5. Only One – Yellowcard

Most of these songs bring me back to a time with good friends. Yellowcard and Death Cab bring me back to a time when I was feeling super low but these songs and groups brought me out of a funk. Ted Nugent (random, I know) reminds me of my dad. Every morning when he would drop me off at my grandmother’s house we would listen to Fred Bear. It was just a happy way to start my mornings for over a year.

As always, the songs above are linked so you can give them a listen.

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Upcoming Album Releases in 2018

With the new year upon us, its time to browse through the upcoming album releases and pick out the ones I”m most looking forward to. Since it is the beginning of the year, the first quarter releases are the only ones available to the public. Here is a list of albums I’m most looking forward to hearing.

January

Fall Out Boy – “Mania”

Waterparks – “Entertainment”

The Neighbourhood – “To Imagine”

BORNS – “Blue Madonna”

Charlie Puth – “Voicenotes”

February

Vance Joy – “Nation of Two”

The Wombats – “Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life”

April

The 1975 – “Music For Cars”

If you know of any more albums that are being released in the first quarter of 2018 and you want me to check them out please leave them in the comment section. Hope that all is well, and that your new year is a great one.

 

 

 

 

Top Albums of 2017

As the year comes to a close, its time to reflect on the great albums that were released this year. I feel as though 2017 was the year for a lot of my favorite groups to release new music and artists to make triumphant comebacks. How these albums are determined in my mind is not based off number of plays, but by how much I feel connected emotionally to the songs, the artist and the album as a whole.

Below is my list of favorite albums of the year, in order ending with my top pick, along with my favorite song(s) from the album.

Smile, and Wave – SAINTE
This was Tay Jardine’s (previously of WATIC) return to music. WATIC was one of the bands I always listened to every day. So, to hear about their split was a little disappointing to me since I was really enjoying their work. But I now see the members continuing on with music in their own ways and SAINTE is Tay Jardine’s new project and return to music. The vibe is different from WATIC but its still an EP that I’ve been enjoying and feel connected to in a different way than most music.
Released: June 30, 2017
Favorite song: “If You Ever Feel Alone”

Love Yourself: Her – BTS
Wait…what???? If anyone knows me personally, they will know that I’m listening to this album at least once every day (literally). So people would naturally expect this to be at the top of list. Although its a great album and its hard for me to pick a favorite song off the album I wouldn’t necessarily say its my favorite because I don’t feel emotionally connected to any of the songs. None of the songs moved me to the point where I felt it was relatable to some part of my life and experiences. But, its still one of my favorites because I do have it on repeat almost every day.
Released: September 18, 2017
Favorite Song(s): “GoGo” and “Best of Me”

Lovely Little Lonely – The Maine
The Maine is that band that I just lose myself in their music. Ever since middle school when I first heard them I just loved their music. Now especially since their work is more poetic and beautiful with a sense of sadness I just find them to be the best mood music when I’m feeling in a rut. This album, just like their previous ones, allows me to get lost in the melodies, lyrics and find deep connects to the songs. I do find it hard to pick a favorite song as well.
Released: April 7, 2017
Favorite Song: “Black Butterflies and Deja Vu”

Where the Mind Wants to Go/ Where You Let It Go – I The Mighty
This album is another one that I listen to every day at least once. But, unlike BTS, I feel more connected emotionally to this album. I The Mighty really came out of nowhere for me with this album. I was anticipating it all year, but wasn’t expecting it to sound like how it does. There are elements that remind me of early 2000s pop punk but then there are elements that remind me of modern alternative. All together creating this mysterious and haunting essence throughout the album.
Released: October 20, 2017
Favorite Song(s): “Pet Names” and “Escapism”

After Laughter – Paramore
This album is one that baffles me. I never expected to understand an album as much as I do this one. Yes, I have always been a Paramore fan and I was really excited for this release. But once it was out I remember feeling overwhelmed with emotions while listening to it in the car on my way to work. For some strange reason I understood everything Hayley was expressing in the lyrics because I had experienced them as well. Not just me, a lot of people I feel can relate to this album or at least a song off the album because its so raw. We’ve all felt like giving up, we’ve all had self-doubt, we’ve all felt lost and we’ve all lost friends and made new ones. Life is a rollercoaster of emotions and it has it’s great moments and awful moments and this album really expresses them in the realist way.
Released: May 12, 2017
Favorite Song(s): “Forgiveness” , “Fake Happy” , “Tell Me How”

 

Of course there are more albums that have been released this year that I’ve been listening to nonstop, but like I said, these are the ones that made the top of my list for one reason or another. And as this year comes to a close, I look forward to new releases in 2018, so stay tuned in for my most anticipated of 2018.

Boy Hero Interview

Boy Hero is an LA based post hardcore band thats on the rise in their music scene. I’ve done some reviews for them in the past and was pleased to have a chat with singer Dan Rudd to learn more about the group and their music.

How did you meet the other members in the group?
Through different music ventures. It comes down to just friends, meeting people through other shows and bands.

It seems like there was a name change from Kings to Boy Hero? Why is that?
We originally were Kings and we had a logo and everything planned out for that. And what ended up happening was that there was another band that put out a logo that we were going to use right when we were going to launch everything. So we had to come up with something different.

The story behind Boy Hero is that Ben came up with it through a different project name that he never used. And being on the spot we had to use something so we went with it. But as time went on past that point, for me, it took the meaning of going it alone and doing it yourself. Don’t sit there and wait for the phone ring just go out there and make as much happen as you can on your own.

Let’s talk about the self titled EP, what was the writing and recording process like?
The writing process was where I had written a bunch of songs before the band was even a thing. I was kind of getting back into music from stepping away for a year or so. Then Jason, the original drummer, had produced the entire album. It was a thing where we were both new to LA and it just started off just demoing some stuff in my bedroom. It just came together.

You collaborated with Tyler Carter of Issues on the song “Desperate”, how did that fall into place?
That song was from my old band that was never released. So I rewrote it to fit the style of Boy Hero. I’ve been friends with Tyler for like 6 years or so I just asked him if he was interested in doing it and he was all for it.

What are the meanings behind the titles “10912” and “Vivian Grey”?
“10912” is actually a date. If you separate the numbers it ends up being in October and is actually the day my best friend growing up died. That song is my story of what I felt like happened. There are more songs that are about that, but this is kind of the start. I didn’t know how to title that track, because it was a really tough one to write. Its my feelings and I didn’t want anyone to feel like I was being disrespectful in any way.

“Vivian Grey” is definitely a metaphor. It started out as an inside joke. We used it as a way of saying “don’t be a baby” or “don’t be stupid” and the song just took shape around someone who was like that. So it was like a joke that became sort of like a real thing.

Recently you’ve released, “Last One” and “Stay Away”. What are those songs about?
Basically I had an idea to do a Halloween themed EP and I’ve been working on that for the past year and a half or so. We are still in the process of editing and mixing it right now, but I just wanted to put out some new music. So these songs are going to be a little darker, heavier or intense but its still going to fit the music and be fun.

It’ll have moments where, what me and my friends like to call, stank face moments, where you’re just like “oh yeah.” And those songs will be going on the EP, but we are still in the process of editing and getting things mixed and possibly adding more songs. But theres no release date set for it yet but hopefully around October at the latest.

If you could put together a dream tour or collaboration, who would be included?
My dream collaboration would be to write lyrics and vocals with Gerard Way or Bert McCracken. I would love to do work with Matt Good, the guitarist of From First to Last, or something with Ryan Key of Yellowcard. There are so many people that I look up to and would love to just sit in a session with them or work with them. I would take away so much from an opportunity like that.

I would love for there to be a tour of My Chemical Romance and The Used. I would kill to open for something like that. But a dream tour would be to tour with friends of mine. I would love to open for Issues or One Ok Rock, or with my friend Dakota who is in Blindwish. Just to hang out with my friends and play music everyday.

What would you say are the highlights of 2017 for you? What can we look forward to for 2018?
Highlights of this past year is just getting going on the EP. It was a huge step for me, personally, to get back in the saddle because I was kind of in a writers block for a while. I just wasn’t feeling anything, but I found new forms of inspiration from things that I like and started bringing life experiences into those stories.

Next year, I wanna tour and release the EP. I don’t want to set the bar too high, I just want to work as much as I can and try to get out there and get on a tour hopefully. I’m going to try and do some more videos and make that a regular thing, and just try to do as much writing as possible and work on our craft and get better.

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Boy Hero’s current self-titled EP is available on iTunes for purchase as well as Spotify.

You can find Boy Hero at all the link below.

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
YouTube

Scott St. Louis Interview

Scott St. Louis is an artist with a message to tell and with his new single “I Think You’re Beautiful” his story-telling comes to life. I had the opportunity to talk with Scott St. Louis about his music and what inspires him.

Tell me what you’re new single, I Think You’re Beautiful, is about.

I was in a past relationship with someone who had an eating disorder. And it was tragic because you could tell them that they are beautiful but they wouldn’t believe you because they don’t see that. And it was through that process that I realized that a lot of people feel that way. Society tells you that you have to dress a certain way or have certain things for people to accept you. So the message of the song is that you are beautiful the way you are. Its much more beautiful when people like who they are and are confident and comfortable with themselves.

What was the concept for the video?

When I sat down with the director I told him that I didn’t want to video to be about me. I wanted it to have a purpose and the purpose had to represent the message of the song. So he came up with the concepts and I came up with the little messages you see in the video. When you look at the book and the title says two separate things based off who was looking at it. I wanted it to be like when someone tells you that you’re beautiful, you don’t hear it that way, you hear something negative. And it happens to everyone, guys and girls, and I wanted the message to be portrayed in the video.

I hear a lot of different styles in your voice, what are you inspired by?

I don’t know, I listen to a lot of different stuff. I am inspired by whatever moves me at the time. I’ve been compared to a lot of different people but no one can really put their finger on it. But, I don’t know my favorite artists goes in and out. More recently its been Tom Petty, the drummer for the Heartbreakers plays on my album so I’ve been around them a lot. But I like Snow Patrol, The Struts, the Foo Fighters, but really whatever moves me at the time. I need to feel it in order for me to like it.

What kind of messages do you like to send out through your music?

Its really all across the board. I do try to stay away from politics and typically it would come out of anger for me from both sides of the spectrum. But every song that I write its the way that I process how I’m feeling and say what I want to say. So songwriting is like therapy for me. I look at the song as a painting from a moment in time; starting with a sketch and then adding color to it until it touches me. Because if I can feel it, then I feel like others can feel it as well.

After being in the business for quite a few years, what is something that you’ve learned?

The main thing that I learned is that you have to really love what you do. If you are going into it for money or for fame then you are going to be in for a huge disappointment. I have to learn how to be a fan again. At several points I had to learn how to be a fan again and go and support and be part of a music community. As opposed to trying to be a rock star or anything for me. I really didn’t want this record to be about me but that hopefully someone out there will listen to it and it will help them through something that they are going through. But overall, one thing I would say to people going into this is to be a fan, learn to be a fan and love what you do.

What can we expect to see from you in 2018?

We have another record coming out, but sooner than that we are going to be releasing another video for the song “Does Anyone Know the Way.” Its going to be a concept where we follow around a homeless veteran family and we try to get them back on their feet. Its going to be more documentary style because I don’t want it to be about me. I want it to be about focusing on trying to help people. But probably at the end of the year we will release the album, but in the spring of 2018 we will be going on a tour but nothing set in stone yet; or at least nothing that I can confirm yet.

 

You can watch the video for “I Think You’re Beautiful” here.
And be sure to follow Scott St. Louis on all his social medias linked below.

Facebook
SoundCloud
CD Baby
Spotify

Photo provided by WendyFordPR

Top 5 Christmas Songs

‘Tis the season of warm and cozy activities, quality family time and general giving and receiving. Like most people, the winter holiday season is one of my favorite times of the year. One thing about the holiday season that I love the most are the holiday songs.

Just a warning before I get started listing them, I celebrate Christmas. I know not everyone celebrates Christmas and therefore might not appreciate the list being solely Christmas music. I am not as educated as I could be in other religious holiday music, so it wouldn’t be truthful of me to include them.

But please note that I am aware of the other holidays celebrated during this time and if you celebrate something other than Christmas and have song suggestions for me please let me know and I will love to listen to them and include them in future holiday music posts.

So, to stop rambling, here are my Top 5 Holiday/Christmas songs…

5. All I Want For Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey
This is on my list as one that started off as joke but turned out to be an absolute MUST listen to during the holiday season. My friend Cherry and I sing this to each other all the time, especially now that we are apart. We even played it during the summer, max volume, driving around with the windows down. It’s just one of those songs that you’re not sure why you love it, you just do.

4. Mistletoe – Justin Bieber
I threw this one in here simply for the inside joke I have with my friend Cherry. All I’m going to say is, Cherry..if you’re reading this…”hey love!” She’ll get it. But, again this is one of those songs that I have no other reason why I have to listen to this song during the holidays I just do.

3. O Holy Night 
The next ones will be traditional songs that I have always loved for more than one reason. “O Holy Night” is one of those songs that, when arranged right, can be absolutely breath taking. I always imagined a huge choir singing this song and taking away the instrumental and just doing a cappella. The sound of the different voices just filling the room and sending shivers down your spine..OH LORD! Beautiful. But it can also be just very subtly with just one voice and more intimate and still be beautiful.

2. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – Judy Garland version
If you know me, you know I love Judy Garland and everything she does. Her rendition of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” is so hauntingly beautiful that you forget what the actual meaning of the song is. The scene in the movie when she sings this song your heart just aches. I’m not going to say what the scene is about, but if you haven’t seen the movie “Meet Me In St. Louis” please do! I could honestly listen to this song any day of the year.

1.Blue Christmas
My favorite Christmas movie is “A Year Without A Santa Claus” and towards the end a little girl sends a letter to Santa about how she will miss him this Christmas. The song that plays during that scene is “Blue Christmas” and ever since I saw that movie I loved this song. For some reason the song makes me appreciate what I have every year. I couldn’t pick a version that is my favorite so I will link the most popular one by Elvis. I get emotional every time I listen to this song and for that reason its my favorite.

New Releases | November & December

A few new releases have been flowing into my inbox at the same time. So I’m going to take this opportunity to talk about them all in one space.

Silk Cinema

The first is from a group that I’ve previously reviewed, Silk Cinema. They releases their new song “Magic” on December 1st, 2017. Silk Cinema is a London based duo who describes themselves as “Sade in Space.” Magic is an upbeat electronica song that expresses the need to find a little magic within our lives. I feel that with everything going on in the world an that might be going on for anyone in a personal aspect, this is a great song to listen to to lift up your spirits. You can listen to “Magic” and their other songs on their SoudCloud, Spotify, and find them on iTunes.

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Nokay_Fear_Coversml

Next up we have Nokay, a Pennsylvania based pop/indie artist who released his debut single “Fear” last week. This song is what I would describe as an electronica version of George Ezra and similar artists. “Fear” was self-produced and mixed by Daniel Martin and will be featured on his 2018 EP “The One I Feed.” You can listen to the song on SoundCloud, Spotify and Apple Music.

 

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Finally we have Vacances with their new single “Don’t Go.” Formally from Brooklyn, this LA based group who have been given critical praise in 2017 with their single “Never Give Up” reaching over 140k plays on Spotify’s Indie Playlist. Their new single “Don’t Go” was produced and co-written in partnership with Alex Fitts of the Kickdrums. This song reminds me of a 80s Brit-Pop song with a modern twist to it. You can listen to Vacances song on SoundCloud and watch the music video here.