Ghost of Me | Andrew Carter Song Review

If you want a song to take you back to a 50’s sock hop, then “Ghost of Me” by Andrew Carter is the song you need to listen to.

Andrew Carter is a county rock artist that has a unique blend of the two genres of music that is reminiscent to Lynyrd Synyrd. If you want to learn more about Andrew, you can read my interview with him here.

“Ghost of Me” will be Carter’s new single off his self-titled album. Going into this review I thought I was going to hear a timeless country song that tells a story of a man looking back on who he used to be and the journey he took to be where he is now. Just a classic song reflecting on the changes we go through as humans. But I was wrong.

Yes, the song does talk about how he used to do “this” or “that” but that is now the ghost of him. But it is not the typical country sound that I would have expected to hear. It starts off with this be-bopping bass line that just moves effortlessly up and down the scale.

Then the bluesy guitar kicks in and takes you on this journey back in time where bands dressed in suits and during the guitar breakdown the guitarist slides to the front of the stage on his knees and just shreds.  The overall feel of this song is one that you would typically hear at a 50’s sock hop with greasers and ladies in poodle skirts; but still keeping his country roots strong.

If you are anything like me, someone who is not usually a country listener, you should really give Carter’s music a chance. He is country, but true country. His music is not like your radio pop country today, he is a breath of nostalgia both in the country genre and the rock genre.

“Ghost of Me” is a fun, energetic song that takes you back in time and Andrew Carter is an artist on the rise that everyone should keep an eye on. I am looking forward to seeing where he will go next with his music.

You can follow Andrew on the sites below and hear his song “Ghost of Me” on his website.

Andrew Carter Website
FacebookSoundCloud

Photo provided by Wendy Ford PR
Wendy Ford PR Website

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Top Songs of Summer

Autumn has officially started, even thought Wisconsin doesn’t think so, which means its time to discuss the songs that I was listening to on repeat during the summer time. As some of my readers may know, or may not know, I have what I like to call a “musically obsessive” personality. Meaning, when I like a song or artist I will listen to them non stop until I find a new song or artist to listen to.

My summer consisted of mainly pop music, since I am a person who listens to music based off the seasons (spring and summer are usually pop while fall and winter are usually rock). Recently, my pop music of choice has been Kpop (Korean Pop), and by recently I mean the past few years that is literally the only pop music I listen to. Its a deep, dark, bottomless hole that I have no intentions of climbing out from.

So as fair warning, this list might possibly (or 100%) be Kpop oriented. Once again, this list is in no particular order and all songs are not just from 2017. I will provide release years along with genres and video links.

  1. “Really Really” by WINNER (2017, Kpop)
  2. “Why” by Taeyeon (2016, Kpop)
  3. Touch My Body” by SISTAR (2014, Kpop) –side note I had to add a SISTAR in here.. D’:
  4. “Spring Day” by BTS (2017, Kpop)
  5. “View” by SHINee (2015, Kpop)
  6. “Where Were You” by Every Avenue (2008, Pop Punk)
  7. “A Capella” by Chase Goehring (2015, Pop…but debatable)
  8. “Malibu” by Miley Cyrus (2017, Pop)
  9. “Good Times” by All Time Low (2017, Pop Punk)
  10. “Hard Times” by Paramore (2017, Alternative)

Initially, writing this list up I had 8 Kpop songs that I had been listening to non stop, but for the sake of my non Kpop fans out there, I revised it to be half and half. Most of my Kpop songs are some older ones like SHINee and SISTAR. But they have such a summer vibe to them that they are staples for that time of year.

I also threw in a throwback pop punk song by Every Avenue that accidentally came up on my shuffle on iTunes and it hit me with a wave of nostalgia. This was a song I listened to non stop in the summer during my high school days.

Finally, I added a solo artist that I feel is a bit underrated, Chase Goehring. If you have not heard his song “A Capella” you need to! Its got such a great flow and rhythm to it that is very infectious. And, it wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t have one or two staple pop punk or alternative songs in the mix. I need that refreshing break from the pop every once in a while. And All Time Low and Paramore are always my go to for that type of break.

I do, however, have an honorable mention that really pained me to take off the list, but it was released later in the summer so I decided to switch it out. “Yacht” by Jay Park (2017, Kpop) if you love Kpop, you need to listen to this song.

Once again, I do keep a playlist on Spotify of all the songs that I listened to this spring/summer that feature more songs than what is listed here. Also, because of a glitch in Spotify, some of the songs I have listed here are not on my playlist…they disappeared. So, please make sure you check out the videos I linked above.

Feel free to leave music suggestion in the comments below! I will be looking for new music to listen to for fall and winter!

-Stefanie

Andrew Carter Interview

Andrew Carter is a true son of the south that is bringing back good ol’ fashioned Southern Rock to the forefront of country music. His self-titled album “Andrew Carter” tells a story and brings the feeling of home and nostalgia wherever you go. A few days ago I got the chance to sit down and chat with Andrew about his music and more.

What was the music scene like for you growing up?
In Stockbridge, where I grew up, it was okay; we really grew up on Atlanta’s music scene. But in Jacksonville, the music scene has always been here, although its hard to get people to come out to shows and support you. Once the world knows who you are, Jacksonville just starts to listen to you.

What music did you listen to growing up?
My mom would trick us into cleaning the house by turning on the radio and cleaning to classic rock. So a lot of Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Lynyrd Skynyrd. But as I got older, I really got into punk rock, really anything Discord Records was putting out. But I kept listening to Classic Rock and I had a step dad that had every country vinyl ever so that was fun listening to that.

I read that you started out as a drummer. How did you get interested in drums?
I had three brothers and one was a natural born musician. He taught me how to play the drums. He would set it up and it was just a snare, high hat and kick drum. And for the longest time I could only hit the snare and high hat. I couldn’t quite get my foot to kick that pedal. But one day it happened and I made a beat and I was hooked every since. However, I don’t have a kit right now, but I do go to the Guitar Center and play the kits they have set up.

Who are your biggest musical influences?
What I’m pulling from right now with this last album and the next two to come, I’m pulling from those classic southern rock bands. I went on tour with Lynyrd Skynyrd and worked as an assistant to their piano player. I learned a lot of from them because they are great performers. You have to be a true professional to be in that band, because they are true professionals. They are an amazing rock and roll blues band and I pull from them a lot.

I am all about the show. Anyone that you talk to that have seen me perform, they will tell you that I am all about the show and Lynyrd Skynyrd puts on a show. So who wouldn’t want to emulate that?

How would you describe the vibe of your self-titled album, “Andrew Carter”?
They have a sense of nostalgia. They sound like sounds that your parents might have listened to, and I like that. I think that some people will be refreshed if it was on the radio and I think people will appreciate the air that it is familiar to. People will recognize the familiarity.

Talking from one musician to another in Nashville, people are ready for this. They are angry with what is on the radio right now because its almost more pop than country. Nothing wrong with pop or rap, I listen to that and love it, but make a pop song and don’t call it country.

What would you say is your favorite song on the album? What is it about?
Long Road Home. Its the slowest song on the album. The story about is that my friend was going through a hard time in Nashville. Her brother offered her this RV, but she had to pick it up in California and drive it back. It was the best time for her to go out there and get the RV and drive it back and think. I was talking to her back and forth while she was doing that and I wrote down what she was telling me. I just put it together and I really like the instrumentation of it and the story of it. Its the only story song, it doesn’t have a chorus, just three verses. But all the songs are my favorite.

What is the highlight of your musical career so far?
Performing with my band The Bumbs. Being able to play and tour together has been the highlight so far. They are the band that is on the album and they put all that music together because I couldn’t have done that all by myself. That band is just amazing and being able to work with them is the highlight.

If you had to choose a concert line up, open for or headliner, who would be on the bill?
I would like to open for would be two of them. Lynyrd Skynyrd or Tom Petty. I think it would be amazing to open for either of those bands. If I did a headlining tour, I would like to form a band behind me so The Bumbs could be my opener.

Plans or goals for the future?
I got two new albums in the works. One I will release pretty early in 2018 and the other one will be out in late spring of 2018. But 2018 is full of touring, my label is working on getting me out on the road a lot for hopefully all of 2018. Festivals are in the workings for being booked, but nothing confirmed yet.

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andrewcarter

You can listen to Andrew Carter’s self-titled on his website. You can stay up to date on all events and current news for Andrew Carter by following him on his social media sites, linked below.

Website
Facebook

Photos provided by Wendy Ford PR

Dancing in the Rain – Everafter Song Review

It has been a while since I’ve posted, and a long while since I’ve done a song review. Apologies.

But my friends in Everafter asked me to do a review for their new single “Dancing in the Rain” and what better way to bring me back out of my absence than this.

“Dancing in the Rain” starts off with a very nice sound of effect of rain which sets the mood for a bit before the instrumental comes in. But when the music starts I was taken back a bit. I was under the impression that this was going to be a more mellow song because of the title and the sound effect in the beginning. I was wrong.

This song, although not as hard as you can imagine, still has a driving beat but it is not one to settle down with at the end of the night while you sip your glass of wine in a bubble bath. The beat is consistent and hard throughout the song and doesn’t vary often.

The vocals are clear, easy to understand the lyrics and the melody is very simple and easy to catch on to as well. I found myself singing the melody in my head a while after listening to the song. Overall, very solid song consistently and if you are into the classic hard rock sound, this song has a very similar vibe to it.

There was a guitar solo towards the middle which I was pleased to hear. Its not often that you hear guitar solos, like actual guitar solos, in rock songs so to hear this was a treat. Although I would have liked it to be a bit longer, but for the structure of the song I feel a longer guitar solo would have been a bit out of place.

I really enjoyed this song, my only criticism would be that there wasn’t much for tempo change. I am a person that loves a good tempo change and a good key change. Those are components of a song that really grab my attention and make me listen. If this song would have had one of those it would have had hold of my attention throughout the whole song, instead of me wondering and waiting for that change to come.

I enjoyed the last song that Everafter sent to me and I was excited to listen to more from them. Again, if you are a fan of classic hard rock, please give Everafter a listen! I will post the link to the song above and a link to their social media sites down below for you to check out!

Great work again boys!

Everafter Twitter

Everafter YouTube

2016 Top 10

As 2016 comes to a close, I can honestly say that the best part of this year was music. Although we lost some great musicians and industry leaders, the work that came out never failed to bring me joy.

This post is going to be quick, and recap all the songs that I loved and highlighted a moment in time during this year. Not all these songs were released in 2016, however, but regardless they still impacted my year somehow.

Music is timeless, and even though a song might have been released before you were born, it could still be a new discovery to you and mean something to you in the present day.

Songs in order of most listened to and favorite:

  1. “Blood, Sweat, and Tears” by BTS (Kpop/Hip-Hop) 2016
  2. “All I Wanna Do (Ft. Hoody, Loco)” by Jay Park (Kpop/R&B/Soul) 2016
  3. “TOKI” by Da-iCE (Jpop/Pop) 2014
  4. “Don’t Worry About Me” by Frances (Singer/Songwriter) 2016
  5. “Taking Off” by One Ok Rock (Jrock/Rock) 2016 but album release is 2017
  6. “Poison & Wine” by The Civil Wars (Alternative) 2009
  7. “Youth” by Troye Sivan (Pop) 2015
  8. “Heads/Tails” by Hotspur (Alternative/Pop) 2009
  9. “Desperate (Ft. Tyler Carter)” by Boy Hero (Alternative Rock) 2016
  10. “The 7th Sense” by NCT U (Kpop/Hip-Hop) 2016

There you have it, my top 10 songs of 2016. Theses songs are ones that I have listened to the most throughout the year and have either shaped a moment in my life or highlighted a moment that means a lot to me.

There are some honorable mentions that I would like to point out. These songs, however, I did not hear until December because they were either released in December or they didn’t reach my ears until then.

They are:

  1. “I Was King”by One Ok Rock
  2. “Million Reasons” by Lady Gaga
  3. “The Runner and The Lover (ft. Shelby Merry)” by Formal Vandal

All of the songs mentioned on both lists are on my “Spring/Summer 2016” and “Fall/Winter 2016” playlists on Spotify.

I will continue to add songs to the Fall/Winter playlist until Spring starts back up in 2017, so follow the playlist to stay up to date on what I’m listening too!

Stay rad and have a great new year,
Stefanie.

I’m Kpop Trash

I don’t know how or when it happened. It was like I woke up one day and all I cared about was Korean Pop music. I was 10 feet deep in MVs, live performances, dance practices and English Subbed interviews and game shows.

I went from not knowing anything about Korean Pop music, to knowing all the names and birthdays of members of a 12 piece group. My recommended videos on YouTube went from alternative rock videos to all Kpop groups.

I am Kpop Trash. Its official.

I basically don’t listen to anything else right now, and my friends and family’s concerns are growing stronger by the day. I don’t normally read YouTube comments, I actually never read YouTube comments, but when it comes to Kpop videos (especially a group I am listening to for the first time) I read the comments. Not just the top few liked comments, I read a few pages of comments! And I actually laugh or have the urge to like or reply to a comment.

Who am I? I ask myself everyday.

But, I have accepted this lifestyle and I am working to  embrace it. I am listening to my philosophy that good music is good music, no matter what genre or country its from. Kpop makes me feel good. Yea, I don’t know what they are saying, but it makes me listen to the music more. It makes me focus on how the song makes me feel.

I’ve noticed the music of songs more from listening to Kpop and I find myself commenting on the actual instrumentation of songs more so than the lyrics or the vocals. Its also great sometimes to listen to a song and create your own meaning or interpretation of the song. Yes, you can do this with all music, but when you can understand the language you have a better idea of what it is actually about. But when you don’t know the language, you can use the feeling and even sometimes the music video to come up with your own story for the song. That is what I find fun about it.

So I like Kpop. I love Kpop. But I also like and love all the genres I loved before and I continue to keep up with all my other favorite artists and genres. I am slowly swimming back to the surface after taking a long LONG dive into the Kpop ocean.

If you are a Kpop fan, you understand everything I am saying. If not, you will. Kpop is not for everyone, but trust me, if you are a sucker for catchy songs and pop music in general, you will get sucked in and never return.

For all my Kpop fans, my favorite artists are (in no particular order):
1. EXO     (all of the units)
2. BTS
3. Got7
4. Jay Park
5. Taeyeon
6. Seventeen
7. Pentagon
8. NCT U
9. Lay     (heart attack when I found out about his solo mini album)
10. Dean

I obviously listen to more, but these are my top ones that I listen to the most. And, because you are going to ask, my EXO bias is Lay and Chanyeol. They both kill me every time. My BTS bias is Jungkook, but my bias wrecker is V. And my Got7 bias is JB but my bias wrecker is Mark. (literally shaking my head at the fact I just admitted this by using fandom terminology)

If you’re curious on Kpop and want to watch something to get introduced by it and not be overwhelmed, I would suggest these videos:

EXO – Monster

BTS – Fire

Got7 – A

Jay Park – Drive (Ft. Gray) (for my friends that like more hip-hop)

Taeyeon – Starlight (Ft. Dean)

I could post more, but I think this is a good start. You got Got7’s “A” for more Pop side, Jay Park’s “Drive” for more hip hop, and then EXO’s “Monster” and BTS’ “Fire” for a medium ground. I also threw in a female voice to represent the feminine side of the genre, and Taeyeon is my favorite female vocalists in Kpop and this song “Starlight” features another one of my favorite artists, Dean.

I picked my favorite songs by my top 5 artists listed above, and again, I could list more videos because I’m trash.

My absence is all do to the fact that I’ve signed my life away to Korean pop music. I’m ashamed and proud. Please, if you’re reading this and a Kpop fan, be my friend. I have no friends that like Kpop. I need you. (in the least creepy way possible, of course)

I’m back, more posts to come.

-Stefanie

Everafter | Song Review

Long time, no music reviews. Sorry. But, I’m back with a song that is coming from the United Kingdom. London based band, Everafter, released their new song, “Last Boat To St Helena” in early August, but recently asked me to give my thoughts.

I don’t like to be given a lot of information about the band or their music because I much rather be surprised and give a clear, unbiased opinion. For some reason, I had in my head that this was going to be a real heavy song. I don’t know if it was the fact that the name of the band sounds like a heavy band, but I was definitely surprised to find out I was wrong.

The song has a fairly steady tempo throughout the entirety of the song, fast enough to keep your head bobbing. The acoustic, almost folk like, sound is really enticing as well. It reminded me of a classic folk tune with a modern twist. I would definitely suggest that if you are into that folk/traditional sound, that you check out this song. Its got what you need.

The melody is easy enough to catch on to and by the second chorus I found myself singing along. This is something that I find really important when it comes to releasing a single. You want your listeners to be able to sing along and you want it to be catchy enough that it sticks in their head.

One aspect that I really did enjoy was the bass line. For some reason, and this doesn’t happen often, I was intrigued by the bass line. I found it complimented the guitar on top and the main theme of the song. It really does help the movement of the song all together. This song does tell a story, which is another important aspect of a song in my opinion. I love songs that tell a story and are relatable to a vast majority of people. I feel it gives the listener something deeper to connect with. Although I’m not sure what the story is behind this St. Helena island, I was interested in looking it up and finding out. I would like to know the songwriters connect with the island.

One thing I would have wished to hear in this song would have been some type of change in tempo, key change, something that is a clear shift in the song. It did seem a bit “one note” (not literally obviously) but very consistent throughout the entire song. If there would have been a key change for a few measures, maybe for like a final chorus, or an acapella moment for a bridge or hook, then it would have given a bit more depth to the song.

Overall, its a solid song and I am looking forward to hearing more from this group!

Everafter’s debut album, produced by Chris Tsangarides, is available now on iTunes! Check out the song, “Last Boat To St Helena” and follow them on Twitter, if you like what you hear!