“Heathens” | Song/Video Review

To all of the Clique family out there, this is something I think we all can agree on…

Heathens is amazing!

If you are not part of the Clique family and have no clue what I’m talking about, I’m reviewing the new song my Twenty One Pilots for the soundtrack of “Suicide Squad” which is set to release in August of this year. I am going to break this review into 2 parts; the song and then the music video.

The Song

People are saying “Heathens” is going to be the new “Stressed Out” but honestly I think this so is way better than “Stressed Out”. In true TOP nature, the song is haunting and eerie, but blended with a solid beat it brings a different light to it. TOP is known for not fitting into one specific genre, their music is in its own category and this song really proves it. Its got elements of hip-hop, alternative, electronic, and rock.

The melody of this song is what sticks out to me the most and I like the fact that they started the song out with the chorus. Right away you get this infectious melody and chorus that will get stuck in your head. Its a very simple melody, one that has many variations in many songs for decades, but one that is very effective.

There are perfectly placed electronic breakdowns with a certain element placed into them to break those sections up. This element is hard to express in words but it reminds me of the sound a canned jar makes when it pops but recorded and lowered 3 octaves and sped up. Does that make sense? No? You’ll know what I’m talking about when you hear it. Either way, its a stand out element in the song.

The lyrics are ones to pay attention too. Now, I haven’t listened to the song enough (although I’ve listened to it like 10 times already) but some of my favorite lines are,
“You don’t know the half of the abused” and “We don’t deal with outsiders very well” 
I feel these are very strong lyrics, as are more from the song, that really expose the ugly truths of society. We are quick to judge people who do wrong without getting to know their story as to why they did it. There are a lot of people that are suffering from abuse or mental illness that snap and we are too quick to mark them as bad people. And the line about outsiders is exposing our human nature of ostracizing people who are different. Very powerful meaning to the song when you think about it.

The Video

Like I said before, in true TOP nature the video is just as haunting as the song, but it matches perfectly. Tyler is dressed in an orange prison jump suit as he’s being walked through a prison. Meanwhile you are being introduced to different “heathens” and inmates as the song continues. Scenes from the movie are being shown here and there but the best thing about his music video is that you don’t even notice. The editing and filters used on the video match perfectly to the ones on the movie that they look like one. I had to watch it 3 or 4 times to really see which scenes were from the movie and which ones were not.

I think the best thing about the video is that the inmates all come out and jam to TOP performing on a lit up stage. At first I thought this was a little out of place, but it actually isn’t. For some strange reason, and it could be the vibe of the song or the part of the song that it is helping to visualize, it fits.

VIDEO: Heathens by Twenty One Pilots

Overall this is probably one of my favorite Twenty One Pilots songs to date. I think they did a wonderful job on emulating the vibe and story of the movie as well as staying true to their roots and who they are as a band. Great work!

I highly suggest to check this song out and the movie when it comes out on August 5, 2016!

-Stefanie

“Traveling East” |Corrington Wheeler EP Review

Its been a while since I’ve had the pleasure of doing a music review, so you can guess that I was excited when Corrington Wheeler reached out to me about his EP “Traveling East.” I was even more excited when I found out that he is a rock musician; my favorite.

His EP “Traveling East” is a three song CD of what I think is a solid foundation to music. And when I say “solid” I mean that Corrington definitely has potential in his genre (there is screaming in this music so if you are not a fan of that please be aware).

The songs have clean vocals all around, his upper register is not piercingly annoying like some vocalists that are trying to stretch their range and just aren’t quite there yet. The instrumental is strong and has a nice driving beat that is appropriate for the genre. It doesn’t sound like a muddled mess, which I find that with this style of music it can go real mucky real easily if you don’t know what you are doing.

As I was listening to this I was really impressed, obviously, but what impressed me the most (and made me a little giddy inside) is that the songs “Altering Buddha’s Principals” and “Skorkas Witchery” are half in Japanese! If you know me at all, you know that I am a sucker for anything Japanese! I was really thrown off by this but it was a pleasant surprise and I would highly suggest that if you are into any J-Rock, like any of my One Ok Rock or Crossfaith fans out there, you should definitely look up Corrington Wheeler! Even if you don’t know who I just mentioned and are like “what is J-Rock,” you should still look up Corrington Wheeler if you are into the whole hardcore rock scene.

Personally, my favorite song off the EP is “Skorkas Witchery” featuring Tada Maico. It is a nice change of pace for the EP as it is a slower song. I was a bit worried after listening to the first two songs that all the songs on this EP were going to he hard-driving songs and we were not going to see a more softer side, but the balance was nice and smart. (I would suggest this to anyone who is thinking of putting together an EP, have at least one slower song featured to show versatility).

Corrington Wheeler and his team will be release their first full length album later this summer, which I know that I am excited about! If you are a fan of rock music and love to support the local scene, please check out Corrington Wheeler! All his links will be listed at the end of this post so click on them and show him some support, the guy deserves it! I can definitely see great music coming from this guy in the future!

“Traveling East” EP Youtube Playlist

Corrington Wheeler Music Website

Corrington Wheeler Facebook Page

A Week Of Releases

There has been an explosion of music releases the past week. Every time I opened the internet there was some new artist dropping a new music video or single. And, being the music junkie that I am, I of course listened to every single song and watched all the music videos (generally speaking).

So here is a tiny review of each one, my first impression and thoughts…

PVRIS – You and I

Probably the biggest buzz going on in the Alternative world would be the release of PVRIS’ new song “You and I” (February 22) and the music video to go with it. Lynn’s voice is undeniably unique and during the chorus, the raspiness of it sends shivers down my spine. The song is beautiful and eerie and so is the black and white music video.

Although I have nothing bad to say about the song or the video, because I love them both, I just feel like I am ready for something new from them. And by that I mean a new album. “White Noise” was released in 2014 and now they are re-releasing it as a deluxe version with the single “You and I” on it in April of 2016? Why not just wait and release the new song on a new album or EP? Of course, I am not part of the band or their team so I do not know the reasoning behind it all, but I feel like its just time for something else.

Demi Lovato – Stone Cold

Demi released her new music video for “Stone Cold” this week (February 23) and although I’m not a huge Demi fan, I heard that this song was a big one. I am on the fence with this one. I think this song, lyrically and instrumentally, is amazing. The emotion and pain that the song writer wrote down is real and you feel it when listening to the song. The instrumentation supports this emotion beautifully with simple half note chords.

But, unfortunately, I did not care for Demi’s voice on this song. It almost felt like she was putting too much emotion and pain into it that the true talent of her voice got lost a times. No doubt about it she has a strong voice, I just felt that this song, vocally, was not her best. But the music video was simplistic and easy to follow. Not an outstanding video, but with the contents of the song, it complimented it well.

Troye Sivan – Youth

Troye Sivan is quickly becoming one of my favorite breakthrough artists this year! I’ve been a viewer of Troye’s videos on Youtube for a while now, and got moderately excited when he started writing and recording music. My initial thoughts were “great another youtuber that is trying to become a musician” but boy was I wrong…in more ways than one. I found out later that Troye was already a musician and had tiny singing gigs throughout Australia. But I never really listened to his music until this past week. I briefly heard song of his song “Youth” but it wasn’t until the music video was released this week (February 24) that I really listened to it.

This is the catchiest damn song ever. Troye has this sweet, smooth, innocence to his voice that is just aesthetically pleasing to me. I also like how most of the instrumental is in the verses and the chorus just has the beat and his vocal. It really catches your attention and brings the focus to the chorus in a way most songs don’t do. The video fits well with the song as well, teenagers or youth hanging out and being themselves. Its very indie, its very “hipster” but I love it.

The 1975 – The Sound

The 1975 are a quirky bunch, as I would like to express it. I am a fan of their music, loved their debut album, loved their live show, and I was excited for their new music. So far they have released three singles off their upcoming album which are “Love Me,” “UGH!” and now the newest one “The Sound” (February 25). All three songs I like, musically, and the music videos got me feeling a different way for each one. “Love Me” I didn’t care for, just not my taste, “UGH!” was fun to watch and reminded me of their previous videos, and now “The Sound.” I think out of all this one is my favorite.

The song itself is definitely The 1975, they have this sound that when you hear it you just know its them. It also has this killer guitar solo in it as well, which you don’t hear much of anymore. The video is my favorite as well, the use of their signature lights and the hues of pink and white resembled a bit of the new 1975 as well as the previous album. But I also liked how the band incorporated, what I assume to be, negative reviews of their band in the music video. The band is trapped in a box and there are “critics” outside the box and every now and again the video cuts to a negative comment. But in true 1975 fashion, the band is un-phased and at the end the band is outside the box and the critics are inside. Symbolism.

Against The Current – Runaway

Already have this song memorized…oops! This is the new single off of their HIGHLY anticipated (for me anyways) debut album called “In Our Bones” and its a tune! They released their first single “Running With The Wild Things” earlier this month and it has a great rock and angsty feeling to it. But “Runaway” has a different vibe and I think that it was a smart move to release two different vibe songs to give their fans an idea of whats to come. This song is a great love song that has a bit of a pop feeling, which is why when you listen to it you wont help but put it on repeat or at least sing it in your head the rest of the day. I’ve already listened to this song a million times and it just got released last night (February 25).

 

There you have it! Practically a new song for every day of the week this week. I certainly had my ears full trying to catch up!