I briefly mentioned it before, but given my excess of time currently (between only one online class that has yet to start and a part-time job which hours still haven’t increased to my desired amount) I decided to go ahead and try to blog about music a bit more. This is highly susceptible to being scrapped or (really) forgotten/overlooked pretty quickly, given that I’m pretty terrible about updating my blog (though recently I have kind of improved?); but, I’m riding off the wave of great intentions and capitalizing on my current mood and going ahead with this post. I’m still toying with how I would want these blog posts to occur, so if you’re tuning in please note that organization may be lacking for awhile…
Disclaimer aka here’s the general idea of what to expect
One thing my friends have always noted, besides my tendency to keep 90s and early 2000s within my repertoire of music, is the diversity of music I tend to like. From EDM to folk, rock to country, jazz, classical, etc, my tastes are somewhat eclectic, though of course, I do have certain genres I prefer over the others. For me, it’s alternative rock and one of the many diverse forms of techno/dance/edm/chillstep (it’s too hard to exactly distinguish, so we’ll just default as edm). I say this because more than likely the music I talk about in these blog posts will probably lean towards those genres, though I am hoping to try to be as diverse as my library. What you will most likely not find me posting much about is heavy metal or intense screamo. Not that I don’t know/have stuff in those genres, but if we’re reflecting off my library, they are practically non-existent, especially if we get into the more strictly metal/screamo genres. What am I trying to say? Basically, expect to be reading/listening to a wide-ish variety of music but mostly centered around EDM and alternative rock. As I come across less and less new, good rock music nowadays, it may be heavily EDM. But again, I’m gonna try to be diverse and also kick back with something from the past as well. Additionally, sometimes the music I talk about may not even be all that new. It may just be a song I want to bring up because, heck, I like it a lot. So what exactly are these music posts going to be about? I won’t lie, there will be rants about not so good music here too, if I decide upon it. But as I like to try to be optimistic and say good things, I’ll try to keep the bashing to a minimum. Overall, this is me talking about music: good, bad, new, old, everything. Here goes nothing!
Today’s feature: Chocolates and Roses by The Green
And here we are, first attempt and already I’m bringing it back. Granted, this song was only recently introduced to me as I heard it while at a hookah lounge a few weeks ago, but its actual release was back in 2013. Additionally, I’m already deviating from what I just said in that this is not EDM, not rock, but rather more jazz/reggae. Still, definitely worth the listen if you’re into that jazzy lounge music, or just looking for a new love song.
Another note I thought I’d mention is that I decided to go with Soundcloud to play this song. While there’s definitely youtube videos available of this song, I still prefer Soundcloud if it’s available. I know I have bashed on Soundcloud in the past (because it’s still true that it has taken a negative turn for corporate greed, nyah!), but I can still appreciate what is still offers (which is mostly podcasts of EDM music). If you do want more/new EDM music, then soundcloud definitely still has that to offer. It just may not provide the full tracks to more popular/radio hits/certain artists. Well, not for free anyways.
I suppose I’m realizing now that I don’t have all too much to say in regards to the featured song, and I really intended this to be some sort of listing of songs that have captured my attention recently (whether old or new) aka lots of songs listed, so onwards I go with other songs for you to try!
Kaskade – Let It Out (feat. Haley)
I actually debated this being the “featured” song, not that it really matters since they’re both getting mentioned anyways, but this song definitely captivated me the moment I first heard it through. Kaskade has been a player in the dance scene for some time now (I remember my first time seeing him live was back in ’09 at the first ever EDC festival in Dallas) and while he definitely sticks more to the mellow, chill tones compared to some other EDM artists out there, this one is even more so unique. It’s a wonderful ballad and it really gives the feels (before and) after the first chorus. Even in a slow ballad, he’s still hitting those drops like nobody’s business.
Sticking with those smooth melodies and heavenly voices, here’s another track to get in on if you haven’t already:
Alina Baraz & Galimatias – Unfold
I’ll be honest, I pretty much like the whole album Urban Flora by Alina Baraz and Galimatias, and the rest of the songs basically sound similar to this song, so check the whole album out. “Can I” was the other song consideration I had to represent Alina Baraz and this album as a whole. While the lyrics themselves are clearly sexually suggestive, and yeah, maybe this is baby making music, who cares? Her voice is amazing and the beats are super smooth. I think I’m seeing a pattern in the music chosen for this blog post… Whoops heh.
Here’s another older song that I feel like I’m getting a second chance with:
Frank Ocean – Super Rich Kids
And here, rather than use Frank Ocean’s upload, I had to use Def Jam’s to get the full song length. Thank you soundcloud… ANYWAYS. I remember when Channel Orange first came out, or at least when a few of my friends were talking about it. I tried to get on board, but either I 1) didn’t hear this song back then and chose the wrong first few songs that I wasn’t a fan of, or 2) didn’t appreciate the album/song until now when I like this type of music more. I feel like the former is more likely, but I won’t deny the possibility of the latter. Either way, Frank Ocean has definitely become considered one of the kind of newer great rap artists out there. I recall having a brief conversation with some friends about this and he was definitely on our list. So in earnest appreciation of the song now and the memory of that conversation, I included this song to the list. The next song, however, deviates a little from all the recent ones:
Marina and the Diamonds – Lies (Zeds Dead Remix)
While I haven’t actually heard the original version of this song, I do enjoy Zeds Dead’s remix of it. This was introduced to me through another friend (the best way to share music!) recently. It is, however, actually somewhat of an older song it seems (apparently it’s been on soundcloud for 4 years?). I’m learning things as I write this post! I think the newest of these songs is probably Kaskade’s, who only recently dropped that song in the past month or so. (So it’s super fresh!)
In an effort to bring forth newer music and yet still hit that soft spot for those old tunes, here’s a surprise:
Yellowcard – The Hurt Is Gone
And while there actually (surprisingly) is a version of this song on Soundcloud, it was the full length which offers a slightly longer than appreciated intro… So I went with the Youtube version. While it only shares a few similarities to the infamous “Ocean Avenue” or “Way Away” or “Empty Apartment”, I still find this ever new, ever Yellowcard song a reminiscence of the music I grew up listening to. If you still have an alternative rock bone in your body, I hope this song tickles it.
Unexpected disappointments: Linkin Park and The Chainsmokers
I write this because it literally happened today. I decided to finally listen to LP’s new song “Heavy” featuring Kiiara. As a long-time fan of LP, this newest song really shocked me and made me full of disappointment. While I can say that I am definitely a Hybrid Theory lover, I’ve also always loved various songs from their albums that came after: “Burning It Down,” “Numb,” “Shadow of the Day,” to name a few. This last album, The Hunting Party, was not my cup of tea, but I could see where their inspiration drew from. It still sounded much like them, with just a little too much screaming and a little too heavy. And yet, this last song… As I said on my Facebook post, it really felt like some sort of attempt to make a pop radio hit. Chester’s singing (or whatever) feels off the entire time, and Kiiara overall carries the song. And the rest doesn’t even sound like LP exists. Are they following the money? Are they just trying for something new? Pressure from the label? I really have no idea, but whatever it is, I hope they are just sticking true to themselves. If they’re doing that, and this is what is coming out, then like I said in my post, artists change. I can’t say I won’t be disappointed if this is really the route they want to take, but at least I can try to accept it and just bury myself in their older albums. In any case, LP you’ll always have my heart, but maybe it’s time to walk away and just keep the memories. At least in their last concert that I went to they played a lot of oldies that the whole crowd loved (more).
As for The Chainsmokers, I’d like to just blame it on the formula. I remember when I first heard of them. My friend had introduced me to them, they were still fairly unknown with only a few podcasts available. Most of their music were remixes with only a couple of original mixes (which weren’t all that great, to be honest). I heard Tove-Lo’s “Habits (Stay High)” song first as a remix by them and loved it. It came to me as a surprise when I began to hear the original on the radio much later. I still listen to The Wanted’s “We Own the Night” remixed by The Chainsmokers on a frequent basis, and I will forever love their remix of “Medicine” by Daughter. Both previously mentioned songs are still on my currently jamming list and have been played by me more than enough times.
And yet after “Selfie”, and a slew of other radio hits (“Don’t Let Me Down” and “Let You Go,” for example), I kind of stopped paying attention to their newest stuff. I only recently realized “Closer” was one of their songs, and their newest hit, “Paris”, I only recently (last week) tried to check out. It was right after listening to “Closer” that I tried “Paris” and sadly I stopped the song before the chorus even finished it’s first go. It kind of just… sounded the exact same as “Closer.” I know songs in an album tend to sound similar, I mean Urban Flora songs definitely all sound very similar, but at the same time I can feel distinction between the songs, thus why I like some more than others. For “Closer” and “Paris”…. I don’t know, maybe because I was listening to a lot of new music at that moment, I just wasn’t really captivated by either. When I say I blame it on the formula, I mean the radio formula. The hits, the money makers, the ones the general audience are all going to go gaga over and spend loads of money because it’s exactly what everyone is so hyped up about. Easily digestible music to be appreciated by the general audience. Today’s music is a mix of varying genres (hiphop, rap, pop, etc) set to a slightly edm/techno beat. That’s how I mostly feel. It’s popular media trying to regurgitate EDM music into something more people can appreciate and like. And The Chainsmokers are at the top of the list in the right formula to create that kind of music.
I’m not saying I don’t like their music. I do. But I’m just a little sad and a little disappointed in their lack of variety now. Even their collaboration with Coldplay, “Something Just Like Us,” has some distinction from their other stuff, but is still missing that wow factor to be a great new song by them. Maybe I’m just being too critical, but I hope in between all the shows and the fame and fortune, they keep trying to make good music, and not just the same stuff with different lyrics.
Here’s to hoping for good music to come: Daughter – Medicine (The Chainsmokers Remix)
When will my next post (about music) be? I honestly couldn’t tell you, but I am trying to be more consistent about my posting, so while my next post might be not music related (though will always still include at least one song), keep looking out for a new one if you found this entertaining. :)