I made a mistake…

A while ago, I said that I wanted to change my schedule around a little bit. I wanted to move my Musical Discovery reviews to Fridays (as this is the day most new music is released) and push back The Friday Article to Sunday. I gave this new schedule idea a trial run last week, and it’s safe to say that I made a mistake.

As you may have seen, I missed a post last Sunday. It was meant to be a political post and a ‘pilot’ of The Sunday Article. In the end, I just didn’t have time, and the confusion that came with mixing around my schedule meant my creativity took a hit.

Granted, whilst there’s a few Sunday politics shows on TV which discuss the latest news over the past week whilst keeping it relevant, I don’t have access to these MPs to continue the conversation further. So, when I considered writing an opinion piece on scrapped A-Levels for last Sunday, it soon felt outdated without a fresh new angle. That being said, I probably will still end up publishing this post on Friday this week.

As for Musical Discovery posts on a Friday, it’s great that it fits with the day that most new music is released, it’s a bit of a rush to formulate an opinion in the morning before the post goes up at 12pm. The Monday slot gives me a weekend for a song to grow on me and for me to gather my thoughts. I like to think that I end up with a better review as a result.

Whilst the new schedule won’t be going ahead, the trial run did give me some ideas as to what I could write about on Wednesday or Sunday.

Since I’m quite protective over my poetry and works of fiction, I’m still not too sure about this, but I’d like to go back to writing regular poems on this blog, along with the occasional short story. In particular, I was thinking of doing posts where I would describe my week in a narrative style you’d hear in a book. I’m thinking about calling the series A Fictional Reality, but I don’t know if it’s going to happen yet. If I do try it out, it should add to the range of writing styles which I showcase on The Life of a Thinker.

What do you think? Should I write more poetry and fiction on this blog? Comment below!


Musical Discovery: ‘Waste A Moment’ by Kings of Leon

Of course, Use Somebody was the defining song for Kings of Leon, when pulsing bass, chanting vocals and pounding drums set their style in stone. Now, back on the scene with Waste A Moment, the band return with their traditional tone, but with new energy and passion.

Aside from a chorus which sounds rather similar to Biffy Clyro’s Many of Horror (or Matt Cardle’s cover version, When We Collide), the song does sound rather ‘samey’. Whilst it’s great that they are sticking to a style for so long, they could try something different to try and stand out in the over-concentrated alternative music industry we have at the moment. Waste A Moment is great, but it sounds like a song from a soundtrack to a FIFA game. The energy and enthusiasm is there, which is great and what makes this song successful, but I feel like there could be something more. Perhaps some high-pitched lyrics, I’m not too sure.

What do you think of Waste A Moment by Kings of Leon? Comment below!


Musical Discovery: ‘Under Our Feet’ by Frances

Aside from beautifully soft vocals and harmonies we’ve never heard before, Frances’ impressive collection of songs give listeners a choice between singing the chorus wholeheartedly, or having a cathartic cry at the emotive nature of the lyrics. Under Our Feet is the latest track from the BRIT Award nominee which follows this pattern, whilst offering fans a glimpse at her upcoming debut album, Things I’ve Never Said.

Once again, emphasis is placed on Frances’ vocals from the start. It’s a stylistic decision which we also see in Don’t Worry About Me, too, except this time, it’s not long before the song flourishes further.
We see a drum rhythm of a more chilled nature, in contrast to the more vibrant, pounding tempos we hear in singles such as Say it Again and Borrowed Time. It’s a song for reflection – a sombre interlude amongst the more fast-paced tracks.

As excitement builds for Things I’ve Never Said, singles released before an album are crucial – offering fans an insight into the overall tone of a record. Under Our Feet is an exciting tease at what’s to come, showing listeners that we’ll continue to hear more of Frances’ unique vocal style alongside songs with different tones and emotions at their core. My only hope for the upcoming release is that we see an album which balances emotive vocal solos (such as Don’t Worry About Me, which brilliantly demonstrates the power of her voice) with the more upbeat, poppy tracks (like Borrowed Time and Say It Again). However, with an impressive, varied and wide range of singles already under her belt, there’s no doubt that a lot of people will be watching closely to see what the singer has up her sleeve next.

What do you think of Under Our Feet? Are you looking forward to Things I’ve Never Said? Comment below!


Review | Shelter: The Animation

Music videos have changed. They’ve somewhat moved away from the typical ‘singing artist’ video and now focus on unique storytelling. Granted, some still offer a different take on the typical love story, but the real beauty lies in animated music videos like Shelter – a real rarity within YouTube’s catalogue of music videos.

Shelter is the result of an eagerly anticipated collaboration between DJs Porter Robinson and Madeon. Whilst Porter is responsible for the animation, there are some creative moments which nod to Madeon’s futuristic style of storytelling (in particular, his Adventure trilogy). With regards to this, the technology and 3D elements of the video are particularly interesting.

Asides from the unconventional three-dimensional shots, the rest of Shelter: The Animation is told through 2D anime – a style which Robinson has completely fallen in love with and makes a regular appearance in his previous work.

On Twitter, Porter gives a brief description of the story behind the video:

“‘shelter the animation’ tells the story of a girl living alone in a simulation built by her father to save her from the end of the world.”

As someone who has never really watched any anime before, electronic music is a genre which I didn’t think would fit well with the delicate style of Japanese animation. However, I was proved wrong when the lyrics of Shelter took on a completely different meaning – ‘shelter’ being the simulation the young girl finds herself in.

The magic of this music video is that in such a short space of time – six minutes and six seconds, to be exact – Porter conjures up a new world for us to explore. This is the future of music videos and storytelling.

It’s the fact that the animation and music fit so well together which really makes the video an emotional watch. The soft piano melody towards the end strongly emphasises the emotions we feel whilst watching and listening to create something beautiful which leaves you with a lump in your throat.


Musical Discovery: ‘What Do You Love’ by Seeb (feat. Joseph Banks)

Seeb have made a name for themselves. After two hit remixes – I Took A Pill in Ibiza and Hymn for the Weekend – the time has come for the duo to release their own original single in the form of What Do You Love.

Adopting a slower tempo, Seeb’s new single is a smooth track to listen to alone, as opposed to a party hit to play to friends. Joseph Banks’ vocals also prove this, with a brand of soul similar to the style we hear in Sigma’s Redemption.

Once again, Seeb know how to build-up to a drop, with instruments being introduced over time. We hear the soft, bouncy synth at first alongside a clapping beat, before a drum beat is introduced. The end result is a chorus which places emphasis on both Banks’ vocals and the almost jazzy synth melody underneath it. The chemistry between these two elements of the song is what leads to this single being a unique addition to Seeb’s list of hits.

Granted, What Do You Love may not be similar to I Took A Pill in Ibiza, but their unique bubbly synth style returns to create a more laid-back, euphoric single.

What do you think of What Do You Love? Do you like their original tracks, or prefer their remixes? Comment below!


Review: ‘Gameshow’ by Two Door Cinema Club

It’s been three years. The upbeat guitar riffs of Tourist History and Beacon have to be adapted to suit a completely different market. For any band, an album is a chance to try out new directions. Gameshow is the eagerly anticipated third album from Two Door Cinema Club, which sees them burst back into the music industry with euphoric electronica mixed with haunting guitar riffs.

Two Door Cinema Club are back with ‘Gameshow’. It’s time for music lovers to rediscover them again.

The first glimpse at their new direction through Are We Ready? (Wreck) – a track with gloomy guitar melodies and synthesisers. With lyrics and a music video poking fun at consumerism, fans knew the band’s latest release will take a edgier, darker tone.

That is, until Bad Decisions, Gameshow and Ordinary all challenged expectations of what Two Door’s new style will be. It’s only when the album was released today in full that we could see which avenues the trio are exploring.

It’s a record which combines vibrant funk with gritty rock. Sam offers new, hard-hitting and fluttering guitar tunes, groovy songs such as Fever and Je Viens De La give bassist Kevin free rein, and Alex tries his hand at falsetto – something which mimics the Scissor Sisters and The BeeGees in terms of style, but also provides a modern spin.

It’s a wise move for Two Door Cinema Club to take. Funk is a genre which has been slowly creeping into the spotlight. After Gameshow, we may just see the popularity of this music style increase further.

Yet, at the same time, the album bursts to life with the synth-heavy Are We Ready? (Wreck) and we hear a Kings of Leon-like tone on the rough title track. That is until the track, Lavender, complete with calm, mellow vocals and punchy guitar riffs, which kickstarts the more laid-back songs and the funky side of the album.

Fever is the smooth alternative to Bad Decisions and a perfect track to drive along to late at night. Meanwhile, Invincible is more reflective and emotional, placing emphasis on Alex’s soft, mumbling vocals. However, this album does not reach a calm atmospheric (to end the record on such a tone would go against the new style the band are trying to create). Instead, Je Viens De La is the fast-paced funk track which sums up Two Door’s new direction: funky, electronic, falsettos and more creative guitar melodies.

Gameshow is a wonderfully diverse third album for Two Door Club, they’ve moved forward without leaving their old style behind (as we hear in Ordinary‘s plucky guitars). This contrast and the individualism of each song is what makes Gameshow such an intricate, diverse and powerful album. After a long absence, Two Door Cinema Club are back. It’s time for music fans to rediscover the band and fall in love with them all over again.

Rating: 4/5


Musical Discovery: ‘Ordinary’ by Two Door Cinema Club

Gameshow is two days away, and Two Door Cinema Club have intrigued fans with singles which span various musical genres. The band’s three-year absence has both allowed and forced them to adapt their style. Their third album clearly has a darker tone at its core – whether it be masked behind Bad Decisions‘ poppy falsetto or through the gloomy electronica of Are We Ready? (Wreck). The Irish trio have moved away from the upbeat, vibrant style we hear in Tourist History, but not completely. For the fans who will inevitably moan about the band’s new direction, or for those who miss their old songs, Ordinary may just be the track for them.

With vocal melodies reminiscent of Handshake, the final single to be taken from Gameshow is a reassuring one for those who prefer TDCC’s fuzzy guitar and bass riffs – complete with a bouncy drum beat – right at the forefront of the song.  That being said, the electronic undertones is something present in the band’s most recent releases. It’s a track which fuses Two Door Cinema Club’s new direction with their past work. It’s the perfect middle ground.

Once again, like Bad Decisions, we hear a more falsetto and high-pitched voice from Alex. It’s a risk which pulled off for the lead singer, and in terms of instrumental developments, we still hear the catchy, flourishing guitar tunes which the band are known for, but in tracks such as Gameshow and Are We Ready? (Wreck) there’s a slightly eerie, electronic and gritty style.

Ordinary is a single which bridges the gap between old and new for Two Door Cinema Club. If there’s more of these types of tracks on the album, then fans uncertain about the wide ground which Gameshow appears to be covering in terms of genres may be satisfied. However, I’m not one of these people. From the sound of things, Two Door Cinema Club’s new release is going to be wonderfully intriguing, inventive and diverse. It’s certainly an album worth listening to when it comes out this Friday.

Whilst their first three singles are an exciting look at what’s to come, Ordinary is a refreshing look back at the band’s earlier work, which still lives on.

What do you think of Ordinary? Are you looking forward to Gameshow? Do you like their new direction? Comment below!