Musical Discovery: ‘Crystals’ by Of Monsters and Men

After the release of their debut album My Head is an Animal in 2011, Icelandic indie folk group Of Monsters and Men are back with a new single from their upcoming album.

In Crystals – the first release from their new album, Beneath the Skin – it is clear that their unique folk style has not changed over their four years of absence.

Nanna’s vocals have developed and the band have focussed on maintaining the styles explored in their debut album. In the bridge of Crystals, the track has a burst of soulful lyrics accompanied by light guitar riffs that will link to their popular single – Mountain Sound.

The drumming is also commendable, adding to the chant-like feel of a powerful chorus. It is fair to say that Of Monsters and Men are back with the unique style of indie folk we all know and love.

What do you think? Comment below!

Liam

P.S. YouTube links are not embedding correctly on my Musical Discovery posts – I am trying to sort out a fix ASAP!

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Musical reDiscovery: ‘Settle Down’ by The 1975

I had come across The 1975 before, after their single Chocolate was on a NOW compilation album. It became one of my songs of that summer, and a good song to drum along to, as well!

I then listened to Girls, which shared the same groovy style typical of The 1975. However, one of their other tracks, entitled Settle Down, seemed to pass me by… 

So it was after mindlessly browsing iTunes that I rediscovered this track. Similar to that of Girls and Chocolate, the band adopt their traditional, funky guitar riffs alongside a powerful drum beat. Of course, Matthew Healy’s soulful vocals make it another vibrant track to listen to from the band.

What do you think? Comment below!

Liam

Writing Update: Turning Ideas into Plot

At last, things are getting sorted, and I have more time on my hands. So, after it being so long since I worked on the novel, I hope to get back into writing it very soon. However, despite having ages for my ideas to develop by themselves, the plotting process always has been… difficult.

It’s usually at this point where the self-critic creeps in and tells me that I have an under-developed idea that no-one will care about. But this idea has bothered me for a while now, and I cannot afford for this idea to go down the same route.

So the fear of the blank page is holding me back. At the moment I am using some online writing tips but still, any writing tips are much appreciated!

Let me know your tips! How do you plan your writing? Comment below!

Liam

Novel Endings: The Best of Both Worlds

After a long series of books, readers start to build expectations as the books draw to a close – be it the optimistic readers that wish for a happy ever after and a blossoming romance between the two protagonists, or the readers that seek catharsis at the end. Regardless, more writers seem to be appealing to both sets of readers when writing their final books…

Without giving away spoilers (don’t worry, this is a spoiler-free zone), a lot of writers seem to be using this technique. Personally, I think it works well! Both readers are pleased and the other ending (be it death or romance) becomes a plot twist for the reader! It’s a clever way of keeping all readers happy!

What do you think? Comment below!

Liam

Musical Discovery: ‘Home’ by Madeon

Earlier this week, French DJ Madeon (real name Hugo Leclercq) released a new track from his eagerly anticipated debut album, Adventure.

Unlike the fast-paced euphoria of his previous releases (such as Imperium, You’re On and Pay No Mind), his latest release, Home, appears to be somewhat laid-back and chilled track of the album.

Beginning with a slow tempo and occasional piano chords, the song definitely gives a chilled feel. The track also has a complex synth melody that builds up towards the chorus.

Not only is the contrasting chorus a surprise to listeners, but the fact that Hugo sings on this new track adds to its brilliance.

Then, as the song finishes with a musical interlude and an almost chant-like ending, Madeon develops the dramatic atmosphere created by the song to make the track a definitive and euphoric ending to what is set to be a brilliant debut album.

Liam

You can read my reviews of ImperiumYou’re On and Pay No Mind by clicking on the hyperlinked text.

Musical Discovery: ‘Name and Number’ by Shift K3Y

2014 was a great year for house DJ Shift K3Y – real name Lewis Shay Jankel – who released his debut single, Touch and follow up single I Know last year. Now, in 2015, Shift K3Y returns with his new track, Name and Number, which will be released in May.

Like his last two singles, Shift K3Y returns with his upbeat vocals alongside groovy and off-beat house. But despite this, the soul and style develops upon the DJ’s unique groove, providing a new and different style to his previous works.

With a release date in May, this track could be a contender for track of the Summer. What do you think of the new track? Comment below!

Liam

Writing Update: Taking Time Out

I may have talked about this before, but taking a break from writing can always be useful.

At the moment, A-Level qualifications have given me a pile of coursework to sort out which has kept me busy and on my toes for a few months. This, however, meant that reading and writing has had to take a back seat.

But that’s not to say that’s a bad thing. On Wednesday this week, after I had a think about where my book was at the moment, more plot holes and errors in my book sorted themselves out. Yes, I am yet to write anything yet (I’m still planning), but the ideas will be enough for me to finish planning soon.

It all comes down to May, where A-Levels will be out the way and I’ll have “academic freedom”, I guess. Well, at least for a while. During that time I look forward to getting some reading and writing done. It’ll be good to finally finish a book this year.

How was your week? Comment below!

Liam