Musical Discovery: ‘Still in Love with You’ by Electro Velvet

Admittedly, I had heard about our contender for Eurovision this year, but never gave the track a listen. Now, it was only when I saw it on television that I decided to give it a listen. Also, with it being Eurovision this weekend, I thought it would be good to do a Musical Discovery somewhat dedicated to it. For that reason, Still in Love with You by Electro Velvet is this week’s Musical Discovery.

With a fusion of electronic effects, upbeat swing and violin melodies, the mix of numerous musical genres accurately represents the wide range of music we have in the UK.

As for the song itself, the vocals from the female singer, Bianca Nicholas, are mimetic to the upbeat swing, whilst Alex Larke’s vocals are somewhat unusual.

This ‘awkwardness’ continues with the electronic sections of the song that is an unpleasant contrast to the swing. As well as this, the lyrics and rhyming in some sections can appear disjointed. Then there’s the bizarre vocal interlude by Alex that is really unusual…

However, whilst some would argue that this represents the fun of the UK (fair enough), I can’t help but feel like we’re not putting in much effort anymore.

Although catchy, Still in Love with You is the UK’s fun but bizarre contribution to this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

What do you think of this song? Do you think we’ll win? Comment below!

Liam

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Weekly Update: Remembering Forgotten Stories

So this week I’ve been completing things nicely in order to prepare myself for when I leave school next week. Fortunately, this had lead to me being able to squeeze in some light reading. Unfortunately, it’s the fourth book in a series, of which the first three I read back in 2012 or earlier. For that reason, I have forgotten the plot and essentially, some of the main characters.

Luckily I am able to remember key details soon enough, but it makes me wonder, should more be done by authors to ensure that even if I was to read the third book in the series first, I would still have an idea of what’s going on?

Obviously the main issue with that could be spoilers, but on the other hand, it’s their choice to start the series that way and it helps people like me who may have had a hiatus between the latest books and the previous books in the series.

So this is what I’ve been thinking about lately. What do you think?

Are you able to remember details of a series after having left it for a while? Do you think books in a series should have the ability to act as a stand-alone as well? Comment below!

Liam

Cooking with Liam | The Adventures of a Soon-to-be Student

After confirming my place at my first choice university, I know have two final things to focus on before September: exams (which are set to arrive very soon) and preparing myself for university life. When it comes to the latter, one of the skills I am currently mastering is that of cooking.

 

My latest meal, Spaghetti Bolognese, which I cooked yesterday. I think I’m getting used to the blogging etiquette of taking a photo before you eat!

When I first decided that I wanted to start cooking to prepare myself for university life, I bought Joy May’s cookbook Nosh for Students. Easy, simplistic and not to mention tasty, the recipe book has been used many a time since I purchased it.

  
Then, after cooking curries and a stir-fry, I’ve come to realise that cooking can be quite therapeutic. As well as this, the recipes can encourage me to try something new – in particular, making an omelette, which I have surprisingly never tried before (it was delicious, by the way).

So, with a few meals under my belt, I have to say I’m really enjoying cooking and will of course post more updates in the future. Thanks must go to Joy May’s book, Nosh for Students which I thoroughly recommend to soon-to-be students!

What is your favourite meal to cook? Comment below!

Liam

Fan Theories: Osgood’s Return to Doctor Who

In a recent announcement by the BBC, it was revealed that Ingrid Oliver’s character, Osgood, would return to the show – despite being murdered by Missy in the Series 8 finale, Death in Heaven.

Admittedly, we know already that Moffat is renowned for his impossible plot twists (with the latest being the cliffhanger for Series 3 of Sherlock). However, unlike the complex twists of Sherlock, this impossible plot twist may be possible… Here’s my theory about how Osgood has survived…

Alongside the announcement that Osgood would return was the revelation that the Zygons will too. Now, if regular followers of the show will remember, the last time the two characters appeared side by side was in the 50th anniversary special – The Day of the Doctor.

At the end of this episode, both a Zygon and human version of Kate Stewart and Osgood are trapped in a bunker. Then, their memories are wiped so they can cancel the self-destruct mechanism. At this point, none of the characters know whether they are the human or the Zygon – apart from Osgood.

Osgood searches her pockets for her inhaler and finds that it is missing, whilst Zygon-Osgood hands it to her with a shushing gesture. Since they both know what version they are, what’s to say that Zygon-Osgood hasn’t hidden her somewhere to prevent her spilling the beans?

Therefore, what’s to say that the character of Osgood in Death in Heaven wasn’t just the Zygon imposter? Was it the Zygon that was murdered by Missy?

If this is true, can we expect the real Osgood to still be alive and be a potential companion for the Doctor?

What do you think? Comment below!

Liam

Musical Discovery: May Playlist

Over the course of last week, I’ve stumbled across lots of new music. Now, with Musical Discovery posts often going up on Mondays every week, the songs may soon become outdated if I list them one by one. So, for the first time – and as a bit of a change – here is a ‘playlist’ for May based on songs I’ve heard recently.

Can’t Stop Playing (Makes Me High) by Dr. Kucho! & Gregor Salto feat. Ane Brun (Oliver Heldens Vocal Edit)

Aside from the rather long title to this song, the vocal remix from Heldens is, in my opinion, his best song to date. Not only is Ane Brun’s vocals a good choice for the track, but Oliver’s traditional deep house synth melodies is particularly catchy on this track. A bouncy and lively dance anthem.


Hey Laura by Gregory Porter

I stumbled across Gregory Porter last week. In particular, I gave his latest album, Liquid Spirit, a listen. This track will be the first of two tracks from the album. As for Hey Laura, Porter’s soul is smooth and mellow and creates a relaxing feel to the song. As well as this, his style is also similar to the soul of Aloe Blacc. I’ve been a fan of jazz music for a while now, and with a creative and funky saxophone solo, this song is a relaxing song to listen to…


Love Again by Rae Morris (Clean Bandit Remix)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8iKciiZPiU

The song, or the music video, is yet to be released. Although the above audio is genuine, the video is unofficial.

I was fortunate to stumble across Rae Morris when her track, Closer, was played on Radio 1. Then, when Rae collaborated with Clean Bandit to produce Up Again, I realised how great the collaboration was. Now, with the two joining forces again for a remix, the result is just as good. The vocal distortion is funky, and the saxophone melody in the chorus is similar to the style of Edward Maya’s Disco Love.
Disconnect by Clean Bandit feat. Marina and the Diamonds

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hF-NJdGn_B8

The song, or the music video, is yet to be released. Although the above audio is genuine, the video is unofficial.

Admittedly, I’m not completely a fan of this song just yet. However, with the video using audio from their performance of Disconnect at Coachella, there’s a chance that I may like the song when I hear the recorded version. Nevertheless, the song has Clean Bandit’s traditional, upbeat groove and Marina’s vocals is a new style that will work well with the band.

Liquid Spirit by Gregory Porter

Alongside Hey Laura, I also gave Liquid Spirit. With a clap-along beat alongside catchy bass and horns, it’s proof that Gregory Porter’s music offers a new style of jazz. In particular, the crazy and fast-paced piano interlude creates a great dancing opportunity. As well as this, Porter’s range a singer is diverse, with the groovy vocals of Liquid Spirit contrasting the mellow soul of Hey Laura.

Which song from my playlist is your favourite? Comment below!

Liam

Writing Update: I Have a Plan…

Upon searching my blog for a new title so I don’t repeat myself, it’s quite embarrassing that I found around 20-30 posts announcing that I was planning my latest novel idea. Of course, with me often having outbursts of self-doubt, the idea never lasts long. However, my idea at the moment has lingered in my mind for about six months now, the idea won’t disappear unless it is planned and written. In this week’s life update, I can announce that I have begun planning my book!

Although I have said that I’ve given up on previous ideas, I have learnt something each time. In particular, I’ve learnt that I’ve never been a fan of professional planning with Excel spreadsheets and so forth. So now, I develop my main idea until it becomes a fully stretched synopsis for my book, then I have a greater idea of my plot.

It is this which I have been doing at the start of this week. I have one side of the story planned, so now it is the other side! I remember saying that my creativity stalled and that I had writer’s block, but now I feel inspired and eager to develop the plot further. I can’t wait to write!

Are you a writer? How is your latest WIP doing? Or, if you’re a reader, what are you reading currently? Comment below!

Liam

Review: ‘The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden’ by Jonas Jonasson

I remember buying Jonas Jonasson’s The One Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared in Waterstones after hearing so many good reviews. Along with that, I bought his follow-up novel, The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden. At first, I felt foolish for buying it without reading the first few chapters. However, after finishing both books, I do not regret anything.


First off, Jonasson’s experiences as a journalist allows him to educate readers about politics, international affairs and more. As I read both novels, I learnt more about a variety of things, which I think is brilliant.

When it comes to the novel itself, Jonasson’s humour is still present. From the identical twins both named Holger, to impossible plot twists, the book is the second to make me laugh out loud.

Also, like the opportunist character of Allan from The One Hundred Year Old Man…, the clever and intellectual Nombeko is a fun and interesting protagonist for Jonasson’s second novel.

Despite it taking a while for me to finish the book (I was busy for a while), I am eager to read the next book from Jonas Jonasson.

With his unique brand of bonkers and nonsensical humour, Jonas Jonasson’s second novel, The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden, is an interesting and fun tale that is just as brilliant as his debut.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Have you read this book? What did you think? Comment below!

Liam