Musical Discovery: ‘Hymn for the Weekend’ by Coldplay (Seeb Remix)

With their remix of Mike Posner’s I Took A Pill in Ibiza, Seeb tapped into a heavily populated tropical house scene and offered something different. Their soft synth melodies, combined with unusual sound effects, was a style which spoke to music fans who wanted something different and saw their version of the track go all the way to number one. Now, their bouncy, off-beat style returns in a remix of Coldplay’s Hymn for the Weekend, which is this week’s Musical Discovery.

First of all, Seeb cut straight to the chase. In the original, it takes 32 seconds before we hear the backing instrumentals. Granted, Beyoncé’s humming vocals are interesting, but without no coherent lyrics or rhythm, it just didn’t appeal to me. In this remix, Chris Martin’s voice is introduced immediately, alongside upbeat synths which will remind listeners of their remix of I Took A Pill of Ibiza. However, this time, we are faced with something completely different. We hear brief audio samples from Martin combined with more unusual electronic effects, rather than a remix of the original chorus.

What is also admirable is how much of the original track is apparent in the remix. The vocals remain unscathed, with only the backing instruments being adapted and edited. Even the ending of this version mimics Beyonce’s calm and euphoric finish in the original, bringing a wonderfully euphoric version of the Coldplay single to a close.

What do you think of Seeb’s remix of Hymn for the Weekend? Do you prefer the original? Is it better than I Took A Pill in Ibiza? Comment below!

Liam

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Glastonbury 2016: One of the best weekends of my life

One of the greatest music festivals took place last weekend. Aside from the amazing acts which get to grace the Pyramid Stage and the other stages, there’s the buzz, excitement and atmosphere attendees feel which really takes Glastonbury Festival to another level. I went to the festival last year, but the experience is never the same. This year, it was even better.

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In 2015, I listed all the acts I saw over the three days, but since this turned into a rather lengthy post – and I cannot remember or write a lengthy comment on each act I watched – I shall instead talk about key moments for me during this year’s festival.

The first being how two out of three headliners (Adele and Coldplay) used technology to heighten the audience experience. During Make You Feel My Love, Adele asked fans to put their phone flashlights on and to wave them in the air, and honestly, that was a moment I will never forget. Something similar to this happened with Coldplay, where free LED wristbands were being handed out to festival goers, and were synced with the band’s performance. I don’t know whether this has been done on this scale and at Glastonbury before, but hopefully this is something headliners continue to do – it really does add to the festival experience.

Audience members during Adele's performance, holding their phones in the air for 'Make You Feel My Love'.
Audience members during Adele’s performance, holding their phones in the air for ‘Make You Feel My Love’.

Also, I finally got the chance to go up the Ribbon Tower this year. At the top of the hill near the Glastonbury sign and the Park Stage, you can go up the top of the tower and see out across the whole of Worthy Farm. It really is breathtaking and worth the wait if you ever plan on going. Another great thing about Glastonbury is Left Field, which I’ll admit, I did overlook last year. This year, I went to watch a debate on the Junior Doctors’ contract, and took a selfie with SNP Member of Parliament, Mhairi Black – who was so kind and friendly when I went to say hello.

Finally, I must turn to the music – of course. As soon as the lineup was announced, I was desperate to see Two Door Cinema Club’s name appear. I had recently rediscovered their music and fell in love with it again. When I saw that they were to play at Glastonbury this year, I couldn’t wait, and they certainly delivered. They’ve certainly cemented themselves as one of my favourite bands, and for those wondering what their third album – Gameshow – will sound like, they teased us to a few songs. Whilst it definitely is different, the traditional TDCC is completely lost, and I love their new sound – if Are We Ready? is anything to go by.

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Frances’ performance was intimate, and she has a personality as warm as her voice.

One of the things I love about my passion for music is that I can often stumble across bands that are on the brink of making it big. They then become one of those bands that only a select few know and when they do debut, you can proudly say: “I knew them before they made it”. It’s already happened with Capital Cities (famous for Safe and Sound, but their debut album is worth a listen) and Chlöe Howl (who was a runner-up for the BRITS Critics Choice Award in the same year as Sam Smith and Ella Eyre). My latest discovery is a singer by the name of Frances, and I was so glad to finally see her at Glastonbury. Her new single, Say It Again – out on Friday – is something to look forward to, as well.

I suppose another great thing about this is that because only a small amount of people know about them, the audience sizes are – sadly – not too big, but this means I can get right up to the front of the stage. This was also the same for Fishermen’s Friends, a small group of singers from Port Isaac in Cornwall, who I’ve always missed when I went down there.

I should also mention a rapper who I was so pleased to finally see live. The name Abandoman stuck with me from childhood, as he is a freestyle rapper who can make up raps on the spot – he’s that good. I still remember one song he performed, entitled What’s In Your Pocket?, where audience members took out what they had in their pockets, and he would rap about them on the spot. It was unbelievable.

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I’ve already talked about how phenomenal Adele and Coldplay were, but I should also add that Muse were also impressive. At the end of almost every song, Matt Bellamy would show off his amazing skills with the guitar, and I do take my hat off to him. After seeing all three headliners, I decided that this year’s Glastonbury was better than last year’s, in my opinion. In particular, when it comes to the headliners, they are all – mostly – pop or chart-based, which is very similar to my music taste. This was different to last year, where Kanye West certainly isn’t my cup of tea, and I didn’t know many of the Foo Fighters’ tracks either – even when they didn’t end up playing on the Pyramid Stage in the end.

Now, in the world of music, I’ve seen everyone I want to see live (The 1975 were also incredible). I’m a happy man, and after the phenomenal weekend I had last week, I need a lie down.

Acts I saw: Abandoman, Adele, Bastille, Blonde, Bring Me The Horizon, Coldplay, Example & DJ Wire, Fatboy Slim, Fishermen’s Friends, Frances, Gabrielle Aplin, Jeff Lynne’s ELO, Madness, Muse, Of Monsters and Men, The 1975, Tom Odell and Two Door Cinema Club.

Did you watch any of the Glastonbury coverage on the BBC? What did you think? Have you ever been to Glastonbury? Comment below!

Liam

Thoughts on the Glastonbury 2016 Line-Up Announcement

The main line-up for this year’s Glastonbury Festival was announced yesterday – with acts such as Jess Glynne, Disclosure and Bastille making an appearance at Worthy Farm in June.

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The full line-up poster was shared on social media yesterday. Photo: @GlastoFest on Twitter.
I couldn’t be happier about the line-up. First of all, the headliners are perfect for everyone. If you don’t like traditional, upbeat pop of Coldplay, then you might like Muse’s hardcore rock. Alternatively, if you want something a bit more mellow, Adele’s relaxing soul may be right up your street.

Aside from that, it’s great to see a line-up full of new artists, with the odd old act thrown in. For example, it’s great to see Gregory Porter on the list again after he performed a phenomenal set at Glastonbury last year. On the other hand, I did find last year’s sets by Annie Mac and Years and Years rather disappointing. The good news is that there is so much choice this year.

For example, Madness, Earth Wind and Fire, and Jeff Lynne’s ELO are all classic acts that I’ll definitely go and see – provided there are no clashes. From a young age I’ve always been surrounded by Madness as well as Earth, Wind and Fire on a regular basis. Then, with regards to the Electric Light Orchestra, who doesn’t want to dance to Mr Blue Sky on a bright Summer’s day in Somerset?

In terms of current artists, I was thrilled to see Two Door Cinema Club on the list. If you read this Musical Discovery post, then you’ll know that I recently re-discovered their music last month. Since then, they’ve soon become one of my favourite bands because of their upbeat summery music. At the moment, they are yet to release any new music and I really doubted that they would appear at Glastonbury. They are and I cannot wait!

Another convenient artist on the line-up is Jess Glynne. I have seen her at 2014’s V Festival, but that was before she released her debut album, I Cry When I When I Laugh. I did have the option of watching her last year, but when Pendulum performed a one-off gig, I knew I wouldn’t have that chance again. Now, I’m looking forward to seeing her perform music from her album at this year’s Glastonbury.

There’s also the fact that I will be able to see acts I’ve seen before. I was blown away by Gregory Porter’s performance at Glastonbury last year so I’ll probably see him again. I also remember Bastille being a great band to see, so as long as there’s no clashes, I shall definitely go and see them for the second time. Then Of Monsters and Men were phenomenal when I saw them in Lincoln in November.

Other acts I am looking forward to include The 1975 (Chocolate, Girls, Settle Down and The Sound are personal favourites of mine), Disclosure, Jake Bugg, The Lumineers and M83 (I’m a big fan of Midnight City).

What do you think of the line-up? Will you be going to Glastonbury this year? Comment below!

Liam

Weekly Update: Thoughts and Opportunities

It’s nearing the end of March, but before that, I am off uni for Easter. As another term draws to a close, it’s always a time to reflect on not only the past week, but how the last term at university has been. So in this week’s Weekly Update, it’s time to reflect and look ahead to some exciting opportunities coming up.

First of all, I attended a Radio Symposium at the University of Lincoln on Wednesday, which was brilliant and inspiring. Throughout the day there were talks from numerous university professors, radio experts and the Head of Programmes from BBC Radio 1! Throughout the day there were opportunities to network and it’s fair to say that a few exciting opportunities have popped up since attending.

One of the things I’ve loved about being at university is how it opens doors. In the past, sending off interview requests to bands as nothing more than a ‘blogger’ could sometimes get you somewhere, but now I have my work with Siren FM under my belt – and the university resources – to help me get unique opportunities. It’s brilliant!

Another fun thing which happened this week was that I took part in a photoshoot! My good friend Frances was looking for someone to give her a hand with her assignments and I was happy to help. If you look at the blog header, that photo was taken by Frances – so she’s pretty amazing when it comes to taking photos!

Below is just one of the few photos which Frances took of me on Thursday. How awesome is this?! There’s a couple more on Frances’ Facebook page, so please do have a look and give the page a like while you’re at it.

Photo by the excellent Frances Amelia Photography.
Photo by the excellent Frances Amelia Photography.

After a busy few weeks at university, I’m now back home for two weeks. During that time I have a few things planned, but for the most of it I have time to relax and get some work done. Whilst on the train home I was able to get back into reading – which I’ve missed so much – and I am thinking about getting back into writing now that I have time. As always, I shall keep you posted.

In more miscellaneous news, I could not be any more excited to go to this year’s Glastonbury. Earlier this week, Adele was finally confirmed as the last headliner to join Coldplay and Muse at Worthy Farm – and the headliners are simply perfect.

I’ve said this in a previous post, but I never understood why people were so disappointed with Coldplay headlining Glastonbury on the Sunday. Their latest album, A Head Full of Dreams, also received its fair share of criticism. However, I really do think it’s a great album and the light at the end of Ghost Stories’ tunnel. AHFOD is such a euphoric album, so why not have Coldplay perform at one of the biggest UK festivals in the summer?

Then, when you combine Coldplay with Muse and Adele for the final lineup, there is something for everyone: you have a legendary pop group, an epic rock band and a powerful soul superstar. What more could you want?

Finally, Facebook Messenger updated its iPhone app to include a basketball mini game, and that’s not how I’ve been spending most of my weekend, honest! (My high score is 30 – can you beat it?)

Catch up on the latest episode of Brunchtime (which will return in April!)

How was your week? Comment below!

Liam

First few Glastonbury acts revealed | The Friday Article

Jeff Lynne’s ELO, PJ Harvey and Coldplay are the first three acts to play at Glastonbury – it has been announced.

However, some are unhappy with Chris Martin’s band closing the festival, and lifestyle blogger Liam O’Dell does not know why.

He said: “I have always been a fan of Coldplay. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with their musical style, or their live performances from what I’ve seen.

“Granted, Ghost Stories was a bit disappointing, but A Head Full of Dreams is full of great songs.

Adventure of A Lifetime is my favourite of them all, but Everglow, Army of One and Up&Up are also great.”

As well as looking forward to Coldplay’s performance, Liam can’t wait for Jeff Lynne’s ELO playing the Sunday legends slot.

He said: “Mr Blue Sky is a feel-good classic. I just hope the weather is good for it!”

This year’s Glastonbury will be taking place from the 23rd to the 26th June at Worthy Farm, in Somerset.

What do you think of the line-up so far? Are you glad that Coldplay are headlining on the Sunday? Comment below!

Liam

Musical Discovery: A Great Weekend for Music

With Fridays now being the day of the week for new music, you can expect numerous tracks being released at once. Last week, we had three great songs from the likes of Sigala, Kygo and of course, the new album by Coldplay. So, to try something different for this week’s post, I’ll be reviewing all of these releases for today’s Musical Discovery.

Sweet Lovin’ by Sigala

After the hugely successful Easy Love, Sigala is back with his second single called Sweet Lovin’.

Once again, Sigala brings us a track with sharp, upbeat piano stabs and soulful vocals which makes his songs unique. But this time, the DJ explores a new synth melody which is creative and catchy.

Sweet Lovin’ is a great follow-up single and another feel-good track from the artist.

Stay by Kygo feat, Maty Noyes

Ever since I first came across Kygo, I’ve brought every single he’s released. When I saw the short teaser video for his new track, Stay, I knew I had to buy it.

Throughout the track, Kygo’s style remains the same. The melody and rhythm stay simple in the verses before developing into tropical house in the chorus.

However, whilst the structure of the song is the same as his previous singles, the melody itself has a more atmospheric feel. As well as that, Maty Noyes’ vocals boast a talent that is completely different to other artists who have collaborated with Kygo.

Overall, it’s another great release by the DJ. Also, now that he has announced his album release date on social media, I look forward to hearing it when it comes out in February.

A Head Full of Dreams by Coldplay

Also released last week was Coldplay’s A Head Full of Dreams, which is believed to be the band’s last album release.

Whilst I am yet to listen to the whole album in full, what strikes me about A Head Full of Dreams is how euphoric each track is. Coldplay’s previous release, Ghost Stories, was a more sad and mellow album, but their latest release is certainly upbeat in style.

As with every new album from the band, people are quick to comment that they miss ‘the old Coldplay’. For me, I’m supportive of bands who want to try new genres. However, if by ‘old Coldplay’ you mean tracks like Yellow or The Scientist, then you may like Everglow, which contains emotional vocals and a calm piano melody.

As well as that, most songs on the album contain groovy bass riffs which suggest the album’s style is that of pop-funk. For example, Adventure of a Lifetime’s catchy guitar melody and underlying bass rhythm makes the funk track a standout song on the album. This style also occurs on the first track, A Head Full of Dreams.

As well as this, I noticed that Up&Up had moments where it felt like a ’90s boyband single. However, another thing I did like about the album was the atmospheric Kaleidoscope and Colour Spectrum – which are the perfect, relaxing interludes on the album.

If this is to be the last release from Colplay, then A Head Full of Dreams is a great way to end their music career. With songs such as Everglow paying homage to ‘the old Coldplay’ and Adventure of a Lifetime demonstrating a new genre for the band, this album is definitely the euphoric style needed to end Coldplay’s career on a high.

Have you listened to any of these? What did you think? Comment below!

Liam

Review: Ghost Stories by Coldplay

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Source: http://www.nme.com/reviews/coldplay/15307

It is clear that the album sees the band explore a more acoustic style, as well as different genres. There is a borderline electronic feel to their track, A Sky Full of Stars, which was produced with Avicii.

Aside from this, vibrancy and a relaxed tone is consistent throughout the album. Songs such as O (which features a relaxing piano melody alongside Martin’s vocals), Another’s Arms (which I deem as having a style similar to their single Princess of China), Midnight (with its harmonic vocals), and Oceans (which has a style which mimics the song’s title) all have the same calm feel that is likely to be a regular style throughout the album.

But Coldplay also does well to maintain powerful songs that are common in previous albums (such as Paradise and Viva La Vida), with Ink, Always in My Head (with its orchestral feel), True Love and Magic all creating a vibrant feel that contrasts the calm and laid-back feel that other songs from the album create.

Overall, the album contains songs that capture the essence of different feels, emotions and musical genres. Despite some disapproving Coldplay’s exploration of new genres, I think the band has done well to strengthen their unique style and broaden their horizons with this album.

Liam