My Thoughts on Finding It Hard to Smile

Hello everybody! Today, I’m going to be talking about lovelytheband’s debut album Finding It Hard to Smile. I discovered the band because they performed with my favourite from this year’s American Idol, and immediately wanted to hear more of their stuff. Onto the post!

Note- I’ve left out the intro and interlude because I find them unbearably annoying on literally any album and I wish artists would just bloody stop including them. THEY ADD NOTHING. They do not make you seem edgier or artier or clever. They waste my time. And also skips on Spotify.

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My Thoughts on Ten Tonnes

Hello everybody! Today’s post was not one that was in my initial schedule for this month (I’ll be talking about the album this post was originally going to be about later in the month, unless I get distracted again!) Which I find pretty amusing given I didn’t think I was even going to listen to this album initially because I couldn’t bear the thought of hating it. If that sounds strange, let me explain- Ten Tonnes is George Ezra’s brother, and the thought of hating this genuinely upset me because as you’ll know if you know me, George Ezra and his music means the world to me (as an example of this, a friend recently forewarned me not to watch a certain thing because someone covered Shotgun and butchered it since they knew it’d either upset me or enrage me…).

Then he asked all his fans to get behind it in his newsletter, and I knew I had to step up and listen regardless. Fortunately, talent runs in the Barnett family and this is bloody brilliant. I’ve been listening to it all weekend and wanted to rave immediately about it. An alternative title for this post could be: the One Where I Have a Breakdown Over the Barnett Brothers, so prepare yourself for some major gushing and rambling! Onto the post!

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5 Books That Remind Me of Taylor Swift Songs

Hello everybody! So, today, as I write this, I have no idea what’s coming, but yesterday when you’re reading this, Taylor Swift released something and today’s post is a Swfitie celebration of whatever it may be, about books that remind me of some of her songs. My personal hope for whatever is out is that it’s the lead single from her new album (which I want to be called Next Chapter, and a mix of Speak Now and 1989), and I’m VERY excited to see if my predictions come true. Onto the post!

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My Thoughts on When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?

Hello everybody! Today, I’m going to be sharing my thoughts on on Billie Eilish’ s debut album When We All Fall Asleep, Where do We Go? Onto the post!

!!!!!!!- this is… odd and also not a song so I don’t really have a lot to say! Thank u, next. (If you’re not familiar with the album, it’s Billie taking out her braces.)

Bad Guy– this sees Billie taunting someone, and discussing how tough each of them really are. If you’re looking for love songs, this album isn’t the one and this song definitely sets the tone for that, because while it’s about a relationship it’s definitely not mushy. My favourite parts here are the bass (which sounds so cool), the melody and the “duh” after the chorus, which is very reminiscent of the sort of thing Taylor Swift does in songs sometimes.

Xanny– this song is about drugs, and specifically the fact that the narrator isn’t interested in them at all. I think it’s really impactful, largely due to the way the production intensifies at the chorus and drives home it’s message, and I definitely appreciate someone with as much influence as Billie showing that drugs aren’t cool or fun, but are actually incredibly dangerous. The writing is genius as well in places.

You Should See Me in a Crown- this is a deliciously creepy song about a plot for world domination (inspired by a Moriarty quote, not Billie’s personal ambitions, fear not) and I’m obsessed with it. The vocal is scathing and superior in just the right way, and it flows super well. The knife sharpening sound effects are such a cool touch as well! One of the first Billie songs I heard, and it remains one of my faves.

All the Good Girls Go to Hell– this is definitely my favourite of the album. It’s so weird in the absolute best way, and the first thing I love about it is how complex it is. This is just my interpretation, but I think it’s trying to do three things- on the most literal level I think it’s a story about people trying to break into heaven, but in ideology I think it’s talking about climate change and also female empowerment (the only male pronoun is the “man is such a fool” bit, and there’s just no way it’s a coincidence. So clever. I also love the musical side of things and the lyrics and the way it’s structured. It’s just brilliant.

Wish You Were Gay– this song is about unrequited love and I think the way that’s expressed is so clever, first of all (she’s saying she wishes the guy was gay so he didn’t like her because she wasn’t male, rather than not being attracted to her specifically). The writing is super smart too, and I love how soft and vulnerable Billie’s voice is throughout.

When the Party’s Over– this song is gorgeous. The intro sets the tone so well, and like with wish you were gay I adore the way Billie’s voice is so vulnerable and honest. It’s about her setting boundaries/trying to get a bit of distance in a relationship. I love the piano instrumental so much.

8– I hate to say it, but I really dislike this song to the point I struggle to listen the whole way through. It just sounds so grating; I find it akin to nails on a chalkboard.

My Strange Addiction– I’m not sure how I feel about the production on this (there are spoken quotes from the Office throughout) but otherwise I’m a HUGE fan! My particular fave things about it are the pre-chorus and the chorus, but honestly I love everything that’s not the intro and the interlude. The backing instrumental is a huge highlight too (I’m fairly sure It’s synths of some sort, but can’t work it out for sure?). It’s not your typical love song, and it’s fairly dark, but it’s brilliant.

Bury a Friend– this song is SO much fun and it’s sinister in the absolute best way. It’s allegedly from the perspective of a monster under the bed and I just love it now even though I took a few listens to warm to the production. The lyrics are incredibly clever, and it’s one of my faves to sing along to, not least because there are some rather sassy lines in verse 2. I also really like the acoustic version.

Ilomilo– this is about someone worrying about where their partner is and what they’re doing, though more in the sense of them being in danger than being up to something dodgy. I love this one. A lot. Brilliant instrumentals and a super catchy melody, and fantastic writing too. The only thing that mars it slightly for me is the production on the chorus.

Listen Before I Go– this is basically a suicide note, and it’s so sad. It’s really beautiful in the way it’s written and sang, and I love the piano instrumental. An absolutely heartbreaking song. The bridge particularly breaks me.

I Love You- if possible, this broke me even more than Listen Before I Go?! It’s about complicated feelings in a relationship when one person says I love you and the other isn’t ready to. The vocal is absolute perfection, the production is quite possibly my favourite of the album, the guitar and strings are the perfect instrumental choices and I love the harmonies with Finneas (her brother and collaborator) on the chorus so much.

Goodbye– this isn’t really a song, so much as something that uses lines from previous songs. It’s a pretty fun way to end the album, even though it took me a while to work out what it actually was and whether or not I liked it, largely due to the super long intro.

If you’ve listened, what’s your favourite song from this album? If not, are you planning to give it a go? I’d love to hear in the comments!

Amy x

My Thoughts on Ultralife

Hello everybody! As you might know if you’ve read this post, I recently liked Oh Wonder’s debut album an awful lot. Thus, I’ve been listening to their sophomore quite a bit, and today I’m going to be sharing my thoughts on it. Onto the post!

Solo- this is a pretty strong opener to the album, it’s about a house party and feeling like you need to get away from people, which is pretty relatable. I really like the melody and rythym too, and I think the writing is super clever in the way it puts things. I LOVE the refrain. This doesn’t quite take Alessia Cara’s Here’s place as my anti-social anthem, but it is a great song about wanting to get away from people too.

Ultralife– this 100% deserves to be the title track, because it’s got such an upbeat vibe to it that it’s perfect for radio (even though I’ve never heard it on a single station in almost 2 years… honestly what is radio’s issue with indie pop?). It’s about finding someone or something that gives you a new perspective on life and it’s so gorgeously written and sung, and the melody is amazing. Josephine particularky shines on this track for me, especially on the chorus (which may be one of my fave choruses ever- I tend to prefer the pre-chorus but this is an excellent example of how to do a chorus!)

Lifetimes– this isn’t one of my absolute favourites of the album, but I do still really like it. It’s about climate change, which isn’t especially commonplace as a topic in pop music and I love that Oh Wonder are so original. I love how much this song does and how patchwork it feels (I’m totally stealing this description from Josephine, but it fits so ho hey), and the fact that Anthony gets some longer solos brings me much, much joy. I obviously love both members an awful lot and I think their voices sound gorgeous together, but I think Anthony’s is REALLY underappreciated by a lot of people.

High on Humans– it really makes me laugh that this is my fave on the album because I don’t think I could relate to it any less (it’s about getting a buzz from interacting with strangers) but it definitely is. Obviously Josephine and Anthony sound excellent on it, because they sound epic all the time, but I’m more obsessed with different aspects of music and the production here. The production is so strange but I LOVE IT, the melody is so fast but it always makes me want to sing along even though it’s impossible and those intermittent guitar riffs are just… I have no words. I could listen to it all day and never get sick of it

All About You- This song is about someone self-absorbed and selfish, and Anthony and Josephine have implied heavily it’s about politicians (they claim it’s not solely about a certain orange one, but it sounds an awful lot like it is in the lyrics…). I love how quietly scathing it is, and how cheerful it sounds doing it. The bridge is something special as well; I’m obsessed with the way it sounds!

Heavy- I do not usually enjoy disco music in the slightest, but Oh Wonder do it so well I’ll make an exception. This is really fun and upbeat, and especially enjoy the repetition sections and the refrain. Very different to my usual taste, but I’m a big fan overall. Also, it inspired Ultralife which makes me like it even more!

Bigger Than Us- this song is really beautiful, and it’s about a couple breaking up, but more because they’ve just grown apart; it’s very different to most break up songs so it’s really interesting for that reason, even though it doesn’t do anything revolutionary in terms of how it sounds (it sounds great, don’t get me wrong, it’s just quite simple compared to some of the others on here or even the last album), I just love the writing of it too.

Heart Strings– this has such a great synth line, and I love it for that alone. I also love it for its catchiness, and cleverness in using an upbeat melody to disguise the fact it’s actually a pretty sad song about feeling lonely and unloved in a relationship. It’s lots of fun to sing along to as well, and I just enjoy it a lot.

Slip Away- this is essentially Heart Strings but with a sadder sound to it and a bit more emphasis on how they’ve tried to make things work bit can’t. When I say “sadder”, think “I’ve just listened to it and tears are streaming down my face”. The pianos and soft vocals make this so soothing to listen to, and it’s simplicity makes it all the more stunning. Also, I keep saying this but Oh Wonder’s lyrical writing is just beautiful and I love the way they phrase such simple things in a way that makes them sound extraordinary.

Overgrown– don’t let the upbeat synths that kick this off fool you, it’s another tearjerker. It’s about wanting to go to any lengths to make someone feel less alone and it’s stunning. The imagery and description in this is just gorgeous, and that soaring chorus is absolute perfection. Also, the bridge is brilliant, and if you’ve ever read one of these music posts before you’ll know I love a good bridge. It makes me cry every time, and I love it utterly.

My Friends- this is apparently one of the most personal songs from Oh Wonder, because it’s about them feeling like they’ve abandoned their friends and that they’ll forget them because they’re always on tour. It is, as such, really sad and it definitely conveys the emotions they feel about the situation. I love the strings, the bridge and the chorus especially. However, I do think that the intro is a bit long for what it is, and I wasn’t sure if I’d like the song based on the first verse. Give it a chance if you think the same though, because it gets much better later on.

Waste- I’m going to be honest in that this is my least fave of the album, and I really wish it wasn’t because I’d love to have went out on a better note. I know it’s about being alone, but I can’t work out how specifically and I don’t really get it as a song. I also don’t really love the unusual structure because I don’t see why it *is* structured like that. Anthony and Josephine sound great, but overall I just don’t like this no matter how much I tried to convince myself I did.

Basically, this is brilliant (despite my finding the final track disappointing!) and I want Oh Wonder 3 to be released immediately. They are ridiculously underrated and if you’ve not heard their stuff before you need to give them a listen!

Have you heard of Oh Wonder/are you a fan? What’s your favourite song from Ultralife? If you’ve not heard of them before, do you plan to give them a try? I’d really love to hear in the comments!

Amy x

My Thoughts on What a Time to Be Alive

Hello everybody ! Today, I’m going to be talking about Tom Walker’s newly released debut album What a Time to Be Alive (the current number one in the UK !), which I’ve been excited for since last summer when the lead single was used in the promo for Unforgotten. Onto the post!

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My Thoughts on Oh Wonder

Hello everybody! Today, I’m going to be talking about all my thoughts on Oh Wonder, the debut album by the band of the same name from a few years ago. A tweet from Ross reminded me that I’ve been meaning to listen to them for a while, and this has since become one of my most played albums of 2019 so far. Onto the post!

Livewire– I’m going to be honest, I don’t really like this much. It’s just so bland and forgettable that I’d struggle to quote you a couple of lines, and I’m the sort of person who picks up song lyrics annoyingly quickly if I listen to it more than once. I don’t find the instrumentals particularly interesting either. Definitely not a strong opener, which is a shame.

Body Gold– after the damp squib that is Livewire, Body Gold is a delight. It does exactly what Oh Wonder do best- it’s somehow both chill and intense, and it sounds SO great in the most subtle way. The verses set a great vibe of this love song about someone improving your life, the vocals in the chorus bring light to my life, the bridge is amazing and I think the instrumentals (which I’m pretty sure are synths, but not 100%) sound SO good in the bit of this where they’re super dramatic in sound. Also, shout out to Anthony’s backing vocals!

Technicolour Beat– Josephine’s voice sounds SO beautiful in this from the first line, and I’m a big fan of the harmonies come the chorus. It’s another love song, and I don’t adore it quite as much Body Gold, but the finger snaps and beautiful vocals/lyrics make it a super solid, enjoyable addition to the album.

Drive– this was one of the only songs I actually knew already before I listened to the album fully, and I obviously liked it enough to want to listen to an album from the artist, which tells you a fair bit straight off the bat! It’s the first break up type song we hear on this album, and it’s SO brilliant. The verses are a little slow, but I still love them (the pop culture references are especially fun) and the lyrics are really great (with the exception of one in the bridge that makes me cringe every time- “I remember all the times you made me covered in crazy”). The breathy chorus vocals would make me forgive this song any sin though, so it’s still an absolute fave regardless.

Lose It– so, this is my absolute fave of the album and I am going to try very hard not to be rambly about it. It’s about two people dancing together, and that sounds a bit odd I’ll give you, but give it a listen and I bet you’ll fall for it just as much as me. First up, the lyrics are beautiful and perfectly sung- the imagery is SO gorgeous. Obsessed. Secondly, can we talk about the instrumentals here? Pianos and horns in one song should not work, but it seriously does here. AND there are more finger snaps (I’m so easy to please, give me finger snaps and I will like your song more immediately. I think this obsession stems from the fact I am atrocious at snapping my fingers…). Finally, it gets extra points for the sultry vibe this has; it suits it so well.

Landslide– this is another favourite for me, and it makes me cry a lot. It’s someone telling someone else they’ll always be there for them, and I first heard it on a day where I really needed someone singing that to me- it was very soothing then and I think it’ll be a constant go to song for me on those sorts of days from here on in.

White Blood– this one is about someone feeling abandoned after someone told them they’d always be there for them (edit: since writing this I’ve discoveredit’s not a metaphor and is actually about a medical issue, which makes it even more impactful) and while I didn’t like it when I first listened, it’s really grown on me since. It’s so simple and beautiful and sad, and I like it a LOT now.

Without You– first up, the piano melody at the beginning is life, I love it and it’s so great. Also, I have a real soft spot for songs that try and trick you as to their meaning by doing the opposite sonically, and this is a spectacular example of that. White Blood very much sounds like a break up song, but this one is also about feeling lonely without someone and until you properly think about the lyrics you wouldn’t know because it sounds so cheerful. Big fan of this!

The Rain– this is quite similar in topic to White Blood and Without You, but it feels super forgettable for me. Like with Livewire, I just forget it exists. There’s nothing overtly bad about it, but nothing overtly good either.

Dazzle– LOVE this one. It’s a LOT of fun, and I just enjoy listening to it. A more specific reason for this is that it’s great to hear Anthony a little bit more prominently throughout it, and also it has both an excellent pre-chorus and bridge, which I am an absolute sucker for in a song.

All We Do– this is the other song I knew before I properly listened to the album, and I’ve always loved it since I first heard it on the opening theme to Unforgotten. It’s a song about feeling hopeless and like you can’t accomplish anything, and it is perfect and beautiful and achingly sad. Simple in terms of lyrics and structure, given how much repetition there is, but undeniably effective and hard-hitting in message. It’s absolutely stunning.

Midnight Moon- I adore this song. It’s so catchy and fun, with a great pace throughout, an amazing pre-chorus and a chorus that properly backs it up (I have no idea if this makes any sense outwith my brain, but sometimes I find choruses a let down after a great pre-chorus). I don’t like the instrumental section though, and I could take or leave the bridge tbh.

Shark- this song is about someone basically asking someone if they’re in the relationship quite as much as they are, which is not what I’d expected from a song with this title, but I’m a BIG fan. It’s another super catchy one, and the vocals are just so great. I love the drums too, and pairing them with piano works weirdly well. Oh Wonder seem to have a real knack for making stuff that shouldn’t work make sound spectacular.

Heart Hope- I can’t quite work out what this song is, but I think it’s about looking for a bit of hope in an ever changing world, and it’s really delicate and lovely. I feel quite similarly about this as I do Technicolour Beat; it’s objectively a good song and I like it, but it’s not a standout of the album.

Plans- this is a stellar closer. It has really cool instrumentals (feat finger snaps, no less!) And the melody is one of my favourites of the album. It’s about trying to get back yo someone and it’s such a lovely, slightly unusual take on a love song. Josephine’s voice is just exceptional on it as well. I mean, it always is, but especially so. And the harmonies in the chorus are major heart eyes.

Are you a fan of this album/Oh Wonder? What’s your favourite song from them? I’d love to hear in the comments!

Amy x