30 Dec 2017

Song Swap: Dave Granger

Hola! It's been a while since I chimed in with another blog post but I'm here with (hopefully) a new mini series that will push into 2018! The idea is to swap 5 songs with a fellow music lover and we both give opinions on each others selection, and my first guest is Dave Granger from www.daveygranger.co.uk. A real music lover who has spent the last year being a music journalist, the perfect person for this series! We decided to swap some of our favourite songs from 2017, which was an awesome year for music.

My choices for Dave

I visited Tokyo last year, so I'm already excited for this one. The synths sound like something from the Wii Shop Channel, that's the highest praise I can give any song. 'Gonna blow all my cash on anime' is too real, and I'm beginning to feel personally attacked. I spent so much money in Japan, as my YouTube hauls show. I really fucking love this song, it really captures the vibe of being a giant ass nerd visiting Tokyo for the first time.

'Oh my God, it's Tokyo'

DAMN. is such an incredible album, I really haven't given it enough time this year. Kendrick and Rihanna are both heavy hitters that are worshipped for good reason, they're absolute icons and dons. Idons. Having them together on one track is just beaut. I'd love to hear a version of this that's a little stripped down, however this is still a belter. It's obvious why DAMN. is already considered one of the greatest albums of all time.

So it turns out this isn't a cover of Miley Cyrus' 'See You Again'. I would be disappointed but the strings and piano here are musical boner worthy. This track is so zen and chill, I'm really here for it, despite the distinct lack of 2008 Miley. Great choice Ryan, this is my favourite after 'Tokyo' thus far. The instrumentals are so beautiful, love this all round.

Already off to a great start with the name alone. This is actually my least favourite of the tracks so far, but I'm enjoying the slow, jazzy backing track that's reminiscent of the Twin Peaks inspired Soul Eater soundtrack. That's a niche reference only mid 00's anime lovers will understand. Is there a tad of ringing in the background of this track or my ears still ringing from the Royal Blood gig I went to?? No one knows.

Great collaboration due simply to who's on this track. However, this isn't a 2 Unlimited cover? Whatever happened to them anyway?

I love Cardi B so much, I'll listen to any track she's on, like Nicki, her verses attract me to any song. I'll add this one into my occasional Cardi B binge, Cardi B Power Hour if you will. 'Pussy poppin' on the charts' is a big mood.

Dave's choices for me

I am nowhere near a huge fan of The Killers but this song is SO catchy! I've found myself singing this in work on more occasions than I'd like to admit. The hook has these weird 80's synths which I'm in love with.

This is going to be blasphemy to Dave but I've not listened to this album yet. It's number 1 on A LOT of lists this year, but I'm really feeling this song. Anything with SZA put me down as a fan! If I could change one thing about this song it would be Post Malone, I've heard too much of him this year and it's doing my head in.

Oooooooh man, those steel drum sounds at the beginning! I've really slept on Mura Masa, everyone raves about him and I've avoided the hype but the production on this is awesome. Every time I hear a song by Christine And The Queens now I expect a hybrid of English and French lyrics but this song has come out just fine in English. This is 100% my favourite of Dave's choices!

I like this, it's nice and upbeat! I'm not too big on poppy/dance tracks because I tend to cut myself off from the world and find shelter in my own little hip hop bubble, but this is something I could jam to. It definitely sounds different to Waiting Game, which is the only other song of Banks I know.

Like cheese & pickle, Lenny & Carl, Dave & Bastille are an expected combo. In all honesty, this is my least favourite of the tracks. I've never really got on with Bastille, and on a side note: do they swear much in their songs?! I was not expecting F bombs from a Bastille track!

There we have it, folks! Hope you've enjoyed mine and Dave's polar opposite music taste and you come back next time. If you'd like to take part in Song Swap, don't hesitate to drop me a message!


12 Dec 2017

2017: A Year In Music

Winter definitely is not a highlight of my year, but the day Spotify releases our top songs of the year certainly is! I like to see the recap of songs I've binged over the year and it also gives me the chance to revisit some songs that may have slipped off my radar over the year. 

You can find my top 100 below but I'm going to talk about some of my musical highlights of the year. 2017 will undoubtedly go down as the year of Kendrick. DAMN won Pitchfork's album of the year and the same accolade at Rolling Stone too. Kendrick said this is the album he always wanted to make and understandably so, it's so brutally honest and open. It touches on the current plight in America as well as Kendrick's own demons which have shaped him into the person and artist he is today. Element is my most played song of 2017 according to Spotify, with Loyalty coming third which goes to show how much I was blasting the album this year. 

Another of my favourites dropped an album this year and what an album it was. Flower Boy from Tyler, The Creator is musically his best album, without a doubt. It seems as if he's done with the 'shock rap' in which he/his characters were regularly misogynistic and homophobic and the album feels like an amalgamation of his first 3 studio albums. He references being lonely a lot, losing friends and shaking off nostalgia and focusing on moving forward which seems to be a much more positive message than a lot of people are used to, especially from Bastard/Goblin. Overall, the album just makes me feel warm, listen to Glitter if you're ever feeling down! 

Though he doesn't feature too heavily on my end of year list, Jonwayne had a killer year. I guess people would categorise him as 'Alternative Rap' as he doesn't fit the mould of what rappers look/sound like these days. There seemed a time about 2 or 3 years ago where he was about to blow up but personal issues took hold and he laid low for a while. He came back with Rap Album 2 and fully delivered. Lead singles Out Of Sight and Ted Talk really laid the gauntlet down, with pristine production and understandable raps prevailing once again. I saw him live in Bristol earlier this year and honestly, he sounded exactly as he does on record. No backup vocals, no DJ behind him, just one man and his beat machine. As a pure live rap experience, he's the best I've ever seen live. 

Another act I saw live this year were The XX. Their album I See You is definitely in my top 10 of this year, with Lips being my favourite track. As far as track records go, The XX's is pretty bloody clean and they've nailed yet another album. Coexist and their self titled albums were always going to be difficult to follow up, but who would ever doubt them? It seems they have the winning formula and the winning sound, hopefully their next album is another classic!

In closing this post, I have to give a few honourable mentions to some tracks that absolutely smashed this year to bits. Bodak Yellow by Cardi B was absolutely everywhere and it took me a few months to take to it, but as soon as I 'got it', it stuck. Love Galore by SZA & Travis Scott was also a slow burner but my goodness, what an album SZA delivered! When it comes to record labels, T.D.E seem to know exactly the right time to push their artists, with 2017 and SZA being a match made in heaven. 

What do you think of my end of year list? Let me know yours!