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Album Review: Folklore – The Quarantine Has Allowed Taylor Swift to Put Out Her Most Mature And Personal Work Yet.

Folklore; Taylor Swift

Rating – /Must listen if you’re a fan./

Taylor Swift – cardigan (Official Music Video)

Folklore hit like a surprise, both in how it was released and the contents inside it. The 16-song album was announced with little fanfare just a day before its release. “Most of the things I had planned for the summer didn’t happen,” she wrote in a statement, “but there is something I hadn’t planned on that DID happen.” The way Taylor Swift tells it, folklore arrived in a rush of inspiration. “It started with imagery,” she wrote on Instagram. “Visuals that popped into my mind and piqued my curiosity.” Less than a year after 2019’s Lover, it marks a departure from the sharp, radio-friendly pop music that Swift spent the past decade-and-a-half building toward.

And this truly album is truly unlike anything Taylor has put out in the past. It is quiet, somber, introspective and very moody. There are no headbangers here, designed to make white girls go crazy in a party, these songs are way more personal and packs a much bigger punch. Her usual collaborators like Jack Antonoff and recording engineer Laura Sisk return in album, but she has also ventured out in look for other more intriguing and indie Collaborators.

There is the song exile, with Justin Vernon from Bon Iver co-writing and lending vocals, which one of my favorite songs Taylor Swift has ever produced. The National: drummer Bryan Devendorf and multi-instrumentalists Bryce and Aaron Dessner, with the latter co-writing or producing 11 songs. As a result, this is the most raw Taylor Swift has ever sounded, and blunt and subtle delivery on the lyrics and songs that are very much indie-folk.

Now, I’m not gonna do a deep dive into the lyrics on each song, trying to decipher every little detail about Taylor’s personal life. To be honest, I don’t really know much about her personal life and don’t really care, and also there are so many entertainment sites doing just that. So if that’s what you want, maybe you should check them out. But, this the most mature lyrics Taylor Swift has ever written, analyzing themes without her heavy pop filter. Don’t get me wrong, these are still songs of white girl problems, Americana, and nostalgia for the past and it has also the style and flair we associate with Taylor, only now, with more weight to them.

I have feeling that without quarantine we wouldn’t have gotten this album out of Taylor. The sort of isolation from the industry and fact she will not have tour with these songs or do numbers on charts, allowed Taylor to take a risk, and put out something has was immensely personal to her. For all the bad things corona virus has brought to us this year, Folklore surely isn’t one. I highly recommend this album, even if you aren’t really a fan of Taylor.

Fav tracks: //the 1/ cardigan/ the last great american dynasty/ exile/ my tears ricochet/ epiphany/ hoax//

Least fav track: //betty//

Music Interviews: Fox Violet On Exploring The Subconcious Mind Through Her Music.

Would you please introduce yourself to the readers?

Hi! My name is Thea, my project is called Fox Violet, and I am the principle songwriter and singer.

What kind of music do you make or would like to make in the future?

This project is a blend between indie rock and dark rock pop with dreamscape elements.

What do you enjoy the most about the process of making music?

I really feel fulfilled by writing words that end up as music it truly gives my soul a big drink of sunshine. I love it and it keeps me going during this dark time in the world. The sharing is another core aspect that just makes everything worthwhile..

What are some of your favourite themes to explore through your music?

I love to explore the subconscious mind and subliminal messaging. I am fascinated by subtext and body language by what is not said, by those moments that really go un-noticed; the subtle parts of life that actually when held up under a mirror show us who we really are. I want honestly to create in a way that is not just about me though it may be influenced by my personal experience I want to shine a light out into the world..I hope to create more and more direct music as the goes on.

Who are some artists that you love or who you’d say has had a huge influence on your work?

Radiohead, Radiohead, Radiohead, and Radiohead!

Where can someone looking for your music, find it?
I am on all streaming platforms, so Spotify is the big one, and everywhere else.

What’s your favourite part about touring/ doing live performances?

I love to truly talk with people after a show to get their experience on it, it makes me the happiest in the world when a complete stranger comes up to me afterwards and genuinely seems to connect with what I am making.

What kind of message would you like to give your fans, through your music?

That is 1000000% ok to be weird, embrace your own weird, embrace your differences. It is the differences that will make you and create your own voice, one you should never alter or give up no matter what people expect of you, no matter what is cool or not. Be yourself, the people who don’t like it will fall away, the people who do will come to the front.

Where do you see yourself in the future, or what are you future plans ?

It is hard to answer that question right now with the state of the world being what it is. I just want to keep challenging myself and write music that keeps my integrity alive. Thank you.

Thanks, it was a pleasure talking to you. I’m really looking forward any future projects from you, and will be really excited for them.

Music Interviews: Emily Daccarett on why she feels Like she never Works.

Songs Voices Never Share

Emily Daccarett.

Would you please mind introducing yourself to the readers?
My name is Emily Daccarett and I’m the lead singer, songwriter, and artistic director. My bandmates will change depending on the project we are working on, however my go to guys for performing live are Vedant Joshi on keys, Pedro Asfora on guitar, Jake Absher on drums, and Max Pierce on bass.

Where did you guys meet and how did you form this band?
We met in the Musicians Institute in LA. We were all friends before and would jam together for fun and also on each other’s projects. We have a tight community and everyone will jam at least once together.

What kind of music do you make or would like to make in the future?
My EP Cannibal has a strong 80’s synth pop style mixed in with some 70’s rock. The album I’m currently working on will have more of the 70’s French pop I started out with and we will add certain elements from my EP. I can’t say much because we are still experimenting!

What do you enjoy the most about the process of making music together?
It does not feel like work, we are having fun trying out new things, and goofing around which usually leads to something cool. You start out with an idea as a songwriter, but it doesn’t fully flesh out until you start playing around.

What are some of your favourite themes to explore through your music?
Hope, fantasy, innocence, and seduction.

Who are some artists that you love or who you’d say has had a huge influence on your work?
David Bowie, Vanessa Paradis, Carla Bruni, Blondie, Pink Floyd, ABBA, and Serge Gainsbourg.

Where can someone looking for your music, find it?
On Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play Music, Amazon Music, Pandora, Youtube….. pretty much any streaming service.

What’s your favourite part about touring/ doing live performances?
Each performance is unique, and we learn something new each time. As terrifying as mistakes are, my bandmates are so talented that they turn it into something intentional.

What kind of message would you like to give your fans, through your music?
I want them to always have hope for a better tomorrow and give them something they can escape to. Just let themselves dream!

Where do you see yourself in the future, or what are you future plans for the band?
I would love to see us play at music festivals and tour other countries. I’m not the typical band, because I’m also a fashion designer and have my own womenswear brand. As I move forward with merging my two passions together, it brings forth a lot of questions for the future and also unique opportunities for us.

Album Review: Women In Music Pt. III – The HAIM Sister Are Up to… Something.

Women In Music Pt. III; Haim

Rating – /Must listen if you’re a fan./

Haim – The Steps

The Haim sisters are known for their love of LA and taking walks on the sunny streets of the city, and it is also the feeling that carries on into their projects – little happy/sad sunny pop songs that go perfect with the mood of driving around Los Angeles on a summer morning. I really enjoyed their first album but to be honest I was kinda disappointed by their second as it really really didn’t have much to offer except the unique bright style the band has cultivated. This is where Women in Music Pt. III really succeeds, while it is still a collection of sunny happy/sad songs, it is also much more. With this album, it feels as though the Haim sisters are finally up to something – a big exploration of themselves and their journey.

The videos to accompany their third album, Women in Music Part III, nod to the strolls of the past and add in a few new twists. In “Now I’m in it” directed again by the master Paul Thomas Anderson, bassist Este and guitarist Alana carry Danielle (lead vocals, production, guitar) on a stretcher; when Danielle is revived and joins her sisters for their signature walk, she casts a knowing glance straight to camera. In another video, they’re followed by a gloomy saxophonist ; in another, they stand rooted to their spots. These videos show the evolution of Haim, whose songwriting on WIMPIII is likewise more nuanced, more self-aware, and frequently darker than ever before.

The biting satire of the album’s title is something of a red herring for its explicitly personal content. In interviews, each sister has described a personal trauma that she brought to the studio. Alana has spoken of the grief she suffered when a best friend passed away at age 20, and Este has talked about the low points of living with Type 1 diabetes. Most felt is Danielle’s deep depression; she traces its origin to when her partner (and co-producer) Ariel Rechtstaid was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2015.

Historically, Haim’s lyrics have been conversational and straightforward: emotionally incisive, sure, but usually vague enough that you could easily place yourself inside them. On WIMPIII, though, Danielle writes in vivid scenes, pulling you inside her personal depression fog. She blinks awake and finds herself at the wheel of a car; she watches TV and stares at the ceiling; she goes to the boulevard and can’t stop crying. On the stomping country-rock of “I’ve Been Down,” she sings about taping up the windows of her house, adding sardonically, “But I ain’t dead yet. Elsewhere, the sisters cut and paste the most offensive interview questions they’ve faced from music journalists (“Do you make the same faces in bed?”) into a candid folk song that channels the spirit of Joni Mitchell.

Danielle was also inspired by André 3000’s solo album The Love Below, an exploratory record that sewed together disparate genres with uninhibited slapstick humor. While WIMPIII is more theatrical than Haim have been before—there’s the gasp that opens the underwater rock song “Up From a Dream,” the “you up?” voicemail skits on “3 AM”—the most obvious similarity is in the band’s newfound musical fluidity. With signature production touches from Rostam throughout, these songs shift gears, often eschewing Haim’s usual summery rock to find the right genre for the mood, sometimes containing different shades within the same track. “All That Ever Mattered” peppers Danielle’s vocals with distorted screams and a mumbled interjection of “fuck no, before pirouetting away into a glam-rock guitar solo. “3 AM” and “Another Try” flirt with falsetto-driven funk and R&B, and “I Know Alone,” a song about depression-scrolling and sleeping through the day, contains dusty echoes of UK garage.

Not every song feels like a pioneering event. “Don’t Wanna” could have lived on any of Haim’s three albums: a tight pop-rock song built around an irrepressible guitar lick and an oblique story of a relationship in trouble. But their most exciting trips go off the beaten path, like the crystalline sad banger “Now I’m in It”—a song that wouldn’t have sounded out of place on Taylor Swift’s Lover. This may be the first Haim album that steps out of its retro groove long enough to draw parallels with other contemporary pop music, specifically Rechtshaid and Danielle’s recent work with Vampire Weekend. Having long since proven their chops when it comes to writing a breezy 1970s-style rock song, they now sound comfortable enough within their niche to push beyond it.

WIMPIII is bookended by two songs about L.A., both featuring a saxophone and wistful “doot-do-do” backing vocals. On the first, “Los Angeles,” Danielle describes falling out of love with her hometown. But in the final song, “Summer Girl”—while its melody hits a similarly melancholic vein—she interpolates Lou Reed as she sings about the relief of coming home to L.A. from tour to be with her partner. She’s anguished when she sings that she’s “thinking ’bout leaving” the city, but hushed and reverent on a later line when she reflects on how much she misses it: “L.A. on my mind, I can’t breathe.” Placed beside each other, the two songs take on new dimensions. It’s Haim as we haven’t quite heard them before: not just eminently proficient musicians, entertainers, and “women in music,” but full of flaws and contradictions, becoming something much greater.

Fav Tracks: //The Steps/ Up from a Dream/ Gasoline/ Don’t Wanna/ Leaning on you/ Man from the Magazine/ FUBT/ Bonus Tracks- Now I’m in it/ Hallelujah//

Least Fav Tracks- //Another Try//

Women In Music Pt III review

So what did you think Haim’s new album?

Do let me know in the comments!

Music Interviews: Vanilla Sugar ON Exploring Personal Experiences Through Her Music & More.

1. Would you please introduce yourself and tell the readers what you do ?

Hi! I am Vanilla Sugar – I play guitar / synths, and sing!

2. How did you start with music?

I started this on a midi keyboard and an iMac.

3. What kind of music do you make or would like to make in the future?

I create very synth heavy music, with a hint of pop and metal.

4. What do you enjoy the most about the process of making music?

I really enjoy vibing off the music once we create something that really jams. My favorite part is listening to it super loud in the car while driving home from the studio.

5. What are some of your favourite themes to explore through your music?

I like to talk about personal experiences a lot. I used to keep that to myself, but found that it helps me mentally to be able to be open about the darker part of me.

6. Who are some artists that you love or who you’d say has had a huge influence on your work?

I am a very big fan of Grimes and Mindless Self Indulgence.

7. Where can someone looking for your music, find it?

My new album is available on any of your favourite music retailers. I personally love listening to it on Spotify or Apple Music.

8. What’s your favourite part about touring/ doing live performances?

I love being able to see new parts of the world via music. I also really love being able to perform every night. It’s a truly freeing experience.

9. What kind of message would you like to give your fans, through your music?

You are never alone. There is always someone who feels the same way you do; it never hurts to reach out.

10. Where do you see yourself in the future, or what are you future plans for your career? 

I am going to be touring this September – December in the US and the UK. I hope to see you at a show!

Album Review: EARTH – Radiohead Guitarist Ed O’Brien Comes to his own On This Nostalgic Debut.

EARTH; EOB (Ed O’Brien)

Rating – /Must listen if you’re a fan/

Even if you’re not quite familiar with him you’ve definitely seen or heard of Ed O’Brien somewhere – the tall guy who plays on the left of Thom Yorke in every Radiohead concert. For all of the radical reinventions Radiohead have undergone over the past 30-odd years—the shift to experimental electronica, the redrafting of instrumental roles, Thom Yorke’s ponytail—guitarist Ed O’Brien has always remained guitarist Ed O’Brien. Amid the flurry of instrument swapping and machine tweaking that occurs at a typical Radiohead concert, O’Brien is rarely without his six-string and trusty bank of effects pedals, while his backing vocals often provide a crucial melodic underpinning for Yorke’s flights of fancy. Thus, amid the flashy contributions of guitarist Jonny Greenwood and frontman Thom Yorke, it is easy to forget about Ed O’Brien, but it is his consistent contributions that holds the band together.That grounding principle carries over to his first proper solo album. Where Yorke and Jonny Greenwood have used their extracurricular projects to further explore dissonant techno and avant-garde orchestration, O’Brien’s debut as EOB revisits the late-’80s/early-’90s student-disco sounds that gave rise to his main gig. While his bandmates are going on about Flying Lotus and Oliver Messiaen, O’Brien is preaching the life-changing effects of Screamadelia.

It’s taken some time, but O’Brien has finally stepped out from the shadows with the release of his exceptional solo debut, Earth, under the moniker EOB. He’s noted in interviews that he felt he had to release the record, that part of him would “die” if he didn’t. That sense of urgency is felt all over Earth. The opener “Shangri-La,” is a triumphant scorcher sprinkled with percussion as O’Brien acknowledges feelings he didn’t realize he had before finding the song’s titular mystical harmonious place. Never has his voice sounded so prominent — so recognizable — until now.

Much of Earth is laidback and peaceful, centered around the cerebral “Brasil” and “Olympik,” which clock in over eight minutes, tickling the brain with swirling synths and dreamy lines about love and perfection. “A love supreme is all I need,” he sings on the latter. “To be waking up from the deepest sea.” Tucked right behind “Brasil” is the stunning “Deep Days,” an acoustic slow burner that acts like a respite to the lengthy track before it: “Where you go, I will go/where you stay, I will stay,” he pledges. “And when you rise, I will rise/and if you fall, you can fall on me.”

The sparse, fairytale-like “Long Time Coming” is another standout (“A lonely city girl/looks out into her world”), but it’s the album closer, “Cloak on the Night,” that serves as the LP’s gut-wrenching highlight. Joined by Laura Marling, O’Brien carefully lays down each line over twinkling acoustic guitar: “You and me all night long,” they sing in harmony. “You and me in this storm/holding tight.”

Earth is at it’s best when it’s at it’s subtlest – it has that dreamy quality that transports you memories hanging on the brink of nostalgia. To me, nostalgia seems like the main theme of this project, it is what Ed O’Brien is drawing from, even going back to early sound of Radiohead, a sound that the band has mostly disregarded now. There are few tracks in this projects that take a total left swing from the familiar Radiohead sound, but to me those are this album’s weakest points. Like the song “Banksters”, which is good song and I do see myself to occasionally listening to i, but it feels so left out in the whole album that it hurts it in the end.

With Earth, O’Brien becomes the fourth Radiohead member to branch out and release a record of his own, following Yorke, guitarist Jonny Greenwood and drummer Phil Selway. It leaves bassist Colin Greenwood as the only person in the band yet to step out on his own. The success of all these extracurricular releases, including Earth, suggests that when he does, it’ll be worth waiting for.

Fav Tracks: //Shangri-La/ Brasil/ Long Time Coming/ Mass/ Sail On/ Olympik/ Cloak of the Night//

Least Fav Track: /Banksters/

So what did you think of this album, and what is your favorite solo project from a Radiohead member?

Do let me know in the comments!

Music Interviews: Tradmrkd’s Eddie Flinn on themes of ADOLESCENCE, being inspired by Green Day, and more.

Hi I’m Eddie Flinn from Tradmrkd

  1. Would you guys please introduce yourselves and explain your role in the band?

We are Tradmrkd and we are a 4 piece from Aberdeen, in the north east of Scotland. The band is made up by: Eddie Flinn, on vocals; Finlay Cardno, on bass; James Riddoch, on drums; and Corey Finnie, on lead guitar.

2. Where did you guys meet and how did you form this band?

The original members of the band are Eddie and Finlay. They began the band back in 2014, just to mess about with their other mate. They were in the same year at school. In 2018, they decided that they wanted to try and take the band further, so they looked for a new line up. That is when Corey and James came in. Corey we knew through mutual friends as he was a year above Finlay and Eddie at school. They bumped into each other on a night out and started talking. James went to college with Finlay and was the only decent drummer we knew of.

3. What kind of music do you make or would like to make in the future?

We are a punk band. More focused on pop punk than the others. The best way to describe our sound is, similar to 90s Green Day. I think in the future we will lead more into rock and roll type music but pop punk gives a good foundation to place ourselves upon.

4. What do you enjoy the most about the process of making music together?

The one thing i enjoy most about the music making process is, when the song just spews out of you. It all seems to come naturally. It is one the better feelings, there is no stress. The song just feels natural and i think you can tell in the music itself that it came out naturally.

5. What are some of your favourite themes to explore through your music?

Although I do write about love, its not my favourite theme to explore. I think, for me, my favourite theme is adolescence. Lyrics about adolescence and growing up seem to come out easier than in a love song for me. I also like exploring random things. Like normal day to day things, like being clumsy for example.

6. Who are some artists that you love or who you’d say has had a huge influence on your work?

For me, song writing wise and wanting to play music, Green Day was undoubtedly my biggest influence. It all began when i was 6 when I saw the American Idiot poster. My curiosity brought me into the world of Green Day, of which I have never left since. Without Green Day, I wouldn’t be doing music and if i was, my songs would be completely different.

7. Where can someone looking for your music, find it?

You can get all our released demos from our SoundCloud; Tradmrkd. We are also releasing our songs on YouTube. You will find our channel if you search, Tradmrkd band.

8. What’s your favourite part about touring/ doing live performances?

Getting to see different places and just the straight up buzz you get when you are on stage. Nothing beats playing live. When the adrenaline kicks in, you never want to come off. That is another great thing about touring, once you finish one gig the next one isn’t a long wait away.

9. What kind of message would you like to give your fans, through your music?

I don’t intentionally try to deliver messages through my songs. I just write what I like hearing. I like giving deep meanings in my songs and leaving room for interpretation from the listener, so they can have their own connection with the song.

10. Where do you guys see yourselves in the future, or what are you future plans for the band?

We hope to have an EP out by the end of 2020. That is goal 1. For other goals, it is just to play as many shows as possible and to grow our community as much as we can. To stay up to date with what we are up to, follow our socials.

Mountain of Skulls

The bones flowing in the bloody river collide
In the arms of my guitar,
As I rise through the endless
Pile of skulls sprayed around me
The scarlet sky blazes in the backdrop
Of the hellfire, bent on the
Apocalypse of human consciousness.

I use their orbits as a jug
And climb up above like a thug
A mountain of skulls
Filled with memories of the forgotten,
Resting around to decompose into the Earth
The mountain grows bigger and bigger
As time goes by,
And the ones below get pushed further down.

Once I get to the top 
I must make a choice
The others will be waiting for me
As I gave my word to the bard
I promised him I will play my guitar 
And I'll play my songs
I'll share the voices, of those unheard.

But he warned me that 
It'll come with a price
Though at the moment 
I only have my mind on the ticket out
And climbing up this mountain,
Stepping on the skulls of the deceased,
Is only way out.

I take a step and pull Raven up,
She's right behind me, trying to keep up
I tried to tell  her 
About my talk with the bard
But she said she's heard bout' it
And even knows what choice I'll make
But I don't ask her.

I like to think I have some control,
Though my experiences contradict that belief.
My hand's blistering with pain,
I think we're almost at the top.
I look at Raven - she looks morose 
And somehow even prettier than before.

I ask her why it's gotta be me,
Who has to make the choice.
She hides behind her dreary smile
And speaks in her lucid voice,
"You know that, don't you?
You're the boy who entered dreams,
By escaping bone cages called cities."
In that moment, our feet touch the mountain peak
And the countless skulls collapse underneath.

And Then The Bard Spoke

Hanging by the doors, into the windows of mist
That carry your arms to me, in a moment of bliss,
Carry them like the self loathing bastard you are,
Your words don't mean shit in here!
They'll grind you and tear you and make you adhere.

You are young and you're hopeful, you want to do something noble
You think you owe it to your life, like it'll get you your prize
But you don't know of the price that you have pay, to do something in this world your way.
Speak up to people who beat us down, you gotta be some kinda clown.
I know I was - believing in the lies of the world, that once made me a god,
I believed I stood for something, I thought I could change something,
But the world is a bottle factory, molding people into it's own slavery
It will drain your thoughts out of you, make you spill the words you brew
In your head with a meaning, and exploit them to fill their billing.
You can tell people all you want, they only listen to what they want,
Nobody's interested in the truth, just package sugar-dreams for the buoyant youth.
I used to believe I stood for something, I thought I'd help them questioning
But I was just another minion, instead helping them maintain their dominion.
They took her away from me, before I could even see,
And now I lay trapped in this dungeon, forgotten like someone redundant
Nobody will mourn when I die, like nobody mourned when you said goodbye.
Run Away ye Lad, run away somewhere far from here!
Take your pretty lass' hand, they're coming to get her.