Monday, 30 November 2015

Song of the week #44


One of the most beautiful, serene, inspiring songs I can name is The Garden by Take That. The song opened the group's 2008 album The Circus, which my mum had playing in her car for probably two solid years. So it's safe to say I know it pretty well.

It's such a subtle song, but one of such wonder, and the whole arrangement works perfectly; it's just stunning. Essentially it's all about realising that this is the life you have and you need to start believing in yourself and opening your heart and mind up to new possibilities.

I love how it all comes back to 'but you and me, we just lay down in the garden'. Because for me, a garden or a park, or somewhere surrounded by nature, is the kind of place that inspires me the most, and it's somewhere that I go to imagine all the things that could come, and all the things that I could ever hope for. It's a song that really speaks to me, and makes me wonder.

What songs inspire you?

Until next time.


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Twitter: @abbielour
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Monday, 23 November 2015

Song of the week #43



I love this sooooong. Bieber's new album Purpose, is so good, and Love Yourself is a strong favourite of mine. 'My mama don't like you and she likes everyone' is such a catchy line and it's also a very subtle but very big insult. If my mum doesn't like you, you're probably a pretty awful person, so I can strongly relate.

The way the guitar and lyrics work together create a really calm, serene sound; it's a very laid back track and I think that makes the lyrics more effective. And it's kind of presenting the subject matter in a pleasant way: saying that you don't like someone but making it more about them and their own self worth, saying that just because you don't like/love them, doesn't mean they shouldn't.

Great song, would recommend; The Feeling is another song on the album that I really like. You can have a listen to both of them here.

Until next time.


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Thursday, 19 November 2015

Made In The A.M. - One Direction - album review


One Direction's fifth studio album, Made In The A.M. was released on Friday, and it's brilliant. With every album, the group lift the bar even higher. I can hear so many different, and new, influences on this album. And I really like it.

Hey Angel is such a great starter. The allusions to The Verve's Bitter Sweet Symphony are so clear, and yet reworked into something that creates a similar, but equally very different, atmosphere and effect. The vocals in the intro, in particular, are really effective. It sets the album off with the perfect tone. It feels like something great is about to happen.

Perfect and Infinity are two especially catchy songs, both of which I really like. I think the tone to Perfect is, actually, perfect. It's a song that could have been more declarative and, well, harsher in tone. I like how it's put into a somewhat lighthearted form, whilst admittedly still being heartfelt. I'm glad that it doesn't sound bitter, because I'm sure it could have. And Infinity is just so pretty. Who doesn't love a ballad like this? It's very uplifting despite the main themes of the song, which is expressed especially in the chorus. I think it's a very hopeful song, and the trusting tone is persistent throughout.

The clapping of the beat is an element of End of the Day that I love; I think it adds so much to the overall, lively but laid-back, feel of the song. This contrasts really nicely with A.M., which has a much more somber, conclusive tone to it. At the end of the day here it's well into the early hours of the morning and nothing makes sense but everything makes sense. It's a much less concise song and that's what I like most about it. A strong sense of closure; very fitting for the final track on the album.

What a Feeling is very atmospheric; it makes me think of 4am on a summer night, walking home with a friend, reflecting on everything that has and hasn't happened. I like the laid back tone and the way this is brought out through the instrumentation. With a very different emphasis, Temporary Fix is a much more upbeat track. It's probably catchier as a result of it's conventions, but I'd rank it highly alongside with What a Feeling. Two decisively different songs, both well worth listening to.

The delicate ballad that is I Want to Write You a Song. How pretty. It reminds me of a song I used to listen to in my childhood that I can't quite recall, and thus to me it feels very nostalgic. The song seems particularly smooth and innocent, with a very calming tone to compliment the lyrics. Similarly, Walking in the Wind has a comparable serene feel to it. It's got a more apparent beat to it, but it's still very soft. It feels quite conclusive, as A.M. does, but in a very different way. This song sounds as though there's only good things to come, whereas the other presents more of an uncertainty. It sounds like the sort of song you listen to when you finish a chapter of your life and you're excited for what's to be written next.

Love You Goodbye is a gracefully charming song. There are some wonderful ballads on this album, but this is a strong favourite of mine. The tone is devastatingly beautiful and works so well with the lyrics. It's the concluding of a love you never wanted to end.

As much as I think Love You Goodbye is so beautiful and emotional, nothing can compare to the way If I Could Fly makes me feel. It is the most stunning song, and I feel every single word. The piano and strings create this whole atmosphere that just adds even more to the lyrics. The vocals in the second chorus make the words come across so much stronger; they really hit hard. I think I've been quite upset about a lot of things lately, and this song has had some sort of effect that's made me really address that. I feel sad, but I feel better.

Would recommend this album 100%. There's so many different sounds offered, with something for every mood and emotion.


Until next time.


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Monday, 16 November 2015

Song of the week #42



Coldplay are back and their new single is as catchy as ever. It has such a feel-good vibe to it and it's really uplifting. It reminds me a little of Princess of China, with that somewhat futuristic sound to it.

I like how the band's sound is constantly progressing and they're always up for trying out new things. I think that's really important in music.

The way that the backing vocals act as a bass is really innovative and it sounds so good. There's nothing I don't like about this song.

Until next time.


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Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Lawson Winter tour '15


On Monday night I went to see one of my favourite bands and it was wonderful.

After just over two years since I saw them on their last full UK tour, Lawson were back in Birmingham, playing O2 academy 2. It felt so lovely to be there and see them again playing new songs, as well as some of the classics that first made me fall in love with their music.


I really liked Fullshore, a local band who played a little acoustic set to start the evening off. They had a really nice sound and I've checked out some of their stuff of youtube since, and I'm really into it.

Lawson were great, of course. I loved hearing the new songs from their most recent EP, especially We Are Kings, as I think everyone really got involved. I also thought Mountains sounded incredible.

Andy and Joel's acoustic of Taking Over Me was stunning, it's one of my favourite songs of their's and I probably listen to the acoustic audio more than the original anyway, so hearing it live and stripped back was lovely. Also, Andy playing Everywhere You Go was such a beautiful moment, another song I adore.


I loved their cover of Jess Glynne's Hold My Hand; it felt wonderful and sounded so special, and I wish I could experience that again and again. The best cover I've heard of that song, and it really brought everyone together.

When She Was Mine sounded as on point as ever and brought everyone right back to the start, as it was the band's first ever single. Hearing Make It Happen live again was brilliant, as it always feels so motivational. Also, I have to mention that Joel is honestly the best guitarist I've ever heard; any song is made ten times better with a guitar solo, even if it's only a couple of bars long.


And of course, they ended things off with Standing in the Dark, a song that I will never stop wanting to hear live. It feels so special and being in a room filled with people all singing the lyrics to that song is something really quite magical. I can't wait to experience it again soon.

I would highly recommend grabbing a ticket to one of the shows on Lawson's winter tour if they haven't yet played a venue near you.

Still one of the best live bands I've ever heard.

Until next time.


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Monday, 9 November 2015

Song of the week #41



The Icarus Account are one of my favourite bands ever. The twin brothers are known for their beautiful acoustic tracks and I'm always listening to them. This week in particular, I've been listening to Proud a lot. It's the most stunning song, with the perfect guitar line and the loveliest vocals. The song is ultimately about wanting to make someone close to you proud, something we tend to feel often.

I just can't fault it in the slightest. It's about saying goodbye to everything you're used to, and moving on and working hard to achieve your goals, whilst still looking back and missing certain things about the past and about home. And I suppose that idea coincides with being at uni, at least that's how I relate to it.

'I'll spread these wings and try to fly, and if I fail at least you know I tried' has such a lovely tone to it and it really captures the whole song for me. And the concluding lines just make me think of my mum: 'life can change so suddenly, so thanks for taking care of me, I hope that I make you proud'.

Until next time.


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Thursday, 5 November 2015

Why I love live music


I generally go to a gig or two each month, and in the gaps between I really miss being at a show. It's actually been a couple of months since my last gig (which is sad), but I'm back at it this month, with two shows (it was meant to be three but unfortunately Nickelback had to cancel), and so I thought I'd share the main reasons why I love live music.

1. It feels great and it usually sounds great too - I love hearing songs I've listened to for a long time live, because it just feels so much more raw and real. You can hear even more expression in a singers voice, the bass is clearer than ever, and you just feel everything.


2. It kind of tests how good the band/artist you're seeing actually is - sometimes this can be a disappointing thing, but far more often than not they sound even better live than on studio recordings. You can see a band interacting with each other, bouncing off each others' energy, and know that they're all enjoying what they're playing, and the less serious they are, usually the better it sounds overall.


3. Everyone is involved and there are so many different people all coming together with a common interest - it's so nice to see how diverse a crowd can be at a show. Given, there are certain gigs I've been too that have been very teenage girl heavy, or full of (somewhat creepy) older men. But especially at shows like Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift, as well as many others, you see people of all ages, from all walks of nice. And it's nice to know you share something in common with all of them.


4. It's fun, especially if you're going with friends (although it's still fun on your own) - the whole point of going to a gig is to have a good time. For me it's also usually a social thing; I'll go with a friend or a group of friends, we'll hang out before and get dinner, and we'll go to the show. It's a nice way to catch up with people and to connect with them.


5. You can just live in the moment and forget about everything else you've got going on for an evening and just feel the music and nothing else - the ultimate reason. I love going into a huge room, filled with people with all kinds of things going on outside, but when they're in the room they're just feeling the music, and although maybe the problems on the outside are still in your mind as you sing the lyrics back, they feel like a weight off your chest, especially knowing how many other people are singing along beside you.


One of my favourite quotes is from Dave Grohl:
'That's one of the great things about music. You can sing a song to 85,000 people and they'll sing it back for 85,000 different reasons.'

Until next time.


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Monday, 2 November 2015

Song of the week #40



I have been loving Someone New by Hozier this past week. His voice is so smooth and it sounds perfect for this track. I really like the strings at the beginning and how they're still the underlying motif throughout the whole song. It creates a very soft sound from the very start, which really compliments the lyrics.

Hozier's voice sounds very theatrical to me, like he can really dramatise a situation and a song; there's a real strong, deep tone and it just works beautifully. The song has a very uplifting feel to it. Falling in love with someone or something new everyday is a nice idea; like you can always find something to adore, regardless of the situation you're in. It's a really nice idea. It makes me want to look more closely at the things and the people around me.

Until next time.


Contacts/social media:
Twitter: @abbielour
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