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Notes Before Leaving

       I will be out of town for the next week and, unlike last time I left town during my winter break and was unencumbered by classes and worked only four days a week, I have suddenly become my managers go to employee when they need someone to work everyday (I would be angrier if payday wasn't still fresh in my mind), I have had no time to sit down and prepare a weeks worth of posts. Instead, I will continue with 'new music Monday's' and a post about Lianne La Havas (and AWOLNATION; sorry that one is so delayed) when I return.
       As I have failed at keeping this blog updated during all of my pre-trip nervousness and errand running, here are a few comments about the music I've been neglecting to keep you updated on:

  • If you can, get Kodaline's latest album High Hopes (you can't get it yet on the US iTunes store).
  • Most definitely get the full length R.E.V.O from Walk off the Earth (it's a little better than perfection).
  • If you have not already done so, get Hunter Hunted's self titled first EP (it's great and a little better than Lady Danville).
  • If you only like music that "no one" else knows about it, get over it and get into some of the songs that are taking over your radio right now; Cher Lloyd's "With Ur Love" is kind of pretty great (she's a weird mixture of Lily Allen and what can only imagine would have been a young Nicki Minaj and I kind of hate that I love her songs) and words cannot describe how addicted I am to everything Pink has done (everything from "Try" all the way back to "Get the Party Started" is just too great).

       Until then, just enjoy this incredibly long but indescribably great (to me, at least) playlist that should get me through most of the first half of the flight (only some of the songs are listed below).
"Glitter and Gold" Rebecca Ferguson
"Avenue" Scott and Brendo
"Sometimes" Walk off the Earth
"Heart Attack" Demi Lovato
"Gentle Folks" Hunter Hunted
"Don't Make A Scene" Atlas Genius
"Diane Young" Vampire Weekend
"Restless Heart" Matt Hires
"Because We Can" Bon Jovi
"Beach" San Cisco
"My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark" Fall Out Boy
"Hold On" Phillip Phillips
"Outta Nowhere" Pitbull
"The River of Dreams" Billy Joel
"Mr. Brightside" The Killers
- E


"Is Your Love Big Enough"

       Amazing (yet simple) lyrics, addictive classic rock beats, and Havas' vocals make this song so great that, by the time she begins singing "ice cream on second avenue" you know you're going to be singing along and dancing to the rest of the song.
       "Is Your Love Big Enough" Lianne La Havas
- E


"The Start Of Something"

       This song never gets old (and never will) because the composition is just too completely perfect and every single lyric line is as perfectly amazing as the last (lines like "Come by and see me, I'm a love letter away", "the ring it nearly weighs her down, she's got another boy, oh boy", and "if I die clutching your photograph don't call me boring, it's just cause I like you" are too great).
       If Voxtrot ever reunites, I will be the first one to get tickets and road trip to their nearest venue.
"The Start Of Something" Voxtrot 
- E


"Kill Your Heroes"

       The first time I heard of this band I brushed them off thinking that they weren't my style and that I just wouldn't like them; I wasted an embarrassing amount of time ignoring an awesome group. 
       In trying to place their sound, it sounds a little like the steady truth of MIKA with the wrongness that feels so right of Foxy Shazam and just enough of a rock anthem-esque sound that I want to turn my speakers all the way up and dance around the room.
"Kill Your Heroes" AWOLNATION
- E


SunFest 2013

       This year's lineup may not have as many "big names" as last years SunFest did, but I am still indescribably excited to, yet again, kick off my summer with five days of music (plus, SunFest is the cleanest and most organized music festival you can go to and always has the best artists for a great price).
       My only real complaint is that, this year, it seems that far too many great artists are overlapping each other's performances. Last year it was easy to leave Third Eye Blind early to see some of Joan Jett and The Blackhearts' performance and to rush from Passion Pit's show to Creed's (judge all you want, but my inner nine year old was fucking ecstatic to finally hear "Higher" and "One Last Breath" live) but, this year, Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros will still be playing when The Smashing Pumpkins begin their set, Gary Clark Jr.'s performance will overlap with Yellowcard's on the same day that Ed Sheeran will be playing at nearly the same time as The Offspring (choosing between these two will be one of the most difficult decisions I have ever made), and I will be forced to choose between hearing "Surrender" and "I Want You To Want Me" (Cheap Trick) or "Gone, Gone, Gone" and "Home" (Phillip Phillips). 
       Regardless of my personal problems with the scheduling conflicts, this year's SunFest lineup is amazing and, if you need a good way to start your summer, there's no better way to do it than with a five day concert on West Palm Beach's waterfront. The headlining acts include Train, The Smashing Pumpkins, Ed Sheeran, Life In Color, The Offspring, Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros, Big Sean, Black Crowes, Cheap Trick, Phillip Phillips, Kendrick Lamar, Boz Scaggs, and Gavin DeGraw (and I would be lying if I said I wasn't really excited for Life In Color).
       Overall, I'm just excited to hear this song live, dance around to "Drive By", finally hear "Sometime Around Midnight" in its most amazing form (everything from The Airborne Toxic Event is hauntingly beautiful and their performance can't be missed), and to hear a little of this and a lot of this (I'm a little embarrassed by how excited I am to see Gavin DeGraw but, as I will be writing about him soon after his performance, it's probably best that you find out how lame I am now).
       Check out this year's lineup and get your tickets now (general admission doesn't sell out, but it is slightly cheaper now than it will be in another month) because this year's SunFest will be just as amazingly fun as the previous years' have been (plus [if you've been before], you know you're excited to see a man dressed in a full Captain Morgan costume sauntering around on hot asphalt again).
- E


London Grammar

       London Grammar formed in 2012 as an indie techno trio (Hannah Reid, Dot Major, Dan Rothman) based in London. They released their first track, "Hey Now", on SoundCloud in December (which has already received 310,496 views [as of this posting]) and released their debut EP, Metal & Dust, on February 25th through their own label (Metal & Dust). While the EP features only four songs ("Hey Now", "Metal & Dust", "Darling Are You Gonna Leave Me", "Hey Now [Dot Major Remix]"), the band has already begun to make their mark in the UK, already having sold out their first headlining concert at the Electrowerkz (taking place March 27th in London).
       "Hey Now" was released as the band's first track in December and gives a great introduction to the sound which is so central to this band. Simply amazing lyrics carried out by smooth, rich vocals and backed by a hypnotically sweet beat that steadily builds as the song progresses makes this song, and each of the band's alternate tracks, great. Lines like "you know it is frightening, you know it's like lightening" and "letters burning by my bed for you... I can feel my instincts here for you" are pretty perfect and that slow melody that flows throughout the song makes it easy to play this track on repeat. "Hey Now (Dot Major Remix)" is just as addictive as the original song, managing to maintain that same hypnotic quality achieved by those slow backing beats, while simultaneously picking up the beat and speeding it up, all without distorting those great vocals.
       "Metal & Dust" was released on February 14th through the band's YouTube and Facebook page's, only a week before the bands first EP (Metal & Dust) was released in the UK and Ireland. That slow, pulsating back beat that gradually builds to the chorus, all the while supporting great lyrics (with lines as amazing as "and all foundation that we've made, built to last, they disintegrate, and when your house begins to rust, it's just metal and dust" and "we argue we don't fight, stay awake till the middle of the night") makes this song perfect. The vocals are great, the lyrics could not be put together better, and the composition is a truly refreshing change from the alternative folk sound which has been so popular the last year or so.
       "Darling Are You Gonna Leave Me" is the only song that could possibly be better than "Metal & Dust". Lines like "I'm still holding onto your waistband, turn away and kick up the red sand" and "black crows, dusty roads, and a fire, burns in the distance is higher" which are backed by a drum beat and a great guitar riff (verses the pulsating electronic beats heard in the band's other songs) make this song stand out from the others on the band's EP. The composition is still just as refreshing (as the other songs), the lyrics and vocals are awe-inspiring, and the sound is great. 
       The most succinct way to describe this band is as simply amazing; their tracks are hypnotic and addictive with sweet slow beats that suck you in and carry you along with vocals so smooth and lyrics so great that you can't help but want to sing along. With their addictive compositions, perfect lyrics, and refreshing sound, the band has wasted no time in creating a strong fan base and they won't be staying a secret for much longer. Check out the band in the links below and support them by buying their EP (if you can; if you're in the states, or anywhere that is not the UK or Ireland, you'll just have to rely on YouTube to get your London Grammar fix for the time being).
- E


"Feel This Moment"

       I don't know what it is about Pitbull, but I love him. I used to think Isaac Slade was the only "bald" guy cool enough to make me want to dance and sing even when I really didn't want to, then Pitbull came onto the scene and I got hooked on Mr. Worldwide's beats (who didn't love this song?). If his horribly catchy songs weren't enough to make me thoroughly fall for his sound, his performance at last year's Sunfest was amazing enough to do the trick (the guy was wearing black from head to toe and dancing and jumping around on stage in 100 degree heat).
       Whatever the reason (be it his undeniably catchy lyrics and addictive dance beats, his onstage charisma, or his lack of sweat during the hottest time of the year), I am forever addicted to Pitbull's music and his latest single is no exception; it's kind of really great (and an amazing song to start your Tuesday).
- E


Spring Break Playlist

       Whether your spring break starts (officially) today or whether you still have to wait a week or two for some time off from classes, there is enough of a variety in this playlist to take you from a road trip to a beach day or from hanging out with friends to dancing (poorly) over the next five days. 
       Below is only an abbreviated version of my spring break playlist; to listen to all of the songs in the playlist click HERE.
"Heart Attack" Demi Lovato
"Kill Your Heroes" AWOLNATION
"How To Be A Heartbreaker" Marina and The Diamonds
"Gentle Folks" Hunter Hunted
"C'mon" Ke$ha
"Scream & Shout" featuring Britney Spears
"Written In the Stars" Jus Goodie featuring Eppic
"Dance With Me" Ra Ra Riot
"Far Too Close" J.Viewz
"Troublemaker" Olly Murs featuring Flo Rida
"Speeches" Walk off the Earth
"Is Your Love Big Enough?" Lianne La Havas
"Sweet Nothing" Calvin Harris featuring Florence Welch
- E

"Darling Are You Gonna Leave Me"

       What better way to begin my first New Music Monday postings than with a band and a sound that you are sure to fall for? 
       London Grammar recently released their Metal & Dust EP and, though you cannot yet get it in the US (or any place that is not the UK), YouTube offers all the music needed to convince you that this band is amazing and will be making their presence known in 2013. With their uniquely haunting melodies and vocals that suck you into the song instantly, their tracks beg to be played on repeat and will be circling around your head for days (in a good way).
"Darling Are You Gonna Leave Me" London Grammar
- E