MUSIC BLOG: JANUARY FAVOURITES

Sunday, 8 February 2015

IT'S a new year and time to keep to my resolutions and properly execute my 'music blog' project. After the mini series sort of dwindled, it's now back for good! To hit it off with a bang I've compiled 10 songs I've been loving during the first month of 2015. All the songs mentioned are on my January Favourites playlist on Spotify. As usual the list features current songs and those that have been out for a few weeks. And in no particular order...

10. Yellow Flicker Beat - LORDE

Now I know that this has been around for a while, but I seem to have gotten into it only recently. There are two things that I really like about this song. Firstly is the fact that it begins with these acapella hums, which give out the feel of suspense and gives the song more authenticity. Secondly, it's that signature Lorde sound we have now grown accustomed to. The beat of this song that commences during the first chorus echoes the beat in many of her other songs. The lyrics are as striking as always, with this one giving the New Zealand born singer-songwriter and even more mature sound. Overall it's a really good song, one I enjoy listening to. Lorde keeps ticking all the boxes!





9. Yours - ELLA HENDERSON

Ms Henderson may not have won X Factor back in 2012, but she's really making a name for herself releasing a hit single one after the other. I must admit that this one is my favourite of her releases. It's a simple ballad with few but meaningful lyrics. The beautiful piano leads the music for this song and one could even hear faint sounds of strings during the second chorus accompanying the emotional lyrics. The song is quite short when compared to average song, executed at barely 3 minutes. I simply love it; it's ingenuous, emotional and sung by a young artist with a beautiful voice.





8. Uptown Funk - MARK RONSON FT. BRUNO MARS

As possibly everyone else, I just can't get enough of this song. There are so many factors as to why I enjoy this record so much; the first being the evident 80s style in which it is based and inspired by. That old school sound really sets it apart from the other songs on the charts. Another factor that puts Uptown Funk on a whole other level is the technical absence of a lyrical hook or chorus. Usually the chorus is built from music and a paragraph of lyrics, however the hook in the song barely has any lyrics. Instead it is driven by the super catchy bass line that puts the whole song together. It makes the song memorable and serves as the peak of the record. Furthermore, it gives the chorus more space. Since it's 2014 release there's been countless articles trying to decipher the ingredients that has made the song an overnight worldwide success. It's refreshing to read through some of them!







7.  How Long Will I Love You - ELLIE GOULDING

Whilst I admit I'm not a Goulding fanatic, I really enjoy listening to her music, especially her earlier work. This song is originally sung by The Waterboys. She released the cover as a single from the rerelease of her 2012 album Halcyon Days, and it also served as the official single of the 2013 Children In Need. It's a seemingly short ballad (2:34), made up of some of my favourite instruments: namely strings, piano and a nice percussion beat. It has got to be one of my top favourite songs by Ellie.





6. Elastic Heart - SIA

Sia gives us a wonderful power ballad in this one. I really love this song; there's something about the musical arrangement that really hooks me. The vocals are astonishing as usual, and I really like that flip from belting to falsetto. It's almost all over the place much like elastic. The music video which was released early January was received with mixed reviews. Some viewed the undoubtedly brilliant performance given by Shia LaBeouf and Maddie Ziegler (who was also the protagonist in the Chandelier music video) as "paedophilia". In actual fact the two characters are sort of the same person in different and contrasting states of mind. However, many have been those who praised the music video. It's an out of the box representation of the song. The lyrics are just perfect. Sia's songwriting is deep and meaningful.




5. Take Me To Church - HOZIER

Every now and then there comes a song that even though I would have had it on repeat for months, I suddenly start listening to it from a new perspective and I begin to enjoy it more. This is one of those songs. Technically speaking, the chorus is what always got to me. I really love everything about it: the music, the melody, the backing vocals. Moreover I love how there is a musical build-up towards the hook. It's an interesting song and I've enjoyed learning more about it through interviews that Hozier has sat for. This music video also caused a bit of controversy. The song is a long metaphor and as Hozier explained he's using the church as an example of institutions that might limit or restrict humanity in some way. Furthermore, he's a brilliant singer. Live versions of this song are even better than the recorded! Well-deserving of that GRAMMY nomination!





4. Sad - MAROON 5

This is the oldest song I've got for this post. It's been out for almost 3 years and it makes me sad that I've only found out about it in January of 2015. I came across it on Spotify (shocker) and I fell in love with it since.  It's a simple piano ballad with few but very emotional lyrics. Safe to say that I may have shed a few tears when I heard this the first time as I could really relate to the lyrics. There is the absence of a bridge and instead the chorus is repeated in a softer tone both musically and vocally. Conclusion: it's a really nice and easy listening ballad. There is no music video to this song as it's not an official single.


3. Heartbeat Song - KELLY CLARKSON

The American Idol alumni is back with yet another contemporary pop hit. As previously mentioned in other songs on this list, once again the chorus is what I love the most about this and what stands out to me. It instantly starts with the hook which is quite a strong beginning. The chorus has this wonderful beat that is rhythmically slower than other parts. Actually the rhythm fluctuates for a duration of the song. Personally I think the chorus is what mostly makes this song a hit. Moreover, it's very well produced. It's nice to listen to a positive love song for a change!




2. Say You Love Me - JESSIE WARE

This song is fast becoming one of my favourite songs ever. It's a perfect pop ballad; simple with a lovely build-up. The beat is consistent and strong especially in the verses. The BRIT Award nominee has a beautiful strong voice. The second verse has some melody variations from the first. Moreover, the whole song is a build up from the previous part, which is quite refreshing as there isn't so much repetition. During the bridge the rhythm slows down just a little giving it more space and then the backing vocals take over for the next chorus making a great change. Fun fact: you might hear Ed Sheeran's voice in the background! A 10/10 from me.




1. Wait In Line - JAMES BAY

The day  I came across this singer/songwriter was my lucky day. I've been listening to his album non-stop; clearly he ticks all the boxes for me: the voice, music, lyrics and authenticity. Needless to say this song is one of my favourites off his album. His voice really resonates in the chorus and the lyrics are honest and straight forward - much like Ed Sheeran's songwriting style. It's guitar inspired and easy listening. The emotion in his voice is evident and the authenticity of the recording is inspiring. James Bay is quickly becoming one of my favourite artists. After watching some of his live performances and listening to his albums I can see why he's earned the BRIT Award for Critic's Choice. Definitely one to watch!




That's it from my end. I hope you like these 10 songs as much as I have. Feel free to comment down below some of you favourite songs of the moment. I'm always open to suggestions and new music! February favourites will be up in a few weeks!

Maria x

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