Analysing Album Covers [#3 Movements]

The third installment of this series, after Neck Deep and Waterparks, is Movements! They are also a band I’ve recently got into and I don’t think there’s any others quite like them!

 

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What I love about the cover of their album ‘Feel Something’ is its originality. The setting of the forest embodies a sense of isolation, particularly associated to when we feel deepest as we tend to withdraw or are alone. The girl spinning adds to the whirlwind of emotions but also this sense that if everything is out of focus then maybe nothing is real – maybe nothing has to be. It’s an escape from feeling something, which is looming above at all times – literally here, strung from the trees. The fact that it’s above suggests that we know the bad emotions are lurking and that they’re there, but most of the time we can’t see them or we choose to ignore them. I relate a lot to these things as someone who is very reserved about how I feel and am often in denial about things until I’m spinning out of control and realise I need to find my balance. I guess this album is all about acknowledging when we feel something and accepting it.

Analysing Album Covers [#2 Waterparks]

Continuing on in the series, I move from Neck Deep to Waterparks!Image result for waterparks entertainment

 

Waterparks are a farily recent band I’ve started listening to so I thought I’d analyse their new album cover for ‘Entertainment’ that came out a few months ago. It’s a pretty simple cover when you think about it, but it really works! What I love most about Waterparks is the fact that their lyrics are pretty deep and meaningful, but their songs sound so upbeat. It’s like an ironic happiness. I think this cover represents that through the idea of “entertainment” where feelings are almost manipulated into a show to please people when really they are destructive. All the blank space around it could be said to belittle the entertainment and the feelings through the small tape in the centre. The fact that it’s also a tape suggests that the feelings aren’t accessible to everyone – you need the right equipment or the right personality/friendship to hear it. It suggests emotions that aren’t necessarily new but old – feelings we’ve grown out of over time, like we’ve grown out of tapes, but ones that come back to hit us in the face when we least expect them. And the irony of this irony is that the album itself actually will be entertainment for all its listeners to hear. Maybe none of that was intentional, but I think it’s pretty cool.

Analysing Album Covers [#1 Neck Deep]

A lot of the time when we’re browsing for music, especially on iTunes or Spotify, we visually judge music based on the cover. If we like it, we click on it, if we don’t we often ignore it. It actually makes a pretty big impact, and sometimes I come across good music with bad covers and I wonder why they couldn’t have made them more impactful, however a lot of the music I listen to has genuinely amazing album covers and so I wanted to analyse them and their possible meanings!

I’m going to start this as a series over the next few weeks as I feel like it will be too much to post all at once, and it means that you can comment with your thoughts on the cover too if you like, whether you’ve heard the music or not.

First up is ‘The Peace and the Panic’ by Neck Deep!

Image result for the peace and the panic neck deepOne thing I love about Neck Deep, apart from their music of course, is they always seem to have amazing artwork, like how ?? I particularly like this one because of the two sides, representing both the peaceful and panic side. I love how the man in the middle is on a tightrope between them because it’s like this unsteady ledge, this danger of which side you may fall into and not knowing where you’re going to land. For me, this worry of not knowing whether outcomes will result in happiness or anxiety is really relatable and I’m sure that for a lot of listeners the man on the front cover represents them. It’s this unpredictability of your state of mind and trying to seek out a way to balance between them – a comfortable middle amidst the chaos. I have a pin of the album man on my denim jacket to remind me that I can balance and make it out alive.

Newly Discovered Songs!

Recently I’ve discovered some really good artists and songs that I would put in my “Night Car/Walk” playlist, which is basically this playlist I made that has music that seems 100x better when played at night because it’s either calm and/or emotional. I thought I would share these songs (and a few of their lyrics) because they’ve been keeping me going lately and are mostly quite unknown so it’d be nice to promote them.

1. ‘Walk Away’ and ‘End of a Good Thing’ by Cory Wells

‘I’m at a war with myself.’ ~ Walk Away

‘You tell me to brace for the hurricane / ‘Cause the end of a good thing is here.’ ~ End of a Good Thing

I found this artist a few days ago and I immediately connected to his songs and the pure emotion in his voice. He reminds me so much of ‘Movements’, but in the best way possible because I love that band.

 

2. ‘White Blood’ by Oh Wonder 

‘I’m ready to go, I’m ready to go / Can’t do this alone, can’t do this alone.’

This song was recommended by a friend. I love how calming it is and the whole idea of white blood being someone of protection and needing them because of it.

 

3. ‘It’s Too Much’ by Moose Blood

‘It’s just too much / And I / I think I’ve had enough.’

It didn’t take long for this song to resonate me – the lyrics, the tune, everything. I love how monotonous it is all the way through, reflecting how tired and fed up he is. I could honestly listen to this all day.

 

4. ‘Can You Tell Me Something’ by Ky Rodgers

‘If my life turned out a failure, at least you fucking know that I tried.’

I only found this artist this morning actually, recommended on YouTube. Whilst I wasn’t a massive fan of the song that was recommended, I loved this one. Again, it has that similar monotonous tone as ‘It’s Too Much’ and I love it for that.

‘Overthinking’ by Orla Gartland [Music Review]


“and I think my brain is breaking

and it’s just myself I’ve been blaming

it’s frustrating

I just wanna know why”


I’ve been a fan of Orla Gartland for years – ever since I started listening to her friend Lauren Aquilina – but her music has never been as good as it is right now! I really admire her work to be honest because she writes, produces and records the music all herself and I’m so surprised she hasn’t been signed, however she does have a very large fan base.

Recently she shared a new song called ‘Overthinking’ and it’s definitely my favourite song of hers! As some people in the comments have suggested, she gives the verses an almost rap vibe similar to Twenty One Pilots and I love the way it sounds and fits together. It also tackles the topic of anxiety and the lyrics make it so relatable to me personally. It’s great that she doesn’t just sing with a guitar, but also creates beats and plays piano as well. I love that the more recent songs have been more personal too as I feel like the more honest the song is, the better it sounds.

I just had to share this song because as a lesser known artist who’s trying to make it out in the world doing something they love, it must be very difficult. And I’m sure this song will relate to a lot of you out there and it’d be cool to pass it on.

 

Twitter: @mindspeaksaloud

Instagram: @mymindspeaksaloud

5 Best Albums of 2017!

I feel like there has been a lot of great music released this year which definitely calls for a ‘5 best albums of 2017’ blog post, but at the same time, it’s quite hard to reduce it to a small number. However, I’ve tried my best and here are my favourites (and in no particular order)!

‘Feel Something’ by Movements

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As I’ve mentioned briefly in previous posts, Movements is a band I’ve only recently found but I absolutely love them and so it’s a necessity they make it onto this list. I probably won’t get round to writing a full post on them (although I did mention I would) but even if I did, I don’t think it’d particularly live up to their music anyway. You need to listen to it for yourself to really get what I’m on about! So definitely give these guys a listen. I love their use of spoken word amongst the singing and they give some front porch step, roam and knuckle puck vibes quite a bit, if any of you guys are into them as well. However ultimately, they have a completely different sound to anything I’ve ever heard and I think that’s why they stand out so much as a band.

‘Adornment’ by Grayscale

Image result for adornment grayscale

 

Grayscale are another band I discovered this year with their first full length album ‘Adornment’! I love their kind of laid back but also urgent style of pop punk and you can read about my initial thoughts on the band here when I found them back in June!

‘The Peace and the Panic’ by Neck Deep

Image result for the peace and the panic neck deep

I feel like it’s pretty obvious that this album would pop up on this list, especially since I went to see them in concert earlier this year and have of course written a long album review about them here, but Neck Deep are a great band so check it out!

‘Great Heights and Nosedives’ by Roam

Image result for great heights and nosedives roam

Roam are another band I discovered this year (wow it really has been a great year for music) and although this album is a lot more lively and upbeat than some of the other music I listen to, I just find that it’s so catchy. As soon as I heard ‘Playing Fiction’ I knew it was worth checking out their whole album and it’s actually pretty addictive!

‘Shapeshifter’ by Knuckle Puck

Image result for shapeshifter knuckle puck

And the last place, which was extremely difficult to pick, goes to Knuckle Puck. After their album ‘Copacetic’ last year, they had a lot to live up to but I definitely think they did it! They’ve kept to their sound really well, whilst also improving on distinctive sound and lyrics so they had to make it as the final place.

Of course, I have to mention the other albums that almost made it onto this list because they deserve recognition too. ‘Back to Beautiful’ by Picturesque is an album that came out earlier this year and I suppose I didn’t put it on this list because some of the songs had already been released previously. They are definitely a band to give a listen to though, especially if you’re into bands like Sleeping Sirens because his voice is really quite similar (but kind of better in my opinion haha). ‘Paradise’ by Broadside was also another contender – an album I really enjoyed however I feel like at parts it didn’t really live up to their previous album as much as I had hoped so this is why it didn’t quite make it. Shout out also to ‘The Flood Flowers’ by Fort Hope, ‘okay.’ by As It Is and ‘Unfamiliar (Deluxe Edition)’ by In Her Own Words!

What are your favourite albums of 2017?

Survival Music

Tonight I decided to type a few songs into YouTube by my favourite bands that have been released recently and by simply listening through them it has reminded me of how much I goddamn love music. It’s crazy how just nodding my head or miming along to it puts me in such a good mood and I honestly can’t describe how great it feels. Music has always been the one thing that keeps me going whenever everything else becomes a bit of a mess and it’s like I suddenly re-remembered this feeling. I don’t know. It’s weird. But I had to write a blog post on it anyway. So here’s the few songs that have made my week and I can’t guarantee they’ll make yours either, but it might be nice to have a listen anyway.

I’ve also been really into a band called Movements recently, but I should be posting on them sometime soon!

What songs have been keeping you going recently?

Neck Deep Concert!

So last night I went to see Neck Deep in concert!! To give you context, I found out they were playing at my uni before I had even arrived, but I had to get tickets because I’ve never seen them live before and they’re one of my favourite bands (if not my favourite). The thing about concerts is it’s such an ‘in the moment’ thing and despite wanting to enjoy it at the time, I also like to look back on things. So I’ve decided to write a blog post to remind me of everything that happened that I haven’t necessarily captured on camera.

First, going to the concert involved dragging one of my friends along because unfortunately I don’t actually know anyone who likes the band. But thank you to Life of an Introvert for going with me even though it’s not your kind of music, like I genuinely really appreciate it!

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Signings, badge and wristband!

We turned up at the venue at around 5ish because as part of my early birthday present I got tickets for the pre-show exclusives. This meant eating really early and then trying to put on “soundcheck club” wristbands which took me way longer than it should have done. We also got given these badges as well which I wasn’t expecting at all! After waiting for a bit with around 20-30 other people, we then went into the venue and got to listen to the soundcheck! It was really weird there being such few people but it was really relaxed and then a few people asked some questions. Afterwards we got a chance to get something signed from the band and then a photo with them which was really cool!

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Soundcheck!

We then had to wait around for a bit before the actual show and I was slightly freezing but hey. Eventually we got to go inside and we got a place right at the front left which was cool. The first support act was a band called Woes who I’ve never listened to before but they were actually really good and I’ll definitely be checking out their music. Then Real Friends and As It Is performed who are two bands I love so I was hyped that they were chosen to perform at the same concert!

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Main show!

Before Neck Deep came on to perform, a white curtain was put across the stage whilst they set it up which was a bit mysterious but then the excitement kicked in when you could hear them coming onto the stage and the lights started flashing frantically. A concert in general is quite a hard thing to describe because you have to be there to really feel it, but it was so good being around a load of people who love the same music as you and just jumping and singing along with everyone. At one point it got a bit wild and a load of us fell into a pile and I literally almost got trampled on, but apart from that it was all good and I survived! And they played a variety of songs from all of their albums so there was a good mixture, including my favourites of the new album: Motion Sickness, Don’t Wait and The Grand Delusion. I don’t remember exactly what happened but at one point someone threw Maoam’s at the stage and then either Ben or Fil (wow my memory is so bad) threw back the apple ones because they didn’t like them apparently.

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Confetti!

As you get at most concerts, there was then an encore at the end. There were flashing signs at the centre stage saying “Fuck Neck Deep” whilst the band were offstage and the crowd started shouting it – apparently we were the only ones so far to do that on the tour which was kind of surprising. They then, of course, returned for the final two songs! It ended with confetti thrown from the ceiling and I’m glad I got a photo of this because it looks really cool!

Overall, I had such a great night and I honestly don’t think I’ll ever be at a concert that good again, seeing as 3 of my favourite bands were there! Due to being near the front, I am slightly deaf but hopefully that’ll die down (without me going with it) and I can listen back to all the videos properly.

Have any of you been to a concert recently? How was it?

The Peace and the Panic – Neck Deep [Album Review]

Image result for neck deep the peace and the panic

So on the 18th of August, Neck Deep released their new album ‘The Peace and the Panic” and it’s literally my favourite thing right now! I’ve been listening to them as a band for about two years now and whilst their new album has been criticised as being ‘more pop than punk’ compared to their previous album “Life’s Not Out to Get You”, I still love it just as much. Here I will be leaving my thoughts on each song with maybe a few lyrics. Let me know if you’re also a fan! 🙂

Motion Sickness

This is probably one of my favourites from the album! It didn’t take long to learn the lyrics (though I did listen to it a couple hundred times on repeat). From the initial guitar riff, it’s just ridiculously catchy and it puts me in such a good mood listening to this song!

Happy Judgement Day

Here’s a bit of political singing for you! Whilst some may say this song is a bit unoriginal, I completely disagree; I absolutely love the guitar riff in this! And the moment when they scream “come on!!” about 3/4 way through – gotta love it.

The Grand Delusion

This is also one of my favourites from the album! To be honest, I’m pretty obsessed with the bridge of this song (starts at around 2:05) because I just love the way Ben almost screams it and the lyrics are relatable:

All eyes on me
But that’s not reality
Cause my mind plays tricks on me
Sometimes my mind plays tricks on me
Crawling up the walls
Caving as they are caving in
Claustrophobic in my own skin
From holding it all in

Parachute

I love this song, especially when the chorus of the song kicks in! And I love when they sing a stripped back version of the chorus later on in the song, before repeating it heavier again.

In Bloom

Ahh I love how the opening of this song is so mellow and the lyrics are just so great:

Sometimes at night I let it get to me
And sometimes I’m sure it gets to all of us
And last night it had me down and feeling numb
I can try but sometimes that is not enough

No sometimes that is not enough
No sometimes that is not enough

Don’t Wait (feat. Sam Carter)

This song is so good I can’t even! With the appearance of Sam Carter, it really gives Neck Deep a heavier vibe and I absolutely love it!

Critical Mistake

If I’m honest, I don’t really like this song nearly as much as all the others. It just feels a bit bland in comparison but maybe it’ll grow on me. The guitar also reminds me a lot of the song “Bail me Out” by All Time Low – not in a bad way of course, but the resemblance is so similar it’s insane.

Wish you were Here

I love a bit of sad acoustic songs to match the heavier stuff, and this song definitely fills that position and more. With the verses written by Fil about lost friends over the years and the chorus staged around the loss of Ben’s Dad, it’s quite a heavy song although soft.

Heavy Lies

This was a song that took a bit to grow on me but I really like it now, especially 2:05 onwards when it quietens and then kicks in a bit more. It also gives off a lot of State Champs vibes in the verses.

19 Seventy Sumthin’

Another acoustic song! Because you can’t have enough of them really. At first, this song sounds fairly jolly, reminiscent of Ben’s parents and their love, however the song is ultimately about the loss of his father. Listen to 2:30 onwards if you wanna cry because trust me you will.

Where Do We Go When We Go

And here we come to the last song of the album. This song kind of incorporates the classic neck deep and I love that they’ve taken a nursery rhyme (“Rain Rain Go Away”) and twisted it to their own lyrics, like who else could pull that off?! It’s just great.

Pain, pain go away, come back another day
I just wanna get one up on life before it kills me

To Conclude

So overall, I absolutely love this album and if I could only listen to one band for the rest of my life it would probably actually be Neck Deep. I’m going to see them in concert in October which I’m absolutely hyyyypedd for and can I just say that they always get their album artwork on point like really it’s so cool.

Daughter [Music Review]

Daughter is a band that I’ve known of for years but never properly listened to. I think sometimes when you hear an artist is of a certain genre or style you kind of assume whether you will like it before actually listening. However recently I’m trying to be more open with listening to different styles.

As you already know if you’ve read my blog, I predominantly listen to pop punk and post-hardcore. I play the clarinet and the piano so I also like classical music and I love acoustic songs in general – they’re just great. Daughter is kind of a mixture between all of these I would say. They may not sound remotely close to punk or rock but their lyrics are certainly devised of the same emotional proportion and meaning. And in terms of sound, they have a kind of relaxing-classical-film-music vibe to them, if you were to take away the lyrics and listen purely as a stripped back piece of music. I think this is how – despite being an indie band far from my usual taste – they have somehow made itself onto my iPod. And I really think that’s great – to have something different for a change.

Whilst Daughter have a few more upbeat songs, I definitely prefer the more mellow ones. I kind of feel like it’s the type of music that would be perfect to listen to at night in a car or whilst walking in the rain (which I actually did the other day and it was really atmospheric!)

I just wanted to share a few of my favourite songs of theirs below with some words on each:

Numbers

This is the first song I listened to by Daughter and I instantly really liked the vibe to it. I love how the title “NUMB-ers” corresponds with the lyric “I feel NUMB”.

Made of Stone

This one is really relaxing but also the concept of being “made of stone” I find to be really interesting – moments where things feel so wrapped up in your head you bottle feelings until they can no longer be felt. And the fear that maybe they won’t come back.

Doing the Right Thing

This song is from the perspective of someone suffering from Alzheimer’s and so it has really become something quite personal to me as my granny used to suffer from it. The concept of “losing children” and “losing love” merely within one’s mind, despite them being physically there, is just something so awful; having to sit in front of a television and none of it soaking in because there’s a limit to the capacity of remembering; the cyclical structure of everyday replaying knowing there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it. And I think this song really captures this moment perfectly.

Smother

I think of all the songs mentioned here, Smother has the saddest undertone – it just feels so raw; full and yet completely void of emotions simultaneously. But I absolutely love it for this and it’s possibly my favourite of the list.

Touch

This song is equally as relaxing but I love the echoing of drums almost like a heartbeat in the background – irregular, just like the emotions expressed. There is quite a dragged out sound to Touch which I really like – the idea of having to impatiently wait to “feel something” – and this is reinforced with the lengthened end even after the singing has ceased.

Shallows

I love the build up on this song – from the initial sombre start to the introduction of the drums on the second verse. It fluctuates a lot between these two different modes and so whilst you can appreciate the light strumming of guitar chords, you also feel the intense emotions, just as any other human being who finds themselves within changing moods.

Daughter have a new album that is being released later this year for a video game so I am interested in hearing what that will sound like, but for now I hope this was something a bit different to listen to on my blog. Let me know if you’re also a fan 🙂