State Champs Concert!

It’s actually been ages since the last time I went to a concert (last October when I went to see Neck Deep!) so I was really hyped to be going to see State Champs yesterday! I think, overall, Neck Deep and State Champs are probably my favourite bands so I feel really lucky that I’ve now been able to see them both in concert!

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Stand Atlantic!

Supporting State Champs were Woes, Stand Atlantic and Seaway. I’d seen Woes previously supporting Neck Deep and they seem really cool, though I feel like I need to give their music more of a listen. Stand Atlantic I started listening to a few weeks before the concert and I love them! Most of the bands I follow are male-fronted so it’s nice to have a female singer take the stage for a change, especially since there is a particular stereotype in pop-punk genre that it’s predominately men. They performed all the songs I particularly liked of theirs which I was pleased about, including Chemicals, Coffee at Midnight, Lost my Cool, etc. Afterwards, Seaway performed, and I hadn’t really listened to their music properly so it was slightly harder to get into. By this point I was also saving my energy for State Champs, considering I’d already been there for 3 hours.

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State Champs!

And of course, State Champs eventually came on stage and it was so damn amazing! They started off with Criminals which was such a great start because it’s one of my favourite songs from their album Living Proof, as well as Crystal Ball (which they played later on). As much as I love their recent album, I thought it was cool that they performed a variety of songs across all three of their albums. They also picked all of my favourites so I was really happy about that!

At the end of the show, they did an encore of course. Everyone was waiting for them to play Elevated, including me, so when they came back on stage to play that everyone was hyped! They also performed Secrets after this too! The venue was pretty small and there weren’t too many people which in a way was quite nice because I managed to get a great view near the front! There was actually space to jump about and also avoid the mosh pit (although there was a guy on someone’s shoulders who almost fell on me, but I survived).

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State Champs again!

Overall, it was such a good night and State Champs were honestly so amazing live! It’s hard to describe the feeling of finally seeing a band perform in person because I’m jumping about and singing the lyrics and it just means so much to me I feel like crying, but in the best way possible. It’s just such a great feeling sharing your love of music with a whole crowd of people, and I would definitely go and see State Champs again for these reasons! In the mean time, I’ll be watching back the videos and pretending I’m still there.

Have you seen your favourite band live? What did it feel like?

New Albums 2018!

Over the last few months, 3 of my favourite bands have released new music and so of course, I want to talk about it!Image result for state champs living proof

The first is by a band called State Champs who I’m actually going to see in concert in October at my university! I’m so so hyped about it and glad that their album reached and exceeded my expectations because it means I’m even more excited to see it all live! Their album is called ‘Living Proof’ and I have to say I love every song on it. I heard ‘Crystal Ball’ and ‘Dead and Gone’ before the release and these songs are seriously catchy. I think even if you’re not a massive fan of pop punk, this album may take you by surprise as I know a couple of people who like ‘Crystal Ball’ even though they don’t like the genre itself.

My favourite songs are: Criminal, Crystal Ball and Something About You (click the song to hear it!)

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The second band I want to share with you is Real Friends! I was lucky enough to see this band when I went to see Neck Deep in concert last year as they were supporting. I really admire the lyrics this band produces, especially since I’m into writing myself, and I loved their previous album for the way they portrayed ‘the home inside your head’ as a metaphor for the inner workings of your brain and your emotions. Their new album ‘Composure’ definitely exceeded my expectations! At first, I wasn’t so convinced, however the more and more I listened the more I realised that they’ve really come so far. The chorus’s stand out a lot more powerfully than those from before and again, the lyrics come to no faults.

My favourite songs are: Me First, From the Outside, Get By and Ripcord (again, click the song to hear it!)

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As It Is are the third band I want to talk about and their new album only came out just under a week ago. It’s called ‘The Great Depression’ and tackles the struggles of depression, especially in boys, but also mental health in general. One of the reasons I am so drawn to music of the pop punk genre is the depth to the lyrics and that a lot of the time they do relate to mental health or to my own struggles, however not so explicitly as As It Is did with this album. However, I think it is much needed. I love that they’re standing up as a voice for those who find it hard to speak up and I honestly think they’ve presented it in such a raw and honest light. It was pretty emotional listening through the tracks, especially when tuned into the message of the lyrics, but I think it’s so important to help others understand the battles that go on inside people’s heads since it is not always obvious. It is also somewhat comforting to know that it is not only you who feels a certain way. I highly encourage anyone to listen to this album, and that even if you’re not a fan of the music please do read the lyrics, because they are crucial and unbelievably powerful.

My favourite songs are: all of them?? can I even say that?? but The Hurt, the Hope really caught me off guard in terms of emotion and lyrics (if you’re prepared to cry, click it to listen)

Analysing Album Covers [#6 Grayscale]

I’m not actually sure how long I’m going to continue this series but I thought I might as well keep going for the time being! If you want to check out the previous bands covered you can follow the links here: Neck Deep, Waterparks, Movements, As It Is and Knuckle PuckImage result for grayscale adornment

This time I’ll be analysing Grayscale’s album ‘Adornment’ which I think is one of the most unique covers of them all. On first glance you don’t really notice that it’s actually a head floating in the water but I love how it’s disguised as a piece of land. I think it’s been created this way to show the ways in which we hide ourselves from our pain. The man here is drowning in water and yet he puts on this front that everything is okay, that he is making a home out of his life (or his head, literally) even though he’s struggling. He’s invested in sunglasses to protect him from the light – a minor problem – but he won’t invest in sorting out his major problem – the fact that he’s almost drowning and doing absolutely nothing about it. As crazy as it sounds, I actually really relate to this. I often ignore all my major problems and like to focus on other things that don’t matter as much instead. I’m starting to emerge from those waters now though and actually face things head on which is definitely a good thing. Don’t be this dude making an island of himself in a shore no one can reach. You’re a lot more important than that. 

As It Is – The Wounded World [Song Review]

The band As It Is announced their new album ‘The Great Depression’ a few days ago, about the societal romanticisation of depression and aiming to destigmatise this. Being mental health awareness week, this is such a great time to start putting this view in place and I’m really looking forward to seeing the rest of the album – whether I like the music or not, because I think the lyrics will be what are most important.

I do, however, absolutely love the first single they’ve released! It’s called ‘The Wounded World’ and Patty has gone all out and dyed his hair black for the cause. I love the repetitive echoes of ‘we’re all to blame for the wounded world’ that frame the song and 2:18 is the greatest thing I’ve ever heard. You have to listen. I am actually obsessed. There is also a lyric that I particularly wanted to share because I think it holds an important message:

‘You can’t pull back the trigger and then point the same finger.’ 

For me, it seems this line is calling those out who dare to pull the trigger on people (manipulate, bully, harrass, whatever it may be), and then blame someone else for their own actions. And I think this is so important when it comes to mental health, because part of what affects someone’s mental wellbeing is when people can’t take responsibility for their actions and instead lead others into a world of lies and deceit. I love the way Patty screams these lines because it really gets the anger across at those who do this and to remind them that it really does hurt the victim. Pointing that finger at someone else might as well be equivalent to pulling back the trigger and actually releasing it.

I’ve been a fan of As It Is since their album ‘Never Happy Ever After’, but with their following album ‘okay.’ they took on a more pop-py vibe and I didn’t like it as much (with a few exceptions such as Austen, Soap and No Way Out). However, if ‘The Wounded World’ is anything to go by, their new album could be going into a harder direction and I’m totally loving it!

I’ll leave the link to the song below. If you’re fan of pop punk, you’ve 100% got to check it out! If not, give it a listen anyway simply for the lyrics more than anything.

 

Analysing Album Covers [#5 Knuckle Puck]

So far I’ve analysed album covers from Neck Deep, Waterparks, Movements and As It Is, so now for another popular band in pop punk, Knuckle Puck!Image result for copacetic knuckle puck

When I first came across this album, I had no idea what the word Copacetic meant. I guess I didn’t really question it until I heard the lyric “Everything’s copacetic” said so many times I thought, yeah I should probably google that. Turns out it means “in excellent order” but the lyrics surrounding are far from suggesting it’s true. Instead, the album’s title is ironic, playing on the way we pretend things are in excellent order when they’re not. It’s this constant convincing and reassuring ourselves that everything is fine but as the song ‘Untitled’ suggests in its long instrumental ending, eventually we realise the silence is too much.

This album cover is slightly more difficult to analyse because I feel like it’s not so obvious. The clock is the clearest in its relation to time and how this perhaps affects our mood when we leave our emotions repressed for too long. I feel like the glasses represent clouded vision and how it’s hard to treat ourselves with the same outlook that we give to other people, since often we don’t help ourselves as much as we should. I guess the dice is the lottery of pain. We roll the dice and we either feel great or we don’t and that luck is just part of life.  The frog and the flowers, however, are a bit more ambiguous. I initially saw the flowers as four leaf clovers at first, tying in with the idea of luck, but they’re not. But maybe, that’s the whole point. Maybe the point is that sometimes we see things in a certain way even though that’s not how they are. The frog could be this obstacle in our mind jumping to conclusions and causing conflictions to bounce around inside our heads. There’s so many different ways you could interpret this cover but that’s what I love so much about it.

What do you think?

New Music I’m Hyped For!

Recently State Champs have announced their new album that will be released on June 15th (can it not be any sooner?!) and I love their old songs but oh my god their new music is on an entirely new level. So far they have released two singles: “Dead and Gone” and “Crystal Ball” and I just absolutely love them. I couldn’t even tell you why because it’s everything about them. They just put me in such a good mood but they also make me feel so much, like maybe it’s just because I feel music on such a high scale but I can just totally get into the songs and I love it. They’re ridiculously catchy and I actually can’t stop singing them (or miming because I can’t actually sing rip), so I’m here to get them stuck in your head too. Have a listen! (also listen out for the cool Friends reference in “Dead and Gone” I love it)

 

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.

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

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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

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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

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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

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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?

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

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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.