SONG OF THE DAY – “BETTER MAN” by Paolo Nutini

June 10, 2014

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Today’s song is by an artist that is literally the hottest thing happening in the UK right now. I have heard more about him through other artists posts, tweets, and playlists than pretty much anyone else out there. I also had a friend (here in the US) who suggested that it was time that I dedicate a “Song of the Day” post to the great Paolo Nutini, so Chris this is for you today.

This song is from Paolo Giovani Nutini, a Scottish singer-songwriter and musician. I am guessing that when you heard his name you might have assumed he was from Italy, but, although his father is from Italian descent, his mother is Scottish and both parents are third generation Scots. This song is from Paolo Nutini’s third album, called Caustic Loveand it is being hailed as his best and most prolific album yet. After it’s release in April 2014, it became the fasting selling album in the UK this year (as a side note, the album has not yet been released in the US, but he has released the Iron Sky EP). It has been five years since his last (sophomore) album – Sunny Side Up – and he has really come into his own artistically on this album. One reviewer said that he has become “a fully realized musician.” The Independent said,

“Caustic Love may be the best UK R&B album since the 1970s blue-eyed-soul heyday of Rod Stewart and Joe Cocker.”

This new album has a lot of classic musical inspirations, but it still sounds very modern and timeless. His vocals are amazing! Surprisingly, Nutini has been a star in the UK since he released his debut album, These Streets, eight years ago at the age of 18. With this album, I believe he will reach that same status here in the US. He is touring now and will be performing here in NYC at Webster Hall this Thursday, June 12.

Paolo Nutini is a very soulful singer and certainly fits in the category of Jazz, Soul, and R&B, along with something uniquely his own. I love this song that I am posting today. It is such an incredibly emotion-packed song with an amazing combination of music, lyrics, and his voice. Awesome! Another song off his new album that is just absolutely fantastic, particularly when you watch him perform it live, is called “Iron Sky.” The song includes a segment from Charlie Chaplin’s famous speech in the 1940 film, The Great Dictator. I have attached the video of his live performance at Abbey Road Studios here; it is definitely worth a watch. I love watching his live performances because he is so passionate and soulful in his delivery, plus … he is a beautiful man. 😉

SONG OF THE DAY – “FLAWS” by Bastille

June 9, 2014

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Happy Music Monday!

I absolutely love this song! I think the music is perfect and the lyrics are amazing. It is just such an honest view of how we look at ourselves and our flaws. My favorite lyrics are:

All of your flaws and all of my flaws
When they have been exhumed
We’ll see that we need them to be who we are
Without them we’d be doomed

The song is by Bastille, a rock band from London, England. I am certain that most of you will know them by their tremendously popular song, “Pompeii.” Many people may be unfamiliar with any of Bastille’s music other than “Pompeii” because that is the only song that is ever played on the radio. For me, that is a downside to popular radio, they find a song they like by a band and then they overplay it to death. The band actually has a lot of great music and I hope that you will enjoy this song (my favorite) from their Bad Blood album, released in the US in September 2013.

Bastille (named for Bastille Day, which is Smith’s birthday) was originally started as a solo project by singer-songwriter, Dan Smith. The band is now composed of the very talented Dan Smith (singer, songwriter, keyboard player, and producer), Will Farquarson (bass), Chris Wood (drummer), and Kyle Simmons (keyboard player). They all perform back-up vocals, and the chemistry among the band is amazing. Bastille was honored this year at the Brit Awards with British Breakthrough Act of the year. The band was also nominated for three other awards – British Group of the Year, British Single of the Year (for Pompeii), and British Album of the Year. They have been called “the word-of-mouth success of 2013!”

Embrace your flaws! It makes us who we are … and who wants to be anyone else? 🙂

I have attached two versions of this song because they are both amazing – one was recorded at Abbey Road Studios and is literally an amazing acoustic version backed by a room full of strings, and the other is another acoustic version with keyboard, guitar and hand drums. Just both very cool! I would love the Last.fm sessions version on my iPod.

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