SONG OF THE DAY – “LOVE ME AGAIN” by John Newman

July 30, 2014

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I got home last night after a long, traffic-jammed drive home and had every intention of posting, but after I pulled out my computer and sat down on the sofa, I completely crashed. I was thoroughly exhausted! I am not sure if it was physical, mental, or emotional exhaustion, but I think it was probably a combination of all three.

After spending three full days with the entire family, my daughter went back to her internship in DC, my husband left at 5am Monday morning for a week of business travel, and yesterday I dropped my son off at the airport to fly to Singapore on a short exchange program with his high school. I went from full house to empty house in the space of about 48 hours! It is strange how empty a house seems when you have just been surrounded by the noise and love of the whole family … and then suddenly there is no one.

For me, last night was one of those moments when I realized, “Oh my gosh, it’s almost over; this time in my life is coming to an end.” It is such a strange feeling. My daughter left home much too early (in her mom’s eyes, haha!), leaving for college at age 16. My son is now 15 and I know his time  to leave the nest is approaching much too quickly. I love watching my kids grow up and I think they have become such cool, amazing “grown ups,” but it does not make the realization of it any easier to swallow.

I am currently sitting outside in my beautiful backyard on a gorgeous day and wishing that my children (big version or small version) were running around playing. When everyone is home these days, we are usually running around playing frisbee, but now it is just me and frisbee is a difficult solo game. My husband comes home at the end of the week, my daughter in a little over a week, and my son will be home in a couple of weeks. I won’t have this empty home for long, but (wow!) the taste of it is sobering. In life, CHANGE is the only constant! I have lived my life around that motto, but when this big change comes … I sure hope I am ready for it.

Today’s song doesn’t have much to do with my post today, but I really like this song and the emotional impact the music has on me. I showed the video to both of my kids this last week. Make sure you watch the video all the way to the end. It was a little shocking to me! I said that it was totally depressing, my son burst out laughing, and my daughter just said, “WHAT was that?!” I would love to know your reaction to the video.

John Newman is a young (23-year-old), breakout, English singer and musician that seemed to come out of nowhere in 2013. This song reached #1 on the UK Singles Chart in July 2013 and reached the top of the US charts in early 2014. He was one of the most successful English artists last year and was nominated for three Brit Awards in 2014 : British Male Solo Artist, British Single, and British Video. He has a very unique sound that seems to come from a bygone age and is described as soulful pop. He has often been compared as a male version of Adele or Amy Winehouse.

One of my favorite comments made by John Newman in an interview earlier this year:

“I couldn’t give a shit about fame … What felt good coming to America was walking down the street and no one knowing me. There are way too many celebrities in the world at the moment and not enough artists … People have forgotten about the music.”

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SONG OF THE DAY – “ALL ABOUT YOU” by Birdy

June 17, 2014

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I love the young English singer-songwriter, Birdy. I have been following her for several years now and just find her to be an incredible, young (only 18 years old!), unique talent.

Birdy’s real name is Jasmine van den Bogaerde, but she uses the nickname Birdy that was given to her by her parents when she was just a baby. They began calling her Birdy because she used to open her mouth like a baby bird when she was being fed, and the nickname just stuck. Birdy began playing the piano at age 5 and writing her own music at age 7. Her mother is a concert pianist and music just seemed to come naturally.

Birdy was only 15 years old when she released her self-titled, debut album, Birdy, in 2011. The album was mostly covers, but it did include one original song. The album received rave reviews and went to the top of the charts in many countries. Her first single was a cover of Bon Iver‘s “Skinny Love” which was a remarkable interpretation of the song and became an instant hit. I actually find Birdy’s version much more captivating than the original.

Eighteen months later, at the age of 17, Birdy released a new album, Fire Within, with some amazing original songs. The album was just released in North America a few weeks ago on June 3, but was released in the UK in September of 2013. I bought the song on my UK iTunes account back in September and shared this song as my daughter’s Song of the Day back on September 30, 2013. Because the album is brand new, I wanted to share the song with you on this page today because I think it is an incredible song. I absolutely LOVE the lyrics to this song, and the music is mesmerizing. I also have to say that the live rendition on the YouTube video below is fabulous and you shouldn’t miss it!

Birdy has had a pretty amazing year. She received a nomination for British Female Solo Artist at the 2014 Brit Awards, and she just finished touring in the US as the opener for Christina Perri. I was not able to get to one of the shows this time around, but I am hoping to catch her when she returns … and I am certain that she will return! I think there is much more to come from the talented young artist and I look forward to hearing more new music from her. Speaking of new music … she is featured in three songs on the new The Fault in Our Stars soundtrack. And speaking of music … that is one amazing soundtrack!

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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