“BELIEVE” by Mumford & Sons

March 9, 2015

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Today I want to post a brand new song … just released today.

I love Mumford & Sons! I first saw them perform live while living in London, England. Their song “Little Lion Man” was brand new and I heard that they were going to be performing at Pure Groove – a small record shoppe in London. My two young children (ages 13 and 10!) came home from school and I told them, “Get ready. We are going to a concert!” They were the only kids there, but what an experience. 🙂

Pure Groove is a tiny little spot and it was probably the second most intimate concert experience I have ever had. We were literally about 15 feet from the band. It was fabulous! We followed Mumford & Sons the entire time we lived in London as they became a real London-based, local favorite. Then we moved back to the US a year later and we got to watch their ascent here as they were really just being introduced in the US. It was such an interesting experience to watch the same band become famous twice.

The band has just finished a new album – Wilder Mind – after a two year break from their last album. “Believe” is the first single released from the album, which is available for preorder now with an expected release date of May 4. I love the new sound of this song and the electronic music they have incorporated; it is very different from their banjo-playing folk style that made them so popular. The first time I listened to the song I was reminded of Coldplay, particularly during the first half of the song.

I am really excited to hear the rest of the new album and the creative effort that they put into it. How do you like it?

SONG OF THE DAY – “WORRY” by Jack Garratt

October 7, 2014

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I just got home from visiting my son in South Carolina for a few days for his 16th birthday. It was awesome to get to spend time with him! I have been trying to decide if I came home less worried or more worried about him. Haha!

It is such a strange feeling to go visit your teenage boy in his “apartment” and say “yep, that is how I would keep my space.” Yikes! Teenage boys are messy. He keeps reminding me that his apartment was one of only two that passed house inspections … so I should be pleased. Hmm …

Anyway, he is doing incredibly well at his new school and loves it. He is happy, settled, social, and motivated! As much as I miss him, this makes me very happy. I am very proud of him, even if I do worry about him and miss him every day.

The alligators down there also worry me! 🙂

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I have been wanting to post this cool new song and I thought the title was just perfect today. Jack Garratt is a young artist from London, England who just released his first EP, Remnants, a few months ago. His music is very unique and is difficult to box into a genre. He has an incredible amount of soul and emotion in his music. It is an interesting song to add to my playlist, but I think Jack Garratt is extremely talented and creates incredibly interesting music. Listen to the unique beat, rhythm, and lyrics that he uses in his music. I hope that you enjoy this new song by a young, rising artist. I am sure we will hear much more from him in the future.

SONG OF THE DAY – “BOOM CLAP” by Charli XCX

August 29, 2014

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With just a few minutes to post tonight, I wanted to give you a great song to help start off your weekend. This is a playful, cool song with a really fun beat.

This song is by Charli XCX (Charlotte Emma Aitchison), an English singer-songwriter who started writing songs at the age of 14. This song is on The Fault in Our Stars soundtrack – which, by the way, is an amazing soundtrack with an incredible list of songs and artists. (I have not yet seen the movie, but I absolutely loved the book.)

My son was playing the soundtrack earlier this week while we were driving in the car and this song just became one of my very favorites. I’m sure this “Boom Clap” will be the sound in my ears when my alarm goes off at 4am tomorrow morning! Yikes!

Have a great weekend!

SONG OF THE DAY – “CAN YOU HEAR ME” by Dan Croll

August 11, 2014

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Can you hear me? What a question! I often find myself asking that same question. In fact, I have found myself asking that a lot over the last few weeks as I have been texting my son in Singapore and only getting one word answers in reply. I may send a text that says something like:

Did you get your laundry done? When do you leave this weekend and will you have wifi?

And the response is pretty typically something like:

No.

NO?! No to which question? And, I think I asked a question that actually needed an answer … not a yes or no. So, then I tried to resend the question and it just would go unanswered, mostly because he thinks he has already responded to me. So I often find myself yelling at the phone, “Can you hear me?!!”

I wish I could say that this only happens with my teens, but alas … my husband is typically just as bad. In fact, this last week while he was traveling, I texted him several times and never got a reply. It often happens when he is busy, so I thought nothing of it. Finally, he called and said, “Have you disappeared or what?” Needless to say, my texts were not going through to him due to a problem with iMessage and both of us had been having one-sided conversations without getting a reply. Obviously, it was more unusual for me not to respond, so he tracked me down. I just figured he couldn’t hear me. 😉

Okay, I am just sitting here cracking myself up with these stories. Let me move on to today’s song …

I actually really like this song by Dan Croll. Dan Croll is another one of those young British singer-songwriters that I seem to like so much. 🙂 Dan is also a very talented musician and plays multiple instruments, including the piano, trumpet, guitar, bass, drums, and organ. He was born in England on July 18, 1990 in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, but moved to Liverpool when he was 18 to attend a music school founded by Paul McCartney – Liverpool Institute For Performing Arts.

Croll signed a record deal in 2012 and released his first full length album, Sweet Disarray, in March of this year. He supported Imagine Dragons on their European tour late last year (which is how I discovered him) and Bastille prior to that. I thoroughly enjoy his very distinctive musical sound – I love the folk sound that he incorporates along with the electronic beats, great melodies and harmonies, and lots of different sounds. He cites Paul Simon as one of his greatest influences. If you don’t yet know Dan Croll, I really think you will like his music. If you already know him, here is another opportunity to listen to a great song.

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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.”

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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