The Vinyl Records // Round One

   Hello, hello, hello!!

Today’s post, is a kinda cute one. I get to acknowledge my beautiful group of friends (though they may not all see this), and immortalise them and their beautiful-ness on this blog in a round-about way.

I turned 21 on the 11th of August last year. However, on the 10th of August, I celebrated with my friends and my family. Most of you know Kate by now, my absolute best friend in the entire world, who without, I’d probably be dead.

Kate was the bearer of my big present for the year, on behalf of herself and a bunch of my friends. By the title, I’m crossing my fingers that you’ve figured out that the lovely bunch of legends bought me a record player, which is something I’ve been wanting for years. I’ve never pulled the trigger on it and bought it myself, so the fact that my friends did it for me genuinely made me cry, the video of which was promptly shared in their group chat.

That said, I’ve had the record player since then, and it’s had it’s fair share spin.

So for today’s post, I’m gonna do the first post in a round up of some of the records I’ve scored, where I got them, and a lil bit about the tunes on the records.

Since I scored the player for my birthday, I thought that for the first post in this series I’d share a record that my other close friend Nishika and her boyfriend got me for my 21st. I’m sure there’ll be some guesses as to what it is.

 

Jon Bellion – Glory Sound Prep

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In a very unlike me fashion, I refrained from making a post dedicated to this album when it came out in November 2018. I don’t know why, but I don’t think I can ever do this album justice in the sense of putting it into words.

However, I was super grateful to be able to experience it on vinyl. It was actually the first album I was going to purchase as soon as I got the record player, until Nishika had to spoil the surprise for my own good and let me know it was already on it’s way, which I’m very grateful for.

I also finally got to see my literal biggest inspiration in November 2019, and getting to hear the album in person was a whole different experience. Again, I didn’t have it in me to make a blog post about it because I didn’t know, and still don’t know, how you sum up nearly 6 years of dedication to an artist, into one night??? I don’t know man, this album is in my top five albums of the decade, and in my top five favourite albums ever. This album is so emotive and nuanced. There’s so much I could say about this album, and I probably should, considering that’s kinda my job around here, but I’ll stick with picking out a few tracks and carrying on about them rather than rambling about the album in it’s entirety.

Conversations With My Wife
I mean – what a way to share the fact that you’re married, than with a song like this. It’s the first track on the album and listening to it for the first time was the best indicator that this album, is lyrically, genius. There’s so much to unpack in just this song alone, but to date, it’s probably one of my favourite songs when it comes to storytelling and just beautifully constructing a love song dedication.

Let’s Begin (Roc Marciano, RZA, B.Keyz, Travis Mendes)
In a complete change of pace, this song is Jon’s opportunity to go IN. He’s not defined as a rapper when you first discover him, but when you dive into his catalogue, you find songs like this and it becomes obvious that he is criminally underrated as a rapper. I rate Jon Bellion higher than a lot of definable rappers, and that’s genuinely not me being biased at all. Just listen to this song and a few of his other tracks, for example New York Soul Pt. II, and you’ll understand where I’m coming from.

The Internet
This song is featured on this list because it was one of my favourites to see Jon perform live at The Forum in November. The vibes were immaculate. It’s such a fun and upbeat song, and to hear everyone absolutely belting the lyrics while Jon and his team were clearly just having a ball up on stage was so wholesome and it was this song that gave my little, ‘holy shit this is real, this is happening, he’s real and this is actually a thing that’s happening to me right now’ moment during the concert. I’m pretty sure I even cried during this one.

Cautionary Tales
This song was probably my first favourite track from the entire record. I love the bass line in this song so much, plus the lyrics are insane. So much story telling, mixed in with incredible production and an amazing energy that I haven’t been able to find in another song since hearing this for the first time. It’s one of those songs that just delivers the switch-ups that’s become synonymous with Jon Bellion’s music.

Mah’s Joint (Quincy Jones)
This song ended me. I think because it’s written from a perspective that is so harshly definitive of where I was when he released this album. It’s essentially a song from Jon’s point of view, directed to his mother, dealing with his grandmother’s Alzheimer’s and when this song was released, it was at the pinnacle point in time of my family going through the same thing. It being the last song on the album felt all the more poignant to me, and it was the song that completely sent me over the edge and had me dissolved into a puddle of tears. I also sent it off to my cousin, my mum and her two sisters and all of them called me minutes after listening to it. My mum even shared this song on her FaceBook and I had a whole army of middle aged women tagging me in the comments to talk about the song for the next week. Then you get this uplifting and beautiful instrumentation, by the one and only Quincy Jones, mixed with Jon’s voice and his own production, and it’s like this huge celebration of life for the last 4 minutes or so of the track.

Let me know if you’ve listened to the album or any of Jon’s music! Plus – I’d love to hear about your favourite vinyl’s!!

x

Priya

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Songs I Wish I Wrote

Hello friends!! Hope you’re well and doing grand.

Today’s post is an interesting one, it’s one I’ve had in my Drafts for a while, and I’ve finally gotten around to working on it and getting out for you guys! The beauty of university break my friends.

Every now and then I listen to a song, and I’m astounded. Like picking my jaw of the floor, tears in my eyes, shooketh to my core. There are simply some songs I wish I wrote first, so I thought I’d collect a few of them for you all and share them in today’s post!

Let me know if you enjoy this post in the comments below.


Human – Jon Bellion: Now, surely you didn’t think we’d be getting through this list without some Jon Bellion? I still remember listening to this song, continuously gasping at all the things Jon says in it. The lyrics are so bloody straightforward – it honestly blew my mind that he was so courageous so say what he does in the song. It’s such a simple message, but I would have been so terrified to release it into the world. This song is in my top five songs from Jon Bellion.

Circle – Allen Stone: It took me some time to come across this song while making my way through my Allen Stone binge back in April, but once I found it, I obsessed over it for a solid month. The chorus is the strongest part of this song for me. Allen’s voice is also incredible strong in this song.

It Runs Through Me – Tom Misch: Tom Misch is a genius and no-one can convince me otherwise. I first listened to this song properly while watching his COLORS performance of it, and I was naturally, astounded. My only issue is that his incredible solo from the video isn’t included in the recorded version as he only did it to fill in for the lack of rap from De La Soul in the COLORS version. This song, is technically so impressive. If I had any theoretical knowledge, this song would be the benchmark.

I’ll Still Have Me – Cyn: I stumbled across this song totally randomly, the music video was recommended for me a few months ago, but I’m so glad I found it. It has such a beautiful message, and I love Cyn’s voice so much.

Never Knock – Kevin Garrett: Kevin Garrett will forever be one of the most underrated artists of all time in my mind. I heard this song first as an acoustic version, with just him, playing a guitar in front a completely silent crowd. Again, he’s technically such a strong performer, but this song game me such emotional chills when I first heard it. There’s really not a lot to this song, other than Kevin’s amazing skill to pull together really heavy, heavy words and ideas in the most delicate way. This song really exemplifies this.

Mine – The 1975: I love The 1975, but this song, this song really does it for me. Close your eyes, and you’re walking through New York, into a dark, warm jazz bar with a guy playing the piano at the back and it’s the cosiest song I’ve ever listened to. And the entire idea of the song, that marriage isn’t the defining feature of love, you don’t have to legally own someone to be theirs, I think it’s such a beautiful sentiment. And when that brush stick starts hitting the snare drum and the saxophone kicks in??? Thank you Lord.

The Heart Is A Muscle – Gang Of Youths: GOY have this knack for writing spiritually enlightening music, that demands you bang your head and scream along to the lyrics like you’re at a heavy metal concert. To date, listening to this song in the mosh pit for Gang of Youths with my two best friends, was the most therapeutic thing I’ve ever experienced. This song says so much, but it’s really the instrumentation and the music and most importantly the performance of this song that makes me wish I had the talent or heart to come up with it first.

Sleep On The Floor – The Lumineers: This is my road trip song. This is the road trip I’m yet to take but have committed to, whether I’m on my own or with a group of friends or with my family, it doesn’t really matter to be honest. This song invokes so much within me, and it’s not a genre I find myself listening to often, but The Lumineers know how to get me going.

Miracle Love – Matt Corby: By now, we should know the love I have for this man and his music. His music is so cathartic and emotional, and this song is one of my favourites. Watching him perform it live was magical.

Love On The Brain – Rihanna: This song made me wish I wrote it first for how it just digs deep into the archives of classic instrumentation, leaning back into a blues/gospel sort of genre that I’ve always loved. Rihanna’s performance of it is also insanity.

Gravity – John Mayer: A classic. An absolute classic that cannot be touched. I’ve yet to find a version of this, a single cover, that touches the original. First off, it’s John Mayer, and he has a super distinct tone to his voice that has aged so, so, well. And then you have to consider that not only does John Mayer sing, but so does his bloody guitar, and his playing style is so intrinsic to this song in particular. Lyrically, it’s not super complicated and I think that’s why so many people love it.

I’ve Couldn’t Be More In Love – The 1975: Another 1975 song. I know. This song is like the best possible 80s love song got reimagine and repurposed for right now, and I love it so much. There’s nothing that can quite compare to the keys in this song, and Matty’s singing in the chorus is possibly my favourite vocal performance from him ever. Especially towards the end with the choir, when he really kicks off. So great. So beautiful.

Bright – Kehlani: A real throwback from the mixtapes. This song was super powerful for me later in my teenage years. It came out in 2015, and for majority of that year and the year after, this song was a really inspiring song for me, one I referenced back to for so many issues and struggles. It’s got such a universal message and of course Kehlani’s voice is always magical.

Boys Will Be Boys – Stella Donnelly: This is my favourite song from Beware of The Dogs. My absolute favourite, and it’s the one that made the most waves when she first released. It’s a huge critique of societal culture and the complacency and double standards show towards the raising and treatment of girls and boys. It’s such a gutsy move to release a song as blunt as BWBB but she does it so beautifully. There’s no theatrics with this song, just a guitar and Stella’s voice and it’s perfect.


There you go! Let me know if you’ve listened to any of these songs, before or after reading my post, because I’d love to get your thoughts on it! Are there any songs you wish you had written? Feel free to share them in the comments!

x

Priya

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Another Jon Bellion Post

Hello friends! Hope you’re all doing well, it’s your resident President of the the Jon Bellion fan club here, coming at you today with a brand new song, from the gift that keeps on giving, the man himself.

As if an album, a magnificent album too, Glory Sound Prep, wasn’t enough, Jon had to drop some ridiculously reasonably priced merchandise – I’m talking $70 total for a hoodie and t-shirt – with shipping to Australia included – he also then had to announce a tour. A tour I’ve been waiting for, for close to five years. And because that wasn’t enough, without any promotion or warning he dropped a surprise documentary about the make of GSP, and now? Now he’s gone and released another track.

It’s obviously been a wild couple of months for me, as you can tell.

Let’s just get into the song.

Crop Circles.

It’s honestly so good, and I’m not just saying that because I’m unprofessionally biased. Jon shared a few videos on Instagram and Twitter of him setting the song up, finding loops and percussion pockets, which by now, we know he’s somewhat a god at.

It follows the story of a relationship that just seems  to crumble, and the different stages of it coming to an end. There’s some wicked sampling and production in this song, but are we really surprised?

It’s another collab with his producers Mark and Volta who’ve contributed heavily to the creation of this sound that Jon’s seemed to have nailed down. I feel like this song has the potential to reach All Time Low success. I mean, I hope so.

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The chorus is such a contrast to the verses, which have so much energy and punch to them. That’s not to say the chorus is any less impressive than the rest of the song. It’s a nice stretch of Jon’s beautiful vocals and I love the rhythm within it, especially towards the end of the song where it keeps vamping and vamping.

I’ve been so impressed and inspired by all the developments and growth that’s taken place with Jon and his music since the release of The Human Condition in 2016. Instead of remaining comfortable with the success he’s achieved and how well that record did, it’s like he used everything he gained from that to push the envelope even further.

I’m so excited for the tour man. Can’t wait.

 

x

Priya

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The Soundtrack To My Life

When I was younger, I used to play this game. It was a sick game, a twisted version of fun, that I used to put myself through, where I would attempt to make mix-tape after mix-tape, of soundtracks that went perfectly with my life. It was a painful process that I somehow found joy in, and today we’re gonna have another crack, just a bit more than eight years since last doing it.

Have a go yourself, join in the torturous process of trying to narrow your life down to a list of ten songs. When you think about it, it’s hard as heck. Considering I’ve been alive for 20 years now, that’s a song for less than half the years in my life, and that’s also considering who I generally am as a person. Someone who listens to music nearly every hour of the day, someone who makes copious amounts of playlists, and someone who has even more set to ‘private’ on Spotify so people don’t think I have an issue.

So naturally, the task is a difficult one for me. And I’m gonna attempt to do it regardless.

The Way You Make Me Feel – Michael Jackson: I can’t count on my fingers the amount of weekends spent playing our Michael Jackson DVD full of all his most beloved music videos and interviews. It was kind of a family tradition, one that I remember vividly. One of my favourite music videos, and favourite songs to date, is The Way You Make Me Feel. I feel like quite a lot of people love the song. It’s shaped the way I listen to my favourite music and even learn music. The first drum fill I learnt was the introduction to the song, and the guitar riff is one of the most notable to exist in my mind. I’ve covered this song extensively, whether it’s in a group of girls singing in harmony, or doing a gig with my guitarist and singing it solo. It’s always a crowd pleaser.

Karma – Alicia Keys: This song shaped a huge part of my childhood. My dad was the one who introduced me to Alicia Keys, at a ridiculously young age, and by the time I was eight or nine I was singing her songs around the house, at singing concerts and in front of family. Karma was one that I sung over and over again, Dad and I both love this song so much, and Alicia Keys is constantly a go to when it comes to singing covers.

Lifestyles Of The Rich And The Famous – Good Charlotte: It’s hard for me not to listen to this song and instantly be thrown back to my childhood. For someone who was raised on RnB, soul, jazz, disco and funk, Good Charlotte played an integral role in getting me to listen to heavier kinds of music, if Good Charlotte could be considered ‘heavier’.

Bring Me Back To Life – Evanescence: Evanescence is definitely along the same lines as Good Charlotte, in that it was incredibly different to what I was listening to otherwise. My dad and I had a huge love for Evanescence, and this song was undoubtedly our favourite, purely because of how often it came on the radio, how much the music video was played on rage and how sing-able the lyrics are.

Guillotine – Jon Bellion: So there’s songs on this list that my Mum and Dad introduced to me. This is where the tables turn, and I introduce them to my favourite artists, Jon Bellion being the most prominent. I recently came across my Mum’s Spotify account, only to find an entire playing entitled ‘Pri’s Picks’, filled with songs I love, largely made up of Jon Bellion. Guillotine is up in my top five favourite songs to ever exist, and it’s played a huge role in my life since I first heard it a couple years ago.

I’m Yours – Jason Mraz: I feel like I’ve mentioned the reasoning behind this song meaning as much as it does before, but for the sake of this playlist being legit I’ll do it again. A couple of years ago I was able to go to a tiny little cluster of islands about four hours out of Fiji called Kiribati, for a school trip with nine other girls from my school. It was a beautiful place, incredibly picturesque and the people were some of the nicest I’ve ever met. We spent about a week living at a boarding school, helping out with teaching classes, hanging out with the students and helping out with projects around the community. At the start of our stay we were asked to perform a song at a welcoming ceremony, or more-so our teachers volunteered us up, and because I was the only musical one, I had to play the song on the guitar while we all sang, in front of this entire school. We thought it was absolute shambles but the school genuinely really enjoyed it, and for the first few days of our stay, I was being called into all the classrooms to write up the chords and lyrics on the chalk boards and teach the students the song. Finally on the last day we had another ceremony, a farewell ceremony, and we were all already pretty emotional, but none of us were able to contain ourselves when the entire school starting singing this Jason Mraz song back to us, after secretly practicing without us that entire week. It was insane, and this song will always remind me of it.

At Last – Etta James: I kind of just always remember this song being that song that my parents drilled into my head as a classic. I grew up watching everyone around me ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ each time it came on, and as I grew up it became second nature, and it was only a couple of years ago that I properly listened to the song and got shivers and the Etta’s vocals and her lyrics and how musically beautiful the song is.

Don’t Know Why (I Didn’t Come) – Norah Jones: While my Dad influenced my love for artists like Michael Jackson and Alicia Keys, my Mum introduced me to singers like Norah Jones, who to this day, still give me shivers. This song is so beautiful, I’ve added it to numerous playlists and I can never find it in myself to skip it. This song especially means heaps to me, just because of the memory’s it hold between my Mum and I.

King Kunta – Kendrick Lamar: I can’t not include this song. I don’t know what it is about this song but I go from 0-100 real quick when it comes on, regardless if I’m by myself or out with my friends. It’s a pretty popular song amongst all my friends, we hype the heck up whenever it comes on and my mum has learnt to accept that I’ll forever an always screech the lyrics from the top of my lungs.

I hope you enjoyed this post, I’ve had it sitting in my drafts for a while because I could never get started with listing the songs, but I’m glad I finally tackled it. That said, my heart breaks for the songs that didn’t make the cut, because if I didn’t give you the condensed version, we’d be here all day. I’d love to hear some of your life soundtrack songs! Let me know in the comments!!

x

Priya

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October Tunes

It’s becoming alarming how quickly the year is coming to an end, but the silver lining at the end of every month, is that I get another opportunity to share some of my favourite music with you all!

Regardless of the fact that October ending means there’s only two months left in the year, it means I get to share what music I was loving this month, and this month I was really loving music. University coming to an end meant that I was listening to tunes on end while procrastinating doing my assignments and homework, listening to my study playlist when I eventually go around to doing some work and then having the time to blast music 24/7 after finishing up for the year. PLUS, October was a great month for new releases and new discoveries, so there’s always that to look forward to.

Hopefully you find something you enjoy on this playlist, let me know what you were listening to during October!

CONVERSATIONS WITH MY WIFE – JON BELLION: JON’S RELEASING AN ALBUM NEXT MONTH. I don’t know if you’ve caught it, but I have a huge adoration/admiration/obsession for Jon Bellion, and I nearly screamed when he posted that this song was up on his Spotify. It’s everything I expected from Jon, but heaps more and I love it. The production is amazing, out of this world, but the lyrics don’t suffer, they’re intense and catchy and everything just works together perfectly. Listen to this song. It’s kinda like going to a digital church.

Stay – Mac Ayres: I can’t take any credit for this. My friend/coworker/guitarist showed me this artist one day at work, and I was instantly obsessed. I believe the term is ‘milky’ but ‘smooth’, ‘warm’ and ‘toasty’ also suffice enough to even try describing this guy’s voice. It’s insane. That too, majority of his songs feature that really sweet, vintage guitar tone that you all know I love talking on and on about. It’s a ‘Daniel Caesar-type’ mood, so if you’re a fan of Daniel Caesar, Sabrina Claudio, Omar Apollo or boy pablo, definitely check Mac Ayres out.

Water on the Bridge – Chelsea Cutler: I discovered this artist through another artist I’ve been loving for a while, Christian French. You can read the post I did about Christian HERE. Christian is currently on tour, and he’s supporting Chelsea Cutler, so while I was writing up his post, I decided to have a listen to some of her music, and while I had heard a one of her songs before, I’d never really listened to anything else or done any further investigating. Boy do I regret that. Chelsea has some incredible songs, but this song is by far my favourite. It’s so ethereal and the lyrics are so sad and angry at the same time and I love it. Have a listen.

Girls Need Love – Summer Walker: I was introduced to this artist by a friend from uni who, get this, ‘heard it and thought I’d really like it’. That’s one of my favourite things in the world, when people hear a song and think you’d appreciate it and go out of their way to let you know you should listen to it. Love that. Anyway. Summer Walker. Wait for that post to come, because trust me, it’s coming. This song is a bop. A smooth, RnB bop. SZA, Kehlani, H.E.R type bop. Get around it.

If Tomorrow Never Comes – Swiss, Etana: Okay. If Tomorrow Never Comes by Ronan Keating is one of my favourite songs. It’s a family favourite. On the other hand, reggae is one of my favourite genres. Island music? All over it, as is my family. A reggae, island cover of If Tomorrow Never Comes? I’m done. This song made my jaw drop, and it’s nothing spectacular in terms of how they switch it up or anything, because you know what song it is immediately, the singers are all just gorgeous and inject that island quality singing into the song, and this song just makes me feel all warm and toasty inside.

Where Did I Go? – Jorja Smith: Jorja Smith needs no introduction here on the blog so I’m not gonna give it. All I’ve going to say, is her album is the gift that keeps on giving. It’s like each song is tailored to be a single all on it’s own, released at just the right moment, when in reality, every single song is just a hit. Where Did I Go is my latest obsession from the Lost & Found album.

MICHUUL. – Duckwrth: I overheard this song while I was at the gym. The somewhat dancehall, beat, layered vocals and simple synths somehow reached me over my own music, so much so that I pulled out my headphones and shazaam’d the song. It’s such a ridiculously good, groovy tribute to Michael Jackson, without going out of it’s way to be over sentimental. As a huge Michael Jackson fan, I love this song.

THUG LIFE – BROCKHAMPTON: It took me a while to get through the recent BROCKHAMPTON album, but when I did I was easily able to pick THUG LIFE as my favourite song from it. I just really love the vocals on it and the production on a whole.

Hocus Pocus – Clark Beckham: I discovered Clark through my favourite musician on the planet, Jon Bellion. If you missed my post all about Clark Beckham, had a read of that, it’s all you need to understand how much I love this artist. This song in particular, is my absolute favourite and I get shivers every time I hear it.

For How Long – RINI: DUDES. I’ve shared some of RINI’s music on here before, but next month, I’m going to his EP Launch concert!! I didn’t really know anyone else who listened to his music, and so told one of my friends at work, the same friend who plays guitar for me, and mentioned that he was on a list of musicians and songs I had given my friend to listen to, and he recognised the name, mentioned that he actually loved him, and we basically bought out tickets at my desk at work, so now I’m super, duper keen.

I Don’t Lack Imagination – E^ST: This song was a Triple J discovery for me personally. I’m starting to think I need to seriously look into E^ST and the rest of her songs, because so far of the two that have made their way onto the radio and become somewhat popular, she’s been two for two and they’ve both been amazing. This one especially.

Wonderful – Mullaly: This is one of my favourite pre pre-game songs. Pre pre-game, as in, getting ready for the pre-game. Like doing your makeup with your friends or by yourself. I have an entire playlist dedicated to that specific mood, check it out on my Spotify. It’s a really up-beat, percussive song, and I love how bouncy it is, that said, it’s incredibly easy to sing along to. It’s a very happy song.

Tadow – Masego, FKJ: cannot wait to see Masego at Laneway Festival in February next year (with Mia???). Tadow was one of the first songs I ever heard from Masego, and it’s one of my favourites. I heard it playing at a bar I was doing a gig at before we got on stage and made a mental note to add it to some of my playlists, and ever since then I’ve been loving it even more.

Beautiful – Bazzi: This particular song makes the cut because of my little sister. Somehow she managed to get the lyrics oh so incredibly wrong, yet sing them with all the confidence she had, so because of how many times I spent correcting her, I ended up listening to the song over and over again and adding it to playlists, then listening to it in the car, on the way to work and university, and that’s how it’s on this list.

Dangerous – Kaien Cruz: I have not a single clue how I came across this song, but I have, and no one I’ve asked knows it. If you do know this song, please leave me a comment because I need someone to obsess over it with. This song is incredible. It’s an injustice that more people haven’t heard it.

Social Jungle – Herizen: After recently following Herizen on Instagram after my The Get Down binge, I’ve been keeping tabs on her music career. This song, is amazing. This song has such an slinky, underground vibe, and Herizen’s voice fits the style perfectly. She has another song, Come Over To My House, that’s equally as fitting, I recommend you have a listen to both of the songs!

Bad – Lennon Stella: Lennon Stella. 1/2 of the duo, Lennon and Maisy, who I’ve been in love with for quite a few years now. I’ve always loved both their voices, but it seems Lennon, the eldest, is making her moves musically right now, and I’m loving it. She recently featured on a song with Liam Payne and Jonas Blue, but I don’t love it half as much as I love this song. This song is beautiful. It’s so sweet sonically, but the lyrics are a really strong contrast to the music, and I’m all about it.

when the party’s over – billie eilish: I feel like this song kind of shut down the world. For the first couple of days after it was released, I couldn’t look through my Instagram stories without seeing someone sharing it. The first time I heard it gave me major nostalgia. Billie actually sang this song back in April at her concert, and she sang it so beautifully, and as soon as I heard it I messaged my friends who I went with to see if they realised it was the same song we heard all those months ago. This is one of my favourite Billie Eilish songs to date.

So that’s what I was listening to in October! If you loved any of these songs, let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear what you were listening to this month!

x

Priya

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Have You Heard Of Clark Beckham??

Okay. Clark Beckham. Get around it.

I first heard Clark Beckham sing, through all things good, through Jon Bellion. If you haven’t read my post about Jon and my slight obsession with his music and his style, I suggest you do so.

One of my favourite performances by Jon is his acoustic version of his song, All Time Low. Not only do I just love the song in general, it’s probably one of his most famous songs considering it managed to get onto the radio here in Australia, but when he performs it live, it’s magnetic.

The acoustic version is a lot more stripped back, and it’s here that we see Clark Beckham enter.

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//source//

Those of you readers from the USA, might recognise his name. He finishes as the runner up on season fourteen of American Idol, where he smashed it, however after the show he went on to sign to Quincy Jones’ label in 2016, which is kind of huge.

He ended up joining Jon on tour in 2017, and I found him through the All Time Low (Acoustic) video on YouTube.

Bare with me, watch the entire thing, you can thank me when you get to the end. Just keep an eye on lil ol’ Clark in the purple. (If you’re an impatient type of person, skip to 2:33, but know that I’m judging you if you do so).

Yeah. So that run at 3:30 had me shooketh and I had to do some digging in the comments to figure out who he was, and finally finding his name, Google’d the heck out of him, eventually finding his own music on Spotify.

My dudes.

Clark Beckham’s vocals are some of the smoothest vocals I’ve heard in a while, and I have major regrets that I stopped watching American Idol in the late 2000’s and missed this absolute gem.

His song Hocus Pocus from his album Year One hands down gave me shivers when I first heard it. It has such a groovy breakdown halfway through, it’s been a go-to for me since hearing it and I’ve been trying to share it with everyone. He features on quite a few of my Spotify playlists especially  my driving playlist.

I feel like there’s a couple different moods to driving playlists, and Clark Beckham fits perfectly into the ‘by yourself, feeling the tunes’ category.

 

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His first song under the Quincy Jones Management, I Need, is equally as smooth. Like the first line hits you in the gut so intensely, you already know the rest of the song is gonna be just as impressive. Which it is.

Sleep is another favourite from his album. He kinda takes it where you don’t expect it to go. His voice is so gentle, but he comes out every now and then with this huge amount of power that all his songs are incredible dynamic and genuinely interesting to listen to. And then the chorus comes in and it’s the one of the most sweetest melodies I’ve ever heard and he sings it perfectly.

His songs are the perfect balance of groove and funk, but also powerful ballad style vocals and technique. You know that’s the stuff I like.

If I haven’t given you enough reason to go check out Clark Beckham, maybe scroll back up and watch the video again then ask yourself ‘why??’. He’s such an insanely talented singer, I can never get enough of his voice. Let me know if you listen to any of the songs I mentioned, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

x

Priya

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VISUALIFY: An Update

Hey friends!

Today I thought I’d touch base with what’s now become one of my most favourite websites to exist, Visualify.

I wrote a post all about Visualify a little while back, which I softly suggest you give a read, because I get most of the rambling done in that one, but if you can’t be bothered then I’ll fill you in.

Last year, quite a few people, me being one of them, shared their Spotify 2017 Wrapped, which gave you a run down of your listening habits for the year, such as how many minutes of music you listened to in total, the artists you listened to and the songs you listened to the most, how many songs you skipped, which genres your listening styles fell under and quite a bit more.

However.

The Spotify Wrapped only captured everything at the end of the year. It only gives you a roundup of the entire year, and once I was shown those stats and details of my listening habits, I was hungry for more.

Thus began the search for an app, a website, a number-cruncher of some sort, that could show me my stats throughout the year!

Enter Visualify.

Visualify shows you your rough listening habits in terms of artists and songs on a monthly basis, a weekly basis, and of all time, encompassing your entire Spotify listening history. Which is sick.

For this post, I thought I’d give you an update on how my Spotify Visualify is shaping up during the month of August!

 

THIS MONTHTop Artists Jon BellionDrakeChris BrownBruno MarsCardi BTop SongsNew York Soul - Pt. ii - Jon BellionJim Morrison - Jon BellionGuillotine - Jon BellionHand Of God - Outro - Jon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THIS YEARTop ArtistsJon BellionBruno MarsChris BrownAmineDrakeTop SongsHeaven - Julia MichaelsMoon River - Frank OceanAll The Stars - Kendrick Lamar, SZAKill V. Maim - GrimesI Like It -

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ALL TIMETop Artists Chris BrownJon BellionEd SheeranKehlaniCalvin HarrisTop SongsMi Gente - J BalvinGuillotine - Jon BellionHeebiejeebies - Amine, KehlaniCRZY - KehlaniKiwi - Harry Style

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

x

Priya

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Jon Bellion And The Obsession

Hello friends.

This is me, back from the dead, after dying. Losing my life. I swear to God.

Why?

I went to update one of my recent posts, my Week In My Life, and for some reason, the entire post was a bit slow to load, while I reposted the blog post again – major key, cheers Mia – and when I updated the time that I posted it, I realised that the entire post was just gone. Checked my phone, gone. Closed and refreshed the page, gone.

Thank God, for the little ‘History’ button up the top, or else I’d have lost a week long writing and editing endeavour that does not deserve that type of treatment.

But on to today’s post.

 


 

I apologise if you’re bored of reading this man’s name, but here I am again, with a blog post about me just plugging my love/adoration/awe/respect/undying love for Long Island singer/songwriter/producer/rapper Jon Bellion. This will in fact be the second post about Jon.

Strap yourselves in.

 

Surely that video is introduction enough.
And yes. I did watch this video on YouTube when I was getting the link for it and then again before I continued writing.


 

I first heard a Jon Bellion song when I was 15 years old. In the last post I did on Jon, I mentioned that Guillotine was the first song I ever heard by him, but that was a lie. Apologies.

The first song I ever heard was Ooh, featuring Christianne Jensen (his sister!!!), from his 2014 album, The Definition. And in all honestly, I wasn’t hooked straight off the first bar.

But.

One of my favourite things about Jon’s music is the ever-changing and growing nature of it. It feels like it’s this constant rollercoaster and unless you’re already well accustomed to his style or his catalogue, you can’t predict where he’s going to take you. Halfway through the song, you can be assured that he’s probably going to take to somewhere completely unexpected.

That was what made me stick around for the rest of the song, his switch ups were so unpredictable.

That and the insane drum pockets he manages to find in all his songs, whether he’s beat boxing them into the microphone himself or loading samples into a drum machine so he play out the rhythm and the groove just the way he wants them.

 

 

Like Jon, I’m obsessed with finding intricate grooves and pockets for drum rhythms within songs. While I’m still trying to work on it in regards to my own music, watching Jon physically play all the beats on his drum machine, or record his vocals, whether he’s yelling, beat boxing or moving around the room to really create a huge sonic space, then turning them into bite sized samples that he pieces together to form the framework for the rest of the song to flow through, is mind boggling.

His entire production style and way of thinking is just so inspiring and innovative. Things like trumpet lines that he chooses to play through an AKAI for Luxury, or using his voice and editing it as a substitution for a lead guitar in Superman, The Gift and The Curse.

Guillotine was the next song I listened to, and it’s the one that made me cry, and scream and literally jump and want to rip my hair out and I know. It sounds like I’m exaggerating, but it 100% is no exaggeration.

 

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The other day, my dad and I ended up having to go into the city around the same time, so we caught the train in together, he to work and I to university. He’s become accustomed to hearing me sing Jon’s songs around the house often, and that morning’s car drive to the station had been me explaining my absolute love the man and his music, and how if I ever somehow got to meet him, my body would quite possible shut down. Which then went on to him kinda, but not completely, getting a grasp of how influential this man and his music was on my life, and then me pulling up ‘The Making of Guillotine’ on YouTube as we stood on the train, and forcing him to watch it.

 

 

We only got halfway through, but that same day when my dad came home from work in the evening, he came and sat down next to me on the couch, and asked to finish the rest of it. Which turned into me showing him nearly every single ‘The Making Of’ video, as well as live performances and interviews and acoustic versions. Long story short, I’m pretty sure if Jon Bellion comes to Australia, my dad’s coming with me to the concert.

 

//photo by @dxtrf//

//photo by @dxtrf//

The thing that I love the most about Jon, is that his music stands the test of time. One of the biggest lessons I’ve ever, ever learnt, is to try not to make ‘time sensitive’ or ‘time relevant’ music, because eventually, it becomes irrelevant, and people aren’t likely to listen to it. It drastically decreases the shelf life of a song, if you base the entirety of it’s production or lyrical content around a current trend that’s more than likely to die off in a year or two. It’s better to make a song you’re proud of that’s just genuinely a good tune than to try and make a song based and defined by current trends.

You could hear the same song of his two or three years apart and still feel it in you blood as it gives you goosebumps.

One of the biggest factors that allows me to solidify Jon Bellion as one of my idols, is the fact that when I first discovered him, I was only 15 and he blew my mind. Then I discovered his ‘The Making Of’ videos on YouTube when I was 17, and he blew my mind. I fully understood the depth of his genius, ingenuity, talent and passion at 19, soon to be 20, and he still blew my mind. I genuinely find myself with his songs running through my head all through the day, from morning until the night and even then, I have them in my head while I’m in bed and I’m positive I probably sing them in my sleep too.

The fact that the same songs, regardless of how many more amazing new songs he puts out, still manage to drop my jaw to the floor and have me shooketh, is a testament to how they’re purely incredible songs, and they stand alone in how great they are, regardless of the trending genre or popular production styles at the current moment.

 

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//photo by @dxtrf//

Of the many things I’ve already listed that have added to this obsession, another is his lyrics. If not the beats, then the lyrics definitely make my jaw drop at least once in each song. There are so many clever double-meanings, insinuations, rhymes that shouldn’t rhyme, things that he says that you would just never expect to hear in a song for some reason, and he makes it all sound so incredible.

He somehow manages to reference Jim Morrison and The Doors, Abbey Road, Blueprint, Michael Jordan, Kanye, The Notorious B.I.G (Christopher Wallace), Bob Marley, Chris Zarou and Will Smith in his song Jim Morrison, a song that has become a staple during car drives with my dad.

Honestly just think about the chorus in The Monster by Eminem featuring Rihanna and hear the gears turn in your head when you realise that holy shit, Jon Bellion wrote that too. Along with a whole tirade of songs that he produced and wrote for other artists.

His voice is so versatile and strong, going from singing like an angel in Human to rapping like a god in New York Soul – Pt. ii, and then doing both in Halloween. He is insane.

 

 

He’s a huge inspiration for me. I could only think of a few other artists who I see at the same level as Jon Bellion, personally. The way he writes, the way he produces, the words he chooses to share and the stories he tells either have me laughing, smiling, screaming along or crying. Without failure. He doesn’t lie in his music, and he isn’t afraid of calling himself out, or speaking about things that others may not try and touch, lyrically.

To make it even better, last year, on my birthday, the song Obsession  with Vice and Kyle, and it was like…Jon. @ me next time please. Happy Birthday to me.

I rarely make artist specific playlists. The only two I have, are my lads playlist which is definitely on private, and definitely dedicated to One Direction for moments when I need a fix, and my jon bellion playlist. Make sure you check it out. I say that a lot, but I mean it a lot more this time.

Below, is a list of some of my favourite Jon Bellion songs. We all know the love I have for Guillotine,  but there are heaps of songs that hit me in the soul the way that one does too, and his previous three albums are a treasure trove of incredible, blood pumping music.

(note how I’ve linked every single song because of how serious I am about this music)
(also appreciate the immense effort it’s taken not to keep coming back to this post and adding more songs to this list every other hour)

 

Guillotine – Jon Bellion
He Is The Same – Jon Bellion
Dead Man Walking – Jon Bellion
New York Soul – Part. ii – Jon Bellion
Luxury – Jon Bellion
Human – Jon Bellion
Woke The F*ck Uo – Jon Bellion
Superman, The Gift And The Curse – Jon Bellion
Morning In America – Jon Bellion
Hand Of God – Outro – Jon Bellion
Halloween – Jon Bellion
Jim Morrison – Jon Bellion
For The Dreamers – Jon Bellion
Woodstock (Psychedelic Fiction) – Jon Bellion

 

Omg EDIT; you definitely need to hear some of his acoustic versions. Linked for your convenience and to ensure you don’t have an excuse not to hear this magic.

Run. Wild. Acoustic. Version.

Magic to your ears, bless your souls, feed your children, feed your children’s children, all you need.

Run Wild (Acoustic)
Woke The F*ck Up (Acoustic)
Human (Acoustic)
All Time Low (Acoustic)

 

 

I hope you guys enjoyed this post. Articulating my thoughts, about artists as inspiring and as talented as Jon can be challenging for me to do so without sounding like I’m babbling, but hopefully the message got across! I know it’s a but of an overkill linking you guys five videos and hoping you watch them all, but honestly, Jon Bellion can’t be summed up into words. We’re four weeks into the university semester and I’ve definitely already managed to somehow work him into my latest assignment.

As of this moment, I’ve scheduled this post, and then come back to add more and more to it a minimum of six times.

Oh well, off to wait patiently for my Jon Bellion merch to arrive :)) My birthday’s today and I was hoping it’d be here by now, but we can wait…

 

EDIT: I have quite possibly started a cult. Story time. I was at another rehearsal, and my drummer suddenly piped up going, “Hey have you guys heard this song, Guillotine?” Yes my dude. So then my guitarist goes, “Where did you hear it?” and we learn that my guitarist’s girlfriend, and my friend, showed it to my drummer. So then my guitarist goes, “Hey, she heard it from me!” which obviously causes me to grin at him, and go “And where did you hear it from?” knowing full well I showed him at work, so now the Jon love is spreading and it’s only a matter of time before I form a club. Message me for membership info.

x

Priya

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Charlie Puth and Jon Bellion Should Have A Child

Hey friends. What’s happening, what’s up, what’s fresh?

The title’s weird and a little bit alarming, just roll with it, it’ll make it a whole lot easier on all of us if you do.

Basically. If you know anything about me and my life outside of this blog, you would know that I am a musician. It’s one of the many slashes in my ever-changing title, and I’m working hard to make it legit.

How?” you ask, well by somewhat attempting to make music, make better music, and make music that people actually enjoy, and it’s taking it’s own sweet time in happening, but I’m having heaps of fun while we get there.

One of the things I’ve been doing to better my limited production knowledge, explore my style a bit more, expand on what I know and what I don’t, is research. Since ordering one of my most wanted items on my wish list a few weeks back, the AKAI MPK Mini midi keyboard, I’ve been looking into how other people are using it, the way it works, how to load sounds up, and ultimately that usually leads me down the YouTube music and production rabbit hole.

One of my favourite things to do, is watch how producers make their songs. There are some amazing producers who work with some of my favourite artists, and channels like Rolling Stone and Genius on YouTube have heaps of videos that show the thought processes and construction of some of the most popular songs at the moment.

However.

My favourite of these videos, are the ones where the artist and the producers, are one. For example.

I couldn’t keep track of how many times I smiled during that video from sheer awe of the genius and intuition and innovation in the man. I’ve never listened to anything by Charlie Puth and not enjoyed it, but it’s very clear that a lot of his recent music is vastly different from his older music. Attention was the song that really made me say, ‘Hell yeah, I’m a Charlie Puth fan‘. AND. Voice memos. My life. It’s great seeing people’s eyes widen when they see the amount of voice memos I have on my iPhone, purely for the same reasons as Charlie, I can’t read or write music, so if I forget a melody or a harmony or anything, I’m screwed.

I also definitely made my dad stop his actual business work so I could explain how impressed I was with the simple idea of how he set up the guitar in the introduction, similar to a way I’ve seen Jon Bellion ‘record’ trumpets, but we shall get to that man in a bit.

It’s just the whole process is full of ideas and small bursts of genius that make so many things outside of what was supposedly the realm of realistic expectations of a musician who can’t read or write music, possible.

Sorry for my tangent.

And then you watch this, with Mura Masa.

My favourite part is is explanation of the steel pans and how they come to be such an integral part of the song. Also, his explanation of all the vocals that he cuts up and pitches up and down, it’s super duper inspiring and interesting to watch. I got so many shivers watching that video in particular.

Like I said though, Jon Bellion, for me, is in a whole different world. The musicality, the vocabulary, the voice, the way his entire body jolts and shifts when he hits upon something good. When he talks about the lyrics it’s literally as if he’s doing a spoken word performance.

I may not mention it as often as you would assume I probably should, but Guillotine, will forever be one of my favourite songs. Ever.

There’s also the contrast between John, and the last two artists, Charlie and Mura Masa, in how he’s very intent on bringing the live music element into it, rather than recording and producing solely electronically, and there’s nothing wrong with either, but I love how videos like these can highlight the versatility and potential in both. He’s also so appreciative of everyone who jumps in to help him, and you can see how excited he gets when they bounce their ideas back and forth.

I don’t know if it’s too much to share that I cried at the end of this video when they pieced it all together…

x

Priya

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Dear Jon

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Honestly, I’m sure you’ve heard of Jon Bellion. If you haven’t, I’m positive you’ve heard at least one of his songs. I nearly jumped out of my car seat when I heard All Time Low on the radio here in Australia.

Not only does he have a crazy voice to match incredible sound production and creativity, but his lyrics are so moving and different and powerful, and that’s one of the reasons why he’s honestly one of my favourite artists ever. I’m not sure why it’s taken me this long to start writing this blog post.

 

 

I can’t remember exactly when I first heard Jon, but I know that it was a few years ago. The first song of his I ever heard was called Guillotine. To this day it’s in my Top Five songs ever, and I don’t foresee it moving from that place any time soon.

 

 

His lyrics are some of the best lyrics I’ve ever heard in my life. Listen to The Definition, his album released in 2014, straight through. It’s a trip. And then listen to The Human Condition which he released in 2016. That album has changed the entire way that I look at song writing AND song production.

Listening to Guillotine is an experience. To hear a voice that sweet and soft, with so many intricate layers in the vocals alone, combined with such hard-hitting beats and synths gives me goosebumps every time.

There’s bones in my closet, but you hang stuff anyway.

I remember audibly gasping when I first ever heard that line. In a song thats perfect for grooving along to and literally head banging, the lyrics are so perfect and soul-bearing it’s crazy.

Another song to listen to is Human. But listen to the acoustic version. It’s a little bit slower, lower even, but carries the lyrics so much better in my opinion. Just another list of my favourite lyrics:

  •  There’s someone gorgeous in my bed tonight, but I’m still petrified that I’ll die alone
  • I’m just so sick of being human
  • My mother calls I have no time to talk, but I can find the time to drink and smoke
  • But Lauren call me when you hear this song (forever wishing I was Lauren)
  • See I got GPS on my phone, and I can follow it to get home, if my location’s never unknown, tell me why I still feel lost

So basically the entire song. But it’s something about listening to literally only Jon and the piano paired up for this song that does something to the lyrics, that makes them ten times as powerful compared to the studio version.

Another asset that assists this obsession is his YouTube channel where Bellion posts behind the scenes clips, that show the step-by-step process of putting together the songs on his latest album, PLUS an insight into his thinking and ways of processing his thoughts into the music he releases. I’m pretty sure I watched all of them in one sitting.

DO YOURSELF A FAVOUR

 

Watching and listening to Jon literally pull together all the songs on his own and utilise the people around him to bring them to life is amazing.

And then on my birthday, on my birthday, Jon and Vice released a new song, called Obsession. @ me next time. Make it a bit more direct.

It’s pretty sweet. I’m desperately hoping it makes it’s rounds and somehow finds it’s way onto the radio here. If you think of the groove in Sexual by NEIKED, and then combine it with Jon’s sweet, sweet voice and real-shit lyrics, you have Obsession. Here you go.

 

 

One of my favourite songs from Jon is called Luxury. There is always so much going on in Bellion’s songs; it’s intentional. While sometimes other artists and musicians get caught up in the production process and add anything and everything in, the chaos that Jon creates has so much intent and cause behind it, it’s blinding. As a musician, its really inspiring.

Luxury is packed to the brim with amazing things. The main riff is a chorus of trumpets. Initially you assume he just pulled some trumpet players into the studio and recorded the line. Nah. He got one dude, to record every single note, each individual tone, pulled them all into a mixer, then played the line himself. The rhythm, the funk, the whole feel behind the trumpet line that drives this song is all Jon. I lost my mind watching The Making Of: Luxury. Lost my mind.

Add in the vocals. The lead vocals are so simple, but each phrase contains so many little intricacies, and whenever I sit and listen to one of Jon’s songs with the intent of understanding the lyrics and listening to what he’s saying, my mind is blown and it was no different with Luxury.

 

 

 

 

And then in the bridge, he brings in Audra Mae. Jon makes it clear that he has no cares for collaborating with big names for the sake of publicity. In remaining true to the authenticity all his music carries, Jon pulled Audra onto this track, solely for the quality of her voice and not for the weight of her name, and it’s like you can hear that in her voice. I can’t really get across how incredible listening to this and watching Audra sing while Jon listened at the same time was, so you just have to watch the behind the scenes video. Pls.

I’m desperate to see Jon live. His concerts look so hyped, and there has to be some sort of magic taking place when you get to hear those lyrics and those beats live. I’d pay hundreds of dollars to see Jon live. I’d go by myself if I had to. I know that won’t be the case because I have one of my best friends who can appreciate a great musician with me, but if it was necessary, I’d do it without blinking. No doubt.

Let me know what you think of Jon. Or if you’re already familiar with the genius, what’s your favourite song? Let me know! Hope you’re all well.

x

p.f