Thursday, November 30, 2017

You and I

This past year has been......... a trip and a half. On a personal and global level. I've come to appreciate music that I can turn up and block the world out. One of my favourite bands for this has been PVRIS.

Photo by Brandon Taelor Aviram [source]

PVRIS is comprised of Lynn Gunn, Alex Babinski, and Brian MacDonald, and their band's name is pronounced 'Paris'. Even though I know that, I still find my brain reading it as 'Purvis' of all things. I... am not in the mood to discuss genre or dissect sound. All I know is, when I need life blocked out, their music has what it takes to do so.

This summer they released a new album, All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell, which I love. But today, I want to talk about their first album: White Noise. While All We Know of Heaven... took a while to grow on me, White Noise was an instant obsession. It came out in 2014 originally, but it was re-released as a deluxe album in 2016. I was pretty late to the PVRIS party, so it's the deluxe version that I own. I'm actually rather shocked, because while writing this post, I realized the two songs that I was originally obsessed with from the album ('Empty' and 'You and I') were not on the original release, and were added to the deluxe version as the first two tracks. I can't believe I didn't know this for a full year. I've definitely read things that should've made me realize this, but apparently I blipped right past them. (Also yes I know my pet peeve is different versions of albums, but what can you do?)

I particularly wanted to write about this album before this month ended, because I listened to White Noise a lot last November. It ties in strongly with important events from that month: my trip to NYC, NaNoWriMo, and even the election. (The last one is because I hadn't bought the album yet, but I was so depressed the day after the election that I bought it. Retail therapy, I guess? More like retail survival.)

Wow, on that note I'm at a loss at where to go. I'll let the music speak for itself, I guess? I'm posting the aforementioned song, 'You and I'.

A theme of this blog has been listening to music that no one in my life knows and can comment on, but regrettably my little brother knew of this band before I... and speaks disparagingly of them. Alright, lil bro. That will not stop me from cranking them up when I am [insert negative emotion here]. (Not to say that I don't ever listen to PVRIS when I'm happy, because I do that, as well.)

It's always nice to return here. I make no promises, but I do have a lot of music I want to burble about...

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Live As You Dream

One of my favourite ways to find new music is via television shows. There have been a number of artists I've discovered because the soundtrack to something I was watching caught my attention and made me start googling lyrics to figure out what the delightful sound I was hearing was.

While this can be a good way to find new indie artists (especially on current television), I've also found it works connecting me to older artists of whom I had heard but never listened to. (And by older I do not mean "old" but musicians who have been doing their thing for a couple decades.)

Last year, I was watching the (slightly obscure) 90s British drama Playing the Field and I became very interested in one of the couples. I wonder why....

[gif made by me because I'm the only one who caaaares]

As I was rewatching their scenes (probably for the third time or so...), I realized that the same song was playing in a couple of their scenes. (It wasn't even playing in the forefront of the scene, just like on the character's stereo in the background. I felt like a detective. A very gay detective.)

 I googled the lyrics and discovered it was the song 'Live As You Dream' by Beth Orton.

[photo source]

 I'd heard of Beth Orton, but never listened to her music. But on a whim (and because it was cheap), I bought her 1996 album Trailer Park which the song 'Live As You Dream' appears on.

Trailer Park was Beth Orton's first album, and honestly I had no idea what to expect. I hadn't even known she'd been recording since the 90s. But I quickly grew extremely found of the album. I listened to it a lot while driving, and had to make sure I kept it in my car for the roadtrips I took last year. Though even after listening to the album many times, I still didn't really know how to categorize her style of music. Well, until I Wikipedia-ed her just now, where her genre is referred to as "folktronica". That makes a lot of sense, as the songs on Trailer Park vary from straightforward folk-rock to hazy ten-minute trips.

The song I'm posting today is, of course, the one that started all this: 'Live As You Dream'. It continues to be my favourite song on the album. Honestly, it's hard for me not to smile when it comes on. (I think because it's a happy song, but also it might have something to do with the association of my TV ship. Haha.)

Can you believe I actually posted again before another year went by? I'm not sure I can. Let's see if I can do it again......

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Don't Be So Hard On Yourself

This morning I felt an inspiration to write this blog post, so I'm running with it before motivation dissipates.

I've been meaning to write a blog post here for... over a year. Specifically about the song I'm posting today, which has been at the top of my Top 25 Most Played for, well, over a year.

I might be doing a series of posts, talking about my year and the music I've been listening to. Or I might cop out and let this post suffice. Who can say!


The song I am posting today is 'Don't Be So Hard on Yourself' by Jess Glynne.

Photo credit: Simon Emmett

This song is from her debut album I Laugh When I Cry. It was also released as a single, and reached the top of the UK charts. (Which is also true for several other songs on this album!) I'm not sure how this album came onto my radar, but I bought it in 2015 a couple month after it was released. I clearly can remember downloading it as a treat while I was working, which involved staying at someone's house and looking after everything because they were sick. The album was a much-needed treat, indeed, and from then on, I've listened to this album a LOT.

[Side note: the great thing about researching an album while writing blog posts is that I've found out I have the North American version of the album, and the UK version has several more tracks! I'm going to track (heh) them down as soon as I finish writing this post. (Also: it's 2017. Why is having different albums in different countries still a thing?? This has been a pet peeve of mine for years.)]

I Laugh When I Cry is a pretty equal mix of love songs and break-up songs. Jess Glynne went through a significant break-up with her girlfriend, which was the inspiration for several songs on the album.

(Ohhh, that's how I must've heard about this album: The Queer Grapevine.)

Little Miss Hipster Me's music taste has swerved slightly in the past couple years. This album is a pop delight with some dance, as well. I'm not even sure I would've liked it five years ago. But it's perfect for where I'm at these days. Especially 'Don't Be So Hard on Yourself'. As someone who tends to be very hard on herself (thanks to severe social anxiety!), listening to this song has soothed me on multiple occasions. Also it's just fun. What more could you ask for in a song?

Also the site I used to host files on no longer works properly, so you can no longer conveniently listen to most of what I've posted in the past. Quite annoying. Part of me wants to go back and re-upload everything, but I might have to stifle that urge. (But I probably won't.) I'll just be using youtube embeds for the time being.

Alright, that's all for now. I'll be back soon! (Maybe!)