It’s two thirds of the way through the month and I haven’t posted once! I’ve been having mad creative block, trying to think of something worth writing about. Due to said mad creative block, I’ve been listening to way more music than usual so I thought I should share the songs that have been running through my mind all month:
“Writer in the Dark” – Lorde
I’m in love with all of Melodrama to be honest, but for some reason, this song really stands out for me – probably because I’m a sucker for dramatic one-note piano parts (kind of related – here’s my cover of “Liability”). I bought tickets to her Wellington show later in the year and I’m so super pumped – I saw her in 2014 and she was amazing live.
“Stuck” – Noah Cyrus
I’ve been wrestling with my unexpected love of Noah Cyrus’ music, but I’ve come to accept that she has a damn good voice and sings some damn catchy songs – I’m now unashamed of my new obsession. I’ve been repeating the acoustic version of “Make Me (Cry)” since it came out but her new single “I’m Stuck” is unreasonably catchy and has such a cool rhythm, it’s definitely the best thing I’ve heard from her yet.
“Machine” – The Horrors
After three long years, The Horrors have finally released a new song. I’m loving the direction they’re heading in (but in all honesty, I’m such a fangirl that I’d be in love with anything they released). I can’t wait for the new album to come out (and with it, hopefully some NZ tour dates!). I’ve seen them live three times now (not to mention that time I actually met them) and it’ll never be enough.
“Sorry” – Halsey
I loved Halsey’s first album, partly because her songs are damn catchy and also because her songs are in the perfect place in my voice (here’s my cover of “Ghost”, if you’re interested). This song off her new album is really lovely and it’s definitely on my list of songs to cover when I’m next with my piano.
My new flat doesn’t have space for a piano and I can’t afford a keyboard just yet, so I can only play the piano when I visit my parents. While I miss being able to play the piano every day, it’s kind of nice having to go to my parents’ house because it means that I visit them more often and still see my cat regularly (he has not forgiven me for going to Canada and is even more mad that I’ve moved out since coming back to NZ). Anyway, I mentioned in my last post that I was planning on covering Broods’ song “Heartlines” and when I went to my parents’ house yesterday I finally got the chance to record it (and to remind my cat that I still love him).
Luke Thompson: Luke Thompson is an incredible musician. I’ve seen him live twice now: once with Avalanche City and once when he opened for Passenger. This song is a few years old but is a particular favourite of mine – I love it when singers really go for it in one huge, emotional note and he nails it in this song.
The Naked and Famous: Everyone knows The Naked and Famous because of “Young Blood”, which is a fantastic song, but they have plenty of other wicked songs too. I’ve always loved “Girls Like You” off their debut but lately I’ve been loving their new album “Simple Forms”. It’s some parts dancey, some parts dreamy, all parts awesome.
Broods: I saw Broods live (funnily enough, not in NZ) when they opened for Ellie Goulding in Canada. They’re an awesome live act because they’re so high energy, but they can do chilled vibes equally well – I adore this stripped down version of “Heartlines” because it really shows off their versatility. I’m actually planning on covering this song in a week or so, so keep an eye out for that!
It’s May, which means it’s NZ Music Month! NZ Music Month is a celebration of the wicked homegrown talent of kiwis, with radio stations playing more local tunes and people focusing on how awesome kiwi musicians are.
Lorde is very probably NZ’s most famous musician, so I figured May would be the perfect opportunity to cover her new song (no, not the one about green lights, the other new song). I love it when big artists release songs with very simple instrumentation (especially when it’s piano-based) because it really shows off their vocals and also makes it super easy for solo acts like to me do a decent cover.
Throughout the month of May I’m going to do my utmost to record some more kiwi covers (maybe an original too?) because NZ truly does have some incredible talent that deserves more love.
Coming back to NZ meant reuniting with my lovely piano, which I missed dearly. Any time I found a piano in Canada I played it, but that only amounted to about 10 times (strangely enough, you don’t often find pianos just hanging around) so I’ve been super excited to actually have regular access to a piano again.
The other day I had a full face of makeup on because I had a job interview, so I figured it was the perfect time to finally record a cover on the piano. Despite the fact that I’ve been playing since I was 9 years old and I know this song like the back of my hand, I spent an hour messing it up and cursing at myself. Eventually I remembered how to piano, but I was frustrated enough to not feel self conscious talking to the camera, so please enjoy the sound of both my talking voice and (hopefully) my singing voice in this cover of my favourite Bon Iver song:
EDIT (11/4): Clearly I’ve been away from the piano far too long because I published this under the wrong song name initially. Woops.
As I’ve mentioned at least a hundred times by now, I’m travelling around Canada with Lox and Cindy Lou, our lovely minivan. I’ve personified Cindy so much in my head that I needed to write this little ditty about her. It’d mean a lot to me if you checked it out!
While Lox and I were driving through Quebec, we wanted to listen to music but didn’t feel like listening to our mixtapes or to Hamilton for the 784th time. We switched on the radio and I promptly discovered my new musical obsession: Québécois pop. Listening to songs in a language I don’t speak is glorious because it suppresses the snarky side of me that likes to make fun of lyrics. It also means I can’t sing along, so I’m forced to actually listen to the song. And damn, Quebec, your local artists are fantastic – the instrumentation of the songs is wicked and keeps me interested despite the fact I have no idea what it’s about. Here are my favourite discoveries so far:
I couldn’t find all my favourites on Youtube (French music is surprisingly difficult to find there!) so definitely check out my Spotify playlist that has all of the ones I love!
Note: I’m classifying these artists as pop coz they were on the same radio stations that were also playing English Top 40 songs. I also don’t actually know if all the artists on the Spotify playlist are from Quebec as now Spotify is recommending so much French music to me. Apologies if I’ve mistakenly called someone Canadian when they aren’t (although is anyone actually ever offended by that?).