Tag Archives: Music

Guest Post- Jessica from Sweet Green Tangerine

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Today I’m doing a blog swap with the lovely Jessica! You can check out my post on her blog today as well. We both wrote about our adventures sharing music together via Dropbox these last couple weeks which has been SO much fun! 

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Hello Press Play readers!  If we haven’t “met” yet, I am Jessica from Sweet Green Tangerine.  I blog mainly about books and music, but you can sometimes catch a glimpse of my two small boys and one big one…who are all pretty cute if you ask me.  I also host the Book Chat every Thursday, which I’m sure you’ve seen Melissa’s posts before.  We would love more people to join in, so jump in anytime!

My absolute favorite part about blogging is the amazing people I meet.  Melissa and I have been blog friends for a while now, and I honestly don’t know if there is another person alive with more similar interests as mine.  When you get to connect to people based on like interests and similar tastes, it results in the most rewarding friendships.

Recently, Melissa invited me to share music with her using a program called Dropbox.  It’s basically like a virtual mailbox that lives somewhere in space.  I put music into it, and she can download it.  Then, she puts music in it that I can download.  It’s completely safe and legal (I think).  It’s great because we’re not just doing it to “steal” music, but to expose each other to new sounds and artists.  Rather than burn a CD and send it out to her via snail mail, I can just shoot her a tweet and say “Hey Mel, check out this band!” and BAM she has the album to listen to instantly.  Then, we can promote those bands here on our blogs and everybody wins.

Today, I want to share my favorites that Melissa has sent me.  Here is a short list of some of the stuff I received…

Anthony Green – Beautiful Things

Circa Survive – Blue Sky Noise

Ed Sheeran – +

But there are two specifically that I want to talk about…

1. Young the Giant – Young the Giant.

I had heard YtG on the radio a bit and I knew they were a band to listen for. Songs such as “Cough Syrup” and “Apartment” are easily marketable songs that we will be hearing much more of in the future.  However, they don’t quite showcase the singers voice like I wish they would.  He is so unique.  He’s totally a crooner in a rock band!  Don’t believe me? Listen to “I Got”.  He’s like the Michael Buble of indie Rock.  Such an incredibly fresh sound that never gets old.  I like their popular songs, but I LOVE the rest of this album.  And let me tell you, I was stoked when I found out they would be at Bonnaroo this year! (as will I)

Young the Giant may sound like just another mainstream rock band by their singles, but I promise this band has something special in their lead singer.  Do give them a listen.

2. Of Monsters and Men – My Head is an Animal

Oh man, oh man, oh man.  This is easily one of my new favorite bands.  I cannot say enough about how much I love this album, but I’ll give it a shot.  I heard their single “Little Talks” a lot on XMU and Alt Nation back in November.  I was immediately obsessed with that song.  However, I never gave the rest of the album a chance.  I have a fear sometimes when I fall in love with one song, that the rest of the album won’t live up to it.  That is NOT the case here.  “Little Talks” isn’t even the best song on the album.  Let’s talk about their sound.  The two lead singers, Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir and Ragnar “Raggi” Þórhallsson (they’re from Iceland), have these voices that blend so well.  Raggi has a sweet, husky voice that sends me away with “Sloom” every time.  And Nanna’s voice, while not overbearing, is so gentle and almost timid.  There’s a moment in the first song, “Dirty Paws”, where they crescendo into the emotional, yelling line and every time, I get chills.  This band owes a lot to their percussionist too, I believe.  Every song has a powerful tempo that supports the soft voices and sinewy instruments.

Let’s talk about the song “Lakehouse” for a moment.  What is it about this song?!  When Melissa told me she listened to them sound-check with this song, I was drooling with jealousy.  Best song on the album I tell you.  They invite you in with this sweet guitar melody and simple harmony…pause in the music…then BAM, the band joins in and I’m swept away.  This song soars.  Once again, the percussionist owns it.  Then Nanna joins in with the line “Can you chase the fire away” and it slays me.  Her voice.  Okay, stop reading this, and just go listen to it and I promise you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Basically, their sound is humble and honest.  They are a stellar team and they work together seamlessly.  There are so many moments in this album when I literally hush everyone in the room with me, and we just listen.  Particularly to the instrumental refrain in “Yellow Light”.  So beautiful.

Thank you Melissa!  Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I have a whole new list of albums that Melissa has sent me that I cannot wait to really explore.  I’m so glad she introduced me to Dropbox.  It really gives us the opportunity to find & share new music while also becoming even closer friends.  If you haven’t used it yet, I recommend you try it.

Thanks to Melissa for having me on the blog today…hope we can do it again soon!

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Snow Patrol & CONFRONT

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Today you can find me over at CONFRONT Magazine’s website, where I recently finished my article about Snow Patrol! After the amazing opportunity to interview one of the members earlier in April, I had lots of fun writing it up.

I’d love to know what you think!

You can read it by clicking HERE. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the new issue while you’re there 🙂

Wednesday Things

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Just a little motivation to get me through exams 🙂

Today is the beginning of my final exams, so I’m going to try really hard to avoid the internet in an attempt to be a good student. My goal for the month of April was to procrastinate less and do more daily studying and although I somewhat succeeded, I think mostly I haven’t. Luckily I’ve still got another exam to turn this around for, and that all starts today.

Before I head off and study/cram for my exam this evening, I thought I’d share a few random things about life:

1- I’ve finally updated some of the pages on my blogAbout Me, Blog Roll, and the addition of my Sponsor Info page. I’m most excited about that one as I’m hoping to add more of your lovely blog buttons to my sidebar as sponsors, as well as (hopefully) work with more companies for my writing. I’ve had a ton of fun doing it spontaneously in the past, and want to do it a little more seriously from now on! We’ll see what happens.

In any case, if you decide not to check my Sponsor Info page I’ll just tell you RIGHT here that I am offering free ad space on my sidebar for your blog button! All you have to do is put my blog button on your sidebar, and we’re set to go! You can e-mail me or leave a comment if you’re interested.

2- I am EXTREMELY excited for summer. As of April 24th, I am FREE!

There’s almost nothing I love more than summer in my city!

3- I’m also very excited for April 22nd (next Sunday) because I have a pair of tickets for Cirque du Soleil AMALUNA in Montreal. I bought the tickets for my mom for her birthday in February, and we’ve both been counting down the days as it approaches!

4- Every time summer gets closer, I find myself falling into the trap of those really catchy, summery songs on the radio. Here is my guilty pleasure playlist lately:

+Starships by Nicki Minaj

+Feel so Close by Calvin Harris

+Wild Ones by Flo Rida feat. Sia

+Part of Me by Katy Perry

+Summer Paradise by Simple Plan feat. Sean Paul

+What Makes You Beautiful by One Direction (I KNOW GUYS. IT’S JUST SO CATCHY)

+Give Your Heart a Break by Demi Lovato

Okay I’m done, I swear. That is the weirdest music I’ve ever written about around here. What can I say? Sometimes a song is just TOO catchy. I’ll make up for it with some good music next week, I promise.

5- If you follow me on Twitter, you may have caught my vague tweets about an interview for a job last week. On Friday I was officially confirmed and I got it! I thought I would talk about it briefly now as it will probably come up a lot more in the coming year. The position is for a major organization at my University. Basically, we choose a charity, organize an event, and raise a ridiculous amount of money for that charity. I got the position of VP Public Relations, which basically means I’ll be taking care of writing all the media/press releases and helping with some of the promotional aspects of the events. I’m really excited to be volunteering my extra time for charities, and I’m even MORE excited to see what fun things we plan this year! You can follow along on the organization’s Twitter right here, and find out more about the charities we’ll be giving back to in the coming school year.

That’s all I’ve got for now! Just a little update on life in general. It’s really been all school, work, school, work around here, but that’s always what April is about what with finals and summer and other fun things.

What’s going on with you today?!

Feel the Music

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Music has been one of my biggest loves for as long as I can remember. As a teenager I would spend countless hours sitting in my bedroom, doing homework or surfing the internet, with the familiar sounds of my favorite bands in the background. I would become addicted to a record and have it on repeat for months, or I would have a rotation of a couple of favorites and play them over and over again, one after the next.

It’s almost no surprise that my life has led me further into the music industry as I got older. The only surprise is that I’m lucky enough to be able to say that. So many people love music, and I am fortunate to have little inside views on the workings of the business through my job with CONFRONT magazine.

Me & one of my favorite female artists, Juliet Simms, last summer after my interview with her at the Vans Warped Tour. You can now catch her on Cee Lo’s team on The Voice! Don’t forget to vote! 

Me & Jeremy from Our Lady Peace after my interview, just 2 weeks ago! 

But working for CONFRONT is really just an experience that was lucky enough to fall in my lap, and I have made the absolute best of it in the last three years. I’ve interviewed dozens upon dozens of musicians- both well known and some still making a name for themselves- and it’s just been very humbling overall.

An interview earlier this year with the incredibly talented Charlie Winston from England

I’m feeling kind of introspective about this today for a few reasons:

1) Yesterday, I interviewed one of my all time favorite bands, Snow Patrol

2) I also got to attend the Snow Patrol concert after, opened up by the incredibly talented British solo artist Ed Sheeran

3) Earlier this week I interviewed another overseas band, Of Monsters and Men. They were not only AWESOME and HILARIOUS, but so down-to-earth. I love when that happens!

4) The magazine is really beginning to make a name for itself here in Montreal and I’m so proud to say that I’m part of it’s success over the last 3 years.

5) I really wanted to talk about music in a way that differs from my regular album reviews

In the last two years or so, I’ve had to tone down the amount of concerts I attend because of money. I spent a couple years around the age of 18 going to every concert I wanted, and it took a serious toll on my bank account. I can’t do that anymore because I have other priorities and things I want to accomplish, so I really make the best of each experience I DO get to have, like last night.

My interview yesterday went really well. I sat down with Nathan, and he was such a sweetheart and so incredibly polite. It’s a weird thing, but when I have the opportunity to chat with a band that I’ve adored for so long, I tend to love them even more when I know that they’re actually very humbled about their fame. It’s the mark of a band that’s never let the bad parts of the industry get to them- they’re still in it for THEIR passion, and I love being able to see bits and pieces of this through 15 minute conversations. I’m so excited for exams to be over so I can sit down and write a great article about a band that I’ve followed for over six years now.

Nathan is second from left!

The show last night was truly amazing. My city is well known for being an EXCELLENT crowd, as artists are often incredibly humbled on stage and sincerely say so. As an avid music person, this makes me very proud to be a Montrealer. I know we’re awesome, but when a band that has been together for over 15 years and sold over 10 million records are speechless on stage, that’s just a really incredible moment.

So last night Ed Sheeran played a half hour set and it was phenomenal. He’s a one man act, and he’s amazing at it. He stood on stage with nothing but himself, his acoustic guitar, and a loop pedal, and he played a better set then MANY opening artists are able to do. I love his album, so please DO check him out! His single A-Team is fantastic and his music video Lego Houses features Rupert Grint so… Yeah. Awesome.

Ed Sheeran on stage in Montreal last night

It was the third time I got to see Snow Patrol live, and it was just amazing. I love every record they’ve put out, and their music is even BETTER in concert. They played all their hits as well as a few other random tracks, and came back for something like a 5 or 6 song encore performance. Some of my favorite moments of the night? The song ‘Lifening’ during the Encore, as well as Chocolate, Chasing Cars, All I Have, Run, and Crack the Shutters. But honestly the entire thing was still more than I could have imagined.

The one and only Gary Lightbody 🙂

The best part though was a toss up between a solo version of ‘Set the Fire to the Third Bar’ and a duet between Ed Sheeran and Gary Lightbody for the song ‘New York’. You can watch an acoustic version of their duet New York that was recorded in a Montreal piano store below, it’s well worth the three minutes:

What are some of your favorite concert experiences?

Scars & Stories by The Fray: Album Review

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I first heard of The Fray when I was in college & someone did a music review of their song “How to Save a Life”. I wanted a copy of the song in my hands that SECOND… It was that good to me.

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I’ve been a fan of their work ever since, and although I’ve missed every one of their Montreal shows so far, I still make sure to get all of their new albums; often times they’re on repeat for a month, or two, or until I find something else to obsess over.

Their latest record “Scars & Stories” was released on February 7th 2012. A month later? I’m still listening to it at least once a day. It’s THAT good. Lead singer Isaac Slade really shines on this latest CD; the band has given some of their most powerful work to date.

One of my favorites off the album is definitely their radio hit “Heartbeat” which gets you almost immediately with catchy beats and Slade’s unique vocals. It is, in my opinion, one of the best off Scars & Stories, and maybe in my top 5 all time favorite songs by The Fray (alongside How to Save a Life/Over My Head/You Found Me).

Not far behind is the slightly more mellow tune “The Wind” which caught my attention after a few listens. I didn’t really pay attention to it at first- probably because I was still trying to differentiate all the songs and make sense of them- but once I started knowing the album better I would hear the chorus and turn the volume up a little louder to get the full effect of Isaac’s vocal range.

Equally fantastic songs on the record include “48 to Go“; a sweet melody with an upbeat chorus, and another favorite of mine “Rainy Zurich” which is one of the most beautiful songs about love I’ve heard in quite some time: “I’ll keep you warm dancing in a downpour/And I’ll hold your body slowly turning/I’ll keep you warm dancing in a downpour/And breathe it in and take it off and soak our skin“… Goosebumps.

I checked out the DELUXE version of Scars & Stories but have to admit I wasn’t a huge fan of any of their bonus tracks. I love the song “Maps” (originally by The Yeah Yeah Yeahs) however their cover isn’t one of the best I’ve heard out there. I’m not sure where the other two bonus tracks come from, but I think they are the only ones that I find myself skipping over when I’m listening to the complete album.

Other than that?

This album is some of The Fray’s best work. I’m pretty sure I could spend days listening to Isaac Slade. He is raw talent and I can’t wait until I finally have the opportunity to see him perform live.

4.5 out of 5 stars

**Sony Music supplied me with the album for this review, but all thoughts & love for The Fray are my very own!

Music in 2012 [January Edition]

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A few things before I get to today’s post:

1) Back in December I interviewed the incredibly talented musician Charlie Winston and my interview is finally up on the CONFRONT website. Check it out here and don’t forget to check him and his music out too! You’re in for a treat 🙂

2) Have you entered my giveaway for a 50$ gift certificate towards Xperience Days yet? It closes on Sunday night and I’ll be announcing the winner using random.org on Monday morning!

3) I was featured on Erin’s blog yesterday as a sponsor which I think is an awesome way of introducing bloggers to each other! You can check me out on her blog here & leave her a little bit of love 🙂

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to spend more time talking about music around here, which I don’t think I’ve done once in 2012. So I thought today would be a great day to start!

Here are a couple albums that I’m loving so far this year (and that I think you should be listening to as well!):

Snow Patrol- Fallen Empires

I’ve been a Snow Patrol fan since 2007 when I first saw them perform live. I had only been to a few concerts by that time, and I remember leaving that one in COMPLETE awe. My heart literally ached the moment it was over because I wanted to be there all over again.

I’ve only seen them one more time since (2 years ago) but it was equally as amazing. Every album these guys put together is a solid compilation of really fantastic music, and then it turns out even better live. I don’t think there is any truer testament to a bands’ worthiness than what they sound like live. When an artist blows you away more in person than on a record, you know they’ve got real, raw talent. And that’s what Snow Patrol is like.

I’ve given this album 5 or 6 listens all the way through now, and each time I love it more and more. The tracks are starting to really resonate with me like every other album they’ve released. I can’t wait to see what they do with it live (when I see them in April, yay!) but until then, I’ll just keep on listening to the record and falling more in love with it.

Listen to: “Called Out in the Dark”, “New York”, “Lifening”

Anthony Green- Beautiful Things

A year and a half ago I had the real pleasure to sit down with Anthony Green and interview him for CONFRONT magazine. At the time, I’d only kind of heard of him in passing but didn’t know a whole lot about him. Today, I think he is one of the best musicians I have ever interviewed. He was so honest with me and completely open about his life; I was not only impressed but really glad that I took the interview in the first place.

After interviewing him, I saw him perform live with his band Circa Survive and I have been in love with the band ever since. I think it’s kind of hard to LOVE a band when you see them for the first time; I can appreciate music when I hear it in the beginning and learn to enjoy it more as I get to know it better- but I can say that I actually loved Circa’s music after that live show. His live performance had such a profound effect on me and I can’t wait for him to come back to Canada!

This week, Anthony Green released his second solo record and let me just tell you right now; it’s amazing. His voice is so unique and conveys his emotions and his talent from the very first track. I am listening to the album as I write this and I’m really just amazed at the things his voice can do.

The sound on this album is VERY different from the work he does with Circa; it’s definitely less sad, for starters, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all. I think it just reflects the place he’s at in his life right now with his family, and I love that you can feel the different energy from his other work, despite the fact that it’s still the same voice. That’s just my interpretation of it after a few listens to the record- I could be completely off, but the recent pictures he took with his son don’t lead me to believe that in the least. When a musician is happy, their music is often a testament to that fact!

Listen to: “Do it Right”, “Can’t Have It All At Once”

So basically those are the two albums I’m getting to know and really loving in the last couple weeks. There are a ton of records coming out that I’m SUPER excited about, and I just love that feeling!

What are you listening to and loving these days? 

Four Years…

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Yesterday I headed downtown with Jenia because I won a meet & greet with The New Cities. We made a lot of jokes about it because we honestly didn’t NEED to win- we’ve met the Montreal band dozens of times- but now that they’re getting bigger and more well known, we thought why not? Let’s just go!

We’re not the kind of fans who constantly ask for pictures with the guys. We just love going to shows, hanging out for a bit afterwards to say hi, and to letting them know we were there & it was awesome. I’ve been going to see them play since February 2008, back in the day when there were only 5 or 6 people there to see THEM. Me and two of my best friends have been there through all of it, and I think we can all agree that it’s been crazy and amazing to see them become the band they are today.

February 2008:

September 2008: 

December 2011: 

It’s been an incredibly fun four years, that’s for sure. I fell in love with the music industry because of this band, I basically grew up going to their shows. I can distinctly remember the different me from four years ago, and it’s indescribable. Their music has always been fun and filled with memories. Even though the three of us don’t have as much time or money to dedicate to road trips and shows, we’ve still had some amazing times together traveling for their music.

In big part, it has to do with these guys. We might joke about getting to *meet them*, but really, it’s kind of cool to see the different people we’ve all become over time!

Have you ever had an artist influence your life positively over the years?