Top Tunes for January/February 2014

February is over but I knew I needed to release my bi-monthly Top Tunes post. I have discovered a slew of great stuff that I’m excited to share with you guys. If you have anything to recommend, let me know. I’m always open to listening to new material. Marian Hill – Whisky I have to thank Soundtrack Of The Youth for this musical gem. I like how they mix this bluesy, percussive sound with electronic music. All the songs they have up on their Soundcloud are completely addictive and different from what we usually here. I am excited for their EP to drop. Hopefully I get a chance to see them perform in the future. Jhené Aiko – The Worst I first heard her amazing voice on Drake’s “From Time” and I was encouraged by my cousin to check out her own stuff. Definitely glad I took her up on that recommendation because Jhené Aiko is emerging as one of my favorites in recent history. Girl is talented. Plus, it helps that the lyrics for “The Worst” hit really close to home. Other tracks from her to check out would have to be “Bed Peace” with Childish Gambino and “Stay Ready (What A Life)” with Kendrick Lamar. Drake – Girls Love Beyonce Nothing Was The Same turned me into a Drake fan. I haven’t really checked out his other stuff so finding gems like this is a welcome listening experience. Plus, I love the homage to the old Destiny’s Child hit and how Drake can rap about how he feels despite being in the spotlight. Young The Giant – Firelight Mind Over Matter is such a solid sophomore album that I can’t help but feel a hint of pride for them. I really don’t know a lot of Young The Giant fans in my “real life” so I can’t find people to gush with about their sound. I find their music very calming, steady, and consistent. “Firelight” is such a wonderful representative of their sound. CHVRCHES – Recover I have gotten somewhat addicted to how childlike Lauren Mayberry sounds but how vindictive and mature the lyrics of their songs are. They have really great hooks and this particular track really stayed with me aside from “Gun” and “The Mother We Share.” But I am a fan of their entire album. Mogwai – Heard About You Last Night Mogwai just came to Manila recently for a music festival. I wish I was a bigger fan before that concert happened so I could’ve been there. But thanks to the wonders of the internet I can still enjoy their music. Instrumentals are still my music of choice when I need to concentrate on writing and don’t want deafening silence to distract me. Katy Perry – It Takes Two I finally took time to listen to Katy Perry’s latest album. I am a big fan of Teenage Dream but “Roar” didn’t really do much for me as the first single off this album. Now, this particularly track has been on repeat for a while though. It just demonstrates how I’m a sucker for the sadder tracks on most albums I listen to. Jessie Ware – Running (Disclosure Remix) If I need a quick pick-me-up/get me motivated to work, I listen to Disclosure’s Settle album. They have great collaborations with the likes of London Grammar and Jessie Ware. I particularly like how they turned “Running” into an upbeat, danceable song. Jessie Ware is such a beautiful singer. I used to mistake her sound with Jessie J’s (it’s just most likely because of the name). They are both powerful pop singers. I wish Jessie Ware got as much attention as Jessie J. She has infectious tracks, too. Ellie Goulding – Goodness Gracious It took me time to warm up to this track but when I did well I feel like I’m living up to the lyrics “Goodness gracious I can’t seem to stop.” Ellie can do no wrong in my eyes and this is evidence of it. So fun and infectious and the music video is just so much of an eye candy. Eryn Allen Kane – Hollow Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump was the one who brought my attention to this singer. She hasn’t released much but “Hollow” is such a solid and mellow track that it is okay to have the song on repeat for days. I do expect great things for her though and the continuous abuse of the replay button on my part. Phoenix – If I Ever Feel Better Again another group I wish I was more into when they came to Manila. There’s this nice and relaxing vibe I get from listening to Phoenix. This song in particular puts me in a good move. I’d love to hear what Phoenix song you guys love so I can check them out. The 1975 – Heart Out I discovered The 1975 while randomly watching artists perform on BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge. They piqued my interest when they executed a rather touching cover of One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful.” I ended up stumbling upon “Chocolate” (which I believe I’ve heard before) and “Sex” (which I absolutely adore). But one of their tracks that really spoke to me on an emotional level was “Heart Out.” It had this ’80s vibe to it combined with earnest lyrics. They are one of my favorite bands out there. So, yes I am stoked they are coming to my side of the world. Idina Menzel & Kristin Chenoweth – Defying Gravity I saw Wicked fairly recently and have a better attachment to the musical after seeing the songs performed live. It was a magnificent experience. I don’t think I’ve ever watched any stage play and felt amazed the entire time. I was completely captivated. The biggest moment was when Jemma Rix (Elphaba) and Suzie Mathers (Glinda) performed this track. It was the perfect combination of great talent and stage production. If you’re in Manila, I believe you can still catch Wicked at CCP until March. It’s something theater fans shouldn’t skip. Zedd – Find You (feat. Matthew Koma and Miriam Bryant) Songs from the Divergent soundtrack are slowly making their debut online. And the first one to release the full song is Zedd. I’m trying to imagine where this track would fit into the movie’s dystopian world. I can’t see where it would fit at the moment but I like it as a standalone track. Just like other Zedd tracks, it does make me want to dance and forget about my worries. Imagine Dragons – Radioactive (feat. Kendrick Lamar) The Grammy’s was such a long awards show but then again it gave us many great collaborative performances. One that definitely stood out for me was the Imagine Dragons and Kendrick Lamar collaboration. “Radioactive” is a pretty powerful song on its own but this live performance just even more outstanding. Lauryn Hill – Mr. Intentional I somehow found myself watching Lauryn Hill’s MTV Unplugged session from a few years back. I wasn’t really updated with her music but I just love hearing her sing. And I was completely blown away by the material she performed on that show. “Mr. Intentional” is one of my favorites. Quite a powerful message hidden underneath a rather simple beat. The Civil Wars – Dust By Dust If you’ve been paying attention to my Top Tunes posts or even just the beginning of this entry, then you know I’m a lover of sad music. I’m not sure why I haven’t listened to The Civil Wars and since they’re on hiatus I don’t know when I’d get a chance to even see them perform together. They have, however, been releasing stuff and making me think that they’re the weirdest pair to be on hiatus ever. I’m not really complaining. Now, I just have stuff to look back on and to look forward to with them. Troye Sivan – The Fault In Our Stars John Green is one of my favorite authors. I’m not sure why it took me this long to discover his Tumblr account and find hidden gems within that account. This song and the video is one of those treasures. I value the book a lot so it made it easy for me to love this song. It encapsulates the book for me and I think it affected a lot of TFIOS fans, too. The Weeknd – Drunk In Love (The Weeknd Remix) Trust The Weeknd to make an amazing remix/version of Beyoncé’s “Drunk In Love.” I’ve had this on repeat for a while. It just as captivating and addictive as the original song. Of course, there’s an 8tracks playlist for this. You can check that one out here. But it will be missing three songs for now though. 8tracks won’t let me upload the Jessie Ware, Marian Hill, and Young The Giant tracks.


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