First Listen | Need to Know – Odd Year & The Reverb Junkie

http://oddreverb.bandcamp.com/track/need-to-know

Hey! I realized that I have mentioned “…when I first heard the song…” in a lot of my blog posts, so here’s a new segment I’m going to call First Listen. This will feature my opinions on songs that have recently come out and my reactions to the songs. All genuine reactions, nothing fake. You know me guys, I like to spit the truth. Even though sometimes I am a tad biased… lol.

This actually started out as a game for my friend Ash and I. We listened to songs for the first time and decided to record our reactions together. This segment is inspired by her.

Today The Reverb Junkie & Odd Year announced that their second collaborative EP has been released. I am a fan of both, so I had a hunch of what to expect. If you don’t know who these guys are, The Reverb Junkie is NBC’s The Voice, Michelle Chamuel, and her alternate EDM persona is The Reverb Junkie. In the summer of last year she released her debut album, All I Want. I’d also like to point out that she posted my cover on a song of hers on her TRJ tumblr last year. Check it out here! Odd Year, also known as David Gonzalez is a music producer/artist/programmer/remixer all within the EDM genre. Y’all know me, I like my EDM from time to time. 🙂

Here we go. Live reactions, written down. This should be interesting. If you want to listen to it as well, click the link at the top and press the play button now.

Intro – Okay, nice steady beat, digging the little synth melody. I’m bobbing my head to the beat. Cool.

Oh! The synths have a crescendo. It’s getting more prominent.

Verse – I like the melody so far. TRJ entering strong as always. Liking the echo, and the drop of the drum beat so we focus on the voice.

I hear that deeper tone now just as the drums come back in! A typical TRJ strategy. I always liked it, thought it was a cool effect.

Chorus – Still bopping my head. Short chorus, but really catchy. The deep tone is still evident.

Verse 2 – I like the drop of the beat in the second half of the verse. Kind of like an opposite approach of the first verse. Do you hear the percussion? It kind of sounds like a wooden xylophone. Never heard that in EDM. Nice touch David!

Instrumental – I can’t get over those wooden xylophone sounds! I actually really love it. Ahh here’s the long awaited distorted bass. I always had a love/hate relationship with them, but David seems to use it effectively here. It’s not overpowering which is something that’s easy to listen to.

Catchy chorus is catchy. Catchy chorus is catchy. Vocals on point. Girl slaying.

0:30 seconds left – I like this light synth. It kind of sounds like a lot of reverb with a guitar combined with an organ. Idk i’m not an expert on synths yet. Fading out.

Okay! So that was an interesting roller coaster. This song sounds more the minimalist type of electronic music than your typical progressive dance electronic music. My definition of minimalism is the more easy listening kind of electronic music. It’s probably the opposite of dub step. It’s calmer, relaxing and once again, easy to listen to. This was kind of the overall take of the EP, some songs were “louder” than others, so if you are an EDM fan, definitely check out EP 2 by Odd Year and the Reverb Junkie. Also make sure to check out a similar project by the both of them EP 1!

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Juno Awards 2014

Okay. I know I’m almost a week late on this, but I just finished my 2nd last exam and I don’t have my next one for another 2 weeks. So I’m taking advantage of this time to FINALLY blog about the Junos. There are a couple of things that I need to get out there about the Junos, because this year was in my opinion, a good one. You’ll see why later. Here are my top 5 moments of the Junos.

5. Olympians

I know every two years we get Olympians on the Junos, and every time, I enjoy it. I don’t care what y’all think, but I love Canadian pride, and the Junos took advantage of getting gold medalists Team Jennifer Jones and Dara Howell to be presenters for this year’s broadcast.

4.  A Tribe Called Red

Congrats to these guys on winning the Breakthrough Group of the Year! Originally, I was rooting for the Born Ruffians, but I’m very happy to see this group get some love from the Junos too. It was much deserved. If you haven’t heard of them, they’re an electronic music group that combines elements of First Nations music into their sound. I know, you’re questioning it, but trust me. It’s a great combination.

3. Arcade Fire

These guys. Every time they play a show, they slay. I’m always impressed with their performances and  their stage presence. If you haven’t heard their new album, get it. It features so many catchy songs. These guys won two Junos out of six nominations! Congrats to them!

2. Serena Ryder

Fell in love with her 2 years ago, fell back into love with her when she hosted the Junos. Hosting suits her! I especially liked the mashup she did with her fellow co-host, Classified to open the show. I love watching her perform. She always looks like she loves what she’s doing and having a good time. She sang For You later in the show, and all I could say was “WOW”. Her voice is incredible. Let’s not forget when she stood up for the Biebs. #classy I’d also like to point out the mega girl group that she “formed” with Tegan and Sara called The Frost Biters was probably one of my favourite skits of the night. Serena won two awards at the Junos. 🙂 I need more Ryder in my life.

1. Tegan and Sara

Oh goodness. How can I even start. If you read my blog you know these ladies are my favourite artists to grace this earth, and even SEEING them at the Junos made me cry tears of joy. They were awarded the first award of the night, Single of the Year, then later received Group of the Year. They had won Pop album of the Year at the Gala the previous night, giving them a total of three Junos of the night. Guess what. That was the most Junos awarded at the Junos, and I couldn’t be more happy to be a fan of theirs. I’m glad that they’re FINALLY getting recognition within the industry, and more importantly within their home country. I can now say that they’re Juno award winners, and Grammy nominees. Well, nominee could turn into winner someday. They won an award for Heartthrob and I don’t think anyone really knows how happy this makes me. I personally love the album from beginning to end. There has been a lot of controversy within the fan base because of  the change of sound, but really, EFF that. They’re expressing artistry, and they’ve actually done pop in their earlier records, it just wasn’t as prominent. Heartthrob has created a new kind of pop; smart pop, not cliche mainstream pop, but alternative smart pop music that pulls on your heartstrings. I’m not saying this because I’m biased, but really, if you like music and pop as a genre, this is the start of something new. Tegan and Sara, congrats on your success. I’m very very proud of you.

Haha, I kinda got all emotional there with the T&S part. I really do love that the Junos are a way to give love to Canadian artists and that all of these artists that I’ve mentioned have been fortunate enough to win that love from the Junos. Congrats to all of the other winners and nominees as well. Overall, the Junos this year were great. Some minor let downs like the lack of appearances by big Canadian stars, and booing Canada’s very own Bieber, but minus that, still a great show.

Music That Gets Me | Love Song – Sara Bareilles

Whoa. How long has it been since my last post? 😦 Sorry dudes, I’ve been a combination of lazy and busy lately. Maybe even uninspired, but I’ll try to be more frequent with the posts.
This song is a song close to my heart, and so is this artist. I first heard this song when I was 12 or 13. This was Sara’s breakout song, which started this unbelievable journey into the industry. So my young self heard this song and fell in love with it. It was the piano part that got me hooked. The intro has a bass, and chords all integrated into one to create the base of this song. Then her vocals came in, and my initial first thoughts were, “Wow. What a voice.” At first listen, you can tell that Sara’s voice is strong and versatile, and we can see that throughout the albums that she has put out. Since I always payed attention to the instrumentals in this song, the lyrics only started to hit me as I grew older. Probably 2-3 years ago, I realized that this is actually not a love song, more so a breakup song. Thanks to this song, I learned how to improvise/groove/create a different dynamic of chords on the piano. I took five years of piano then stopped because the costs started to increase. Anywho, the song helped me to become the player that I am today. I’ve kind of adapted some of Sara’s playing styles. Since I’m a keyboardist at my church, I’m required to carry the music that we play. Sara’s style of music and her songwriting is heavily influenced on me. I strive to be a musician like Sara is, and this is why her music is Music that Gets Me.

Below is Love Song by Sara Bareilles. Check out her most recent album The Blessed Unrest that features her hit single Brave. I really wish I could have been a part of the music video for Brave. haha. Have an awesome day. Be happy, be awesome, be you. ❤

Music That Gets Me | Undone – Luke Lalonde

I feel like poop. This whole week has been disastrous hence the lack of posts on my blog and everywhere else. I don’t want to get into details about what has been going on, but just know that I feel like poop right now. :):)

So with all of the poop talk aside, let’s talk about this song I’m introducing today. Undone is a song that features a super catchy melody that’ll have you hooked right away on the first listen. It starts with a soft folkish acoustic plucking together when the vocals come in. Luke’s voice is quite unique. It’s not your typical male pop voice, but I see Luke’s voice as a versatile one. As the song progresses, it turns into a pop tune, with synths and a steady drum beat. I have the biggest crush on him (don’t tell him), and the lyric “I always said I’d be your boyfriend” always hits me because naturally my fangirl reaction is “YES. BOYFRIEND. HI.”. haha. Everything about this song defines all of my tastes in music; rock, alternative, pop, folk. This is music that gets me.

If you are from Toronto, good news! He is from Toronto! His band the Born Ruffians is from Toronto, and they’ve been nominated for a Juno this year which is really exciting! They share the same label Paper Bag Records as another one of my favourite Toronto bands, DIANA.

Check out the music video for Undone (which was filmed in Toronto) below, and make sure you check out his album Rhythmnals as well as his band the Born Ruffians. Have fun! Be Happy, Be Awesome and Be You. 🙂

Music That Gets Me | Don’t Find Another Love – Tegan and Sara

I know… I’ve made multiple posts on this band already, but I really can’t help it. They make great music.

Yesterday, January 28, 2014, Tegan and Sara released a new song entitled “Don’t Find Another Love” for the movie “Endless Love” which is set to be released this Valentines Day.

My reaction to this song was “This. Is. So. Good.”. It may sound like I’m biased and whatnot, but really, it’s a good song. It starts off with a folk-ish guitar riff, almost Western like, and on top are layers of vocals humming a catchy melody. The drums come in; they aren’t complicated, it’s simple and sweet. In the chorus, all hell breaks loose. The mix of the synths, the piano, the strings, the hint of guitar and the drums create the perfect dynamic that the message portrays. I love the touch of clapping sounds in the second part of the verses as well. Classy. The lyrics are quite cliche and cheesy, but it’s tailored to the plot of the movie. I like cliche. Tegan’s falsetto in the bridge was surprising.  A great surprise full of intimacy, raspiness and purity.  Both of them have grown so much vocally and I’m glad to see them pushing themselves harder as singers. Bless their souls. This song is catchy, so beware. It will be in your head forever. I see this as a good thing. This is music that gets me.

Until I get an official link to the song, you can hear it here: http://www.justjared.com/2014/01/28/tegan-sara-dont-find-another-love-exclusive-premiere-listen-now/

Or here:

Have a great day! Be Happy, Be Awesome, Be You.

Music That Gets Me | Hey Baby – That Girl With Dark Eyes

Hi. Hey. Yeah, you. I’m talking to you. What’s up? That’s good. I like your shirt. Suits you well.

Haha, what was up with that intro though? Actually, I wouldn’t even call that an intro. I wasn’t introducing anything, therefore I can’t call that an intro. LOL, I dug myself into a hole I can’t get out…

ANYWAY. Hi (again). I’m in a particularly moody and weird mood today. This song I’m introducing today had me jumping and busting out my killer breaking moves today. Just kidding, I can’t break. I can pop and lock though. The song is an unreleased demo of ‘Hey Baby’ by ‘That Girl With Dark Eyes’. I’d say that this song is a funk/electro-funk/80s pop style. AKA, awesomeness. The song has a Chromeo-esque style to it, which is the lead synth riff in the intro and the breaks. The melody of the song is ridiculously catchy, I memorized the whole song in probably three listens. The arrangement of the song was well prepared. The intro starts off with a solid beat, and then builds up into the synths which was bang on. I am addicted. Props to TGWDE on creating this jam. I see a bright future for her. This is music that gets me.

I found out about “That Girl With Dark Eyes” from twitter. One day, this lovely individual followed me on twitter. The music junkie that I am checked out her music and instantly fell in love with her sound. So we started talking and stuff, one thing led to another, and guess what? I’m getting new pants. Dance pants. For her upcoming EP. She hasn’t announced a release date yet, but I am certain soon is probably within the next month or so. As I’m writing this post, I am finding out so many facts about her. For example, she’s big in Spain. She’s redefining the world of synth-pop in Spain. I also found out that she was in a Vancouver based band. She’s originally from SF. Also, she is a multi-instrumentalist. (Hi Tiffany. If you ever read this, don’t kill me for stalking you.)

You can check out “Hey Baby” below, and you can follow That Girl With Dark Eyes on twitter (@TGWDE) for updates on her upcoming self-titled debut EP. Have an awesome day!

Music That Gets Me | Call It Off – Tegan And Sara

The song “Call It Off” holds a special place in my heart for numerous reasons. It was the first Tegan and Sara song I heard four years ago, and it was the song that made me fall in love with them. The song captures a lot of emotion and the message pulls on my heartstrings. Ironically, Tegan, who wrote the song, wrote the song in a totally different context. During an on stage banter, she states that she wrote the song about stalking  someone on Myspace and wondered everything that their relationship could have been. The song is beautifully written in all aspects. The intimacy of the acoustic guitar, the light guitar riffs, and Tegan’s voice make the song so much more emotionally touching. Like a lot of fans, we all can easily connect to this song because the song’s lyrics are powerful and meaningful. Everyone’s favourite lyric from this song is “Maybe I would’ve been something you’d be good at. Maybe you would’ve been something I’d be good at.” It’s screaming what if. What would our relationship had been like?

Time for a personal story. I’ll try to make it as short as I can. Recently I met a guy. He was a nice dude, we got along nicely and he understood me and my awkwardness. About three days into our relationship, he started confessing things to me, was all cheesy and wrote poems, serenaded me and all that lovely stuff. Unfortunately, I’m not the person to want to be in a relationship just three days after meeting a guy. Let’s also add the fact that I’m socially awkward and I’m afraid of intimacy. You can say that maybe I was scared, maybe I just didn’t want to be with someone so clingy, or maybe  I just wasn’t ready to be in a relationship. Regardless, I did wonder what our relationship would have been like if I had accepted him. Unfortunately, I think he’s still mad at me for not answering his messages right away, but instead, five hours later. Hey, I had my reasons. And no, I don’t think he’s ever going to talk to me again. That’s my story of the day.

The song performed live is beautiful because singing along with Tegan relieves all kinds of pain and heartbreak. Go to a Tegan and Sara concert. Sing this song with them. You’ll cry. I can guarantee it. This song gets me.

You can listen to “Call If Off” down below and you can buy their whole album “The Con” which features “Call If Off”, on iTunes. You should also get their most recent album, “Heartthrob” which was released last year. It’s a step out of their usual sound, but it’s still a great album if you enjoy Alt-Pop. Maybe that’s worth another blog post. Hmmm..

Have a great day! Be Happy, Be Awesome, and Be You.