New music May

I’ve been listening to full albums in the past week, which is something I do shamefully rarely. I really really liked Paramore’s new album After Laughter released last week, I liked the first single they put out but it didn’t get me super hyped about the album so I was pleasantly surprised. I recommend giving the album a listen, I found Rose-Colored Boy very relatable in the sense that I could picture someone saying the lyrics to me, not sure whether that says more about me or some of my friends. It’s also my favorite from the album (at least right now) so enjoy it:

 

Another album I enjoyed, which I actually haven’t heard all the way through just yet,  is Logic’s Everybody. It was also just released a couple of weeks ago. It’s been a while since I listened to a rap album I liked so this was a refreshing change. My favorite from this one is a bit less relatable for me than the last one but probably more so for a lot of other people, I’d give it a listen even if you aren’t into rap.

Monthly music, March 2017

It’s finally starting to feel like spring which calls for spring music. That being said let’s dive into what I listened to last month.

Total plays

2,200 an average of 70 a day, which is approximately 144 hours or six days. It’s a bit less than last month despite three extra days which I’ll chalk up to time spent studying without music in the background, I tend to focus too much on the music if I listen to any while reading or studying.

Artists

505 unique artists. Some new faces on this list which is always exciting.

1. Arctic Monkeys – 63 plays

2. A Day to Remember – 62

3. In Flames – 55

4. Neck Deep – 47

5. Ghost – 40

ADTR got oh so close to dethroning Arctic Monkeys but they hold on to that honor at least another month. Although the plays were fairly close to last month’s total, Arctic Monkeys dropped a bunch in plays which I find interesting. Neck Deep has my all time (meaning since I started tracking this mid-December) most popular song but it’s the first time they have been on the artist list. Also, Ghost beat two Finnish bands which were at 39 each and would’ve been the first Finnish ones on the list.

Songs

899 different songs, most of them were great and here were the greatest, at least in terms of times played.

1. Neck Deep – Gold Steps, 31 plays – that’s a lot of plays. I can’t for the life of me remember how I found this song which bothers me, I don’t think it was recommended to me by anyone. This song was motivation for me to get through my finals as well as insuring me that life would go on no matter the result of said finals. I listened to it 5 times almost in a row after my biology final and another 5-ish before math, let me tell you something: if you’re ever feeling down put this song on, crank up the volume and things will start to look brighter.

2. Children Of Bodom – Oops!…I Did It Again, 30 plays. So yeah, this was an addiction of mine last month, I was surprised to see that Gold Steps beat this but I guess this one kind of dropped of after finals came. I already wrote more about this one in my post about covers which you can check out via this link if you want to.

3. A Day to remember – If It Means a Lot to You, 27 plays. This might be the best song I discovered last month, when I wrote about Paranoia I thought about ADTR and figured I liked all of their songs which I had heard and decided to listen to their top track on Spotify since I hadn’t heard it before. Instantly fell in love with it and if you only listen to one of the songs I mention in this post (you should check out all of them) I recommend this one. By the way each of the top three songs this month had more plays than last month’s number one.

4. Jimmy Eat World – A Praise Chorus, 18 plays. This song also falls to the category of motivation before and after finals. I don’t know what I would’ve done without these songs because the stress was killing me before some of them, this one was especially calming and definitely helped me perform better.

4. Leslie Odom Jr. – Guns and Ships, 18 plays. Another month passes and another Hamilton song finds it way to my list, it’s always surprising for some reason and it’s also always a different one although I don’t go out of my way looking for new Hamilton songs. What can I say though, I love Hamilton – never seen any of it mind you but I’ve heard plenty and this is one of the best it has to offer.

4. Saint Deamon – No Man’s Land, 18 plays. Crowded fourth place last month. This one was a slow burn, I had to listen to this one a few times before making up my mind whether or not I liked it. After hearing it as one of Spotify’s weekly recommendations I thought it was pretty good and put it on a list where I have songs that require another listen before deciding their fate. Eventually it earned an upgrade to the big leagues aka to my main playlist and well here it is now.

Random related thoughts

Dear Maria, Count Me In by All Time Low didn’t make the cut for top songs this time or in February but there was a 30 day period during those two months where I listened to it 26 times so it deserves an honorable mention. A Day to Remember had four songs in the top 25 while Arctic Monkeys had none. The two Finnish bands which I mentioned almost made the artist list were Children of Bodom and Haloo Helsinki! I have a feeling they’ll make an appearance in the future, though maybe not on that list. Oh and I didn’t forget about the picture thing, I just didn’t really take pictures last month.

Some neat covers

I love a good cover so I figured why not share some of my current favorites.

 

Starting with one of my favorite discoveries from last year Steve ‘n’ Seagulls are a Finnish cover band whose style I love. They turned a punk rock song to bluegrass with great success. I love hearing covers that are completely different from the original song and this one definitely is. I actually like this more than the original but their style might not be for you.

If that’s the case maybe you’ll enjoy this one…

Sticking with Finnish bands but essentially making a U-turn in terms of cover style. Pop songs turned into metal are a rare treat and even more rarely do they sound this good. I had no idea I needed a metal version of Oops I did it again before hearing this but holy cow do I love it. I’m honestly not too familiar with Children of Bodom but I’ve tried getting into them after hearing this masterpiece.

 

This might be my favorite of the bunch. A super chill kalimba version of a pop-punk song with a cute dog in the video too, unfortunately it’s only 50 seconds long.

 

The original version of this is probably the only Justin Bieber song I like and this high-energy rock version is even better. This guy has a bunch of great covers, mashups and such on his channel so if you like this one I’d suggest checking it out.

 

Memes, right. Love ’em or hate ’em they pretty often touch on music. I’m not a huge fan of the 7000 different meme versions of a song, but using dog barks to recreate Feel Good Inc.? That I can get behind.

 

It was pretty difficult to pick this song, I knew I wanted to show a Luna cover but didn’t know which one. Kind of wanted to go with Feel Good Inc. but you probably know why I didn’t.

 

Okay so this is a medley and not a cover per se but it’s amazing anyway. I love video games and video game music so I couldn’t not include it. It’s pretty long but it’s definitely worth watching.

I’m no rapper…

And it’s never been as evident as yesterday when I had Guns and Ships from Hamilton and Lone Digger by Caravan Palace suck in my head. Sure those aren’t exactly traditional rap songs but you’ll be hard pressed to find faster vocal parts than lone digger’s chorus, seriously, ’round the rhythm’ is a tongue twister even when you aren’t singing it 100 miles per hour, not to mention Lafayette’s parts in guns and ships. Love both songs but the amount of practice necessary to sing along to them is insane.

Hopefully I’ll have more time for writing after next week and I can post something with a bit more time and effort put into it but hey, the songs are amazing despite the post being short.

A Day To Remember – Paranoia

I’m not the greatest at staying on top of new releases by even my favorite artists but in 2016 I did a bit better job than usual. While A Day To Remember doesn’t make my list of favorite artists I like them enough to give their new stuff a listen when they release it.

I heard this song in November, two months after the album’s release, and it without a doubt makes my top five songs from last year, possibly top three. My friends know just how addicted I was to this song, the day after hearing it for the first time I got told to shut up a few times because the chorus is so amazing I couldn’t stop singing it. Ironically there’s a part which goes “and no matter what you do about it, I’m still in your head”, I had no idea the song was self aware. The whole song is super energetic which makes it perfect for days you want to get stuff done, although there is a slight risk of it derailing your day by being the only thing you can think of. 

The music video for the song is pretty cool and I also really like their album covers, especially homesick and bad vibrations, you could hang those on your wall.

A Day To Remember – Paranoia

Monthly music, February 2017

The shortest month of the year is over and done with and I’m excited to see what I’ve been listening to. Let’s get to it!

Total plays

2,272, with an average of 81 per day which is roughly 148 hours, using last week’s 474 songs which totaled 31 hours. That’s about six days, six days out of the 28 in February. Now I’ll have to admit I was sleeping during about five of those hours but nonetheless it’s a lot of music. It’s also 20% more than last month (1,889) but that’s largely because I hadn’t realized you had to connect desktop Spotify and the mobile app individually so I lost most of my desktop plays to the void last month.

Artists

525 different artists in total, 234 of those were ones that I only listened to once last month. I’m not sure what to take away from that fact. Anyway these are the five I listened to most and how many times exactly:

1. Arctic Monkeys – 101

2. Jeff Williams – 68

3. In Flames – 60

4. Ghost  – 59

4. Royal Republic – 59

Not at all surprised to see the top two, they’re well represented in most of my playlists but after that it gets close. In Flames narrowly maintained their spot as the third most popular band but two other Swedish bands were just one play away from getting there. Ghost almost doubled the plays from January and while Muse got almost as many plays as in January they dropped three positions.

Songs

I listened to 956 different tracks last month, here’s the top five with some sort of an explanation as to why I listened to it that often.

1. Papa Roach – She Loves Me Not, 20 plays. It’s songs like these why I listen to Spotify’s suggestions to me every week. It’s not like 100% of their suggestions are great, or 50% for that matter, but almost weekly there’s at least a few songs worth saving and a couple each month that are just amazing, this being a prime example of that.

1. The Front Bottoms – Twin Size Mattress, 20 plays. This one is an interesting story… We all know of tinder and the general purpose of the app. What you may not know is that you can link Spotify to your profile and pick songs and bands to display on your profile. Well I tend to pay attention to those songs and a person on there had this song as their ‘anthem’ and I kinda fell in love with the song. Great music is everywhere if you just keep your ears open.

3. Renee Elise Goldsberry – Satisfied, 19 plays. This is an interesting one, it’s a song from Hamilton (the play you definitely should’ve heard of) and I’m not sure why this happened now. I have a few Hamilton songs in my regular circulation and I do like to add this to my up next list whenever it feels appropriate but I was under the impression that the biggest Hamilton obsession was more of a January thing for me. Guess I was wrong. I do have to mention specifically just how much I love the ‘to the groom’ and ‘to the bride’ chants at the beginning and end of the song, so very singable even when you’re somewhere where you probably shouldn’t sing, like public places in my case.

4. Zico Chain – Mercury Gift, 17 plays. Another example of great songs I discovered through Spotify’s suggestions. I’m kind of in the middle of obsessing over this song and I’m planning on listening this to a whole bunch this week. Might also check out other songs by the bands because this one is a gooden.

5. FamilyJules – Dance For Your Life, 16 plays. I’m a big fan of FamilyJules and the game crypt of the necrodancer. Jules has a metal version of the game’s soundtrack which I like but I’ve heard it a bunch in the two years it’s been out. This song somehow slipped through the cracks, it’s the only one with vocals which may have originally been what was off about it being used to just instrumental stuff. After kind of randomly hearing it late in January I quickly forgot everything I had against it.

Once again none of the top artists had songs that made the top five so I’ll list the top track for each of my top artist for funzies.

Arctic Monkeys – Cornerstone, 11 plays. 13th most played track last month, the top Arctic Monkeys song like it was last month.

Jeff Williams – Mirror Mirror part II, 8 plays. 32nd most played track last month.

In Flames – The Chosen Pessimist, 8 plays. 32nd most played track last month.

Ghost – He Is, 13 plays. 8th most played track last month.

Royal Republic – Here I Come (There You Go), 13 plays. 8th most played track last month.

Other cool stuff

I had eight days last month that I listened to at least 100 songs which is almost every three days. I also thought of including a short list of song suggestions on this post but I might end up making a suggestion post later, we’ll see. You probably also noticed the image in the post, it’s from Royal Republic’s gig, I’m thinking of slapping a random picture I’ve taken in the given month to go along with the monthly post, don’t expect it to be music related too often, and who knows I might even forget to do it altogether, only time will tell.

Ghost, smooth and sweet Swedish metal

I’m a huge fan of Swedish music and metal so it’s no wonder that I love Ghost (Ghost B.C in America). Self-described as a mix of pop music and death metal, their songs are satanic and very melody-driven, and include some of the smoothest vocals in music. In 2016 they won a Grammy for the best metal performance with this music video.

I first recall hearing of them in 2015 while in America from a friend if mine who was one of the few people there who liked metal. I didn’t really start listening to them actively until July of last year, though. The band has been wildly successful lately and are performing in Helsinki in two months, I’m currently trying to figure out the best way to attend the concert after being especially addicted to them in the last two months.

Back to their music, the reason I love them so much isn’t the message they convey or their lyrics, although their message isn’t actually satanic, but instead their sound. I can’t quite figure out how to describe their sound other than hymn-esque and grand, eerie at times, too. I mentioned the smooth vocals already but what I didn’t mention is my obsession with them, for me that’s what truly lifts Ghost above so many of my favorite bands. I could listen to them all day and not feel one bit guilty about the lack of variety.

I’ll end this by linking my top three Ghost songs. I can’t think of a better way to rank them by than number of times I’ve played them on Spotify so if you’re curious about how I came to this order, there you have it.

1. He Is

2. Square Hammer

3. Monstrance Clock

Jimmy Eat World – The Middle, and why I like it

First of all if you haven’t heard this song before, do yourself a favor and give it a listen. Jimmy Eat World – The Middle

Now that we’re all familiar with this masterpiece, why don’t I go ahead and explain just why I like this song so much.

Being a rock-loving kid who’s not exactly a social butterfly, this song has everything I could ask for. Catchy melody and great lyrics. When I say great lyrics I mean these might be my favorite song lyrics, at least in recent memory. For example:

You know they’re all the same
You know you’re doing better on your own so don’t buy in
Live right now
Just be yourself
It doesn’t matter if that’s good enough for someone else

As someone who tries to preach people about not caring what others think, and to do so myself, these lyrics give some perspective on how one should view life. Rather than focusing on what other people think of you you should just do whatever makes you happy. Now put that message on a track with an upbeat feel, catchy chorus and a pretty sweet guitar solo and the final product is 2 minutes and 48 seconds of amazingness. I don’t have a top whatever list of my favorite songs but if I did this would be on it.

Here’s further proof of Jimmy Eat World’s superior songwriting in the form of a lyrics card.
sweetness

Catching up

In January I came up with the idea of making a monthly summary of what I’ve listened to on Spotify in the last month and since I’m going to continue to do that here I figured why not copy and paste the summary for January here. It should also double as an example on what to expect, at least once a month. I’m guessing this was written on February 1st or 2nd.

It’s officially February and ever since coming up with this idea I’ve been anxiously waiting to get to analyze my listening habits. Unfortunately I didn’t realize that you have to link each device you use Spotify on individually before last weekend so it only tracked my mobile plays, luckily I mostly listen to music on mobile so aside from weekends this is still really accurate.

Total plays: 1,889, with an average of 60 per day – if you’re wondering how much that is in hours/days, I can’t give you exact numbers but last.fm tracks weekly numbers for that, and last week’s 453 plays added up to 26 hours, which would make 1,889 plays around 108 hours, or 4 days and 12-ish hours.

Artists: Out of the 363 different bands I listened to, here are the top 5 with the number of plays next to them.

1. Arctic Monkeys 87

2. Jeff Williams 70

3. In Flames 53

4. Royal Republic 51

5. Muse 46

Sort of surprised to see Jeff Williams up there let alone in second. I guess it’s much like with Arctic Monkeys in that I just have so many different songs by him in my regular rotation that it goes unnoticed. I don’t tend to listen to that much Royal Republic either but since I’ll see them live this weekend I’ve been learning some lyrics.

Songs: I listened to 693 different tracks, which means on average 2.7 plays for each track, but here’s the top 5, along with an explanation.

1. Ryan Gosling – City Of Stars, 18 plays. Saw La La Land last week and had to keep listening to the soundtrack, this song is less than 2 minutes long and it simply isn’t possible to get enough of the track without hearing it at least twice in a row.

2. Neck Deep – December, 16 plays. This is a pretty big surprise to me, I played this basically on repeat in October/November and I guess I must’ve never stopped doing that.

2. Slipknot – Wait and Bleed, 16 plays. Another song which is super short (2:27), I kinda just got addicted to it for a few days after hearing it on random and played it 10 times in five days.

4. Ghost – He Is, 15 plays. I’ve been on a ghost kick lately (it just missed the top 5 artists) and this song was the gateway drug for me. They’re visiting Finland in late April and some tickets are still left, though I’m broke I’m still thinking about going.

4. Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here, 15 plays. Another surprise, I had to think for a good while before realizing that this is pretty much my go to song while walking the dog. It’s really calming to walk in the darkness when this is the only thing you can hear and it’ll stay dark for another couple months here so I’ll keep rocking this.

I think it’s pretty interesting that none of my most listened to artists had a song in the top 5 songs, in fact I’m so fascinated by it that I’ll check how their top song ranked.

Arctic Monkeys – Cornerstone, 13 plays. “Ranked” 6th out of all songs

Jeff Williams – R.W.B.Y vs F.N.K.I, 11 plays. 9th

In Flames – Fear us the weakness, 7 plays. 42nd

Royal Republic – Cry Baby Cry, 9 plays. 19th

Muse – Aftermath, 10 plays. 13th

Other notable stuff: January 1st I listened to 175 songs which is almost three times more than my daily average, I DJ’d for the morning of our new year’s party so I’ll credit that for most of those plays. On the other hand on the weekends I barely listened to anything on mobile and on a certain Saturday I listened to a round 0 songs which last.fm tracked, and on another Sunday only 1. In the end I think those just about average each other out.