Wednesday, 11 September 2013


It was hard to narrow down my four favourite albums of the summer as these last few months have produced some absolute crackers music wise. I have to admit, there were some strong contenders that nearly made it into my top four, however, these albums took the cheese. 

I was eager to download London Grammars If You Wait after being introduced to their EP Metal & Dust by my mum (which she won't let me forget every time I play their album, however, go her). I was quickly hooked on the trio due to the original sound made by Hannah Reid's classical vocals which seems to compliment Dan Rothman's somber guitar rift down to a T. However, the pièce de résistance for me is the heart-achingly beautiful lyrics. Although it is easy to accuse the album of fitting into the generic label of "another indie band describing the in's and out's of relationships", Hannah sings them with such melancholy, you will find yourself being reduced to tears. I don't think I have have ever heard such believable and emotionally affected lyrics. While I have only had this album for two days, it remains an album which is played on repeat throughout all family members in my home. I have only three thoughts left on this album-

Thank. You. Mum.

I had downloaded this album before the summer and in all honesty, used it as background music. It's not until I saw them live at Reading Festival I truly appreciated this album for all of its worth. The two brothers, Guy and Howard Lawrence, kicked the ass of any DJ who played their set through decks and a Mac Book alone such as Skrillex (boo). I was actually taken aback that the two brothers played their own instruments and sung whilst also bringing other artists on the stage. For me, this made them credible artists. Don't get me wrong, I love a good DJ set, Disclosure, however, set apart those "who can do" from those "who can do better". Rant aside (wipes forehead), Settle proves to be a non mover for my perfect gym motivation (F for U and Losing my Mind ft. London Grammar being my personal favourites). It is also nice to see some DECENT young musical talent. Is it now acceptable to pull the plug for Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, One Direction etc.? A girl can only dream. 

I had the pleasure of seeing these guys TWICE this summer. I have to admit, I was disappointed the first time I saw them at Boardmasters as I felt their performance was effected by lack of crowd participation. Nonetheless, the second time I saw them at Reading took a complete U turn in experience. I felt yet again confident in selling them to my friends to come watch them with me. The four piece band which consists of singer Austin Williams, Bassist Tom Higgins, guitarist Wolfgang J Harte and drummer Zachary Robinson all dress as if they have just stepped outside the 90's; "Hanson rejects" my friend described them as (which I thought described them fittingly). Their 90's look definitely leaks into their music, creating a dated yet cool indie sound. I am really terrible at labelling a bands 'sound' as you can see. I can only describe it through watching this girl I stood next to at Reading who mirrored the bands 90's style. She wore a bindi and a non fitting strappy floral dress with her hair long and blonde and swayed and bounced with her eyes shut like she was in a trance. I suppose thats the result their music has. 'Proper chill'.

I feel I have saved the best til last. I was really upset when I saw NME's harsh review about Tom Odell's album Long Way Down. After seeing him live this summer, that unfair review seemed unsuitable for a hard working artist like himself. He is so passionate when he performs and modest when a huge crowd draws into see him. I couldn't help but fall in love with him a little bit. It was probably his soft blonde hair that bounced immaculately as he sung (his hair was a big conversation starter in the crowd. I think it may have its own twitter account. Well, if it doesn't, it should.) Again, the lyrics are beautifully thought about (other than some high flying pop song that just uses words that happen to rhyme or half rhyme which is even worse). Tom Odell's performance was one of the highlights of my summer, so every time I listen to Long Way Down it reminds me of that euphoric moment. 

Okay, so I know this blogpost was going to be a review on only four albums, but I can't help but bend the rules a little and draw attention to one more album I have been loving this summer. Crystal Fighters Cave Rave. I am not going to write a long winded review on this album, however, I am going to say whoever you may be that has by chance ACCIDENTALLY pondered on to my page, this album is worth listening to. I am still so gutted I missed them at Reading! This album is so happy. It is going to get me through the 'lonely days' I am inevitably going to be feeling at Uni from time to time.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Summer Catch up and Farewell

After neglecting my poor little blog for a fare few months, I thought it could be fun to tear away the cobwebs and blog about what I have been up to this summer. When I say blog, what I really mean is A LOT of photos from my summer and few captions.

We English have actually seen the sun this summer! He not only showed his face for a quick tease, like most English summers, but he actually stayed! (I was beginning to equate summer with rain and mud). The weather has been so nice, I am actually (dare I say it) looking forward to the cooler weather. Eat. My. Words.

Boardmasters is a really cool festival in Newquay Cornwall. It not only had some amazing headliners such as Basement Jaxx (who had a ROBOT on stage. Incredible), Ben Howard and The Vaccines, but also holds a surfing, BMX and skating competition at Fistral beach which sees some big names from around the world. It was really nice to be able to watch the surfing during the day and then the music at night. The only pit of the weekend was having our tent jumped on in the middle of the night. Yeah..that wasn't fun. R.I.P elvis, you served us well.

I think every person and their dog knows how incredible Reading festival is, so I'm not going to try and sell it like it appears I have done so with Boardmasters (I should get commission). This was the first time I have ever been to reading festival. I have never felt so tired, grimy and wet (leaky tent. Tastefully put, I know), however, I think it may have been the best weekend like....ever. Good music, good company and homemade skittles vodka, I have come to realise, is the greatest concoction for a grand old time.

The one major thing I think I have learnt this summer is never, EVER buy a pop up tent for a festival. Chance is, (applicable for only English festivals) it WILL rain and although pop up tents are designed for lazy people like myself who cannot be bothered to put up a tent, they have no lining and you will wake up in what feels like a pool of your own sweat.

Tara summer. Miss you already.