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Billie Eilish: A Blurry World

Growing up in music is never easy.

But growing up with 6 million dollars net worth at 18 in music is an incredulous feat that no one would ever dare to undertake.

Ellish’s sudden global rise to fame has been seeped over her music ever since she released Ocean Eyes at the age of 15.

Her music ultimately portrays such an intoxicating environment – with melancholic moments and agitated arks when it simply got too much.

Now just turned 19, it seems Ellish has veered onto a new path.

With her second studio album, Happier Than Ever.

Is this a turn of the tides for the artist finally being happy and comfortable with who she is?

With the help of her producing brother, Finneas, Billie has had the eternal spotlight on her since she was 15, and is no stranger to enduring the ugly side of such an industry.

Certainly, starting so young in an industry will almost never result in a healthy life.

Billie Eilish has used her empowering status and power figure in the arts to cast light on important topics such as depression, body image, self-doubt and a certain sense of imposter syndrome.

Despite being having such a different childhood to many other esteemed teenagers, we have never felt connected more to a music artist than Billie Eilish.

With an overwhelming sense of dread with tours, press and the unbelievable amount of pressure that comes with it all, Eilish has been growing up with us since 2017 is truly an avid watch, and I would recommend to watch her documentary, The World’s a Little Blurry.

don’t smile at me, 2017

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Her acclaimed status started gaining momentum when the temptations of don’t smile at me appeared in 2017, with the cardinal feature of Ocean Eyes, which certainly made heads turn.

WHEN WE FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?, 2019

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After a few scary years up and down struggling with anxiety, depression and true identity all the while growing up as a teenager, her debut album, WHEN WE FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? in 2019. Although slightly more contemptuous in style compared to the likes of Ocean Eyes, it showed an insatiable side to the teenage artist we hadn’t seen before. The sheer humble beginnings of such a debut scored her one of the biggest North America debuts in North America, and solidified her colossal rise with 5 GRAMMYs.

She is now set on a new journey on her own truly reflecting where she feels with herself right now. With us already being indulged with the soothing tones of Your Power, I feel this album will allow us to see another chapter in this artists’ life. Going off the decision of such a title, let’s hope it’s a happier one …

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Vanity Fair Interview: One thing that is fascinating to witness and watch the simply intriguing journey this young artist has gone through to super pop stardom is to watch the Vanity Fair interview with Billie Eilish: Same Interview series. You can start the series via the link below:

“I want to know if it’s all worth it, because it’s tiring as heck.”

-Billie Eilish, 2017.

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“You forget that I’m literally 18, it’s funny to be expected to have found myself and stick with it, you know? I’m trying different things out, I’m different ways of living. I’m just trying it all out cause I’m a growing f*cking girl.”

-Billie Eilish, Same Interview, The Fourth Year: Nov 30, 2020

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“It’s not the industry that does it, it’s just the people around you. It’s just about knowing your people, knowing your boundaries and who you trust.”

-Billie Eilish, 2020

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ISLAND: A New Tale in the Alternative

The Work of Island: Problems from an ever-changing line-up whilst working in dingy London studios …

… Comes a new tale in the alternative.

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From the fibres of the alternative rock scene – loosely translated as a much more tame beast as opposed to its distant relative of hard rockISLAND are a prestigious band gleaming with prospect.

Inspired from their distant adventures on the road, the band released their 2018 debut, Feels Like Air. Since then, they have kept themselves busy with European tours, stretching as far as the coast of North America, even. Whenever they have had time off the road, they’ve been knuckling down in the studio, creating joyous tales once more. In 2019, they released coveted EP, When We’re Still with Editors-inspired plateau, Just That Time of the Night.

Prior to all this however, it seemed that regardless of their reverent line-up, the name of ISLAND would prevail throughout as 2015 was the year when they such things to be true. With feelings of maturity and a hope filling the air, they released Girl in 2015. Who knew the beautiful simplicity of Stargazer would rise the band to new heights?

Bringing a completely new set of tools and brand to the wares of alternative music that seem simplistically beautiful in creation, they are bringing a fresh perspective to musical songwriting and ask for those to join the congregation.

Forged from the inspired thoughts due to their extensive time on the road, Feels Like Air, champions exactly that.

Music that is so effortless and seemingly made so emphatically, it is equally fair to listen every bit the same, too.

I’m sure those echoic guitars first thrilled the studio when they heard them.

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Feels Like Air

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Ride (a powerful album start-up)

Try (For fans of Grizfolk and Circa Waves)

The Day I Die (for fans of Editors and Radiohead)

Something Perfect

Interlude

Horizon (for fans of JAWS)

Moth

We Can Go Anywhere

God Forgive (empowering moments make it my favourite amongst the list)

Feels Like Air (self-titled makes it a close second)

Lilyflower (light acoustics settle the album to a close)

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COVID UPDATE: Barcelona hosts 5,000 Concert – for COVID-tested crowd.

In the midst of a pandemic, it starts to become important to obtain test results to gain an idea of when we would be able to return. For Barcelona and its live music, that was on Saturday night. Around 5,000 spent the night at a gig in Barcelona watching Love of Lesbian – after all were negatively tested for COVID. As one of the largest gatherings in Europe recorded, since the pandemic began, it will be able to give us an idea when we would be able to return to mass-gatherings after this pandemic filters out, and we start to get back to normal. No doubt, over the course of the next 14 days, they will make sure and keep tabs of all to who went and record any prevalent illnesses or worse, the return of COVID to their lungs.

As we get more brave with experimentations and understanding of how this illness progresses, hopefully we can get more comfortable with one another within mass gathering, assortments and crowds. Time will tell if we think differently about this, of course.

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Hidden Gems (Week 12)

Here we are again, folks. The twelfth week of Hidden Gems. With four more up and coming artists to add to the collection – be sure to have these on your music radar in the coming week for more releases – and more music.

Catch up on last week’s collective, too.

Edited People

Transpired with the tranquility of lo-fi hip-hop beats, emphatic Edited People are set to reach the industry headlines with their outreach of a music deliverance I’m calling “haunted pop.” Creating diversity with every beat, they have begun to explore new terrority and reach new depths to their sound. Kicking off the year with Dream Chaser followed by It’s Always Been You, they are set to trail-blaze on all festival fronts when they hopefully return during the summer of hope in 2021.

After sifting through their collection, the four-piece make it look far too easy creating work that sticks in your noggin’ the whole day. It is somewhat annoying and inspirational at the same time. Nice work, folks!

Pizza Crunch

Telling us outright, Pizza Crunch are an electric mix of suave, class and style that presents itself in unfamiliar situations to ourselves. Deemed as nothing but essential listening, the Glaswegian four piece don’t restrain themselves into one single genre, but rather, cover the basis of many, so is simply enjoyed by many. Sprinkled with The Vaccines‘ Justin Young’s wry vocals and the arse-rearing of The Libertines, Pizza Crunch are one to watch out for. Especially now, as we may potentially get the chance to see them live this Summer…

BrunchBox

The three lads from Sheffield comprised of Andrew, Gabe and Joe – who make up the feats of BrunchBox – have deemed it nothing else as a passion project. But don’t be fooled. The fruits of their labour are emphatically shown throughout their collection of carefree – and simply beautiful – tales of fleeting youth that is the soothing medicine to anyone who is feeling remotely alone during this period.

After reuniting from their uni hiatus, they decided to drop everything else and have another crack at doing what they loved – and frankly, missed out on. Flyover and Dreaming are the perfect comeback songs ending their distance from one another, and with another release on the way, it is unlikely they’ll stop anytime soon. In the same ball-park of a Circa Waves banger, Palace is set to release in the early days of March on the 5th, it’s summer splendour will resonate with everyone’s desire to return to that much-loved and missed festival atmosphere yet again. With Boris’s recent plan to returning back to normality, hopefully we can see them perform the song live itself within the Summer of Hope this year. We’ll see you there, eh?

The A.V. Club

Falling well within the bracket of modern indie-pop, eclectic four-piece The A.V. Club have gone the extra mile, and stepped out amongst the crowd. Their usual blend of modern indie-pop is infused with refining synth patterns that are scattered throughout, which has no doubt brought defining success to the band since they embarked in 2018. Their eponymous EP, Youthful Illusions, set the benchmark for the band, solidified their place and allowed them to rise higher in the listings.

The successive follow-ups of Real Love and Over U were no different. The new material allowed them to relax, fully aware and comfortable of the sounds they were willing to make. The tidal of The A.V. Club will soon enter your ear nodules and they’ll ask for only one thing – do you wish to join the club, too? Expect their next single in more than then days with Mistakes.

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7 Reasons Why ‘Making It’ is so Hard in the Music Industry

After exactly a year has passed since I graduated – and since we have more time on our hands than ever – I’d thought I would share with you all on why the industry may be hardest to ‘make it’ into. Especially for up and comers like we all are.

COVID – aside, of course, as we all know the devastating impact that has had on the industry.

1. The Industry Advice

Now, whether or not you are an avid musician, a wanna-be producer, or simply a DJ who likes pressing buttons, we’ve all received our fair share of advice and how-tos on ‘making it’ into the music industry either personally or online. What seems like an industry that actually doesn’t want you to make it with it’s continuous closed doors remaining shut, it all seems like the advice you receive is all make-believe, right?

Whether that is advice to purchase that equipment that you must buy – but can’t afford – or just to ‘remain patient and hold out,’ it seems that most of it is all smoke and mirrors.

Now, I’ve certainly got to be honest with you lot. For the majority of the time, I’ve been terrified. Ever since walking down this musical path with trepidation back in 2016, I’ve felt such a tremendous weight on my shoulders. Now, don’t get me wrong, family and friends are excited for you – but albeit hesitant that it will even resemble a career further down the line. Now, being in such a lucrative but creative space, I am aware that it will take just a bit longer than other more accessible career interests.

It’s certainly not as concrete if you venture down the path of business, say. That way, you get your concrete degree – maybe a masters too – you bag yourself a post-uni job, and there you are, you’re in the races.

But, with the music industry, with it’s horrendous use of its ‘volunteering’ tarnishing any reputation of having these post-uni opportunities, it seems to not offer any.

And so, from myself, I’ve loosely strung together what might the industry is probably not divided up into.

2. The Five Industry Sections (according to no-one but myself)

RECORDED MUSIC – this is where you’ve got your producers, sound engineers, session musicians and so on. Quite possibly the section where it is the most common for solo musicians to become session musicians, I’d say, right? Since anyone can hire out a studio for a day or two, you can always get the ball rolling with your name and away you go.

LIVE MUSIC – this is where you’ve got pretty much the whole shebang – the musicians, the roadies, the sound engineers, the technicians, the stage hands, the security, the planners, and of course the agents, or whatever they call themselves these days. Sad as it sounds, I’ve always wanted to be a roadie. Enjoying to be part of the live experience, but not feeling any of the goosebumps that go with it.

‘WRITING’ MUSIC – this is where I’ve used the term ‘written’ in its most loose sense. Here, you’ve got your music bloggers, journalists, photographers, the press, editors and publishers, all writing music rather than listening to it. I’ve got to be honest, this is a section where I’ve been striving to get into, ever since I realised music and writing can be put together in the same sentence.

MARKETING MUSIC – this is where you’ve got the whizz heads, the marketing strategists, the PR, the advertisers who are thinking of some outlandish scheme to get that artist on that billboard or that artist in your feed on Facebook. Another section that is quite fascinating but of course, like mentioned earlier, you’ve got the music part, what about the marketing part? Of course, I did some voluntary part-time work during my degree involving social media and marketing, but what about the academic skill of marketing? The tricks and tips that only graduates would know, surely?

ANYTHING GOES’ MUSIC – like most uni graduates, this is where I (and you, maybe) come in. The keen graduates hoping for anything that goes by our way. Whether that’s picking up the slack at a bar in live music venue, working on the phones in a music licensing company, or simply just sharing stuff in the hope that you out of the one other thousand followers are pushed into the spotlight.

. This section is basically where you think you have a foot in the door, but in actuality, it’s more like your stubby little toe, barely hanging in there before it’s closed again. Let’s be honest, you’re there simply because it has music involved in the job description, right? It’s the jobs where they are relying on the keen and avid musicians to pick them up, simply because it makes them look better as a business. Sad, but upon reflection – true.

3. Music Degree: The Passion Problem

But of course, I don’t want to sit here and rant like an old bitter man, simply because I am envious of those who have made it. No, no, no.

I’m simply ranting on how it’s impacted me personally. If anything, I’m enthralled and engrossed to the musicians that make it that bit closer to the end.

Taking a rather ‘loose‘ degree like Music, has made me realise that it doesn’t necessarily cover you for any section for what you wish to go in. You always have to have that bit extra. Music is the underlying foundation, basically informing you of your employees that you are passionate for it enough to take it as a degree.

Then, there is the other notion. You can perform live, produce sounds in the studio, develop managing events without the need for a certificate at the end of it. Of course, the only anomaly I can think of is if you wish to teach music.

While I am enviously trying to lift this blog idea off the ground, it seems all a moot point if I don’t have any academic accolades to my name surrounding writing, you know?

You would hope that the employee loves all that passionate ploy, and just disregards the fact that you’ve got no ‘professional‘ writing to your name either through journalistic routes or otherwise.

4. The ‘It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know‘ Saying

Of course, we have to mention this phrase when we talk bout the music industry and I think this industry is the most guilty – it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

With this tandem in place, one does not need to be an expert to simply become an expert. With this being said, that position can be simply filled by the recommended rather than the right.

Of course, the music industry relies on good relationships for good results and the producer on the track will more likely opt for the session musician who is far less egotistical than the musician who is not, right?

If they go for the safe and familiar, how do the newbies stand a chance?

5. The Problem With Volunteering

Then there is the good old advice of ‘don’t do free shows.’ But, with that thinking, how do we expect to get ourselves out there if we don’t do the odd volunteering role here or there? For me, I don’t mean to sound like a bitter old man, but the volunteering roles I did – odd festival and single casual event help – did not really benefit.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not expecting a participation award of some kind, but rather you know, a saving of your contact perhaps for any future events that may happen? This will perhaps get your name out there a bit and really hone in on the “who you know’ etiquette.

https://manvmusic.wordpress.com/2019/10/22/slaves-of-entertainment-how-much-volunteering-is-too-much/

6. Industry Remains A Closed Door?

It is no wonder that the music industry has such a reputation for keeping those doors for opportunity shut. For some out there, volunteering in the industry is merely for them to make up the numbers, rather than actually providing worthy experience. For most, it would seem that an academic route is more viable for most musicians planning to make into the industry – whether that is a masters going down a tighter path of interest or taking advanced courses to boost the skillset, rather than turning up at a studio or a live gig hoping for them to return the favour. When it comes down to it though, it is just down to the luck of the draw, right?

Above all else though, what I’ve seen, been advised and informed to do is simply hold out, keep doing what you are doing, til something lucky comes your way. That may not be the best solution right now, granted, but certainly seems the best option without giving yourself false hope that you will be playing at Glastonbury during next summer.

But, whatever the advice given to us – be patient, be yourself, be confident, be assured. God’s honest truth, I think it’s best if we stick to just that, right?

https://manvmusic.wordpress.com/2019/10/15/nothing-but-fiction-the-industry-that-must-not-be-named/

7. Musician’s Attitude

Maybe it’s this attitude that is tarnishing the reason why the music industry is hard to get into. Amongst the usual things like lack of prospects and opportunities, lack of volunteering roles providing that opportunity, maybe it is just a case of getting your name out there more, staying in touch with local musicians and your local scene. Take every day as it comes for yourself, and enjoy the fact that music is music and you love it.

Creativity is not a competition after all, right? Then, it maybe, just maybe creep up on you and you land a role which you’ve always wanted to land. Maybe. Worth a shot, at least right?

The world is full of musicians who can play great, and you wouldn’t cross the road to see them. It’s the people who have this indefinable attitude that are the good ones.

Nick Lowe, musician, producer

I should stop ranting on this thing, pick up the sticks and get back on the drum kit and get working.