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Tracks of the Week

Music Tracks of the Week

Track of the Week: Fifth Harmony “Sledgehammer”

First of all, apologies for the delay of this week’s post – I had a rather full-on week. Kicking off on Sunday with a shoot with Leanda, in which we shot two looks, both edited and posted within a few days (look 1 and 2)… During the week, I attended the A/W14 collection launch of Private White V.C. in Salford that you’ll read more of very soon. So make sure you follow my blog to get updates on that! In the weekend, I met up with Thai fashion blogger, and officially a friend of mine, Gail from The Equinox Fashion for some tea and scone in Castlefield Market. Finally, I wrapped up my week with another shoot in town for a semi-collab with a relatively local online retailer called Cat Called Esteban Vintage (website) which is edited and ready to be posted… just another reason to follow my blog!!

In other words, I had little time to catch up with last week’s music until now but there is definitely one clear stand-out track, making my job especially easy.

 

Sledgehammer is the second single from Fifth Harmony‘s debut album, Reflection scheduled for December release in the US.

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/If you could take my pulse right now, it would feel just like a sledgehammer/If you could feel my heartbeat now, it would hit you like a sledgehammer/ This song nails the essence of a teenage crush. Vocally, the chorus sounds to me like it’s led by Camilla, the most preferable option but every member gets a fair share of their solo parts to show off how talented they are individually as well.

It seems as though the X-Factor girlies have decided to ditch sweet Disney for retro Dance in yet another upbeat track following their most successful single to date, BO$$ aka the ratchet, feministic Michelle Obama-jam. This time around they’re backed by the reigning queen of Pop charts everywhere, Meghan Trainor who co-wrote this very much radio-friendly tune and Jonas Jeberg, Danish producer with hits for Demi Lovato and Kylie Minogue under his belt. In terms of production, there is something very 80’s in the synth that I just can’t get enough of… it’s not like I was even liquid in that era, right? :/

 

Love, Oliver

*There is no UK release date set for Reflection as of yet but you can pre-order it on Amazon US.

Please do comment and let me know what you think of my choice this week!

Music Tracks of the Week

Track of the Week: Sia “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile”

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This week we got a surprise release from Sia for the upcoming 2014 film adaptation of Annie. You’re Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile is only one of the three tracks by the humble Aussie chart-topper in the soundtrack.

Unfamiliar with the original source material, I did my research (YouTube…) and now I’m feeling a tad averse to calling the reworked version a cover purely because it’s almost unrecognisable from its 1977 original number, no offence but in the most fabulous way possible!

I can see that the opening line’s been changed from /Hey, hobo man/Hey, Dapper Dan/ to /Hey, America/Let’s turn it up/, which is bound to throw some fans off. Whereas the oh-so-out-of-date Beau Brommell reference has been replaced by modern fashion powerhouses Chanel and Gucci that people actually know of… after all, the film is set in the 21st century.

Sia’s vocals, as usual, are melancholic with just enough energy to carry the glossy booming beats off.

 

The newly penned lyrics and overall updated production is so much more polished, more relevant, more contemporary… and generally more pleasingly Sia. If all Broadway musicals sounded like this, even I would feel more inclined to pay closer attention to the genre! Seriously, is there anything this woman can’t do?

 

Love, Oliver

*YNFDWAM is available to pre-order on iTunes UK – Annie is scheduled to hit the cinemas in mid-December.

Are you looking forward to the new Annie film? Tell me what you think of Sia’s take on this childhood classic of many!

Music Tracks of the Week

Track of the Week: Taylor Swift “Out of the Woods”

After the slow but not at all subtle transition out of her early musical roots in Red, Taylor Swift readies to go full Pop with my TOTW, Out of the Woods – a promotional single in preparation for her fifth studio album, 1989 due out in a week.

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In the chorus, Taylor repeatedly mummurs /are we out of the woods yet? are we in the clear yet?/ on top of an bed of intense synths contructed by Jack Antonoff, better known as one-third of the Grammy-winning band fun. and the man behind the critically acclaimed project Bleachers. With a helping hand from Max Martin on the vocal performance, the trio co-wrote and produced possibly the most unlikely Taylor Swift song.

In comparison to the teeny, almost juvenile Shake It Off, Out of the Woods offers a much more mature sound and cinematic lyrics – an old Polaroid, monster trees (Snow White, anyone?) and an automobile accident that leads to a tear-jerking hospital scene… It reminds me of the good ol’ Mary’s Song and Back to December moments when Taylor used to write not songs but stories that presented intense, vivid mental pictures.

 

Rumour has it the song is about her short-lived and sourly ended relationship with 1D’s Harry Styles but I say nevermind which of her many suitors this is directed at and take a moment to appreciate how this is so unexpectedly the perfect mix of Bleachers’ Indie vibes and Charli XCX’s signature anthemic beats!

 

According to Swift, this is “the greatest example of the sound of this album“… so I’m guessing it’s official: Taylor Swift is no longer a Country artist. I can’t say I’m unbothered by the directional shift in her artistry since I fell in love with Swift because she made Country cool but at this point, I’m just interested to see whether 1989 will still be nominated in any of the Grammy’s Country categories this year.

 

Love, Oliver

*Out of the Woods is still unavailable in the UK but 1989 is released on 28 Oct.

Remember to comment and let me know what you think of the song!

Music Tracks of the Week

Track of the Week: Ella Henderson “Empire”

Well, this past week has been very eventful in music – exciting debuts from Alex & Sierra, Ella Henderson, You+Me and as far as I’m concerned, the comeback of Jessie J after her 2011 debut. No, I didn’t forget about her sophomore but it was so painfully underwhelming I chose to disregard the fact that it ever existed.

 

Back on the topic, this week’s TOTW is Ella Henderson’s Empire, track #2 from her new album entitled Chapter One.Chapter One (Deluxe Version)

This glorious track sings of the progress of a strong romantic relationship, with a powerful chorus that shows off Henderson’s vocals magnificently.

https://play.spotify.com/track/2kR7K6bCECPR8qhTz9E2kk

Indeed, Henderson’s voice cuts through sharp from the very first second and all through the track builds up to a mountainous climax, then an upbeat finish.

Easy to be mistaken as one of Ryan Tedder’s works, as it just oozes that mid-tempo ballad-y sound that he’s known for, this track is actually produced by TMS – the songwriting and production trio responsible for a handful of fellow X-Factor alumni’s chart success, including Little Mix (Wings, DNA), Misha B (Do You Think of Me), James Arthur (You’re Nobody ‘til Somebody Loves You, Recovery) and etc.

All in all, I smell ‘next single’… 😉

 

Love, Oliver

*Chapter One is out now on iTunes and Amazon.
Music Tracks of the Week

Track of the Week: Carrie Underwood “Something in the Water”

Can’t believe next year will mark Carrie Underwood‘s 10 years since winning American Idol!

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The Country superstar announced last week that her first greatest hits compilation entitled Decade #1 will be released on 9 December and as the lead single from the fine selection, Something in the Water is to be included among some of Underwood’s 18 number 1 hits. Though the tracklist is still yet to be finalised, it’s sure going to be a hell of a collection.

As a co-writer alongside Chris DeStefano and Brett James, Underwood explains that this track is about having that ‘a-ha’ moment in your life where everything changes for the better. Singing /couldn’t fight back the tears, so I fell on my knees – saying ‘God, if you’re there come and rescue me’/, Underwood’s beliefs in Soutern Baptism are clear in every line.

 

This track takes me way back, 10 years to be exact, to hearing Underwood’s first single (not including Inside Your Heaven from Idol) Jesus, Take the Wheel for the first time!! A religious-themed crossover track filled with faith and positivity in every lyric that’s just great whether or not you share the belief.

Something in the Water summarises the first decade of her Country domination wonderfully… Roll on, Decade #2!!

 

Love, Oliver

*Something in the Water is out now!
*In remembrance of a whole decade of immense success, I look back at some of the highlights in Carrie’s career. Starting with the song that earned her the first couple of her 6 Grammys… and look how innocent and green she looked!! 😀

Extending the positive message of Jesus, Take the Wheel, So Small was the lead single from her sophomore album Carnival Ride.

Yup, a record-breaking Country superstar definitely suits her best… though she does make a beautiful bride too.

In Cowboy Casanova, Carrie shows off a little sass for the first time but certainly not the last…

She is just as feisty in Good Girl from her next album, Blown Away.

Wrapping this post up with two of my favourite songs and videos from her – I find the storytelling elements absolutely compelling. Enjoy!