Album Review: X (Multiply) by Ed Sheeran

20140407-edsheeran-x600-1396888773

 

Many artists fail when it comes to releasing a sophomore album that tops their debut album. Ed Sheeran is not the case. Multiply came out June 23rd and since then has become the fastest selling record of 2014. Boy does it deserve that title.

“X” does exactly what Sheeran needed to do, have plenty of heartfelt love songs, mixed with 90’s hip hop songs. From start to finish there is hit after hit after hit, which is what makes this sophomore album so spectacular. The album leads off with a typical Sheeran ballad about lost love titled “One” before heading into a more upbeat tune, which is a tad different for Sheeran titled “I’m A Mess.” Sheeran has definitely dabbled in genres more than acoustic singer/songwriter. Many of the songs have a hip/hop feel which Sheeran pulls off effortlessly.

What I love about Sheeran is how easily I can connect his songs to memories which is another reason why his album has been on repeat the past week. Stand outs to me on this album would include “Photograph” “Thinking Out Loud” “Tenerife Sea” and “Don’t”. Let it be known that all of tracks on this album are incredible these have just stood out to me. You must go into this album with an open mind and understand it is not a replica of “+” but instead an extension and growth from it.

 

 

xx

Ashley

Track Review: One by Ed Sheeran

I couldn’t name one flaw about Ed Sheeran. He is clearly one of the best songwriters of our generation, and his musicality is flawless. Releasing “Sing” a song influenced by 90’s hip hop aiming for top of the charts this summer, its not surprise that the next song he released is a bit more low key, + album Ed Sheeran.

“One” tells the tale of lost love and hoping that a friendship can still remain while he watches his past love marry another man. Its acoustic driven song, opening with soft vocals and a soothing guitar rift. Quiet strings and drums join the song at the beginning of the second verse before fading out at the end of the bridge, bringing the emotion to a peak.

Sheeran leads into the chorus he bringing out his flawless falsetto, and keeping it through the chorus. With lines like “Tell me that you turned down the man Who asked for your hand ‘Cause you’re waiting for me” you are automatically swept off your feet.

“One” has not been announced as his next single but he has been playing it at promo events. You can get Sheeran’s sophomore album titled “x” June 23rd or you could pre-order it now and get “Sing” and “One”. Sheeran will be on tour in the US this upcoming August and September.

 

xx

Ashley

Track Review: Stay by Lewis Watson

10864737026_6b7b189664_z

 

Let me introduce you to Ed Sheeran’s long lost brother. Meet Lewis Watson, a 21 year old singer/songwriter from Oxfordshire, England. He hasn’t completely taken over the US but that is sure to happen after the release of his debut album “The Morning”. His sound is very singer/songwriter. If you listen to Gabrielle Aplin, Ed Sheeran, Nina Nesbitt, or Kodaline I would recommend checking him out.

GJfe2Hkl

Watson started out posting covers on YouTube and after three years released his first EP in 2012 titled”It’s got four sad songs on it BTW”. Soon after that release he was offered many record deals before signing with Warner Bros Records who have worked with artists like Damien Rice and Neil Young. Between 2012-2013, Watson released fiver other EP’s before announcing this year that he would be releasing his debut album.

The first single of his debut album is titled “Stay”. It’s an acoustic driven song with quiet drum beats that join halfway through the song. The story behind “Stay” is extremely romantic. Watson explained that “Stay” was written about a dream he had where a girl was singing a song that he thought was amazing. “I hadn’t heard the song before, so I tried to wake myself up to write what I’ve heard but when I woke up I couldn’t remember the song. I wrote this song about the girl in my dream.”  (Source)

While Watson has not announced any US tour dates yet, he has a UK tour lined up next fall!

 

xx

Ashley

10 Artists To Look Out For in 2014 (PART 2)

This post is a continuation of my previous post about new artists that are going to have a huge 2014!

6) Tove Lo

You might know this Swedish indie rock artist from her hit single “Habits.” Her sound is definitely electronic with rock sounds, almost reminiscent with Banks. with With the release of her first EP in the US this past March, performances at SXSW and a killer remix by Hippie Sabotage, she is gearing up for a big year. She has written songs for artists like Adam Lambert, Cher Llyod, Girls Aloud, and Icona Pop. She does not have any US tours lined up right now but instead has select dates in NYC and LA at the end of April.

7) Mø

This electropop artist from Denmark has already recorded with big artists like Avicii. Her sound is similar to Tove Lo’s. Only recently getting into the music industry, she released her first single on The Zane Lowe Show on BBCR1, and then proceeded to drop a debut album No Mythologies to Follow which is making a splash across Europe. Finishing off spring with a headlining tour in Europe and starting summer with a headlining tour in the US, this is one artist I would definitely recommend seeing live.

8) Vance Joy

This Australian singer songwriter was originally a university student and talented soccer player but gave it all up for music. His sound is like Kodaline, and he uses a lot of ukulele which I love. He released an EP this past March, releasing the single “Riptide” off of it. He has been touring Australia this spring and has plans to play a major festivals this summer like Firefly, Bonnaroo, Outside Lands and Osheaga.

 

9) Sky Ferriera

This artist has been around since 2009, yet only recently released a debut album. I define her sound as indie pop/rock, with heavy synths almost making it sound like an album that could have come out in the 80’s. Her label claiming she wasn’t ready to release music led to her to release multiple singles before an EP or album came out. She is currently touring with Miley Cyrus, and have plans to hit up a few festivals in Europe this summer.

 

10) Childish Gambino

This hip/hop rapper might look familiar to you. He was a leading role on the NBC sitcom Community and also a guest star on Girls. He signed with Glassnote Records in 2011 and since then has released two albums. His sound is similar to Frank Ocean and Kendrick Lamar, which to me is an ideal combination. He is currently finishing out his Deep Web tour and has plans to star in a music-related show on FX which he will produce, write and star in.

 

Track Review: West Coast by Lana Del Rey

lanadelrey1-e1376673515811Lana is back! While performing at the final night of Weekend 1 at Coachella, Lana Del Rey premiered her new single “West Coast.” The California inspired track has all of what Lana is known for: velvety vocals, quiet guitar licks, and basic drum beats.

The first single off her highly anticipated album Ultra Violence is surely going to be hit with catchy lyrics like “Down on the west coast, they love their movies // Their golden cars and rock-n-roll groupies // And you got the music, you got the music in you, don’t you?” 

Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys has worked with Del Rey on album, which does not have a drop date yet.

This isn’t the first track that Del Rey has released this year. Del Rey released a cover of “Once Upon a Dream” for the upcoming Disney film Maleficent. You can catch Lana on her upcoming North American tour dates.

xx

Ashley

Track Review: Down by The Kooks

 

The Kooks are back! Well sorta. If you are expecting the “Inside In/Inside” Out Kooks you will be quite surprised. When I first heard that the Kooks would be releasing new music in 2014 I was beyond thrilled. After all I have had their past 3 albums on repeat for as long as I can remember!

“Down” is certainly different from their past singles. It sounds heavily influenced by R&B and Hip Hop, or as Matty Healy would say “black American music.” This was something that I certainly didn’t expect from an originally indie guitar heavy band, but it is extremely catchy. I personally hear almost a Beastie Boys vibe to it with the drum track.

The band has worked with Hip Hop producer and performer Inflo on the track.”With this record we didn’t do any rehearsing beforehand,” Pritchard said in a statement. “I’d write a song with Inflo or on my own, put it up and we’d all play over it. There was a real freedom to the process.” (http://www.nme.com/news/the-kooks/76030)

I would definitely recommend giving the track a chance before you form an opinion on it. It may not be like the old Kooks but it certainly is an evolution that could bring greatness.

 

xx

Ashley

Album Review: “She Looks So Perfect-EP” by 5 Seconds of Summer

Image

Hello pop punk’s newest princes. Meet 5 Seconds of Summer, an Australian band whose EP “She Looks So Perfect” just dropped today. 5SOS probably sounds familiar, especially if you are fans of One Direction. They opened up for the biggest boyband in the world last summer and since then have taken the world by storm.

Before releasing this EP they have headlined multiple tours in Australia, just finished their first UK headlining tour, are in the middle of their European tour, have an American tour planned, and are hitting the road again this summer with One Direction. Yes all of this was planned before they even released this EP.

With sounds reminiscent of All Time Low, Boys Meet Girls, and Mayday Parade, this band surely brings you back to your middle school scene days. The EP itself is very guitar heavy with killer melodies, one can find themselves constantly singing at least one of their songs. Out of the four songs “She Looks So Perfect” and “Heartache on the Big Screen” are definite stand outs.

This is a very impressive EP for such a young band and I can’t wait to see what else these boys have in store for us!

 

xx

Ashley