Album Review: X (Multiply) by Ed Sheeran

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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

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Where In The World Have I Been?

Hey there old friend. Bet you thought I forgot about you. I didn’t I was just experiencing something outside the internet for once.

If you don’t know I’ve been living in Oxford for the past month. It was probably one of the biggest life changing moments I’ve had in my short life of 19 years. This is what I’ve been up to this past month.

This was home

 

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I visited multiple places

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I went out
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A lot…

 
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I saw two local bands at my local bar

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One of who I might be working with

 

 

& I met a boy…

 

Who I’m not quite ready to share but just know he made me happy

 

xx

Ashley

 

 

PS: I’ll be back to regular postings this week

 

Artist Alert: Shannon Saunders

 

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I came across Shannon Saunders this past spring while looking for unique female singer/songwriters. I am constantly listening to male singer/songwriters but needed a female artist to listen to to really get my girl perspective in song. Shannon Saunders does just that.

A native to London Saunders got her start on YouTube in 2009. After putting out a range of covers she gained the attention of ATC Management who got her connected with Jake Gosling, a producer known for working with Ed Sheeran. In January of 2013, Saunders released her first single “Heart of Blue” followed by “Scars” and “Atlas” that was released this past December.

She has toured with artist like Lewis Watson and Lucy Spraggan and has some festivals lined up for this upcoming summer.

Saunders recently announced that her debut album is finished and that she has just signed to Kwame Kwaten’s label. 

The past three singles she released are very singer/songwriter-esque but from her recent instagram videos it sounds as if she is going in a more electronic direction. Either way her songwriting is brilliant and refreshing and I can’t wait to hear what is coming up with her.

 

Here is one of my favorite song of hers. It hasn’t been released yet but I’m always playing it on YouTube.

 

xx

Ashley

5 Things I’ve Learned From Oxford…So Far

I have been in Oxford a little over a week now and boy have I learned a lot. Yes I am learning a lot in my classes but I’m talking social norms. This is what I’ve learned.

 

1) All pubs close by 11.

This one was shocker to me. I’m from a college town and most bars and pubs are open until 1. Here all the pubs serve their last drink at 11 and push people out by 11:15. Good for the bartenders, not good for the consumers. The only exceptions would be the bar/club scenes that have far too many tourists there.

 

2) Students do not use backpacks.

The biggest no in the book at Oxford, is not using a backpack. Use a messenger bag or don’t use any bag at all. I guess backpacks cramp the Oxonian style?

 

3) Shorts must be worn with tights

The first sunny day I had here it was about 70 degrees, which in New England means the shorts and sandals are broken out. That is not the case here. Everyone will be in pants and if they wear shorts, black tights will be worn under them. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the color black and tights but its a little too dark to wear on a sunny day.

 

4) Cars, Buses and Bikes do not stop for pedestrians.

The one really known thing about the United Kingdom is that they drive on the other side of the road. I knew that coming in. I did not know that cars, buses, and bikes have the right away over humans. Yes that means that a car can/will continue driving if you try to cross the street and you will potentially get hit if thats the case.

 

5) People can just tell your American

I’m not quite sure how they can tell, I try to blend in as much as possible but still they find me and boy do they make it known that they know I’m an American. I’ve gotten screamed American out a car window while driving by. My personal favorite would be when a group of boys chanted USA! USA! while I walked to class.

 

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

Night Out & Falling In Love

I fall in love fast and hard. I don’t actually fall in love, its more like I am charmed easily. Its a good and bad thing. Friday was no exception to me falling in love. After a long day of classes my friends and I decided that a night out on the town was exactly what we needed. After a quick change we all grabbed the bus to the city center.

As soon as we got there hunger began to kick in. We had forgotten about dinner. Luckily, the White Horse pub had an open seat, gin, and fish and chips. After a quick meal we began to walk the streets looking for the busiest pub. We quickly found the Turf Tavern, a pub famous for two things. The former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke set the Guinness World Record for consuming a yard of ale in 11 seconds, AND Bill Clinton apparently smoked but “did not inhale.” Sure Bill, whatever you say.

After enjoying some more gin&tonic my friends and I began to look for another pub. We were disappointed to discovered that many were crowded with middle aged adults and not students. We wandered for another 1/2 hour until the Dew Drop, what I consider my local pub was brought up. “It’s open til 11 and is guaranteed to be fun.” I stated. With that we were on our way.

 

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Another gin&tonic and we were set discussing past boyfriends. I began to notice that many people were leaving and it was getting late, we had to be up for London at 9:30. I mentioned that we should head out and with that we brought our drinks up to the bar. Enter the falling in love.

Blondie (the bartender who I have fallen for) was washing glasses when I sat mine down. “Sorry we are here so late” I said with a small smile. “Don’t worry about it we don’t close for another half hour” he said, his accent dripping. Somehow I was able to divert the conversation to asking him where he lives. He explained that he was living up the street but only here for another month before heading back to what I believe was the University of Bristol. I explained I was doing the same but heading back to the States. From there the conversation seemed to flow, him asking about the drinking age and explaining how Germans drink beer like water and me excitedly telling him how I’m attending Octoberfest.

I’m not quite sure how our conversation end and picked up again with the brunette but somehow it did. Brunette asked us how our night was and we vented how we didn’t really know where to go out. “Oh, so you need someone to show you around? I have Thursday off, I can do it” he stated. “That would be perfect.” my friend exclaimed. “I’m Ashley, you should probably know our names” I said holding out my hand. “Patch” he said smiling. “I won’t remember them now but I’m sure I’ll see you girls before Thursday” he chuckled. We all blushed, laughed and nodded. It was then when Patch got called back to work.”Thanks again” we said waving goodbye. “Cheers” I heard a voice. I turned around to see Blondie washing glasses once again. “Cheers” I said back. “Oh wait, I’m not sure if you say it back to the person who said it” I rambled. He chuckled and smiled. I blushed and died inside.

Love has struck me and I have plans Thursday.

I love England.

 

xx

Ashley