10 Female Artists Your Ears Need

This week I created a playlist to show you some great female artists you have to hear. Some of the songs aren’t brand new and you may or may not have heard of some of the artists but, in my opinion, these artists and bands deserve a boost in their industries and genres. I think that they do great music and are definitely ones to watch out for. If you want to find out why I made this playlist, CLICK HERE. lets get started!

Shura

Song – Touch // Album – Nothing’s Real

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From Manchester UK, Shura brings together chirpy electronic sounds and relatable lyrics in “Touch” from her brand new album “Nothing’s real”. This song is easy to listen to and fits with a variety of moods, making it a great choice when making your next playlist.

Listen : Spotify // Soundcloud

Robyn Sherwell

Song – Islander // Album – Robyn Sherwell

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If you recognise Robyn Sherwell’s name or voice, it’s most likely from the trailer for  the movie “Suffragette”. With melancholy lyrics and beautifully simple music, Sherwell definitely earns her place on this playlist. How could I not include her song “Islander”.

Listen : Spotify // Soundcloud

Milk & Bone

Song – Pressure // Album – Little Mourning

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Hailing from Canada, the duo Laurence Lafond-Beaulne and Camille Poliquin bring us chilled electropop in the form of Milk & Bone. relaxing but interesting enough to keep you listening, Their song “pressure” is the kind of song that grows on you the more you hear it. I’m also in love with their harmonies too.

Listen : Spotify // Soundcloud

Banks

Song – Waiting Game // Album – Goddess

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Probably the most popular of the artists on this playlist, I have included Banks because a fair few people I know haven’t heard of her, and they really need to. “Waiting Game” has a great build up and the instrumentals backing up her vocals create a piece of music with an impact and presence that is reflected through the rest of the album.

Listen : Spotify // Soundcloud

MUNA

Song – Winterbreak // Album – Winterbreak

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Describing themselves as a Dark Pop girl band, MUNA have created and produced all their music from their bedrooms. I recently discovered “Winterbreak” and there is something about their music that makes me want more but I can’t put my finger on it. Perhaps it’s the vocals that have just the right amount of auto-tune, sounding like its added for effect, not because the talent isn’t there. I most definitely want more.

Listen : Spotify // Soundcloud

Astrid S

Song – Hurts So Good// Album – Astrid S

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You might know her from Matoma’s Tropical house track ” Running out”, but Astrid definitely will be leaving her mark as a great solo artist. Part of the increasing pool of talent coming from Norway and other Nordic countries, Astrid will continue to make waves.

Listen : Spotify // Soundcloud

New Portals/ The Jepettos

Song – Stay Here Tonight // Album – VCR & Chill

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Ok so this one is sneaking two bands into one. New Portals worked with The Jepettos to create VCR & Chill and the result is some pretty damn beautiful versions of New Portals songs, including “Stay Here Tonight”. The Jepettos twist on the songs are a big contrast compared to the New Portals originals but it just works.

Listen : Spotify // Soundcloud

The Japanese House

Song – Cool Blue // Album – Cool Blue

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One of my favourite artists, I cannot get enough of The Japanese House. The tracks are original and easy to listen to but they have meaningful and thought out lyrics. Definitely not your generic top 40, I still think that Amber Bain deserves the attention of everyone. Check out the post I did about both her EP’s.

Listen : Spotify // Soundcloud

Fenne Lily

Song – Top to Toe // Album – Top to Toe

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A beautifully calm singing voice and simple guitar, Fenne Lily is sure to be popular in the folk/acoustic scene. Having only been able to find the one track, I’m left desperately wanting more. Keep your eyes and ears alert for more, I know I will be.

Listen : Spotify // Soundcloud

Made In Heights

Song – Pirouette // Album – Without My Enemy What Would I Do

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Light electronic sounds and great drum tracks from Sabzi compliment the vocals of Kelsey Bulkin to create Made in Heights.Catchy and melodic electronic tracks make them worth the listen.

Listen : Spotify // Soundcloud 

So that concludes the playlist of female talent. comment below or message me if you think there is someone missing! You can listen to the whole playlist HERE on Spotify. If you guys suggest enough tracks, I may make the playlist collaborative so we can all make an awesome playlist full of female artists and musicians.

If you have any other ideas for playlists, contact me and let me know!

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I took a wrong turn…

I scroll through Tumblr to absorb time and occupy my thumbs, and often it doesn’t connect with me on any level other than ” oh nice picture, I’ll reblog that”. But if you look in the right places it actually contains some beautiful art and poetry. Why am I telling you this? No, I’m not being paid to poorly promote Tumblr, although if anyone wants to hire me for that exact reason, I would do a really good? Bad? I’d do a good bad job of it. Anyway, I recently saw a picture with a caption that read as follows:

A wrong turn lead me to a field of flowers and suddenly I’m second guessing every wrong turn in my life. Every wrong turn has lead me to where I am currently, and I am happy as hell, so were they really wrong turns?

Now, whether that hit you like a freight train and you are a changed person, or whether you think it’s fairly average and not poetic at all, it most definitely reflects a time in your life, or it will soon. Everyone makes mistakes, everyone struggles and sometimes it doesn’t seem worth it. Everyone makes choices and sometimes they seem wrong. Whether it was to do with your career, education, your family and personal life or something else, you have been there and I know you are thinking of that time right now. You might still be in that time of your life, who knows. If you can’t think of a time, let me know how you managed to lead a perfect life so far.

I recently completed my qualifications and I am on my way to university in September. Life isn’t perfect but it sure as hell is getting better. I am becoming happier and growing constantly. And that’s why I think that the caption above really resonated with me. The choices I made and the things that have happened to me in the past may have made it seem like life wasn’t meant to be good for me, but they all brought me here didn’t they? Would I have been better or worse off if those things hadn’t happened to me? Who knows? What I do know though, is that I am happy and I am learning and growing and moving forward. I have made my turns and they have lead me to a field of flowers.

As you read this, maybe it’s time to reconsider the “mistakes” of your past and view them as something else. Not as wrong turns, but as turns that brought you to where you are. And for you readers who are thinking “My choices led me right here, and I am not happy.” I think that you should hold on to the belief that you’ll one day turn into a field of flowers and you’ll realise that those same choices lead you there, and you made it through.


It’s good to be writing again and I hope to share some awesome things with you this summer, so follow the blog or like the Facebook page to stay in the loop!

Empire Kings: Self-Titled Album

“This band could have you singing along in no time…”

-Rio Connelly, Salt Lake Underground Magazine

London based indie rock band Empire Kings definitely leave their mark. The band consists of Colin Rivera on vocals, Josh Gishi on bass and backing vocals, Jimi Scandal on lead guitar and Paul Mortimore on drums. They have dominated the London music scene and beyond, even playing V-festival in 2015. What stands out to me is their dedication to creating real, raw music.

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Photo Credit: John Hughes. Instagram: @boscoppa

Listening to their self-titled album I get a sense that I’ve heard their music before. It sounds familiar but that doesn’t mean it sounds like an imitation. On the contrary, their originality is what keeps me listening. I am not always a great fan of indie rock, it takes something special in this genre to make me really want to listen. I don’t dislike indie rock, it just often doesn’t quite capture me. This is where Empire Kings break the mould. With a sound like they’re recording in a big hall, their catchy riffs and hooks, they kept me listening the whole way through and I already had favourites after the first listen. They clearly cater for more than just the genre they somehow neatly fall into but push the boundaries of.

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Photo Credit: John Hughes. Instagram: @boscoppa

 

The third track on the album, called Secrets, firmly planted itself as a favourite and I instantly added it to some of my playlists. The balance between the bluesy verses and the sudden bursts of rock makes this track stand out to me. Other tracks such as Rain and Say It Like You Mean It also make their way onto my list of favourites, but I feel like the list will keep growing as the band does.

A mature and solid approach to their music puts Empire Kings on a path that can only bring good things. The overall vibe of the album is real and raw but still easy to listen to. To check out the album and find out more, visit the Empire Kings website or check them out on Spotify.

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Photo Credit: John Hughes. Instagram: @boscoppa

For any enquiries or recommendations, email me at dontstayinside@gmail.com and I’ll get back to you.

Wicked Bears: Self-Titled EP

Wicked Bears started in Salt Lake City in September of 2015, when Casey Keele (bass/vocals) saw that he and Nick Fleming (guitar) were listening to Masked Intruder on Spotify. After talking about it, they decided to start a band that was similar, and recruited Ken Vallejos on the drums. Thus, Wicked Bears was born.

wicked bears EP coverAnchor Music News said Wicked Bears’ new EP sounds like something “straight out of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater”. And I can’t help but agree. Instant nostalgia hits me and takes me back to my early teens when I play the self-titled EP. Back when the only genres I could differentiate between was pretty much pop, rock, country, rap and classical. I’m not entirely sure if they would like to be compared but hearing them gives me flashbacks to listening to blink-182 on my CD player. They are clearly draw influences from 90’s pop punk. The whole EP just feels to me like a revolution. Wicked Bears are joining the fight to bring back music that isn’t about being manufactured and clean. Every song on the EP makes me picture the guys rocking in an open suburban garage, but performing like they have a packed venue.

When I was given the EP to listen to I honestly didn’t think I could fully enjoy it because I thought my days of listening to “rough around the edges” pop punk were behind me. I was wrong and I’ve listened to the whole track list multiple times. I definitely have my favourites (Do You Remember? and The Weekend) but all the tracks hold their own. In short, this is a fantastic EP and I wish every success to Wicked Bears. I look forward to hearing more and I hope it happens soon.

The new EP has been released by Hidden Home Records on April 30th and can be bought on CD HERE and on cassette HERE. You can also check out the EP on bandcamp HERE

For any enquiries or recommendations, email me at dontstayinside@gmail.com and I’ll get back to you.

These songs belong in movies: the pensive journey scene

I listen to music all the time and one of my favourite things to do is find songs that sound like they belong in movies or videos. I often match songs to a specific scene in my mind, so that’s what I want to share with you. I have combined my love of sharing music with my habit of matching music and video to give you scene specific songs. Today I want to do songs that you would hear at slow moments of the film. These scenes can be romantic, sad, happy, any emotion really, but they just are calm and slow scenes. My favourite to picture is a journey on a train or in a car with beautiful landscapes and that calming music. So here we go, I hope you enjoy.

Bon Iver – Perth

This song just calms me. This is one of the ones I can’t help but picture someone sitting on a train, lost in their thoughts, as it covers miles of stunning scenery. Even the drum beat would fit so well with a moving train. Bon Iver managed to paint a similar picture with a lot of his songs but this is one of my favourites. Whether it was used as an instrumental or vocals were included, this would make a fantastic addition to a movie soundtrack.

Clem Leak – You’re So Very Far Away

This track relaxes me so much and I feel like it would fit a scene with any mood, just as long as it’s calm. Imagine someone walking at early dawn, low lighting and a slow pace. They’re strolling through a quiet and peaceful place, whether it be some woods, or an empty city street. I can just see this scene so clearly in my head thanks to this song.

Rogue Wave – California

There is a definite beach vibe to this one. I can’t decide what is going on in the scene but I can most definitely see rolling waves and a sandy beach. Regardless, this track just places itself firmly on the list.

The xx – Angels

One of the more romantic ones, this song is so beautiful and calming. Probably fitting for a romantic scene of some kind, even though it has a sad tone to it. This is another where I think the song would work well with or without the lyrics, although they are lovely.

James Vincent McMorrow – Cavalier

I’m really not sure what to picture for this song but I know I can hear it being in a film. The way it builds but still manages to stay calm is so good. And how does he get his voice that high?

Chet Faker – No Diggity

Skate video. Enough said. For real though, this song has a beat but it somehow manages to be so chill. We all heard our fair share of No Diggity covers in 2012 thanks to Pitch Perfect, but this is by far the best one.

Kodaline – All I Want

Another romantic one here. This song has “post-break up scene” written all over it. The lyrics, the tune, everything.

Ben Howard – Depth Over Distance

This song starts off slow and simple which in itself fits in with a scene, but the emotion really kicks in near the end. Give it a listen all the way through.

Phosphorescent – The Waves at Night

I see this working for driving a car at dusk. It is just swamped in a slow sunset feeling. it wouldn’t fail to bring a really peaceful feeling to the scene and just bring it all together.

If you think I missed out any tracks or you have any additional suggestions let me know in the comments below. What kind if scene would you like me to create a playlist to next? Make sure to tell me what you’d like to see and hear. To get access to the playlist on Spotify CLICK HERE

The Japanese House double review : Pools to Bathe in // Clean

Amber Bain, the musical genius behind The Japanese House, creates music filled with synth, vocal layering, and salient lyrics. There isn’t much information out there on The Japanese house, except a few interviews and articles. But this only seems to add to the appeal of London based artist. So far she has released two EPs, supported The 1975 on their recent tour, and is even with the same record label as them.

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The first EP released, Pools To Bathe In, begins with a track with the same title. Background sound effects and then a catchy riff bring in the song, showing us a signature of Amber’s music. The use of multiple layers creates an auto-tuned or electronic effect on her voice that somehow still feels raw and real. Probably because it is simply layers upon layers and not vocal correction. The song takes the listener through what may at first seem to be an unstructured path of lyrics and sounds but as you let the song sink in, it forms a smooth but interesting route built straight from the mind of the artist. Each song holds poetic writing and excellent use of sound but my favourite track on this EP, and maybe even in the whole of The Japanese House’s current collection, is the 3rd track named Still. From the slow rhythm of the verse to the expressive words that open up Amber’s head to the audience, this track allows anyone hearing it to be taken somewhere other than where they are.

As you listen to each song in this EP, there is somehow a unified sound yet every song has its own impact and signature. It is rare to find an artist who can deliver music that can hold broad appeal yet stays true and doesn’t feel manufactured.

Clean


The same could be said for the latest EP release, Clean. Holding firm to her unique style, but with a less intense electronic feel and more conventional instruments, Amber treats us to another slice of her talent. And what a slice it is. The first track somehow manages to take the listener to that same ethereal place in our mind despite the more upbeat feeling to the track. But I think that is something everyone who listens will grow to recognise as The Japanese House’s defining ability. To harmoniously bring together the pleasant and bright mood of the music with the melancholy of the lyrics.

Cool Blue is undoubtedly the catchiest track on Clean and somehow fills me with nostalgia despite not sounding like anything I listened to when I was young. The tone changes for the last two tracks, the light mood of the music replaced by a sound that seems more appropriately matched with the lyrics.

The way the EP is balanced shows to me the immense talent held by Amber Bain. The music made by The Japanese House manages to fit multiple moods and occasions. I look forward to a full album from a mind that has already provided such great music.

Wear the Adventure – Earth day special.

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Photo courtesy of  Paige Hobbs // To see more visit her Instagram @giboinface

I love a good adventure. I most definitely have not had enough of them and I often scroll through Instagram wishing I was on top of that mountain, in that lake or at that beach like the people in the pictures. Few things inspire me to actually get out and do something, which is something I want to change. In myself, and in you. There are brands that are trying to do the exact same thing. They want to inspire, encourage and pull you into the world we live in. I love the impact that brands can have and so I want to share with you some brands whose put out positivity, promote adventure and exploration and want to look after the world we live in. In honour of Earth Day, I want to share brands that care for the earth and want you to appreciate it like they do.

Fayettechill

I found Fayettechill while looking through various wildlife and adventure accounts on Instagram. This brand, based in Fayetteville, Arkansas, are all about the outdoor lifestyle. They produce clothing that not only looks cool but is functional too. The thing I love about Fayettechill is the way they promote outdoor living. They want you to experience the world and get more from it. And the more I look at their Instagram, the more I want to get out there in the wild. Oh and I am definitely jealous that I don’t have a headquarters in the mountains like they do.

Sørensen

I stumbled across Sørensen through a surf blog that I follow and immediately wanted one of their watches. The company has a simple product range. Right now they sell watches and Duffle bags that can turn into a backpack. I love the look of their products, which seamlessly manage to be stylish yet ready for adventure. Can’t wait to get my hands on something from these guys.

Naturebacks

Another clothing brand that encourages adventure, Naturebacks is a small brand that I really hope keeps bringing more to the table. With every order you get GPS coordinates to a location that they think you just HAVE to visit, which is an original and awesome feature. Not much else can be said about these guys except “keep it coming”.

Patagonia

Probably the most well-known on the list, Patagonia not only encourages an active and adventurous lifestyle, but also do their part to help the world we share. They realise that as a business they are able to bring about real change and make a positive impact on the planet. Couple that with beautiful and functional clothing that facilitates exploration and adventure and you have a pretty awesome brand if you ask me.

No trail, no worries. Photo: @mikeylikesrocks

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VAI-KØ

Hailing from Finland, this brand aim to combat conventional fashion by looking after nature and people. Using ethical and eco-friendly materials, VAI-KØ create awesome clothing and accessories, my personal favourite being the simple Kiva 2.0 Beanie.

Hope you've had a great weekend and collected a lot of good vibes for the upcoming week!

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Tribe & True

I only recently discovered this company but honestly, WHY DIDN’T I FIND THEM SOONER! I love the Native American patterns on the blankets and I would buy them all. No outdoor adventure is complete without sitting with a blanket, soaking in the beauty of the landscape and I know that these are the blankets I want to be wrapped in when I experience a sunset on top of a mountain.

Thanks for reading and I hope that you enjoy the things I post about. If there is a brand you think is missing from this list or that I might not know about, let me know in the comments. I always love to discover new things. Let me know who your favourites are or what you’d like a list of next. Enjoy Earth Day and love the planet!

To find out more about me and my blog click here and please check out my other posts.

The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me

 

 Today I am reviewing Brand new’s album The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me which, even 10 years after release, I believe should be a staple of many a person’s music collection. Brand new formed in 2000, consisting of Jesse Lacey, Vincent Accardi, Garrett Tierney and Brian Lane. They released their album Your Favorite Weapon in 2001 which set them firmly in the punk rock genre. Their clever lyrics and catchy hooks made for an exciting first album. 2003 brought the release of Deja Entendu and a big change for the band in terms of style. Deja Entendu is French for “already heard” and was a playful quip at music fans who compare new music to old saying that it’s all the same. Many considered Deja Entendu to be a more mature album than Your Favorite Weapon, moving on from the angst of breaking up and onto more serious matters of regret and control.

 

Instagram @dontstayinside

 

 Fast forward three years and that brings us to the release of The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me. This review is unfair in some ways as it comes so many years down the road that I have had the chance to personally attach to the record. It is one of my favourite records and always will be. This could be because in true Lacey fashion, the lyrics feel personal and you wonder as you listen, what he could have gone through. The words come out as a poignant reminder of specific times in your own life, sometimes without even relating directly to those experiences.

The first song on the album, called Sowing Season (Yeah) provides a calm, almost acoustic feeling verse. This mellow aura is abruptly torn in two by the heavy chorus, giving you an immediate taster of the album to come. The whole song prepares the way for the rest of the album but holds its ground as a song that stands out. Millstone, the next song on the album, continues to lay the path with statement lyrics. Everyone will undoubtedly find something in this song that hits home.

Unmistakeably the principal song of the whole album, and my personal favourite, Jesus Christ shows Jesse Lacey’s ability to write about more than broken hearts. Speaking directly to Jesus, the band asks questions and makes declarations that are compelling and heavy. Whether or not the listener has questioned religion before, they most certainly will hear the importance of this song.

The haunting music and palpable melancholy continue to hold fast through the next few tracks, occasionally interrupted by bouts of aggression and anger backed up by loud, dramatic, but somehow melodic arrangements. You Won’t Know and Welcome to Bangkok deliver a something that is a little harder to swallow, causing the album to fall ever so slightly short in the middle. With the insight afforded to me by reviewing an album so late after it has been released, I can now see that these songs are a preview of things to come in the next album, Daisy, which was at best, tough to listen to. Even Lacey stated in an interview that it was uncomfortable album to listen to.

Brand new brings the audience back with another favourite, Not The Sun and continues strong right up to the end. Overall the album is a success, if you consider an album devoid of any hope or happiness a success. It is clear throughout the entire album that the band were struggling in their lives but they managed to transfer that into a fantastic album full of emotion and honest lyrics. Perhaps not every song lived up to the overall standard of the record but overall the boys should be applauded for creating a song that somehow plants its feet firmly within not only the emo genre but also reaches out and appeals to so many others.

Thank you for taking the time to read my review, please comment below and let me know what you thought. Tell me what your favourite song was if you listened to the album or even let me know if you would like me to review your favourite album. I hope everyone who reads my blog took up my challenge to listen to the album and give music a chance even when it isn’t to your taste and let me know if you managed that challenge!