Ariana’s Gift To Us All

Ariana’s Gift To Us All

Hello, hello.

Unless you’ve been living under the world’s largest rock recently, you’d be aware that Ariana Grande currently has the world in the palm of her hand, and is killing the game. I thought 2018 was her year, but 2019 has barely started and she’s already claimed this year as her own.

She recently released her album, titled after the first single she dropped, ‘thank you, next‘ and my god, this album is everything she’s been promising and more.

I’ve never considered myself a ‘fan’ of Ariana Grande if we’re being honest. Up until last year I only ever really listened to her when she popped up on the radio, but I rarely went on to Spotify with the intent to literally binge her entire album, which up until today, I could never say I had done. That’s over.

That said, let’s get into this play-by-play rundown. Sadly this isn’t a reaction post, because I was too busy hyping every second of it to think about typing down my thoughts. But it’s close enough.

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imagine
Ok. I know this song is cute. I know it’s a sweet lil tune, and heaps of people are around it. But it’s taken me way too long to get into it and now I’m only just jumping on the bandwagon. It took me a little while to even bother listening to it, even though it was released as a single. I don’t know. I just wasn’t hooked straight away.

needy
Did someone say me? No, they just said ‘needy’, but that’s practically the same thing. This song gets me. The simple piano is something that makes it such a catchy song, and the record just sounds like a dream, really kick-starting the entire ethereal aesthetic of the overall album. I kinda want to do a cover of this song, plainly for how simple it is, but how great it is to listen to.

NASA
How genius. This is a great tune. Such a great song. The play on words and the open-ness about just needing, space? I love the content of this album, Ariana’s so honest and raw in it, and it’s an honesty that I think her audience have come to expect from her. I think with everything she’s been through, in such a short time span, she can’t afford to be anything other than honest and true. However she still manages to do so in a way that gets you off your feet and bopping.

 

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bloodline
This is undoubtedly, in my top three songs on this album. The trumpets, how simple and catchy the chorus is, the story-line, everything. This song to me, in a nutshell, throws all the necessary shade at Pete Davidson, in one, pent up go. Considering how many times Pete decided to use their ended engagement as the butt of a joke, compared to how silent she kinda was, the whole ‘letting go’ part of the song kinda points fingers at a comparison between the two and how they handled the ended relationship so differently. Regardless, the song is a really fun anthem, and I find myself searching for it while I’m getting ready to jump in the car, purely so I can sing along.

fake smile
I love the intro to this song. So much. I mean sampling Wendy Rene?? Yes please. This song is probably one of the most honest songs on the album. She’s so candid about that fact that she’s been through hell. So much, and for someone so young who’s constantly on show, being scrutinised every second, it’s gonna be hard regardless. The song remains cute and playful, but provides a really vulnerable insight into Ariana’s mind.

bad idea
This song’s just really strong and energetic, but in a ridiculously cool way. She doesn’t sound like she cares at all and funnily enough it’s what I love the most about it. I don’t know if this song reaches as high as some of the others on the album for me personally, but it’s a good song to fit into the middle of the record. It genuinely fits the aesthetic of the record and I think a lot of time has gone into crafting the perfect selection of songs that contrast yet still manage to compliment each other.

make up
We love a cheeky play on words.

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ghostin
Possibly the saddest song on the album. It’s all about giving someone so much and getting little in return, and I think it’s possibly one of the strongest yet vulnerable songs on the album for how much it says. I think the song could possibly be about how much she had to go through, especially considering she was in a relationship while at the same time dealing with fall outs and issues from other relationships. The song is so clearly about that balance between Pete Davidson and Mac Miller, and the repercussions of his death not only on her personally, but also possibly on her relationship, and the fact that’s she’s so open and honest about it is a bold move considering how much flack and hatred she received when Mac passed away.

in my head
I think Ariana’s killing it with the introductions on all her songs, as well as the sampling. It’s all done tastefully, there aren’t any voice memos included simply because it might sound good, and samples are being used in a fresh way for her music. The fact that the voice memo is of her close friend Doug who ‘was a major help’ to her through some of her hardest moments speaks volumes. I think the song could be speaking about the way she sees someone, compared to way the rest of the world sees them, and the reality in between all of that, and I love it.

7 rings
A bop. An anthem. I sing this song all the time, nearly once a day, and it’s constantly being rewound and played back again. At first I was kinda confused, but then the confusion passed, the clouds moved away and I saw the light, and now I can’t get enough.

thank u, next
The song that shook us all. The song that announced her rebirth, her resurrection, her re-brand. A lot of love for this song, man.

break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored
Ah yes, we’ve arrived. My favourite song on the entire bloody album. I feel like this song is the bad-ass sister song to thank u, next, which is quite subtle about it, but this song is so in your face, I love it. I haven’t listened to it as much as 7 rings, but boy am I getting there.  Wait for this song on my February Tunes, cos it’ll be there, I promise.

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So yeah! That’s my song-by-song wrap up of Ariana’s album, thank u, next. I’ve been loving Ariana and her music since she released God Is A Woman and I’m sure she’s gonna give us a lot more in 2019. Let me know what you think, in the comments below.

x

Priya

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January Tunes

January Tunes

Hello hello.

As if. The first month of the year is done. Finished. Over. We’re a month into 2019. Again, we’ve entered the year way too fast for me to keep up, heck I’m barely managing to keep up with this blog this year, but we’re gonna try. The great thing about another fabulous month coming to an end, is the return of my monthly tunes.

If you didn’t catch my post all about Falls Festival, make sure you have a read of that to hear about all the music that started off my year, and how amazing the festival was. In the meantime, here’s what I was listening to in January.

Aubrey – Running Touch: There’s just something about this song that has me coming back to it again and again, and ever since seeing Running Touch live at Falls Fest, I’ve been pumping his music non-stop, especially AubreyMy Hands is still without a doubt my favourite Running Touch song, but this one is climbing higher and higher each time I have a listen.

Wild Horses – Bishop Briggs: Be warned. A fair amount of songs on this list are by artists I saw at Falls Festival, and Bishop is another one. This song was one I didn’t listen to a ton, until after the festival. Mia and I absolutely bumped this song on the drive back, as well as majority of Briggs’ discography, which I was not mad about at all.

Crave You – Flight Facilities: Another set that I didn’t expect to love as much as I did. Flight Facilities were an amazing set. We were close to the front, right in the mosh, surrounded by all our friends and genuinely just had an amazing time. The energy on stage was A+, the vocal performances were all spot on and it was one of my favourite acts of the festival.

i’m so tired… – Lauv, Troye Sivan: I found this song on the tail of January and had to come back to this scheduled post to add it in. By God, this song hit me at the worst time and literally had me struggling to choose between sobbing on the floor or having a dance. It’s such a good song, and I’ve grown a greater appreciation for Lauv as an artist ever since watching a few of his ‘how i made…’ videos on YouTube, and this song is becoming a big favourite. Of course anything with Troye Sivan peaks my interest too so this was a winner.

Caramelo Duro – Miguel: My Miguel phase is continuing on one upward slant and I refuse to stop it. This song is definitely my favourite and I’ve been playing it just as much in January as I did in December.

Miracle Love – Matt Corby: I’m counting down the days until I get to see this magical man in concert in April. I’m especially looking forward to seeing this song considering how much I’ve played it during January.

A Place That I Don’t Know – Odette, Gretta Ray: I have slight apprehensions toward this song because it was while listening to Odette at Falls Festival that I received the gnarliest sunburn ever, but I was still able to enjoy her set and remember this song for when I got home.

comethru – Jeremy Zucker: A song that I’m sure I’ve spoken about before. I’ve tried to introduce it to as many people as I can because it’s such a mood and I love it a lot. I watched Jeremy’s Genius Verified video for this song on YouTube and it’s one of my favourites.

Breathe (In The Air) – Pink Floyd: Forever grateful to the guys at work for playing the entire Pink Floyd anthology because there were so many songs that jogged my memory and I promptly added this to my 365//2019 playlist, where I’m adding a song for every day of the year, as I’ve done in 2017 and 2018. I’ve linked the playlist if you’ve liked to check it out and follow along this year!

Softly – Tash: This was a song one of my close friends introduced to me on a drive up to our friend’s family farm for a weekend away. The best thing about being friends with people who enjoy and respect good music as much as I do is that we’re constantly swapping songs and discovering new artists, which was the case here. I’ve never heard of Tash, and I’m mad about it but totally grateful to my girl for introducing me to this song.

WESTWORLD – EVAN GIIA: A bit of a different style compared to some of the other songs, but I love it no less. Again, like the song above, this was introduced to me by my close friend. I loved it so much I added it to my 356//2019 playlist and listened to it heaps in January.

Undecided – Chris Brown: At first? I hated this song. So. Much. Like the first time I heard it I thought the intro was ripped from a Nintendo Wii start-up tune. But, as it is with Chris Brown’s songs, it grew on me. I still can’t understand that flute for the life of me and why that sound particularly was chose, but I can work with it.

You’re On My Mind – Tom Misch: This song is beautiful. So beautiful. As is Tom Misch. So really, I should have expected it. We’re huge fans of Tom Misch here at You Should Hear, and this song isn’t a new one, but it never gets old. It’s such a good song, and the level of skill in not only the singing but guitar recorded on this song is next level.

Power Over Me – Dermot Kennedy: If you’re looking for a bold, strong song, this is it. Heck, if you’re looking for a bold, strong singer, Dermot’s your guy. He was so understated during his set at Falls Fest. He spent most of the set with his hands clasped, in front of the mic or pacing the stage, but his voice was undeniably one of the strongest voices of the entire festival. I’ve fallen in love with this song after hearing it live, and I’m just waiting for the moment someone catches me belting it from the top of my lungs in the car.

That’s OK – Mahalia: We love Mahalia. I hadn’t heard this song until this month, and I immediately kicked myself for not listening to it earlier. It’s such a good song, and a great reminder of just how good Mahalia’s vocals are. Her songwriting shines in this one as well. I watched her Genius Verified video as well, and honestly guys and gals, if you want to get to know an artist a little bit more, hope they’ve recorded a Genius video and watch it a few times.

New Light – John Mayer: Ask me how excited I am to see John Mayer live. Just ask me. You won’t get a proper response because I can’t properly vocalize it, but I’m crossing all my fingers that he plays this song. It’s so good.  I especially love Alice Kristiansen’s cover of it on YouTube, make sure you have a listen to that one.

Need You – Flight Facilities: Another Flight Facilities song because I’ve been bumping their music since the festival. I can’t honestly pick between Crave You and Need You, but they’re equally as good, so even if you have time to only listen to one, you won’t be disappointed.

La Di Da – Lennon Stella: No secret that I love Lennon, and at the moment La Di Da has been an absolute favourite of mine. It’s such a good song, and Lennon uploaded an acoustic version of it to YouTube that was so beautiful and made me love the song ever more. I’ve added it to my 365//2019 playlist as because, why not?

6 Summers – Anderson .Paak: So. This song is slowly creeping it’s way up there with my favourite Anderson .Paak songs. This song absolutely popped off at Falls Festival and made putting up with the 88 Rising set completely worth it. It was such a fun set and it was great seeing all the people who knew the word’s singing and dancing along with each other. It was definitely my favourite set to have a boogie to.

Lost – Live From Spotify London – Jordan Rakei: If you do anything. Make sure it’s listening to this cover. Holy moly. So I thought Jordan Rakei was as good as he could possibly get. But Jordan Rakei covering my favourite Frank Ocean song? Please. This was absolutely beautiful and completely unexpected. I just happened to throw on the Acoustic Soul Spotify playlist while I was at work one day and nearly tripped over several cables to run to the computer and find out what it was. Be warned.

7 rings – Ariana Grande: I can’t possibly make a January Tunes playlist, without including this song. Nay, without including this masterpiece. Have you ever seen or heard, anyone go in as hard as Ariana Grande and 7 rings? You’re lying if you say you have. If 2018 already wasn’t, 2019 is going to be a HUGE year for that lil gal. I for one, cannot wait.

x

Priya

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Todrick x 4

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Along the same lines of my last post, I’m gonna be sending you to YouTube yet again. Have you heard of Todrick Hall? Hopefully you have. If not, you’re about to be enlightened.

Todrick was probably in his prime a few years ago, when he auditioned for the ninth season of American Idol, but he’s remained consistent and done nothing but grow since then. I’m not sure why I stopped seeing any of his covers up on Facebook for a while, but I’ve remained a subscriber to his YouTube channel religiously, and I nearly scream whenever he pops up in my ‘Recent Upload’s tab. Thank God it’s a ‘nearly’ otherwise those around me in the silent study area at the moment would definitely not have appreciated me shrieking when I noticed his new cover. Before I even begin, please watch this:

 

Now I may not have given Todrick the due credit he deserved in that last paragraph. You probably have heard one of his covers. It would be the 4 cover of Taylor Swift, which I’m pretty sure Taylor herself loved and shared. It too, was pretty great, though out of all the videos, this one is definitely my favourite. More notable is the fact that Hall also starred in Kinky Boots and performed on Broadway. I do also know that he made a few appearances as a judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race, which I really only know about due to my friends. And the memes.

But yes. Todrick Hall. No one can say the guy doesn’t have an incredible voice after watching that. Did you hear it? Like, did you hear it? He has an incredible crispness to his voice, and while I’m sure there is some editing involved to clean up the overall sound, you can’t deny how sharp and hard-hitting Todrick’s voice is. And the harmonies??? Like, come on. He creates harmonies that I couldn’t even think of, it’s like he’s creating notes that aren’t even there. It’s incredible.

Now his first video with this type of format was phenomenal. It was insane. And it was Beyonce. Talk about jumping into the deep end. To even bother covering Beyonce in general is pretty brave. Covering all of Beyonce, mashing them up together and then singing all the parts by yourself? It’s insane. And it’s magical.

 

 

Like, how? Imagine the brainstorm, practice, filming, recording, mixing and editing that goes into one cover. Then multiply it by four! Then add in choreography!! It’s insane, and he makes it look so easy, all the while hitting notes as effortlessly as Bey. I have to admit, my favourite part is at 0:39. A moment.

After the release of the 4 Beyonce video, it was as if Todrick was churning out more and more of these fantastic videos. The next one he did was a video I particularly enjoyed, The Evolution of Disney. Which again, he nailed.

 

 

He uploaded this on YouTube two months later. Two months. I still can’t wrap my head around how hard this guy worked and how hard he is still working. I’m pretty sure he has his own show on MTV, though I’m not positive if it’s still on air. But there was definitely a show. A well deserved TV special. But anyway, he included He’s A Tramp from from Lady and The Tramp. For so long that was my favourite movie ever, and when he dances with that red boa singing like the little pup in the kennel I feel nostalgic as heck.

Then, three months later, amidst selling his tickets for a national tour, he released what would be one of his most famous videos ever, the Taylor Swift medley.

 

 

You definitely hear how amazing he works with harmonies in this one. As well as the harmonies, the backing track that he creates. It’s marvellous and not overtly obvious of the intended original song. And how quickly he dips in and out of songs? It’s amazing how subtly he manages to pick and choose mere sentences to mix with others. And then he released one that’s another favourite of mine, a Rihanna medley.

 

 

The whole build up to Rude Boy. The mashing of Disturbia, Pour It Up and What’s My Name. Did you hear it? Did you see it? It’s at 0:54. Please click.

I could post a couple more of my favourite videos, but I’m already having concerns on whether this post with come up properly content wise so I’ll leave it at that.

Please have a watch, and look at some more of his stuff (especially his Ariana Grande version), here’s the link to his YouTube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1VYb0EKcZuy9rG3q0VR57Q

There is so much work put into these four minute videos, it’s insane to try and fathom the genius that is Todrick Hall.

Oh well, you can try.

xx

p.f

A THING THAT NEEDS RESPECT

I’m so happy right now. So a few days ago,  I was trolling through YouTube, and stumbled across this niche little corner of the internet, where absolute LEGENDS, are taking popular, current songs from the radio, and creating 80s versions of them. Like someone say genius. Genius.

I picked a few of my favourites, you’re welcome. Let me know which ones you enjoyed in the comments! Also, can we just appreciated the amazing covers?

 

Closer – The Marlboro Smokers – we all know who actually released this song, but the name is probably the best part, besides the actually amazing guitar solo that features in this remix.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Do You Mean It’s 1985

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Focus – Ariana Grande – I feel like Ariana’s voice was literally made for the 80s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Childish Gambino – Redbone (70s Remix) – okay, this is the outlier that is a 70s remix, but it cannot be left off this list.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wrecking Ball 80s Version

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Katy Perry – I Kissed A Girl 80s – Katy is driving me up the wall recently, but had she released this version, rather than the original, I would have loved it so much.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rihanna – 90s Bitch Better My Money – again, this one isn’t exactly the 80s, but I’m a 90s baby and I love this remix so much, nostalgic as heck.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

80s Remix: Selena Gomez – Bad Liar – so good. So, so good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj – Bang Bang – um so if there’s anything better than this remix, it’s the video the producer made to go along with it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

80s Remix: Arian Grande – One Last Time – again, Ariana’s voice was made for the 80s.

 

 

80s Remix: Cool For The Summer – they’ve completely changed the rhythm of the chorus, and I really don’t mind, I’m not mad at all. And that sax.

 

 

 

 

80s Remix: Into you – Ariana Grande – this. This is the song that got me hooked.

 

 

 

 

 

80s Remix: Ed Sheeran – Shape Of You – play. this. at. the. club. This is my favourite. Hands down. No competition, no question. The best one. Which is why it’s last. Those of you who persevered through all of these, deserve this absolute gem.

 

 

 

 

I hope you liked this post. I liked putting it together because it gave me an excuse to scour YouTube for the best ones. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. Let me know what you think!

p.f

The Feels

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Calvin Harris. I spoke about him in my last monthly favourites possibly, but here I am again, bleary-eyed, fresh off the plane from my holiday around the USA, to tell you just how much I’m enjoying this particular song.

Feels.

Even the name does it. Like, the name should come as a warning title for everyone listening, about what you’re going to experience when you give this song a go. Feels. All the feels.

With Harris’ new album Funk Wave Bounces Vol. 1 recently released, I was blessed with a few minutes of wifi each day to interact with friends over the ridiculous time zone, post updates on my Instagram (cough cough youshouldhear cough) and download the album on Spotify so I could listen to it on the road. Let’s break it down, shall we?

 

Slide is the first song on the album, and if you’ve been reading while I was away, you know how I feel about that song. It’s funky as heck. Like, encapsulates the title of the album perfectly. Plus, what I believe to be, the final resurrection of Frank Ocean’s vocals on this track, provide a killer backing for boogy-ing around your kitchen after a long day, making a half-decent meal.

Then there’s Cash Out. I don’t even know what happened around me for the duration of this song when I first listened to this because I tuned out. I literally got lost in this song. And I’m not sure why, because it’s definitely not my favourite song on the album. The chorus sounds vaguely familiar to the ultimate fave, this blog’s topic, Feels, yet, I still vibe with it 100%. And PartyNextDoor’s voice can do no wrong. It’s probably that.

Then there’s Heatstroke. This is the song that really pulled me in. Slide was funky, but I wasn’t hooked until I heard this song. I live for Pharrell and Ariana together in this song. It work’s so well, and I love how their voices gel.

Rollin’. Oh Rollin. If you aren’t familiar with Khalid, get around it. He’s amazing, vocally amazing. I can’t understand how it’s taken this long for him to really kick off, but now that he’s doing the circuit I can only hope he makes it Down Under soon. This song is another boost for Khalid, and Calvin does this dude justice. I couldn’t imagine Khalid on an overly funk infused track, and this seems like a perfect middle ground between the vibe Harris was aiming for with this album, and the smoothness that Khalid brings to any song he touches.

Prayers Up. It’s probably my least listened to song on the album. I don’t know. It doesn’t stick with me, and that’s usually what it takes for me to continue to return to a song. Like Feels. Though the synths in this song are killer.

Holiday. I only listen to it for John Legend and Takeoff. And I didn’t even know who Takeoff was before listening to this song. Snoop Dogg is great, but Calvin hit the jackpot getting John’s vocals on it. Hearing him float throughout the track is lovely.

Skrt On Me is phenomenal. Nicki Minaj is phenomenal. I’m going to come out and own up to the fact that I didn’t really care for Nicki until maybe late 2015. And she’s doing amazing stuff, that I vibe with. Swalla was only the beginning of it for me this year, and getting her as the solo feature on this song was an amazing decision. Nicki’s singing voice is so under-appreciated and Harris has pulled through to deliver that amazing-ness.

Feels, we can wait for that a little bit.

The next song on the album is Faking It, with Kehlani and Lil Yachty. I was pretty biased when I listened to this song, because I listened as a fan of Kehlani, and even if it totally sucked, it wouldn’t have in my opinion. I could listen to that girl sing the alphabet and cry ‘Grammy!’. Thankfully, I didn’t have to because this song is one of the more mellow songs on the album, but you can still groove to it. Versatility is such a key for me, and this song ticks that box straight away. And the lyrics. Spot on. No wrong.

I had never heard of Jessie Reyez before I listened to this song, and I’m low-key very angry about it. She kinda reminds me a bit of a more RnB version of Norah Jones. I love it. This song is a great finisher to this amazing album.

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But now. The reason for this blog.

Feels. Feels, feels, feels, feels, feels.

I don’t care if I get smack for this, but if Katy Perry could put aside her own career for a little while, and commit her life to the few lines she sings in this song, I would be eternally grateful. It’s so good??? Pharrell kills it. Pharrell Williams honestly grabs the verses and pre-chorus by the horns, and kills it. Nails it all. And then the chorus comes in. The first time I heard it, I was convinced that it was not Katy Perry. It sounds totally different to the stuff she’s recently released, and I prefer these five lines to anything I’ve heard from her in the last three years. Honestly. 100% honesty. And then Big Sean comes through and I was forced to commit at least twelve replays to learn that rap, which I now scream religiously. Wait for this song at the club. Just wait.

Calvin Harris is killing it this year. Between his perfectly timed single releases, the parrot in the promotion for the album and the incredible list of feature artists that help make up the record, he nails it. Honestly, if one of these songs isn’t titled Song Of Summer for this year, I’ll throw fists. I’ll do it. Especially if Feels isn’t featured. Play Feels at my wedding. Heck, play it at my funeral. Live funky, die funky.

I’m a bit passionate about this song. Hopefully you are too. If you aren’t, give it a few more plays. Don’t resist.

p.f