Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Street Performers

In almost every city/town centre you are will see street performers. They are out in all weathers and some every day of the week, but have you ever taken the time to stand and listen to one? I'm guessing your answer is probably no. Don't worry, nearly everyone is going to be guilty of this if they actually think about it - me included.

"Just in case you are unaware, a busker or street performer is someone who performs on a busy street for the public and are generally rewarded with money but other things are sometimes given."
All it takes is stopping for a minute or two and listening to a street performer, you will hear the talent that some of them do have and they are defiantly worth a listen. One thing I love about buskers is the self confidence and bravery they have to go out and sing to complete strangers that are changing by the second. They go out and just do what they love and what they are passionate about. After all, this is what music is about and being accessible to everyone, it doesn't matter if that is performing, writing or just listening.
Many people think that buskers are going out and performing just for the money they may make. However, after to speaking to a few people who do this, this is really not the case at all. Many just want to perform to people and share their music with people - they do it purely because they love music. Some of the buskers who does receive money don't keep it for themselves either, they sometimes give it to charity.

So next time you see someone performing on the street and giving it their all, just stop and give them a listen, you could make their entire day.

Flame x

Music Snobs

Music snobs. We have all encountered them at some point. We have all probably being guilty of it ourselves.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Megan Davies

Thank God for the wonderful thing that is YouTube! Without this, I probably wouldn't have found the amazingly talented Megan Davies.

Megan is a singer/songwriter from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, who recently graduated from Belmont University in Nashville after studying song writing and classical guitar. She has recorded a number of EP's - “Writing On The Walls” in 2008 which is a collection of original acoustic tracks and “Apartment Sessions” in 2011; a collection of demos recorded in her uni dorm room. 2013 is when Megan began using YouTube and uploading covers where she has collaborated with her younger sister Jaclyn and other singer/songwriter friends in Nashville. Her YouTube channel has over 84,000 subscribers and more than 6.5million views overall - this is pretty good going for an unsigned artist!

After finding these song covers, I spoke to Megan to see if she would like me to do a review of these - to which she very kindly agreed - and one thing I wanted to find out about was what she loves about music and what her influences are when song writing.

" What I love about music is it's ability to communicate with people. When I
 first started playing music, I felt this instant connection with those I
 was playing with and also to the people who were listening. I couldn't get enough of it. I was kind of a shy kid too, so I found it all quite intoxicating."
I was also interested to know where Megan gets her inspiration from for her original material.
" I read a lot and watch more television than is probably good for me, so a lot comes from my imagination or will come from a guitar part and melody that will just spark an emotion in me. Though my favourite moments as a songwriter are when I think I'm telling this story that has nothing to do with me, then I finish and I'm like "oh wow, this was really about me the whole time." I guess those songs come from more of my subconscious than anything else."
This is such an amazing way to get inspiration and I agree that books and TV are great places for this, as there is so much choice that can spark different emotions. Also, I think the best things come from the subconscious!
I love Megan's music and can't wait to hear more from her! I also love an artist who can write their own music, but who can also play it themselves - both of these boxes can defiantly be ticked. (Megan, if you are ever in the UK, let me know!!) Below is a link to one of my personal favourite covers which is Katy Perry - Dark Horse.
Also, don't forget to follow Megan on Twitter - https://twitter.com/meganadavies
Thank you also to Megan for allowing this on my blog and answering all my questions!
Flame x

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Studio Recorded Music

We all hear music that has been recorded in a studio, yet some people look down their noses at it or, in extreme cases, refuse to listen to it at all. Personally, I think this is completely stupid and maybe slightly childish. After all, a studio atmosphere is where pretty much all the music you hear will have originally come from. Yes, it may not quite be good as seeing that singer/band live, but at least you can hear the track without all the screaming! Oh and you also don't get deafened by said screams either!
Of course, artists record music as a way of distributing their sound to a VERY wide audience so many people will hear it in a lot of different countries. This also so easily done now with things such as iTunes and Soundcloud and not just relying on actual CD's. Doing recorded music is also easier for non-record label signed artists, as more people are likely to hear them and it is easier and cheaper than organising live music.
Most obviously, recorded music can be played and replayed as many times as you wish any time you want. Whereas in a live music venue, the sound can vary in each place, with tracks that have been recorded in a studio, they have been perfected and approved by the artist and sound exactly how they are intended to be.

One thing I love about recorded music is the intimacy it gives, as it is just you and the sound. It can make you feel so much and so many different emotions that you may not get when seeing the artist(s) live, as there may be too many distractions or the sound quality may not be brilliant.

One of the best things with studio recorded music is that we can still hear the music from artists who are no longer with us...their music lives on though recordings.

Flame x

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Paper Days

'Four friends became family through music' - This quote from Paper Days Facebook page is so nice and exactly what music should be about - something that a lot of people forget.

Paper Days are a relatively new band from sunny California and are currently based in San Diego. They are an indie rock band and it is so easy to hear the influences of garage rock throughout. Although they do come from California, it would be completely silly to assume they are a sunny, beach band! Yes of course there are elements of this but you can tell their influences and that they are clearly willing to experiment with their sound. I would liken Paper Days to someone such as The 1975, as they are a similar type of band and similar sound.

My personal favourite track of their is Golden. I love the opening of the track and it is so easy to imagine this being played to a large audience, either an arena/stadium or festival. You can hear the talent these 4 guys have! The acoustic parts in this song are slightly unexpected but completely works and defiantly makes the chorus 'pop' more.

One thing I would say about their tracks is that there is quite a long intro to each. Although this defiantly gives you the chance to get a feel for what the track is going to be like, I would personally prefer it to be slightly shorter and get to the vocals quicker - I don't mean this in a bad way at all, just my opinion!

Paper Days are defiantly worth a listen and I can't wait to hear more from them. Click the links below to find out more about them and give them a listen!


Thank you to Paper Days for contacting me on Instagram too!

Flame x

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Album Review: X - Ed Sheeran

After a long 2 years, Ed Sheeran has finally released his new album. With his first album '+' (pronounced plus) being so absolutely amazing and a hard thing to follow, I was anxious to see how 'x' (pronounced multiply) would bare up in comparison.

I needn't have worried and the 2 year wait can defiantly be forgiven! This album completely ups the ante from his debut album and every song synthesises the catchy qualities of 'The A Team' and 'Lego House'. It has potential number one singles left, right and centre and it is easy to imagine each and every track being played in an arena full of people. Ed Sheeran also does what a lot of male artist don't - have an endless bag of tricks. It is so rare that you will find a transition from a Justin Timberlake inspired dance track such as 'Sing' to 'Don't', a soul like hymn. You also have 'The Man' where it is more rap based. All of this is done without it feeling forced and you sort of come to expect it while listening to the album.

One thing I love about listening to any Ed Sheeran song/album is that none of the tracks sound over produced and have a simplicity about them. This is achieved through acoustic sounds and careful piano keys, but you still get the larger sounds in too. One of my favourite tracks from the album is 'I'm a mess'. This song is beautiful even with a couple of odd lines ("put your faith in my stomach"??) In An interview, Ed Said he wrote this in a low point in his life, but it isn't all about depressing thoughts at all and saying that he still believes in love. I mean everyone knows they are a mess sometimes and this track is perfect to commiserate to.

Ed's voice is simply incredible and the whole album is so well written and each song is brilliant - you will defiantly have this on repeat!

All I can say is - Ed Sheeran, keep doing what you do!

Flame x

Thursday, 10 July 2014


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Flame x