Tag Archives: music

Music: On Repeat

It’s been a while since I talked about music here, outside of my year-end reviews. Since my music listening’s recently underwent a semi-significant change, perhaps it’s time a good time to chime in. :)

 

I’ve been an iPod/iTunes junkie for over a decade now, carrying music with me everywhere I go religiously. I got my first one as the “pickle” gift for Christmas and still, to this day, consider it one of the best presents I’ve ever received. That first iPod seemed to last forever, even though forever was actually only 5-6 years, before it finally died. In that time, Apple had released all kinds of newer, fancier iPods, so on my 30th birthday, my husband (fiancé at the time) bought me one of those fancy new ones. (You might remember me posting about it if you’ve been here long enough?) Well, to be the gift that keeps on giving (or doesn’t), literally a few days short of my 34th birthday that fancy new iPod committed suicide. It was a devastating thing to see it pass even faster than its predecessor. And despite it feeling like an appendage I’d lost, I just couldn’t bring myself to drop another $250 on a new one knowing that I’ll be lucky if I got another 4 years out of that one too.

 

SO… In my ongoing need for new music, I decided to just utilize my Amazon Prime account for more than just free two-day shipping and stream some music while I decided what to do with my music library from here on out. And, in doing so I found myself wondering why I wasn’t doing it all along. Why I’d fallen captive of the Apple platform for so many years when all this music was at my disposal already. I’d talked about spending more time exploring new music this year to keep my creative juices flowing, but I’d hardly even entertained the idea before being forced into another option than my iPod. In just the short time of using Amazon Prime, I’ve discovered SO MANY great artists or songs I would have likely missed out on had I just kept going on with my normal listening habits. Oh, how many musical wonders I could have found sooner had I not felt compelled to be loyal to Apple.

 

I’ve been so satisfied with my finds on Amazon Prime that I even bought the Amazon Echo for easier, higher quality listening when I’m at home doing things away from my PC. And while I haven’t started doing it yet, I can even add all the music and playlists I already had on iTunes to my Amazon account so I still get to enjoy the massive library of music I already own.

 

I feel like I should add that just because I’m enjoying streaming so much doesn’t mean I’m no longer buying music. That’s hardly the case. If anything I’m buying more, because I have the freedom to listen to and fall in-love with whole albums instead of singles before forking over the money. I will never NOT buy music, even when it’s at my disposal for free. Music artists, like so many other creative careers, cannot exist without compensation. They deserve to be paid for their hard work. Try to remember that if you are a streamer yourself.

 

Anyway, on tumblr tonight, I’m featuring a few of the gems I’ve found and played to death and probably I’ll keep up a sort of seasonal on repeat thing over there instead of every week (since finding time for Tumblr these days is super hard). To keep this post from becoming a short novel, I’ll just feature the bands I’ve fallen the hardest for here and if you’re interested in checking out anything else, head over to Tumblr and follow my Music Friday hashtag. Happy Listening!

 

The Joy Formidable

 

Oh, picking a song to share by this band was so, so freaking hard. The first song to spike my interest was “Whirring” and maybe I should have shared it for that reason alone, but Amazon Prime had two of their albums available for streaming and you know how much I love chick led rock music so I jumped straight from “Whirring” to everything else. It only took a half a day of listening to know that I had to own everything they’d ever made, so three albums purchased later and now I’m obsessed. They’re the kind of band you can listen to an album straight through, without ever feeling compelled to skip a track. They’ve got that grungy 90’s alternative sound and I’m so, so glad to have discovered them.

 

 

Royal Blood

 

The thing about Amazon Prime that I don’t love is that it doesn’t keep play counts for you; iTunes did this and it helped me gauge what I listened to the most better. I bring this up here because I’m certain that I have listened to the album this track comes from a ridiculous amount already. Like for a solid week straight from wake to sleep. Thankfully my boss ended up liking the band too. I love the rawness of them – how they don’t feel over-produced. And just overall they give me a bit of a 90’s alternative feel, which is always, always a good nostalgic thing for me.

 

 

Foals

 

It’s funny because this wasn’t the first Foals song I added to my playlist and it sounds nothing like the other one, but it quickly became my favorite. It’s heady and sounds sort of sinister and I just can’t get enough of it. And while I wish that more of their music had this darker tone, I can’t pretend I don’t love all of their work regardless, because I’ve bought two albums and can easily listen to them straight through without skipping a song. Maybe their future will offer up a few more dark gems like this. 😉

 

 

Highly Suspect

 

I’m not sure obsessed is even a good enough descriptor for how much I am loving this band right now. They have that raw, not overly produced sound I’m loving about Royal Blood, the singers voice reminds me of Dustin Kensrue (of Thrice) only even hotter, and it’s just seriously good all-out jamming music. It’s like garage band meets blues and I hate to sound like a broken record with all these 90’s feels, but it’s seriously like the music scene of my youth is making a comeback and I couldn’t be more thrilled about it. I really, really hope to see this band live someday. No doubt it’s gotta be one hell of a show with music this full of energy.

 

 

J. Roddy Walston & the Business

 

I woke up with The Clash’s “Rock the Casbah” in my head last Friday and couldn’t stop listening to it on repeat for some reason. I tried to explain to my boss that part of the reason I loved the song so much was for how perfectly the piano stands out and that whenever I’m reunited with my own piano, I hope to learn to play it. We got to talking about other bands who do a good job at making the piano stand out and he said, “You listen to J. Roddy Walston & the Business?” My boss is one of those cool 50 year olds who figured out how to not let age actually age him. He’s been in a rock band since he can remember and while he doesn’t always love my music choices, appreciates our jam sessions at work. He had done a few gigs with J. Roddy when they first started out in the early 2000’s and they’d even lived here in Baltimore for a while. My interest was piqued immediately and Amazon had 2 of their albums available to stream so we listened to them all day and now I can’t stop listening to them because they’re like a new band with an old sound. They’re the soundtrack to the summer cookouts of my youth. They’re music my parents would have exposed me to if they’d been around when I was younger. They’re the kind of rock my parents would still listen to. I immediately went home and bought both albums and then promptly corrupted my dad with them too. 😉

 

 

What have you guys been jamming to lately?

 

2015 In Review: Music

I feel like I didn’t really seek out new music all that much in 2015. Partly because there wasn’t really anyone to corrupt me musically and also partly because I just didn’t have the free time that allows for musical exploration. I think that was a mistake, though, in a way. While it was great having so many years worth of music to fall back in-love with everyday, not finding new musical inspiration is just one reason why my creative well stayed so dry this year. I need to work on that more in 2016 so I don’t find myself in the same place at the end of the year. I only downloaded 178 songs in 2015, that’s half as much as last year, which was half as much as the year before!

 

Of the new music I did discover in 2015, the two bands that stand out the most are…

 

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ISSUES

 

Love Tyler Carter’s clean vocals in contrast with Michael Bohn’s screaming. Love the way they weave metal and hip-hop together. Love how much energy every song packs. Seriously, this band is still young in their existence, but so far their work is super consistent. I can’t wait to see what they put out next!

 

 

 

 

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PVRIS

 

Discovered this band shortly after falling in-love with ISSUES and actually only gave them a shot because of ISSUES. Lynn Gunn’s voice has that smoky, rugged feel and the pop-rock their music has as a whole reminds me a lot of all the reasons I loved Paramore when they first came out. Definitely excited to hear more from this band in the future!

 

And now for the part that’s probably pretty obvious if you’ve been following along for Music Friday

 

Top 10 Most Played Tracks of 2015

 

10. Throne by Bring Me The Horizon

9. Cupid Carries a Gun by Marilyn Manson

8. Falling Apart by Papa Roach

7. Something New by Dance Gavin Dance

6. Fire by Pvris

5. Stingray Affliction by Issues

4. I Am by Hands Like Houses

3. Mind Games (feat. Champs) by The Palisades

2. Uncomfortable by Andy Mineo

1. This Is Not A Game (feat. Miguel) by the Chemical Brothers

 

What were you listening to in 2015? Anything I should have been listening to? 😉

 

 

2014 In Review: Music

In trying to be more reasonable with my spending this year, I really made an effort to only buy the songs I had to have this year. So that meant previewing everything on YouTube several times before actually committing to the purchase. Turns out that was only 379 new songs this year added to iTunes. Only, ha! Still, it’s far less than last years 517 so I guess I can pat myself on the back a little.

 

For the most part I was left to my own devices in finding *new music again this year (boy do I miss the days when other people corrupted me) but I actually did look this year and didn’t just rely on all the bands I already loved releasing new things (though they did that, too!). Of the *new bands I discovered, I had two favorites, both Christian artists in two very different genres than I typically gravitate toward (which is heavy rock, in case you didn’t know).

 

*new to me

 

Andy Mineo

 

andy mineo

 

I found myself listening to this Christian radio station NGEN a lot this past summer, for the upbeat, God-centric lyrics, to get me through those 13 hour workdays with a positive attitude. And in doing so, I discovered all kinds of Christian artists I’d never heard of before, Andy Mineo being one of them. What struck me the most about him, though, wasn’t necessarily that he was a Christian artist (I mean, that’s an awesome bonus, don’t get me wrong), but that he was such a skilled rapper on killer beats. It’s been a really long time since I’ve gotten super into rap. I grew up in the 90’s when rappers actually had talent and outside of the stuff with catchy beats that get trapped in my head, I just can’t get into the crap that qualifies as rap these days. But Andy, ooh, he’s actually got talent. And lyrics with a real message. This combination makes him addicting to me. If you haven’t heard of Andy Mineo, he’s definitely worth the listen. Click HERE!

 

Citizens & Saints

 

citizens and saints

 

This is another band I discovered thanks to NGEN and my first taste of them was this 80’s-esque track that was impossible not to bounce along to. Upon further research, I found myself buying everything they had online and loving so much of it equally that there are 5 Citizen & Saints tracks in my top 20 most played tracks this year. Even their Christmas album is a perfect collection of songs. They’re the kind of indie band you can’t help but sing along to. The kind of praise band I wish my church had. Whenever I’m jamming to Citizens & Saints I always find my hands in the air reaching for God. I just can’t help it. It’s something about how the instruments get inside of me and how Zach Bolen has a perfect voice for this style of music. If you’re in need of feel good, happy making music, you must check out Citizens & Saints. Click HERE!

 

 

And now, the part you’ve all been waiting for (you have been waiting for it, right? haha)…. The Top 10 Most Played Tracks of 2014! I’ve had to modify this list just slightly to feature a different artist for each because if I was completely honest, Andy Mineo and Citizens & Saints actually hold the top 4 ;). Some of these are predictable, Artifex is a favorite band and they had a new album out this year, Underoath is heavy on my Dreamsters playlist, etc… but if you haven’t been following Music Friday all year and this list is unfamiliar, you should definitely click all of these links! (Fun Fact: The Most Played Track was played 478 times!)

 

10. Karnivool – “The Refusal”

9. Underoath – “Desperate Times Desperate Measures”

8. Tides of Man – “Drift”

7. Family Force 5 – “Chainsaw”

6. Artifex Pereo – “No Stranger to Worry”

5. Finch – “Two Guns to the Temple”

4. Phantogram – “Black Out Days”

3. Bring Me the Horizon – “Don’t Look Down”

2. Citizens & Saints – “In Tenderness”

1. Andy Mineo – “AYO!”

 

If anyone would like to corrupt me in 2015, I’m taking any/all music recs! 😉

 

2013 In Review: Everything Else

At the start of 2013, I made this list of resolutions. Eight things I wanted to accomplish this year. And so let’s check them off….

 

1/2. See – 2013 In Review: Writing

 

3. See – 2013 In Review: Books

 

4. Photography – I’ve touched lightly on this already with that post about the Christmas Card Shoots I did this year, but I can expand on it by saying, I did in fact become more comfortable behind the camera in 2013. I still don’t have the confidence I should necessarily, or all the skills I could have where editing photos is concerned, but I have gotten braver and I have tried harder this year than I ever have before. In 2013 I did eleven scheduled photoshoots – shoots in which I got paid, even though I didn’t ask (and tried to refuse) compensation for. I also shot birthday parties and family gatherings and anytime someone asked me to capture a family moment. I shot a lot food, too (ha!). In 2014, I’d like to continue on this path of learning and finding the courage to continue to step outside of my comfort zone and spread my wings as a photographer.

 

5. Music – I didn’t go to even one concert this year and I regret it immensely. Some of my favorite bands came through Baltimore this year, prime opportunities for me to see them live, and I was too afraid to attend a show alone. I’ve really got to work on this because I can’t be afraid of going places alone forever. I can’t sacrifice something I love so dearly just because I’m afraid of enjoying it alone. I definitely need to work on this harder in 2014. (Also see – 2013 In Review: Music)

 

6. Weight Loss – Surprise, surprise, I didn’t lose 60+ lbs. in 2103. I think total I only lost 20 and who knows if that number still stands after consuming nothing but sugar since Christmas. But, I did generally stick to the “clean eating” lifestyle I set out to. And I did work out with more dedication than I ever have before, 4-5 times a week. I even participated in a 5K this year, the first of many more I hope. After working so hard for a few months and making no progress, I sought out medical advice and found that my thyroid was significantly underactive and have since tried a series of medications to get that where it should be (it’s finally in a good place) and that I was severely deficient in vitamin D (I’m working on getting that where it should be now). Both of these things could and did play a factor in my weight loss efforts and almost immediately after changing up the medication routine, I started to finally see results. I’m hoping that having this sorted out and keeping up with the lifestyle changes I made in 2013, I’ll finally have more success where my weight loss goals are concerned in 2014.

 

7. Baking – Boy did I ever! No, seriously, one month I tracked just how much “creating” in the kitchen I did and in the end it was a whole 7 days worth. That doesn’t sound like a lot in comparison to a 30 day month, but when you think I lost an entire week to just baking – that many hours spent solely in the kitchen – it actually is quite significant. I baked pies and cookies galore, with a few other interesting desserts on the side. I even tried my hand at a few dinners, which is completely out of my realm since I’m not much of a cook, but found myself successful with those dishes as well. Overall, I think I nailed this. My cookies this year were a HUGE hit and my pies were so loved by others that someone actually paid me to make them pies for their holiday celebration. It blew my mind.

 

8. Productivity – I’d say that I definitely made better use of my time in 2013, but it came at a cost, for sure. While I was able to squeeze in a workout regimen with my work schedule (a work schedule that involved more overtime than I’ve ever worked before) and be a writer, reader, baker, photographer, and you know, still spend time with the people I love, IT. WAS. HARD. Not just hard mentally, but physically. I feel like I was more tired this year than ever before (and partly that could have been the medical issues weighing me down, too). I found myself really regretting using the phrase “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” because what good was I to anyone and myself if I felt dead already anyway? None at all. So while I definitely did make the best of my time, I think this year I’ve gotta find a better balance of that use of time and remember that it’s perfectly okay (and necessary) to take a day off for nothing sometimes. I saw Sevenly post the quote, “If you’re too busy to smile, you’re too busy” at the peak of my busiest moments and it hit me hard. I was miserable because I had too much going on, like ready to break down and cry. I don’t want to reach that place again in 2014.

 

I’d say as far as resolutions go, I’m pretty pleased with my achievements in 2013. Sure, they could have been better, but they were already worlds better than anything I achieved in 2012 and I’m proud of myself for mostly sticking to my goals. I know resolutions aren’t for everyone, but they are a good way to guide me and so I’m sticking with them!

 

Now… what exactly do I hope to accomplish in 2014? 😉

 

 

2013 In Review: Music

Usually I break my music review into two posts because there’s so much to say, but sadly this year it seems like all the people I found great music from in the past few years stopped talking about the music they loved so much, leaving me to find new music on my own (and I sort of didn’t). I didn’t necessarily need to this year, though because there were so many great bands I already loved releasing new content!

 

Fun Fact: I added 517 songs to iTunes in 2013!

 

Best New Band of 2013 (New to me)

 

Of the new bands I did manage to discover on my own this year, I The Mighty easily wins best band of the year. In my top 20 most played songs of the year, I The Mighty owns 6 of them. They’re a band I listened to a ton while writing Dreamsters and a band I don’t see myself growing bored of anytime soon. If you somehow missed all the posts I made dedicated to them this year, now’s your opportunity to hear what they’re all about. Check them out!

 

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Top 10 Most Played Tracks of 2013

 

And now, some of these tracks might be predictable if you’ve followed Music Friday at all, but here are my top ten most played tracks of 2013! (Titles are clickable)

 

#10: Secret & Whisper – “Lovers”

#9: The Material – “Skin & Bone”

#8: Hands Like Houses – “Fountainhead”

#7: I The Mighty – “Speak to Me”

#6: Everything Everything – “Cough Cough”

#5: Dance Gavin Dance – “Doom & Gloom”

#4: The Neighbourhood – “Sweater Weather”

#3: letlive. – “That Fear Fever”

#2: Family Force 5 – “D-I-E- 4 Y-O-U”

#1: 78violet – “Hothouse”

I’m always up for music recommendations so what were you listening to in 2013?

 

Bye October, Hello November

I’ve seriously failed as a blogger lately. I wrote three blog this month and never even bothered to post them (or never found the time, because I was actually quite busy this month). If I’m honest, I think I might kill this blog in 2014 (that is if I can get my website complete by then). This place has just lost its luster for me.

In case you’re curious, here’s what I’ve been up to in October…

I spent 7 days baking this month. Not 7 all at once, but scattered about. When you think about it, though, that’s a whole week lost to baking. Whoa. But it was all for good reasons, even if it wasn’t for my own enjoyment, I’m pretty sure all the people on the receiving end of my treats were happy about it. Here are some pictures of a few of those goodies.

Treats

I didn’t read nearly as much as I’d hoped, and nothing nearly as creepy as I wanted for Halloween either, but I did read three really great books and one awesome comic! (Titles link to my GoodReads reviews.)

October Books ReadVicious by Victoria Schwab
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (library copy)
Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride
Afterlife with Archie Vol. 1

Speaking of books, I also got some in the mail. One a long awaited kickstarter purchase and two I had no business buying, but couldn’t resist the sale prices.

October Books In My Mailbox
Let it Snow (Three Holiday Romances)
Necromancing the Stone (Necromancer, Book 2) by Lish McBride
Shadows of Asphodel by Karen Kincy

Somehow, despite being busier than normal, I wrote 4150 words in October (yay for working my way back to those 5K days!) and 1K of those words were for a Christmas short story I’m SUPER stoked about. I really, really want to finish this one in time. I feel like it’s going to become my favorite short story to date.

I worked out (sometimes up to 3 times a day) 20 days of October. This is the most consistent workout regimen I’ve done in a long, long time and I actually don’t hate it. But I do hate how slow the process is. Despite being at this now for over 7 weeks and eating super clean, I’ve only lost 2.2lbs. and no inches. I was so frustrated in fact that I went to my doctor about it. She said I’m definitely doing all the right things and that it just might take a little longer for my body to adjust to the change (which isn’t what anyone wants to hear), but she also switched up my thyroid medicine and the time of day in which I take it and I swear it’s already making a difference two weeks in (in fact, I didn’t even lose those 2.2lbs until AFTER the switch). Having a thyroid condition is known to make weight loss even more difficult than it already is and I know this, but I need at least SOME progress so I hope that this switch lets me finally start seeing some results for all this hard work.

Some great new music came out this month and I played the crap out of it, along with a bunch of old stuff like Twiztid and ICP because this always happens when Halloween nears. Songs/albums you should check out for sure include:

Dance Gavin Dance – “Doom & Gloom”

 

Arcade Fire – “Normal Person”

 

The Head and the Heart – “Gone”

 

Plush Soundtrack/Emily Browning – “Close Enough to Kill”
(click the image to listen on my Tumblr because there isn’t a track available on youtube)

This past week I’ve been particularly busy first by helping out at Trunk-Or-Treat at church [PICS] and then by throwing my ‘Sister from another mother’ a baby shower with my real sister while she was in town [PICS]. And on Halloween, my sister gifted me another nephew!

Abel - Halloween 2013
Click HERE to see more!

Abel was born at 8.3 lbs., 19.5” and I’m already so, so in-love with him. After doing a small photoshoot with him in the hospital, I spent the rest of my Halloween with his big brother trick-or-treating. It was one hell of a way to say goodbye to October.

Unsurprising, fall is already turning out to be delightful though I do wish it’d slow down a bit so I could enjoy it more. How was your October?

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Oh yeah, I have a blog….

It’s been over a month now since I’ve wandered over to LJ. Oops. My apologies for completely failing to blog last month (and keep up with all of your blogs – I’ll do my best to catch up soon). It’s not that I didn’t want to blog, in fact I had several ideas for blog posts, I just never acted on them. Really, it feels like September 1st happened and then suddenly it was September 30th just like that. I didn’t realize how quickly time was getting away from me until it was gone.

So since I’ve failed to do all my usual postings, I’m just going to do a quick summary of September all in one post. I promise to make it as short as possible.

In September I….

  • Threw my sister a Baby Sprinkle for my 2nd nephew Abel (who’s scheduled to arrive on Halloween!). It was extremely overwhelming in the food prep department (12 hours the day before, 9 hours the day of), but overall a beautiful event. You can see pictures HERE.
  • Got THESE awesome books in the mail. YAY for the return of pre-orders!
  • Read 4 books. I really had hoped to read more, but since one of these 4 books was the size of 3 books there just wasn’t time for anymore.
September Reads

Boys that Bite (Blood Coven, Book 1) by Mari Mancusi
Fathomless (Fairytale Retellings, Book 3) by Jackson Pearce
The Dream Thieves (Raven Cycle, Book 2) by Maggie Stiefvater
Styxx (Dark-Hunter, Book 23) by Sherrilyn Kenyon

  • Wrote 770 words. This is shameful, I know. I’m trying a new tactic this month to get back in my 5K game. Fingers crossed it helps.
  • Listened to a lot of random indie tracks. My favorite Music Friday tracks can be heard HERE, HERE, and HERE.
  • Started training for the Color Run. Mom and I get up at 5am to run before work. It felt insane at first, but I rather like it now – even with my forever aching muscles.
  • Went to the Milburn Orchards with Gideon like last year. If you’d like, you can see pictures HERE.
  • Saw the end of two of my favorite TV shows, Dexter and Breaking Bad. I wrote a reflective piece about show endings HERE.

So that’s basically it. Maybe you didn’t really miss much by my lack of blogging. How was your September?

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Music Friday: August

I didn't listen to a lot in August. Or, rather, when I did listen to music, not much of it was new. So this month, I only have three things to share:

Hands Like Houses

I'm pretty sure I discovered this band because of Amazon, and it's a rare thing for them to suggest music I'll actually love. Luckily, I'd just happened to download their latest two albums right before my computer committed suicide at the start of the month so I spent the next two weeks waiting for it to work again listening to nothing but Hands Like Houses. Of the 22 tracks on those two albums, there were only 2 I didn't care for, which in my book is highly impressive. I'm posting my favorite track from their first album, but you should also check out my favorite track on their latest album: "Fountainhead"

Rock of Ages Rock Worship Hits

I stumbled onto this gem of an album in a search for a version of "Revelation Song" that was pleasing to my ear. Because we go to the early service at church, there's a live band and we sing contemporary songs (not those old fashioned hymnals). And this isn't the first song I've sought out after church, but this is the best set of church songs I've found to date. It's a compilation album, but the artist who contributed are unfortunately not listed. I would definitely check out more of their work if I knew their names. Anyway, if you'd like to hear some chick rock included on it too, check out "Indescribable"

O' Brother

It's not news to you that I really like this band, or it shouldn't be. I posted them several times last year and featured them in my yearly review of best bands for 2012. Anyway, their latest album dropped this month and it completely lived up to my expectations. If you've somehow managed to miss all of the other opportunities I've given you to check out this band, it's time you start questioning your life choices and rectify your mistakes by hitting play below. Such a great band.

I had been anticipating a new States album this month, as they said there'd be on the Kickstarter I backed, but they want it to be perfect and apparently it just isn't yet. I'm not mad, but I do hope it's released in September at the latest.

What are you guys listening to these days? Anything I might need to hear?

Music Friday: July

It just occurred to me that this past Friday was in fact the last Friday of the month and I completely forgot about my Music Friday post. I've been really bad at blogging this month. Sorry about that. Anyway, I know it's not on the right day, but the music is worth being listened to on any day of the week so better late than never, right?

There was a lot to be excited about this month where music's concerned. I got singles and new releases from bands I already knew I loved and also discovered some new artists to fangirl about.

O'Brother – "Context"

You guys already know how much I love O'Brother, I posted about them plenty in 2012. But they announced a new album coming out in August and with it this single. If it's a signal of what's to come, I am positive this album will be as good, if not better than their previous one. It has all the feels of fall for me and makes it almost seem close despite the oppressive heat. I can't wait for 8/20!

78Violet – "Hothouse"

I've been an Aly & AJ fan for years. And it has been years since they released something new. If I'm honest, I wasn't sure they ever would because it'd just been so long. But there's a new album coming soon and this month they released the first single. While the girls voices have obviously matured, they're still maintaining that pop-alternative sound I fell in-love with on Into the Rush. I'm so, so excited for more.

*This video is quite beautiful, but there's a very long monologue in the beginning. Fast forward to 3:30 to hear the song itself.

Bring Me The Horizon – "The House of Wolves"

I could have sworn I'd checked out this band before and didn't like them, but when Mindy White of States posted "Can You Feel My Heart" as a song on her summer playlist, I was intrigued to check out more. I don't know if it's just this latest album, but I'm really digging it.

Karnivool – "We Are"

Even if this song wasn't great (but I assure you, it is), this video is a perfect example of what I love about proper music videos. I have a great respect for bands who still put a lot of effort into these mini movies. I know that video's don't really have a great platform to present themselves anymore, with channels like MTV never actually playing music anymore, but I miss the old days when we used to live for the music video. When I saw this one, I was captivated and even more amazed when I reached it's end and hadn't seen it coming. I'm waiting for the album this song comes from to release in August with great expectations.

Other songs worth checking out:

Kings of Leon – "Supersoaker"
letlive. – "The Priest and Used Cars"
Dance Gavin Dance – "The Robot with Human Hair Pt. IV"
Vampire Weekend – "Everlasting Arms"

What were you listening to in July? Anything I need to hear? Feel free to share!

Music Friday: June

Oh, June. It wasn't good for much, but musically it was on fire (much like the weather). I've been trying to keep these posts under 5 videos a month, with links to the rest and mostly I've stuck to 3, but I just can't do that this month. There is just too much you need to hear. Sorry, not sorry.

I The Mighty – "Four Letter Words"

You probably already know how much I've been looking forward to the new I The Mighty album because I've basically been listening to them non-stop for the past two months now. On release day it was almost like I was daring them to let me down – sure that their streak of perfect music couldn't possibly be an all-the-time thing. But, man, they so did NOT let me down. It is rare for me to love every song a band puts out, so rare that I can count the bands who qualify in less than ten fingers, but I The Mighty has quickly butted it's way into this "favorites" list. Bravo, boys. If you haven't checked out Satori yet, do yourself a favor and get on that. Seriously. (You can stream the whole album to preview HERE.)

City and Colour – "Thirst"

This was another album I was looking forward to releasing in June and it was so, so soothing at just the right times. If you're feeling angsty and want to settle down, I suggest giving City and Colour a shot. It's the kind of music you just chill out too and suddenly you've forgotten why you were angsty to begin with.

Sleeping with Sirens – "These Things I've Done"

It's not that I wasn't a fan of Sleeping with Sirens already, because I was, but I admit I wasn't exactly looking forward to their latest album – heck I didn't even know it was coming out until they released the first single and I wasn't much of a fan of that first track. But then right when the album dropped they released a second single that I just had to have and I found that the album had a lot more of that sound than the first single's sound. I find it a bit funny that I was in no hurry to get this album and in the end I think I liked it better than the previous one. Maybe it's a silly comparison, but I get a lot of 80's hairband feels from this album and it makes me a bit nostalgic for my youth.

letlive. – "The Fear Fever"

You might remember me posting about letlive. in my yearly music reviews last December, about how I wasn't prepared to fall in-love with them the way I did, but it happened. So imagine my delight over them releasing not only a new single this month, but also streaming the entire new album slated to come out in July. I've tried really hard to stay away from that stream because I don't want it to kill the excitement factor of release day, but there are just some songs like this one that are irresistible. You can bet I'll be posting about letlive. again next month. You should just go ahead and get to know them now.

Arctic Monkeys – "Do You Wanna Know?"

A month or two ago Arctic Monkeys announced they were working on a new album to be released this year. Considering Arctic Monkeys is one of those rare favorite bands that I like every song they've ever created, you can imagine the sort of fangirl squeal that escaped my mouth over the news. This month they announced the release date (September 10th) and track list alongside this single. Alex Turner's voice is oh-so-dreamy as usual and if this track and "R U Mine?" (which is also on the album) is any indication of what this album will sound like as a whole, I'm pretty sure I'm going to love it a heck of a lot.

The Material – "Skin & Bone"

I got into this band this month solely because I The Mighty said to. The female voice you heard in their track, "Four Letter Word," is the lead singer of this band and since I'm a sucker for chick-rock it seemed like an easy direction to take. And I'm glad I did because this band's not just good, they're great. They have a lot of the same qualities that made me fall in-love with Paramore back in the day so I'm hopeful I'll love even more than just this album.

Some other tracks worth checking out:

Fall Out Boy – "Where Did the Party Go?"
Deerhunter – "Leather Jacket II"
Tides of Man – "Young and Courageous"

What were you listening to in June? Anything you think I'd like to hear? Please feel free to share, this music junkie can never get enough. 😀