Spotlight: Majical Cloudz (And sort of a comeback!)

Majical-Cloudz-Sarah-Driscoll-compressed

Boo!

First of all, I just want to say: I’M ALIVE! (I’ve always been, I’ve just spent much of my existence in other platforms *coughs Twitter*)

I thought I’d write a quick post here about a new favorite – Majical Cloudz! It’s not the first time I’ve ~heard of this band – and when I say heard, I meant I read the name a couple of times, might have listened to a song where they were featured but never minded it – but yesterday, I chanced upon the track “So Blue” from the 2015 record, Are You Alone?

This led me to (finally!) click on the band’s name and discover its discography. And man alive, was I pleased!

As usual, I googled the band, only to find out that they have broken up two months ago.

That is just my fate, much like when I discovered Snakadaktal, and when I found out a little a bit too late that Nick Drake has been dead for ~~years (I still weep).

But I’m not wasting any more time – I plan on devouring Majical Cloudz’s tunes and bless them for producing 2 LPs and 2 EPs. Thank you, Devon Welsh and Matthew Otto, from your very late fan.

That’s it! See you on the other side. xx

Here’s September!

Hallo, matey! September’s over and now it’s time to dissect my monthly music binge listening! This month I’ve come back to my roots and reunited with my folksy tunes (must be the weather)!

1

1 Ellie Goulding 

Girl crush Ellie released a new song “On My Mind” from her upcoming album, Delirium. I don’t know about you but my spider senses are telling me that this is in response to Ed Sheeran’s “Don’t” – which people are saying is about Ellie. (It’s a vicious circle mehe)

2 Dustin Tebbutt

I have folk-biased ears so of course Dustin Tebbutt’s album, Home, is like an early Christmas gift. It’s soft, delicate and just breathtakingly beautiful.

3 Maroon 5

See, I was supposed to see Maroon 5 when they came here for their nth concert. But here is a startling realization: I no longer care about Maroon 5 like used to. I mean, of course “She Will Be Loved” and “Just A Feeling” and “Won’t Go Home Without You” and some of those other songs that I can’t remember now but maybe held dear will always have a space in my heart (or brains) – but man, this is just like when you grow out of something. I’m sorry, guys. You are still great, it’s not you, it’s me.

4 Purple Ferdinand

Again, my folk ears are making a comeback after divulging into some electro pop (and ok plain pop). Purple Ferdinand is a beautiful folk/soul musician from London. Her lyrics are vulnerable and very much relatable.

5 Mumford & Sons

How many years has it been, I mean really. But some days, you need the boys, you need Sigh No More. Plus I will not get tired of that ^ video.

6 Helen Austin

Another acoustic singer, Helen Austin creates dreamy folk pop songs that are quite cutesy – perfect for those indie films ala Juno.

7 Andreas Moe

Andreas Moe is a Swedish musician (and he’s about my age, HA!) who plays the guitar and sports a man bun occasionally (sometimes a super cool haircut too) and ok, seriously, he’s got really good songs. His face + hair is a plus.

8 CHVRCHES 

Chvrches has a new album woooo! I haven’t finished listening to the whole of it yet, but the first tracks are strong.

9 Beirut 

Also back to give me a heart attack, Beirut baby! I love these guys so much and their new album is precious. ‘August Holland’ is one of my new favorites.

10 Jack Garratt

Okay, I know I mentioned Jack Garrat previously but that was before he released ‘Weathered’ and BOY OH BOY DO I LOVE THIS SONG OR WHAT (I love this song (non-acoustic version, equally beautiful, here).) Also, I now have this urge to tackle Jack and ask him why he wrote this song and why is he trying to hurt and please me at the same time (that sounds like something else haha)

BACKTRACK

Little Comets 

Because Life is Elsewhere is still relevant and “A Little Opus” still lights me up.

Isbells

If you missed Isbells, stop what you’re doing right now and listen to this Belgian band. Beautiful music.

Kings of Convenience 

Where’s Kings of Convenience? (well, Erlend did a solo thing but it’s not the same!) I’m waiting for you, guys.

POP

Justin Bieber 

Seriously the Biebs is making a major comeback with “What Do You Mean” despite of the d-baggery he’s gotten into the past few years. This one is JUST WORKING (and the vulnerability thing with the Selena-related confessions plus the roast helped) and maybe I am slightly looking over at the Bieberwagon but not completely jumping on it yet. I’m a careful bandwagon jumper haha

Little Mix

I spent a lot of time not listening to Little Mix just cause I feel like I’m not that age anymore (but I listen to One Direction? Not making sense, Dawn) but ‘Black Magic’ is  a sneaky little happy fun song (and music video) and I can’t help it if I like Perrie now ok. (basically, i almost always like girls whose hearts got broken by boys doing stupid things hehehe sorry Z)

NEWSIES

Mighty Oaks

Because I told you, folk is really whispering in my ear right now.

Jr. Jr.

Ok, technically, Jr. Jr. is not a new band, they just renamed themselves from Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Jr. – the sound isn’t far off either, but ok, they are rebranding, I guess.
Colony House

Colony House is an American indie rock trio. I’m interested to see how far they’ll go.

Meadowlark

Because Meadowlark.

Cloud Cult

Cloud Cult is barely a new band, but they’re new to my ears and they’re kooky and fun to listen to.

LOOKING FORWARD TO…
The 1975 – My boys are coming back next week (October 9, hint hint wink wink)! Expect them next month.

Also Hippo Campus just released a new EP and The Halocline and South are already such a hit. Can’t wait to binge listen to the others ❤

August Picks!

AugustFaves

Hallo! Here’s my favorite artists and tunes for the month of August:

1 Villagers

I’ve never fully quite gotten on the Villagers bandwagon – I knew he was there, he was part of those folksy dudes from Britain (but apparently he’s Irish and that’s a whole new world or is it? Niall?) so he should be a shoo-in for me. Despite his Mercury Prize nomination, his work just didn’t work for me then but with this new album, Darling Arithmetic, it finally sucked me in. With nine tracks of romantic, personal and acoustic tracks, I am so on the Villagers bandwagon, I can’t even. Also, I’ve changed my mind about “Nothing Arrived” so I’m pretty sure Villagers and I will have some sort of frienaissance (friendship renaissance) except we’re not friends. A Fanaissance? (no, that doesn’t work)

2 Hannah+Gabi

GUYS! A LOCAL BAND ON MY TOP TEN! This didn’t happen for the longest time (coughs Up Dharma Down where r u)!  Hannah + Gabi is Ciudad member, Mikey Amistoso’s solo side project. I have a copy of HahaYes, the band’s first album (includes the song above), but Years Gone made a huge leap in the band’s sound and identity. Love this album to bits and I hate that I can’t embed it (WHYYYY but here’s the link). Reminds me a bit of Tahiti 80 feels, but this is Pinoy. This is excellent.

3 Christopher Owens

Frontman of the band Girls, Christopher Owens went solo and started off with his first album, Lysandre. I gave that a few listen but it wasn’t as memorable (and critics didn’t seem to like it either). His latest album Chrissybaby Forever, as much as it sounds like a quirky movie title, is just that: quirky, light, romantic pop – and frankly delivers what we’ve been waiting for from Owens.

4 Holden

Pretty sure I already mentioned these guys a few months back but this indie pop French band really have some awesome tunes! And the good news is, they have been playing since the 90s so you can have enough of their sound to ravish. 2012’s Fantotisme is so far my favorite.

5 The Weeknd

Abel, Abel, Abel, how you’ve grown since I first saw you on the Coachella stage (virtually) back in 2011. I like everything you do.

6 Temples

The decision to give Temples another listen is due to frontman James Bagshaw’s black and white photo posted by NME. That’s really all there is to it. Oh, and also. They sound like the 60s-70s. Groovy, yes.

7  Night Beds

Night Beds wooo! I love this guy. I don’t know what his deal with streaming is (he’s not available on Spotify or Deezer – he was before – but he’s available on Apple Music) but I really want more people to listen to him. He’s amazing.

8 Jenny Lewis

Late to join The Voyager bandwagon but “She’s Not Me” is the hook and I am all over it now.

9 Phoebe Ryan

This girl, I like so much. She only has an EP out so far, but “Mine” is my jam.

10 Sophia Black

Same as Phoebe Ryan, Sophia Black has one EP out, but “Vibration” is cool and I can’t wait for her to dish out more tracks.

other noteworthy tracks

Brika – Expectations

Tin Sparrow – everything!

I love this band! They’re like The Paper Kites before they turned electro.

Shake Shake Go – England Skies

ZEDD – Find You

I mostly ignore releases from EDM boys but I heard the acoustic version of this song and I’m obsessed with it. Lesson of the day: don’t ignore EDM boys, okay.

REWIND

Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac is actually my most played artist this month. We have this Tumblr post to blame.

Nouvelle Vague – Manner of Speaking

*insert sighs* So beautiful.

AND THAT IS ALL THANK YOU! as usual, you can stalk my random 2015 oooh i like this song playlist.

July Picks

GIFT

So I’ve just decided to list down the new artists here cause if I keep repeating the previous month’s artists, we’ll have like a flood of Mumford and Sons and Hippo Campus, etc. etc. Yeah? That cool?

Here we go:
1 Years & Years – King

Years & Years is fronted by actor Olly Alexander (The Riot Club, The Dish and The Spoon, God Help the Girl) and he is openly gay and adorable (proof here). His voice is craaaaay and with the help of Mikey Goldsworthy and  Emre Türkmen, they make fantastic dance tracks that I’m positive would sound as great performed acoustic. I mean, ultimately, they are great songs.

2 Joy Williams – You Loved Me

Formerly known as one half of the now defunct The Civil Wars (sniff), Joy Williams returns with Venus, an 11-track record that still has the heart of The Civil Wars (minus John Paul White’s grit). It is part haunting, part vulnerable, and is full of emotion.

3 Lucy Rose – For You

Excuse me when I say oh yes my girl is back! Cause a) Lucy Rose is not ‘my girl’ and b) I said that with ~some hood accent in my head – which never works out well when said out loud. Lucy Rose is one of my favorite artists in 2011, when she released the single ‘Middle of the Bed’ and later on released her debut album the following year. Naturally, I was very excited to see her produce sophomore album, Work It Out, and to listen to her new tracks. The standout for me in this album is ‘For You’, showcasing the softness and meekness in her voice.

4 Vance Joy – Fire and the Flood

My second favorite Aussie boy (I will never replace you, Heath! But ugh, yeah, someone got bumped lol) releases a new track even when he’s busy following Taylor Swift around for the 1989 tour. Last month, he released ‘Great Summer’ for the Paper Towns soundtrack, now he’s added two more tracks to his album, ‘Fire and the Flood’ being one of it.  I don’t know how to explain this, it’s just. That boy + that guitar + those lyrics = that’s just meant to get any girl swooning, you know? That’s just a basic formula.

5 Little Brutes – Make Our Own Way

Little Brutes is a duo from LA. If you need some dose of feel-good catchy indie pop tunes, you’ve got it right here.

6 Louane – Avenir

For your dose of nouvelle scene, Louane is an 18-year-old singer/actress. Nice teeny pop song. 🙂

7 Børns – Past Lives

BØRNS is actually American singer-songwriter Garrett Borns, he’s got long locks prettier than mine. What I really liked from this track is how it began from this tune that resembled doo-wop and then transformed into this super cool pop tune. I love it I love it I love it.

8 Grimes ft. Blood Diamond – Go

Still waiting for Grimes’ follow up to her album Visions since 2012, but so far she’s shelled out enjoyable tracks like “Entropy” with Bleachers (I love this one so much) and this track “Go” – less pop, more dark and mysterious.

9 Jukebox the Ghost – The Great Unknown

I’ve listened to Jukebox the Ghost sometime in 2012 and kept note of them – but I haven’t fully given them much attention. Frankly, I even forget which track that was that made me notice them haha. They’re an ok band to listen to – sort of reminds me of bands like Jack’s Mannequin (ugh, don’t you just love ‘Dark Blue‘?) and that whole The OC era.

10 Public – Make You Mine

I’ll admit, this band is still very new to me, but I always have a great time listening to this track – so I’ll let it slide that I haven’t fully listened to the rest of their stuff. This is kind of their pass. Plus I’ve just seen the lead singer (he’s so gorg that his girlfriend wrote this song for him). I don’t regret this decision. You can listen to the studio version of this track here – it’s adorable.

NEW STUFF

CHVRCHES – Leave a Trace

Still the same Chvrches I see, nothing wrong with that. Don’t fix what’s not broken.

Beirut – No No No

Oh my God Zach Condon is baaaaack! Listen, if you haven’t listened to Beirut in your entire life, get to that, stat. They are amazing. You can start with “East Harlem“.

OLD STUFF

Watched the Veronica Mars movie and stumbled on these mint tracks:

Sufjan Stevens – Chicago

Gregory Alan Isakov – Second Chances

LOCAL FLAVOR

Ian Penn – Different Kinds of Strangers

My interest sparked for this artist when I listened to his track “Headback Home“. He recently released a new Ep, Wild Abandon. I love that he’s like a little Dylan.

Kartoon Chemistry – Ngayon O Bukas

A little throwback treat! First time I listened to this I was a freshman and I was watching a play. Stuck to me pretty much.

June Tunes

JUNE

Halfway done with 2015! Can you believe it? Still waiting for music loves for this year, and I think I have a couple of them here! Here are my Top 10 artists for June:

1 Hippo Campus

Ah, my band loves! (That’s right, they’re not a band crush, it has escalated to love pretty much right away – soon as I watched this video.) These four talented Minnesotan boys excite me. They make me want to type their name on search engines, stalk each member’s Twitter and Instagram feeds (sorry!) just to find out more. And while they are basically newbies, the boys recently released an EP called Bashful Creatures and I honestly couldn’t get enough of it. No pressure to the boys but I’m basically at wit’s end waiting for their LP. They’re touring though so I guess we still have to wait.

2 Hilary Duff

#sorrynotsorry but Ed Sheeran wrote a song for Hilary Duff and it is catchy as hell. Also, the song is so characteristically Ed Sheeran that it’s just a surefire hit for me.

3 Buddy Holly

Writing something that possibly involves Buddy Holly and when is it not good to listen to some Buddy? He’s got a pretty interesting life story too, so I was easily sucked in the Buddy Holly zone.

4 Autour de Lucie

I was actively seeking out French songs last month and I managed to stumble on Autour de Lucie as well as Vianney and Holden. Last year, my discoveries were Peter Peter (he’s Canadian though), Joyce Jonathan and this track by Sidoine.

The Paper Kites

I’m still very much in love with The Paper Kites’ Woodland EP, and their Young North EP is also such a gem. All good thigns coming from this Aussie folk band.

6 Passion Pit

I’m still enjoying Passion Pit’s Kindred and I’m still as convinced that I’ll be seeing Michael and the band this August.

7 Of Monsters and Men

They’re baaaack! I haven’t given my full attention to their album but I’m extremely digging this track and “I Of The Storm”.

8 Lenachka

Girl crush alert! Lenachka’s self-titled EP is a pop delight with a dash or R&B. Girl’s got an awesome voice too.

9 Alvvays

It took me a while to get here, but I’m kind of obsessed with Alvvays’ “Archie Marry Me” now.

10 Wolf Alice

Just finished my first listen of Wolf Alice’s debut “My Love is Cool” and it is – well, cool. There are definite gems in there and I’m planning to put it on loop.

Note-worthy listens:

San Cisco – Magic

Yay for my Aussie band crush! I have to admit, the new album borders on some weirdness (like this video?), but I love Scarlett and Jordi since “Awkward” so I will give San Cisco plenty of chances.

Leon Bridges – Smooth Sailin’

This guy. This guy I’m keeping a close eye on.

Tame Impala – Eventually

I didn’t ‘get’ Tame Impala much back then but now I finding the new singles more relatable. Can’t wait for the new album!

Will Joseph Cook – Streets of Paris

Still quite a newbie, but so much potential.

Kehlani – You Should Be Here

Jhene Aiko is still my R&B queen, but Kehlani is also very impressive.

XYLØ – Beneath the Devil and the Deep Blue

I’m into this kind of music now, I realize.

Vance Joy – Great Summer

Paper Towns soundtrack! Vance Joy has come a long way – touring with Taylor Swift and all. I love that he’s fully embraced all of this, especially when it seemed that he was quite a reserved guy from his earlier years as a musician.

And that’s it! See you next month!

May Favorites

MAYFAVORITES

I’ve had quite a month and these were my accompanying tunes!

1 Mumford & Sons

Since Wilder Mind came out, of course I lapped it all up. Mumford and Sons may have retired the banjo, but that doesn’t mean that they’ve lost their magic. “Just Smoke” is my first listen favorite (but there are no videos out there). “Tompkins Square park” opens up this album nicely.

2 Of Monsters and Men

Also on the lookout for their next album, Beneath the Skin (scheduled for release this month woo!), Of Monsters and Men have already released two very interesting tracks, “Crystals” and “I of the Storm”.

3 alt-J

Alt-J came to Manila this week – not a part of the crowd (but that’s ok! saw them on laneway before anyway) but that didn’t stop me from giving their records a spin.

4 Liza Anne

A singer-songwriter from Nashville, Liza Anne is another voice in the indie folk scene. Heartfelt songs, good lyrics.

5 Tobias Jesso Jr.

I sound like a broken record here, but come on! Give this dude a chance.

6 Oh Wonder

Lovelove Oh Wonder! A fairly new band (just formed last year) consisting of Anthony and Josephine, the London duo release emotive electro pop songs that are quite The XX-ish, but are more cutesy…if you get that drift.

7 Passion Pit

 Kindred is such a feel good album! Lots of good tracks in it.

8 Ben Howard

 As I love Every Kingdom in its entirety, I decided to revisit Ben Howard’s current release, I Forgot Where We Were. It’s a little darker than his debut – and it’s possibly why I preferred Every Kingdom better, but this track still has Howard’s heart wrenching and thoughtful lyrics: Hello love, for you I have so many words but I forget where we were. 

9 Madeon

 Granted that I listened to Madeon because of Passion Pit, the rest of the tracks in his album Adventure is pretty cool too. It includes Foster the People‘s Mark Foster, Vancouver Sleep Clinic, and  Bastille‘s Dan Smith. Awesome collabs!

10 Lower Dens

Quite late to the Lower Dens party, this track is included in their album Twin Hand Movement released in 2010. Could’ve sworn I heard this before (de ja vu feels) but glad I found the rest of their discography.

 

NOTEWORTHY

Isobel Anderson

A Laura Marling kind of artist. I’m always down for that.

Seafret

I’ve listened to Seafret for a couple of months now (and forgot to blog about them? Bad blogger!) Great acoustic duo from the UK.

Charlie Siem

This guy, I’ve discovered from my writing research but it’s quite a pleasure. For obvious aesthetic and auditory reasons.

Tor Miller

Possible pop star out there. Just saying.

And that’s it! Excited for June artists!

April Earworms

APRIL

Hola! April is my birthday month! Here’s what mostly filled my ears:

1 The Staves

I’m still digging their sophomore album, If I Was. Great record from the sisters.

2 Death Cab for Cutie

“No Room in Frame” is my jam and Kintsugi is pretty fantastic.

3 Tobias Jesso Jr.

I listened to Tobias Jesso Jr. more this month and I’ve discovered more gems from his debut, Goon. My favorite so far is “The Wait“. The melody is pure love – the lyrics, I have quite mixed feelings for (not that it’s not good, just the content haha). I love that his sounds reminds me of the musicians before my time – the sound is clear and clean, and the tunes are mellow and quiet.

4 Husky

Aussie folk band Husky released a new album and it is a delight!

5 Ra Ra Riot

No new releases from Wes Miles and co., I just love Ra Ra Riot always.

6 Sharon Van Etten

I probably should’ve paid attention to Sharon van Etten before, but thanks to the movie Song One, I finally did it! Her two releases are gold. Emotional and raw.

7 Passion Pit

Passion Pit released a new album, Kindred and as always, it’s a fun record to listen to. Plus Michael Angelakos!

8 Jack Garratt

I’m still on the process of discovering Jack Garratt. With only a couple of singles around, he’s that guy worth watching out for.

9 The Wombats

The guys who sang “Let’s Dance to Joy Division” released a new album! Still fun, very pop rock, and catchy!

10  Mumford & Sons

My boys are back! They say it’s a new sound, and yeah, maybe they did swap their acoustic instruments but the core is pretty much the same – just listen to “Snake Eyes“, that’s still so very Mumford and Sons. Plus how haaaawt is the session drummer?

Note-worthy:

Grimes & Bleachers – Entropy

THIS. SONG.

Glass Animals – Gooey

Toro Y Moi – Buffalo

Wet – Deadwater

Rob Simonsen & Faux Fix feat. Elena Tonra (of Daughter) – Start Again

Hope you all had a good month!