Friday, 30 January 2015

Album of The Month #4 | Vance Joy | Dream Your Life Away

I haven't written an album review since October - and I'm not quite sure how I let that 
happen. I'm a terrible person, I know. Having said that, December has been the month I've been listening to the choons over Christmas and New Year.

It's not a new album, it's been out for a while, but with many things, I am late to come to the hype.

Aside from the fact that his hair is a stand-alone talent that any hair product would want him to be the face of, he's a talented young fellow.

Joy's debut album "Dream Your Life Away" was followed up by the EP, "God Loves You When You're Dancing". We all know the song "Riptide", but how many people really know the rest of James Keogh's music, know known of course as Vance Joy?

With many of the songs, there is a story; almost a beginning, middle and end. To me, this is one of Vance Joy's major strengths. Each song weaves a delicate web of a story, as he bares his soul with the backdrop of a candid acoustic guitar. It could be arguably said that the singer doesn't push the boundaries of his genre - but at the same time, that doesn't need to be done in order for this to work.

As a whole, it's quite an uplifting piece of work. I had been listening to Hozier's album for a very long time before I got around to listening to this properly. These two records are quite different for obvious reasons, and "Dream Your Life Away" is almost lighter on the ears with it's uptemto, feel-good, witty phrases.

My favourite songs from the album would have to be "From Afar" for its atmosphere consisting of subtle to intense elements of storytelling folk, "Georgina" for its sweet, almost lullaby-type tones and "Red Eye", which I feel is one of the most enthralling songs I've listened to in a long time; a supple verse that breaks into an enticing chorus.

If you're a fan of Mumford and Sons, George Ezra; the folky/singer-songwriter gang, you will be all over this record. 

Overall, a solid and enjoyable album - that is guaranteed to get you knowing the lyrics in your sleep within a couple of listens.

As always, you will find a direct link to listen to the album via the Spotify widget on the right-hand side. Give it a lash and let me know what you think.

What have you been listening to?

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Why I Haven't Made New Year's Resolutions

I have noticed over the last few weeks, a considerable amount of people are posting their year in review or New Year's resolutions. I am not going to do either. And I am going to tell you why I am not doing the latter.

I've never been the type of person to set strict New Year's resolutions, probably because a) there is a high chance they will get broken (and that's ok, too) and b) when I need to make a difference in some element in my life - it needs to be immediate (usually). I am not going to sit around until the big hand strikes 12 on the 31st of December. Why? Because I am a firm believer that you can make a change at any stage in your life, at any time.

For instance, earlier on in the year I set up a blog, I began to exercise more and I cut out every ounce of rubbish from my diet, to name but a few. These are all things I did around the summertime, I believe.

Of course there are general things I wish to start/continue that happen to co-inside with the New Year:

1.   Blog more
2.   Continue to do my best at school
3.   Maybe. Possibly. Hopefully start writing a book
4.   Read more

Regardless of the time of year, I would have gotten around to all of these things eventually. What I'm trying to say is, don't tie yourself down to a particular date on the calendar to make a change. Don't like how things are shaping up in March? Shuffle around your routine and try to make things easier on yourself - you don't need to wait a whole 8 months to turn things around.

Is the best New Year Resolution to keep moving forward with the goals we already have?

Of course, I don't mean to come across to be condesenting and undermining those who enjoy setting N.Y.Rs - if that's what motivates you, then go for it!

I read somewhere that a staggering 88% of all N.Y.Rs fail, according to Wikipedia. Yes I know, not the most scientifically reliable of sources out there. However the fact remains; we put a lot of pressure on ourselves, before we are given the chance to draw our breath. I really do think that we all set out with the best and honorable of intentions in this endeavor. But maybe for some, these things aren't quantifiable, they lack a plan and clarity on how to carry out these goals out. Possibly, due to the fact that these resolutions may not be implemented within the first couple of months of the new year - adds to the weighted burden of it all.

Don't worry my friends! You can virtually do, anything, at any time, anywhere. So if it doesn't work out, don't put yourself down, plan for the next thing to come - dust your shoulders off and keep on moving.

What are your opinions on New Year's Resolutions? Let me know in the comments below.