HOLDING ON

Artist: Gregory Porter

Genre: Jazz

Notable lyrics:

Weight of love on my shoulders
I thought that it would be easier than this
I thought my heart had grown colder
But the warmth of your kiss, I can’t dismiss
Though my past has left me bruised
I ain’t hiding from the truth
When the truth won’t let me lie right next to you
But it’s holding on
And it’s holding strong
Even though I tried to make it
Played the part, but I can’t fake it
It keeps holding on
And it’s holding strong
Even though I tried to break it
Heaven knows that I can’t shake it

I know I’ve been very irregular these days, but it’s the end of my semester and the exams have left me feeling lazy, yet stressful. As a way of making amends, I’m going to recommend this pearl to you fellas.

Born in Sacramento, California, Gregory Porter is an American singer, songwriter, and actor. At the age of 21, Porter lost his mother to cancer, but only after she entreated him from her death-bed: “Sing, baby, sing!” Porter mostly composes Gospel, Blues, and Jazz music, and has won the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album in 2014 for Liquid Spirit and in 2017 for Take Me to the Alley. ‘Holding on’, a single released in 2016 from his fourth studio album ‘Take Me to the Alley’, has gained fame through its remix version, made in collaboration with Disclosure, an English electronic duo.

Weirdly nostalgic and seductive, this jazz club hit pulls all the right strings. It’s one of those songs you’ve never heard before, but can swear has been etched semewhere in your mind; not because of the tune is mainstream (oh no, it’s definitely not mainstream), it’s just a lot of hard work and intricately woven tunes. The piano is ever so delightful, and takes you back to those 60’s night clubs, with the good music and the better cocktails. The soulful voice is just an addition to its already pre-dominant tune. And the saxophone, oh! the saxophone! If it weren’t the angels’ favorite instrument, besides the harp, I’d be rightfully stunned. The beautiful saxophone that would leave any jazz song incomplete in its absence, alters the mood into a more seductive one. The song is about an unrequited love that’s got you weak in the knees, and you’re begging your lovely counterpart to do anything but leave you. Wow, that just got real, huh?

Anyway, I can’t stress on this enough ‘Jazz needs to be explored and encouraged more’. With one of the most significant and beautiful genres dying out, people have got less to look forward to. If you’re a Jazz artist and are reading this, don’t you worry for there’s always somebody (actually, a whole lot of people) rooting for you. The undivided attention one pays to Jazz won’t ever fade away; so, for the love of God, keep experimenting with your music, sire/madam/miss!

 

FLOAT ON

Artist: Modest Mouse

Genre: Rock/Alternative

Notable lyrics: 

I backed my car into a cop car the other day
Well, he just drove off – sometimes life’s okay
I ran my mouth off a bit too much, ah what did I say?
Well, you just laughed it off and it was all okay
And we’ll all float on okay
And we’ll all float on anyway, well
A fake Jamaican took every last dime with that scam
It was worth it just to learn some sleight of hand
Bad news comes, don’t you worry even when it lands
Good news will work it way to all them plans
We both got fired on, exactly, the same day
Well, we’ll float on, good news is on the way
And we’ll all float on okay
And we’ll all float on alright
Already we’ll all float on
Now don’t you worry we’ll all float on alright
Already we’ll all float on alright
Don’t worry we’ll all float on
Alright, Already
And we’ll all float on alright
Already we’ll all float on alright
Don’t worry even if things end up a bit
Too heavy we’ll all float on alright

If the going gets tough, this song will have your back. It’s the therapy you never knew you needed.

Modest Mouse is an American rock band formed in 1992 in Issaquah, Washington. The popular members, among the 15 who have come and gone, include Isaac Brock (lead singer and guitarist) , Jeremiah Green (Drummer), Eric Judy (bassist), and the fabulous Mr. Johnny Marr (guitars). If Johnny’s in a band, you know it’s a great one.                          Modest Mouse is one of the most popular indie bands (oh, the irony) you’ll hear one speaking about. Among Alt-J, Mgmnt, Arcade Fire, and The Shins, Modest Mouse has established itself as an indie mogul. With 12 albums out, each album having a weirder name than the previous one, ‘Float On’ appears on their 9th album, ‘Good News For People Who Love Bad News’ released in 2004. Emerging as one of the most famous indie songs in existence, ‘Float On’ has won a Grammy for the best rock song in 2005.

In an interview with The A.V. Club, lead singer Isaac Brock discussed the song’s positivity, a turn from the band’s earlier, more dour material.

I was just kind of fed up with how bad shit had been going, and how dark everything was, with bad news coming from everywhere. Our president [George W. Bush] is just a fucking daily dose of bad news! Then you’ve got the well-intentioned scientists telling us that everything is fucked.

I just want to feel good for a day. I’d had some friends die, and with Jeremy kind of losing it… After we got out of that dark spot with everything melting down with the band, I just wanted to make a positive record. I think we managed to make a quarter of the record positive, and the rest is either kind of dark or more just relaxing into things being how they are, resigned

The song talks about how having a shitty day, or a week, or a month, or a year, isn’t too bad, as that too, shall pass. For the first time, a song about Optimism hs been created that’s not entirely out of everyone’s level of comprehension. It’s brilliant in a way that it’s literally helped thousands deal with bad times, which is what music in itself must do. The simplistic and relatable makes it all the more comforting.                                                          There’s absolutely no impediment in the way of the efficient usage of drums, and the characteristic indie guitar tune which was originally introduced by the underground bands of the 80’s, and is still put into use. The occasional guitar strums and the Windows XP noise is a bit annoying, and that’s that. As a whole, the song is very catchy and spirit-lifting, with an inherent sense of enthusiasm expressed well enough.

The music video is also rather artistic, with the band members being represented as paper puppets putting on a show in front of a barn. According to Songfacts, ‘The video takes place by a sheep slaughterhouse. As the sheep get rounded and get taken to the slaughterhouse they become scared. The song seems to be reassuring the sheep that it’s OK and that even if they die, they’ll “All float on.”‘ Pretty self-explanatory.

Needless to say, this song is one of the very few songs I almost never skip when found on a shuffle. Never fails to lift my mood, and remind me that ahead of shitty days lie the ones with rainbows and butterflies everywhere. In the end, it’ll all be worth it.

LOVES ME NOT

Artist: Cris Cab

Genre: Pop

Notable lyrics:

But when I’m on her heart, she’s coming down
When I’m showing up, she’s not around
That makes the days when you’re not at home
Should have not opened up my heart

Gotta let me know if you feel the same
A girl like you shouldn’t be playin’ those games

This song basically describes the story of my current life. All that’s left is to go to an entire garden, and pluck out flower petals, thinking out loud if ‘he loves me so, or he loves me not’ (I’m sure it’s a ‘NOT’). I know, I am quite frustrated.

Cristian Cabrerizo, better known by his stage name Cris Cab is an American singer-songwriter and musician. Born in 1993 to Cuban parents, Cris is only 25 years old, and started his first studio recording at the age of 14, only to be mentored by Pharrell Williams a year later. Cris is best known for his super-hit ‘Liar Liar’, and had released his first studio album ‘Where I Belong’ in 2014, along with several EP’s. Cris Cab has the charm of a dork trying to be cool, with his bad-boy pretence, but who’s complaining when hes’ got such an adorable face? Essentially, he’s a grown-up Shawn Mendes, catering to a more mature audience, preaching about unrequited lust.

‘Loves me not’ is a very relatable song (at least to me. I can’t stress on it enough) released in 2014. It’s also somehow got the ‘”modern” modern pop’ charm. With a very artsy music video full of ciphers and wonderful usage of light bulbs (who would’ve thought), it has managed to climb the popular charts, such as the Billboard top 100. The girls are also an excellent addition to the music video, because now we know what all that fuss is about.    Cris talks about not being loved in return, just like the name suggests, even after him wanting to give her pleasure so generously. In other words, he wants the ‘Friends with benefits’ contract broken since he’s started developing feelings for her, but my fair lady here begs to differ. In all seriousness, this song is rather catchy, with the magnificent sound of the electric guitar, and the bass drum that pierces into your ears, inducing more dopamine by the minute; there’s also a discreet use of electronic music here and there. The song has been edited, evidently, but I’m not complaining, since the final product is so well-made. The lack of sophisticated lyrics is compensated for, by his breezy, shrill voice. Even if Cris himself hasn’t played the guitar (I always do my research), he sure knows how to act.

Coming to the music video, because it’s just too savvy to be pushed backstage, the excellent use of technology defies a music snob’s tedious observations about how 21st century music is just ‘wasteful, and distasteful’. Finally, there’s a 2014 music video that doesn’t involve a couple of half-naked girls dancing, or a bunch of prepubescent boys jumping about. Evidently a big-budget music video, the light bulbs are probably irrelevant to the song, but fit in any way. There are a whole lot of ciphers (the snakes representing treachery, the two women clad in black and white representing two sides of the same girl), and all that. There’s a whole lot of Mise En Scene elements (I’m a Journalism student, hence the big French) that might take some dedication to be decoded, which speaks about the complexity, and the skillful structuring of the video. Apparently, the song sounds like something Sting from ‘The Police’ would make, and I can’t beg to differ; parts of it sounds like it’s been inspired by ‘Every Breath You Take’, but manages to stand apart on its own, without Sting fans yelling ‘Plagiarism’.

나랑 아니면 (Who Do You Love)

Artist: The Black Skirts

Genre: Korean indie music

Lyrics: 

야 나랑 놀자 밤늦게까지 함께 손뼉 치면서
나랑 마셔 너와 나의 몸이 녹아 내리면
나랑 걷자 저 멀리까지가다 지쳐 누우면
나랑 자자 두 눈 꼭 감고 나랑 입 맞추자

나랑 아니면 누구랑 사랑 할 수 있겠니
나랑 아니면 어디에 자랑 할 수 있겠니
나랑 아니면

야 나랑 놀자 어디 가지 말고
그리울 틈 없도록
나랑 살자 아주 오랫동안
우리 같이 살자

나랑 아니면 누구랑 사랑 할 수 있겠니
나랑 아니면 어디에 자랑 할 수 있겠니
나랑 아니면

아무렇지 않게 넌 내게 말했지
날 위해 죽을 수도, 죽일 수도 있다고
알아, 나도 언제나 같은 마음이야 baby
아마도 우린 오래 아주 오래 함께할 거야

Translation: 

Hey, hang out with me till late at night
Come drink with me
Once you and I get drunk
So when we feel tipsy, let’s walk
Once you and I get tired
So when we lie down, Let’s sleep
Close your eyes and let’s kiss

Without me, who can you love with?
Without me, where can you tell?
Without me

Hey, let’s hang out with me
Don’t go without me
So we don’t miss each other
Let’s live with me for a long time
Let’s live together

Without me, who will you love?
Without me, where will you go?
Without me

You told me lightly
You can die or kill for me
I know, I can do the same thing, baby
Maybe we’ll be together forever

Korean pop or K-pop, has gained a lot of popularity since 2015, but that’s just the company-grown bands. While South Korea relies heavily on its entertainment industry for generating income, it has a very conventional way of grooming its artists, usually to fit the rest of the world’s opinion of South Korea. As a result of this, Korean artists don’t have the provisions or space to experiment. Highly influenced by western music, K-pop is just a mainstream replica of the same kind, except with a few Korean lyrics, ostentatious costumes, tacky music videos, and frisky dance moves. Very few Korean indie artists have made it into the scene, while the rest of them hope to be scouted by popular entertainment agencies.

‘The Black Skirts’ is a one-man band consisting of Jo Hyu-il or Brian Cho, who is a singer/songwriter/guitarist/bassist/keyboardist. Hyu-il  was born in Seoul, South Korea on December 5, 1982, and later moved to the United States when he was 12 years old, where he grew up in New Jersey. Heavily influenced by American music, Hyu-il recorded his first album in 2009, in his basement, and won a Korean Music Award. ‘Who do you love’ is a romantic ballad released in 2017, as a part of his 3rd studio album ‘Team Baby’.

Revolving around a problematic couple, the song has managed to beautifully fit into their lives, moulding into the story like they were meant to co-exist. The actress is a Korean party host, while the actor is a janitor working in the same karaoke joint. The music video slowly transitions from their everyday life, to the incident that broke the girl: robbing a man, and killing another in the attempt to run away unnoticed. Dramatic and tragic, the song captures the essence of being in love, and doing almost anything to prevent separation. Nothing has been sugar-coated here, unlike the typical Korean music videos. Brian Cho is also known for capturing emotions crudely, which makes his works seem more mature in comparison to the popular songs. The melodramatic tune of a violin progresses into the livelier part, with the drums in the background, the keyboard in the middle ground, and the fragile voice in the fore ground. Akin to an orchestral hit, the song has used a wide range of instruments, including the electric guitar during the bridge. With his roots buried deep into indie rock, Brian has managed to incorporate some rock music into the song, without making it seem out-of-place. The lyrics are minimalistic, but is compensated for by the composition of the song.

Artists like The Black Skirts are important to ensure Korean music doesn’t lose it authenticity by giving in to the conventional methods of making popular music. With the emergence of independent artists, Korean music will cater to the needs of different sub-cultures, thereby making it all the more popular. Several artists go unnoticed while the big bands earn millions by the minute. Digging into SoundCloud or YouTube will expose several independent artists, and this is necessary because experimentation is the key to revolution, at least artistically speaking.

LOVE THE WAY IT SHOULD BE (HUMANITY)

Artist: John Legend & The Roots

Genre: Reggae

Notable lyrics:

Time is gettin’ harder and harder
More and more each day, yeah
Still I am determined that I’m never gonna change my way
Thinking ’bout love the way it should be
You gotta open your eyes and you will see
About love the way it should be
You gotta make up your minds and you’ll advance humanity
Humanity, humanity, humanity, whoa

What happened to the love
That they are all talking about?
It’s nothing but useless words
Coming from out of their mouths
Talking ’bout love the way it should be
We gotta open our eyes and we will see
About love the way it should be
We gotta make up our minds and we’ll advance humanity
Humanity, humanity, humanity, whoa

Listen, people listen
You got the notion (I hope so)
Listen what I’m saying to you
You got the notion (I hope so)
A little bit of justice and peace
You got the notion (I hope so)
Bring a little love for everyone
You got the notion (our hope’s on)

About time I dedicated a song in the praise of humanity, only with sheer irony.

John Legend is a popular American singer, most famous for his super-hit ballad ‘All of me’. John’s known for singing a variety of R&B, and pop songs. He started his career in music in 2000, and has produced 6 albums henceforth.                                                         The Roots, popularly known for being hired in ‘The tonight show with Jimmy Fallon’, are an American hip hop band, formed in 1987 by Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter and Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. With the 8 members playing a variety of instruments, they’re known for their impromptu’s, and were described by Rolling Stone magazine as ‘one of the greatest live acts in the world’.

Originally produced by Prince Lincoln Thompson and The Royal Rasses, a Jamaican singer and his reggae band respectively (1949-1999) in 1987, ‘Humanity’ has been covered by John Legend in collaboration with The Roots in 2010. While the song hadn’t gained much attention, it was used in a particular ‘Gray’s Anatomy’ episode, and has garnered some popularity since. While the original song is pure Reggae, the new song has infusions of jazz, and soul, which are the hallmarks of The Roots. With the beautiful, public-spirited lyrics, it has brought some of that Bob Marley essence back into existence.

The song talks about the creation a better world; one with more peace, more justice, and more love. It’s in the form of a preaching, except it’s been sung so soulfully that it’s become one of those songs you hear on the radio, and go everywhere looking for. The enchanting night-club music takes you back to the 80’s, with its characteristic reggae music, and improvised jazz. The trumpet and the drums add more charisma to the song, further drawing you into its free-spirited music. Such songs are modest in number, which is a tragedy. There’s a need for the creation of songs that spread love and peace on a large-scale basis.

 

TWO WEEKS

Artist: Grizzly Bear

Genre: Rock

Notable lyrics: 

Save up all the days
A routine malaise
Just like yesterday
I told you I would stay

Would you always?
Maybe sometimes?
Make it easy?
Take your time

Think of all the ways
Momentary phase
Just like yesterday
I told you I would stay

Every time you try
Quarter half a mile
Just like yesterday
I told you I would stay

Would you always?
Maybe sometimes?
Make it easy?
Take your time.

Happy seeming sad songs are a popular trend now, I see.

Grizzly Bear is an American rock band from Brooklyn, New York, formed in 2002. The band consists of Edward Droste, Daniel Rossen, Chris Taylor, and Christopher Bear. Grizzly Bear, along the likes of Beach House, Vampire Weekend, and so on, is also an acclaimed alternative band.

‘Two weeks’ was released in 2009, in the album ‘Veckatimest’, named after a small island in Dukes County, Massachusetts. The album was further nominated for the ‘Danish Music Award for International Album of the Year’. The song, even after failing to climb the mainstream charts, was featured in various ads and T.V. shows, and has been sampled by popular artists like Childish Gambino and G-Eazy.

‘Dreamy and eccentric’ is what describes the song best. The vocals are unnaturally airy, and the music surreal. The electric piano, electric guitar and drums, with a soft and gradual jingle during the chorus, gives the song a very transcendental, yet edgy ethos. Written about the gradual rupture of a relationship, the song masks the pain hidden in the lyrics with the beautiful, wholesome music. Lead singer Ed Droste writes:

“Take your time” is not sarcastic — it’s serious. Slow down, take your time. It is about reassuring someone who you are with, telling them that you are going to be there even though you are both bored of it. Would you just sometimes take your time, would you make it easy, can you just not stress?

Although the music video appears to be a bit unsettling, what with the overly googly eyes, and the firecrackers bursting out of their heads in a church (is that what it feels like to be in a terrible relationship?), the savvy composition of the song makes up for it. With Background vocals from Beach House’s Victoria Legrand, the song takes you into another dimension, the one you never knew existed, but once had a dream about (oddly specific, I know). What’s wonderful is how good of a travelling song this is. ‘Two Weeks’ also apparently is Grizzly Bears’ most popular and widely listened-to song, and it rightfully deserves that acknowledgement.

Ich würde wenn ich wüßte, daß ich könnte

Artist:  4 PS

Genre: Foreign (German) Pop

Lyrics: 

Ich würde, wenn ich wüsste, dass ich könnte
Bei dir ein Leben lang verweilen
Ich würde, wenn ich wüsste, dass ich könnte
Mich mit der Liebe nicht beeilen
Ich würde, wenn ich wüsste, dass ich könnte
Dir unsern Stern herunter hol’n
Ich würde, wenn ich wüsste, dass ich könnte
Dir aus dem Keller hol’n die Kohl’n
Ich würde, wenn ich wüsste, dass ich könnte
Dir keine Märchen erzählen
Ich würde, wenn ich wüsste, dass ich könnte
Beim Nachbarn dir Rapunzel stehlen
Ich würde, wenn ich wüsste, dass ich könnte
Fast alles machen für dich
Ich würde, wenn ich wüsste, dass ich könnte…
Und das ist allerhand viel für mich

Translation: 

I would, if I knew that I could
Stay with you for a lifetime
I would, if I knew that I could
Do not hurry me with your love
I would, if I knew that I could
Get our stars down
I would, if I knew that I could
From the basement you get the Kohl’n
I would, if I knew that I could
Would not tell you fairy tales
I would, if I knew that I could
As the neighbor, you stole Rapunzel
I would, if I knew that I could
Almost everything works for you
I would, if I knew that I could …
And that’s a lot for me

The lyrics are a rough translation of what I found, and they don’t really make that much sense, but something’s better than nothing, I guess.

4 PS is a German Band formed in 1977. While the whereabouts of the band are unknown, at least to me, they apparently are/were a German pop band. The song was part of the band’s 2005 album containing all their previous (probably unreleased) hits, but the original date of release is unspecified.

‘Ich würde wenn ich wüßte, daß ich könnte’ (I would, if I knew that I could), remains to be ‘that song you heard in some German 70’s themed party’ or the song you’ve heard playing in the Academy Award winning film ‘Lives of Others’, in the sequence of Georg’s birthday party, but couldn’t find. The song is very easy on the ears, especially with the choir going ‘tuleli tata tu’ in most places. That’s the most entertaining part, in my opinion. I honestly wait for that particular piece of intelligible humming while listening to the song. The classic late 70’s music maintains is quite prominent, maintaining its steady nature, along with the smart drums, and some light electronic music. The song seems to be a cipher of sorts, or the meaning was just lost in its translation.

While the song hasn’t held any place on any music charts, it relies on words-of-mouth to increase its popularity; it’s my duty to make sure good songs receive some acknowledgement, in the least. This wholesome song will surely hop onto your ’70’s music’ playlist.

D-D-DANCE

Artist: The Royal Concept

Genre: Indie pop

Notable Lyrics:

In a room with both of your rivals
You would always turn it around
Once you go, once you get started
Always had that look in your eyes
You would always reach without trying
I didn’t spend this time to fall out
Watch me take my chances on the weekends
You could always read me by heart

Always on the go, keep your head up now
Na na not quite that high
D-d-dance dance dance till you get it right
Always on the go, keep your head up now

Wrong decisions are inevitable. Every one often takes wrong decisions, only to realize how foolish they’ve been. ‘D-D-Dance’ is a happy-go-lucky song speaking about the same. The singer pleads to his girlfriend to not doubt their awry relationship, even after how skeptical she’s always been about dating someone his kind. In reality, you never almost date people your type, so she has no idea what the hell she’s on about.

The Royal Concept is a Swedish Indie Rock band formed in Stockholm in 2010. It currently consists of lead vocalist and guitarist David Larson, guitarist Filip Bekic, bassist Magnus Robert, and drummer Povel Olsson. They all look like a sophisticated bunch of Rock stars, with the characteristic long hair and the hipster appeal. Their songs mostly range from punk-rock to Indie-rock. The band also has its distinct sound which is easily identifiable, especially with the, um, very quirky voice behind all the songs. If I’m being just, it actually only accentuates the entire scheme of indie music. You can’t possibly go wrong while making independent music, since the point is ambiguity and experimentation.

The smart drum beats, the pitch-y electric guitars, and the excellent use of the cymbals, the most underrated parts of a jazz drum set, makes the music very hard to comprehend, which means you’re doing well. You don’t want your music to be an open book with no substance; the heavier and more complex the music, the more  professional you seem to be. The lyrics contradict the mood of the song, which is a trick people often use to produce super hits. Beside the usual drama. the song has a very unique configuration, with the snazzy drum bit playing a very important to miss. Without the use of Electronic music, the song replicates an original EDM song, which is saying something. It’s really hard to get over this song in less than a few weeks. Play it early in the morning for a more melodramatic effort. If there’s a playlist named ‘songs for a foggy day’, this one’s perfect for it.

THIS TOWN

 

Artist: Niall Horan

Genre: Folk

Lyrics: 

Waking up to kiss you and nobody’s there
The smell of your perfume still stuck in the air
It’s hard
Yesterday I thought I saw your shadow running round
It’s funny how things never change in this old town
So far from the stars
And I want to tell you everything
The words I never got to say the first time around
And I remember everything
From when we were the children playing in this fairground
Wish I was there with you now
If the whole world was watching I’d still dance with you
Drive highways and byways to be there with you
Over and over the only truth
Everything comes back to you
I saw that you moved on with someone new
In the pub that we met he’s got his arms around you
It’s so hard
So hard
And I want to tell you everything
The words I never got to say the first time around
And I remember everything
From when we were the children playing in this fairground
Wish I was there with you now
As if the whole world was watching I’d still dance with you
Drive highways and byways to be there with you
Over and over the only truth
Everything comes back to you
You still make me nervous when you walk in the room
Them butterflies they come alive when I’m next to you
Over and over the only truth
Everything comes back to you
And I know that it’s wrong
That I can’t move on
But there’s something about you
If the whole world was watching I’d still dance with you
Drive highways and byways to be there with you
Over and over the only truth
Everything comes back to you
You still make me nervous when you walk in the room
Them butterflies they come alive when I’m next to you
Over and over the only truth
Everything comes back to you.

Folks, this bloke right here did the industry some justice, after stepping out of an exasperating boy-band. Most people would’ve just lived off the few interviews and T.V. cameos they were offered.

Niall Horan is an Irish musician, who was also part of the infamous boy-band ‘One Direction’. The band spilt up in 2016, and all the members went their own way, choosing the genre they admired the most. Niall, 24, has produced his own studio album with folk, country, and pop songs, which has given him quite some recognition, and a steady fan-base.

‘This Town’ talks about childhood sweethearts who drifted away in the course of looking for a life outside the regular town the singer was born in. The beautiful and simple lyrics elaborate the situation where you go looking after a long-lost love, only to be heartbroken after seeing them being taken. It’s deviant from the conventional ‘eyes meet after long, hearts reconnect’, and is rather realistic. After all, nobody really waits for their “true love” to return. According to Horan, it’s about nobody in particular, but his home-town that he’s singing about. That…kinda makes sense too, I guess? The music video has been so intricately designed, with sketches of the entire story on a paper. It’s very rare that singers reach out to cartoonists to help them make them a music video. This idea could be more explored, since it could rightfully expose the artist behind, and be a savvy choice for a good music video.

The song is such a melody, it’s almost too nice to be true. The only instruments being used are 2 acoustic guitars, and a piano for the chorus, giving it a very minimalistic appeal. The thing about minimalism is that it always comes at a price, and if not presented properly, might be dismissed as modern trash. ‘This Town’ has rightly conquered the art of minimalism, and has blossomed into something wonderful.        Most songs require at least a string quartet or 20 electric guitars to complete it, while this song, with a bare minimum instruments, has managed to achieve substance. The voice is also very compatible with the song, making it so mellow and soothing, and colored with nostalgia. For a first solo song, Niall has gone out on a limb, and produced a sincere and an excellent song, compared to which the rest of the songs on his album is just a walk in the park.

 

 

NOW & LATER

Artist: Sage the Gemini

Genre: Hip/hop

Notable lyrics: 

I think I’mma lose it
If I ever had your number, I think I would use it

You’re beautiful like spring time
Let me know you in the meantime
Hopefully, if things seem right
I’mma be needing your ring size

I know this song’s quite popular, but honestly, it’s gotta be one of 2016’s best mainstream songs. I listened to it at least 3 times before writing this article – not to analyse it, but because I love it.

‘Dominic Wynn Woods, better known by his stage name Sage the Gemini, is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, and record producer from Fairfield, California’. In all honesty, this dude looks like a Greek god. Maybe that’s part reason why this song’s so popular. Just kidding.

‘Now or Later’ has some tacky lyrics, weird, irrelevant allusions (like any modern rap song), and the casual use of electronic music, which makes it sound like a Jason Derulo song. If you’ve referred to my article about my distaste for pop music, you’ll be surprised, since this song fits the criteria in every way possible; it even has the generic music video, with a lot of half-naked girls, twerking, and half-arsed flirting. Despite my general hatred for such songs, why am I dedicating an entire post in favor of one? Because it’s catchy, groovy, funky, has those futuristic beats and is really, really well-made. You listen to this song on Snapchat or on the radio, and you’re all ears. It honestly manages to stand out from the rest of the mainstream songs produced in 2016. To be entirely truthful, the lyrics aren’t that off-putting either; it fits the mood of a modern lover, with their internet slang and references to some ostentatious soap opera. All it does is appeal to a lot of people from almost all age-groups, because for once, good music has been produced. There are a few lines which are also genuinely pleasant to listen to, and even sing to somebody. If I was at all serenaded by this song, I’d be so overwhelmed. If it was any other popular song, I’d probably give you a weird frown, if you know what I’m saying.

Music produced this way (in the future), won’t earn many complaints from music snobs (such as I). Since everything has a limit, so should excessively generic songs.