New Album Release: “Ghost Stories” - Coldplay

To be completely honest, I was never much one for Coldplay’s music, save a few songs; they didn’t really appeal to me. I never got excited for an album of theres. It was usually the single releases that got me; “Paradise”, “Princess of China”, and “Fix You”. With the exception of “Fix You”, these tracks didn’t exactly pull me in automatically. 

I suppose you can say I wasn’t exactly a full on Coldplay fan. 

A few weeks ago I was at work and just putting some paperwork (actually, I think I was with a customer) away when I heard “Magic” come over the system. The voice sounded familiar but it just wasn’t clicking. I immediately called over a coworker and asked him who it was. “This is Coldplay”. He then went into detail about how they took a different direction with this album. They incorporated some EDM; thanks to artists Avicii and Madeon, into the production, but not so much that it took away from their signature vibe. Ghost Stories had been out for about 2 weeks now; so I actually had an opportunity to listen to the full album before i decided if it was worth getting the whole thing. 

They did not disappoint. Ghost Stories has a more stripped back and acoustic feeling; definitely a departure from the stadium sounds of Mylo Xyloto. It’s a reflection on your actions in the past and how it can come back to affect your present and future capabilities of giving and receiving love.  

This was definitely not something I was expecting when I first listened to the album. It’s the first Coldplay production that I can say that I love all around. It falls in line with the feeling of music I usually find myself falling for. Something that allows me to sit back and think. Sometimes reflect. I found a piece of myself. 

Ghost Stories is available on iTunes now

New Album Release: “In The Lonely Hour” - Sam Smith

I first heard of Sam Smith through a friend at work; he was planning a trip to Chicago to see him in concert. I was a little naive on the artist. I hadn’t heard much about him or from him. Apparently my head had been buried in the sand. I finally got around to listening to a few of songs from his Nirvana EP; and I was just knocked out. His voice and the sound; all packaged together with some amazing lyrics had me hooked. 

Thankfully due to my naivety I didn’t have too long to wait for his full studio album to be released. I don’t know how my friend did it. 

When In The Lonely Hour finally came out, I knew it was meant to be. I hadn’t had a such an emotional reaction to music since Adele’s 21 was released 4 years ago. Sam Smith manages to fill each song with feeling, and deliver every emotional moment. “Life Support” and “Make It To Me” are two track that seem to be written with my heart in mind. Sometimes you grow to care about somebody and their well being but they just don’t see it. The feelings are just sitting there with no hope of being realized.

Don’t get me wrong. Emotion is a great thing, a good ballad can be everything you want it to be; but what makes this album so great is that there are some stand out uptempo tracks as well. “Restart” isn’t necessarily a track to make you sit back and cry into a tub of Ben and Jerry’s; I know most people choose Haagen Daas, I prefer Ben and Jerry’s. This is a track that will make you dance away those blues and own the future. Why do they keep coming back? The chorus is definitely one of my favorites.

What do you want from me when I just wanna restart

You keep coming back for me when you’re the one who tore us apart

And the truth is I’m better on my own

And I’m the one to leave it apart

So let me restart

Overall, this album has everything i had been missing as far as emotion goes. In The Lonely Hour is a great selection of music; with a story for every situation. I cant wait to see what he brings to the table as time goes on. 

In The Lonely Hour is available on iTunes now

While you’re there…

Check out the Nirvana EP as well. 

"Black Hole (Demo)" by Delia Drumm

She’s Done It Again. She’s made me feel things. 

There’s something about this voice and the emotion that it carries. It’s one thing when you’re covering a song that’s already hit; but when it’s your own song. You pain and love on the page, there’s a whole new view on things. 

While listening to this song by my friend Delia Drumm, I couldn’t help but feel. There’s the feeling of raw emotion and pain in every chord. It reminds me of the first time I heard Christina Perri’s “Jar of Hearts” or Adele’s “Someone Like You”. There’s true feeling in these words. 

Delia also did a cover of Bob Dylan’s “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go”; which I say is my personal favorite. She kept it fun, much like Miley Cyrus’ cover of the song; but at the same time put her own touch on it. 

Check out both songs below.

New Album Release: “Glorious” - Foxes

image

Foxes has been building a name for herself by appearing as a featured artist on singles released by established artists, such as Fall Out Boy’s “Just One Yesterday” and most famously Zedd’s “Clarity”; for which she received her first Grammy Award. 

Now she’s primed to make a name for herself as more than “that featured artist”. With the release of Glorious, she has definitely found her place in a scene that can be overwhelming. Some of the standouts on the album are “Let Go for Tonight” (video featured below), “White Coats”, “Night Glo” and the title track “Glorious”. 

This collection of work allows the singer to showcase her voice in the best ways. It’s pure and raw, not weighed down or saturated by overproduction. She stepped away from the EDM base in favor of a more dramatic feel; one that’s fairly reminiscent of a  Florence and the Machine type. She’s got a great sound and a strong voice; I’m just wanting to see if she can hold her own in a dance pop scene thats already being dominated by Ellie, Miley and Katy.

Unless you live in Great Britain, Glorious is unfortunately unavailable at the moment. However, the singles Youth, Beauty Queen and Hold Onto Heaven are available in the US iTunes Store. 

Check out the video for “Let Go for Tonight” below.

John Mayer Covers Beyonce’s “XO”

In April, John Mayer debuted a cover of Beyonce’s hit “XO” during the Australian leg of his tour promoting Battle Studies and Paradise Valley. The cover was met with an overwhelmingly warm reception.

Three days ago, Mayer released a studio quality version of the single; and it’s pretty much perfect. Its stripped of production and primarily acoustic. The single has been taken to a place where only John Mayer can take it.

Not to take anything away from Mrs. Knowles-Carter; her original version of the track has her signature stamp on. It rises and falls, it has the Beyonce passion behind it.

Mayer, just found something more. 

Backed only by a guitar and a harmonica; he was able to unearth the simple lyrical beauty. It’s very reminiscent of “Dreaming With A Broken Heart”, soulful and raw. I can listen to this single on repeat and not even care; which is actually what I’m doing at this moment. It’s just amazing. 

A little wine and The 1975 in Nashville

There are bands out there that need to be seen live in order to be appreciated. Whether you’re watching then on a YouTube stream of Coachella, or an iTunes Music Festival performance, or even face to face in the Music City, the energy comes across better on stage than on the album. 

The 1975 is that type of band. The band’s self-titled album, released in 2013, has the Indie/ Rock sound that I have grown to love. It definitely captured and held onto my attention. 

I was so excited when I heard that they were coming to Nashville on tour. I fully intended to get tickets; but of course procrastination and a busy schedule got in the way of accomplishing this goal. They sold out. It was heartbreaking. Luckily, I have amazing friends who have tickets but sometimes need to go out of town on business trips; and other amazing friends who are willing to give a new band a chance. 

On May 15th, I had the privilege of being in attendance as The 1975 took the stage and wowed me all over again. Complete with Matthew Healy’s accent and wine enthusiasm, they did not disappoint. It was a simplistic production. Backlit by a giant glowing rectangle, the band put on one hell of a show. 

Camera phones and FaceTime sessions aside the energy was thick and filled every area of the venue. The best part about this city is that there is a genuine appreciation for the music. No matter how you first heard of the band, you were there in support and got to experience everything they had to offer. 

I can definitely add The 1975 to the list of great shows I’ve seen since moving to Nashville. Come back soon.

I was able to snag a sample or five of the band’s set. Check them out below. 

The 1975 - Pressure (Marathon Music Works// Nashville, TN // May 15, 2014) from Will Harmon on Vimeo.

Read More

Something, Something, Something…Me.

Why I moved to Nashville and all that led me in this direction

My love of music first began back in 2001; during my freshman year of high school. Like with most teenagers, its hard to come to terms with yourself fan still be able to grow and develop more. Music gave me something to relate to. I was able to find comfort in the lyrics and make it through the daily stresses of growing up. The biggest artists that had an impact on me were Avril Lavigne and Nirvana. Totally different genres of music, but each with a message and a sound that allowed me to take charge and be myself. 

As time went on, I began thinking for myself and becoming a person that I wanted to be; not who I was expected to be. I developed my own opinions on the worlds many cultures, subcultures and social groupings. This lead to my taking up Sociology as my college major. It tied everything together and gave me a stronger foundation to build upon. 

It took some time to find a way to bond my sociological education with my love of music; but once I did I was more than pleased with the results. Thus was born, Now Hear This. My start-up blog on tumblr. On it, I discuss what music does to me and for me. What I feel about the songs. I don’t write about musical elements, that’s not what drives my love of the art. It’s the emotion. The time and energy an artist put into their craft to produce some truly amazing music. 

Sara Bareilles, Avril Lavigne, Jason Mraz, Paramore and Taylor Swift are only a handful of the artists that make an appearance on my blog. Each of them coming forward with great songs with meaningful lyrics. I’m not going to overly saturate this blog with topics and pieces that don’t allow me to speak my piece. There will be shared links of course; but the majority will be fueled by my voice.

Moving to Nashville has provided me with a different perspective of life and living. There are so many people from all over country in this city; each one pursuing some type of dream. Something that makes them happiest, even when the days are dark. 

I have now joined the determined masses of Nashville in hopes of finding my footing.

This is my passion. This my love.