Monday, May 11, 2015

Penny's Music Recommendations: May 2015

Well readers, it's a new month and with it comes another list of songs that I've been listening to on repeat since the middle of April. While all of you are busy crushing your TBR list or in my case doing school and internship work, these songs would make fantastic background music, procrastination fuel, or even celebratory dance music. In any case, here are my music recommendations for the month of May.  
  • Shut Up and Dance by Walk the Moon

I'm going to be obnoxious here and pull hipster status. Please forgive me. I first heard Walk the Moon well before this song got immensely popular. Their song, Tightrope, was on the soundtrack to the Saints Row 4 game and I listened to it on repeat while doing side missions. I will forever associate that song with jumping up the simulation towers collecting clusters. Shut up and Dance is currently one of the popular songs on the radio right now and for good reason. It's the kind of song that makes you want to get up and dance, just as the song title orders. Every part of this song is so amazing that I can't just pick one to highlight. The guitar provides a fantastic backbeat, the bass guitar is nice and prominent, the drums make it upbeat, the synth isn't overpowering, and of course the vocals are on point. If your day needs an immediate pick me up, this is the song that you have to listen to. 

  • Dead Inside by Muse

Muse is one of my all time favorite bands and I really really want to see them live sometime. Until then I'll just have to settle for listening to them on repeat. When I learned that Muse is releasing a new album called Drones in June, I had a mini freak out. It was sadly a solitary fangirl because none of my friends share my love for this band. Dead Inside was the second song off of the album that the band released to the public and again I've been listening to it constantly. I feel like I'm going to keep saying this for every song, but it's completely true. Again this is a bass and synth heavy song, which you come to expect if you've ever listened to Muse extensively before. If you haven't listened to Muse or god forbid you only know them from the song Supermassive Black Hole on the movie, Twilight, you need to give this a listen immediately.

  • Hearts Like Ours by The Naked and Famous

Before this month, I had never heard of The Naked and Famous, nor had I listened to any of their songs. I discovered Hearts Like Ours through the YouTuber, CutiePieMarzia, who usually puts a mini playlist of recommended music in the descriptions of her monthly favorites videos. One day I just scanned through all of her favorites videos and listened to all of the songs she recommended. This is one of the songs that stuck out. Hearts Like Ours has a very indie sound to it that somehow manages to be mellow and upbeat at the same time. I'm in the process of listening to some of their other songs, but this is the one I keep coming back to.

  • Youth by Foxes 

I first heard Foxes on Fall Out Boy's Save Rock and Roll album. She provided the featuring vocals for the song, Just One Yesterday, and I distinctly remember thinking that she had a beautiful voice. Up until April, I didn't bother listening to any of her own music until my college radio station mentioned ordering her cd for our music library. I found Youth immediately and for some reason I didn't like it after my first listen. The song finally grew on me after about a week or two and now here I am recommending it to you. The only way I can describe this song is soulful, electronic pop. I'll just leave it at that.

  • We Sink by Chvrches 

I honestly can't recall how I discovered the band Chvrches, but ever since then I've been completely in love with them. When I first listened to their full album, The Bones of What You Believe, I remember liking only one or two songs. Now whenever I give the album a re-listen, I find that I have to add another song or two off of it to my music collection. We Sink is one of those songs that I recently fell in love with. Chvrches is a Scottish band that is solidly in the synth/electronic genre. Some have even labeled it as synthpop. Again We Sink manages to be mellow and upbeat at the same time. I also think that Lauren Mayberry's vocals are so unique that you have to listen to her at least once in your life. 

  • Lifting the Sea by The Hunts

This song almost didn't make it into my May music recommendations list. Not because I don't like it, but because I only discovered the band this past weekend. Every year my college has something called May Days, which is essentially a campus carnival/activity day. The college pays for an entertainment company to come on campus with fun activities like a photo booth, a caricature artist, and inflatables. In the past the college has always hired a DJ, which wasn't bad... that is if you like all of the music they play on top 40 radio. This year they actually mixed things up and hired two live bands. The first band that played was The Hunts. They describe themselves as an indie-folk band, which sounds about right to me. The band is made up of seven brothers and sisters who are originally from Virginia. When they started to play I actually stopped what I was doing, listened to them, and was blown away by how much I liked them. I almost wished I'd written down the names of some of the songs I'd liked because unfortunately their YouTube discography presence is a little spotty. Oh well. Lifting the Sea is one of their songs that I found on YouTube and I've been listening to it ever since the weekend. I believe the only well know song they've made is called Make This Leap, and I swear I've heard bits of it in commercials.
  •    Eyes Wide (Samuel Remix) by Meadowlark

If you read my first music recommendation post, you know that I like to check out the free music that the google play store releases every month. Surprise, this song was on the list and at first I wasn't sure I liked it. The vocals were captivating, but for some reason it felt lacking. On a whim I looked up Eyes Wide on YouTube and found out that somebody did a remix of the song. The remix added just enough of an upbeat tempo and electronic sound to make it more to my own personal taste. Regardless, the song is great and I think you should check out the version I have linked here and the original version on YouTube if you prefer a less electronic sound.

Those are all of the songs I've been listening to lately and I hope you'll give them a chance. If there's a song you've been obsessed with lately don't be afraid to mention it in the comments. I love a good music recommendation too. Don't forget to visit my blog at the end of the month for my book wrap-up and of course I'll be here at the same time next month with more music recommendations!