Category Archives: Music

Hurts So Good

I found Astrid S’ song “Hurts So Good” in a list of “underrated” songs of 2016…I am now obsessed with it.  The song seems to have done well in Astrid S’ home country of Norway and other parts of Europe, but it has yet to gain traction in America (thus it’s “underrated” status).  The song, overall, has great beats and cool synth work.  I also love the way she sings the chorus of “When it hurts, but it hurts so good” – it’s full of such great emotion.


The other great thing about this song is it’s snappy lyrics.  The opening lyrics of “You’re fighting me off like a firefighter, so tell me why you still get burned” is so enticing and clever.  At first, I thought it was a bit of an unusual reference, but then I realized that if the person is fighting her like a firefighter, then she must be a flame or fire.  This revolves around the entire message of the song: when things get bad, do you run or do you “take it?”  If she is a flame, she can keep this person warm or burn them.  Are they going tough out the difficult time or are they going to only stay if it “hurts so good.”

Anyway, I’m definitely going to be keeping an eye out (or, rather, ear?) for Astrid S in 2017 – hopefully a full length album is on its way.

Speed It Up

I found this article on Buzzfeed listing the forty underrated pop songs of 2016.  Naturally I found it intriguing – I’m always up for new music to listen to.  I listened through most of them, and one of the songs they list is “Pretty Girl” by Maggie Lindemann (below).  When I went to the YouTube video, one of the comments suggested changing the video speed to 1.25 (you can do that by clicking on the little cog icon).  And, my god, what a good idea.  The faster tempo suits the song better.  Perhaps we know why it was “underrated” (more like unknown) in 2016.

Personally, I thought the best songs in the list were:

Hurts So Good” – Astrid S

Good As Hell” – Lizzo

Mayday” – Cam

The music video for “Mayday” is also breathtaking.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some songs to purchase from iTunes.

Stuck in the Middle With You

I find it interesting when a song gets reincarnated over the years and gets covered by so many different bands and artists.  We’ve seen it with “Angel of the Morning” and “Torn,” and so many other songs.

Recently, I stumbled across the song “Stuck in the Middle with You,” originally by Steelers Wheel,” and I love this song – the lyrics are so snappy and clever.

 

From my very brief research (the semester just ended, I’m a bit exhausted), Juice Newton, Michael Bublé, and Grace Potter all took stabs at covering this classic song – I’m sure there are more but, I think it’s interesting how they each took the song and did it rather differently:

Juice Newton:

Michael Bublé:

Grace Potter:

Grace Potter didn’t actually release a full studio version of the song – she sang the chorus for the theme of Grace and Frankie, but I think she needs to record a full studio version.

While I’m a purist and think the original is technically the best, I think Grace Potter had the best approach to the song.  It appears that in most versions, the song seems to have a slower tempo, but I think the song should be done at a faster tempo with a rock edge – it makes it so epic.

2017 Grammy Nominations!

So the 2017 Grammy nominations came out a few days ago.  Normally, I’m counting down the days, and then spend the whole next week after the nominations come out digesting the results, then I try to get as many of the nominated albums as possible and try to listen to it all.

This year?

I completely forgot about the nominations.  I’ve been so busy with work and school that I just haven’t had time to care.  On the whole, I still like the notion of the Grammys because, in my opinion, they celebrate music and they work to celebrate all kinds of music.  Indeed, they are always creating new categories to accurately reflect the new genres coming out.  While I may not always agree with the nominees, I think it is at least a good attempt to bringing recognition to the importance of music.

This year, I got to say there were a lot of nominees that I didn’t see happening.  I mean, it was no surprise that Beyoncé and Adele got so many nominations, but I didn’t think Justin Bieber would ever get an Album of the Year nod.  Purpose did really well for Bieber these past few years, so it’s not surprising, it just unlike the Grammys.  I was pleasantly surprised by Mike Posner’s Song of the Year nomination for “I Took a Pill in Ibiza” – the song, particularly the original, is incredible vulnerable and beautiful, and I would love to see it win.  However, my bet is it’s either “Hello” that will win or “Formation.”

Anyway, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see who will win – if I remember!

You can view the full list of nominees here.

2017 Record of the Year Nominations Prediction

The 2017 Grammy nominations announcement is just a few weeks away – December 14th – so here are yet more of my predictions, this time for Record of the Year:

  • “Hello” – Adele
  • “7 Years” – Lukas Graham
  • “Can’t Stop the Feeling” – Justin Timberlake
  • “Cheap Thrills” – Sia featuring Sean Paul
  • “Closer” – The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey

Hell NO

I’ve been meaning to write this for a while, but I’m really digging Ingrid Michaelson’s new song “Hell No” (although, at this point, how new is it?).  The empowerment and attitude of the song is really what makes it stand out – you don’t need someone (specially a jerk) to feel validated.  The boldness of the chorus matched with the vocal accents of “I get it” and “whatever” makes the song pop.

Lindsey Stirling

Every time I listen to Lindsey Stirling’s music, I can’t help but think “that’s such a friggin good idea.”  Stirling is a violinist, but instead of playing typical classical music, she plays more EDM, dubstep music.  It’s so out of the box and epic.  Take a listen of these songs from her latest album Brave Enough:

2017 Best New Artist Grammy Predictions – Updated

We’re one month away from the 2017 Grammy nominations being announced, so I thought I’d share my predictions – it’s fun for me and sometimes I’m weirdly accurate.  One year I correctly guessed all the nominees for Record of the Year and I was 90% accurate on the other main categories (not that I’m bragging).

Anyway…

I know I already written about my predictions for Best New Artist, but I think that was a bit premature – at the time I didn’t realize that some of the following artists could be nominated.  So below is an updated list of artists (in no particular order) who I believe could/should get nominated (not that the people in the last shouldn’t be nominated, but I think these artists have greater odds of getting nominated).

Kelsea Ballerini

 

Halsey

 

Twenty One Pilots

 

Alessia Cara

 

Maren Morris

 

Rachel Platten

 

Personally, I think Twenty One Pilots, Halsey, and Maren Morris have the greatest chance of being nominated considering each made huge waves in their respective genres.  Twenty One Pilots had a huge year with their hits “Stressed Out,” “Ride,” and “Heathens,” it’s almost likely they’ll get nominated.  Halsey’s break out with Badlands and her new take on alt-electronic-pop deserves a nod.  Maren Morris’ Hero is one of the biggest country albums this year, and she recently was nominated for a lot of big CMA awards (i.e. she has critical acclaim).

Kelsea Ballerini likewise made similar splashes in country music like Morris, but I’m hesitant to think she’ll be nominated because her album The First Time was released outside the Grammy period.  However, the Grammy’s have bended this rule before, so you never know.

Alessia Cara and Rachel Platten both had huge hits (“Here” and “Fight Song,” respectively) and likewise have chances of being nominated as both albums are within the Grammy period.  I’m hesitant, however, because while I’d love to see both of them there, I have a gut feeling…

Better Man

I was in line at the grocery store when I got the news.  I was scrolling through my Facebook feed (it was a long line at the register) when I saw a post by Taylor Swift saying she wrote the song “Better Man” for Little Big Town.  My heart started pounding.  New Taylor Swift music.  Finally.

I rushed to my car and downloaded the song from iTunes without previewing it.  If Taylor Swift had a hand in writing the song, you know it has to be good.  You don’t need to preview that.

And it’s beautiful.  The song is honest and fragile, and reminiscent of Swift’s country roots.


The mark of a truly gifted songwriter is when the song will sound like the person who wrote it even if they aren’t performing it.  This is totally the case here.  While it’s Little Big Town performing, you feel as though Taylor Swift is singing it to you – you can almost hear her sing it.

Last month, there was a bit of a hysteria where we thought Swift would secretly release her sixth album (sadly, that did not happen).  The below video leaked online and people thought it was a clip of a new Taylor Swift song because it sounds just like her.

Apparently, it’s not Taylor Swift, but Kelsea Ballerini. That’s what they (reps for both Swift and Ballerini) said.

However, I have a very well trained musical ear, and that is not Kelsea Ballerini. Ballerini has more of a southern twang than Swift and a slightly higher pitch voice.  Plus, the way this singer pronounced “didn’t know, thought we could grow it” is more in line with Swift’s pronunciations.  But this video is not the greatest quality.  Indeed, Ballerini released the studio snippet of the song on her Instagram account (see below) and it made me do a double take…maybe it is Ballerini singing but the distorted quality makes it seem like Swift…

But since Swift wrote “Better Man” for Little Big Town, I’m now wondering if the clip above actually is Taylor Swift singing a demo for Kelsea Ballerini.  Like, in a few months we’ll see Kelsea Ballerini has a new single “Roses” written by T. Swift.

Regardless, let us revel in the fact we sort of have a new Taylor Swift song, and hope she hurries up with #TS6!