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Behind Music n What Not

Hiya nerds, Leanne here! I would like to introduce myself a little…

I am in my mid/late 20’s, living in Birmingham (UK) with my toddler and husband. I have a huge passion for music, including getting into the nitty gritty of song development and forming connections to lyrics.

I started my first ever blog at 14 which is so cringy I will not even go there… After finding my writing style I then started Music n What Not back in 2015! Back then I was still very much a newbie and was using my little platform knowledge to build, with the help of a dear friend, my blog on Blogger!

Four years later I had a lot going on in terms of health and medical conditions, that I then dabbled for a few years with this blog under a different name! The Unlucky Coeliac was born and saw me sharing some very personal life experiences and a few gluten free food finds. But here we are 3 years later and something was just missing and blogging just felt like such a chore I barely did it…

What was missing you ask? Music!

For a long time i’ve convinced myself that music isn’t as heavily in my life as it was back in 2015-2018 as I don’t have direct links to the local bands (old school friends) I once did. I also stepped away from 3 Songs and Out, an incredible webzine that you have to check out, because I had massive imposter syndrome!!

The truth is, it still is a huge part of my life! Exploring new artists and bands, reliving my scene kid youth and even rediscovering older artists/bands are absolutely a need for me! I love talking music, sharing and receiving recommendations as well as just being an absolute nerd for the artwork, videography and story building!

Therefore I have decides to transfer all posts from Music n What Not Vol 1 (Blogger edition) across so you can now also see those here too! 🤘🏼 And all The Unlucky Coeliac posts will be visible in my The Unlucky Coeliac page!

And what does that mean now?

I guess its a here we go again!

Buckle up and join me on an ever growing adventure down the rabbit hole that is music n what not…

Adventuring Through Music…

It’s no secret whether you know me personally or only through reading the blog, that I just love finding out peoples tastes in music. Personally it doesn’t get better than discovering it of the people who are closest to you. Naturally its your immediate family and friends you know the most about, where you’re able to hear a song and know exactly who’s going to love it. But what’s more exciting in my eyes is learning it of someone new whether its a friend or someone special.
 
Now I am terrible for if I hear one song that I like, I need to investigate and find out as much about the sound/artist/their work as I can. For some its annoying as whilst i’m doing this it’s often the only thing they’ll hear my listening to for a while. For others its a chance to join in on my adventure with the music…
 
My latest adventure has been with The Hunna, and my god what an adventure it is turning out to be. They have this vibe that adds a little something to their indie sound, that has a way of just reaching you and bringing you in so casually it feels natural to be drawn to them. And that’s before we discuss vocals!
 
There are many aspects to The Hunna that I am intrigued with and is making me want more from them. However, this post is all about one little track from their latest album Dare. This track was brought to my attention by someone very close to me, who’s music taste is proving more and more to be incredible and I love finding out more about it! This track is the whole reason why I have gone on this little The Hunna adventure and found another addition to my ever grown music library. The track in question, well you’ll have to keep reading…
 
…The instruments and the sound all in one word – wow! The guitars are just incredible, with the slightest scrap of their fingers across the strings making that metallic slide between chords more prominent and beautifully placed. The drums in this song are strong yet feel almost delicate, even when the cymbals are so active it still feels gentle. Between the two of them there is a beautiful piece of instrumental music. The sound of this song to me is light yet wants to be heard.
 
Now lets talk vocals. My god, do I love the vocalist’s voice!! When he sings their are a mixture of pitches and the way they fluctuate so naturally makes me get goosebumps. His voice isn’t your usual kind of husky, but its so beautiful I honestly could cry.
 
Lyrics. My guilty pleasure to all songs. The first line alone hits me with such meaning, and connection. “And all the stares that people may”. The lyrics get stronger and stronger from then on. For me this isn’t a song about a man falling in love. This is a song about relearning to love and accepting love. More importantly a love that came out of the blue, the kind you just can’t prepare yourself for, but need so badly all at once. This song screams so may things, and I just know (and I will happily be proven wrong) that there are many people who can and will be able to relate to this song. This song is pure, raw, unedited emotions. This song is real life at its finest.
 
If you haven’t guessed already the beautiful song thats be put in my head for the last week (maybe a diddy bit longer) is  Lover by The Hunna delicately placed on their album Dare.
 

 

Have a listen to it and let me know your thoughts, because it’s safe to say currently it is one of my favourite songs.

As always, thank you for taking the time to read my post filled with my opinions and thoughts. I honestly means more than you could imagine!
 
If you’d like to leave any feedback or comments, please do so in the comments box below.
 
Thank you,
 
Leanne xo

We’re No Heroes – Youth – Single Review

  We’re No Heroes. What a name. What a statement. Their name on its own is compelling, their music? Even better. 
  We’re No Heroes have released their long and anticipated single ‘Youth’. I managed to nab a sneaky peak just before the release, and man was it good! This trio of lads are adding to my strong belief that Wales is the underrated Liverpool, as it appears to be the home to many talented musicians, with these guys currently being based in Cardiff. Now am digging this song for many reasons, from its funky 80’s influence, right down to the well pieced together dynamics of the song. And below im gonna nit pick at the song to explain exactly why this song is worth the listen and why you wont be able to deny the movements. 
   This song is a very well pieced together sample of amazing music. Featuring many different key components, that once teamed up creates an incredible sound. ‘Youth’ is definitely a song worth listening too. So what is that sound that We’re No Heroes have made here? Well its only an 80’s Inspo, Indie, Funk Rock sound of course! 
  The song starts with guitar and drums. The guitar is subtle, yet introduces some enchanting chord strums that are so gentle you would almost miss them. Put paired with lightish drums, played similar to that of The Kooks, the beat emphasises the beauty behind the strums. When the guitars pick up so do the drums, and with the addition of vocals and bass added, the layering of the song begins to become apparent.
  Now creating that 80’s inspo feeling is all down to the guitar. The electronic twang of the lead guitar alongside the tunes its producing really plays on the 80’s inspo. Each strum is heard with the guitar however its not as clear as other genres may be, as you need the metallic twang that is also heard, to draw in the rock side of things too. The tune itself that is played throughout the majority of the song is so catchy, that I have spent the last 3 days humming it to myself sat at my desk at work. 
  The bass in this song is incredible. It is well heard, beautifully strummed and utterly draws that funky vibe into the song. With the depth bass provides on its own, this aspect of the music has me in amazement. The bass plays alongside the tune throughout the track providing a support mechanism. However if you strip the lead guitar out of the song, the bass will provide so much of the tune itself, that all you would notice is that the pitch of the tune has changed. Being able to hear each strum so clearly, also allows for the bass to be truly appreciated, as you are educated into the bassists talent. 
  Heading back to the drums, the beats within this track as so executed that there is no mistake or missed beat present. The drums sound so effortless that I cant help but imagine the drummer casually sat there, hitting the beats on each section of the kit in such a relaxed and calm manner that he could almost be asleep. They just sound so great and with the technique and sound similar to that of The Kooks this pulls the Indie genre in nicely. 
  Now vocals! I love a good vocal and some banging lyrics, however I feel the lyrics are so at one with the song it feels wrong talking about them. So I will leave the lyrics there and just say they are quirky and amazing. The vocals themselves sound wise are just wow! With different pitches, projections and note lengths being toyed with, the vocals themselves have strong aspects to them, that once thrown together have created this wonderful creative flow. Backing vocals are timid yet still manage to create a semi echo, which with the chorus completely draws me in more as it feels like it makes specific phrases importance more known. The vocals can only be compared to Foals, but feature more pitch adjustment, again bringing in that indie vibe.
  ‘Youth’ is a belter of a song! The different aspects pieced together effortlessly, yet strategically has ensured the creation of an incredible piece! We’re No Heroes have really out down themselves, especially with combining so many genres together and ensuring that the audience is captivated and feels the music. This song is one of those songs where you just feel the music, you sway along. Your head rolls gently from side to side in a wave motion with your body. The lyrics click something in your brain and you’re off. Connecting, feeling and experiencing every drum beat/guitar strum/vocal pitch. Funk Rock meets indie meets 80’s inspo. Music at its greatest. Raw, new and fresh. 
 

As always, thank you for taking the time to read my post filled with my opinions and thoughts. I honestly means more than you could imagine!
 
If you’d like to leave any feedback or comments, please do so in the comments box below. 
 
Thank you,
 
Leanne xo

"But he'll never stay, they never do"

  I absolutely love Halsey at the moment, from her beautifully unique voice to her bold fashion and her even bolder lyrics. But the song that has really grabbed my attention is ‘Eyes Closed’. ‘Eyes Closed’ has a great chilled vibe to it yet when you strip it down it is a very complex song. 
  Focusing first on the music itself ‘Eyes Closed’, features a combination of vocals, guitars, bass, mixers and keyboards, that are all layered with avoidance of overlaying being achieved greatly. The sound that all these instruments produces is that of a soft, alternative R&B track similar to the sound we hear from The Weeknd’s – Trilogy album. This is accomplished by the soft electric guitar riffs, deep bass chords, and the soft backing electronics produced by the mixer/keyboards. By incorporating electric guitar into this song rather than acoustic, the song has a harshness added to it, which is very subtle but adds flavour. Bass is a key component within this track as you hear it clearly throughout and it supplies the beat that is usually produced by drums. This also builds the depth of the song as bass is naturally deep, but by using very cleverly selected chords the bass sounds even deeper.
On its own the music would make a great instrumental piece, as it features so many aspects. There is character too, in terms of it has feeling to it, it has depth and it makes you move. What emphases this feeling within the song is the vocals themselves. Halsey has a beautiful voice that is both soft and powerful. She has the ability to utilise her vocal capacity by messing with different pitches, notes and the use of different projections throughout. This piece all in all musically is phenomenal; there is nothing about it that just doesn’t work. The construction and foundation of it all is immaculate. 
  Secondly and finally let’s talk about the lyrics. As always this is completely my own opinion and may even be miles off what Halsey wrote it about, but the story I feel and sense below really works and connects well with the lyrics and audience…
  For me, the lyrics tell a story of a break up from a relationship so tormenting that it results in new relations being impacted and having almost troublesome thoughts. This is all brought to light by some very key aspects within the lyrics, which I will highlight below.
The song starts with the simplest verse about knowing the game, and how to play the game. It then breaks into the powerful, emotion driven chorus which lets you in on the true effect of the torment. The second verse however, really breaks it down for you. Featuring lines like ‘would’ve gave it all for you’ and ‘so tell me where I went wrong’, you are enlighten to the heartbreak and confusion that is still so raw. But then hidden away backing vocals sing ‘my lover, my liar’ which will make you as the listener, feel the pain that this song holds and ask the biggest question ever.
The question right there for you is, why are you asking what you did wrong, when you know they lied? This unfortunately is something that many will be asked during their life when in this kind of situation, where your mind has been messed with. This verse maybe chunkier than the first, but it is still short and sweet and flows straight into that chorus again. After this second introduction to the chorus we are greeted by the most powerful, two-lined verse ever! This verse literally is filled with heart-breaking truth, but also pure raw emotion. And it is this verse I think is what connects to so many people out there. 
“They don’t realise that I’m thinking about you
it’s nothing new, it’s nothing new”
  And reality is, that most people that go through a breakup that leaves them questioning themselves constantly, and leaves them broken for a long time, will experience this. They will be with a new lover, whether long-term or short, and will be completely entangled in thoughts of the one that caused the pain, that caused the strains in their trust/life/confidence/faith. This is a proper pain filled song! And regardless of whether Halsey intended this song to be interpreted this way, that’s the connection and story I find. And truthfully that’s the beauty of music; it doesn’t always mean the same thing to one person as it does another, it can be connected to what they feel and how they feel. The story they feel maybe their own story, or it may be a story they’ve witnessed. What I love more is that the song itself is so well produced, constructed and elaborate, that despite being able to be connected to some heavy raw emotions it’s got an edge to it. 
Halsey is definitely smashing the music world at the moment, which I’m in love with every second, and this song definitely showcases it! I hope she tours the UK as I will definitely be on it for some ticket purchasing. She’s got the edge, drive and music, but she’s also got the passion which is a very key aspect to have in the music industry especially this day and age.





As always, thank you for taking the time to read my post filled with my opinions and thoughts. I honestly means more than you could imagine!
 
If you’d like to leave any feedback or comments, please do so in the comments box below. 
 
Thank you,
 
Leanne xo

Album Review #4

  There is this band that I’ve listened to for as long as I can remember, and I have over played their albums and cat-scream sung over every song at least 400 times. And yet I found myself being a bit standoffish with their latest album. Why? Because it is a sound that is not quite them, yet now I’ve let go and actually listened to it, it is so them! Now to cut to the chase, this band is Paramore. I’ve been to a gig and caught them at festivals, and I have always loved them. I had red hair because I love red hair, but also because Hayley had red hair. I still have the hoodie that was purchased from the gig I went to back in 2009 and I was heartbroken when I threw my t-shirt away, that’s how long this love affair with Paramore’s music has gone on for. They have been a big part of my life, they have been my down time music, my blocking the world out music and they have also been my over the moon happy music. Paramore have always managed to be there for me musically.
  So when their new album ‘After Laughter’ saw its first public release of Hard Times coming out, I was filled with anticipation. And well when it came to my ear, I was upset. Paramore’s rock vibe was not apparent within this track, this wasn’t Paramore. This wasn’t my Paramore that I have loved all these years! You see their new album ‘After Laughter’ see’s the band experimenting and channelling some 80’s vibes into their songs, all combined with some pretty raw/real life lyrics. But then the song got stuck in my head and I just had to sit myself down, suck it up and listen to it and well… There it was! My Paramore. The quirky lyrics (that often are quite raw), the riffs, the drums and the connection. It was Paramore, but what seems to be Paramore coming of age.
  Finally I stopped being a stubborn little child and realised if I’m now in my early 20’s and I’ve been listening to Paramore for around 10 years, then they are going to change. They are going to experiment, that’s what music is after all. After that telling off/realisation I plonked my butt on my bed, put some headphones on and played the album. Boy, was that the best thing I did that week! The 13 song track list is phenomenal, filled with some great music and writing and well I’m fully embracing those 80’s vibes. Below I’ve listed my favourites off the album and what I thought whilst listening to them, but seriously compiling this list was hard! It’s such a great album.
  • Told You So – The third track on the album, this song is packed with great vocals, quirky tunes and sassy lyrics. It’s that type of song you can’t help but sway along to, and you can’t help but sing along too either. I think many can agree when someone says to you “I told you so” you just feel bitter, maybe even flick a glare their way (I know you know), and this song captures that perfectly with the lyrics. What really love about this song though is the use of the bass and guitar throughout. They are very clearly heard and actually hold more of the beat than you think. The drums throughout are great, but they appear to incorporate more of an additional structure to the tune that’s within the track rather than being the heartbeat of the song.
  • Fake Happy – This song is just unreal! It’s the fifth track on the album, and starts off so mellow and low, with soft lyrics and acoustic guitar strumming slowly building the song up which then, just stops. Out of nowhere, the funkiness builds! This song has a great contrast, as the tune is quite upbeat and happy, but the lyrics are deep and very meaningful. For me this is a clever touch on mental health. It may not be, but that’s the connection I’ve put with this song. There are people out there that will feel this way at some point for whatever reason, and this form of recognition is great. It gets it out there and helps to break down the stigma. I love it. But it being a banger of a song helps too. As I said it may not be about mental health, but if I can make the connection (and ain’t the sharpest tool in the shed) then many others may too. Which is how this stigma removal could benefit from this song. With lyrics like “I bet that everybody here is just as insincere” and “Oh please, I bet that everybody here is fake happy too”, helps to provide proof that you aren’t alone in this world, adding a support mechanism.
  • Idle Worship – The slightly more heavier sounding track with hints of a very young Paramore filtered within, ‘Idle Worship’ is the tenth track on the album and completely love it! This song is oozing with sass, its oozing with a powerful vibe, and brimming with some great music. The vocals in this song are amazing, with different pitches and projection, Hayley’s vocals definitely shows how talented she is within this song. The drums are equally as versatile within this song as they are either loud, yet tame beats or fast intricate ones. The guitar is just bang on! And exactly what I wanted to hear in this one, as it incorporates the new sound with hints of Paramore’s slightly older sound from back when they were throwing bangers like ‘Decoy’ out. I would like to point out that although this song isn’t as rock sounding as ‘Decoy’, it has a hint of that vibe which has been very cleverly mellowed out and incorporated into this new 80’s vibe. ‘Idle Worship’ is that song that just blast out of my car speakers, and sing my heart out to! To the point where if you are unfortunate enough to be sat next to me at the traffic lights, I am probably going to be throwing some sassy (at least think so) dance moves at the red light, followed with some pretty horrific singing. That’s how great a song this is.
  • Rose-Coloured Boy – The second track on the album ‘Rose-Coloured Boy’ is another great song showcasing this new 80’s inspo sound, that Paramore are playing with at the moment. With a quirky backing vocal that sounds chanty, the sound has some serious 80’s elements within it including some synth. I can’t help but feel this is a song about someone who is very into believing on showing that they have no problems, that there are no problems out there, that there is no excuse for being sad. And I feel this song just hits that feeling you get from that, right on the head. With lyrics like ‘we can’t all be like you, I wish we were all rose-coloured too’ and ‘boy you ain’t ever seen my mind’, you can feel the emotion and the slight annoyance being portrayed perfectly. Again I could be completed wrong, but just feel it is so cleverly done and it just fits so well.
  • Hard Times – And last but not least, the first track on the album and the first release/introduction to the new sound ‘Hard Times’ is definitely within my top, top 3 favs off this album. From the video, to the music, to the lyrics, to the new vibe, I just love it! This is another one that feel is touching on mental health/dealing with crappy times, yet in a very grown up way. The lyrics seem to come from both aspects of that feeling. With the chorus sounding like that thing that’s ruining your mood/day/month yet, the verses seem to be more centralised round the affected person and how they are feeling. Again a beautiful contrast with the funky, upbeat sound of the music and vocals, mixed together with the emotional filled lyrics. This track has great use of that 80’s inspo with synth and a killer techno sounding tune that sticks in your head for days. My favourite thing about this song is the guitar, its funky, its filled with upbeat happy chords yet isn’t overloaded. Both lead and rhythm riffs sound great within this piece, and the techniques used just add to the quirky beat yet showcase what Taylor can do with his guitar. Hard Times is a smashing first release and first track of the album.
  What I really like about this album is that it feels really realistic, and you can connect to it. To me, this album appears to be Paramore as a group growing up and maturing as they get older. As well as them having to face/deal with issues within real life. Perfect example of this is ‘Fake Happy’; this song to me (as I’ve mentioned above) just screams the real life “problem” of mental health/illness battles, which many people can and will relate to. Which I think is important here, because when music speaks to you, its a better experience overall, as you not only hear the music but you feel the music. You appreciate each guitar strum, each chord, each drum beat, each vocal pitch and each synth note. Every single fine detail is heard, felt, and lived within music when it can be relate-able or even connect between its listener and itself.
  All in all its a great album and now that I’ve got over the initial temper tantrum (because I’m stubborn), I 100% recommend this album and can ensure you will enjoy it!


 
As always, thank you for taking the time to read my post filled with my opinions and thoughts. I honestly means more than you could imagine!
 
If you’d like to leave any feedback or comments, please do so in the comments box below. 
 
Thank you,
 
Leanne xo

Seconds Apart – The Asylum Venue – April 21st 2017

  So it’s been a very long time since I last reviewed a gig and what better way to come out of this mini retirement I fell into, than to review a gig that was full of versatility and well brilliance! And what a perfect time to mess with titles/writing styles then creepin’ back out of mini retirement! 

  Friday, April 21st I took a trip down to The Asylum Venue in Birmingham, a venue that has been a mini home for me over the years, to watch the boys; Marx, Led by Lanterns, The Real Cool and Seconds Apart. And boy was it something! I entered the venue only knowing who Led by Lanterns were and with the tiniest bit of research in regards to the other bands. Now this is my favourite thing to do with gigs at intimate venues. I love going into the unknown and experiencing the whole thing from discovering who a band is to watching them live to getting to know them. And its from this experience that, before we get to the nitty gritty, I just want to say all of these lads are absolutely the sweetest people you will ever meet! I haven’t been to a gig in a long time where all bands and all members of the bands, were as humble, appreciative and well sweet as all of these boys!

Now the nitty gritty…

… First onto the stage at this intimate venue was Marx. Marx is a rap artist who has also, in the past, dabbled into metal. Standing solo Marx worked the stage with utter confidence, interacting with the crowd and exclaiming his appreciation for being there and to all the other bands (especially the headline act). That alone was lovely to see, but Marx overall was ticking lots of boxes. Now as I said Marx is a rap artist, and that brought a massive twist to the night as the main genre was alternative. And besides his banter on stage, Marx performance was filled with some serious hard work! With well timed and placed beats, song transitions, and some serious lyrical work, Marx filled the venue with a refreshing set. Marx showcased fast lyrical production as well as some more slower paced lyrical build up adding depth to his songs. But he also showed some great music build up too with great use of strings into some of his songs, bringing a classical aspect within his hip-hop sound. As I mentioned at the begin Marx has previously worked within Metal and Pop Punk bands, so with that background you can appreciate that this guy has some serious potential, as he is versatile and talented. With that being said I can honestly say I can’t wait to see more of him and that he is doing a great job.

   Second onto the stage were Led by Lanterns, a four piece midland based band who are smashing it! Led by Lanterns consists of Welsh and Brummy lads who are not only great musicians but musicians who are also fronting a great cause, which I will explain towards the end. With their pop punk vibe, the lads fit well into the overall Alternative scene of the night.
  Now Led by Lanterns have three very strong vocalists who all have unique voices, this is something that could put them as a band at risk. However, these guys arent short of music knowledge or background. Each member has previously been in a different band, and with that combined with the fact they are each incredibly music savvy, the lads have managed to put themselves together and eliminate the risk of outshining/drowning out each others vocals. But they have also managed to showcase each vocalist’s talent and uniqueness too. This has been achieved by well placed harmonies and solo slots, which are visible throughout all songs and was incredible to watch live. Despite all vocals being amazing I will mention that the lead vocalist has something about their voice, thats hard to pinpoint exactly the right way to describe. He’s got what I can only describe as a twang to his vocals that just stands out, and makes it different to what you’re used to and honestly, I just cant get enough of it!
  The body of music itself was just as talented as the vocals. The drums were intricate, provided a great beat throughout and even though they were loud and booming, they just felt right! There was no beat missed (at least none visible to the ear or eye), with the drummer showing that they have talent and skill. But the drummer also displayed through the set crowd interaction too in the form of what I can only describe as drum communication, for example that drum roll that’s used at the end of a joke, that was visible a few times throughout the set. And it was nice to see the drummer interacting with the crowd, alongside the other band members too. Now with guitars and bass, the tune was incredible! Bass was well heard, never faint in the background and provided more depth to the beat or the songs.
  The boys performed their two released singles and it was amazing to watch. They sounded exactly how they were recorded, displaying that these guys 100% do not need help from technology enhancing. Their first released single was Recovery, and hearing the guitar riffs and executed bass, that builds the main body of the song live was a great experience. Their second release was Save a Life and it was even more astonishing to hear that live.
  Now as I mentioned previously, the lads are working alongside a great cause and have produced a song to help with the campaign. The campaign in question? Well the Led by Lanterns boys are working alongside the ‘Save A Life Surrender Your Knife’ Campaign. A cause that is unfortunately needed in this day and age, as knife crime is a serious problem. Now with heart touching lyrics and soft yet powerful riffs, and a dominating bass and drum beat, Save a Life is the official song fronting this campaign alongside the incredible work of Artist Alfie Bradley’s 27ft Angel (made of knives). This is such a beautiful cause and seeing the lads join in the campaign just highlights how lovely these boys are. For more information on the campaign and the lads song please check out the links below attached to their name. All in all, I absolutely loved the Led by Lanterns set, and it was great to finally get to watch them properly and not just hear them singing walking around their house.

  Third to the stage were The Real Cool, a three piece band from Birmingham who brought the second twist of the night to life, by bringing a well balanced mix of synth and 80’s pop influence to their dream pop/indie vibes. Now that may not be the best description of this band, to which I can only apologise, however once you hear them and you start to sway to their dancey yet mellow beats you will get the vibe I am referring to.
Starting out first with their stage presence I was absolutely digging them. The Real Cool are great to watch visually, as you can see they are enjoying themselves. With cheeky smiles flashed all round, dancing by the lead vocalist and bassist, and the head bops by the drummer. You can’t not enjoy watching them. Now the drummer was actually one of my favourite aspects of the set. While smashing out well executed beats, the drummer looked completely at ease. Like he generally looked like he was at home, that being on stage didn’t faze him. Hey for all we know, he may even have been thinking about what he was going to have for dinner! But I absolutely loved it! I loved how at ease and relaxed this guy was, I couldn’t stop watching him (apart from when my eyes were drawn away by the lead vocalists dance moves and bassists cheeky smile that is). This to me shows this guy knows what he is doing! He is confident in his performance and with his band members. This lad is talented! And he was doing nothing but displaying this throughout the set.
Getting back to the music, audio wise the band are just as great! Vocals, string, drums and synth were all balanced well within each song which was refreshing. Vocals were dreamy, powerful but not in an overbearing manner as they were still quite soft and gentle feeling. Drums, as mentioned before, where were great! The beat was steady, consistent, nothing missed and very well timed! Bass was strong, clearly heard and provided a lower version of the main tune within songs. Guitar was subtle, provided the main tune but was not always consistent which added a quirky depth to their songs. Synth was subtle, provided further depth and added more tune build up, and tangled in nicely. Having the mix of strings, vocals, drums and synth allowed for the lads to truly layer up their songs with intricate slots so that their there was never once one instrument heard longer than the other, never anything overshadowed and an overall great performance was achieved.
The overall set of The Real Cool was amazing, I thoroughly enjoyed it and I can’t wait to catch them again!

  Finally the Yorkshire boys were on the stage getting ready to show Birmingham what theyve got. And boy was I not prepared for what was to come!
  Deep moody tones filled the now pitch black room whilst three spot lights scanned the room like mini lighthouses, before the lead vocalist proudly broke the suspense with an arena styled announcement. A little further suspense built before the band broke all silence and blasted some serious talent. If you closed your eyes during that very moment I assure you, you would have felt like the venue was your local arena. Which was incredible to witness as unfortunately there are bands out there that see smaller more intimate venues as only what they are. So the music is playing, with incredible drums, amazing guitar riffs, great bass and then this loud strong booming vocals fill the room. Honestly these boys are incredible.
  After the first song is over we get an introduction to who these boys are and get a hint of cheekiness from the lead vocalist when a little sneaky comment is made about Yorkshire being the home of the best tea. From here, their performance gets stronger and stronger.
  Now Seconds Apart are an alternative band, with some serious and I mean serious potential! Each member is super talented and its displayed throughout the set, however the overall package as a band is just bliss! The drummer throughout produces very in time beats, with intricate and fast paced moves that see him using every inch of his drum kit. There is not a single beat missed, there is no hesitation and frankly I wish I had more words to use other than incredible, amazing and great, because he was all of those things. What I loved about the drums in this band was how abrupt they could sound, like hello I’m here, and it truly helps to build on the alternative angle they’re going for. Guitar and backing vocals, well, they were fascinating! Slightly distorted riffs build up that alternative aspect of their music, however that’s not where the guitarist’s skills end. With fast changes from rhythm to lead and back again constantly, the guitarist showcases how incredible he is with his guitar. And that’s not where it ends for him either. His vocals are a slightly deeper tone than the lead vocalists, and he is also able to provide that alternative “scream” vibe during some of their songs. Now with this it creates another layer to their music, as it produces a natural harmony as well as backing and variety. As a vocalist he is also super talented. Now the lead vocalist is also the bassist. So again there is another multi-tasker in the band, and he is also extremely talented. With an unusual and very unique voice, the lead vocalist is able to fully utilise this within their songs and his performance. Being able to hit the high notes as well as he does is also very beneficial! The vocals throughout were breathtaking, there was no slip up on lyrics, no heavy breathing through the microphone and everything was clearly sung, which meant you weren’t left trying to figure out what the lyrics were. In terms of the bass, it was also very well timed, providing depth to the main beat of the songs but also strengthening the rhythm created by the guitarist. Overall, again, the lead vocalist is a very talented lad and just adds to the fact that the whole band is just marvellous!
  Visually, the band were a delight to watch! The drummer was very animated, the guitarist used his space well and showed off some dance moves including some head bops and headbangs, and the lead vocalist was like a typical bassist and vocalist! Moving round the whole stage fully taking advantage of the space he had and the fact he’s got very long legs, he was everywhere! Including at one point in the audience, on a chair and just loving performing. What made them all the more delightful to watch was each member was also having a great time. Inbetween songs when they were interacting with the crowd and introducing songs they were all smiling genuine smiles, making jokes and you can tell they really put their heart into their performance. For me that made it better.
  So, covers. They can either be great or they can be just pure cringe. When the lead vocalist announced they were going to do a cover of a song they felt was going to be good for a little sing song, I’m not gonna lie I was hit with nervous. Well this was one of those great ones and I can safely say I’ve never heard anything like it before! Starting off with Clean Bandit – Rather be, the lads put a quirky spin on the dance/indie number by throwing some alternative vibes all over it. But then it swiftly turned into Rage Against the Machine, and then to Craig David and then, my personal favourite, into R Kelly – Bump n Grind and then swiftly back into Clean Bandit – Rather Be. IT WAS INCREDIBLE! The transitions were swift yet slid perfectly into each other, the alternative aspect on these popular R’n’B/Pop songs and the including of iconic tracks was just intensely creative, clever and pure genius! I was gobsmacked yet in awe of that very moment! If I hadn’t already found a likening to this band I definitely was appreciating them now.
  Seconds Apart were as you can tell, to me, great. I loved every aspect of their set and I highly recommend you check them out if you haven’t already. They have got some serious talent and some serious potential, I can see these guys going places and when you see them live you’ll see it too.


  I will take this time now to say thank you to Marx, Led by Lanterns, The Real Cool and Seconds Apart for such a wonderful show, and for being so welcoming. Thank you for taking the time to speak to me inbetween interacting with each other and the audience. Thank you for being humble, gracious to one another and for showing what music is about. 

  If you haven’t already go check out these guys and their Facebook pages, they’re all incredible and you won’t be disappointed.
As always, thank you for taking the time to read my post filled with my opinions and thoughts. I honestly means more than you could imagine!
 
If you’d like to leave any feedback or comments, please do so in the comments box below.
 
Thank you,
 
Leanne xo

Hello. It’s me… The creator of Music and What Not

  So a little bit later on in the year it’s been two years since Music and What Not became thing. Over those two years there’s been some guest posts, some editing help and the introduction to What Not posts, building the blog up to more than just a Music blog and fitting the name more. But something I haven’t really done is truly introduce myself or what Music and What Not is here for. So I thought why not do it now!
So here we go, the mask is being removed! 
  My names Leanne and I live in Birmingham in the United Kingdom. I am the Creator and Writer for the blog Music and What Not and now the one and only Editor (scary I know). I started the blog back in 2015 after realising how much music affects my life, how passionate I am towards it and well I missed my old blog and felt I had a lot more potential now I’ve grown and matured. I will be the first to admit I’ve had some help on the way, and after a serious ego boost I realised I am capable of producing some amazing things. In 2016 I made the decision to take on the What Not side of the blog and dabbled with posts that aren’t music related, but things that interest me and i’m still passionate about. I also got to do my first ever sponsored blog post and boy was it amazing to do! So I can honestly say you can expect a lot more from me over then next few years as I bring more music posts, definitely some more What Not posts about all things from books, films, tattoos and art. 

  Now that’s the blog side of things, here’s the nitty gritty…
… My original welcome/about me post was vary minimal but I can confirm that I do still love animals, Tim Burton and I still would love a Raccoon! Now I wish I could say I was lying when I said this next sentence, but honestly I’m not and truthfully I love it! I am a massive nerd. I studied science at college for three years, two of those years being Forensic Science with hints of Medical Science. I was prepping to go to University to study Radiotherapy when I realised I’m still an absolutely baby and didn’t want to leave home after being declined by the University of my dreams (okay maybe that’s a bit dramatic, I didn’t really dream of University). Before I found Science I wanted to be in the Military, but with my lack of understanding of Physics I went on to what I understood best, Chemistry and Biology, hence the college studies. So from deciding University was a no no, I searched endlessly for jobs and apprentices which resulted in applying for an Apprenticeship in Business that I was adamant was not for me and I was never going to work in an office. I got that job and its safe to say that was the making of me! Three years later I’m still working in an office and still loving it!  And office work has rekindled my love for numbers, I mean I did say I am a massive nerd, which has resulted in me taking further studies. So career wise, that’s pretty much as nerdy as it gets. Life wise however, it gets a little bit more in depth… 
  I am a massive fan of Tim Burton (as I just mentioned, told you its a massive obsession), Lord of the Rings, Jurassic Park, Big Bang Theory and crime programmes. Literally any crime programme I will watch. Oh and period dramas, I am a sucker for period dramas such as Little Woman and Pride and Prejudice. Oh and I am also in love with Halloween! 
Now asides from the blog I’m a pretty boring person to be honest. I love tea, I love sitting in my bedroom away from the world and well either listening to music or listening to music and doodling in one of my many sketch books. Oh that or getting tattoos. I currently have two sleeves in process, one a lot closer to completion than the other and that one being my arm. I have 11 tattoos in total however 2 will become 1 (I hope that was sung like the Spice Girls) when my arm sleeve is completed over the next few months. Another importance for me is spending time with my family and friends. Now I’m not the best at that as I am very much good at being a loner, but they are all very important to me. Including our family pet, who is a beautiful English Springer Spaniel who is absolutely bonkers and built like a tank! I swear if this guy runs at you in excitement, prepare to hit the ground he is solid!
  So there you have it, if I’m not blogging/updating social media for the blog, I’m either submerged in; numbers, family time, wrestling the Springer, working, art’ing (including making up words), attempting to socialise or binge watching LOTR or singing along to The Nightmare Before Christmas for the 1081232 time.
  Besides all that I am very passionate about raising awareness for Autism and Cancer research. Both of which are very important in my life. I have a younger sibling who has Aspergers, and they are simply the best and I don’t think could love anyone more than love them. I also have a few cousins who have Autism too, however they each individually appear on different sections of the spectrum. So knowing the struggles that Autistic people go through on a daily basis has meant I was absolutely shocked at how many people don’t know about it! For example, that ambulance going down the road may sound loud to you, but to someone with Autism who has hypersensitive hearing, that may sound like the siren itself is directly next to their eardrum, which is extremely painful. And if you weren’t aware of that, imagine how that same Autistic man feel if you are calling them weird or laughing at them as they have a meltdown in the street over that noise.So my aim is to spread as much awareness about that as I can, even if it means I’m only helping to educate a few people!
  Now Cancer research is a massive thing to me because that’s what was studying into. I wanted to help people throughout their treatment of Radiotherapy. Now I’m no longer pursuing that, my aim is to continue to give money to the charities, who are helping with the funding of the research to help find a cure, as I always have done. This has always been something I’ve been passionate about however, its also a hard reality I’ve had to face many times over the years that I’ve been alive. I have lost many loved ones to this disease, one more recently than I would have liked, so my desire to help fund that cause is amplified more and more as each day goes by. So much so I am looking into entering a few fund raisers myself, so watch this space!
  Now this may not have been the most exciting post out of all my posts, however I hope now these posts will feel more personal and more relatable, as you have a bigger insight to who I am as a person and not just Music and What Not. As my aim with this blog is not to just express my opinions, but to connect with people and remind at least one person how powerful music is and maybe even that its okay to not dig that number 1 single from the UK Top 40 chart. But to also remind people that music is the biggest connection in the world, that it generally doesn’t have any judgement attached to it. For example there will be someone 4000 miles away that is equally in love and touched by that Lana Del Rey song you are, and you may both comment on a blog post wrote by someone else who is a further 4000 miles away from you both. Which results in all three of you communicating and have a great conversation whilst being completely oblivious to what each others race/religion/sexuality/class is. And to me, that’s beautiful and what music is all about!!
 
 
Its expression, its an escape and its a unity!
Now lets get back to Music and What Not shall we?
As always, thank you for taking the time to read my post filled with my opinions and thoughts. I honestly means more than you could imagine!
If you’d like to leave any feedback or comments, please do so in the comments box below. 
 
Thank you,
 
Leanne xo
                                                           

Album Review #3

So I’ve always thought this girl group were talented, however over the years they caught my eye for how they stand together showcasing that they are all different and still all as beautiful as each other. How they’ve made a stand against bullying and encouraging young girls to be them and live how they want to, not to worry about their appearance and that its okay to be them is also a massive reason behind me liking and respecting the girls in this band. Well this time they’ve caught my eye (and my ears) with their latest album!
 
After being the first ever group to win the X-Factor, I expected these girls to fade into the background of the music world. And boy was I wrong!! They’ve now got; 4 albums, 15 awards and 4 number one singles! So who is this group?? It’s only Little Mix, like you didn’t already guess!
So Little Mix have released the album Glory Day which features the very well known and recognised Shout out to My Ex. Now this album is something else! Across the album a multitude of genres being crossed; from dance to pop to a Hiphop vibe and even an old school traditional pop/swing vibe! The way these different vibes and genres are incorporated and mixed together to create an album is incredible! So congratulations Little Mix and the production team on that one! But as well as this genre mix, you’ll notice that the big discussion points throughout the album are; independence, love and heartbreak. So not only is it a multi genre album filled with emotions and empowerment but it also oozes sassiness! The album also showcases each individual vocal talent the ladies hold, and this is done by not only showing that they can harmonise with each other, but that they can each over power one another effortlessly.
Now in regards to the songs, I do have a few favourites! So naturally have picked my top 3 and below I’ve explained why they are; 
  1. FU – This song has an old school vibe to it but is mixed with some electronic features as well as sassy lyrics. Its title itself explains the exact extent of sass it holds, however the lyrics themselves are quite funny. Lets not lie here, woman are tarnished with the psycho brush and this song just plays on that perfectly with lyrics such as “take my key to your benz”. Now why I like this song so much is because it reaches out to the part of a relationship where you both really hate each other and are driving each other mental, but you just cant stay away from each other. Its that toxic relationship that many of us have or will encounter in our lives. But its discussed in such a soft musical way that its not a power ballard and its not a dissing match song either. And with how the song sounds old school but has lyrics that include modern day terminology, just appeal to me! Its different and its refreshing, but its also real.
  2. Down & Dirty – This song just oozes dance hit! It also pushes the boundary of the label they’ve been given due to having a large younger fan base. This song its age appropriate yet brushes over the fact they are woman and not teenagers. Its clever as it never mentions the things its referring to. Im also not going to lie, but the GoT reference is also a killer move! Who doesn’t love GoT right?! This is a song I can see being blasted loud during the summer period and maybe even be a killer club song! Its repetitive beat will definitely get stuck in your head and make those feet move!
  3. Touch (Acoustic) – Now love the original version of this however, the acoustic one has made it in my top three purely for the vocal talent. The song itself in both versions is a great song, with beautiful lyrics that you cant help but sing along to. The original is also a floor number! I cant sit/stand still when its on, I just feel like dancing. However, acoustically you will fall in love with the voices of Little Mix. The acoustic version has been slowed right down, has soft piano keys and very strong powerful lyrics. You hear each individual woman sing their section so beautifully and then when they come together it is just simply mesmerising. High harmonies to perfectly pair the strong bearing solo voice during the chorus. Its just such a beautiful piece of music and I could honestly listen to it over and over. Goosebumps.
So if you haven’t already, it is definitely worth giving this album a listen to. You will be shocked! Its definitely something I never thought id enjoy and well I’m not ashamed to say I do!

As always, thank you for taking the time to read my post filled with my opinions and thoughts. I honestly means more than you could imagine!
 
If you’d like to leave any feedback or comments, please do so in the comments box below.
 
Thank you,
 
Leanne xo

"I try to make the worst seem better…"

  I am one for enjoying a song that makes you feel the emotions behind it, whether thats empowerment or even like crying into a tube of Haagen Daz ice cream. One of my favourite examples of this currently, is the recent release by Lady Gaga – Million Reasons. This song is just brilliant as its filled with emotions from the very beginning right down to the end. And its not just built up through the lyrics, the whole overall piece is incredibly done to portray these emotions that Ms Gaga must have been feeling when she wrote this masterpiece, and maybe still even feels every time she performs it or even sits at home in her pjs.
  So firstly I’m going to talk about the physical music side of this song. Something all songs will have is layers, this is the different instruments used and the different aspects that they bring to a song. In the case of Million Reasons the instruments used are; vocals, piano, cojan and acoustic guitar. The way in which these instruments are played and layered is key to how the song sounds when played together. Now when the song starts we are introduced to the soft keys of the piano and strings of the acoustic guitar. Playing similar styled tunes they build a romantic setting for the song. Then when the vocals begin, it is originally only Gaga herself, who’s voice brings more of a harsher tone to the gentleness of the piano/guitar. It is then joined at intervals by further vocals that add depth to specific words, illuminating the emotions behind them. Then we are also introduced during the vocals to the soft yet depth filled beats of the cojan. This layering builds an aspect of romance yet pain, especially with the depth of the cojan and the layering of vocals on specific lines. All in all the musical aspect of this song is strong and powerful but it such a delicate way, like a flower strong and vibrate to the eye but delicate to the touch, this song is strong on the emotions but delicate on the ears.
  Now, I’m going to talk about the lyrics and what my interpretation of them is. The song starts off with “You’re giving me a million reasons to let you go”, something no person wants to have to say or hear in a relationship. A sentence that admits defeat and heartache. This on its own is filled with raw emotion, emotion that is real. Then from here the lyrics become deeper and the way you feel becomes sadder. Now the emotion overall behind this song is quite clear (in my eyes). It is that feeling of painful desperation and desire that springs to life when, for whatever reason, your relationship seems to be falling apart with no obvious reasons to stay together. Despite it all, you deeply desire just one singular reason to pop up and prove why you should stay. A reason that you need to come from them. You can’t find it, or even you do know what it is, but it just needs to escape from the lips of your partner. “But baby, I just need one good one to stay”. For me, this song is that calling out for hope. It’s that acknowledgment of knowing that even the tiniest thing, will give you all the hope you need.
  This song is about heartbreak. It’s about loss. It’s about pain and desire and everything hanging on one thread. This song is real life and Lady Gaga has smashed it. Lady Gaga has beautifully mastered what is her own heartbreak into something thats not bitter, thats not nasty, but honest. No matter how the relationship ends, you will always face this stage. It’s horrible. But knowing that these celebrities who’s lives we admire and desire so much are facing them too, due to the openness of Gaga, just proves how human we all are. Overall this song is a masterpiece! It has been carefully integrated with layers, has tonnes of talent oozing throughout, and is easy to listen to because its gentle. This song deserves awards! It’s beautiful produced, beautifully written and to be completely honesty… It’s just about the best break up song I think i’ve heard! Huge congratulations to Gaga and team for creating such an incredible piece of music.





As always, thank you for taking the time to read my post filled with my opinions and thoughts. I honestly means more than you could imagine!
 
If you’d like to leave any feedback or comments, please do so in the comments box below.
 
Thank you,
 
Leanne xo