August Playlist

Hello!

Well we’re here again. By now, the majority of kids are back in school and they will hope to gain some kind of routine within their day, even if it means wearing a mask while being around their fellow classmates and teachers. I have to say, I’m so happy I am not in school anymore because I remember when I was sick with strep throat and bronchitis’s, they were both brutal for me but missing school and having to do two or four days worth of Algebra homework and on top of that worry about failing finals sucked even worse! I am not the type of person to take online classes either, I have to be in front of a teacher as they are doing the problems; thus why I never made it through one semester as college!

Every year I think about each person going into middle and/or high school. They are each big steps for anyone, but they all had one heck of a schedule to them! I can’t imagine what the 2021 senior classes are thinking right now. After the news of hearing about various of fall sports events being cancelled, I imagine the desperation in every athlete is heightened because their futures are basically up in the air. Whether or not you are in sports, I still give a lot of you kudos for keeping your head up and continuing to fight your butts off during this time. I have faith in every one of you that you will make it through. Stay strong and don’t let this pandemic destroy your determination, okay?

It feels a little odd to be giving a pep talk in a monthly playlist, but this is where we are now I guess!

Let’s talk about music now though.

For August, I really wanted to allow myself to listen to anything and everything. The summer music series I started back in May is ending next Monday, so I am trying to figure out what the heck I’m going to discuss as far as music on here for the rest of the year. Thankfully, I am back to my two week blog schedule, so I will only have to worry about six posts–unless I get asked to review an album or EP in the near future then I will bring on another week to help make it special. I have been inspired to play with various music from other countries, like Arab, French, Italian, etc, so I’ve enjoyed exploring outside of my comfort zones!

I am going to list my Top 25 songs for this month, because you know I can’t half-ass it, especially a good month for music anyways! If you would love to check out the rest of the songs included in the playlist, please click here now.

Building A Mystery by Sarah McLachlan
You Will Become by Glen Hansard
Pisces by Jinjer
Oops!… I Did It Again by The Animal In Me
Lie by Sasha Sloan
Excuse Me by Fire From The Gods
Strong by Amaranthe featuring Noora Louhimo
Parasite Eve by Bring Me The Horizon
Use My Voice by Evanescence
Levitating by Dua Lipa featuring Madonna & Missy Elliott
Black Velvet Sun by My Indigo
Dark Love Empress by Leaves’ Eyes
See You In Hell by Ad Infinitum
Inferno by Abir
Who’s Laughing Now by Ava Max
O Fortuna – Epic Trailer Version by Hidden Citizens
Control by Zoe Wees
Candy by Serena Ryder
Woman by Ellie Goulding
Slow Motion by Charlotte Lawrence
Face Down by Halocene featuring Lauren Babic
Catalina by Rosalia
A Little More by Alessia Cara
No Rest For The Wicked by Lykke Li
Strangers by Halsey featuring Lauren Jauregui

Earlier this month, I made this playlist that I ultimately titled it “Maud” but not because it contains old timey music, it’s because I’ve become obsessed with the name itself. Everytime I think of the name, this hue erupts within me. A combination of gray and purple; it’s very light but edgy at the same time. I’ve been in love with it for the past five months and since the two of them make me happy, the collection of songs included are a mixture of pick-me-ups and gorgeous ballads. I previously mentioned that I have been allowing myself all kinds of music lately and something very beautiful has come out of it but in a form of a list of songs. I guess you could say it’s like my alter ego.

I swear I’m not high whenever I listen to music, actually I’ve never been high but I feel the more I try to explain, I look and probably sound more like someone who enjoys weed but nope. I’m just weird I guess! I love when music is airy and simple, I always have, but this is definitely doing something absolutely different for me. I have always wanted to create the “perfect” playlist for decades and I’ve had great attempts in the past, but this one instantly awakens me mentally, physically, spiritually. I’m forever glad that I let myself dive deeper in the hole because I’ve never been happier.

Have you been successful at creating–in your mind–the perfect playlist before? What have you been listening to this month?

snowflake

Music Monday | Kevin Churko

From early 2009 to late 2014, I knew of five producers in the metal scene. The first was Rick Rubin, second was Flood, who worked with Thirty Seconds To Mars, James Michael, he is the lead vocalist of Sixx:A.M. with Nikki Sixx and DJ Ashba but has produced several albums for other bands, Kevin – which I’ll explain more in a minute, and Joost van der Beork. Spoiler alert: he will be discussed in next month’s theme!

I came across Kevin Chucko in either 2011 or 2014; I know this is a big gap of time, but these were the years that my new love of music became very prominent. As I was into the genre for close to six years straight. I really made myself pay attention to various music producers just like I had in the hip hop world in my younger years.

I was actually introduced to Kevin Churko after the nu metal band Papa Roach worked with James Michael on their album “The Connection” in 2012. If you didn’t know, this is actually fairly common in music. Everyone, whether they are just a singer or in a band with more than the standard five members, can work with various people in the album making process. They are not just limited to a set and have to make it work that way. You could look at this as like playing the children’s game “duck, duck, goose” but I think it’s a smart thing to do and I feel like I played the same game in the very beginning of figuring out what I loved about the headbanging and mosh pittin’ lifestyle too.

Sometimes acts will in fact devote their time with only one composer, engineer, songwriter and producer for their work if the chemistry is there, but in order to keep things interesting and build a relationship, you can grow out of your comfort zone and do something new. Kevin Chucko has worked with prominently rock bands. He’s based in Las Vegas and shockingly not all bands want to have fun on the Strip. For most musicians, they make the choice to stay at home and work via online or relocating to wherever their record company sends them to, which is usually where their producer lives.

The first band that I fell in love with in 2009 was female fronted was In This Moment. Since they released their album “Blood” in 2012, they have exclusively worked with Kevin. Personally, it is my ultimate favorite but I think their newest “Mother” has cemented into a stable second place. While I tend to stop following bands in between albums, ITM has been in the same bag as other bands like Linkin Park and Within Temptation where I am always looking at my trustee sources so I don’t miss out on anything they release in the future.

Kevin has also worked with heavy metal band Five Finger Death Punch on their album “American Capitalist” which I think came out the same time but I’m really not for sure!Now, for anyone who doesn’t know, this was my first and most beloved album by FFDP and it was also with this collection of songs that I found out that I could enjoy the harsher style of male voices in rock ‘n roll, thanks to Chester Bennington! A year or two later, after working with James Michael, Papa Roach started going to Kevin Churko and he has produced their music since probably 2014 and even though I have only really heard the singles from the last three albums, I usually love anything they put out to the fans.

A couple of things I learned while writing this post were: I have been spelling his name wrong, so I had to change the banner and everything else, so if you notice any misspellings throughout this post, I am so sorry! The next one is he has alongside another producer that was on my original list – Mutt Lange. My mom actually suggested him but once I decided on doing this as a miniseries, he was cut out of the lineup but I thought this was interesting (but odd) to include here. And lastly, Kevin’s son Kane Churko is also a producer, and generally works with the same acts but has done a few remixes here and there too!

Have you listened to anything produced by Kevin Churko? If you have, what are your favorite(s)?

snowflake

 

Music Monday | Scott Storch

Hello!

For this week, the next music producer is going to be Scott Storch. Scott has always been at the top of my list of best composers and definitely the inspiration for this series. Dr. Dre, Rick Rubin, Timbaland, Scott and Joost van der Breok were the five I originally wanted to discuss for the entire summer but I didn’t think I would have enough material so I made a last minute decision to add a few more people to the list and that was the end of it.

Despite my love of him being a producer, I fell in love with his way to create a killer beat. A lot of people tend to forget that a producer are also the ones making the actual music too! Back when the network VH1 use to air those episodes of The Lives of Rich and Famous. Scott was selected to be featured in one of them and he gave everyone a sneak peak into the way he came up with three of the biggest songs in 2003-04. He would play snippets of 50 Cent’s “Candy Shop” and “Just A Little Bit” and Fat Joe’s “Lean Back”. I always found it hilarious that while both of these rappers were feuding with each other, they were working with the same person who was helping them their music! Anyways, once I figured out how these songs were made, I was floored! I knew both “Candy Shop” and “Just A Little Bit” sounded similar, but I didn’t know how to explain what I was hearing; everybody would have thought I was overly obsessed because at that time I was a huge fun of 50 Cent.

Unfortunately, Scott sort of disappeared from the music world for a while. I think he finally came back out of the shadows in 2014 or sometime after that. I know he had produced songs for Fat Joe in the last year and recently released a brand new song helping carry out the reggaetón flavor, that I definitely enjoy hearing, in the summertime. The track is called “Fuego Del Calor” and it features Ozuna and Tyga. I honestly thought I wouldn’t really enjoy it, because when I want to listen to that type of music, I’d rather have someone who knows that genre in and out, and can make it sound completely different than the others on the radio. So, it was a surprise that I actually enjoyed the whole thing!

Do you know any Scott Storch albums he’s worked on in the past? What are your favorite songs ever?

snowflake

May Playlist

Hello!

Welcome back to another monthly playlist! We are nearing the summer months and even though the big festivals might not happen this year, it doesn’t mean that music won’t stop. I think it’s very important to say this out loud because for a lot of people out there, myself included, are always looking for the next big song that is sure to become their summer anthem. I think I might have found mine already but I’m not quite sure about everybody else’s tastes this year.

For me, May was definitely a heavy metal kind of month. At the beginning, I was listening to Sirius XM Octane and every week they help promote and play new songs from undiscovered talent all over the world. I have included two songs that I heard and immediately fell in love with on the spot. The first “Popular Monster” by Falling In Reverse and I think the main reason why I enjoy it so much is because it sounds like a Linkin Park song. I love how bands are changing up their styles with every record but I have started hearing a lot of older bands experimenting within their genre and really elevating what each is suppose to sound like, and I like how the legacy is the band is living on in that way!

The second song I recently heard is by a band called Dream State. They are a female fronted band based in the UK. Their new track called “Primrose” is so good and it came from their first album Primrose Path which came out in January. To me, it sounds like a mixture of In This Moment, Flyleaf (with Lacey Strum as vocals!) and The Pretty Reckless. If you haven’t heard the song or the full album yet, you need to do that soon! After discovering this band, I realized it was time to create another playlist on my Spotify dedicated to all and any new female fronted bands’ music and trust me when I say, it is glorious! You can click here to check out that playlist now!

Here are the rest of my Top 20 songs mentioned in the main May playlist!

Damn by LIVVIA
Why Do You Love Me by Charlotte Lawrence
Up All Night by Rachel Crow
Breathin by Perlo
Sick Individual by Halestorm
Sunday Best by Surfaces
Diamonds by Megan Thee Stallion featuring Normani
Ain’t It Fun by Paramore
Rainbow by Kacey Musgraves
Eye Of The Tiger by Tommee Profitt x FJORA
Riich by Grace Mitchell
Claws by Charli XCX
You Better Run by Unions
Be Kind by Marshmello featuring Halsey
If The World Was Ending by JP Saxe featuring Julia Michaels
You Say by Lauren Diagle
The In-Between by In This Moment
Devil Pray by Madonna
Break by Eyes Set To Kill
Come For Me by New Years Day

Something that I have been doing a lot lately is actually listening to more albums. I always feel kind of guilty that I am not posting reviews of them, but I am proud of the fact that I can finally listen to a full album in one sitting and love it! My younger self would be somewhat horrified because I never did that until I was in high school. Speaking of which, I celebrate 10 years of being a high school graduate this month and I think I might do a blog post about my Top 10 songs I loved in the year 2010 in June. Oh, by the way, I was talking about my summer anthem at the top, but I forgot to mention that I even had one back in 2010 too. Can you guess what song it was? I doubt anybody will be able to get it right, but who knows somebody might surprise me!

If you want to look into the rest of this month’s playlist, click here and you will directed back to the page. Hope everyone has enjoyed this post!

What were you listening to this May?

snowflake

February Playlist

Howdy!

It is time for this month’s playlist and I am SO excited because I felt like this was such a big time for music! I did a lot of discovering new music and reading for February, and I actually enjoyed being able to multitask like this! I would go back and forth between wanting to read my books as you’ve probably seen with all of my reviews lately, but music has played a big part of it too!

This month’s playlist on Spotify is gigantic! I mean, I’m not really surprised but I wasn’t expecting the actual  number to be lower than 200! As I am writing this post, the amount of songs included is: 139!

I am definitely bringing back listing my Top 25 songs for this! I feel like I would have a difficult time making it smaller, so it’ll just make things easier on me so I can add all of my favorites.

Good In Goodbye by Madison Beer
Mambo by Nikki Vianna
Reckless by Yellow Claw x Fatman Scoop
Light It Up by UNSECRET featuring Manafest
Someone New by Astrid S
Gotta Make It by Trey Songz featuring Twista
Moves Like Jagger by Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera
Hi Bitch by Bhad Bhabie
So Thick by WHIPPED CREAM featuring Baby Goth
Noise by Nightwish
React by The Pussycat Dolls
Medusa by Jhay Cortez with Anuel AA & J Balvin
No Good by Ally Brooke
Supernova by Within Temptation
Billie Jean by The Civil Wars
Do Or Die by Amaranthe featuring Angela Gossow
Have You Ever Been In Love? XYLO
Out Of The Mind by Lawless with MXMS
A Thousand Years by Jasmine Thompson
Not About Angels by Jasmine Thompson
16 Shots by Steffion Don
I Do!! by Toya
Fuego by DJ Snake featuring Sean Paul, Anitta, & Tainy
Mirage by Nextro

As I mentioned above, I did a lot of reading this month too. How are you about music playing in the background while you clean or read? I honestly enjoy listening to instrumentals; it is my go-to every time. However, lately I’ve been wanting something different, because sometimes whenever I have instrumental music going on, it can make me want to go to sleep. For two days in a row, I used Spotify’s playlist called “Arabic Trap”. I love trap music but with very little vocals. There is another one I like to use and it’s called “Ethnic Trap” and this has both Indian and Arabic trap music included. I don’t use it very often, but since I feel like I have listened to all of the tracks in the first one, I may have to switch them around.

I know I haven’t done any music reviews lately, but that doesn’t mean I’m not checking them out though! I’ve heard Major Lazer’s new EP “Soca Storm” and Krewella’s new album “zer0” so far. I have three others left and I’ll try to get to them soon!

What have you been listening to for February? Do you have a favorite album and/or song?

snowflake