Tune Tuesday | Where Does The Name ‘Upon Wings’ Come From? by Anne Erickson

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Howdy!

We’re back with the second Tune Tuesday post featuring Upon Wings lead vocalist Anne Erickson!

Are you loving these pieces so far? Everybody seems to love them, which is really great for the band as the more we do this, people who have never heard of them will grow more curious about their music and eventually want to check them out, which is something that I strive for on a daily basis. That’s what every music blogger wants to do, inspire people to look into this artist or group, so that maybe they’ll start to love them and become a steady fan, if that’s an actual term for musical purposes!

Today, Anne will be discussing how the name Upon Wings came about and I think it’s a very touching story on how different things, like verses or words in general can touch and help us create something entirely new! So I hope you all will enjoy it!


When I was thinking of different band names, I wanted something simple and something that somehow felt right with the band’s sound. I was looking at different places for inspiration, and I looked through the Bible for some inspiration and ideas and I read Isaiah 40:31:

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

The phrase “Upon Wings” stood out to me. To me, that phrase implies depending on something outside of yourself in times of need. It could be God, a friend or family member or something else to help you in some way. There are times in life when all of us will need to rest “Upon Wings” of Eagles to soar.


How is that for an answer?! I really loved hearing about this, because I remember the afternoon I found Upon Wings and literally I thought how the band name came about, honestly for most bands with out of the box names, this is usually the first thing that pops into my head!

How to follow Anne and Upon Wings?

Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

 

Tune Tuesday | What Inspired You To Create “Upon Wings” by Anne Erickson

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Howdy!

If you’re new to my blog, you may not know that summer is like a big season for Got Meghan’s Blog. I usually do a series talking about music from all over the world. I really enjoy searching for new artists and bands and write the posts afterwards. I have found tons of incredible musicians since I started this back in 2014, but I’m literally running out of music in some places that I figured would be an never-ending supply. Once I made this assessment, I realized that if I wanted to continue with the Tune Tuesday series as a whole, I would need more time so I thought it would be cool to call in some reinforcements!

What I have in store for you are a few pieces by an artist that I’ve been looking up to in the last few years. This person is a lead singer of the rock opera band called Upon Wings. Her name is Anne, and she has been freaking awesome about doing this, but honestly I’m doing this for her as well. I’m giving her free promotion on here. This is who I am as both a music blogger and a friend, I don’t want anything else besides that and I know she’d appreciate it just as much, so without further do, I really hope you enjoy these articles she’s gladly written up for us!


Music has always been a part of my life since I was four years old. My parents took me to musical theater productions when I was super young, and I fell in love. That was my introduction to music!

Pretty soon, I got into opera and studied voice, and then later, I discovered rock and metal. I started writing music for Upon Wings, and actually recorded some songs but kept it to myself. A few years later, an incident in my life nudged me to release one of those songs, “The Dream.” I made my own music video to go with the song and posted it on YouTube. I was so touched and floored by the positive response I got from people who were discovering my music from that video. Those people inspired me to push further and release a debut EP “Afterlife” from Upon Wings.


How to follow Anne and Upon Wings?

Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

Album Review: “America” by Thirty Seconds To Mars

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Today I am reviewing an album, that surprisingly, I’ve been looking forward to for a while. I wouldn’t say that I’m like a big Thirty Seconds To Mars fan, but I’m like right in the middle of it. The songs that I’ve listened to, are really good and “Love, Lust, Faith, and Dreams” is probably one of my favorite albums to date, but I still don’t consider myself a really big fan of theirs. Maybe after doing this review, that’ll change, huh?

Thirty Seconds To Mars is a rock band coming out of California. It still surprises me that there are only three guys in it and roughly two of its members play instruments live. What I mean is that, Tomo and Shannon play the guitar and drums respectively and they’re the ones who play the most while on stage. Jared has played guitar live on several songs, but majority of the time he just stands there. This is the reason why I’ve always been amazed in a way, because they always sound like a six piece band since their songs are so jam packed, it doesn’t seem like it was made with only three people! Anyways, their brand new album is called “America” and it was released on the 6th of April.

We start the album off with their first single release, “Walk On Water” and this song was EVERYWHERE after it came out! I’ve seen it on different commercials, mostly on sporting events, which I thought was nice! It has a nice light, but energetic feel to it to match that kind of vibe you’d expect for those types of advertisements. I actually like the song a lot, it’s a nice opening to the album and this cycle! Second is “Dangerous Night” and I have to say, I was less than pleased with this one when I first listened to it. I go back and forth if I really like it, because I liked how it started with only Jared’s very seductive voice. Yes, that’s the word I’m using for this! It’s very mellow, and the tempo and sound changes a bit towards the end, but I’m not meshing with it as I thought I would and I’ve heard it a few times since it came out. Next is “Rescue Me” and even though 30STM are a rock band, they have sort of a pop vibe going on with this album. I have to say, I like this song, it has a soft California rock n roll vibe to it, but it also has this quirky sound on top of it, so it makes it really unique.

Fourth track is “One Track Mind” and I thought this was really great. The beat makes it really sexy and I thought Jared’s low and slow voice makes it that much better! This features rapper A$AP Rocky in it, and I thought he gave it a different edge that in a way, it didn’t need, but I’m glad he was added to the ending result. Plus, can we just talk about the guitar solo at the last too? Good god. I seriously thought it couldn’t get any better, but I guess I was wrong? Next we have an instrumental called “Monolith” and they are kind of known to have a little break in their albums, a breathing and thinking time in between the songs. This one very in your face, cinematic worthy track! You know how I am. It also conducts as an intro to the song behind it, which is titled “Love Is Madness” and it features Halsey in it. The song has a bit of a drumline vibe going on, but it’s sexy and smooth too. I really wasn’t expecting it to be like that, but I love it anyways!

We move on to the seventh song, “Great Wide Open” and this starts off really slow and you kind of get that it’s going to sound maybe like a 80’s ballad, they’re not acoustic enough to be a straight slow song, but they’re not so upbeat where you feel like jumping up and down a thousand times, it’s the perfect medium. I really like it. After that, we have “Hail To The Victor” and I’m happy to say this one is very different, I had seen that it was produced by Yellow Claw, but didn’t think it would sound like that! However, I don’t hate it. The song has a nice, dark, but mellow bass drop to it. It’s very unique and I really enjoy it! Ninth track is “Dawn Will Rise” and since I try to guess how a song will sound whenever I see the title of it, I was thinking that it would be really out of the box vibe and I wasn’t wrong with my guess. I don’t really like the autotone of Jared’s voice, but overall I like the exotic/electronica sound to it!

We’re almost done, “Remedy” is next and this is definitely considered an acoustic ballad, but I am confused because that doesn’t sound like Jared at all. I really like it, but I would like to know who the vocalist is, Shannon or Tomo? If anybody knows, please comment below with the answer! Thank you in advance. Next is “Live Like A Dream” and again, it has this sort of soft rock but climbing introduction that I feel like 30STM are getting better at producing with the more songs they include it in, so thank you Shannon for that build up! This song in general has another feature that they’re kind of known for, they like to add choirs into their songs, but this one is giving me “Closer To The Edge” vibes. I don’t consider it a bad thing, but that’s what I keep thinking of while listening to it. Last song is “Rider” and we have another slow beginning, but the sound does kind of “explode” in a way. If you’re going to end an album, you should always leave with a bang and I think it is a good song to use.

You’re probably thinking about why I said that they have a pop sound going on, like that they’re sounding like Maroon 5, but I’m not saying that by any means. The band is taking a gentle approach to it, and they’re not going too far with it. To be quite honest, I really don’t care if they want to incorporate some of the mainstream music into their stuff. I just want to hear something different from those pop-rock bands and right now, Thirty Seconds are doing a good job at keeping themselves separate from the pack. Overall, I thought this was a really good album. I’m not really surprised by the songs itself, because I know they make good music, I’m more shocked that I ended up liking almost every track. I think I will grow into “Dangerous Night” the more I listen to it, so don’t worry about it.

Have you listened to Thirty Seconds To Mars’s new album? If you have, what were some of your thoughts that you had? Do you have any favorites yet?

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Music Video Review: “The Black” by Asking Alexandria

Asking Alexandria used to be one of those bands where you had to force me to listen to back in the day. The band as a whole scared the shit out of me! You have to understand when everybody in my class was going through their emo phase in middle school, I wasn’t even close to being ready. I only had one black shirt in my closet and it came from the church I was attending! Bands like AA and Bring Me The Horizon were NOT my thing. It seemed ironic that I actually got into both at the end of my five year rock phase last year.

Anyways, Asking Alexandria has a new a song, music video, and lead vocalist. That’s another thing I figured would happen. A band I’d get interested in has to replace their long time singer with another. I actually never heard that they had found a replacement after Danny left the group, I only heard after the release of “I Won’t Give In” and I was intrigued! I still think that was one of the best songs of 2015! Denis Stof is like the perfect replacement, I know I can’t really say that, but he’s really good! He’s not going to sound exactly like Danny, but I think both of them as singers are very alike. Danny managed to have beautiful vocals with aggressive yells in songs. He can do both, on an album and live on stage. I think that’s what every fan is mostly worried about when it comes time to replace them. Can they be as good or even better than the original singer? Denis has nothing to worry about, let me say!

Now that’s done, we can move on to the actual music video! I’ve been seeing the different tracks popping up on both my Facebook and Twitter and then advertise for the album title track came up on YouTube and I was like, “what the hell?” and I love the intro very much. It’s got a very metalcore but electric sound to it, even as a whole it’s not like the other AA songs I’ve listened to! I love the darker almost demonic voice that Denis makes, not the low one but the high pitched one. It’s very sexy! You can tell I’ve done lost my fucking mind! The chorus of it is really interesting, the way their (Denis and Ben’s voices” cut in and out. It’s all good, but after Ben’s beautiful part, the whole song just kind of loses my interest. So that’s the only part that really stinks about it. I did enjoy the music video mostly being in black and white. I just don’t understand the concept for it of course!

Asking Alexandria’s new album “The Black” comes out on March 26th!

Are you an Asking Alexandria fan? What do you think Denis Stoff taking over? Are you excited for their album?

Song Review: “Don’t Say a Word” by Xandria

I was literally thinking about this band the other day. I kept thinking “I wonder when their new EP was supposed to be out?” And then like two days later my Spotify restarted for me and my notifications lit up with the number 15. Some of it was just the usually “songs added” onto the playlists I followed from either Spotify and other users. The rest are from artists and bands updating their music profiles. That’s when I noticed that the band Xandria was on there as I was scrolling down!

I love Xandria, like a LOT! I had fallen in love with the band while Manuela Kraller was the lead vocalist. Now that she has left and they have Dutch singer Dianne van Giersbergen (who also a vocalist for the band Ex Libris’) taking over the vibe has changed. I think with each singer they have, it gives a different, but good sound. Everybody is unique in their own ways! Dianne has more of a softer voice, but can hold her notes longer and she’s definitely more powerful from the rest. As for this song, it’s actually not one theirs. It’s a cover of the band Sonata Arctica that will be featured along with another cover song on their EP called “Fire & Ashes” that it’ll be out at the end of this month. I may or may not do a review of it, just depends on how I feel that week!

I don’t usually like to hear the original version of songs that are turned into covers and remixes. I have read the original lyrics though and it is a long song but it is beautiful! I love the powerful dymatics  of Dianne’s voice. I love the sound of the gritty guitars and I don’t usually like solos very much because I feel like in rock/metal song I heard there was one in every song I listened to and after a while, it got a little annoying! This time I didn’t have that cringey feeling that I’m used to feeling in the middle of the track. I actually can’t until I hear the rest of the EP because I need to learn more songs!

If you’re a fan of Sonata Arctica, do you think this a good remake of their song? What is that you liked or disliked about it?

Learning Music

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My nana’s old keyboard. It has 5 octaves, all kinds of buttons for all kinds of sounds. It is digital and is over three ft. long. I think somebody put the lettering on to learn it. it is 30 years old and my great-grandma played it until she was 92 or so.

 

Growing up, it wasn’t just my parents who would get us all into music. As much as my parents would like to think they have voices of angels, they’re wrong. Even though my dad could probably do an awesome metal scream and growl, if he took the time to train his voice. Both of my grandparents on my mom’s side know how to play instruments. My papaw knows how to play the piano and saxophone. My dad also knows how to play the saxophone. So explains my love for the sound of a saxophone! My nana is the one who’s been marching band the longest. She has so many things from her time playing in different school orchestras, yes they had those back in the day! She played the violin, viola, cornette, piano, and trumpet while in her school bands. Technically, my mom played the flute in high school. My Uncle Rick knows how to play both bass and electric guitar, trust me we have the pictures to prove it too! He has expressed to get back into playing recently.  So we’re basically a musical family!

You couldn’t join band until you got into middle school. When we were making arrangements to transfer at the end of fifth grade, my mom thought it would be a good idea to get me into band as well. Since I loved music so much, they thought it would give me something to do and another challenge for me to master. My cousin Kristi was going to sign up for it too, so they thought it would be perfect to get the both of us into the same class. I remember that afternoon so well. I would get out of class maybe 5 to 10 minutes early before everybody else. My mom and nana would come and pick me up from school, this day they were staying a little longer to see what I would be able to play in band. They tried to get me to play the trombone and that was just a disaster! Literally five months earlier, I had my back surgeries so they were trying to see what I thought the strength to do since I was still recovering. I can’t bend my knees very well and so when they tried to get me to do it, there was no use! I couldn’t reach nor could I blow through the damn thingy either. We settled on this keyboard thing that I have no clue what is was. My cousin Kristi got to play the flute.

I remember trying to practice keys with my nana and even back then I used to cry if I didn’t feel comfortable doing something. I was NEVER good at learning or comprehending music notes. We would play little music note games in Elementary and I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the ideal person to have on a team. I sucked! I barely got through two practices with my nana before I looked at both and went, I can’t do it. Luckily, they understood and I never had to do it again. I was and still am perfectly fine with that decision. Kristi kept up with her lessons for all three years of middle school, when we entered high school she was in marching band and jazz band. It felt good to know somebody in band. At our school, band was better than the sports program. When I was in eighth grade I decided to sign up for swing choir. I just wanted to see if I’d like it. I mean, at that time singing was kind of new to me. I had this new strong lungs that we’re being crushed by my own spine. I actually had the strength to hold in a breath and go high with it. That was my musical outlet at the time.

When my sister entered middle school, she was put into band too. She got the honor of playing the trumpet. I was a freshman in high school when she started sixth grade. She was doing double duty as she was doing cheerleading as well. She kept up with it until her sophomore year of high school. She and Kristi played in band at Kristi and I’s graduation. It was a family affair! Blondie had a very special gift that was apparently past down by papaw: they can play by ear. She also knows how to play the piano. On some days, we’d hear her play a familiar song in the living room. She would bring her iPod over with her and she’d go and back in finding the right keys and try to play it out. One Christmas, somebody got her own keyboard so she could play around with it. She used it religiously and it would be the reason why I’d be in our parent’s room without any music on just listening to her play. When she was in eighth grade too, she also joined swing choir. We were both sopranos.

I’m pretty sure after some time, Blondie finally returned my nana’s trumpet to her. Yup, she used her exact trumpet! Kristi used my mom’s for some time before getting a new one in which I know she still has. Blondie plays the piano every once in a while. She only does it when everybody’s busy dong something else so they can’t hear her. My nana stopped playing the piano several years, now it’s only my papaw who plays the piano in the living room. He’s been having some trouble with his hands lately, especially the tips of his fingers. He can’t feel if he’s touching the keys or not. It’s really kind of sad, because in all honesty he’s the reason why I love piano music pieces. You won’t hear me listening to Mozart or like that, but more modern music. I always rolling into my choir classes and listening to our director just going into a fit. I could have sat there watching him all day long. I used to sit on my papaw all the time as a kid and will still do it from time to time now. I hope later on in life, we continue to teach our children music and get them as interested as possible!

Album Review: In This Moment’s “Black Widow”

I am one of those fans, especially in the music world that is less surprised of what happens next. I’ve seen so many changes of different artists/bands that I think I’ve been able to accept change within myself because if things happen that you can’t control, you can either learn how to adapt to it or run away from it. Let’s be honest about that second one, you can’t runaway from everything. In the music industry, everybody is always trying to do something different. From the first album, everything is usually pretty mild; something to get their feet wet and gain a bigger fan base on what they have to offer to their listeners. By the third or fourth album though, all rules are gone and they are ready to unleash themselves from what everybody thinks of them. I think the female fronted metal band In This Moment is one of these bands. I became a fan of ITM kind of late in their reign. They were the reason why I have a larger than life love for any female fronted heavy metal or rock band out there.

When their last album, “Blood” came out last year. I didn’t even listen to it on Spotify, when I had the money to get it, I got it. At that time, I had only heard their title track and “You’re Gonna Listen” on YouTube. I was instantly hooked. I was actually shocked of how fast they announced that they were going to release a new album in 2014. The shock only lasted but a day until I heard “Sick Like Me” and I was like, “Blood” was just the start. We had some warning of what kind of direction they may go with this album as they have said they liked the theatrical side they got to go as far as bringing it to a live show. Now that it’s out, I’m happy that Maria is letting herself out more and more. She’s becoming of a teacher in a way, I always liked the singers who didn’t care about what anybody says and nobody really tells them what to do. The fact that she’s in a band full of four other guys, they help create the sound behind their vixen. Without Chris, Travis, Randy, and Tom the songs would not have body and be so damn powerful. Not saying Maria isn’t powerful but I mean I look beyond vocals and lyrics first, so they build me up and grab my attention first.

So to really start this album review off, this get into the songs. The introduction is my kind of intro, it’s called “The Infection” and it has the pull you in closer to death kind of intros. Once it is finished, then “Sex Metal Barbie” begins and oh my god, do I love this song! Of course, when they released it on Spotify it took me three days to be able to listen to it out loud. When I first heard their cover of Nine Inch Nails’ song “Closer” and realized that I was trying to learn the words to this very dirty song and my parents were just inches away from my room. Everything that has the word, “sex” I tend to be a little careful. However, I think this is an amazing song. It sounds like ITM song but I really like that little drop of the chorus. Makes you want to dance, but not in a sexy way. This is the ideal song for every hater of their music. The next song is “Big Bad Wolf” and I love this song too! That intro affects me in the same way of “Sick Like Me” it just builds me up and turns me into something else. I have yet to figure out what the metaphor is for this song. The lyrics alone confuse me, but I like everything else about it so I’ll deal with it.

The next round of songs are ones that I haven’t heard yet, well except for one but I only listened to it twice and both times it gave me a weird vibe. It doesn’t matter though, because I listen to the album more and more I’ll grow to like it too! The first song of this round is called “Dirty Pretty” and it’s got this dark, slow, but sultry sound to it. In ways, it sounds like a true ITM song but it’s also different too. It’s got a good balance of something familiar and new. I like it. The next song is the title track, “Black Widow” and I have always loved those songs that bring in this old radio/TV sound and the intro is of this old reporter telling its listeners of the dangerous effects of a female black widow spider. This is a brilliant metaphor of Maria as even me, as a woman too, just one look at this woman and she pulls everybody down to their knees and commands your full attention but with her fierce screams she does she can very well kill you by bursting your ear drums. The song “Sexual Hallucination” with featuring vocals of the band Shinedown Brent Smith is a very deep, slow, and sexy duet between these two singers. The first single off the album is next, “Sick Like Me” and since I actually did a music video review of it, I don’t think I really need to talk about it, but I will leave a link for you to check out what I really think of the video and I do review the song a bit too! Click here.

The next song is the one song that makes me feel funny, “Bloody Creature Poster Girl” it definitely doesn’t sound like a ITM track but I’m not quite sure if I’m meaning that in a bad way though. You do hear Maria’s infamous screams but it’s got this bluesy/jazzy vibe throughout the song even with the guitars, it’s a jazzy/metal sound. Next up is called, “The Fighter” and I already like this title. The beginning of just the calming piano and Maria’s clean vocals are just beautiful. This song is another finding strength and fight song for anybody who needs it. This might one were I’ll know every word to it and be able to sing it out loud. The next song is called, “Bones” and it’s that familiar sound of a dark and full metal feel. I’m pretty sure those drum sounds would be amazing on my stereo on the chorus part. The next is very interesting, it’s called “Natural Born Sinner” and if I didn’t know any better, I think Maria says a part of a verse in the Bible, I could be wrong. The song is another metal sounding kind of song, some synths throughout it but it screams (well, technically Maria screams it) metal. The next one leads into the last one of the album, “Into The Darkness” and it’s very, very dark. It’s got a very demonic and good battle at the beginning, Maria is whispering to a strange dark voice and then she starts to break down and cries, then the actual song starts to take form and its called, “Out Of Hell” and it’s a piano and story telling type of song. Maria has an amazing way of bringing out the darkest side of herself and showing her vulnerability to the world.

I think this album is amazing! It’s very different from what as their big fans thought it would sound like, but that doesn’t always mean that those bigger fans will like it either. If you buy the album as a deluxe there are two extra songs, I’ve decided not to include them inside this review. They are called though, “Turn You” and “Ribcage.” If you’ve listened to the album already, I would like to hear what you think of it. What are your favorite tracks?