Song Review: “O Come, O Come Emmanuel / God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” by Upon Wings

Over the summer, I wanted to do something different for my summer Tune Tuesday series and I got the idea to let other artists that not only do I enjoy but everybody would get to know and love too. Anne Erickson of Upon Wings wrote a couple of great pieces back in June and I really appreciated that she took the time out of her life to do something as great as this for all of us. Upon Wings have been working a lot lately to release some new music to their fans and this week, we got a treat with a Christmas song. Well, technically, it’s two songs mashed up into one track, but you get what I’m trying say, right?

So, this starts off with a section of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” and I really like the acoustic guitar in the introduction. It has a light vibe going about it but you still get a happy feeling as it goes on. To me Anne’s voice is in a darker tone but I actually like it. They are a rock opera band so it sounds kind of mysterious but it’s gentle and still has that cheerful quality you’d normally hear with a song like this.

Now when the next song starts up, you still have the same elements playing on, but the only subtle additions are the drums and violins in the background. This song is called “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and just for fun, I watched the movie A Christmas Carol with Jim Carrey in it and this song is sung by a family group begging for money on the sidewalk. When I saw this, I instantly remember that scene and the fact that I haven’t finished watching it yet. Anyways, the track does pick up pace once we move onto this song. and we get a nice guitar solo and everything sounds really lovely together.

It was a nice little surprise for not only the fans  (myself included) but the actual track was really great. I like different variations of songs, that’s why I enjoy listening to covers and remixes on a daily basis. However I know, when it comes to Christmas music, it can be a little daunting because you’re so used to hearing them in one way and to find them in a completely different singer and most importantly new genre, it can really make you into a critic really quick, but you can’t hate on the artist(s) that do remake these beloved songs because they’re only reinventing them into what they like to listen to on a daily basis, you know? So, I give Upon Wings a lot of credit for putting this together for this holiday!

What do you think Upon Wings’s new take to these traditional Christmas songs? How are you about the various versions of your favorite holiday songs? Have you ever been converted into one or the other before?

EP Review: “Nervous System” by Julia Michaels

18581722_1057525084392104_2680261785040618447_nWe’re going to be talking about singer/songwriter Julia Michaels extended play! It came out the last week of July, but I haven’t had enough time to actually listen to it and review it for you guys until now!

Julia was strictly writing for other artists like Fifth Harmony, Britney Spears, and Selena Gomez. When some of her songs began to be too personal to give away, she started to keep them to herself and hoped to release them as her own for once. Personally, I’d find this daunting because there’s no guarantee to do this and be on the Billboard Top 100  Music Charts, but she managed to do it on her first try!

Now she has released this new EP called “Nervous System” with seven tracks included on it. Let’s see what we think about it!

We start the mini album with the song, “Issues” and I do remember when it first began playing a lot on the radio, I wasn’t really feeling it, but then I switched and I really like the slow introduction with the zigzag sounds before she starts singing in this very low voice. It has became one of my favorite songs and I might actually put it on my favorite songs ever list – if I ever decide to update that post again. The second is “Uh Huh” and again, I had the same reaction. I just didn’t like it, but unfortunately my outlook didn’t change overtime. It has a more acoustic sound to it, and her voice is very soft and low. It’s a cutesy type of song but that’s about all I can say!

The third is “Worst In Me” and this has a more upbeat type of sound but then again you get this sad vibe as you’re listening to it, but she’s kind of known for her breakup songs now. She’s become a more pop-y Taylor Swift since she’s taking a break right now! Anyways, I like it for its simplicity. Next is “Make It Up To You” and this has an interesting sound kind of has its urban notes and it has a nice groove! I really like it because it doesn’t sound like the other three tracks. “Just Do It” is after that one and I thought we were back on the slow train, but it kind of sounds like “Issues” with its slow and fast tempo changes, but I mean it’s a little boring but it’s not bad either!

I like this next song, it’s called “Pink” and I didn’t really know what to expect with it until I was busy doing something else in the middle of listening and I was pretty thrilled with what I was hearing. The beat has a pop-synth kind of feel to it but it’s different and fun and I really like the story of the guy she’s talking about in this song. It’s not necessarily a breakup song, I feel it’s about admiration. It’s good! The last song is “Don’t Wanna Think” and it’s a real breakup inspired ballad compared to the others. You can feel her emotions and she’s very explicit in her words but I think it works with the song. I also love how it’s just her and a piano in the background. It’s beautiful!

I think the EP itself isn’t that bad. I think I expected more after hearing such a simple but softer tone from her with both “Issues” and “Uh Huh” that I wanted her to get out of that sound and basically out of her comfort zone with the rest of the tracks. However, I can’t say that I hated it and will not listen to it ever again though. I think if I’m in a sad place (which will happen) then I might consider giving this another listen and see what happens.

Have you heard Julia Michaels’s new EP yet? What were your thoughts about it?

snowflake

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Album Review: “Somewhere In Between” by VÉRITÉ

review2017

VÉRITÉ has finally released her first album! She has always been putting out singles and EPs for the last few years so now to actually have a large selection of songs coming out all at once makes me so happy!

Kelsey Bryne who goes by “VÉRITÉ” is an indie pop singer based in New York, which I thought was weird considering I swore she was Canadian! Sorry! Her debut album went out in mid-June, a week before Imagine Dragons’ album Evolve, you’ll be seeing that review next week! If you’ve never heard of her music you need to look into some of her singles like “Underdressed” and “Sober” and check out the other EPs she has on her Spotify too!

She starts out the album with “When You’re Gone” and it has this striking hum as your introduction that sort of increases in volume until you get to the breakdown and it disappears. It appears again whenever the second verses comes in, but the choruses are pretty soft and air-y with her voice. I like the subtle “ohs” throughout, it’s very pretty! Second is “Phase Me Out” and this one is pretty soft in the beginning but then you hear a guitar and the music just explodes! It’s not a heavy sound, it’s pretty mellow but it works for her voice and vibe she’s creating within the song. Next is “Death Of Me” and I really like the static-y sound, her voice is like an echo. Once the choruses start, the drum beat kicks on and the tempo increases; it has a very good rhythm! There’s not much about it, but I like that simplicity of it!

Fourth track is “Bout You” and I love the noticeable piano in the background. This kind of gave me a sassy vibe to it as soon as it started, and the beat in general is definitely that. It’s fierce! Next is “Better” and it has this low pitched hum that goes in and out with VÉRITÉ’s voice and then the sound switches and turns into this pop-y track. I really like it! Sixth is “Need Nothing” has an electronica sound to it, but it’s pretty mellow. It still has that alternative edge to it, has it’s sassy notes to it. It could be another favorite of mine! “Saint” is after that one and this has an ominous introduction but it has more pop-y/playful vibe to it too.

Next up is “Solutions” and it starts out with this warping sound and her voice. I love these stripped down beginnings. This one has more of an electronic sound than the other one I had mentioned, it goes in and out so it’s not obnoxious but it’s pretty interesting! The song “Floor” is after and it’s pretty slow and echo-y. It gives you more of a chill feeling while listening to it, but it’s kind of boring though. I do like the lyrics and melody, but I’m not feeling the slow beat sadly. Next is the title track “Somewhere In Between” and it is the ideal VÉRITÉ song, it has that alternative but unique sound. It’s very soft but it goes with her beautiful voice!

Now we start on the last three songs of the album, beginning with “Nothing” and this has an soft but mysterious intro but then it turns into this very energetic beat! I’m kind of glad for it another upbeat track and catchy! Despite the fact that I do love her softer songs, there’s only so many of those a normal person can take let’s be honest! Afterwards is “Control” and we’re back to the softer notes, but it does have jazzier sound with using the bass guitar in the background. It does have a small horn section which just adds to that jazz vibe to it! I love the groove and I had some serious trouble not dancing along to it! Last one is “Freedom Of Falling” and I really loved the beat of this one. The intro was a soft but steady beat. I liked her subtle hums in the background. It was so simple. Everything that I like about her!

This was everything I wanted it to be and more! It was so good! After so long of just releasing about three to four songs at a time, I bet it feels rewarding to put out this amount of music for all the fans! It won’t keep all of us satisfied but it’ll keep us occupied for a while I think. I think I’ll go on to say this was one of my favorite albums on 2017 I liked it that much!

Have you listened to VÉRITÉ’s new album “Somewhere In Between” or any of her other music she’s released? What do you think of it?

snowflake

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