How I Became A Music Blogger

music

Howdy!

I’ve been trying to figure what to blog about for a few days and I thought about some advice posts; I like them but I’m also one of those people who doesn’t feel the need to follow the same set of rules of others. These will be things that I do that might be useful to the newbies or somebody who would like to experiment every once in a while.

What does it mean to be a music blogger?

I started writing reviews back in 2011, probably four months after I actually created this blog. I will say, those first few reviews are really bad. I have the worst grammar and I cannot describe what I hear for the life of me! I will say though, since I’ve been doing them and the fact that I try to get out of my comfort zone, I feel like I am getting better at it.

In the beginning, I wasn’t really thinking about what could come out of the review itself, I just knew that I needed to express myself about what I hearing inside of my headphones. Towards the end of 2012, I’d say my music choices started to go in a darker direction and since I was already listening to tons of international music, I knew I wanted to share it with more people, whether it be my Twitter followers, friends and/or family. Everybody wants new music, so why shouldn’t I help promote these artists and groups?

What can you talk about on your blog?

Well, that’s up to you really!

I think it’s important to establish what kind of music blogger you want to be from the very beginning. To me, there are two ways you can go about this, you can be like me and only focus on the music itself–that means you discuss nothing about anything else but whatever you’re presented. Second way is you talk about that artist’s personal life, which is something that I do NOT participate in because I think it’s absolutely rude!

There are a lot of bloggers out there that only review new artists, which is good because they need all of the promotion they can get from people. However, if you do put your email address on your about or contact page, be aware that you may not always get to talk with that particular artist or group, majority of the time you’re talking to a third party. It has its ups and downs, because honestly the artist will make you feel welcomed and allow you to have time to listen and get your words figured out, but the third party does not. At least, from my own experience, they haven’t made me feel like I was going fast enough to reply back to them about anything.

Besides the new artists, you can talk about your favorites, but in reality you’re really closing up opportunities to get to know other musicians. Thankfully, when I started blogging about music, I was already in the thick of international music, so I was listening to stuff all over the world and it didn’t really matter if they were singing in English or not.

There are different ways to review music:

  • Albums/EPs – These are pretty much the only way I review anything to do with music at the moment. However, I do have my own limit. I do discuss an album that’s over 20 tracks. It just puts a lot of pressure on me to stay open enough to speak my thoughts and I never want the number of songs to change my mind about a particular track. 
  • Single – If you’re going to write about a single, be prepared for that post of yours to be pretty short. I think I always had two or three paragraphs whenever I’d review just a single, but on the bright side, I always thought it would be fair to release two single reviews in one day!
  • Music Videos – Music videos are pretty easy to talk about, as you can just find it on YouTube’s recently added and go from there, but you also need to think about something else. Are you going to only discuss the song, the content of the video itself, or both? I always found it to be easier to do both, but whenever I would listen to the heavy metal music, I wouldn’t review the actual video in fear something creepy would pop out and scare me! 

What kind of ways to listen to music to review?

I mostly only use Spotify to listen to my music. They are convenient, because they have the new music on their browse tab. Once you start using it a lot, and you “follow” more and more artists and bands, then it’ll create a “release radar” playlist for you of the music and you basically go from there. After I’ve found an album or EP, or even a selection of them, I’ll create a playlist of each one and save them for later until I’m ready to work on them.

If you can’t use Spotify, then YouTube is my second option. Unfortunately, you will have some issues going in this direction. Musicians and record companies will not always upload a full album onto the artist or band’s main page, it’ll just depend on the circumstance honestly, so if you’re unable to find all of the music on the record, you’re going to need to hope another fan has put it up without tampering with the sound too much and of course YouTube has taken all of them down!

My last suggestion is whether or not, you want to purchase the album on iTunes. I mean, all your doing is reviewing the album, and in case you’re not sure about the genre or if you’re going to like it in general, you’ve just spend $11.29 or $14.99 that you now have to keep in your library. So, everything is up to you on what you want to do.

Here are some tips on what I do before I start the reviewing process!

  1. Have a notepad nearby! It’ll be smarter to write or type out the song titles and date of when the record came out. Something else you should look into, is some information about the artist you’re talking about, you have to remember that you are not only selling the album, but the musician too!
  2. Trust your gut, and I mean this in the nicest way possible. If you are not comfortable talking about a certain subject, do NOT push yourself to write about it. However, on the flip side, if you can’t figure out how to describe the song and how it sounds, go with your next best option. I’ll usually say whatever I’m feeling at that moment. I’ve described song(s) as “driving around in a small town while the sun is setting!” So whatever comes to your head first, then say it!
  3. Don’t rush the process, if you need to take a break in between a group of songs, then do it! I have started reviews in the mornings and finished them at night, and I’ve even spread them out over a couple of days since I usually schedule them at a later date.
  4. If you’re unable to find the album cover on the artist’s social media accounts, then I recommend you making a banner for your future review posts. I’ve used Paint to create mine, but I’m sure you can make really clever ones using your own photos!

I think that are all of my tips and tricks that I can share with you today! If you are thinking about starting on music reviews, or reviewing anything such as books, movies, etc, it’s a fun experience for you as a blogger but it also helps promote the musicians you’re talking about too!

snowflake

April Playlist

moviws

Howdy!

April was another weird month for me. I had to use YouTube for the most of the month. I’m actually thankful that YT just automatically creates mixes for me to every song that I listen to on there. If you’d like to see the rest of the music I’ve been loving lately, you are welcome to listen to my full April playlist on Spotify!

Curious by Hayley Kiyoko
Yes by Louisa featuring 2Chainz
Who Are You by Svrcina
When You’re Gone by Verite
Poltergeist by Banks
No Roots by Alice Merton
Preview by Mackenzie Nicole
Rebel Renegade by Tommee Profitt featuring Beacon Light
Psycho by Post Malone featuring Ty Dolla $ign
I Never Told You by Colbie Calliat
Emergency by Icona Pop
Nothing But Trouble – Instagram Models by Charlie Puth featuring Lil Wayne
Queendom by Aurora
Familiar by Liam Payne featuring J Balvin
Sham Pain by Five Finger Death Punch
Let Me by Zayn
Young, Dumb & Broke by Khalid
Say Amen (Saturday Night) by Panic! At The Disco
Technicolor Beat by Oh Wonder
Rats by Ghost
Love Is Madness by Thirty Seconds Of Mars featuring Halsey
Tell Me You Love Me by Demi Lovato
W/O U by Gems
Glorious by Foxes
Still Hungry by Adelitas Way
You Will Become by Glen Hansard
No Tears Left To Cry by Ariana Grande
IDGAF by Dua Lipa
Say Something by Justin Timberlake featuring Chris Stapleton

Honestly, there’s a lot of good music out there. Now that March is gone, I’m starting to hear ones that were constantly playing nonstop on the radio are slowly fading away making way for the new stuff. I’m not hearing “Lights Down Low” by MAX featuring Gnash and “Let You Down” by NF as much anymore. I’m excited to see what’s in store!

Visions by UNSECRET | California by Diplo | Svrcina by Svrcina

What was your most played song for the month of April?

snowflake

 

Album Review: “Svrcina” by Svrcina

15492305_1319308094800184_7204047501463654602_nToday’s review is about an artist that has lend her voice on Tommee Profitt’s music in the past couple of years! Svrcina is like many singer-songwriters of the age, where they don’t usually release a full on album, where it’s like 12 songs of brand new material, they only put out a few songs a year. It’s periodically, but it’s where we are in the music industry where people would rather buy one single at a time. She recently released an eight track album during the last full week of March, and I’m happy to talk about it with you!

On her Facebook, it says that she does “alternative, ambient pop, and electronic” and that has become a favorite combination of mine in the past few years, so she has the upper hand already! The first song is “Whispers” and I really like the pop-y beat, it’s light and airy, but not obnoxious, so right out of the gate you get a nice dance track with a soft voice and catchy lyrics. Next is “Steady” and you instantly get that ambient vibe with that introduction of popping, the first thing that came to me was it’s like bubbles popping! It has a chilled, ambient and electric beat to it that I found to be really fun! Svrcina has this voice where it sounds so powerful and sweet at the same time. You get this loving vibe all around on this one. It’s becoming one of my favorites!

Third is “Who Are You” which will come back to us in a remix later on, but now we have the original version and I absolutely this jungle or over-worldly sound you immediately hear when it starts. It keeps you guessing and it’s definitely a great cinematic track. I had to look back through my reviews of Tommee Profitt’s albums to make sure I hadn’t talked about it before, but nope, this is a new track. I can’t say for sure that Tommee produce it, just because it has a cinematic vibe going on, doesn’t always mean anything. And then after that heavy hitter, we slow it down with “Astronomical” and from the moment I wrote it out on my note pad, I knew this one would be interesting no matter what. I really love the gentle storytelling, her voice is very easy going and the piano matches it so well. It’s just beautiful!

Now we move on to “Deeper” and it has this zigzag beat that makes it seem like it could be a regular pop track. but then you have all of these different elements. You have the first sounds you were introduced to, and then you have an acoustic guitar with an light dance beat on top of it. What blows my mind that even though I wasn’t really hearing the actual words of the song, I was really into it and it wasn’t even overwhelming either! Sixth is “Island” and this was another one I was really curious about, and I really love it. You really only hear her voice, but it’s almost dreamy like she’s floating out into the abyss, singing out her troubles.  It’s absolutely gorgeous!

These will be the last two songs of the album, starting with “Sweeter Place” and this has another ballad, but as much as it does have that space-y vibe that the other two tracks had, this one is completely unique. You can hear her emotion, the rawness of it, is so loud. The beat itself does increase, but not in such a way that you lose the gentle atmosphere. I like it, but not as much as I thought I would, but I will grow into it. And remember when I said we’ll  be seeing “Who You Are” again, this is a remix of it by Russ Macklin and I actually don’t like it. I felt like he downgraded it from its original state, but I guess there’s only so many ways to remix such a jam-packed track like that, so I can’t say I hate it, but it’s definitely my least favorite out of the full thing.

I was very surprised with this. I didn’t think that I would like almost every song, but I do. Once I found out what kind of music Svrcina actually makes, it did make things easier to do this. I’ve also been in a different mindset lately, so I actually liked the ballads a lot more, I am usually a lot harder to impress but whenever I get in these moods I feel like I need all of the dreamscape-ballads I can find at that point of time. Overall, I thought it was a great release, and if you don’t mind I’m going to go listen to her other singles on her Spotify profile.

Have you listened to Svcrina’s debut album yet? If you have, what are some of your favorites? Are there any other alternative artists you think I should listen to? Let me know below!

March Playlist

playlist

Howdy!

So it’s time for this monthly playlist, but it’s not a Tuesday or Thursday. Since the 20th, landed on a Tuesday, I ended up messing up the last two weeks of March. Tomorrow I have something special for you that goes with the whole music theme so hopefully that’ll make things better for you!

March had a good amount of music and I always think that any new music that comes out this month has the potential of being a big favorite over the summer. Don’t believe me? Look up the release date of “Lean On” by Major Lazer and “Heathens” by Twenty One Pilots!

This time I think there’s a lot of variety, some rock and hip hop, plus a lot of pop music in the mix! Hopefully you’ll enjoy the selection below as we’re back to our normal ten songs and a full playlist from Spotify! If you’d like to check that out, click here.

Red Cold River by Breaking Benjamin
Walking In My Shoes by THE FEVER 333
Friends by Anne-Marie and Marshmello
Pray For Me by The Weeknd featuring Kendrick Lamar
Vincent by Ellie Goulding
The Champion by Carrie Underwood featuring Ludacris
High by Whethan featuring Dua Lipa
Empire by Tommee Profitt featuring Steven Malcolm
Get Off by Zo
Happy Place by Alison Wonderland

And I’m trying to do more reviews that were a little out of my comfort for this month too! I’m really enjoying doing them while my folks decide to take a nap in the afternoon. It’s my alone time to really dive into some genres that I don’t normally listen to! If you missed any of them, here they are again!

Sign Of The Dragonborn by Leaves’ Eyes | Fight by Sandra Lynn | Cinematic Songs Vol. 3 by Tommee Profitt | Amsterdam Trap Music Vol. 3 by Yellow Claw | Heavy Rules Mixtape by ALMA (review comes out on Thursday!)

What were you enjoying this past month? 

snowflake

 

EP Review: “Fight” by Sandra Lynn

26815179_1569727836397560_3671063900781302390_nI love going Spotify’s “new music” tab and scrolling through the many new artists and music coming out on Fridays. It’s become my favorite pastime! Sometimes I treat it like going into your favorite bookstore and selecting a new book based solely on its beautiful cover. I will scroll through the selection of music and pick up interesting album covers and try it out.

I’ve reviewed a lot of different music on here. I mostly talk about pop, rock, heavy metal, and the occasional celtic music, but I hardly ever discuss country music. I’ve always had an up and down relationship with both country and rap music. They’re both diverse, but very similar in their lyrics and sound. Every once in a while, I do get out of my shell and check out different artists and tracks, and this is one of those times.

I found Sandra Lynn’s music by the look of the cover, but I was thinking that maybe she was a contemporary artist, and then I heard her voice and I was pleasantly surprised by the subtle country flare she had and so I decided right there that I would review her newest EP of only four songs that came out on January 18th!

The first song that we start with is the title track of the extended play. I really like the use of the piano in the beginning, it’s very sweet but I wish it turned up more in the actual song than just somewhere in the background. Besides that, the song itself is pretty good! It’s not an “overwhelming” country song so if it was played on modern adult radio stations, I think it would do pretty well! Next is “Rest In Pieces” and I was a confused about how this could sound, I figured it would be in the same “loss” category as the previous song, but I was still intrigued nonetheless. I’d consider it a breakup song that isn’t about a cheating boyfriend and getting revenge afterwards, even though I’m not saying those are awesome or anything, its just very upbeat but light-hearted too.

Third is “Somebody Kissed Me At The Bar” and I don’t want to compare Sandra to any of the other female country stars, but I am definitely sensing Carrie Underwood in this one! It’s very gentle and a nice mellow, but romantic song. I like it! Lastly, we have “From The Outside” and I really like this one. I think it’s more pop than country, but I am still feeling like it’s the summertime. That’s one thing that’s always constant with the genre itself, you feel like every song is perfect for the end of summer or early fall. At least, that’s how I’ve always sensed throughout the years!

I thought the EP as a whole was really good! For anybody who knows me what I’m about to say is going to shock you, but I wish there was at least one ballad on it. I guess you could count “Somebody Kissed Me At The Bar” as a semi-ballad since it was very soft in parts. I just think her voice needs to be highlighted with a good piano ballad. Maybe if I go through the rest of her music on her profile on Spotify, I can find at least one on there.

Have you heard of Sandra Lynn’s music before? If you’ve listened to this EP, do you have a favorite on it?

snowflake

February Playlist

Untitled

Howdy!

February has been a good musical month for me though. I’ve heard a lot of good songs over the last couple of weeks. They actually appeared towards the end of January, I actually added two of them into last month’s list last minute because I felt as though I needed to share them with you at that moment. Hope you all enjoy this list of songs!

Speak To Me – Amy Lee
You Can’t Rely – Counterfeit
Bastards – Machine Head
The Middle – Zedd featuring Maren Morris & Grey
Sick Boy – The Chainsmokers
All These Years – Camila Cabello
Him & I – G-Eazy featuring Halsey
I Fall Apart – Post Malone
River – Eminem featuring Ed Sheeran
Filthy – Justin Timberlake
Gensis – Ruelle
Geromino – Sheppard
This Is The End – RAIGN
Keep Up – Rachel Platten
Scream It Out – Ellie Goulding
It Won’t Kill Ya – The Chainsmokers featuring Louane

I had fun with a couple of extended plays and I had one album review I did too! I’m hoping to continue to more for March but we’ll just have to see about it. I have decided officially that I will not be discussing G-Eazy’s new album as I had planned. I don’t do a lot of rap music on my blog, so I don’t know how to breakaway from my normal mindset while also paying attention to a person rap very quickly at the same time. The only reason why I did Mike Shinoda’s was because I already knew what I was getting myself into before I even started writing anything down.

If you want to hear the full playlist click here.

Camila by Camila Cabello | Born Again by RAIGN | Post Traumatic by Mike Shinoda

What was your most played song for the month of February?

snowflake

January Playlist

playlist

Howdy!

This entire month has been interesting to say the least! I started out the new year with my first bout of the flu and it pretty much stayed with me for close to two weeks straight. It was mostly just located in my chest area, lots of pressure in my chest, lungs, and head too. To be quite honest with you, it sucked! Since being sick for most of the month, not only is my blogging schedule a little bit messed up at the moment. I actually didn’t listen to a lot of music. I didn’t really feel like it shockingly enough!

The Mountain – Three Days Grace
Born For Greatness – Papa Roach
Don’t Leave – Snakeships
So Alive – Goo Goo Dolls
The Fighter – Keith Urban featuring Carrie Underwood
When You’re Gone – VERITE
Immortalized – Hidden Citizens
Bloodstream – Ed Sheeran
Broken People – Logic featuring Rag’Man Bone
Best Friend – Sofi Tukker

I’d like to review Camila Cambello’s debut album, but I don’t want to force myself to do any other unneeded work. If you’d like to give the first playlist of 2018 a listen, just click here! Hope you all have enjoyed!

snowflake