Showing posts with label SOTW. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SOTW. Show all posts

Monday, September 17, 2012

Poison & Wine - The Civil Wars

Song: Poison & Wine
Artists: The Civil Wars
Album: Barton Hollow

Tastefully turbulent, there's tension titillating through the throes of this timeless tune.

A heady concoction of a sound, 'tis organic, crisp and flavoursome, simmering with undertones of superfluous passion underlining love and hate, integrating dexterously on the auditory palate. Accentuating the beautifully contrasting vocals with the guitar and the piano, a delicious country-folk vibe is delivered in the relatively plain composition, leaving the limelight free for the emotion-rich vocals.

"Your mouth is poison, your mouth is wine. You think your dreams are the same as mine."

Exquisite lyrics, both simple and passionate reverberate within the auditory canals, unfolding the tale of two, in a relationship. Endearing with a touch of truth, the theme of conflicting relationships revolves around the words, starting off carefully, treading dangerous lines only to let loose in the chorus, where each line feels different although s'posedly meaning the same. The train of clashing and combating melodies eventually reaches a harmonious finale, the gurgling cauldron of a song calmed to a simmer.

Poison & Wine magnifies space and time at its end, leaving everything seemingly still and silent in comparison. A vial of the heady and deadly.

(An album, compiling some of their best tunes, performed live at Eddie's Attic can be downloaded free from the link:

Single Of The Week : Icarus

Song: Icarus
Artist: The Staves featuring Keaton Henson

Ethereal with a touch of mystic revolving around the harmonising voices, a deep sense of longing echoes through the rustic, rich notes of the guitar. Rhythms calm and steady, lightly singing along with the voices exhibiting unique character.

Icarus. The man who flew too close to the sun, to eventually tumble down to his death. Luscious strums serenade the desirous syllables, contrasting with the higher pitches of the vocals that owns a deeper base, building towards a passionate chorus, both lively and mournful like summer's funeral.

"They're only words, don't have to shout to be heard."

The Staves, a trio, sisters who're best expressed as the midpoint between folk and rock pairs well with Henson, a more haunting, melodious one, giving Icarus layers and layers of finely melded sounds, ranging from a lullaby-like air to something startlingly rock-esque(albeit it being a rather faint undertone), allowing different lights to fall on both the Stavely-Taylor sisters and Henson.

And different lights creates a soothing kaleidoscope in colours of the merry, mourning fall, going well with the sombre mood when the mind feasts on nothing but dejected and hopeless dreams.

(Icarus can be downloaded free from the link:

Friday, July 27, 2012

Single Of The Week: Anna Sun

Song: Anna Sun
Artist: Walk The Moon
Album: Anna Sun EP

Walk the Moon reminds me of all the things I adore in indie rock. It's a different kind of energy, psychedelic, topsy-turvy and alive, beating at the outermost spaces of one's soul. It engulfs everything like a vortex, leading you down a dizzying path you'll learn to love.

"Screen falling off the door; door hanging off the hinges. My feet are still sore; my back is on the fringes."

The song starts with a touch of urgency, the speedy tempo feeling recklessly good against one's bare skin as their feet leaves the ground, hair flying around the neck, air-guitaring like the inner-professional.

Anna Sun has a quirky attitude, a groove like no other, channeling hipster passion in a childishly alluring manner. The electronic and rock mingles to produce a touch of crazy, emphasised by the rough-rockish vocals. A brush of slow and tense enters in the midst of everything, throwing one a little off balance, building everything up into a fury of music celebratory. A beautiful climax.

Amazing percussion works, electronic and psychedelic dates the other, exploring what each genre has enough to compliment and contrast oh-so-much. This song's an experience.

"My feet are still sore; my back is on the fringes."

And I'm loving every second of it.

(Anna Sun can be downloaded free from the link

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Single Of The Week : Small Bump

Song: Small Bump
Artist: Ed Sheeran
Album: +

"You're just a small bump unborn, in four months you're brought to life."

Another one of Sheeran's  beautiful song, reminiscing 'The A-Team', though a tad more distinct, with a very conversational-lullaby air to it. Endearing, his smooth-rustic voice opens new perspectives and emotions stirring inside.

Light instrumentals, faint notes of the piano, strums of the guitar with light taps here and there, an acoustic folk vibe hanging in the air as he croons through, playing with a light falsetto, interchanging to deeper countertenor effortlessly as the song moves on.

Small Bump has a deceptively languid vibe masking sentiments throughout, Sheeran being talented with his breezy choice of words, sends Melancholy and Despair waltzing around in one's head. Mellifluous yet soft, the lyrics speak of the demise of a child born before his time, one with his mother's eyes, fingers that should wrap around the father's thumb.

Rarely do we hear of men lamenting the loss of a child, for we presume 'tis always the mother, whom carries through the emotional and physical pain. But it isn't hers exclusively, Sheeran sings to us as he shares the loss, the agony and the misery through music.

"You are my one, and only."

(Small Bump can be downloaded free from the link

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Single Of The Week : Live Your Life

Song: Live Your Life
Artist: Yuna
Album: Yuna

Hints of strings and percussion, her jazzy, deep vocals delivers a sense of comfort in the music, a sense of warmth on a cold day eluding the mind. Good stuff.

"Live if you really want to."

A song about choices, dreaming, hope and living. In a time where identity crisis' seems to plague every other man, this tune sings falling in love while dealing with it. Slow, light beats and an equally light rhythm establishes the base for Yuna's softer croons, giving off a very jazz-blues vibe, tied together with an indie feel.

One of my 'unwinding' song, 'tis perfect for the lazy, slow nights when you'd want nothing more than to enjoy a good book or spend some quality time studying the ceiling. Simple tunes that could leave thoughts unobstructed, none too heavy for the head, Live Your Life possess enough character and charm to make you want to go on listening to it and perhaps move your feet to match the beat, if it strikes your fancy.

(Live Your Life can be downloaded free from the link

Friday, May 11, 2012

Single Of The Week : Catch Your Fall (Strings Mix)

Song: Catch Your Fall (Strings Mix)
Artist: Gavin Mikhail
Album: Like Normal People Do

"To be stronger inside and rise above myself." Different from all the other songs where one often wants someone else to be stronger, 'tis a delectable change, Catch Your Fall.

This's a beautiful song, melodic, smooth as it builds up to a rather soft-rock-esque chorus that's delightful. The violin complements the richness in Mikhail's voice without being too much, giving it a perfect balance between indulgent and unbridled, melding beautifully with the entire enchanting-edgy feel of the song. Strings usually need some pretty strong vocals to back them up, and rest assured that Mikhail's vocals packs more than the punch needed. Hats off to the composer here.

I enjoyed the lyric arrangement, where there's little repetition which adds to variety along with his falsetto interlaced with a rougher belting, counter-balanced by the lustrous, lower tones. The tempo varies, from fast to slow, working well with the lyrics delivering all that there is to say. The lyrics're written in a pretty neutral-ish way, allowing it to be something one could dedicate to anyone that means all that much to them, regardless of age, gender, relationship and all.

Brilliant stuff!

(Gavin Mikhail's an extremely generous guy who's giving one too many(five songs, 1 video) for free instead of making his first(or second) million. The download link to those stuff is

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Single Of The Week: No Way (Acoustic)

Song: No Way (Acoustic)
Artist: Ria Ritchie
Album: -

"The art of deception in my mind; What's done is done." You don't often see lyrics like that these days, d'you?

In a semi-psychedelic-fairy-tale world where everyone's seeking a happy ending, Ritchie's ballsy tune delivers some decent edge to what I'd call a melancholic tune. Her jazzy, powerhouse of a voice gives a new definition to frustration and silent fury. I absolutely love the way she works her mezzo-soprano to hit the lows and falsettos. And 'tis acoustic to boot. Can a song get anymore perfect? (Nope.)

There's decent rhyme and reason in the lyrics, which one'd appreciate for its prose. Ritchie's saucy pick of words gives the song a groove without hittin' and shreddin' the nerves. Her play with the vocals keep the song lively, alternating from a touch of country, to jazz to a dash of acoustic rock, binding it all with a liberal dose of indie. Awesomesauce.

"No great expectation, You can try, But that don't get you none." I came without expectations, nor did I try. But I did get enough to leave me wanting a whole lot more.

(No Way (Acoustic) can be downloaded from the link

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Single Of The Week : Here In My Home

Song: Here In My Home
Artists: Malaysian Artists for Unity
Album: Malaysian Artists for Unity

'Tis a lovely medley, an acoustic ballad by numerous Malaysian artists. Personally, I loved the very acoustic-country way it started off with, and it slowly adds more textures with different elements; vocals, instrumentals and rhythms.

Here In My Home is all about unity and togetherness. 'Twas a lil' bit of everything, different languages, Glee-esque choir, country, folk and rap. A wee messy here and there, but the diversity in the vocals work, in a home-ish mess sort of way. The tune's extremely catchy, with a stable rhythm established from the beginning to the end, though the tune varies as each artist(or all of them) bring in their two cents and million dollars worth of contribution in.

"One love undivided, that's what it's all about." I s'pose coins the song perfectly. I felt the love, in all its cheesy goodness in the song. The bits of Malay, Mandarin and Tamil infused in, which was a lil' odd-esque but 'tis acquired taste. Manglish and Malaysian culture.

"Please won't you fall in one by one, by one with me?" I'm floored.

(Here In My Home can be downloaded free at

Friday, April 13, 2012

Single Of The Week - Permanent Marker Promise

Song: Permanent Marker Promise
Artist: Hayley Reardon
Album: Hope You're Smiling

'Tis a country-esque song, a song of skinny jeans, teenage love, guitars, streetlights and promises. The kind written in permanent markers.

Reardon gives the impression of 'that girl strumming the guitar', singing her meager journey but she has talent, with both the guitar and her vocals. Her arrangements are simple enough to exhibit her well-developed mezzo-soprano and even a lil' falsetto here and there. Any T.Swift fan would be charmed by this young lady,  I'd wager that much.

It's a song about adolescent love. There's no deep words, philosophy-esque phrases, bittersweet experiences and all that complicated-too-big-for-the-world-to-understand stuff in this song. 'Tis just sweet, simple attraction.

"I don't care right now." she croons. I'd second Reardon on this one. You know, just live, breathe and listen. Although you'd want to intercede and explain on how probably some spirit methyl or turpentine might erase that permanent markers, 'tis not at all necessary here.

Just stop caring, really. And listen.

(Permanent Marker Promises can be downloaded from the link

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Single Of The Week - Summer Is Over

Song: Summer Is Over
Artist: Jon McLaughlin feat. Sara Bareilles
Album: Promising Promises

Not everything lasts when the seasons change. Some elements stay forever, while others just wither. 'Tis natural. 

That's what Summer is Over's all about. It doesn't feel like that sad song, where everyone's blaming everyone for a romance too short to begin with. 'Tis a song that brings you to the last crisp, bittersweet days of summer where "Gray skies are blowing a kiss goodbye to the lovers."

Summer is Over shakes you awake with the upbeat rhythm of the piano, the drums, the bass, guitars and the energy. McLaughlin's husky vocals wouldn't seem like the best match for Bareilles' melodious, edgier ones but 'tis a risk taken and a beautiful phenomenon is born. Very much like pairing citrus with chocolate. It works, and an extremely addictive medley, mind you.

"And your eyes were green; And we were to." simply discloses that we change as we age. The lyrics paint the picture of instances where relationships simply unravel and fall apart with time. 'Tis painful, but the most natural kind of pain one could ever experience. The pain of letting go.

But you'll live. Even when Summer is Over.

(Summer is Over can be downloaded free from the link

Monday, April 2, 2012

Single Of The Week: The Incurables

( The 'Single Of The Week' section is for songs that are available on the internet for free, legally, with permission from the respective artists and their recording companies)

Song: The Incurables
Artist: The Arrogants
Album: Nobody's Cool

Light strumming of the guitar, the well-timed beats of the cymbal and the drum as well as the overall effect of the instrumentals gives this song a fresh vibe, while the soft, high(and almost muted) vocals of the lead just emphasizes the lightness of the song.

I wasn't that much of a fan when the song hit its chorus, where the background music all but drowned Jana Heller(the lead)'s voice, leaving one with the feel of an anticlimax, for the moment of theatrics did not match the projection of the Heller's vocals. Even the least bit of energy during those precious seconds would've given a lovely contrast, alas the vocals only went higher instead of louder.  

Nonetheless, the lyrics redeem for the song, for it resembles a sort of modern-esque brash poetry with a hint of finesse'. 

"Cause people like me, we're suckers for it, built to laugh and to love and just believe." and "How can you wake up each day and live without losing your mind," simply brings out a very natural air to The Incurables, emphasising disbelief and agitation, while cleverly masking the pain that seems to the general theme. Brilliant.

(The Incurables can be downloaded from the link

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