Going Against The Current

hh.jpg

Have you heard of the American pop-rock band Against The Current? They are a music group consisting of 22-year-old lead vocalist Chrissy Costanza, 22-year-old lead guitarist Daniel Gow, 21-year-old drummer Will Ferri and two rhythm guitarists, Jordan Eckes and Roo Buxton. They are based in Poughkeepsie, New York, and have been active since 2011.

Currently, they are on their Europe tour for their first studio album, In Our Bones. Last year on September 8, Against The Current, also abbreviated as ATC, performed at *SCAPE. To my disappointment, I was unable to go as it was a school day and rather close to our school’s End-of-Year examination season. Their next performance will be on April 7 in Cleveland, Ohio.

My favourite ATC songs are Running With The Wild Things and Chasing Ghosts, both from the album In Our Bones. In Running With The Wild Things, Chrissy sings about how the government’s systems manipulate us into thinking that we can only be defined by a grade on a test paper or something just as trivial, when we are much more than that. The lyrics give a fresh perspective on the issue, which is a far cry from the opinions that we have been spoon-fed since day one. Chasing Ghosts is a haunting piece about lost love and false hopes, and Chrissy’s low and regret-choked voice only adds to the heartbreaking tone of the song.

I really love ATC for Chrissy’s brilliant vocals and their beautiful lyrics and it’s a shame that they are relatively unknown to many people. On your way home from school today, perhaps you can stream some of their songs on Spotify or iTunes – they won’t disappoint!

 

References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Against_the_Current_(band)#Band_members

http://www.atcofficial.com/

 

Wei Ting (3 Purity)

The “Old” Hits

The music scene has come so far and transcended the path of time to be what it is today. What we mostly appreciate in this day and age would be the pop songs that get us moving along or tapping our fingers to its heart-thumping beats. Sadly, this has also meant that the classics of the 1900s and 2000s are slowly fading away into the past and many of us have lost our appreciation of these old hits. Many think the old hits are black and white, thus they assume it is boring, but I beg to differ – it might surprise you to know that the oldies actually have a beautiful musical quality unique to their genre, so here are some suggestions that I hope you will try listening to, and hopefully, you will change your perception towards old hits!

The Sounds of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel

pic

Simon and Garfunkel is a duet comprising members Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel. They made their debut of The Sounds of Silence in 1964. It is a soft lilting acoustic song with a very folk-like style. The meaning of this song is definitely not to be overlooked as it was written back in the 60s when many problems in society such as treason were starting to surface. This song is very much like a poem to me with its strong use of metaphors and its carefully selected word choices that encompasses so much meaning, embedded within the lyrics. Overall, it is a very strong reflection of society and the prevalent problems at that point in time. Even though Simon and Garfunkel had not made other major breakthroughs after this, they have already created a masterpiece that is timeless, and even until today, thought-provoking to many. Even until now, it so accurately describes what our society is becoming and how it is really time for us to speak up, even though this silence continues to overpower us.

There are many versions of this song, but I would strongly advise you to just listen to the vocals with just the guitar as the accompaniment, instead of the electrified version which might have overdone the music a little. After all, a simplistic melody with lesser melodic decorations can sometimes bring out a better effect. Although it may sound depressing due to the sad meaning behind the song and tune, I would still strongly recommend you to expose yourself to this music style as it will be sure to trigger you to reflect upon its meaning.

500 Miles by Bobby Bare

pic

500 Miles is another one of the oldest hits dating back to the 1960s, the very first and original version written and performed by Bobby Bare. It was also featured in the 2013 movie Inside Llewyn Davis. It is a country-style music that was popular in the European region back then and this style of music brings about a very strong sense of longing and nostalgia as it depicts a traveler who is very far away from home. In some sense, this music is also very relatable to the journeys we all have to go through and how far we will venture out of home like the traveler in some point in our lives to face challenges on our own. This country music is particularly touching to me as it has this note of optimism that keeps me going whenever I feel tired. Furthermore, it is a song shared by many as it has a simple tune and a repetitive structure, thus it is also considered a folk song, except that compared to The Sounds of Silence, it holds a cheerier note in its tune. However, both tunes are equally meaningful in their own way as they depict different voices of the people at certain points in history, and up until now represent the voices of every person.

Seasons in the Sun by Westlife

pic.jpg

Westlife was the first boy band I listened to ever since I was as young as 6 and I personally feel that it is their debut album, Westlife, that comprises a collection of their best songs. Sadly, they disbanded in 2012 but the songs they have made together never disappeared from my playlist. Among these songs, Seasons in the Sun is my favourite which I have been listening to for 10 years now, and it sure does not get old. Seasons in the Sun speaks very personally to me as it traces a childhood long gone by and the amazing times I had together with my friends and family. The deeper significance in lyrics are further enhanced and brought out with the emotion from the vocals and the tune. Therefore, what truly sets Westlife apart from most boy bands are their vocals and the chemistry the group of five shared. Their harmonisation produces this clean and clear tune that soars with emotion thus their tunes never disappoint. It never fails to soothe and calm me when I am feeling despaired and there is always a note of hope in their music and their voice that causes me to replay the music over and over again. Apart from Seasons in the Sun, another song that is really very representative of their amazing vocals would be their version of You Raise Me Up which will definitely trigger your tears to flow right out!

So put on your earphones and start listening to these amazing tunes now!

References:

http://www.scoutsongs.com/lyrics/five-hundred-miles.html

Other background information from Google

Images:

Google Images

Renee (3U)

Kim Jong Dae

Kim Jongdae is an unheard name in the music industry. Who is Kim Jongdae? More commonly known as Chen, main vocalist of EXO, he is a soulful singer with a powerful voice that shatters hearts and bring tears through simple lyrics. Initially, he was recognised for his variety skills and charming looks but was later discovered to be a singer with immense talent.

Today, EXO’s Chen wishes the public to view him as Kim Jongdae, a singer, not an idol. Below are some of my favourite songs by him:

 

  1. “Breath 呼吸” ft. Zhang Li Yin. This song is definitely a very significant piece in Chen’s journey to becoming Kim Jongdae. It was his first official ballad without his members and without auto-tuning.

pic

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57egtGI1kLY

  1. “Everytime에브리타임 ” ft. Punch. This song is not only Jongdae’s first ever million seller single, it is also the official sound track for the drama, Descendants of the Sun. This song officially marked his spot in the music industry worldwide.

pic

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTc5tuEn6_U

  1. “Beautiful Accident 美好的意外” ft. Suho. This song is Jongdae’s first ever Chinese OST for the movie Beautiful Accident, recorded with fellow EXO member, Suho. There is little significance in his career, but an amazing song that have to be shared.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jpo4sMU8C1Y

The above songs are just some of Kim Jongdae’s best songs, try listening to other tracks featuring only him alone such as “Years” or with his sub-unit EXO-CBX “For You” and you will forget about other singers in no time! Also, do check out “I’m Not Okay”, Jongdae’s first official single under the name of “Kim Jongdae”, which will be released at 12 a.m. KST (11p.m. Singapore time) on the 15th of February. We have much to anticipate from this rising singer who has found his identity in music.

 

Ang Yen Chi (2U)

 

Music Favourites – Car Radio

Twenty One Pilots has been creating incredible one of a kind music that explain their ever growing popularity. With the gargantuan following rolling in, Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun, the duo, realise the potential they have to change lives and make an impact on society. With this in mind, they constructed an album in 2013 called “Vessel”. Tyler removes his mask in this album and shows that, he too, is human. He touches on issues like loneliness, anxiety and depression which are common problems teens in today’s society face. He wants to convey a message to people who are struggling, that being vulnerable is okay and that everything will be okay in the end. When the going gets tough, we keep our masks on – the purpose of this album is to allow us to see past the masks.

The song “Car Radio” is featured in this album. With simple lyrics, the song actually intensifies loneliness and overthinking. The persona in the song has a mind running at a high speed and mostly thinks about the negative aspects of his life. His car radio is his only distraction from all the buzz in his life, listening to music supposedly gives his mind a break to prevent him from going berserk. He then realises that the unstoppable silence will be his downfall because he cannot stop perusing everything. He finds dissatisfaction in the ugly truths of his life and lacks dignity when he learns that he will only succeed with the price of hurting others and himself. Unable to hide behind music anymore, he feels that he should kill himself so that he no longer has to deal with the stress in his life. He is suddenly enlightened that the reason people kill themselves is that they do not understand the purpose of the fight in life and are fearful of facing the unknown future. This sudden enlightenment scares him and makes him want to stop over analysing situations.

The persona realises how to end the pain, which is to have faith that he will be able to succeed and that life will get better, or to kill himself. The obvious option is to think through his problems and not allow them to overwhelm himself. He ends the song with what he started off with which is that he “ponder[s] of something great” and then he continues to “sit in silence” again. But instead of continuing with the lyrics, the song gets hyped up, suggesting that he stopped over thinking. This is the part of the song where you feel most alive, telling us that he found peace with his over analytical thoughts and allowed himself to live a more enjoyable life.

Tyler once said, “I don’t want to be listened to, I want to be heard”. Allow your mask to fall and hear the things of importance being said.

21.png

Giselle Cho

3G

References: https://www.reddit.com/r/twentyonepilots/comments/3gd371/my_explanation_of_car_radio/

Music Favourites

hap.jpg

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, It’s Goose House!

“What is Goose House?” you may be wondering. You may be curious as to why the top part of the picture has Japanese words too. Well fret not, for your questions will be answered.

Goose House is a Japanese music group. They were once named “PlayYou.House” but have changed it to what is now today! Goose House has gone through several changes in their members since they were formed in 2011, but currently they comprise of 7 members: Shuhei, Kei, Migiwa, Manami, Sayaka, Watanabe and Johnny. They play covers of songs of many different genres, from J-pop to E-pop, Anime soundtracks to soulful ballads and the music they produce come from anywhere and everywhere. One of the most popular songs they have created would have to be 光るなら(Hikaru Nara), the opening for the anime Your Lie in April (Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso). Your Lie in April is a widely known and well received anime full of heart and passion. Thus, I find that the song is extremely suitable. Goose House has a YouTube channel with both their original and cover songs: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFDL0NuxUBAvvu1PnIwW2ww (Goose House) and I totally recommend you to check it out!

I love Goose House for their originality and talent. All of them can play various instruments and sing well, especially Kei. When you put all their skills together, you get a bomb of amazement and wonder! How their voices and instruments match so excellently will blow your mind and leave your heart constantly feeling like it’s going to jump out of your chest. One of my all-time favourites would be their cover for the song “Sun” by 星野 源 (Hoshino Gen). The liveliness and joy in the video will never fail to cheer me up when I’m tired or sad. It sneaks into the crevices of my heart and lights it up like fireflies in the dark.

Overall, I’m in awe at the way music can transcend languages. Even though I don’t understand Japanese fully, I can still appreciate the melodies and harmonies I listen to, especially from Goose House. I enjoy listening to their tunes as I can feel their heart and soul in every note and lyric. I suggest that you listen to them as well because you’ll never know if you like it until you try it. Maybe it’ll be the definition of ‘good music’ to you. And good music will forever make me happy, so I hope it will make you happy too?

http://anitay.kinja.com/a-beginners-guide-to-goose-house-1680338479

http://housemate.tumblr.com/post/23431057927/about-housemate

Jaime Ng

2L

 

Music Favourites: One OK Rock

one.jpg

ONE OK ROCK is a Japanese band that originated in Tokyo but has been a big hit in Japan and even America, consisting of members Takahiro Moriuchi, Toru Yamashita, Ryota Kohama, and Tomoya Kanki.

Featuring album 5xxxV.

The seventh full-length album that was released on February 11

The band started recording the album 5xxxV in January 2014 in Los Angeles, US. The album was recorded during their premiere tour in Los Angeles and New York, being their first album recorded abroad, primarily in the US. The album features 13 songs, including  “Mighty Long Fall” that was the theme song of the 2014 sequel film Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno, and  “Heartache” which was used for the third film, Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends. The album was then rereleased as a full english album by the name of 5xxxV : Deluxe after the band signed a contract with warner brothers records. The album debuted #20 on Billboards heartseeker albums. This is a song from album 5xxxV: Heartache

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9v8aNl6Aps

The band has also released many other amazing albums along the way featuring different music styles, intriguing and original songs. An example is their newest album, titled Amibitions. Here is a song from Ambitions : I was King.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0V46khLWnk

 

-Stephanie Guan (4F)

 

Music Favourites

Cause I’m hopeful, yes I am

Hopeful for todayhpe.png

Take this music and use it

Let it take you away

And be hopeful, hopeful

And He’ll make a way

I know it ain’t easy but that’s okay

Just be hopeful

These lyrics may sound familiar to you as they are from the song Hopeful. Bars and Melody first performed the song when they auditioned for the eighth series of Britain’s Got Talent in February 2014. They received judge Simon Cowell’s golden buzzer and went straight through to the live shows.On 7 June, the duo finished in third place during the live final. On 15 June, it was announced that Bars and Melody had signed to Cowell’s record label Synco Music. It was later revealed that they would release their version of “Hope” (retitled “Hopeful”) as their debut single on 27 July.

13-year-old Leondre has told how the lyrics were inspired by a difficult past, which saw him tormented by bullies for two years.“I used to get jumped on by a group of boys who would wait for me, then trip me up and punch and kick me,” he told The Sun.Leondre says he explained his bruises away as being from football, but eventually had to speak out when it got too much to take.“In the end I had to tell someone because I got really depressed. When I told my dad I just broke down in tears and cried and cried.” The lyrics to this song are filled with sadness when we hear how he was bullied, the lyrics also told us how depressed, and hopeless he felt, also asking the bully what he did to get this treatment. So if you are feeling down, I highly suggest you listen this to liften up your spirits. Just be hopeful and don’t give up!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hopeful_(Bars_and_Melody_song)

http://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/britains-talent-bars-melody-rapper-3525610

Ashley Tung

2P

 

 

Music Favourites: World is Mine

wism.png

“What is vocaloid?” I hear you ask. Well, it is a piece of software that is used to model a human singing voice. Before you stop reading this article because you dislike computer generated songs, please hear me out. Vocaloid songs are not that bad, some even sound pretty good! My favourite vocaloid song is ‘World Is Mine’. It is an original vocaloid song by  Supercell, sung by Hatsune Miku.

It is one of the most popular vocaloid songs, with over 20 million views on the popular video sharing site Youtube. This song is about a spoilt girl who considers herself as a princess and that the world revolves around her. However, she falls in love with a boy and resolves to change for the better for him.

Why is ‘World is Mine’ is popular? I find that its popularity is due to the interesting twist in Hatsune Miku’s character when she sings this song. After all, she is often portrayed as a meek and sweet-tempered girl, in contrast to the selfish and fickle girl we hear in this song. This song has a catchy tune, and had me hitting the ‘replay’ button for days upon hearing it. This is also the vocaloid song that got me into vocaloid music in the first place. This is also the vocaloid song that is said to have begun vocaloid music’s popularity!

Overall, this is a catchy and interesting song. Even if you have never heard of any vocaloid music before, why not give this song a go? After all, you will never know if you never try! For those of you who have already heard this song and like it, there is an official sequel to ‘World is Mine’ called ‘I’ll teach you’, which sounds equally nice or better. Here are the music video links in case you are interested:

‘World is Mine’ music video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NY__VTIUsiU

‘I’ll teach you’ music video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Genk26khK_E

 

Rachel Goh

S1P

References:

http://vocaloid.wikia.com/wiki/%E3%83%AF%E3%83%BC%E3%83%AB%E3%83%89%E3%82%A4%E3%82%BA%E3%83%9E%E3%82%A4%E3%83%B3_(World_is_Mine)

http://www.zerochan.net/1034970

Music

lemod.pngI am sure almost everyone has heard of the latest album released by Beyoncé. Lemonade, Beyoncé’s 6th solo album after her previous album, Beyoncé, was released on 23 April 2016. Lemonade is also her second visual album, and was a big hit, debuting at number one on the US Billboard 200. In its first week, 485 000 copies were sold, earning Beyoncé her 6th consecutive number-one album in the whole of America. Though this album which has 13 songs consists of mostly R&B (rhythm and blues), it also has a variety of genres like pop, hip hop, country, and many more.

Some of the songs that are more striking than the others to me are ‘Love Drought’ and ‘Sandcastles’.

‘Love Drought’ is written by Ingrid Burley, Mike Dean and Beyoncé. This song has a slow and sleepy harmonisation, which matches the lyrics of the song. Despite the speculations in the media about the lyrics of the song being inspired by Jay Z’s infidelity, in an interview on June 2016, Beyoncé revealed that that was not true.

‘Sandcastles’ is a song under the genre soul, which combines elements of African-American gospel music, R&B and jazz. It is a ballad with the themes of forgiveness and reconciliation. The lyrics of the song are very meaningful, saying how Beyoncé and Jay’s relationship is vulnerable, just like how a sandcastle is easily washed away by the waves if it is built too close to the shores.

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemonade_(Beyonc%C3%A9_album)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beyonc%C3%A9

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandcastles_(Beyonc%C3%A9_song)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_Drought

Wong Jing Rung

2D

Alex and Sierra

a&S.jpg

Alex and Sierra is an American band consisting of Alex Kinsey and Sierra Deaton, who rose to stardom when they won the third season of The X Factor USA.

Following their success, they announced the making of their debut album, “It’s About Us”, which was released in October 7, 2014. They worked hard with many famous artists, one of which was John Legend, and created an album that is truly unique and different from the rest.

The album opens with their very first single, an indie-pop, Scarecrow. Upbeat and acoustic, it quickly catches your attention and makes you want to hang on till the very last guitar strum. Even then, you’ll probably be humming the song throughout the entire day. According to Alex and Sierra, the song is one of hope and about when someone in a relationship is unable to communicate all their feelings, but the other believes in them and is willing to wait for them.

The album opens you up to a part of their world, and each song tells a story of its own and has its own beauty that makes you can’t stop listening to it, like the emotional rollercoaster of Bumper Cars, the country feel of Almost Home, or the jazzy beats of All For You. The lyrics show that, despite their fame, they have flaws and face problems that normal people do too. The soothing tune of each song, be it country, pop, or indie, on top of their harmonic duets, makes me fall in love with every song instantly, and it relieves my stress and lifts up my mood almost every time.

Whenever I like a song, I tend to listen on repeat again and again, which mostly results in me getting tired of it after some time. Surprisingly, this is yet to happen to any of their songs, and I don’t think it ever will. If you can, go check them out, and I hope you will love them too!

Chen Yu Yang (1T)

Sources: http://www.teenvogue.com/story/alex-and-sierra-scarecrow-release

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alex_%26_Sierra