Valentine’s Day 2018 Playlist

Whether or not you’re actually celebrating Valentine’s Day this year, everyone can appreciate a good love song. Here are a few of our favorites.

Mandy’s Picks:

Danielle’s Picks:

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Song of the Week: Wallow (And Why It Means So Much To Me)

So if you know anything about me at all, you know about my love for Coasts. And you probably know that “Wallow” is my favorite song. You’ve probably even heard me fuss about it not being in their set anymore. Now, “Wallow” is an absolutely incredible song. It has umph. It’s one of the few songs in Coasts’ repertoire that lies more on the rock spectrum. It builds intensity with a fade-in then slaps you in the face when it kicks in full force. Chris Caines belts out the catchy lyrics, backed perfectly by bone-rattling percussion and impeccable guitar riffs. And just as the song comes to a climax, it fades out just as quietly as it came in. Perfection.

“Wallow” really speaks for itself. The first time I ever saw Coasts, nearly three years ago, I had no idea who they were and had never heard their music. Their performance of “Wallow” made me think “Hey, I need to pay attention to this band. They’re something special.” It quickly became my favorite song of theirs. But over time I’ve come to have a deeper connection with it. For my first 14 Coasts shows, they always opened with “Wallow.” The fade-in would begin, and every member but Chris would take the stage and play the buildup. As soon as the song really kicked in, Chris would pop out. The perfect entrance. You see, I’ve come to associate “Wallow” with the feeling of seeing my favorite band take the stage. The chills I would feel as soon as I would hear the opening notes. The sheer joy of seeing each of the members come out on stage to start the show, all of my stress just melting away. Coasts shows are my happy place, and “Wallow” takes me back to that. No matter where I listen to it, just for the briefest moment I’m transported back to my happy place. I get a small taste of that euphoria I feel when seeing them live.

I don’t expect everyone to understand how a song can have such a deep impact on someone. Not everyone has experienced that. But everyone deserves to feel that sensation of pure happiness. Not everyone will get it from music or live shows. But no matter who you are, no matter where it may come from, I hope you find your Coasts. I hope you find your “Wallow.”

Check out “Wallow” below.

Dual Review: You Could Have Been The One

Featured Image via Coasts

Coasts are back with a brand new single, “You Could Have Been The One.” Since they just happen to be not only my favorite band but Danielle’s as well, this calls for another dual review.

Mandy:

The Bristol boys are back at it again with a brand new bop, “You Could Have Been The One.” Fitting in with their name, Coasts have gone with their signature tropical vibe on this track, making it the perfect tune to dance the night away to.

Despite its carefree sound, the lyrics are a bit melancholy. If you have someone in your life that you want to be with, tell them! Otherwise you might find yourself relating to this song a little more than you want to.

After this single, I’m even more anxious to see what Coasts have in store for us with #vol2. Bring it on!

Danielle:

Coasts have done it again with an absolute banger that makes you want to get up and dance. From the party inspired marimba opening notes to the super cute (or is it just me?) vocal effects, “You Could Have Been The One” is oh so very relatable.

Check out the video for “You Could Have Been The One” below!

Mandy’s Top 20 Tracks of 2017

2017 has seen the release of so many incredible songs. It’s extremely difficult to pick the best 20! I decided to give it a shot anyway. Here are my top 20 tracks of 2017:

20. “White Noise Boys” by Airways

19. “Shape Of You” by Ed Sheeran

18. “Separate Ways” by Joe Dolman

17. “The Last Of The Real Ones” by Fall Out Boy

16. “Pay The Man” by Foster The People

15. “Born To Die” by Coasts

14. “One Of Us” by New Politics

13. “Drown” by Kovic

12. “Sight For Sore Eyes” by Knox Hamilton

11. “Something Beautiful” by Joe Dolman

10. “Ropes” by Kovic

9. “Sorry” by Nothing But Thieves

8. “Let Me Love You” by Coasts

7. “Hold Me Tight Or Don’t” by Fall Out Boy

6. “I Think It’s Strange (Acoustic)” by Joe Dolman

5. “Broken Machine” by Nothing But Thieves

4. “Explore” by Sundara Karma

3. “Heart Starts Beating” by Coasts

2. “Amsterdam” by Nothing But Thieves

1. “Happy Family” by Sundara Karma

Check out all of these songs below! 

Mandy’s Top 5 Albums Of 2017

Featured Images via Sundara KarmaNothing But ThievesCoastsKnox Hamilton and Foster The People 

With 2017 coming to a close, I wanted to take a look back at some of the incredible music that has been released this year. It wasn’t easy to pick only five best albums, but here are the ones that stand out from the rest of the pack to me: 

5. Sacred Hearts Club by Foster The People

Foster The People did not disappoint with their third studio album. They dabbled in a lot of new sounds (check out “Loyal Like Sid & Nancy”) that took me by surprise at first, but quickly grew on me. And of course the album comes complete with brilliant lyrical work from the genius that is Mark Foster.

Top 5 Tracks

  • “Pay The Man”
  • “Sit Next To Me”
  • “Lotus Eater”
  • “I Love My Friends”
  • “Static Space Lover”

4. The Heights by Knox Hamilton

Knox Hamilton didn’t disappoint with their debut album. The Heights is track after track of pop-rock goodness. Each track has its own unique sound, from the bright pop of “Rightfully So” to the grungy rock vibes of “Call Me Up.” 

Top 5 Tracks:

  • “Rightfully So”
  • “Sight For Sore Eyes”
  • “Washed Up Together”
  • “The Heights”
  • “Call Me Up”

3. This Life, Vol. 1 by Coasts

The Bristol boys’ second album was anything but a sophomore slump. Coasts explore more complex themes and display a sense of musical maturity throughout this album. From the feel-good “Take Me Back Home” to the heartwrenching “Born To Die,” Coasts deliver an album full of single-worthy tracks.

Top 5 Tracks:

  • “Heart Starts Beating”
  • “Let Me Love You”
  • “Born To Die”
  • “Chase The Night”
  • “White Noise”

2. Broken Machine by Nothing But Thieves

Nothing But Thieves’ sophomore album is nothing short of a masterpiece. The topics that they touch on are so incredibly deep and relatable. It’s hard to find words to describe the feeling of belting out these lyrics along with frontman Conor Mason, but the closest I can come is to say that it’s a cathartic experience. From start to finish, this album is truly a work of art.

Top 5 Tracks:

  • “Amsterdam”
  • “Broken Machine”
  • “Sorry”
  • “Particles”
  • “Live Like Animals”

1. Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect by Sundara Karma

Sundara Karma quickly became one of my favorite bands with their debut album. Their music has so much packed into it. The raw emotion of “Happy Family” that never fails to bring me to tears. The beautiful lyrics of “Loveblood.” The deep meaning paired with the funky beat in “Explore.” Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect has everything you could ever hope for in a debut album and more. This is easily the best debut I’ve ever heard, and certainly the best album of the year.

Top 5 Tracks:

  • “Happy Family”
  • “Flame”
  • “Explore”
  • “She Said”
  • “A Young Understanding”

EP Review: A Light That Blinds

Featured Image via Saint Raymond

Saint Raymond is finally back with a new EP, A Light That Blinds. It was completely worth the wait. 

This EP has such an incredible vibe to it. It kicks off with the infectious “Younger,” a song that anyone who has gotten that bubbly, butterflies-in-your-stomach feeling around a crush (so everyone, no point in denying it) can relate to. It’s a song to blast from a boom box while holding it over your head under said crush’s window. Okay, maybe that’s taking it a bit too far, but seriously, this song is amazing.

Next up is the sultry “Nightcrawling.” There’s a certain intensity in the imagery of this track that gives me chills. “Last Time” is a reminder that simplicity can be beautiful. The layers of vocals and guitars are mesmerizing, especially in the pre-chorus. The last song, “We Are Fire,” is nothing short of anthemic. I can easily imagine it being played in a packed arena with thousands of fans singing along. 

In short, this EP is absolutely stunning. This is undoubtedly Saint Raymond’s best work yet. I am forever grateful for the friend who said “hey, check this guy out,” because it led me to this fantastic EP.

Check out A Light That Blinds below! 

Bonus: Saint Raymond also released an alternative version of “Nightcrawling,” which is just as incredible (if not more so) than the original. Give it a listen below.

Song of the Week: Lifted

Featured Image via New Politics

Sometimes a song comes along that manages to perfectly convey how you feel at that moment. Right now, that song for me is “Lifted” by New Politics

Tensions are rising

How much can I take?

Tensing my muscles, afraid I will break

The damage is done

I’m left with a choice

Live with the pain or live without no voice

I’m lifted

Frontman David Boyd delivers these poignant lyrics with heartfelt emotion. He’s backed by tribal vocals that somehow manage to fit flawlessly in this pop-rock ballad. All in all, this song is nothing short of a tearjerker, and a relatable one at that.

Listen to “Lifted” below.