Review: “Close To Home” by Joe Dolman

Featured Image via Joe Dolman

Joe Dolman, a 21 year old singer/songwriter from Leamington Spa, just released his new single “Close To Home.” I’ve heard about this song for a very long time now, but wasn’t sure what to expect from it. It was far from anything I could have imagined.

I could use any number of words to try to describe this song. Heartbreaking, poignant, tearjerker. Just plain sad. But the fact is that no words can come close enough to really describing the emotions this song evokes. Joe tells the heart-wrenching story of someone suffering from dementia. His soulful voice delivers the moving lyrics with incredible passion, pairing perfectly with the soft acoustic track.

No matter how many times I listen to “Close To Home,” I always tear up. Even if I manage to make it through most of the track, the last line gets me every single time. Joe has painted a tragically beautiful picture of living with dementia. It’s a song that sheds light on a serious subject that very few artists would choose to focus on. This isn’t just a run-of-the-mill pop song engineered for radio play. It’s serious. It’s real. It’s life.

In short, “Close To Home” is a very powerful track crammed full of emotions. Grab a box of tissues before you take a listen. You’ll need them.

Check out the video for “Close To Home” below. It features people sharing their stories of how dementia has affected their lives.

You can also listen on Spotify here.

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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:

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!

Danielle’s Top 20 Tracks of 2017

PIcking only 20 of of my favourite tracks of the year was never going to be an easy feat but I was hopeful that my ‘top tracks of 2017’ playlist on Spotify was going to help me sort the TUUUUNEs from the ‘This is my jam’s. Sadly this was not the case because most of the songs on the list were actually released last year or even the year before.

Well anyway here’s the list and for your listening pleasure there’s a Spotify playlist too.

20. Kicks – Barns Courtney

19. When Did It All Go So Wrong – SUGARTHIEF

18. Man Behind The Sun – Callum Beattie

17. Blank Dice – Flawes

16. Champion – Barns Courtney

15. Umbrella- Natalie Holmes

14. Higher – Outlya

13. Wires – Kovic

12. Feel It Again – Hudson Taylor

11. Fickle Game – Amber Run

10. Friends- Marsicans

9. The Kids Don’t Want To Come Home – Declan McKenna

8. Do It – Rae Morris

7. My Side –Tom Speight

6. Long Road – Jake Isaac

5. Heart Starts Beating – Coasts

4. Reborn – Rae Morris

3. Gave You All – HAUS

2. Tokyo – Dan Croll

1. Take Me Back Home – Coasts

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! 

Danielle’s Top 5 Albums of 2017

What Do You Think About The Car? – Declan McKenna

At the age of 15, Declan McKenna was the youngest solo artist to perform at Glastonbury winning the Emerging Talent Competition in 2015. His debut album ‘What Do You Think About The Car’ has  a certain maturity to the lyrics and topics that it explores for such a young singer and did I mention that they are ridiculously catchy.

Top five tracks:

The Kids Don’t Want To Come Home
Paracetamol
Humongous
Brazil
Why Do You Feel So Down

Attractions Of Youth – Barns Courtney

Barns Courtney has certainly come a long way since I saw him at a very intimate gig at the Oporto last February. Putting Barns Courtney in a single music genre is a virtually impossible task and ‘Attractions of Youth’ just goes to show what a diverse musician he is. From rock to folk(ish) and then rap this album is a treat for your ears.

Top 5 tracks:

Glitter and Gold
Fire
Hobo Rocket
Little Boy
Kicks

Emerging Adulthood – Dan Croll

Dan Croll’s second album has been a long time coming and I can assure that it was certainly worth the wait. ‘Emerging Adulthood’ cwas released in July and with catchy hits like ‘Bad Boy’ and ‘Tokyo’ was a definite favourite for my summer playlist.

Top five tracks:
Tokyo
January
One Of Us
Bad Boy
Educate

 

Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect – Sundara Karma

On twelfth night the three wise men came to a stable in Bethlehem bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh and on the 6th January 2017 Sundara Karma gifted the world with their debut album ‘Youth is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect.’

This album has become such a ‘go to’ soundtrack for me that I often forget that it was actually released this year!

With highs…..and more highs, because there literally aren’t any lows when it comes to the infectious sound of Sundara Karma, this record is all I need for dancing round my room.

P.S introducing Mandy to SK’s music remains, to this day, my greatest achievement in life.

Top 5 tracks:

She Said
Flame
A Young Understanding
Watching From Great Heights
Lose The Feeling

This Life, Vol. 1 – Coasts

Who are we kidding, of course Coasts were going to be on my list of Top 5 Albums and taking the top spot too!

Coasts second album ‘This Life, Vol. 1’ has a certain maturity to it, exploring themes that have often challenged the band. All of this is done whilst maintaining a distinct Coastsness and includes some absolute belters.

Top 5 tracks:
Take Me Back Home
Heart Starts Beating
Chase The Night
Make It Out Alive
White Noise
(I wanted to put all ten tacks on my ‘top’ list but Mandy said that I had to choose five)