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Friday, 29 August 2014

August Listens.

Some of my favourite blog posts to read are monthly favourites - beauty bloggers list their favourite products, some talk about things that have made them happy. For me, it's always been about music. I'm a sentimental soul at heart and I can often define periods of my life by what I was listening to. The week I left university, I had just discovered Dan Croll and spent the train journey back to London listening to 'Home' on repeat - it was extremely accurate in conveying everything I was feeling at that crossroads in my life. This special song is on the playlist at work and every time I hear it, even when I'm in the middle of serving a customer, I'm transported back to that nervous train ride home. Music is so beautiful and I feel lost without my headphones - being without them on my daily walk home from work is like losing a limb. As it's nearing the end of August (I can hardly believe it!) and favourites posts start popping up left, right, and centre I thought I'd make my own contribution and reveal what's been on my musical radar this month. Warning: I have a pretty all-encompassing and quirky taste in music. 

1. Taylor Swift, 'Shake It Off'

I have no shame for my love of Taylor Swift. I even saw her perform at the O2 Arena as part of her 'Speak Now' World Tour in 2011. She was incredible - even doing a cover of Jason Mraz's 'I'm Yours' mixed with her classic single, 'Fearless'. As you can imagine, my sixteen year old mind was blown. Since then, Swift has continued to push herself and never seems to take a break. She's one of those stars who's constantly on the go. Personally, her music is going from strength to strength as she experiments more with her sound. I feel as if I've grown up with Taylor Swift and her music really spoke to me as an angst-ridden pre-teen. Her latest material has a feel-good pop vibe which makes for nice, easy listening. Since it was released last week, 'Shake It Off' has received some very mixed reviews. From what I remember, The Guardian wasn't too impressed. But at the same time, this song is about not dwelling on other people's opinion. Swift, quite literally, is shaking off the 'haters' and there's something really admirable about that. Especially with all the bad press she gets about her love life. I haven't stopped listening to this song since it came out - and from the looks of its high UK chart position, it looks like a lot of others love it too. My only critique of this single is the awkward faux-rapping bridge which can make for quite cringe-worthy listening. But you've got to give it to Swift, the girls got guts.

2. Adam Levine, 'Lost Stars'

In my eyes, Adam Levine can do no wrong. He could sing 'Ba ba black sheep' and his rendition would still make this list. Despite writing a fashion admiration post on Keira Knightley's style around the time of 'Begin Again's release, I never got round to seeing it. And after discovering this song on an obscure Spotify playlist, I'm seriously kicking myself. Looks like I'll just have to wait till it makes the DVD rounds. Like with Taylor Swift, I grew up listening to Maroon 5. I'm still too obsessed with Songs About Jane some 12 years later - wow, I did not know it had been that many years. Wow. 'Lost Stars' encapsulates Maroon 5's sweet and sultry melodies that run alongside extremely poetical lyrics. If the movie is as good as this song then I seriously missed out.

3. Florence + The Machine, 'Shake It Out'

This is another great song that started playing on a Spotify playlist just last week - some seriously good finds if you're ever on the hunt for some great listening! Although it's been around for a while, this song passed me by the first time round. I don't even know how that was possible but I first heard the 'Smash' cover and thought it was their original song! Of course it's Florence + The Machine - this song epitomises her unique yet radio-friendly sound. And it's got that feel-good, shake off the haters vibe that Taylor Swift revisited this month. I'm starting to notice a pattern here...

4. Barbra Streisand, 'The Way We Were'

This is my random addition to the list but it had to be included here because I've been listening to it non-stop the past few weeks. Earlier this month I had the urge to watch 'The Way We Were', like I do every so often. Whenever I'm in need of a good heart-wrenching, beautiful love story! This iconic movie  tars big-screen heavy-weights Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford in a passionate yet tumultuous relationship set against the backdrop of 20th-century political unrest. And of course, this movie is not complete without its title song which Barbra Streisand performs herself. It's one of those great movie ballads that gives you goosebumps and stays with you for days. BeyoncĂ©'s cover of this classic is well worth a listen too.

5. Kings of Leon, 'Comeback Story'

I discovered this Kings of Leon gem from the playlist at work. 95% of the songs we have to listen to day-in and day-out drive me up the wall but 'Comeback Story' is a pleasant exception. I sometimes breathe a sigh of relief when it comes on - it breaks up some of the jarring pop nonsense! Kings of Leon have such a unique sound, when I heard the song for the first time I knew it was them within seconds. This is a really bluesy, melodic tune which I love listening to on long journeys or my walk home. What can I say, my favourite tunes help me decompress. This fast became a favourite and is such an underrated gem by the Kings of Leon. I'm surprised it wasn't released as a single in its own right. But a really great listen, nonetheless. If anything, I like having an iPhone filled with secret songs that aren't necessarily mainstream and well known. It makes my playlists seem more personal and tailored to my own preferences.


  1. Brilliant list! Adore a bit of Barbara Streisand for a sing-a-long. Happy Monday lovely!

  2. Who doesn't? The woman is a goddess. Thank you! xx


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