29 Jan 2017

#sundayrevival A thousand miles - Vanessa Carlton

A thousand miles - Vanessa Carlton
A couple weeks ago I went to karaoke with some friends, a pretty fun night, and one of the songs we sang all together was of course a teenage classic of ours, 'A thousand miles'. The song has been coming up often ever since, with some of us singing it off the top of our heads from time to time; this happened today too during our hike to the Lion Rock peak, a steep walk up a tall hill which rewarded us with a mystical view of nothingness (we were surrounded by the white of clouds), and of course we also got soaked. It's been a nice and enjoyable experience anyway! The celebrations for the Chinese New Year are going on, but they are past the climax now, so I'm getting ready to start next semester!

28 Jan 2017

Conductor - Florence + the Machine

Conductor - Florence + the Machine
After an almost sleepless night yesterday, last night I finally made it up with about 12 hours of sleep and I woke up in this new year of the rooster (or cock, as one wishes..!) and checking Facebook, I saw a post by a fanclub that left me with Third eye's lyrics in mind. It's been a while since I gave a proper listen to Florence, so I really am not minding this start of day big, blue and beautiful! Hoping she will give me the right energy to start this lunar new year in the best way possible, even if for now the feeling I get is the one of being out of place and far from home when everybody else is celebrating... gotta put myself to study before melancholia gets the best of me!!

25 Jan 2017

Rooting for you (live) - London Grammar

Rooting for you - London Grammar
2017 started with a musical boom, which took me almost a month to post, but finally here I am! London Grammar are about to release a new album in the coming weeks, and they previewed this song recorded live, which I also had the pleasure to listen to at Clockeflap a couple months ago. I still need to get into it completely, but I like the style, which is very London Grammar still, even more minimal if possible, so I'm very curious to listen to the rest of the new materials that are coming!!!
Now I'm getting ready for the next new year, which is gonna be in just a couple of days: Hong Kong and the whole of South East Asia are getting ready for the lunar new year, and so am I!

24 Jan 2017

Rendezvous girl - Santigold

Rendezvous girl - Santigold
Your Hong Kong reporter doesn't have any big news for you, so today I will just be sharing a song that has been among my top favourites of what I've been listening to in this beginning of 2017! I hope you have a good and productive day!

22 Jan 2017

This fine social scene - Zero 7

This fine social scene - Zero 7
Hello my dears, I am back from a 2-day trip to Guangzhou/Canton with friends, first time to Mainland China, super tiring but worth it! After a Sunday of morning rest, afternoon work and dinner out, I am ready to start a new week (am I?)! The year of cock, so let's also get ready for this Chinese New Year!! I'll leave you with a perfect tune for a chill end of the week, with vocals by Sia. Hope you enjoy!

19 Jan 2017

Dream on - Amy MacDonald

Dream on - Amy MacDonald
After a disappointing 2016, 2017 kicked off with a good start already. One of the reasons is Amy, who is coming out with a new album this year. Maybe over the years she failed to remain relevant to the international/European pop/rock scene, especially by failing to keep up with her huge debut 'This is the life', but one thing I really appreciate about her is that she hasn't changed her music recipe much over her first 10 years of career, remaining loyal to her folk-rock classic ballad style. One could say that her songs all sound alike, and I could buy that argument. I wouldn't go as far as saying this is a bad thing though, especially at a time like this when pop has become very much "electronified" and synthesised, with a lot of singers (and songs) sounding exactly like each other because of auto-tuning and heavy production. I am always happy when I realise that artists I like keep on doing what made me like them. Go on like this Amy!

18 Jan 2017

An cat dubh - U2

An cat dubh - U2
Last weekend the HMV branches of Hong Kong offered a bunch of sales on different categories of items, so I went to take a look (and of course bought [useless] things, among which one CD). U2's sophomore effort has been on my to-buy list for a while now and finally is no more. Probably related to that purchase, yesterday I woke up with their debut album on my mind, so I went on and listened to both of them during the day. I must confess that 'Boy' is among my favourite albums of them, most likely in the top 3, if not in the top 1! I always link the beautiful atmosphere of these songs to walking throughout lower Manhattan, as it was probably my soundtrack when I strolled there in 2011 during my second visit to New York. This song in particular always gives me that magical feeling in my guts that you only get when walking around Washington square park and Greenwich village. So I dedicate this post and what is probably my favourite U2 song to the magic of New York!

16 Jan 2017

Your best American girl - Mitski

Your best American girl - Mitski
I got to know Mitski about one year ago and, even if it took me a while to like her, I appreciated her 2014 album 'Bury me at makeout creek', in particular a few songs out of it. Her peculiar style doesn't allow (me) for an easy like-at-first-listen (or second, or third), but if you keep your head down and give her a few chances, you will be rewarded! I recently approached her latest work 'Puberty 2' with, of course, a lot of hurdle. What triggered it for me is, once again, a sent-from-heaven KEXP live. Goodness bless KEXP. Go listen to it now and you won't regret it. Ever.

15 Jan 2017

#sundayrevival Moonlight shadow - Mike Oldfield (feat. Maggie Reilly)

Moonlight shadow - Mike Oldfield
feat. Maggie Reilly
I'm gonna kick off sundayrevival 2017 with an 80s favourite of many of you out there, a song that I suppose most of you will know and many of you would have no problem in singing at a karaoke night, rather...! Even if it's almost 10 years older than I am, I know it quite well too and have known it for quite a long time, even if I only re-discovered it very recently. It's the oldest addition to my first 2017 playlist, so I thought you might wanna go back in time a little too! Enjoy!

12 Jan 2017

Banshee - Santigold

Banshee - Santigold
It took me a while to like the first Santigold album I listened to, that was 'Master of my make-believe', which I approached last year. But after giving it time, it really stuck with me and has been one of the nicest discoveries of a dry 2016. I then moved on to her most recent work '99ç' lately and it's been even slightly tougher to approach, up to the point that I almost got disappointed. Almost. Because I did start falling for it, and I have a very positive feeling about our future relationship! It didn't start with this song, but it's the one that has been sticking with me the most in the past few days, so here it is! COME ON!

9 Jan 2017

Street dancer - Hiromi Iwasaki

Street dancer - Hiromi Iwasaki
Recently YouTube started recommending Japanese music for me, so today I spent my paper-reading time with a peculiar soundtrack of traditional, experimental rock and jazzy Japanese music. The first song that they recommended to me, though, is this one I'm posting tonight, the one that bought me into going on and listening to their advice! I then found out that this jazzy/folk weird genre that generated in Japan well before I was born, is known as Kayōkyoku. You never cease of learning new, interesting things! I'm really curious to see where this 2017 will take me from here!

7 Jan 2017

Go dreaming - Dido

Go dreaming - Dido
I didn't start this 2017 much better than I left off 2016 on the blog, so I will try to make it up at least today! The new year kicked off being social and lazy for me, both things not being beneficial either to my studies or to any other commitments I might have taken, including the blog... so today, mostly out of guilt, I tried to put my down and read some papers, trying to turn things around. It's been going quite ok, also thanks to the fact that my nth sore throat + fever is getting better and so, being forced at home with a relatively clear mind, I took advantage of the good chance I had to work. And to write on the blog too, of course! It's hard to feel these days as winter days, with temperatures outside constantly over 20°C, but I found myself in a winter mood this afternoon and put on some Dido, so I'm going to share with you one of my favourites out of her latest studio album!
Some interesting new music has already been released in these few days of 2017 so stay tuned and be patient, I'll get to share it with you soon!!

2 Jan 2017

#yearinmusic A song or two per day - Best song and album of 2016

2016 has been a pretty good year for me under many points of view, but A song or two per day has not been one of them, and the two things are probably related: I have been having such a good time that I found it hard to find the time and (mental) energies to sit down and write blog entries constantly, which ended up in me posting very rarely. The music point of view is another one in which 2016 lacked with respect to its predecessors, which is maybe another reason why I didn't post as much. These two reasons are also the ones why I procrastinated the posting of my 2016 music summary, as I am pretty much at a loss in finding a best song and best album released this year...

Best song 2016: Line of fire - Junip
Best song: Line of fire - Junip

Given that 2016 has mostly been the outcome of life decisions made in the past years, with a lot of change that took place thanks to triggering moments that had happened in the years before, I am actually quite ok with choosing a song that was actually released 3 years before as my 2016 Best song pick. Junip and José Gonzalez have been hugely meaningful for me in the last couple of years, probably the most influential new music discovery I made lately and 'Line of fire' in particular has been a soundtrack of many big moments of 2016, mostly the ones related to me moving to Hong Kong. "What would you say if you had to leave today? Leave everything behind even though for once, you're shining."

Best album 2016: Shura - Nothing's real
Best album: Shura - Nothing's real

2016 has been quite a disappointment for me mostly because some of my favourite artists released albums that were not nearly up to my expectations or to the level of what they have been releasing before. The biggest one of these disappointments has been PJ Harvey's 'The hope six demolition project': PJ made us wait 5 years for new music, and all the expectations built in this time crushed against an album I personally find weak and pretty much pointless, the only low of her career together with 'White chalk'. On a similar note I can place the new releases by OneRepublic, KT Tunstall and, to a lesser extent, Sia. Their albums have not been all bad and feature some quite awesome songs, but overall lack a consistency that would allow me to classify them as great albums. I have been tempted to pick Sia's 'This is acting' as my favourite album released in 2016, as notwithstanding its not being nearly as good as '1000 forms of fear', it's a quite good album, but in the end I decided to go for something that I discovered towards the end of the year, here in Hong Kong: I found out about Shura thanks to Clockenflap, the music festival I attended in Hong Kong this past November, and I fell in love with her debut album quite quickly. It will not go on to enter my music olympus, but it's a good representation of my life in this past year: new, enjoyable and linked to Hong Kong!

After a hectic, full and great 2016, which has been mostly about consolidation under the music point of view, I hope 2017 will take me back to previously unseen heights with some new, great music! And I also hope I'll be able to post a bit more consistently on the blog (even if I have a hard time believing myself)...!

Happy 2017!