Mood Monday-Seafret-Oceans

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Mood Monday.

Hold on and don’t let go. This is just doggone beautiful. There is something so amazing about the combination of lovely lyrics and ethereal, alluring music that expresses the crazy beauty of love and the wedges the world and living, place in between.

I wish I could unite the oceans in between all relationships. Hardships, miscommunication, illness, money worries, conflict, power struggles and even loss…..life is so darn messy. I truly believe love conquers all and unflinching patience is an important part. Listen with me, and by doing so, maybe we will somehow narrow the divide.

“I want you

Yea, I want you

and nothing comes close

to the way that I need you

I wish I could feel your skin

and I want you

from somewhere within

Feels like there’s oceans between me and you once again….”

https://soundcloud.com/seafretofficial/oceans-1

 

The guitar strumming start, to the song “Oceans”, is so simple, but then it gradually builds to a complex wave of surround sounds and vocal emotion. Their new EP, with the same name, (out a few days ago) sheds a light on the chemistry that they share in their creative craft of songwriting and belting out love songs that will make you melt. Seafret is a band that you need to put on your “stop what you are doing”, listen zone.

I know, I have.

Seafret is Jack Sedman (vocals)  and Harry Draper (guitar). They are an acoustic duo with powerful original music that speaks volumes. From the north-east of England they chose the name Seafret as a pun on the guitar fret board, but it’s also a local term which applies to the rolling mists that come in off the North Sea during the summer. Both the sons of men who have their names etched  in musical brilliance (Tom Waits and John Martyn), Seafret have begun to make their own unique, gifted mark.

 

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Mood Monday-Ben Howard-Conrad

 

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On this very dank gray day in Atlanta, my mood mimics the outside. I am a little weepy, moody, and generally not at my best today.  It is a day that I can thankfully hideout inside my warm house and gather up my gumption to accomplish all of those little, but important, tasks that need immediate attention.

Even though I have every intention of knocking out my action list, I find my mind wandering all over the place. Daydreaming of better times, happy places, and sunshine warmth on my face. Longing for the days in my life where love surrounded me, family, friends, and even an attentive puppy that hoped for a ball to be thrown every second.

We are all in a little funk with the cold outside, the holidays over, and life moving on. I have important projects coming faster and more furiously than needed. This month is a biggie for me, and for a lot of amazing hardworking people that have been putting their nose to the grindstone on an important fund raiser for a year. I want to help and cross all of my t’s and dot all of my i’s. But today, I dream and emotionally recover from speaking my heart to  a generously kind listening audience. I am getting my grip back together and have a renewed fire in my belly to work my hardest and help create some positive results.

Whew….right now, I think I will just close my eyes and listen…..

This song is the perfect song for this kind of daydreaming, wishing for more, and heart full of love and longing day. Perfectly laid back and dreamy.

 

https://soundcloud.com/joytechi_music/ben-howard-conrad-official-audio

Today, I worry about the word obligation and when I think about it, it makes me shudder…. I want to act from my heart always and not feel indebted to a person, or a cause, or a moment. Conversation happens because you reach out and speak, not because it is a chore or something expected. People should only clap out of genuine joy and appreciation. One should hug because they feel an overwhelming need to connect. Working hard for a cause should come from the depth of a desire to make a difference, not a burden of obligation.

My heart is committed to many things and yet, I question it constantly. I am human.

On a rainy day like today, I worry that I am just not enough.

“Oh climb out
Out enough to see
The curl of the world,

Oh we’re alone
Just like you said
cold cold world….”

The master guitarist and singer songwriter is Ben Howard. This lovely track, “Conrad”  from the recently released album,  I Forget Where We Were, is a dreamy, melancholy song that penetrates my mind, heart, and soul. Yes, we are alone but always hoping to reach out and find the boat that bridges. This beautiful song suggests that there might be a boat that can bridge that fear of not being enough and feeling alone. Do you need a boat? I need a boat sometimes. At least that is my interpretation today, on this very gray day.

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Ben Howard is from England and was heavily influenced by his parents musical collection of Joni Mitchell, Simon and Garfunkel, and Van Morrison. Writing songs at age 11, he started playing guitar because he liked to put words together and make stuff up. He has become an incredible folk-indie treasure to the thoughtful music listener.

His voice lulls me into a trance of peace and tranquility. I will arise from listening with renewed assurance that I will do my best, be my best, and that should be enough. Enough for friends to care, loved ones to love, and heartfelt projects to succeed. With that unending support, I will forget any fear and insecurity that comes my way. Tomorrow will be a new day and I will be re-energized to forge on.

Phoria-Atomic

It is 8:25 on a Thursday evening. When you read this it will be a few days later, but only if all goes well with my WordPress pre-post.

Just moments before this typing, I gobbled up my Lowcountry creole over brown rice with quinoa and a healthy mixed salad. Oh, I can’t forget the added glass or two of a perfectly bold cabernet. Now, I am sitting here relaxed, but I should be worrying about packing for the weekend hike. Tomorrow we are headed to Mt. LeConte in Tennessee. We will embark on a vigorous hike up to a 6,400 foot summit and we will be a rowdy group of 16. Critters look out, cause we will probably be loud and a little obnoxious.

I look forward to finding quiet moments in between the racing, jumping, climbing, storytelling, and laughter. I will look for and seek out those peaceful moments and take in the stunning views. I want to truly embrace this time in the woods. Living in the heart of a big city, I have lots of ear overload. My “quiet place”  is my screened porch, and yet even there, I am interrupted all the time by the sounds of trains, planes, leaf blowers, and occasionally trucks and cars. When I can’t tune those out, my music helps to provide my peaceful moments.

This weekend, we will hike to the top of the mountain, stay in the rustic cabins with very limited electricity, and hike down the next morning. All of the food they provide for dinner and breakfast comes by way of llamas, because there is no other transportation that makes it up that rigorous route.

Yes, you read that right.

The views along the hike are breathtakingly beautiful, and once we reach the top we will actually be there during the full moon. I understand it to be a super moon which was named by astrologer, Richard Nolle, to describe the moon when it is at its perigee or closest point to the earth. I seriously hope the weather cooperates.  I am psyched and excited to be one with nature…..bring it on.

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This song, “Atomic”, came to me this week and I thought about the beauty of this tune that is totally chill and filled with softly sung whispers of lyrics. The band, Phoria, is new to me and definitely music that peaks my interest. Phoria is an alternative band from Brighton, England. They are Seryn Burden (drums), Tim Douglas (bass, synth), Jeb Hardwick (guitar, visuals), Trewin Howard (vocals), and Ed Sanderson (keyboard, vocals). From a classical music background of cello/violin/guitar, they have creatively woven a unique alternative sound. This is a new song from their album, Display,  that released in June. As much as I want to carefully listen to and capture every word in this song, I have found, after listening over and over, that I am struck with a serious fascination of simply the music and its instrumental progression and changes. I find it to be calming, and deeply compelling….something to savor. Savor is the perfect word to describe the trying of a new experience and wanting to capture it, hold it, and keep it. I want to savor this music like my weekend journey to the top of a steep mountain.

Listen to “Atomic”, but better yet, breathe it in and savor it. I believe it to be magical.

Yes, magical.

The Kooks-Around Town

I was in need for a fast track to help me find my inner groove this Friday and yep….I found it.

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What is not to love about The Kooks? I don’t know about you, but I have loved them for a while now. Formed in 2004, they have some impressive songs that have made it to my “keeper” song list. The Kooks are made up of Luke Pritchard (vocals, guitar), Peter Denton (bass), Hugh Harris (guitar), and Alexis Nunez (drums) from London. They have a new album, Listen, that will drop in early September. So far, they have released two great songs “Down” and “Around Town”.

The song I am featuring, “Around Town”,  is a serious departure from their other music. You will hear it, from the get go, with the infusion of an entertaining gospel choir in the background. They apparently worked with pioneer hip hop producer, Inflo, and have designed this sound with inventiveness in mind. According to Luke Pritchard, they were taking notice of other music out there and made an effort to remain fresh with their own music.

Mission accomplished.

“Around Town” will probably stay stuck in your head and you will want to listen again and again. With one powerful vocalist, a popping beat, and a memorable chorus of lyrics that resonates with most, it will surely move it right up there with the top tracks for the summer. Go on, listen, and  I hope you have  “someone to love you when the chips are down.”

Fink-Looking Too Closely

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Better late than never…..Mood Monday is, for this week, just a sweet tune for Tuesday.

Fink is the name for Finn Greenall, an English singer, songwriter, guitarist, DJ, and producer. Rounding out the sound is Guy Whittaker on bass and Tim Thornton on drums. Finn is so very talented and this new song, “Looking Too Closely”, is just a really cool listen as I struggle to sleep this evening. I have had way too much crammed into the past few weeks and it is really nice to have a peaceful, midnight moment with a sweet tune and my loyal dog by my side. There is something so serene about an evening’s quiet and easing up the fast pace of preparing for important gatherings and the enormous pressure of expectations.

I tend to look too closely at life and situations…so this is a gentle reminder. Thank you.

The new album, Hard Believer, is out in July.

 

Saint Raymond-Young Blood/The River

Welcome back sing songy, summer tunes! I have been listening to Saint Raymond off and on all week. The lyrics, the jumping beat, and the fact that this young fellow just turned 19 is amazing to me.

Saint Raymond’s self-penned songs have a perfect combination of lyrical young love, instrumental savvy, and catchy pop appreciation. There is something compelling and happy about the songs, but the lyrics also have a grittier, well thought out meaning. An accomplished guitarist, who caught the attention of bigger acts through his acoustic performances, now has a group of musicians and vocalists behind him that give him a bigger sound that will serve him well.

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Callum Burrows is Saint Raymond. The name came from his grandfather’s surname and a street in Nottingham where he grew up. Because I follow Jake Bugg, Saint Raymond’s name kept popping up as a comparison. Both are young guys with introspective musical souls, but Jake and Callum are really very different in their styles. With a new EP Ghosts out in May, Saint Raymond is indie-pop at it’s finest and this young fellow is going to be big… really big, mark my words. Listen to another tune I fancy at the moment.

What is not to like?

 

 

Temples-NPR First Listen- Sun Structures

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Make way for a beautiful Monday……the waiting is over, and it pleases me to no end!

Temples provides a hazy music perfection with a nice nod to those that paved the way to rock and roll! Often compared to that 60’s sound of The Beatles, they make no apologies and embrace that as being a definitive foundation to their sound and style. But don’t get stuck in that label, people……they are their own sound and it is definitely going to be a top album for 2014. Don’t take my word for it, do yourself a favor and listen on this bland Monday. It will be a sweet, happy escape from the mundane.

Click here.

http://www.npr.org/2014/02/02/267026216/first-listen-temples-sun-structures#playlist

Drive By Night-Gasoline

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New music from a promising band with an indie/pop sound out of Leeds, England. They are Jake Germain, George Germain, Reiss Joshua, and Joe Cox and they definitely grabbed my attention today. Listen for yourself.

“Gasoline” is truly special with it’s toe-tapping beat and the style. The lead vocal is talented with solid lyrics, and so are the other musicians.

This song has surprising shifts in the music that keep it way above the mark, quite interesting, and it even has a hook that is memorable. Just when I thought the song was over, I was happily startled to hear the fun jam at the end.

There is not much information about Drive By Night, but I found their Facebook Page and they are offering a free download of this song on November 18th. So be sure to check them out.