Archive for the ‘album reviews’ Category:

Album Review: The Balcony – Catfish and the Bottlemen


The Balcony by Catfish and the Bottlemen

I’ve been a fan of the Welsh rock band Catfish and the Bottlemen for about a year now, and this band continues to blow me out of the water, and their debut album was no different.

The album opens with a favorite of mine, ‘Homesick’, which starts the album off to the sound of Catfish and the Bottlemen: drums, guitar, and quick escalations into some passionate singing from lead singer Van.

I got mislead, mistook, discard
anything that I said

‘Hourglass’, the sixth track off the album is a quiet ballad that shows off the acoustic abilities of the band. It’s an emotional song that you can’t help but adore for its tenderness. Right in the middle of the album, it breaks up the louder, more rock-type songs.

‘Business’ follows ‘Hourglass’ and is my second favorite off the album. It’s such a singable song (despite the fact that you don’t know the lyrics half the time because of Van’s thick accent), and I love listening to this one while driving. Steering wheel drumming anyone?

I wanna make you my business
I wanna tolerate drunk you honey
I wanna make it my problem

Rounding out the album is ‘Tyrants’ which may start out soft, but quickly reaches the same high point as the rest of the album. This is my #1 song from the album, because of the musicality. I love the sound of this song in comparison to the rest of the album, as well as the lyrics. “But your divine ribs would help break mine/We hit the ground so let’s hit the ground”

One of my favorite albums by one of my favorite artists. Catfish and the Bottlemen are touring the US right now, so get your tickets!

1-Mar – Lansing, MI – Mac’s Bar
3-Mar – Toronto, ON – The Garrison
4-Mar – Montreal, QC – Divan Orange
5-Mar – Boston, MA – Great Scott
6-Mar – Philadelphia, PA – MilkBoy
7-Mar – Buffalo, NY – Studio at Waiting Room
9-Mar – New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom
11-Mar – Washington, DC – DC9
12-Mar – Richmond, VA – The Camel
14-Mar – Nashville, TN – The High Watt
15-Mar – Atlanta, GA – Vinyl


Album Review: Hope is Just a State of Mind – Little Comets


Hope is Just a State of Mind – Little Comets

English band Little Comets are back with their third studio album, Hope is Just a State of Mind, which showcases their trademark “kitchen sink indie” style in the best light. With an impressive resumé of five EPs and now three albums, the Newcastle-based trio have established themselves as a band to be reckoned with.

Little Comets has always stood out as Britain’s answer to Vampire Weekend, drawing comparisons thanks to the similar style of vocals, guitar riffs and drum lines that run throughout their songs. Lyrically though, Little Comets win and songs like “The Gift of Sound” from their new album prove why. “Words that fall from stature / Do not enrapture / Chin feels like a chisel / Lost its fizzle / So hold me like a stranger / Absolve my danger / It’s the similarities / That bring me down.” The poetry in that opening verse is absolutely incredible, and the rest of the songs on the album are equally as well versed.

“Lyrically, I suppose the song is just about using language to engage on issues that are important to you,” the band said on their blog about the song “The Gift of Sound.” “…being inspired by the dearth of passion and truth in general politics or society to change things for the better. Just to keep on plugging away.”

A personal favorite off the new album is the titular track from their last EP “Little Italy,” as will be the case among many fans. Packed full of crescendos and unique vocal lines that makes it impossible not to sing along (even if you have no idea what is being sung). “Salt,” the seventh song on Hope is Just a State of Mind is one of the more original sounding tracks. It’s practically indescribable – the song takes you on a journey through different genres, and by the end of the song, you’re head bobbing along with the drums.

“The Blur, The Line & The Thickest of Onions” closes out the album, and as the most uniquely-titled song, it’s one of the best. Featuring dark undertones and beautiful lyrics, this song finishes Hope is Just a State of Mind on a touching note.

This review was originally featured on EUPHORIA. magazine‘s website, as I write for the magazine. You can find more of my work for them here.


Album Review: 1989 – Taylor Swift

1989 by Taylor Swift

1989 is Taylor Swift’s fourth studio album, and is her full departure from country into pop. It’s an album that you blast in your car on full volume, sing along to with your friends, and treasure. I first heard Taylor Swift when I was in elementary school, when she was still new on the music scene with “Teardrops on My Guitar”, and I loved it. This album though, I think, shows her growth as not only a musician but also as a person – she has grown from her debut album Taylor Swift at the age of sixteen, to 1989 at age 24. And I for one, love the way she has transformed.

The album opens with “Welcome To New York”, a peppy song that is honestly an incredible song to start an album with. It’s admittedly my least favorite song on the album (actually the only one I don’t like). “Blank Space” follows “Welcome to New York”, and is the story of a girl and her romances – it’s fantastic. Swift’s vocals shine on this track, and I love the simple drum beat throughout the song. The over-the-top but awesome music video came out last week:


“Style” comes next, and this is probably one of my favorites from the album. It’s one I love to play loud and sing along with, channeling my inner Taylor Swift. “Out Of The Woods” is fourth and is the song that engaged me in this album. Released as the first promotional single, “Out Of The Woods” is produced (and co-written) by Jack Antonoff (lead guitarist in Fun. and now in his own solo project, Bleachers), whose vocals are also featured on the track as backing to Swift. Antonoff also co-wrote “I Wish You Would” and “You Are In Love”. “Shake It Off”, track six, is probably the most popular from the album, because the music drew national attention and was the first single. It’s not one of my favorites on the album, but I can’t help but enjoy it.


The second half of the album is incredible. “Bad Blood”, “Wildest Dreams” and “I Know Places” are my favorites, with driving beats and catchy lyrics. “Clean” rounds out the album with a slower song, reminding me a little of some of the songs off Red and Fearless.

Some people have been criticizing Swift because of her full departure from country, but honestly, I’m a fan. She’s become a popstar who can make incredible albums while also having a life. This album also had a deeper connection with fans (the 1989 Sessions – check out Swift’s instagram) and most “Swifties” adore this album. For the fans that have grown with Swift, this album defines their teenage and young adult lives. It’s thunderous applause for Swift from me for 1989.

(Also, if you haven’t seen Swift’s tumblr, you’re seriously missing out.)



Album Review: Freak EP – Olivver the Kid

Freak – EP by Olivver the Kid

I’ve been following Bryan Sammis since his departure from The Neighbourhood last year, as he has established himself as first “Olivver” and now “Olivver the Kid”. His music is quite different from The Neighbourhood’s, focusing on synths and loops rather than the rock style of The Neighbourhood, but I’m a huge fan of his work.

His debut EP Freak leads off with the title track, “Freak”, which is probably the song I would expect on the radio over the rest of the songs off the EP. Sammis’s vocals are are softer in this song, taking almost a backseat to the loop that trails through the entire song. The music for “Freak” debut recently, and you can watch that below.

“Lucy (Hurt People Hurt People)” is one of my favorite songs on the EP, and started as a single only available on Soundcloud. I love the sound of this song, as well as the mantra of it. “D.T.R.T.” (do the right thing) is a new song, and is one of the quieter songs on the album, with simple lyrics and beat to it I can’t help but like. “Attica ’71” has been a long favorite Olivver the Kid love, and so I don’t even have to explain why I love this song. I just do. “Not Going Home” was, similarly to “Lucy (Hurt People Hurt People)” , only avaliable on Soundcloud for a while, and is possibly my favorite song by Olivver the Kid next to “Attica ’71”.

This EP from Olivver the Kid is incredible. It shows off his immense talent while leaving more to be desired from what I hope to be a full length album at some point in the near future. Go check out Olivver the Kid on Youtube and Soundcloud, and get his debut EP now!

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Album Review: HAERTS – HAERTS


I had only heard of HAERTS before seeing them live at ACL, but after the first song of their set, I knew I loved this band. Their debut album came out just last week on the 27th, and I’ve listened to it on repeat. It’s definitely one of my favorite albums of the year!

HAERTS starts of with “Heart” which sets the tone for the rest album – the 80’s sound and synths, mixed with Nini (the lead singer)’s fantastic vocals. The fourth track on the album is my favorite – “Call My Name” – which is a bit of a sad song. It’s is calmer, with slower drums, and ethereal guitars, but it’s the chorus that just makes me love this song. I could listen to that chorus for hours – it’s so powerful. “I don’t know I ever CALL MY NAME / When I’ll leave, I’ll take away the pain” – I’m just in love with this song. One of my other favorites, “Giving Up”, is incredible as well. One of my favorite parts of the song is the bridge, which almost reminds me of HAIM, with the snapping and the repetition of “I’m giving up, I’m giving”. The album rounds off with “Hope”, a calmer song featuring Nini’s powerful and soulful voice. It’s not my favorite song on the album, but it definitely is a great end to this incredible record.

If you haven’t heard HAERTS before, go do it. Check out their debut album, which was produced by Jean-Phillipe Grobler of St. Lucia (so if you’re a St. Lucia fan, you’ll love this album too!) HAERTS is Nini Fabi (vocals), Ben Gebert (keyboard), Garrett Ienner (guitar) and Derek McWilliams (bass).

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