On August 29, I had the experience of a lifetime. I got to go to my first large venue concert at the Budweiser Stage in Toronto, ON and listen to one of my favourite musicians perform live. On one of his later stops on the Search for Everything tour, John Mayer gave a beautiful performance. What I enjoyed the most was that he focused mostly on his ability to play the guitar more than the vocals. I became more mesmerized with every guitar solo I heard him play. I got to hear some of my old favourites like Daughters, Waiting on a World to change and Gravity, but I was also exposed to a couple of new songs I enjoyed such as: Never on the day you leave, and Emoji of a Wave. I hope that you’ll give some of my videos a listen And I hope that whether you like him or not, John’s music can resonate with you in some way.
I found this playlist on Spotify called “Rock Ballads” and I heard this song start playing. The funny thing about this is that all these memories from my childhood and sitting in the car with my mom came back. The memories of the few sleepover’s I had as a child came back as well as my nighttime tunes. I have not heard this song in years but it was just so incredible to see how much of our memories can be revived through just hearing a song we loved from before. I did not know the bands name or even the actual name of this song (despite its repetition in the song) until last week, and now I cannot stop listening to this.
With Arms Wide Open is a song by the former post-grunge band Creed. Not only is this song a beautiful rock ballad, but the vocals of the lead singer are so raspy and haunting that you’re kind of engulfed with this song in a strange way. Its like a haunting yet hopeful tale but it also sounds like forgiveness, which is heartwarming in the same stroke. I really do enjoy this song and I hope that you will love the ballad as well.
I think that I should do a month of Hozier. A month where I just sit back and dissect his lyrics because they are so wonderfully deep and full of knowledge.
Sedated is a song from his eponym album, which is about the toxic elements of our relationships which we choose to subconsiously ignore. Ultimately, Hozier is attempting to say through his lyrics that we stay prisioners to the things that we like even though they may not be the best thing for us, however, we choose to the see the good even in the bad and that essentially makes it more enticing.
The reason I chose to blog about this song is primarily due to this line, “Anyway to distract and sedate. Adding shadows to the walls of the cave”. This line is a allegory about Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. Plato believed that people would believe what they saw and precive it to be true if it looked real to them, however, without further perceptual experience and physical analysis, people would not be able to fully understand the things that we preceive. Hozier is essentially alluding to the fact that love may be something that we see the good and great in, but if we fail to look at the individual source of a relationship, we will fail to see the truth and understand why we feel the emotions that we do; we will not see it clearly.
While this is a great song, it also has a lot of information woven into its lyrics. What I enjoy about listening to Hozier’s music is the additional knowledge that is provided from his lyrics. Not only are they sung by a beautiful voice, but the lyrics are of such a good quality that theres nothing that you can do besides listen and analyze his words.
*Cool tip. Speed the song up to 1.25 in settings. Kinda cool. Sounds good. I prefer it the way it is but its cool to hear it in a different way*
Lately, I’ve gone back to my love for folk-rock music and I find myself moving away from the mainstream hits of today. As I mentioned before, I have fallen in love with the beautiful sound of the voice of Hozier and Sam Smith over the past year and I found myself seeking music with a similar sound. One day, I stumbled upon James Bay. Now this wasn’t the first James Bay song I heard, nor is it my number 1 favourite by him (its my #2 favourite), this song just has so much quality and potential to it as a musical piece that I decided it was worth a blog post.
Hold Back the River is a song by James Bay from his debut album, Chaos and the Calm (which I recommend buying. Its rare that an album has not one song I dislike). Hold Back the River is unique in its musical arrangement as the beginning of the song is a simple guitar and single voice arrangement. After the first course, a few more instruments are incorporated with a gradual rise in voice and vocal accompaniment. By the “Lonely water” verse, Bay shows off his full vocal chops and even has a choral accompaniment with a full band appearance. Its unique to see a song that just changes in stages over the span of a simple 4 minutes. The lyrics are just as beautiful as the vocals which makes this song an even better listen. I hope that you enjoy this song as much as you enjoy his other songs. My dream is to see him in concert one day. I’ll make sure to blog about it if it ever happens.
Take Me to Church is a song made popular by Hozier, an indie rock singer. This is one of the most artistic pieces of music I have heard in a long time. It is a beautifully dark and the music video compliments it very well. The song brings to light how religion has shaped our belief system to the point that people feel like they are not “normal” if they do not fall in line to the expectations. The music video depicts a homosexual couple who have to hide their relationship due to the religious beliefs of their community. However, they are suspected of being together and one is murdered by a group of masked men at the end of the video. This video does show an extreme depiction of how homophobia can be a detrimental belief, yet I feel that it was shown in a very realistic way.
I’m surprised that I have not heard this song before because it truly is great lyrically and vocally. There is a powerful presence to it and a sense of strong preaching that is not heard in a lot of today’s music. It truly is a great piece of music. Really analyze the lyrics along with the video when you listen to this to absorb the songs full effect.
Notable lyrics: “Every Sunday’s getting more bleak, A fresh poison each week, ‘We were born sick’, you heard them say it”
This line references to how religion has taught us that we are sinful and we need to consistently worship in order to become more pure people. From the Sunday worship reference we can infer that Hozier is discussing the Christian religion as this is the common day for Church. This song has a lot of allegorical references and allusions in the lyrics, which bring more of an understanding to songs title and video.
I never really understood the meaning of this song, all I knew was that I really liked it. Here are both the original Velvet Underground version and the Nirvana cover version. Vote on which one you prefer!
“I don’t want the world to see me, Cause I don’t think that they’d understand”.
We hide what we don’t want the world to see and try to only show what we want people to see. Even though we try to hide the less nice parts of ourselves, there is always that one person that can see through it all and they become the person that you show yourself to. They understand you, and they become the piece that holds you together.Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls describes the feeling of having that one special person around you that you can share your world of emotions with. The lyrics of this song are just absolutely stunning. The instrumental portion of the song was well done and made the song an even more beautiful piece of music.