Shake It Out – Florence + The Machine

Florence & the machine is one of my favorite indie rock bands. There’s this grittiness to their sound, the themes are often deep and the music is as much of a highlight as Florence Welch’s super powerful vocals. This lends a unique anthem like quality to their music which I abosultely love and find so very refreshing.  It was hard to pick one song out of their stable and I decided to go with this one.

The contrast between slightly more upbeat chorus with the lighter yet more contemplative tone of the verse makes this stand out for me. Florence’s high energy and powerful high notes speak of attachment to turmoil and carefree abandon at the same time, which makes this very unique. The writing is good too. My favorite line:

“And I’m damned if I do and I’m damned if I don’t.

So here’s to drinks in the dark at the end of my road”

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Bangarang – Skrillex feat. Sirah

Skrillex was the discovery of the year of me back in 2012. Like me, many had found that racy electronic music that not only brought dubstep to the global spotlight but created a whole new sound by mixing so many genres from progressive, to house to many others. It was a refreshing entry to my playlist.

Bangarang is one Sonny Moore’s (Skrillex) most popular tracks till today. Vocals don’t really matter and Sirah’s rap gives that human sound to this otherwise synthetic space. The screechy recurring hook and the wobbly bass make this an overall entertaining track. It’s an intelligent cocktail of sounds and still so much fun to listen to.

Closer – The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey

Maybe I will get sick of this song soon, maybe that’s what happens to anything you hear on loop. But I have to say that the spirit of this song just gets me.

The lyrics are reminiscent of living in the moment and living life to the fullest. The electronic music is catchy with enjoyable beats. Halsey’s powerful dominant vocals capture the essence of the song perfectly while Alan Taggart’s softer vocals provide the perfect balance.

It’s finding the special love that makes us go no matter what life throws at us. It’s also about re-finding it and not letting anything get in the way, to feel such passion for someone.

“We ain’t never getting older”

Let’s. Be. Flawsome. Together.

Right. Now.

 

Image from Spotify

Burn by Ellie Goulding, performed at Global Citizen Festival NY, 2016

Ellie’s unique voice, softer renditions and the twilight painting the Manhattan skyline purple, boy it doesn’t get better than this! I was lucky enough to be at the Global Citizen Festival last Sunday in NYC where Ellie was one of the special appearances and I can still feel the environment that this performance conjured, it’s a whole new feeling to watch music being created live. I particularly liked Burn (5:45 to 10:14) since I have always enjoyed it for its positive lyrics. This version at the festival however took me to an altogether new place. The slower tempo, softer music, backing vocals and the orangey-purple light was just out of this world. This just proves how valuable Ellie is to today’s music and I am looking forward to more quality songs to come out of her stable.

Image taken from Getty

Kun Faya Kun – Berklee Indian Ensemble cover

Kun Faya Kun is an epic song to come out of a Bollywood movie.

It is loaded with spiritual Arabic and Hindi/ Urdu lyrics by Irshad Kamil and the legendary A R Rahman has made sure we get transported to a higher place of serenity with the harmonium notes. This song stands out in the Rockstar movie album for which it was composed as it documents a turning point in the protagonist’s emotional and spiritual journey. I never thought it could get better until I heard this amazing cover by the Berklee Indian Ensemble. They performed it at A R Rahman’s felicitation ceremony where he got the honorary doctorate in Music, two years ago, in Boston.

This cover is incredibly beautiful, honest, reverent of the composer and just stunning.

I really don’t know what more to say. The varied male and female voices give this a stunning new edge and truly bring out the true sound of the parts they sing. The introduction of new instruments, like the Oud solo (5:28 to 6:36) adds a new element of authenticity to the Arabic sound without tempering with the original intent.

Above all, the singers belong to different ethnicities and cultures but appear to be totally consumed by the spiritual power of this song. You can see it on their faces, how deeply engrossed they are and they all seem to get the profoundess of this song. They are also having a great time while creating this beautiful version, they are many but one. This gave me goose bumps all the way. I’ll go out a limb here and say that this is better than the original.

Well done people at Berklee College of Music! You deserve more praise than you can ever get.

Image taken from YouTube

Photograph by Ed Sheeran

Right from the opening guitar to the lyrics, Ed Sheeran’s amazing voice, takes you to a warm fuzzy place. It stirs emotions about love, about time and how we want to hold on to the precious moments in our lives. I had loved this song for a few months until I finally chanced upon its video a year back. My sister in law, who’s a mother of two and lives in Surrey, England was in the kitchen and I randomly played this on my computer. “Oh I love this too!”, she said and I took my laptop to the kitchen and watched the video with her for the first time. We both were in tears by the end of it, she more than me. It was the mother in her of course. To connect to someone through music is a very surreal experience and we had found ours in this Didi. 🙂

The video made me love this song even more than before. Very special. Ed Sheeran, you are one of the most amazing things to happen to music in recent times!

Image taken from tumblr.

Come Undone – Robbie Williams

The paradoxical lyrics and the guitars make it a memorable one. Although this is probably not as popular as RW’s other songs from the same album (Escapology), it does have a place of its own for me. It somehow puts me in ‘let’s just forget everything and chill the eff out’ mode. Here it is.