Music To My Ears…

As I said in my last blog post, I love music.  I don’t claim to have exceptional taste, but I get so much joy from music, and live music.  So I wanted to share a few of my favourite artists and songs at the moment…

1) Boyce Avenue.  As I shared in my last post, this is my current favourite band.  The 3 piece from Sarasota Florida, are 3 brothers who found popularity due to their inventive covers, which they have received millions of hits on YouTube for.  They also write and record all of their own original music, with their own record label, and are amazing live!!!

www.boyceavenue.com  

Here is one of my favourite original songs of theirs (On My Way) …

Their cover of Whitney Houston ‘I look to you’, and Taylor Swift’s ‘Last Kiss’ are also amongst some of my favourite covers.  Last Kiss was the song that made me really love Alejandro’s voice.  There are so many great covers and originals!

2) The Civil Wars.  I discovered this duo, fairly recently and I just love them.  I love their voices together, I love their charisma and style.  I used to listen to Joy William’s (the female half) CD all the time, which was a Christian album my mum got us, with beautiful songs.  But I love her even more with John Paul White, and think their music is stunning.  Me and Nisha are going to see them in November and I’m really excited!!

Here is one of my favourite of their songs.  Their whole album ‘Barton Hollow’ is amazing!!  Falling…

3) Ben Howard.  Again, quite a newish discovery.  Me, Nisha and Jamie went to see him a while back, and he was brilliant live.  I love his style, and his music is really original.  For someone as young as he is, I think he has so much potential.  His album ‘Every Kingdom’ is amazing!!

Here is a brilliant version of ‘Only Love’ from Radio 1 Live Lounge…

And here is a cover of Carly Rae Jepson ‘Call Me Maybe’ that I LOVE!

4) John Mayer.  I’m not a massive fan of the man himself- but his music is like chocolate and wine combined…yummy!!  I’m listening to his new album ‘Born and Raised’ at the moment and it is great, although I do prefer his older stuff especially ‘Continuum’.

Here is my favourite- ‘Free Fallin’…

5) Taylor Swift.  I know she is not to everyone’s taste, but her music makes me so happy!!  When I saw her live with my mum and sisters it was so much fun.  I love that she writes all her own music, straight from her heart.  I love that it’s the kind of music I will dance around my room too.

‘Dear John’- allegedly about John Mayer has some awesome lyrics!!  “But I took your matches, before fire could catch me, so don’t look now.  I’m shining like fireworks over your sad empty town”  ‘Hell hath no fury…’

6) Ed Sheeran.  I love Ed’s voice, and again the lyrics and musicality of his songs are brilliant.  I’m going to see him in October and really looking forward to it.  I love his whole album, especially ‘Give Me Love’ ‘Wake Me Up’ and ‘Kiss Me’.

Here is one of his beautiful songs, ‘Small Bump’…

7) Tyler Hilton.  Tyler is an actor and musician.  He starred in ‘One Tree Hill’ one of my favourite programmes.  He recently supported Boyce Avenue on their UK tour.  I love his husky voice.  His album ‘Forget the Storm’ is brilliant.

Here is a cover he did of Lana Del Rey ‘Video Games’ which I adore…

8) Jessie J.  Another amazing UK artist and feisty woman.  Again this is dance around your bedroom music.  She has an incredible voice!!

Here is a version of ‘Domino’ she did for Radio 1 live lounge.  Amazing…

9) The Fray.  I just love how chilled out and beautiful a lot of their music is.  I also love that their lyrics are really meaningful. I love ‘Never Say Never’, ‘You Found Me’ and ‘Look After You’.

One of my favourite songs of theirs is ‘Be Still’…

10) Hillsong Church.  I love worship music of any description.  I love singing in Church or at Christian camps of festivals.  I’m really fortunate to be part of a Church that produces really great worship music.  I used to listen to the Hillsong CD’s years ago, and they are so great.  The latest album is full of incredible songs like ‘Cornerstone’ and ‘Beneath the Waters I Will Rise’.  I have posted on here before one of my favourites- ‘The Father’s Heart’.

Here is a video that was taken at one of Church’s Easter Services.  It’s not a “Worship song” but I love it all the same (the quality isn’t amazing).   ‘We All Need Saving’…

Some other artists I also love are-

Adele, Michael Buble, One Direction (happy music), Ron Pope (beautiful singer), Beyonce (her latest album 4 is brilliant- especially ‘I was here’), Jimmy Needham (a brilliant Christian singer songwriter), Benjamin Francis Leftwich (a great acoustic singer), One Republic, Justin Timberlake, Joshua Radin, The Fray and many many more…

Here are some final videos of songs I just love…

Demi Lovato ‘Skyscraper’.  Again I’m not a massive fan of hers, but this song is brilliant…

Bruno Mars ‘Today My Life Begins’…

And finally, my absolute favourite song of the moment.  Stunning music and lyrics by Jonas Myrin…a battle cry song that I have on constant repeat at the moment…

I hope you enjoyed some or all of these.  If you have any suggestions of lovely music, please do share.  I always love discovering new artists.

xoxo

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The Love of Living (And Listening to Boyce Avenue)

I have to say… I LOVE life!!   Now don’t get me wrong, I have bad days, and some very bad days.  But some days I can’t believe how amazing my life is.  Some days I can’t believe how blessed I am.  Not only just to be living and breathing on this incredible planet.  Not just to be living in such a privileged country, and town.  But also because of my incredible family, friends, Church, the job I get the privilege of doing, and all the little things day by day that I cherish.

I have in recent months and years, to be honest, been a bit poorly.  Not the kind of illness that I know some people struggle with.  And most days I thank God that I am well enough.  But I do have days when I find life that little bit harder.   And it’s during those times that I appreciate all the things I have all the more.  I appreciate so much that I can receive free medical care.  I love the fact I have a warm, bright house full of all sorts of comforts.  I love that I have healthy food, incredible housemates, wonderful friends and colleagues, and an amazing family who are only a phone call or train ride away.

During times when I feel low or poorly, and on good days too, one thing that is a real source of comfort to me is music.

Growing up, I hardly ever heard music.  We didn’t have a cd or tape player.  Occasionally I would hear things at friends houses or school.  But unlike most kids today, I didn’t have an ipod (or even a walkman).

Later, in my early teens, I would lock myself in my room, and when the world around me was one reality; and saying one thing, music could speak a whole different reality to me…straight into my soul.   Until my late teens I never really explored music in all it’s glory.  But when I did… a love affair began.

Now, I don’t in any way profess to be a music connoisseur; and my taste to some people may be awful.  But I find music so emotive, so uplifting, and such a blessing.  Worship music in particular can see me transcend in a way little else can.  Again, in my late teens I was so blessed to be able to listen to music such as the Hillsong or Soul Survivor CD’s.  My mum would get me worship CD’s and I soaked them up.  Now I can’t believe that I get to be part of Hillsong Church, and experience amazing times of worship every week.

My love for live music began in Church.  It then spread to the little gigs and times of worship at summer camps and Spring Harvest.  In August 2006 I got to go and see Switchfoot (my 1st real musical love) at the Shepherd’s bush Empire.  It was my first ever gig, and a new kind of love began!  I couldn’t believe the power and presence of music in that kind of setting.  It was electric.  In March 2007 I went with my friends for my birthday to see Einadui- a classical piano player (mum would be proud).  Again it was a completely new experience for me.  When he played along with a string quartet and we sat in the balcony, I honestly thought I could be in heaven.

My gigging days took a slight sabbatical until 2011.  I then went to the Xfactor tour (don’t judge) and to see Taylor Swift with my mum and sisters; both at the M.E.N Arena.  Both so much fun!!!

Now living in Surrey, being so close to London, and having some wonderful gig loving friends, I have been able to go to so many more.  In the past year or so, I have seen Benjamin Francis Leftwich (a great acoustic singer), Ben Howard (a brillaint musician!), and I went to see One Direction (again no judgement) who were supported by my favourite band- Boyce Avenue.

That gig was really special for me.  Partly because I had missed a Boyce Avenue gig in the November because I was really poorly, that I had been really looking forward to.  So the fact that they were supporting One Direction, whose music makes me super happy, was really exciting.  It was also really exciting because after the gig, me and Nisha bumped into Boyce Avenue and got to say hello!  I honestly felt like I was being treated to make up for the fact I had missed the previous gig, I was really upset to miss.

On the 21st June 2012, I got to go and see the wonderful Boyce Avenue again.  This time at their headline gig at the Hammersmith Apollo to 5000 people!!  In the days building up I could not have been more excited.  And if you know me at all, are my facebook friend, or follow me on twitter, you probably never want to hear about them again.  But I really love their music, and both the cover songs that they do (some of which have had millions of hits on youtube) and their original music especially – I just LOVE!!  They are a really genuine humble band, who make brilliant music, all themselves and all for the love if music.

http://www.youtube.com/user/boyceavenue?feature=results_main

 

We finished work early, and me and my lovely friend Nisha went on the tube to the Apollo.  I was so super excited I could have burst.  And even whilst we queued I was so excited.    ” Beautiful people of LONDON it’s almost go time! Let’s make the Hammersmith Apollo erupt tnite”- @boyceavenue   Here is a picture of me with my ticket…

 

Whilst we queued we got our VIP lanyards (super cool I know!)  Once inside we went up to the bar to wait again for a bit.  Whilst we were waiting we could hear Tyler Hilton (one of the support acts) doing his sound check which was really cool!!   It was so fun hanging out with Nisha and I was so excited.  As part of our package we got to meet the band before the gig, which was so great.  We were ushered into this little side room, which was a bit surreal.  The band signed our lanyards and we chatted a bit about their gigs.  I even got a soggy flower given to me  😉  We took a picture with them, and got given a signed poster.  Again, it may sound silly, but I felt really blessed.  It’s not every day you get do do things like that…

 

 

We were able to go straight into the venue.  We grabbed a drink then went straight to the front row!!!  It was amazing to be that close.  And before long the place was packed out.

The first support act Alex Goot was great.  Really adorable..  The second support act I was really excited about too!  Tyler Hilton is a musician but also an actor from  my favorite program ‘One Tree Hill’.   I’d been listening to his music loads before hand and really loved it!!   He has a really husky voice.  He did a brilliant set including a great cover of a Coldplay song.  He also took a little video of the crowd and added it to the music video he made earlier.  Here it is…

 

And here is a little video I took of his performance…

 

 

After a short break, Boyce Avenue came on!!  I was so happy!!

 

 

 

Here is one of the little videos I took…

 

They did all my favourite songs.  Some brilliant covers, and all their amazing new music including ‘On My Way’, ‘Broken Angel’ and ‘Dare to Believe’ which my favourites.

 

‘On My Way’…

 

 

Here is the music video for ‘Dare to Believe’.  Whilst you’re there check out all their amazing covers and original music!!

 

 

 

 

Boyce Avenue took this picture of the crowd during their set!

 

 

I couldn’t believe how close we were and what an awesome gig it was!!  They are amazing musicians.  We had such a great time. We got a cup of tea and headed home.  My ears were ringing and heart pumping for ages!!  🙂

 

 

Boyce Avenue tweeted the next day- “Last night was huge 4 us & dedicated 2 everyone worldwide who has ever supported us. #London #weloveyouall

http://boyceavenue.com/

So blessed to have great days like that in my life, and amazing music that I can share with wonderful friends.  I will blog again soon about some of the other amazing music I am listening to at the moment, including some artists who I am going to see soon.  But for now I will say goodbye.

x0x0