So, I miss reviewing. I miss not doing chart reviews each week but sadly I don’t have time to do them on an Oxford degree. So I have a compromise for you all. I’m going to try and talk about the music that I have been listening to when in the various libraries of Oxford University that its students are often trapped inside (not literally) or simply songs that have been getting stuck in my head. I know I have already done a post similar to this (which you can read about here), but it changes every week so It will be good to keep you all updated. This week’s choice are all either about pumping me up, calming me down, or distracting me from my essay-based stress.
False Alarm by The Weeknd
The Weeknd has been a really hit and miss artist for me, but his new single, False Alarm is incredible. Dark and brooding beat, it tells a story about someone’s hunger for fame and how they should be avoided. This is easily one of the best vocal performances The Weeknd has ever given and the chorus is so propulsive, especially with that scream. This is one of the best tracks he has ever done, and I hope that his is a sign of what is coming on his new album.
Fragments of a Prayer by John Taverner
I love minimalism and film music, so for me, minimal film music is basically pretty amazing already. Fragments of a Prayer is from Alfonso Cuarón’s film Children of Men, one of my all-time favourites. The mezzo-soprano Sarah Connelly provides the vocals and it is hauntingly beautiful. This plays throughout the film as a motif and was interestingly scored to the screenplay and not the finished film. It is an incredible piece of film music that I cannot recommend enough.
The Fisherman by The Gentle Good
I loved The Gentle Good’s last album, Y Bardd Anfarwol, and this new song is the lead-off single for his new album, due late this year. I have a soft spot for folk music of this style, with a few more orchestral leanings and an embrace of other styles of music, both electronic and acoustic. The lyrics to The Fisherman are very evocative and the harmonies work so well with the simple instrumentation, especially with the two-part vocal harmonies. It doesn’t need bombast or theatrics to get the lyrics or the music across; it is a beautifully understated song with some very evocative lyrics. I’m really looking forward to this new album and I highly recommend both Y Bardd Anfarwol and the previous album, Tethered to the Storm.
So, there are this week’s earworms. Give them a listen and see what you think.