Nancy Mulligan – Ed Sheeran – ÷ (2017)
A rather Scottish-sounding piece, Nancy Mulligan from Ed Sheeran’s newly released album ÷ tells the story of Ed’s grandparents, William Sheeran and Nancy Mulligan. The album as a whole draws a lot of inspiration from Ed’s personal life, past, and heritage, and this a lovely homage to his grandparents in the form of a song that also happens to super catchy!
Castle On the Hill – Ed Sheeran – ÷ (2017)
If you haven’t heard this song yet, you’ve probably been living under a rock.
One of the singles released before the album, Castle On the Hill remains one of my favourite tracks. Memorable melody, amazing vocals, that trademark chill-comforting-guitar vibe all come together in this simple song with powerful messages. I connect more with this song than anything else, since I’ve yet to experience things like love and heartbreak, but I can identify very well with nostalgia and the feeling of reminiscing over the past. I wonder how much more meaning this song will hold for me in five, ten, twenty years. Truly well worth a listen.
Eraser – Ed Sheeran – ÷ (2017)
I don’t know about you, but I personally did not know that Ed Sheeran was this good of a rapper until I heard this song. The lyrics obviously come a place very personal to him, and the chorus with the guitar melody is pretty catchy. And in my books, if you’ve got good lyrics and melody, you’ve got a good song. This song didn’t really catch my ear at first, but it’s the kind that grows on you over time- so give a listen, and see how long it takes to become your favourite song!
(PS. He also recorded an extended acoustic version of this song live, and it’s amazing! Here’s the link to that.)
All I Want – Kodaline – In a Perfect World (2017)
If The Lumineers, Seafret, and some random generic chill-alt-pop band had a child, this song would be it. The vocals are soothing and rousing when they need to be, the instrumentals- namely guitar and drums- create a warm, homey sound, and the lyrics are simple, but sweet. Interestingly enough, this song is the soundtrack to a two-part video series. Take a listen, and click the link in the song title above to watch the (cute, if a bit cliche) story unfold.
Mansion – NF ft. Fleurie – Mansion (2015)
Shoutout to my pal Caseng for introducing this song to me!
There’s music that’s pleasant to listen to, and then there’s music for when you’re searching for something non-verbal to channel all that you’re thinking and feeling. For when our own words simply don’t suffice, we turn to lyrics written by other people to reflect what’s inside of ourselves.
Mansion starts off with a chorus with a lonely and dark sound to it, punctuated with piano chords, then comes in with rapping that sounds eerily similar to Eminem but is on a completely different level in terms of lyrics.
A few of my favourite lines:
‘I’m trapped here
God keep saying I’m not locked in
I chose this
I am lost in my own conscience’
‘And I regret the fact that I struggled trying to find who I am
And I lie to myself and say I do the best that I can’
‘Broken legs but I chase perfection’
Find the rest of the lyrics here
Meaningful, genuine, and poetic; this song is match for even the worst of your bad days. No matter if you’re feeling depressed, angry, betrayed, or hopeless, this song will remind you that you’re not alone. It’s simultaneously a reality check, a sincere confession, and a shoulder to cry on. Listen when you’re in the mood to punch a wall. Or just listen to it now, because it’s not one to miss.
Love – Lana Del Rey – 2017
Listening to this song while watching the video felt oddly like an out of body experience, but in a good way. Lana Del Rey is a goddess. Also, whoever played the bass drum line, thank you. That’s some pretty sick bass drum playing in the background.
This song is pretty much a romanticization of what it means to be a teenager. I definitely don’t feel like I can really, deeply relate to much of it, but if life was lived through Polaroid pictures and set with a permanent sepia-vignette filter, this would be it. So if you’re in the mood to put on a flower crown and become the embodiment of a hipster-indie movie soundtrack (which this totally could be), take a listen.
Warning: the chorus is going to get stuck in your head. But you’ll love it.
Pilgrims on a Long Journey – Coeur de Pirate – Child of Light Soundtrack (2014)
What can I say? I’m a sucker for instrumental soundtracks. Mysterious, melancholy, hopeful, wistful, woeful, and calming are some words that come to mind when listening to the following track. A mix of soulful string and piano, this music can’t really be said to evoke a specific mood so much simply an influx of emotion- so feel free to interpret it in whatever way you want to.
If you’re looking for calm instrumental background music to study to, this serves that purpose quite well. And if you just want a contemporary soundtrack piece to tug at your heartstrings, this will also do the trick!
Ultralife – Oh Wonder – 2017
When I saw this in my Youtube recommended, it was an instant click, no second thoughts needed. I’ve featured many of this band’s songs here before. Oh Wonder has yet to put out a song that I don’t like, and this is no exception to that. Ultralife has definitely made a good first impression!
Listen to it as a gateway song for the rest of Oh Wonder’s works- trust me, it’s very hard to not like their sound- or if you’re a longtime fan of theirs and have already replayed this song fifty times, listen again because it’s just that good.