Wednesday, 30 December 2015

My Favourite Songs of 2015

As two days remain until 2015 ends with what I hope will be a bang (albeit of the safe sort, of course!), I'd like to reflect on the treasures that have been sustained over this long and, undoubtedly, busy year. Those treasures? None other than the songs which have brought musical heaven to my very ears, who have adored and fallen in love with genres and singers whose music I might have previously dismissed because of my adolescent ignorance. Ouch, strong words those might be when describing my typically oh-so-fabulous self, yet admitting to my faults is alright if I've corrected them, isn't it?

Nevertheless, 2015 has represented a year of adventure, mystery and discovery in various aspects of my life which, depending on how I've felt at the time, has either delighted or terrified me. Oh, how can I turn a blind eye to the unforgivable terrors of algebra mayhem or sense-blinding panic induced by countless deadlines for piles of work? Despite my occasional struggles, music has always remained as one of my true friends which, as a teenager who loves nothing more than delving into her fantasies, dreams and imaginary worlds from time to time, has provided the perfect antidote to preserving my sanity for the occasions when I've needed it most!

Thanks to receiving a brilliant Sony Xperia phone for my 16th birthday in February, my undeniable passion for music has been increasingly invigorated because of having access to the Walkman music player, which has instilled a greater sense of respect for music within me as I can now dive into my thrilling musical fantasies beyond my bedroom. Especially as I approach my exams next summer, being able to listen to the likes of Lana Del Rey (whose riveting Freak is literally tattooed on my brain) and Madonna whilst completing coursework or revising 'dull' subjects such as Physics has truly spiced up my learning, which is keeping me motivated until I leap over the final hurdle and wave bye-bye to scientific calculators forever. Although that beloved moment may seem millions of miles away right now, music is definitely the best distraction that I could possibly find!

Besides, I feel that 2015 has marked the year in which I've slowly moved away from relying on the old classics, such as Madonna's timeless Erotica (which might strike some as an eccentric choice because it is rarely discussed with the same awe that is typically applied to the likes of Like a Virgin or Like a Prayer) or Sade's Love Deluxe, to satisfy my musical cravings to embracing present day music, which still captures the essence of love, passion and exhilaration that creates an eternal love affair for the art for the ears.

In particular, I've become obsessed with some dance tracks which, despite being rather different to the ones released around two decades ago, embody the same energy that a song needs to make you get up (which is much harder nowadays when the likes of Netflix are tempting you to watch another episode of Orange is the New Black) and dance. OK, I'm sure that dancing around my bedroom in leopard print pyjamas with one of my four sleep-enchanted cats dozing on my bed justifies why Calvin Harris or David Guetta produce music to transform a lifeless nightclub into the vibrant soul of the night, yet I love feeling so free and happy for a couple of minutes at a time where I don't care about what I look like (obviously as long as the curtains are drawn in!) and I only focus about having a good time.

Even though the relentless hassles of studying, responsibilities and chores might sometimes lead to me to wonder whether adolescence is simply destined to be the most stressful and spottiest stage in my entire life, dancing away my stresses to a dance song's heartbeat reminds me of what little I know about the world; mainly, my responsibilities extend to peeling a bag of brussel sprouts for the Sunday roast each week, which is literally nothing when compared to roles required when one becomes fully responsible for themselves as an independent adult. Still, any sort of responsibility is bound to be intimidating at any age, and teenagers like myself are no exception! At least I have the comfort of being assured that, as soon as I plug in my headphones and lose myself to the rhythm of a song, all of my worries are washed away like one gulping down the fizzy contents of a can of Coca Cola.

Seven paragraphs later, and I've yet to even list my favourite songs of this year! How time flies when one solely focuses on themselves (though, if I bother to remember, this blog is actually supposed to be about me), but never mind. As ever, you can only judge music upon listening to it, so I won't provide a massive commentary on these tracks, though be aware if anyone called Lana crops up on the list. For her, I could arrive in 2017 by simply discussing the beauty in her music videos...

1. How Deep is Your Love - Calvin Harris and Disciples
One of the biggest songs of the year (for once, not actually my personal opinion!), How Deep is Your Love demonstrates the power that the UK has in the dance music industry. Usually, I'm not too keen on modern day dance music because it sounds too 'robotic', yet what truly helped me to love this song was the captivating vocals of Ina Wroldsen, which perfectly captured the carefree joys of summer. Anyway, I'm partly grateful for this track because it certainly kept my morale up whilst exercising in my school's gym during the summer, which made the agony of doing one too many squats a little less painful. Well, thank you Calvin Harris...

2. All Cried Out - Blonde feat. Alex Newell
I only recently found this gem which, despite being quite short in length, provides me with enough time to revise the melody and lyrics like the countless pages in my Biology revision book - yet, without a doubt, this is far more fun! If only I could hit the high notes as well as Alex Newell, but I'll leave it to the pros!

3. Magnets - Disclosure feat. Lorde
Two years since her award-winning debut release Pure Heroine, there is currently no sign as to when Lorde will drop her sophomore studio album, yet this blow was significantly cushioned by Magnets, her duet with the electronic duo (information handily sourced from Wikipedia) Disclosure which is still as catchy as Yellow Flicker Beat, the theme song for the The Hunger Games - Mockingjay Part 1 that I still sing along to over a year on. Fingers crossed that Lorde's next album will feature music similar to Magnets, which suits her brilliantly - along with my house-hungry tastes!

4. Music to Watch Boys To - Lana Del Rey

Certainly her most enigmatic and enchanting music video yet, Music to Watch Boys To is a mini cinematic delight, evoking questions about boys, lust and pink flamingos that only a philosopher could truly pose. Well, I suppose that Lana is a sort of philosopher in her own right because her music is thought-provoking, albeit in a manner that still results in your cooing to I live to love you, and I love to love you, I live to love you boy under your breath in first period Maths. And, without needing to say it (yet I will because I really can't help myself), this music video is a visual masterpiece; combining black and white imagery with shocking technicolour, MTWBT is a beauty for the eyes, whilst its melody is so relaxing that I could probably adopt it as my bedtime lullaby. If only this song was about when I was a baby - my parents possibly would have had more restful nights...

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