Music, Opinions

This Week In New Music: Oh Wonder, Coldplay & Vance Joy

Ultralife – Oh Wonder (Album)


The eagerly awaited second album from London pop-duo & couple Josephine Vander Gucht and Anthony West was released last Friday. To be honest with you, I haven’t been listening to it much – nothing’s gripped me. But I was the exact same with their last album, it just grew on me over time. Ultralife is very much the same as their debut, maybe a little bit more upbeat, so long-time fans of the duo will no doubt find plenty to love here.

Kaleidoscope – Coldplay (EP)


For those of you who find yourself saying “I preferred Coldplay’s older stuff” this EP might be just what you were looking for. All I Can Think About Is You, Aliens & Hypnotized have serious Parachutes/X&Y era vibes. Miracles (Something Special) is catchy & the live version of Something Just Like This has massive feel good factor, especially if you were lucky enough to catch them on tour. The EP is a perfect example of a band returning to their roots while embracing the new.

Lay It On Me – Vance Joy (Single)


After three long years, Vance Joy of “Riptide” fame is back! The leading single off Joy’s forthcoming second album has got a gorgeous rousing chorus that has the Australian begging someone to “lay it all on me now.” Perfect for radio play and festival crowds, I can’t wait to see what else Vance Joy has up his sleeve with his new album expected to be released later this year.

Music, Opinions

A kaleidoscope of colours, a head full of dreams

If you’re reading this you probably already know that I am a massive music fan. I look forward to Friday’s for the new releases, all my money is spent on gig tickets and I put aside hours every month to write album reviews despite the fact only one or two people will actually read them. Music has had such a positive impact on my life in so many ways. It’s given me some of my closest friends, it’s helped me stave off panic attacks, get through a workout or ignore drunk old men on public transport.

My iTunes library and monthly Spotify playlists must contain hundreds of artists from a range of genres, and I appreciate them all, but there’s a few artists that are particularly special to me. I guess they came into my life at a good time. Seeing them perform live is as high up on my bucket list as any life goal. Gradually I’ve ticked most of them off; Taylor Swift, Hudson Taylor (multiple times..), The Civil Wars.. last night I got to tick off Coldplay.

For me, and for many, many others, Coldplay are simply one of a kind. There is no other band who have written music suitable for my early morning, commute, workout, pre-drinks, house party & late night playlists. Parachutes is a stunning acoustic album that has aided sleep for me on many occasions, A Rush Of Blood To The Head has done just that as I headbanged around the room unable to hear my brother yelling at me to turn it down next door, X & Y  gave us the iconic ‘Fix You’ while Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends provided that “oh oh oh oh ohhhhh ohhh” that has echoed through stadiums across the world, there was the emotive and euphoric Mylo Xyloto and the heartbreaking Ghost Stories, and finally A Head Full of Dreams which ventured into the club scene.

They’re a divisive band (like any great band is) but more than any other one of my favourite artists, I genuinely feel sorry for those who don’t appreciate Coldplay. Last night they brought the “A Head Full of Dreams” tour to Croke Park, they left having fulfilled dreams some of us never even knew we had.  Dreams of rainbow confetti and sparkling fireworks, kaleidoscopic lighting and multi-coloured balloons, a psychedelic world of sound and colour where every single one of us played a role.

It didn’t matter whether you were on the pitch or high up in the stands like I was, it was a haze of singing and screaming and jumping and crying and turning to your friend with a look that said, “is this really happening?” It was a night for the child inside of all of us, for undiluted happiness and unashamed delight. It was couples holding hands during “Us Against The World” and Chris Martin sprinting down the stage as rainbow ticker tape exploded from all sides, it was a disabled man being crowdsurfed to the stage and 80,000 people singing “Don’t Look Back In Anger” for Manchester, it was “going low” and jumping high and singing “lights will guide you home” in a sea of orange as the sun set.

There’s so many more words to say but all I can think of is thank you.

To Chris, Jonny, Guy and Will – thank you.



Photo credit to @niamh_tierney