Sophie Zelmani – “Bright Eyes”.

   Hiya guys! 🙂 

   Yesterday we had a song about the fragility of life, and today’s song is also existential-themed, as it talks about death. The original version of this song, as most people will probably know, was recorded by Art Garfunkel In the 70’s, with the lyrics written by Mike Batt. I don’t really have any special feelings for this song as such (not even the fact that Declan Galbraith, one of my faza people, has covered it as well) but Sophie’s version is nice. I’ve introduced Sophie Zelmani to y’all a bit earlier this year, so if you read that post you know how I find her quite special, because even though her music never gives me any thrills or strong emotions or isn’t somehow breathtakingly beautiful, her voice is exceptionally soothing and calming to my brain, and I like her modest gentleness very much, and I like to listen to her when I’m having a migraine. So that’s why I thought she deserves more than just one of her songs being featured on here. 

Celtic Woman – “Wild Mountain Thyme”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I thought I’d share with you a song by the amazing supergroup Celtic Woman, which is an all-female folk band created and led by David Downes. I really like their music, and listened to them particularly much as a teenager when I was still rather new to the world of Celtic and folk music in general. This song comes from their latest album from last year called Postcards From Ireland, and the soloist here is Chloe Agnew, who is I believe one of the more recognisable and liked members of this group of all time, as she has been with Celtic Woman on and off since her teenage years. You can learn more about the song reading my earlier post where I shared a version of it sung by Órla Fallon, who, as it happens, was also part of Celtic Woman in the past. 

Cashmere Factory – “Love Bazaar”.

   Hiya people! 🙂 

   Today I thought I’d share another song from Norway with you all. This time, it’s from an alternative indie group called Cashmere Factory. I don’t really know much about them and haven’t acquainted myself with more of their music so far, but heard that song for the first time last year and I’ve been liking it  a fair bit ever since. 

Emelie Hollow- “Monster”.

   Hey guys! 🙂 

   Today I’d like to share with you quite a cool song from Emelie Hollow’s album Half the Story released last year. Emelie is a fairly popular singer in her native Norway, though for those who are not Norwegian/aren’t especially interested in Norwegian music but are from Europe or listen to European pop she might be known because of her cooperation with Alan Walker and singing the song Lily. Emelie also has roots in New Zealand. She wrote this song together with Eirik Tillerli, also known as Tirelli, who has also produced it. 

 

Susanne Sundfør – “Walls”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I have for you a song from a singer whom I personally find incredibly interesting. I have become more familiar with her music last month (very late when you consider that I’m generally very much into Norwegian music, in particular all things folk, electronic and indie, and that she is very famous in her home country and not unheard of abroad, she seems to have a loyal fan base in the UK as well from what I’ve noticed) and it made a huge impression and stirred up all kinds of feelings for me, to the point that I was seriously wondering if this is going to be my next faza and perhaps she’s actually been a minor one. I suppose if I came across her music earlier, as a goth teenager who was into people like Emilie Autumn, it could have gone further. These feelings were really quite ambivalent though, hence why it took me so long to make up my mind whether I want to feature something from her in my song of the day series. 😀 

   I’ve known for years that there’s a singer called Susanne Sundfør, ever since I started to take an interest in Norwegian music, and knew a couple of her songs thanks to Spotify, like Undercover or Kamikaze, which I didn’t have any stronger feelings for. I don’t really remember now what prompted me to look at her music more closely, but when I did, it had a very strong impact on me from the beginning. Initially, I got an impression that her music and me are a very good match, because, well, she’s done both folk and electronic music, and she knows how to do both well, she also draws from many other genres as a classically trained pianist and someone who, according to what I read about her, is into a lot of different music, so she’s versatile and you guys know I like versatile people, she’s a great songwriter and composer (most musicians I really like tend to be extremely good at one but comparatively mediocre at the other), clearly puts lots of emotion into what she’s doing so that it not only feels authentic but can be properly overwhelming at times, and has great vocal skills and a freakishly versatile voice. Then when I went deeper into her music, I had a sort of similar situation that I had with Fay Wildhagen some four years ago, or more specifically her album Borders, perhaps except for the fact that with Fay Wildhagen I didn’t really like her music at all initially. But every time I heard some song from this album, somehow it always ended up grabbing my attention, so one day I became a bit intrigued and gave that album a thorough listen, and then I realised two things, that it’s actually a lot better than I originally thought, and that at the same time it gives me the sensory creeps, y’know like I often get when some sounds just don’t agree with my brain too well for whatever reason and my system gets flooded with adrenaline when I hear it, and it feels like that auditory stimulus seethes with aggression specifically towards me, even if objectively it doesn’t sound aggressive or creepy at all and other people may just as well perceive it as totally neutral or perhaps even calming. And sometimes I freeze while hearing such a thing and then whenever I’m in silence or am not focused on anything specific and my mind just wanders aimlessly this sound or sequence of sounds or music or whatever scary stuff it is just keeps playing over and over in my brain. It’s a really weird sensation when something creeps me out while at the same time a part of my brain actually likes the sound of it and thinks it’s interesting. It happens to me quite regularly. With Fay Wildhagen though, unlike with Susanne Sundfør, I got over the initial heebiejeebies quite quickly, and once I did, I noticed to my delight that, actually, for whatever reason, I felt in her musical soundscape like a fish in the water and listened to that album over and over again for like half a year till finally I got actually quite bored with it. 

   With Susanne it was a bit more complicated. As soon as I dove deeper into her music, I liked it right away, but I noticed that a lot of her songs turn on my heebiejeebies at the same time. In a way though, it only multiplied the haunting effect that her music had on me. What added to that creepy impression was that a lot of her lyrics, particularly from her later albums (think the Brothel or Ten Love Songs) are also objectively very dark. Not just simply a bit gloomy dark, but some sound pretty darn suicidal to me, others are full of violence, or kind of apocalyptical in their vibe. It’s often difficult for me to look in an unbiased way at music which sparks such sensory reactions in me but I’d say that generally her music, even a lot of her very “normal” songs to put it a bit simplistically, have some sort of tens e atmosphere about them, as if there was constantly something hanging in the air or something lurking at the next turn, and additionally like I said lots and lots of emotions, so honestly after having a careful listen through her whole discography one Saturday I ended up feeling quite a bit fatigued mentally. 😀 It was all the worse for me really because the whole summer was quite abundant in sensory anxiety for me anyway, perhaps if we met at some different point it would have gone better. 😀 So then I went down a proper rabbit hole, trying to learn about Susanne and her music as much as I could, reading reviews and stuff like that, wanting to know whatever inspires her, and whether other people perceive her music any similarly at all to how I do or is it just my screwed brain’s filter through which I hear it. Well, it seems that I’m not alone, which, for once, makes me feel comforted in a way, but then on the other hand it has only confirmed for my brain that it was right to have turned my sensory alarms on. 

   I don’t think I’ll ever reach that stage with Susanne’s music that I had with Fay Wildhagen’s, despite the beginnings of these two stories being similar. I don’t think I’d even want it, to be totally honest. I’d say that to me her music is a bit like fire – it’s exciting, it can be beautiful, but you have to be careful around it, ‘cause it’s easy to come too close and not even notice that the flames have begun to lick your clothes till it starts hurting. But still, once you discover that there’s such a thing as fire, it’s really good to know that such a thing exists and it’s nice to light it up sometimes and sit next to it and enjoy its crackling, warmth and glow. 

   So that’s why in the end I thought I’d share with you something by Susanne, but I decided on something from her debut, self-titled album from 2007, when she was only 21. It is quite a folksy, singer-songwriter type album and feels more, hm, how do I put it…? stable? than her later releases, although you can feel those little embers scattered throughout the album, gently signalling that there is something more to it and more to come in the future that is bubbling under the surface. 

   Usually when I share music on here I opt for studio versions, but today I decided to share a live one with y’all, because it showcases  how Susanne sounds just as good live as she does on her albums. 

Jackie Oates – “Dream Angus”.

   Hi people! 🙂 

   Last night I couldn’t fall asleep till like 3 AM or so, and one of the songs that played on my Spotify was this one. I’ve always really liked it, because I generally really like Jackie Oates’ music – she’s been one of the first English folk singers that I started listening to when introducing myself to English folk and not just Irish and Scottish – and because I love lullabies and anything to do with dreams and folklore, but also because this song and especially its chorus reminds me so much of Emily of New Moon, and specifically her first novel A Seller of Dreams. I can’t think of this song without thinking of Emily and her novel, and I can’t think of Emily and her novel without hearing this tune in my brain. But yesterday, as I couldn’t sleep and heard this song, I thought how I’d really, seriously appreciate it if Angus was actually a thing. As you may know, practically the whole summer was really difficult for me sleep- and anxiety-wise, with loads of crappy sleep paralysis and scary dreams and stuff like that. So I thought how comforting it would be if you could just buy yourself a dream or two or five for the night ahead, so that you’d know in advance what dreams you’d be having and could fall asleep happily and peacefully. 

   I mentioned to you guys recently how my Mum is possibly getting herself an Apple Watch, and recently when WatchOS 9 came out I looked up its features for her as she was curious. I told her that there is some improvement to how you can track your sleep and she was like: “Oh, cool, it’ll be nice to look back at my dreams”. Obviously she was joking, but I thought that wow, I’d like it if one day we’d be able to do that, if Apple Watch had such a feature it would actually convince me to get it as well. 😀 I’m a very vivid dreamer, but sometimes when you have a lovely dream, the only thing you really remember upon waking is some sort of pleasant emotion, and it would have been nice to just open some app and have a look at what it was exactly what you dreamt about and always have it with you. Or if you wake up with heebiejeebies and don’t know what they’re about, you could also look back and see what the scary thing you dreamt of was and if it feels equally scary while you’re awake or perhaps just totally ridiculous and not worth fretting over. And even if they were scary in the waking world as well, I think that in many situations, looking back through your dream while being able to think rationally and clearly and being more in control of it could be a good way to desensitise yourself to it and make it feel less scary anyway, so it could even be a good therapeutic method perhaps. And so last night when I was listening to Dream Angus, I was suddenly all like: “What if one day we could have a virtual version of Angus?” Like, if you’d have a possibility to look back on your dreams, why not be able to buy dreams somehow, through App Store, Google Play or something? 😀 You’d have like a HUGE collections of dreams to choose from or could even design your very own dreams. I wonder though how these dreams would actually end up in our brains, any ideas, anyone? 

   As for Jackie Oates, I’ve already shared one song by her in the past – The Worthy Wood Carol on Christmas Eve one year – but I don’t think I’d introduced her properly then. Jackie is a singer and fiddle player who was born in Congleton in Cheshire, raised in Staffordshire, and now as far as I’m aware lives in Wallingford in Oxfordshire. This song comes from her 2013 album Lullabies, which s probably my favourite album by her. “Dream Angus” is a traditional Scottish tune, based on the myth of Angus or Aengus, Celtic god of love, dreams and poetic inspiration. Angus was son of Dagda and Boan who could shapeshift, and, just like in this song, he gave lovely, calm dreams to people. He is the equivalent of Mabon from Welsh mythology. In this song we can hear Jackie playing the viola, and she is accompanied by Belinda O’Hooley from O’Hooley and Tidow on piano and by a string section from Iceland. 

Declan Galbraith – “Your Friend”.

   Hiya people! 🙂 

   Today I want to share with you this little happy song from Declan Galbraith’s – my second faza peep who is also known as Child of Mind more recently – first album, which was released when he was 10. I often have mixed feelings or straight up don’t like songs which are kind of cliché-y cheerful like that, and I do have to say that it’s not really breathtaking musically, but I do like  it anyway ‘cause it’s Declan’s and obviously like I said he’s one of my faza peeps and I like most of the music by my faza peeps, and ‘cause he was a kid then, so it feels really authentic and likeable because of that. 

Tamzene – “You’re With Somebody Now”.

   Hiya people! 🙂 

   Today I’d like to introduce you to a very talented and fairly versatile singer and songwriter from the Scottish highlands – Tamzene Allison-Power, who just goes by Tamzene. – She has been influenced by all kinds of music, from the traditional Scottish folk music, to reggae, as her mum is Half-Jamaican, to soul icons such as Alicia Keys. All that contributes to her soul pop sound in some way. I’m fairly new to her music, but despite I’m generally not a huge soul fan, I do like her, so I thought I’d share with you this song that talks about the awkward relationship with someone you used to be with, when you realise that they’re in a different relationship now and at a different point of their life already and don’t feel like getting back together with you. 

Elin Grace – “Breathe”.

Hey people! 🙂 

   The song I have for you today is quite special, because it hasn’t been officially released yet, and I don’t think I’ve ever done that before on here that I’d share something ahead of its release. It’s also special because there’s so much for me to like about it, as it’s by a Welsh singer, all about mental health, and just sounds very good to me. 

   It comes from Elin Grace – a very interesting independent singer and songwriter – who is about to release her debut EP in two weeks’ time, and “Breathe” is the lead single from it, which will come out a week before the EP, on 16 September. 

   When I first heard it, it immediately sparked my attention, not just because Elin is Welsh, from Llandrindod Wells more exactly, and I’m sure that you all or at least the regular people on here know that I love Welsh music and try to follow what’s going on on the Welsh music scene, but also because this song struck me as very authentic and raw where the lyrics are concerned. And I really appreciate people who can make music that is genuine, that expresses their true, complex feelings or talks about difficult experiences in a candid or even raw way, because it lets me get to know them better, and I just am like this that whenever I listen to a song/album or read a book, I wonder who’s the person behind it and what they are like, so when someone is authentic like that it gives me more of a picture and lets me get to know them a little bit better. That’s also why I like to listen to music by people who write both their music and lyrics themselves, which is  the case with Elin. Besides, I’m sure it isn’t easy at all to let it all out like that and expose some very deep, vulnerable, fearful bit of oneself to the listener – so basically some totally random peep whom you don’t even know. – And for us as listeners, such songs have the potential to be highly relatable, despite paradoxically being very personal at the same time. And I have a feeling that Elin’s whole EP, not just this song, has such potential. 

   “Breathe” was written by Elin when she was eighteen, and it reflects her own struggles with anxiety and panic attacks. Mental health is a recurring topic on this EP, but tis particular song deals with it very explicitly, as we have the lyrical subject here who clearly is experiencing a panic attack, finding it difficult to breathe and trying to manage it by hiding in a chicken shed. As someone with mental illnesses and a mental health blogger, I like how Elin tackles this topic head on, describing it very vividly. While my own anxiety generally looks different from that of the lyrical subject’s, as it’s more of the lingering, always somewhere in the background variety rather than panicky and gripping you all of a sudden, the latter certainly sounds very familiar as well. 

   Musically, the inspiration was that cool keyboard riff we can hear in the second and last chorus that Elin came up with, which was the base for the whole melody. I like how, in a bit of a contrast to the angsty-themed lyrics, there is something oddly soothing and almost cosy to this song and Elin’s smooth yet strong vocals, and the song ends on a more peaceful note as well. Elin is a classically trained pianist who seems to enjoy and draw inspirations from many different genres, and  it shows in this song. 

   I am definitely looking forward to seeing Bee Without Wings come out and plan to spend some time with it once it does, so perhaps I’ll end up sharing something else from it at some point as well. It is also going to handle such topics as love, coming of age or self-esteem. 

   What I think is also worth mentioning is that Elin has previously supported another young Welsh indie folk singer – Mari Mathias – whom I also really like. She has also been compared to the great English singer Laura Marling whom I like as well, and she does indeed sound a bit similar. 

Clannad – “Gathering Mushrooms”.

   Hi all you people! 🙂 

   Today I’d like to share with you another song from Clannad’s album Crann Ull, just like the Irish Gaelic one I shared a couple days ago. This one also features Enya, but this time as supporting vocalist. 

   Fun fact, it’s thanks to this song that I learned that there is/was such a thing as mushroom ketchup. When I first heard it and the bit “I am gathering mushrooms to make my mommy ketchup” it made me laugh ‘cause, like, what’s one thing to do with the other? I even thought I must have misheard/misunderstood something. It actually interested me enough that I decided to find out and I was really surprised, because, well, at least here, mushroom ketchup is certainly not a thing. 

Rachel Newton – “Poor Lost Babe”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I want to share with you a song performed by the Scottish harpist and singer Rachel Newton, several of whose songs I’ve already shared on here. It comes from her 2016 album called Here’s My Heart, Come Take it, and is written from the perspective of a mother. 

Synthomania ft. Ary – “Darling”.

   Hey guys! 🙂 

   Today I’d like to introduce to you another Norwegian electronic song, as I’e been again listening to more Norwegian electronic music lately. This song, however, isn’t new to me, I’ve known it for a couple of years and I really like it. It’s really depressive but at the same time oddly soothing. 

   Synthomania is the stage name of Norwegian producer and composer Marius Bjørnson, who uses old and rare hardware synths to make his music. The vocalist in this song, Ary, or Ariadne Loinsworth Jenssen, is an Oslo-based singer and songwriter from Trondheim who seems to enjoy a fair bit of popularity in her home country. SHe also has some Trinidadian descent. 

Sval – “Something”.

   Hiya people! 🙂 

   Today I thought I’d share some Norwegian pop with you, from a young artist from Oslo called Sval Rosenløw Eeg, known simply as Sval. She is only in her early twenties, but has been making music for most of her life. I believe her fame has started out when she won in a Norwegian song competition for children Melodi Grand Prix Junior in 2011, with a song about friendship called Trenger Deg (I need You). She seems to be quite popular in her homeland, and her songs tend to be quite catchy. She is the daughter of novelist Harald Rosenløw Eeg. 

Enya – “A Moment Lost”.

   Hi people! 🙂 

   For today I decided to share with you a beautiful song from Enya’s album Amarantine. As Roma Ryan, Enya’s lyricist, wrote in the liner notes for this song, while most words said to us become very quickly erased and washed away from our minds, the angry, spiteful words from those we love are the ones that become etched in our hearts, burning and staying with us for a long time, echoing in our souls, and only go away when we hear words that are healing and comforting. And this song is about this, the hurtful words that people say and then really regret, and the hurtful words that they hear and then forgive. 

Clannad – “A Celtic Dream”.

   Hi people! 🙂 

   Today I want to share with you a fairly recent song by Clannad. This single was released only two years ago, preceding their In a Lifetime anthology which marks the end of their career. The lyrics, as it’s easy to figure out, refer to myths and legends of the Celts, as well as to the group members’ youth spent in Donegal. 

Midnight Run – “Winter Romance”.

   Hiya all you people! 🙂 

   I’ve shared a lot of music by Y Trŵbz – the Welsh-language folk rock group formed by Jacob and Morgan Elwy – over the last months with y’all, but I haven’t shared anything sung by Jacob in quite a while now, and I haven’t even shared with you that, since last year, he’s been a part of something new – the duo called Midnight Run. – So I thought that today is the time to share one song by them on here. 

   The other half of Midnight Run is Jonny Mac from Liverpool. They met during the first lockdown through Vampr – a social networking app for musicians – and, soon after that, they began collaborating. Jonny is the guitarist and writes most of the lyrics for Midnight Run, while Jacob is the vocalist. I actually only learned about Midnight Run some time at the beginning of this year I guess, while they’d already released their first single in November, but as soon as I heard their music – quite unsurprisingly, I suppose – I really liked them. Their music is a little bit different than anything I’d heard by Jacob before, if only because their music is in English and I hadn’t heard quite as much English-language music from Jacob as Welsh-. And I think this song is my  favourite musically of all the three singles they’ve released so far. 

   It’s their second single which was released in December, and it has a cosy, chill feel to it (but I don’t think it clashes with the middle of summer that we’re having now) and creates quite an interesting imagery in my mind whenever I hear it. It’s about those fleeting relationships where both parties may not even know each other’s names and which only last a season. 

   From what I’ve read, they have actually recorded a fair bit of material and are planning to release it into the world gradually, so I’m excitedly looking forward to hear more of them, because it’s always so cool to hear something new from any of my faza peeps. 

Effy Simon – “Stockholm”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   I’ve shared on here at least one song about Stockholm already, and today I thought I’d share another one, because it’s a cool city and there are a lot of cool songs about it. This one comes from a singer who, as far as I’m aware is not from Stockholm herself, but from Malmö in Sweden, or perhaps that’s just where she’s based now. As a name nerd, I was kind of intrigued by her name – Effy – because Effy is usually a nickname of Euphemia/Eufemia, and I’m a huge fan of this name, so I wondered if she could be an Eufemia, which would be super neat especially that I don’t think it’s a very common name in Sweden at all, I guess it just isn’t common anywhere. 😀 But, interestingly, her full name is Fanny Maria Hilma Malmborg Simonsson. Yes, Fanny is a common  name in Sweden and it does not have any vulgar connotations there. It was one of her non-Swedish friends who started calling her Effy, and over time she started identifying with it and decided to use it as her stage name. Very rightly so, I think, given that she spends a lot of time in the UK from what I read and wants to go beyond just Swedish music scene, because at least from what I’ve noticed, a lot of people in the Anglosphere have a hard time understanding that something that means something bad or weird or funny in English could coincidentally be a perfectly acceptable, normal, even common name in another language, or perhaps not so much understanding but getting over it. I think Effy is a cute name. Anyways, going back to the song, I’ve come across it relatively recently and I liked it, as I did other Effy’s songs, so I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on her musical activity. 

Enya – “Marble Halls”.

   Hi people! 🙂 

   Let’s listen to ENya today. This song is one of only two songs in her whole discography which aren’t her original songs. The other one is a hymn called How Can I Keep From Singing. This one is an operatic song actually, which is why Enya said in one radio interview that it was quite a challenge for her. It was written by Irish composer Michael William Balfe for his opera The Bohemian Girl. This song is also known as The Dream. It is both Enya’s and her mum’s favourite.