Sophie Zelmani – “How’s Your Heart Doing?”

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I’d like to introduce to you a Swedish singer and songwriter whom I’ve been liking and listening to for years, despite I’m not entirely sure why I like her as much as I do. I mean, yes, her music can be classified as folk, and her songwriting is very honest and genuine which is something I always like, but generally, I like it in music when it raises some strong feelings. I can’t really say that about Sophie Zelmani’s music, yet I like it a lot. It also has a bit of a country feel to it, which is normally something that I don’t like and that isn’t easily digestible to me even despite I’m so much into folk and these genres do often overlap, but in her case the country feel is so lite that it doesn’t really bother me most of the time. I just really like Sophie Zelmani’s music. I guess what draws me to it is that it’s just so unassumingly natural and extremely simple, and there’s something in it that I’ve always found very soothing in a way. I love Sophie’s quiet, very calm yet at the same time very expressive voice. I had a time when I would always listen to her whenever I had a migraine because of how I find her music and voice so soothing and it’s perfect as a background for sleep as well as something to wake up to. I often feel quite depressed while having a migraine and hearing Sophie would often make me feel more stable and balanced emotionally. I think Sophie must be a very balanced person herself as well, I can’t even imagine her screaming or anything like that. A lot of people listen to new age-y relaxing or other spiritual-type stuff to calm themselves down and help them fall asleep, but for me, Sophie works a lot better. I never get frisson or any spectacular sensations or feelings like that when listening to Sophie, I don’t find her music extremely beautiful or speaking to my soul or relatable or anything like that, yet something about it feels so homey and comforting that I keep coming back to it regularly, and so I thought I definitely should share something by her with you, and maybe some of you will feel similarly. Btw I’m curious if there’s anyone else out there for whom Sophie sounds extremely similar to Katie Melua. When I shared that with my late friend Jacek from Helsinki who also kinda liked Sophie’s music, he said that he doesn’t hear the similarity at all, but to me they sound insanely alike. 

   Sophie is born and based in Stockholm, and has some Russian ancestry. She started to play guitar when she was 14, and despite she had no professional music training, later she went on to write her own songs and then recorded them in a studio. She mailed the recording to three different record companies, apparently not expecting much, and was offered a record deal by Sony Music Sweden. Her debut album was very successful in her home country, and then later on she also got some recognition in other European countries and apparently in the US as well. On all her albums she collaborates with producer Lars Halapi. Sophie is quite shy so she doesn’t appear in public very much, she also says that she feels a lot better expressing herself through music rather than just talking. There seems to even be some myth in Sweden that when she was once interviewed on the Swedish public television SVT, she only said two words during the whole interview. Unsurprisingly, that’s not really true, she responded to all questions but just kept her responses short and sweet. Sophie is also mother to another successful singer and songwriter – Etta Zelmani. – 

   This song comes from her 2002 album called Sing and Dance. 

Sofia Talvik – “Du Som Har Mitt Hela Hjärta” (You Who Have All of My Heart).

   Hiya people! 🙂 

   Today, I’d like to share withh you yet another song from Sofia Talvik’s 2014 album titled Folk. It is my second favourite from this album, right after Ut I Vår Hage which I shared yesterday. I like this song in general, but I haven’t yet come across a version that I’d like more than Sofia’s. I can also already tell you that tomorrow I’ll also be sharing a song by Sofia Talvik, except not quite so folky and in English. Like yesterday, the translation for this folk tune comes from 

Sofia’s bandcamp. 

   

You who have all of my heart
You who are all of my joy
Come and ease my pain
Without you I’m not satisfied

I will then in darkness wander
with my sheep I lose my way
When I see all the others
each get their own love

Why do you keep me waiting
Why do you stir my heart
When I miss you so
Why should I live on without you

Death may take me now
This life is much to hard
I will follow all your laws
in the first years of my youth

Even though I might seem happy
When others are around
I can’t release the pain and worries
I carry in my heart

My lips are smiling, but my heart it bleeds
And I say I am alright
But in silence I hurt
and say goodbye to happiness

You who have all of my heart
You who are all of my joy
Come and ease my pain
Without you I’m not satisfied

Gwenan Gibbard – “Calon Drom” (Heavy Heart).

Hi guys! 🙂

For today, I’d like to share with you something from the Welsh Celtic harpist, singer and songwriter Gwenan Gibbard. This time it’s her original song, from her 2013 album Cerdd Dannau”. Unfortunately my understanding of these lyrics is far from full, so I don’t feel capable of translating them for you.

Question of the day.

What is some really bad life advice?

My answer:

Listen to your heart. I mean, how do you know if it’s your heart, soul, brains, mind or gut speaking? Maybe it’s just me who very often doesn’t know such essential things, lemme know if you do. Also, how do I know if it’s truly my heart speaking and not some external factors that I might be influenced by? And, more importantly, what if it doesn’t really have anything to say on the specific matter or I can’t hear it? Also why is it your heart that’s supposed to always be right, no matter what you’re dealing with at the moment, whether it’s finding a new house or continuing a friendship? 😀 I guess I generally either prefer to listen to my brains, or my intuition, which I guess must be the gut since we talk about gut feelings. I think this is the sort of advice people give you when they really don’t have any idea what to say, and it sounds so cliche. I think you really need to be very much in touch with yourself to be able to listen to your heart, or whatever other inner voices, and benefit from it every time.

You? 🙂

Declan Galbraith – “How Could An Angel Break My Heart?”.

Hey people! 🙂

Today I’d like to share with you a song from Declan’s second album – “Thank You” – which was released in 2006, when he was 15. As a lot of the songs on this album, this is a cover. This song was originally sung by Toni Braxton, who sang it from a female perspective and if I’m totally honest with you, I find her version quite horrible. Cant say if I just really don’t like Toni Braxton or whether this song is somehow spectacularly bad in the original, probably both. 😀

Generally, I think if I came across this song for the first time these days, and not when I was 14, I suppose I wouldn’t like Declan’s version veery much either. Not because it’s bad, but I just think it wouldn’t make much of an impression on me these days, and it’s so very emo. If I were to hear it for the first time ever today, I’m afraid I’d probably classify it as a typical “bed song” – you know, the kind of stuff someone might listen to in bed, in the middle of a rainy day, hidden under a blanket, when they’re having a really emotional day, naturally because they’d just broken up with someone. – So I’m glad I actually did discover it earlier and now have good associations with it, Declan having been one of my faza people.

I do like how expressive his interpretation is, he does a great job at it. I just have a hard time relating to this song I guess as romantic love isn’t something I’ve experienced, plus the lyrical subject of this song sounds like someone very possessive if not a little toxic.

Regardless, like I said, I think Declan does it really well and totally defeats Toni Braxton imo.

Lleuwen – “Cawell Fach Y Galon” (Little Cave Of The Heart).

And for today, I picked a Welsh song, from quite a well-liked and known singer on the Welsh-language music scene. Lleuwen Steffan, also mononymously known as Lleuwen, is the daughter of Steve Eaves – a Welsh poet and singer, heavily influenced by blues. – So she grew up in a very musical household for sure, and one filled with love for her native language. Her sister, Manon Steffan Ros is also well-known in the Welsh speakers’ community, as an author. She’s also very popular with beginning learners of Welsh as her books are very learner-friendly from what I know.

I heard this song today in the morning, and thought it’s really cool, so maybe you’ll like it too. 🙂

Song of the day (1st March) – Kelsea Ballerini – “Machine Heart”.

Hey hey people!!! 🙂

I’m very sorry for being absent for… over a week I guess. Had terrible anxiety most of the time, fairly low mood and some tech issues on top of it. So let’s catch up with some music for March. 🙂

The first song I want to show you is from Kelsea Ballerini. Not really my style of music, if I’m honest and looking more generally. I don’t like mainstream, and I usually don’t like country music, OK, Kelsea’s is more like country pop, but anyway. I actually think it’s a little weird because lots of people that I listen too that are folk singers or musicians do like country somewhat and often are more or less influenced by it, though most of the folk I listen to is European, but I really can’t get along with country, usually. But a few months ago Spotify had recommended this particular song to me, and I liked it. It’s definitely much more pop than country though. Not something I’m in love with, as it’s fairly mainstream-ish, but it just sounds nice, and kelsea Ballerini has a good voice. So I hope you enjoy. 🙂

Plu – “Calon Wen” (Fair Heart).#DMC

Hi hi hi people!

Today is a very exceptional day. Do you know why? Well chances are you don’t know so I’ll be nice and tell ya. It’s Dydd Miwsig Cymru. And if someone still feels clueless, Dydd Miwsig Cymru is Welsh Language Music Day, yaaaaay! I look forward to it every year at least since I’ve got any idea about Welsh music. So of course I’d like to join the celebrations, and, after listening to Sami music all day long on Wednesday, now I’m listening to Welsh music all the time, and want to share something with you. And since one of my music crushes, my current one, is Welsh and makes lots and lots of very different music, it can’t be from anyone else than him. My crush, as you most probably already know, if you are my loyal reader, is Gwilym Bowen Rhys, and apart from his very interesting solo career in the field of folk music, he is also a member of the band called Plu which also consists of his two sisters – Elan and Marged. – And I want to show you a song by Plu today. Their music is a sort of alt-folk, or psychedelic folk, I’ve written about them here for a couple of times and I’ve said that their music has a sort of otherworldly feel to me which I love about it. They all sing, but also each of them play different instruments, and Gwilym plays guitar and some other string instruments which he does so very well and I like to listen to him playing no less than singing. And I particularly love this song because of Gwilym’s play, and all those intricative, absolutely engrossing harmonies. And Elan’s leading vocals on top of it make it absolutely great.

Hywel Pitts – “Cân O’r Galon” (A Song From The Heart).

Hi. 🙂

I must admit that I don’t really understand the lyrics of this song, which is quite frustrating, given that I’m a Welsh learner since quite a while, and managing pretty decently as for my level usually, plus from what I was able to get out of the song, it sounds very interesting, and I would like to know what it’s exactly about. So that sucks a bit, but the song is still lovely, even though I understand only some phrases, a few sentences

and a lot of single words out of context.

I don’t know much about Hywel Pitts either, other than he’s from North Wales, which is very easy to guess from his accent, and that he’s a vocalist in a Welsh band called I Fight Lions, which I really like and which seems to be a new band, getting a lot of attention in its musical environment. I got the song out of the compillation of songs of various artists, and there are lots of interesting pieces, but this one is certainly one of my most favourites on it.

 

Music Monday Blog Party – Cerys Matthews – “Calon Lân (Pure Heart).

And another week has passed. Which, traditionally, means,

Music Monday Blog Party

which is held every week by Bee. If you feel like going to a party today, plus if you’d like to celebrate your life, yourself and your achievements over the last week or your entire life, go  over to the Bee’s blog and join in. 🙂

Yesterday I was at the Hel Peninsula, we had a family trip, and it was fantastic. We were at the beach, among other things. However, I’ve made one CARDINAL mistake. I got sunburned. Which is a tragedy for me – almost a Goth – not only because it can just hurt, but because even sunbathing is completely against my “religion”. Like, I don’t mind getting the vitamin D from the sun, it’s necessary for our overall wellbeing, but usually I use raspberry oil which is a very good and natural sunscreen, so you can get your vitamin D without bronzing, or burning, your skin, I also usually wear a hat or something. My skin is naturally very light, so I get sunburn very easily plus I just like having light or pale skin, maybe only besides my legs which I tan a little every summer if I have an opportunity. But I didn’t think it would be that sunny as it was, and I didn’t take my raspberry oil. And, as we were at the sea for a long time, and I spent a huge amount of that time in the water, I didn’t even feel anything alarming. And of course when I felt it was already to late for any action. 😀 I wonder what my gothic friends would say if they saw me now. 😀 chuckling a bit, but still, I don’t like having the consciousness of having red, or even just brown, skin. But my poor Dad who has the nickname Viking not without a reason, is even more poor. He doesn’t care about his skin, which is even lighter than mine, and he LOVES being in the sun and sleeping on the beach, and today he’s all hurting, poor thing. But, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, so we can be sure he’ll do the same next year, or even next month, if he gets a chance. 😀

So today, I’m celebrating my life by trying to somehow get my skin to its normal state, although not much hope here, I guess the only cure is time, and recovering my feet, which I chafed quite badly yesterday ’cause we’ve had a lot of walking. But still, the trip was awesome, even though I had quite a bit of anxiety, especially while commuting, and apart from my body image not being the best today, I feel pretty good and even positive, as much as I can feel positive in my current condition. 😀 I’ve also did one challenge of my Welsh course, I had only one left to the end of my current level (YAAAAY!) and it went great too. Although last week I was pretty bad with my Welsh and haven’t done much, but this week I’m gonna get back into some more structured and routine plan with  it.

And as we’re talking about Welsh, the song I picked for you guys today is also in Welsh. And again, in fact they’re two. But this time not because of my indecisive nature, but because I wanted you to have a comparison and pick which one you like more. It is a very popular, traditional Welsh song. It used to be a hymn, but nowadays it’s more of a rugby anthem as far as I know. When I was starting to learn Welsh, and was deeply frustrated with the lack of resources that wuld be good and at the same time accessible for me – as a blind person and not living in UK – my Swedish teacher told me that one of the things I can do is to learn as many things as possible by heart, which was actually also what I did wITh Swedish and it seemed to work because I was able to understand lots of peculiar or not that often used words thanks to different weird songs, nursery rhymes and poems. So I gave it a try with Welsh too and as a folklore lover I started with traditional songs, and “Calon Lân” was one of the first. And I still remember it, and have learnt quite a few words that you rarely get the chance to learn as a complete beginner. This song, as most of traditional songs in most countries, has dozens of different versions and interpretations, some are good, some aren’t, depending on the listener, but I wanted to show you the two versions of this song made by a popular Welsh singer and celebrity, Cerys Matthews. I’ve showed you a bit of Cerys before, with her band Catatonia, and solo as well, in Welsh and in English.

One of the versions, is her solo performance, and the other is featuring Fron Male Voice Choir. I am not big on choirs, regardless of in what language they sing, but, surprisingly enough, I definitely prefer the version they did together to Cerys’ solo version. I like her solo version but her performance with the choir is just better. What is your opinion?

Here are the English lyrics, they’re a direct translation. You can find them, as well as alternative translations on

Wikipedia

I don’t ask for a luxurious life,
the world’s gold or its fine pearls,
I ask for a happy heart,
an honest heart, a pure heart.
A pure heart full of goodness
Is fairer than the pretty lily,
None but a pure heart can sing,
Sing in the day and sing in the night.
If I wished for worldly wealth,
It would swiftly go to seed;
The riches of a virtuous, pure heart
Will bear eternal profit.
(Chorus)
Evening and morning, my wish
Rising to heaven on the wing of song
For God, for the sake of my Saviour,
To give me a pure heart.
(Chorus)