#MusicMonday: Sheeran showcases the ‘divide’ between human and musician with third studio album

Ed Sheeran has always known how to make me smile. His songwriting has never left me disappointed. This English showman has always been able to enrapture all those that listen to his music with just him and his guitar, and a peddle machine.

Divide debuted at #1 and stayed there in its second week.

Eraser: A fun opening track to the album; a declaration of intent mixing hip-hop with a chorus.

It discusses Sheeran’s upbringing and his small town beginnings singing in the choir in the Catholic church and then being a busker during his teen years. It also references the temptations artist’s face whether it be drugs, girls, etc.

Castle On The Hill: A love song for Sheeran’s hometown of Suffolk, England. Guitar driven it is a “life affirming pop rocket.”

Dive: Written about his wife with themes of vulnerability, a sense of devotion and emotional reflection, with a musicality that emulates the classic fifties and early sixties soul/stax ballad arpeggio and time sequence. It was co-written with Julia Michaels.

Shape of You: Originally written by Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes of TLC and meant for pop singer Rihanna, the track is about a strong physical attraction. Musically, it is based around a tropical-house inspired lead melody and dancehall beat. A rhythm is given by xylophones, guitars, and percussion.

Perfect: A love ballad written and inspired by the love between him and his wife Cherry Seaborn. It was written remininscent of Sheeran’s song he wrote for One Direction, “18.”

Galway Girl: My favorite song on the record for its fun Irish folk musicality. Musically influenced by Van Morrison’s Irish Heartbeat, A “Galway Girl” describes a black haired and blue eyed woman from the city of Galway.

Happier: A standout ballad with mature lyrics about a failed relationship who has already found a new man.

New Man: A fun fast-flowing song about an ex who has changed because of him and these toxic changes have led to her looking for satisfaction elsewhere.

Hearts Don’t Break Around Here: A ballad for his wife Cherry Seaborn, showing Sheeran’s softer side.

What Do I Know by Ed Sheeran.png

What Do I Know?: Despite not having the education or being the smartest, he uses his music to change the world.

How Would You Feel: A paen is a work that praises or honors its subject and also the middle name of his now wife Cherry Seaborn. A really emotional song about realizing how much you love someone.

Supermarket Flowers: A tribute to Sheeran’s late grandmother, comparing her to an angel.

Barcelona: Ode to the great Spanish city’s vibrant history and culture contain Latin musicality and Spanish guitars.

Bibia Be Ye Ye: A song written in Ghanian dialect meaning “everything will be alright.”

Nancy Mulligan: Full on Irish traditional song that pays tribute to Sheeran’s paternal grandparents, Anne “Nancy” Mulligan and William “Bill” Sheeran. His grandparents had a Romeo and Juliet romance.

Save Myself: A final song speaking to the importance of self-care and self-love. A soft song with a strong piano musicality.

Sheeran’s third album seeks to showcase him exploring both sides of himself, the musician side and the human side but seeks to bond the world with it’s wholesome themes of spreading love and recklessly falling in love with yourself and when the time comes, someone who accepts the entire you that you are and will be.



How @Daya is setting the standard for the future of pop music with debut album #SSLP

Chances are, you’ve sang this loudly while sitting in traffic:

    Boys seem to like the girls
Who laugh at anything
The ones who get undressed
Before the second date.


I bet you would be shocked to realize that it wasn’t penned and performed by someone who is only 17.

Grace Martine Tandon who is known by her stage name Daya (Hindu for compassion and kindness) is a 17 year old rising pop star from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. At the age of 3, Daya began to learn the piano, eventually converting to jazz piano at the age of eleven. By this time, she had also learned to play the guitar, ukulele, saxophone, and flute. On April 22, 2015 her debut single “Hideaway” was released. It hit #23 on Billboard’s Hot 100. She signed with Artbeatz and her debut EP Daya (released on September 4 2015) debuted at #61 on Billboard’s Hot 200. Her debut album Sit Still, Look Pretty was released on October 7, 2016.

Song by Song Review

“Dare”: The first track off the album is full of dark horse vibes and a girl who even though young is wise beyond her years and knows who she is and who she wants to be and isn’t afraid to share that in this track. It’s a track that asks the listener to dare her to prove something to you, knowing full well she’s already going to exceed everything they are limiting her with. Contains electronica influences, a subtle use of vocal harmony, a mild rhythmic syncopation,and prominent percussion.

“Lengendary”: Originally from the Daya EP, it discusses living in the moment with someone. It features electronica influences, prominent percussion, and major key tonality.

“I.C.Y.M.I”: This track standing for “in case you missed it” is catchy and hashtag-worthy with it’s message of being totally over someone but they keep trying to hit you up. It features electronica influences, prominent percussion, and a subtle use of vocal harmony.

“Thirsty”: We’ve all met a member of the opposite sex who would not take NO for an answer and they were making you lose your cool (not to mention your appetite) with how “thirsty” they were coming off. Almost like the Daya version of Meghan Trainor’s “NO,” except this one contains electronica influences, mild rhythmic syncopation, and prominent percussion.

“Love of My Life”: With Carribean-style rhythms and influences, this track is catchy with a loud “HERE’s WHAT I’M ABOUT” message with lyrics like:

I could like you ’til the day that I die-ie-ie-ie (ie-ie-ie, ie-ie-ie)
But, I’m looking for the love of my li-i-i-ife

“Hideaway”: Daya, who walks out and is bold in her standards, in this bouncy track, Daya bemoans the lack of standards when it comes to her male dating pool, and wishes for a man who actually respects her.

“Cool”: The newest synthopop promotional single off the album, this track has the feeling of just sitting back and cruising while holding hands in a car with an unknown destination which is a perfect metaphor for a healthy relationship: exciting and thrilling but should be stable like a car ride down an empty street. Features r&b influences, romantic lyrics, and intricate melody phrasing.

“Sit Still, Look Pretty”: The title track off the album and the song that made me sit up and pay attention to Daya as an artist. It’s like the 2016 answer to a song that was popular in 1997, Aqua’s “Barbie Girl.” It’s a girlpower anthem taken to the next level with the track starting out with whistling on the backtrack. Girls shouldn’t have to be treated like objects or toys but instead of have their own lives and their own goals and ambitions and not be afraid to pursue them. It also makes me think of a post that Alicia Keys shared on Instagram and I had to repost it because it was totally on point.capture

“Talk”: I had this song on repeat from the first time I heard it because it is a lot like Pink’s “Just Like Fire.” It’s like a total purple in my hair anthem. It’s all about being who you are and not caring what people think and jumping out of the boxes that people try to place you in. Grace co-wrote it with her team, which makes me like it even more. Features of the musicality include electronica influences, extensive vamping, a vocal-centric asthetic, and a subtle use of a horn section.

“U12”: This song reminds me of the song version of the 80’s movie Sixteen Candles. It’s about having these feelings for someone who everyone seems to have an opinion about but you are letting them know that you don’t care what anyone says as long as they want to fall in love, you are ready to fall with them. Originally featured on the Daya EP.

“Words”: Rhythmically, this is my favorite song off the album because it has Latin influences and romantic lyrics. It’s about feeling close to someone but not wanting to say “love” yet because words only get in the way.

“Back To Me”: A synthopop ballad of always feeling second best to someone you continue to put first and how you have to come back to who you are, realize your worth, and walk away in confidence knowing someone better will come along but learning to love yourself in the meantime. This is another favorite off the album but was originally featured on the Daya EP.

“Got The Feeling”: Carribean rhythms and influences make up this track with layers of vocal harmonies during the breakdown.Lyrically, you see a song about liking someone but not loving them but still like being around them, almost like a fling.

“We Are”:

Ain’t no keepin’ us from doing what we love (we love)
‘Cause we love it too much

The final track off the standard version of the album comes with a strong final statement from Daya, someone who’s young in years but wise beyond them and not afraid to be all that she is and tell others that they are free to due the same. Thank you Daya for standing up for the youth everywhere (especially young women like yourself) who dare to set the standard instead of meet it. And thank you for staying classy in the process!

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You’ll suffer from anything but #Delirium after listening to @elliegoulding ‘s new album

When I listen to music, I’m sometimes looking for a beat that makes me dance. Yet, most of the time, music for me is about the lyrics (unless of course, I’m listening to classical music, then the instruments tell the story). Every song has a story and I’m a huge fan of how Ellie Goulding crafts a story.

Ellie Goulding is an English singer-songwriter who was raised by her father, an undertaker, and her mother who worked at a grocery store until her parents separated at age five. Her stepfather was a truck driver and Goulding has said he was “horrible.” Although she was one of four children, her music career started early. She started playing clarinet at age nine and at age fourteen, she taught herself how to play guitar. At 15, she began songwriting and won a songwriting competition while attending Hereford Sixth Form College.

While attending University of Kent, she was exposed to electronic music and won a university talent competition and won. After winning, Jamie Lillywhite became her manager and she began working with her chief producer Starsmith, who primarily produced her album Lights.

Although Lights wasn’t released until March 2010, Ellie had early releases before that and was a rising star and started to accrue a fanbase long before her first album was released. She released “Under The Sheets” and “Guns and Horses” through an independent label despite being signed to Polydor Records. She also wrote various songs for multiple artists before her own success began to take off including Tinie Tempah. Ellie Goulding is a keen runner and a vegan. She’s also close friends with Lorde, Taylor Swift, and Katy Perry.

Her debut album Lights experimented with subgenres synthypop, indiepop, indietronica, and folktronica. It debuted at number one in the UK but at number 21 in the U.S before being certified double platinum. Her follow-up album Halycon Days stepped away from her signature electronic sound with more tribal and anthemic in sound with more piano and vocals. It debuted at number 1 in the UK and number 9 in the U.S. before being certified triple platinum.

Song by Song Review

  “Introduction”: This track starts out the album with just a chorus of voices almost like a siren song that you want to listen to.

   “Aftertaste:” The song begins with the backtrack heard in the introduction. It touches about two lovers who come in and out of each other’s lives and who leave each other with the memory of their time together only found in the aftertaste.

“Something in the Way you Move”: With the musicality and pop music impact of a Michael Jackson song, it was the third single off the album. It’s a dance track for sure.

“Keep On Dancin'”: This is my favorite off the album and I refer to it as the EDM version of Just Keep Swimming from the hit Disney movie Finding Nemo. It’s about not letting anything take you down and just keep moving no matter who approves or not.

“On My Mind”: The album’s lead single, it’s one of the reasons I love the way Goulding crafts a story. It’s about moving on from someone who you thought you knew, may have loved, but after the relationship has ended, you find that person is still on your mind. It returns to Goulding’s roots of synthopop.

“Around U”: Creating a new pop path in her music career, it features co-writing from Frank Gibson, and is positive in its musicality and lyrical content.

“Codes”: Co-written with pop song slayer Max Martin, it sounds like a Goulding song but has pop musicality. Lyrically it follows the frustration of when a lover talks in code and you can’t figure out what they mean and whether they are being true to you.

“Holding On For Life”: This track has folk musicality and has an infectious pop musicality as well.

“Love Me Like You Do”: Famed song off the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack, it features co-writing from Max Martin and blew up the pop charts.

“Don’t Need Nobody”: Goulding returns to her synthopop signature sound in this track about an independent chick that finds a guy she can’t live without.

“Don’t Panic”: This track has the musicality of a Paula Abdul song with it’s eighties pop musicality and lyrical content.

“We Can’t Move To This”: Again reminds me of a mix of Bjork and Lauryn Hill, both of which Goulding has cited as musical influences. It’s another favorite off the album strictly because of it’s dancy musicality.

“Army”: A song Goulding penned for her best friend Hannah, it’s a song about friendship that strengthens you in dark times and good times. It was the second single off the album.

“Lost and Found”: This song has the tribal musicality to remind me of Peter Pan and the Lost Boys. It was released as a promotional single off the album.

“Devotion”: This track reminds me of a mix of sounds from Lights and Halycon Days

“Scream It Out”: I love this track because it starts out with just Goulding and the piano but becomes more synthopop as the track goes along. It ends the album on a high note musically.

Since it’s November 6, 2015 release, Delirium debuted at #3 in the U.S. and has sold over 117,000 copies in the U.S. alone. One thing is certain, Goulding’s talent isn’t a case of delirium but more a natural phenomenon, similar to that of a shooting star in it’s rarity.