TGIF! We’re back with new and fresh music reviews for you to celebrate the weekend. As the end of the year is coming closer, and you can hear the jingle bells ringing from afar, we have some music recommendations for you that might even be the perfect Christmas present for one of your loved ones – or yourself, of course. Get in the mood for the season with Liam Gallagher’s Christmas song ‘All You’re Dreaming Of’ and discover up-and-coming American indie-singer Phoebe Bridgers with her brand-new EP ‘If We Make It Through December’. For those of you who are hungry for more reviews, we suggest you check out our second issue of GEM, which we published last week!
Edited by: Ine Vanvuchelen
Shawn Mendes – Wonder (album)
“Give yourself a chance to get lost in wonderland”, with these words Toronto-based Shawn Mendes ends the intro of his new album ‘Wonder’. After two and a half years since the last album got released, it sounds as if Mendes has reinvented himself as a musician. The album starts off with his hit single ‘Wonder’, which sets the tone for what’s yet to come: horns, choirs and, beat drops. In songs like ‘Teach Me How To Love’, ‘Always Been You’, and ‘24 Hours’, the Canadian singer declares his love for his girlfriend Camila Cabello. But not only Cabello got songs dedicated to her; Mendes told his fans during a livestream that ‘Look Up At The Stars’ is one for them. Even though his sound has changed, the lyrics of songs show that he is still the vulnerable and honest songwriter that we know from his previous albums. We’ll be wandering around in Wonderland this weekend!
Watch our favourite of the album here:
Text by: Ine Vanvuchelen
Read our review of ‘Monster’ here.
Rhys Lewis – Hold On To Happiness
‘Hold On To Happiness’ is the tenth track of Rhys Lewis’ new album ‘Things I Chose To Remember’ and uncovers the struggle of realising how fast time passes and the importance of appreciating memories, experiences, and loved ones. The thoughtful lyrics are accompanied merely by an acoustic guitar which is joined by a soft piano complementing the British singer’s relaxing and soul-stirring voice. The sound of ‘Hold On To Happiness’ creates a warm mental scenery of one sitting inside surrounded by candlelight while it is cold and rainy outside. Lewis almost seems to appeal to the listener to be grateful for the time we have on this planet and to relish every single moment when singing “So try to your dying breath to hold on to happiness. ‘Cause life is just a moment and one day
it’s over”. The song’s message is particularly important during these difficult times, where holding on to happiness might appear even more challenging.
Text by: Alexa Zsigmond
Phoebe Bridgers – If We Make It Through December EP
Phoebe Bridgers brings her melancholic magic to her ‘If We Make It Through December’ EP. An EP filled with covers of Christmas classics bundles all the tracks she has covered over the years with the titular song ‘If We Make It Through December’ as a new addition. The famous Merle Haggard track saw the country legend bring a hopeful touch to his inherently sad song whilst Bridgers accelerates the desperation felt within and creates three minutes of tear induced mystic landscapes. In ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’ Bridgers’ delicate voice brings out a careful yet hopeful touch and sees her grasping the longing for a better future that is seen in a dream like a scenario.
Although this Christmas EP might not be perfect on your Christmas day playlist, it accentuates everything Phoebe Bridgers has to offer and more. The 26-year-old lets her vulnerability shine and highlights the downside some people experience during the yuletide period. At the end, these renditions are still aligned with the time of giving as all proceeds of these new versions go to the Downtown Women’s Centrum, which helps support homeless women in Los Angeles.
Text by: Lauren Dehollogne
Liam Gallagher – All You’re Dreaming Of
Liam Gallagher is making a comeback in 2020 with his new single ‘All You’re Dreaming Of’; if you are a fan of Christmas and alternative indie rock music, then this song is right up your alley. Being the former Oasis rocker, his charity single for Action For Children has skyrocketed to the top of the charts. ‘All You’re Dreaming Of’ is the polar opposite to many of his other songs, making it the most delicate, charming, and perfectly composed ballad about love Gallagher has ever written. As he claims, “There weren’t enough songs about hope”. Liam Gallagher’s single is a tender tune about love triumphing all in times of crisis, which makes it perfect for this time of year. Taking into consideration that 2020 has been mostly a bust, Liam Gallagher has somehow managed to make 2020 great again.
Text by: Jessica-Rose Janes
Youth Sector – Teeth
Has a song ever made you feel like you have just been zoomed into space and the matrix of an ecstatic computer game at the same time? No? Then you should definitely give Youth Sector’s latest single ‘Teeth’ a try and let it transfer you to a new dimension. The funky, almost disco-like track by the Brighton art-rock quintet is their latest sting of groove that lyrically explores the sinister magnetism of untrustworthy people and the way they can enter the lives of those vulnerable to their charms. Loud, brassy, and utterly unpredictable, the song is released into a world that could definitely need a shakeup. Good to know that we don’t have to wander far to find it – we’ve had Brighton on our vacation wish-list for a while anyway.
Text by: Laura Weingrill