Hello people of the internet!!! Do you love amazing bands with fun, energetic songs such as: Boys Like Girls, Fall Out Boy, Yellowcard, 5 Seconds of Summer, and The Vamps, then you’ll love today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ featured band. This band has spent the past few years steadily playing gigs, adding AMAZING songs to their repertoire, and building a fanbase that has given them 118,000 Twitter followers, 15,422 YouTube subscribers, and 21,158 Facebook likes. So if you aren’t already a fan of An Honest Year, then you’re behind on what’s soon to be your next big musical obsession. So please read on, and learn why YOU will soon become COMPLETELY obsessed with An Honest Year (you’re welcome in advance!).
An Honest Year is a Pop/Alternative band from Philadelphia, PA. The band consists of: Matt McKay (lead vocals), Stephen Morrell (lead guitarist), Jon Pfingsten (rhythm guitarist), Jordan Mitchell (bass/vocals), and Greg Pinney (drums). The band made a powerful debut on to the music scene, with their September 2012 self-titled EP. The EP helped the band begin to earn a loyal fanbase, and thus allowed them to sell out numerous local shows. An Honest Year has also had the privilege of sharing the stage with numerous popular bands such as: twenty one pilots, Switchfoot, New Politics, MS MR, Rookie of the Year, Sandlot Heroes, Dinner and a Suit, Phone Calls From Home, and more. The band further solidified their place in the hearts of their fans with the release of their latest EP ‘Moments’ in September of 2013.
An Honest Year uploaded its’ first YouTube cover video on February 5th, 2013. In the video, they covered Coldplay’s track ‘Sparks’ (Coldplay – Sparks Cover (An Honest Year)). The members of the band (that participated in the cover, the whole band was not in the video) do an amazing job of delivering the emotional intensity that this song requires, and in doing so, prove that An Honest Year are not just phenomenal musicians, but true artists. Coldplay can often be a hard band to cover, because their songs are not only beautifully performed, but also have a haunting affect that gives the band a unique sound. An Honest Year is able to take this song and put a new spin on it that makes their rendition equally haunting and alluring, in its’ own way. I personally love it when a band/artist is able to make a song their own, while also keeping the original version’s charm intact, luckily for us, An Honest Year is able to pull off this task like true pros. The next cover that we are going to discuss is An Honest Year’s take on the Boys Like Girls hit song ‘Thunder’, which was uploaded on September 16th, 2013 (Boys Like Girls – Thunder Cover (An Honest Year) – YouTube). I really loved this version of the song, because it was even more stripped down and raw than the original version was, which made the track even more amazing. Once again, the band members in the video were able to properly deliver the emotional content of the song, but do so in a way that felt totally unique to An Honest Year’s sound. I really felt that the members of the band connected with the song, and because of this were able to make me feel as if they meant every word and note that they were performing. Honestly if I didn’t know any better I would have thought that this cover was one of the band’s original songs. I definitely hope that they cover more Boys Like Girls songs in the future (hint hint!). The last cover song that we are going to discuss in this blog post is An Honest Year’s rendition of the hit single ‘She Looks So Perfect’ by 5 Seconds of Summer (which you know has become one of the BIGGEST songs of the summer of 2014). This cover was uploaded on February 10th, 2014 (5 Seconds Of Summer – She Looks So Perfect Cover (An Honest Year) 5SOS – YouTube). When I saw that they covered this song, I was a little worried because the original version of this song is so awesome. Luckily my fears were unfounded, because An Honest Year did an INCREDIBLE job of keeping the upbeat, energetic vibe of this song alive, but also breathing a fresh feel into the track. This is honestly one of my favorite covers that An Honest Year has posted, because I feel that it really shows that this band is the total package. I definitely suggest that you all check out this cover, because you will fall in love with it.
Next, let’s move on to An Honest Year’s original material, because we all know that the mark of a truly great band is whether or not they can produce their own amazing original material. I really loved the band’s debut self-titled EP, because the sound was really different than a lot of the Pop/Alternative rock that you hear on the radio today. The whole EP felt like a trip back to the mid 2000’s, and definitely showed the influence that popular bands during that time had on An Honest Year. The EP contains themes of love, loss, and basic confusion about the world. I really loved how honest the songs felt, which resulted in a very relatable EP that I would certainly find myself listening to on repeat (trust me you will too). The band released an acoustic version of their next track ‘Your Forgiveness’, which was released on YouTube and SoundCloud on December 2nd, 2012. This track stayed with the sound that An Honest Year has cultivated, and proves that this amazing band has the passion and talent to handle an acoustic performance without losing a step. On May 12th, 2013, the band released the official music video for their song ‘Liars & a Thief’ (An Honest Year – Liar & a Thief (Official Music Video) – YouTube) off of their Moments EP. The video follows the lead singer (Matt), as he falls for a really pretty girl, who continuously uses and abuses him, and he is “powerless” to stop. At the end of the video, the band members begin to approach the girl in the video and her group of pretty friends, and the girls attack the guys. It is a really funny video, which adds to the high energy of the track, and makes it even more amazing. The Moments EP also contains a non acoustic version of ‘Your Forgiveness’, which is fun, upbeat, and honestly makes me conflicted about which version I like the best (it’s a serious problem you guys). Although I honestly love the entire EP, some tracks that I feel deserve a special shout out, include: ‘Don’t Leave Me’, (which has moments where the vibe of the song ventures into a harder alternative rock sound. A bit into the realm of the band Breaking Benjamin, definitely a change of pace for An Honest Year, but they pull it off nicely), the inspirational ‘Live Your Life’ (which I can’t stop playing on repeat), and of course the title track ‘Moments’ (which is about not letting those precious moments/important pass you by. Although I picked these particular tracks out, I would honestly suggest that you listen to the whole record, because you WILL love it). I also really loved this EP, because An Honest Year experimented with their sound a little bit, but did not lose the essence of who they are (which is really easy for an artist/band to do). Also, you can certainly see how much hard, meticulous work went into making this EP (which I appreciate because hard work equals passion, and I love to listen to artists/bands that are passionate about what they do). . These two projects, along with the band’s cover videos certainly make me excited for the next project that the An Honest Year will release.
With infectious hooks, and powerhouse instrumental and vocal skills on their side, it is easy to see that An Honest Year will very soon become a staple on all of your music playlists. I have no doubt that this band is on its’ way to having a long career in the music industry, and will certainly make a lasting legacy for themselves. It’s not very often that a band is able to make such an immediate and powerful impact on fans, so the fact that An Honest Year is on such a steady rise definitely speaks volumes about the band’s advanced level of artistry, and their future in the industry. They are truly on a roller coaster that only goes up (sorry I had to throw a little ‘The Fault In Our Stars’ reference). I am so excited to see what is next for this limitless band! So if you haven’t listened to their music yet, what are you waiting for!?! I highly suggest that you check out An Honest Year’s music, I promise that you will become completely addicted to every one of their tracks. Have I ever lied to you before people of the internet? Then go on and meet the band that you will become obsessed with for the rest of the year (and many more years to come after that).
Keep up to date with An Honest Year!!!:
Band Twitter: http://twitter.com/anhonestyear
Band Instagram: http://instagram.com/anhonestyear
Merch Store: http://merch.anhonestyear.com/
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s Monday Memos I am going to introduce y’all to an AMAZING new band whose music is so infectious and fun, that you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. As the summer time rapidly approaches, your playlists definitely need a high energy boost, with music that will serve as the perfect backtrack to all of your favorite summer memories. I’ve always thought that the perfect song, by the perfect band, can make a moment truly unforgettable, and with this band you will definitely have fun summer memories to look back on. Who is this band? Well listen close, because you WILL be hearing this band’s name in the future. People of the internet, please allow me to introduce you to Animal Fiction!!! Now please read on to learn about why you will quickly become obsessed with this phenomenal new band.
Animal Fiction is a three piece indie pop band from Los Angeles, CA that consists of Eben Wares, Julian Walker, and Cameron Walker. Cameron Walker should be particularly recognizable by music lovers, due to his work as a touring member of the alternative pop band ‘The Ready Set’ and the indie band ‘1985’. He has also worked as a songwriter for Showtime, NBC, Nickelodeon, Disney, ESPN, and ABC. On February 18th, 2014, Animal Fiction released their debut self-titled EP. The EP includes 5 AMAZING songs that are upbeat and perfect summer tracks (think Foster the People meets Vampire Weekend).The subjects of the tracks talk about subjects like: breaking away from the norm and having an adventure, falling in love, and enjoying the freedom of being young. I really love that these songs are energetic and make you want to dance. Also, the sound of the EP is not only radio friendly (and trust me you will hear this band’s music on the radio VERY soon) but also contains a very unique sound that is instantly recognizable. It’s perfect for the upcoming summer season, and is a MUST on any and all playlists (so go to ITunes and get a copy…well finish reading the rest of the blog and then go…trust me, it’s worth the wait).
Animal Fiction’s newest song ‘Walk In The Sunshine’ (which is not included in their debut EP here’s the link so you can check it out Walk In The Sunshine) is another track that I am really excited about. This song is about having fun, being young, and enjoying life. This track shows that Animal Fiction has truly found their sound, and is becoming comfortable within it. I think that this song really shows a growth for the band, as artists, and their ability to craft and perform songs with catchy lyrics and infectious hooks. It can be very difficult for a band to create a sound that will help them have an immediate impactful debut, but Animal Fiction makes this task seem easy with ‘Walk In The Sunshine’. If this song is any indication of the direction that ‘Animal Fiction’ is heading with their music, then I am very excited for what’s ahead for them. I could easily see this song as a crowd favorite at a concert, and would be excited to see how Animal Fiction would visually show this song in a music video or concert setting. This track definitely solidifies the fact that Animal Fiction is a band to watch, and I think that it’s only a matter of time when everyone is blasting ‘Walk In The Sunshine’, and Animal Fiction’s other songs from their car radios.
So are you excited now?!? You definitely should be! I HIGHLY suggest that you check out Animal Fiction, and keep an ear open for all of the amazing new music they have in store. Whether you’re going on a road trip, hanging out by the pool/beach, or going to an awesome party, this is one band that you will NEED to have on repeat. So what are you waiting for!?! You know you want to check them out! Also, make sure you support Animal Fiction by purchasing their EP, checking out their music video for ‘Everyday is New’ (here’s a link to the AMAZING music video Everyday is New), listening to ‘Walk In The Sunshine’, and staying up to date with the band on all of their social media accounts.
Keep in touch with Animal Fiction!!!
Animal Fiction’s Facebook: AnimalFictionOfficial
Cameron Walker’s Facebook: CameronWalkerOfficial
Cameron Walker’s Twitter: cameronwalker
Hello people of the internet, since Christmas is rapidly approaching us, I thought that it would be cool to make a list of 25 of my favorite Christmas songs. I feel that this list is very diverse, but if there are any awesome songs that I missed, please let me know in the comments below. Ok, let’s get started!!!!
25) ‘It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas’ by Johnny Mathis
I thought this was the perfect song for the “beginning” of our list (you may now laugh…ok that’s enough, shall we continue? Great!!!). Once December hits, this is always the first Christmas song that I like to hear. It just puts you in the holiday spirit, and it is the perfect soundtrack to all of your Christmas shopping.
24) ‘Feliz Navidada’ by Jose Feliciano
I really love how different this song is from all of the others on the list. Besides the obvious fact that it has English and Spanish components, the track is also very upbeat and fun. This is a good song to add to your Christmas party playlist, and will certainly get the fun started!
23) ‘Santa Clause Lane’ by Hilary Duff
Now this song is a bit of a throwback, that you may or may not be familiar with. Anyone who watched Disney Channel in the early 2000s will know actually why this song is awesome. I mean who doesn’t love Hilary Duff? Oh c’mon, you know you memorized the entire ‘Lizzie McGuire Movie’ soundtrack…yes you did…that’s what I thought! Since Hilary Duff has recently revealed that she’s working on new music (you may now squeal and jump up and down), I thought that it was only appropriate that we celebrate this announcement by walking down memory lane (or Santa Clause Lane in this case).
22) ‘Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer’ cover by Jack Johnson & The Roots
Ok who doesn’t constantly get this song stuck in their head throughout the year? Many don’t realize that this isn’t just a song about a reindeer. This is a track about rising up from adversary, and showing bullies or naysayers how awesome you are! Ok, it’s a song about a reindeer, but he has a glowing red nose! You have to admit that that’s pretty awesome. Jack Johnson’s signature smooth tone and the great musicianship of The Roots (comedian/late night talk show host Jimmy Fallons’ in house band), adds a new jazzy feel to this track, which makes an old classic feel brand new.
21) ‘Away in a Manger’ cover by Martina McBride
I really love this song! It’s beautifully written, and the perfect Christmas ballad. This version is made even better, because of the lovely vocals that country icon Martina McBride adds. I would certainly suggest going over to ITunes and purchasing this track, I promise you won’t regret it!
20) ‘Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree/Jingle Bell Rock’ cover by Michael Buble
If you love fun Christmas songs, then this is the mash-up for you. The only thing that would make this performance better, is if Carly asked Michael to call her maybe…or is that just crazy? I’m just kidding, I’m just kidding (cue the laughing…ok we’re good), humor aide this is an amazing mash-up, with a flawless vocals, buy then again what would you expect from Michael Buble!?
19) ‘This Christmas’ cover by The Summer Set
I only need to say three words to convince you that this song is amazing: The Summer Set! I You know these guys are awesome, because they won the 2013 Macy’s iHeartRadio Rising Star Contest. This contest is fan voted, so they are defiantly a band that you need to know. I love the cool rock twist that they put on this song, which gives it a fresh new perspective.
18) ‘Baby It’s cold outside’ cover by Lady Antebellum
I just love what country super group Lady Antebellum does with this classic duet. They were able to put their own spin on this track without losing the charm of the original. This song is the perfect Christmas love song, and requires the vocalists performing it, to convey a lot of emotion through the song. I feel that Lady Antebellum work on this song, is completely breathtaking.
17) ‘Let it Snow’ by Dean Martin
Even though I’m not a huge fan of snow, I do love this song. This is just the perfect song to play in the background as you drink a hot beverage, wrap yourself in your favorite blanket, sit in front of a fire, and read a ‘Harry Potter’ book. You know that sounds like a good time!
16) ‘Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays’ by ‘N Sync
Ok, let’s take a moment and bask in the awesomeness that is ‘N Sync. I mean this is the group that brought Justin Timberlake to the forefront of our minds!!! We will forever be in debt. One thing that I really like about this song is that it’s a song you can just get up and dance too. You can play it in your car, turn it on as you’re getting ready to leave your house, or even have an impromptu dance party. The possibilities are endless.
15) ‘Christmas is Creepy’ by Fred
If you are addicted to YouTube and/or Nickelodeon, then you know who Fred is. In 2009, Lucas Cruikshank (the then teenaged mastermind behind the’Fred’ franchise) brought us a different sort of Christmas song. This song is so hilarious, that you will have to add it to your Christmas playlist. Actually, this song is so funny, that I predict that you’ll be listening to it well into the spring.
14) ‘Wonderful Christmastime’ by Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney sings this song. That statement alone should convince you of how amazing this song is. He not only has a tremendous career as ¼ of the legendary group The Beatles, but also has had an awesome solo career. This infectious tune will keep you singing for months, and trust me you won’t mind having this song stuck in your head.
13) ‘Last Christmas’ cover by Glee
Even though this is a song about someone who broke your heart, it’s still amazingly catchy. What makes this version even better is the way Lea Michele and Cory Monteith vocals perfectly blend together. Even though Cory’s promising career was tragically cut short, we can still enjoy his talent through this song. You’ll enjoy this song so much, that you’ll forget it’s a cover, due to the great artistry that the Lea and Cory bring to the track.
12) ‘The Christmas Song (Don’t be Late)’ by Alvin and the Chipmunks
I LOVE THIS SONG!!!!! I honestly cannot fully express how much I love this song. It’s fun, quirky, and the Chipmunks are singing! What could be better? I think most of us have heard this song at one point or another, but if you haven’t, you need too. By the time you finish listening to this song, you will definitely want a hula hoop for Christmas…listen to the song and you’ll understand.
11) ‘The First Noel’ cover by Carrie Underwood
This is another AMAZING Christmas ballad that you need to become familiar with. I love the beautiful the lyrics this song contains, and how the tone of the song will leave you feeling a pure kind of joy. When you add in Carrie’s amazing vocals to the song, the result is pure perfection.
10) I’ll be home for Christmas’ by Bing Crosby
This is another song that I constantly play once Christmas time arrives. This track is told from the perspective of a WWII solider, and will certainly have you feeling emotional once it ends. This is another Christmas classic that has been covered multiple times, by many amazing legends however, I think Bing Crosby does it best.
9) ‘Little Drummer Boy’ by Pentatonix
I have to say that I am currently addicted to this A Capella group’s ‘PTXmas’ album, which is musical perfection. You have to respect a band that can make such amazing music, every time Pentatonix releases something, I just stand in marvel. I would HIGHLY recommend this version of this song.
8) ‘Have yourself a merry little Christmas’ by Christina Aguilera
Honestly, you know if Christina Aguilera releases a song, then it’s instantly going to be awesome. She released this song on her 2000 album ‘My Kind of Christmas’ and it is still on of my favorite versions. Christina is able to use her flawless vocal abilities to perfectly convey the emotion in this song, and her execution is amazing (as usual)!
7) ‘Carol of the Bells’ by Trans Siberian Orchestra
I don’t hear many artists cover this song, which is a shame, because it’s a great song. I recently heard this version on the radio, and I was awe struck. I think the Trans Siberian Orchestra are phenomenal, and even if you’re not a fan of instrumental music, you will LOVE this song. This orchestra is able to make his song exciting and they give it a new life that instantly grabs your attention, and doesn’t let go.
6)’The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an open fire)’ by Nat King Cole
Ok, you had to have known that this song was coming eventually; I mean it’s called ‘The Christmas Song’. This is another great song to play but he fireplace when you’re just relaxing and enjoying the holiday season. This is just one of those songs that is a Christmas staple, and you’re holiday would not be complete without it.
5) ‘All I want for Christmas is you’ by Mariah Carey
Now you had to know that this song was coming, seriously what Christmas playlist would be complete without it!? One thing that I love about this song is that it honestly never gets old. You can listen to it over and over again, and it is never played out, you have to love a song that can stand the test of time.
4) ‘Silent Night’ by Kelly Clarkson feat. Reba McEntire and Trisha Yearwood
What do you get when you put three phenomenal vocalist together? You get an amazing rendition of a Christmas classic. This is defiantly not an easy song to sing, not only is it full of emotion, but it is so well known, that it can be hard to perform a version that fans of the song approve of. I think Kelly Clarkson really brought a new dimension to the song by adding country superstars Reba McEntire and Trisha Yearwood. This is a song that you will have on repeat for years to come.
3) ‘My grown up Christmas list’ by Amy Grant
I remember I first heard this song about 8 years ago, and I have been addicted to it ever since. I really love how the message of the track perfectly defines the feeling of good will and peace on earth that we’re suppose to experience during this time of year. If you really listen to the lyrics of this song, they will inspire you, and leave you feeling that material gain really isn’t what this season is about. I really love songs that make you think!
2) ‘Santa Claus is coming to town’ cover by Jackson 5
Honestly, how could you not like a song that Michael Jackson sings on? Even at such a young age, his vocals are perfect. This song makes you want to just get up and dance around as you decorate your Christmas tree. It is the perfect song to play at a holiday party, or to have an impromptu dance party with your family. This song is just flawless in every aspect; it would take another 3 blog posts to explain why this song is so amazing.
1) ‘Mary did you know’ cover by Rascal Flatts
Now we’ve reached the #1 song!!! Ok, hit that Drumroll!!!! I really love this song, because it contains all of the qualities of the other 24 songs on this list. This track is beautiful, well sung, and makes you think. I remember I have been in awe of this song for years, ever since I first heard it at church. I know that not everyone shares the same beliefs as me, but you can’t deny what a beautiful job country trio Rascal Flatts did on this track. I feel like this is the perfect song to end out list! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!