SOTW: Good Grief by Bastille

Vantage Points

You all know about my obsession with Bastille. When I first heard this band, I was immediately in love. One of my best friend’s, David Cook, and I went to a private concert at the British Embassy and had a chance to meet the band. We then went to another concert that same night at a public venue. They were incredible. That’s all that needs to be said.

Yesterday, the band officially released their new song, Good Grief, on Spotify. The song is absolutely amazing. I am SO excited to hear more from these guys. David and I will definitely be planning a trip to see them in concert again soon!

I know it has been a little while since I shared a song of the week, so I thought this new song would be a perfect choice for this week. Check out the song and let me know what you think! Also, since it is Friday… I had to share a flashback photo from when David and I met Bastille. Happy Friday!


SOTW: My Audio by J Boog

Spring has finally sprung which means my reggae playlist is on full blast until fall… or winter. I typically listen to reggae anytime throughout the year, but sometimes during the winter, I get in a rap kick that cannot help but take over my stereo.

With the warm weather making its way into the DC area, I need to get into the shorts, flip flops, and ball cap vibe. To do this, I turn to J Boog… always. In this case, I thought a fun, upbeat, amazing, song called My Audio would do the trick.

For those of you tuning in to J Boog for the first time, this is a good song to give you an idea of his versatility. He has some amazing lyrics, a unique voice, and a dope attitude. What better way to relax and enjoy this life than with good music?

Check out My Audio and let me know what you think! Happy Spring!

SOTW: Wonderful World, Beautiful People

I want to kick off the workweek with some positive, upbeat, music. Y’all know I love me some Spotify, so I have to give credit to a new playlist I decided to check out this morning. I clicked on the playlist called “Beach Vibes,” in honor of the wedding being about 50ish days away. About three songs into this playlist, I hear some Jimmy Cliff and my entire mood changed from exhausted to excited.

Jimmy Cliff is the man and I love the song Wonderful World, Beautiful People. This song was the reminder I needed to kick off what will be a LONG week. Remember that we live in an incredible world that we need to cherish and to keep those beautiful people who bring out the best in you by your side. Happy Monday and enjoy the song of the week!

Hiking the Great Smoky Mountains

Hey there, readers! I know it has been almost a month since my last post on the blog… I have been incredibly preoccupied with wedding planning, traveling, and finishing up a class for graduate school. Thanks for being patient with me!

For my birthday (which was Feb. 26), David and I took a mini road trip to Gatlinburg, Tennessee! Why Gatlinburg? Well, this may sound silly, but I have always wanted to visit the city after hearing a song by Jason Aldean. He briefly mentions the city and how he heard it was “pretty.” That was all I needed to know it was somewhere I wanted to be! I figured this song would make a good song of the week, too. So enjoy “This I Gotta See” by Jason Aldean below!

Boy was Jason Aldean right! Gatlinburg is absolutely stunning. We chose a relatively warm weekend during the off season, so it wasn’t nearly as crowded as I am sure it can be in the summer months. One thing I wanted to do, for myself, was to hike part of the Appalachian trail. When I, hopefully, heal and am comfortable with long distance hikes, David and I are going to hike the entire trail together from start to finish.

With a leg that isn’t fully healed and requires frequent breaks when hiking, 4 miles of the trail had to suffice (8 miles there and back). We chose to hike to Charlie’s Bunion which offers panoramic views of the North Carolina and Tennessee state lines. It is truly breathtaking. I contemplated if taking pictures was something I wanted to do… but I decided that I deserved to document an amazing feat for myself.

In 20 days, it will be a full year since the day of my surgery. Hiking part of the Appalachian trail was the best birthday present a girl could ask for. I am so grateful to be alive and to have had an opportunity to see such an incredible view of the Great Smoky Mountains. It will forever be a memory burned into my brain. Not to mention, I was able to share the memory with my best friend and almost husband.

Below are some photos that David and I took during our hike. I want to thank David for being an AMAZING support system while hiking that trail. He was such a good sport. The hike was strenuous and he never made me feel like I was slowing him down or being a burden to him. Every step of the way he guided me and cheered me on. What more can you ask for in a partner for life? I am so blessed.

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SOTW: Memories by Petit Biscuit

When you wake up and start the work day, it isn’t exactly the highlight to your week, right? Unless you work for a puppy store or chocolate factory… I think we all would prefer the weekend. To fight those workday blues, I turn to music that keeps my mood and spirits up!

One song I recommend while you are getting ready in the morning, sitting at your desk, or driving into the city is Memories by Petit Biscuit. Before diving into this Song of the Week, let’s learn a little about Petit Biscuit, shall we?

Petit Biscuit is a fairly new musician from France (we all know how much I love my European musicians). I believe he is 16? Maybe he is 17, now. Either way, he is a talented teenager who makes some “sick beats, dude.” When I first began listening to ODESZA, I turned to Spotify to help me find similar artists. This is a great way to discover new music, artists, and really figure out what your taste in music is. I am lucky that my soul desires all sorts of music. Lately, though, I have been loving Petit Biscuit’s chill, clean, sound. It doesn’t typically include many lyrics, so I also find it to be perfect to listen to when I am doing grad school work.

The song Memories, to put it simply, is just a fun, upbeat, and happy beat. It is clear that Petit Biscuit’s mood was jubilant when he created this sound. I want you all to have a HAPPY Tuesday and enjoy this fun beat at any point in your day!

12 Days of Christmas – Day Nine

A simple prompt for day nine, which is fitting for this dreary day in Washington, DC. The rain clouds have taken over and placed me in a sleepy trance. For day nine, we must share who will be sitting with us at Christmas dinner.

My family is LARGE. There will be over 35 guests at our Christmas dinner! Unlike Thanksgiving dinner, our family is a little less formal on Christmas. We each grab a plate and sit wherever there is an empty seat. It is less hectic and tight that way. Usually, I gravitate towards sitting with the cousins, but it varies from year to year. In the photo/video blog post after Christmas, I will be sure to share who I end up sitting with at dinner.

To give this blog post a little more oomph, I want to share two of my favorite Christmas carols. This can count for songs of the week, right? LOL!

Each time I hear these songs, I am reminded of the true meaning of Christmas and instantly my mood improves. Both songs I chose are by Pentatonix because they put a fun, contemporary, spin on some beautiful carols. First is Angels We Have Heard on High. This song is so incredible. It is one of my favorites to sing in church around the holidays.

Second is The Little Drummer Boy. Some people really dislike this song, but if you listen closely to the lyrics it is SO beautiful. What I love is how baby Jesus smiles at the Little Drummer Boy when he plays his drum as a gift. It kind of alludes to how Jesus sees all people and loves them despite their flaws, inabilities, and “class” (for lack of a better word). I hope when you listen to these songs, the Christmas spirit flows through you.

With the weather expecting to be about 70 degrees on Christmas here in Maryland, it is hard to get into the spirit. As Buddy the Elf would say, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!”

Happy Holidays and don’t forget to spread that Christmas cheer!

*And as always… If you want to join in on the blogging challenge, Click here for the rules to start this challenge by ScaleSimple! 🙂

SOTW: Shine On by The Kooks

Those of you who have been following my blog for a few years now know how much I adore The Kooks. In Maryland, the rain has been pouring down on us all for several days. After a while, it gets old. I don’t know how Seattle can live this way for so many days out of the year. Power to them!

On rainy days, I turn to chill/mellow music. My indie playlists, amongst some of my other playlists, are top notch for days like today. Given the dreary weather and my lack of motivation, I needed a relaxing song that also gave me a sense of encouragement. When you need that, you need The Kooks. Not just any song by The Kooks, you need Shine On (obviously).

Enjoy the song of the week and remember to Shine On! Happy Hump Day!

SOTW: Two Songs For You

Alright, I know I seriously am slacking when it comes to posting songs each week. I find that with graduate school, working in DC, and having some “me” time… it can be hard to prioritize blogging. I am going to make more of an effort to post songs each week, though. To kick off my SOTW promises, I have TWO songs to share. (If I share two this week, I can get away with skipping one next week, right? 😉 Just kidding!)

I bought the new albums by Justin Bieber and One Direction when they were released about two weeks ago (maybe a bit less than that). The Biebs album is called Purpose and One Direction’s album is called Made in the A.M. Initial reaction: I dig them both! *I have both deluxe versions of the albums, by the way.

Let’s start with The Biebs. Honestly, I was never a big fan of Justin Bieber’s music. Only one song has ever really stood out to me. “Somebody to Love,” on the My World 2.0 album, is fun and I love it … but that was originally performed by Usher. Actually, thinking about it more, I prefer Usher’s version. Despite that, I still enjoyed Justin’s rendition. He sounds SIGNIFICANTLY younger. Makes sense considering it was in 2010. He hadn’t quite hit puberty at that point, I guess. HAHA! Sorry, Biebs.

Okay, back to Purpose. I really think this album is fantastic. He has a lot of “hits” that I can see breaking the billboard charts over the next year. He already has three huge hits from this album: Sorry, What Do You Mean, and Where Are You Now. When I first put the album in my disc player (do people still even use those, or is it just me?) I wasn’t sure how I felt. I had to listen to the album two times before hearing its potential. I already have my top three songs, not including his current radio repeats. My favorite song on the album is today’s SOTW called, “Been You.” To put it simply, I think the song is fun, catchy, and I really like the lyrics. Give it a listen below.

Alright, next up is One Direction. If you follow me on Twitter, you know I love 1D. I don’t care if that makes me seem lame or mainstream. It’s not like 1D is all I listen to. I just love their music. David does, too. Don’t ever let him tell you he doesn’t. I see him tapping his leg when we listen in the car! (He may or may not be reading this… usually he reads the blog. If so, sorry for calling you out, D.)

For those of you who are not aware, 1D originally had five members. One of them recently left the band to go solo, go figure. This is their first album with just four: Harry, Liam, Niall, and Louis. I LOVED the album before this, Four. I loved every single song on that album. Unfortunately, with Made In The A.M., I have about two that I could live without. If you have not bought it yet, I recommend getting the deluxe version. I say this because the four bonus songs help round out the album and make up for the songs I wasn’t buggy about in the main 13 provided.

Other than the two songs I disliked, the album is really really great. I wish I could choose just one favorite song, but I can’t. I want you all to check out the album on Spotify before buying it, though. Go check it out and tell me what you think! In the meantime, I did choose one that I think gives you a good preview of what to expect from this album called “Never Enough.” Comment below or tweet me @krickeyb to let me know what you think of these albums. Happy Monday!

SOTW: Loudspeaker by MUNA

Happy Tuesday, everyone! What better way to celebrate a gorgeous Tuesday (at least it is gorgeous here in Washington, DC) than with some mood-boosting music?

The song I chose for this week is called Loudspeaker by MUNA. If you know me, you know I LOVE 80s music! When I listen to this song, I feel like I am watching an 80s movie. I cannot say that I feel I am back in the 80s, though. I was born in the early 90s, so obviously I cannot completely relate. Despite that fact, I do appreciate, and adore, everything about the 80s. The clothes, the hair, and most importantly, the music… it all makes me happy!

Loudspeaker is a chill song that is always a great start to my morning. I discovered MUNA on 8tracks not too long ago. Unfortunately, I kind of forgot about MUNA for a bit, until I rediscovered them again on Spotify. Just because I “forgot” about them does not discount their music in any way. They are an AMAZING girl pop band from LA that inspires me to play guitar again. Like most women, I dig other women who do awesome things. MUNA, please keep rocking! I love your music and would like to continue sharing it with my readers! Woohoo, girl power!

Enjoy this song and hopefully it boosts your mood, like it does for me. Let me know if you think it has an 80s vibe to it, too! Thanks for listening/reading!