Summer heat

The one annual week of summer heat has arrived in the UK with a vengeance. I am not about it in the slightest so I have spent today indoors with the windows open, ignoring the news and getting lots of writing done.

Looking forward to a quiet evening with music and reading, and then another day of writing tomorrow.

OOTD 23rd July 2019
OOTD: this is the lightest dress I own but it’s still too warm for a day like today. Dress Primark (2018), trainers Nike (2018).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Gunship – The Mountain
Lil’ Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus – Old Town Road
Andy Taylor – I Might Lie
Duran Duran – Hungry Like The Wolf
Trevor Something – All Night
Al Stewart – Year Of The Cat
Bowling For Soup – 1985
The Midnight and Nikki Flores – Jason
Colony 5 – Black
Duran Duran – All You Need Is Now
Duran Duran – A View To A Kill
Bucks Fizz – If You Can’t Stand The Heat
Martin Garrix, Macklemore and Patrick Stump – Summer Days

Scribbling time

No Music Video Monday post today as I’m busy with my non-blog writing this week. There’s lots of projects I want to get finished by the end of July!

I also had some day job work to do today, which was good. As I mentioned the other day, the summer so far has been a bit sluggish business-wise and I’m almost looking forward to the annual busy period that always happens around August/September.

In the meantime, though, I’m making the most of having time to get on with my own writing. Same again tomorrow.

OOTD 22nd July 2019
OOTD: unexpectedly warm today! Sunglasses Ray-Ban (2019), t-shirt Punk Masters (2018), jeans Vivid (2018), trainers Reebok (2017).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello – Señorita
It Bites – Calling All The Heroes
Duran Duran – Is There Something I Should Know?
Heaven 17 – Let Me Go
Gunship – The Mountain
Prefab Sprout – Cars And Girls

Semi-weekending

I’m still feeling a bit out of it and not very focused, but I’ve had a fairly productive day for a Sunday – I’ve made a list of the agents that I’ll be approaching this week and have managed a few other writing-related tasks. Back to it properly tomorrow.

OOTD 21st July 2019
OOTD: power shoulders! Jacket Claude Montana (vintage 1980s, bought on Etsy 2018), t-shirt H&M (2018), trousers Bat Attack (2009), shoes Office (2018).

Today’s earworm playlist:

The Midnight and Timecop1983 – River Of Darkness
The Midnight – Lost Boy
Erasure – The Circus
David Bowie – Let’s Dance
Miley Cyrus – Mother’s Daughter
Oasis – She’s Electric

Returning to the hoard

I was up early for parkrun this morning – I’d not been to Newcastle parkrun in ages. I was a lot happier with my time than I was at Pendle last week, as I’m pretty much back to where I was this time last year.

I’ve spent the afternoon de-hoarding – picking out books, DVDs and CDs to sell online (business has been a bit sluggish the last couple of months and I could do with the extra cash). It’s been a bit anxiety-inducing but I think I will feel a lot better once the stuff has left the house.

Back to writing tomorrow.

OOTD 20th July 2019
OOTD: comfy post-run outfit. T-shirt Amplified (2018), leggings Primark (2018), trainers Reebok (2018).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Duran Duran – Meet El Presidente
Tyler Lyle – Lost And Found [The Midnight Remix]
Timecop1983 and The Bad Dreamers – Back To You

Another day writing

I had another nice quiet day to get some writing done today. I’ve also listened to a lot of music and got some annoying overdue admin jobs out of the way.

Back to parkrun tomorrow, and then a weekend sorting a few things out in the house.

OOTD 19th July 2019
OOTD: the nice thing about working from home is that I decide what is ‘office-appropriate’! Jacket Gap (2010), dress unknown brand (thrifted from Steff 2016), tights Primark (2017), shoes Office (2018).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Mud – Tiger Feet
George Michael – A Different Corner
Duran Duran – Violence Of Summer [The Story Mix]
Duran Duran – All You Need Is Now
Stormzy – Crown

New Hits Friday: 19th July 2019

Four new hits in the chart today.

Tiesto, Jonas Blue and Rita Ora – Ritual

Nice summery dance beat, but the tune’s not that inspired.

The video is all about Rita Ora leading a group contemporary dance routine in a neon-lit studio.

Remedee, Notes and Young Adz – Love Of My Life

Some interesting synthy things going on with the backing track, but there’s no tune to speak of.

The video features lots of shuffling around a London tower block and, of course, some standing around in front of cars.

Krept & Konan, Headie One and K-Trap – I Spy

Annoying squeaky voices on the backing track, repetitive rap. Not my thing.

Some interesting bits in the (NSFW-due-to-close-up-twerking-towards-the-end) video – there’s a chat show host involved and some random flamenco outfits – but it’s mostly a fairly generic haze of bling, exotic mansions and car-standing.

Ed Sheeran and Stormzy – Take Me Back To London

Great atmosphere, good beat. Quite like this one.

There’s no video yet.

More new hits next Friday!

Music Review: Now! That’s What I Call Music #103

It’s the annual summer Now! release – Now! 103 has been released today, 19th July 2019.

July 2019
This is how the world looks in July 2019, with me and Geth out racing again.

Let’s see which recent tracks have been included.

Now! That's What I Call Music #103

Track 1: Lil’ Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus – Old Town Road [Remix]

New Hits Friday review, plus video review.

I’ve still got a real soft spot for this comedy cowboy rap track, especially since Billy Ray Cyrus showed up on the chorus for this new version.

Track 2: Ed Sheeran, Chance The Rapper and PnB Rock – Cross Me

New Hits Friday review, plus video review.

This one’s a bit of a grower and a fairly frequent earworm.

Track 3: Billie Eilish – Bad Guy

New Hits Friday review.

This one, conversely, has got more annoying. I quite liked it when I first heard it, but I find it overplayed now.

Track 4: Avicii and Aloe Blacc – SOS

New Hits Friday review.

I’ve always quite liked these EDM-bluegrass tracks that Avicii did, and it’s nice if bittersweet that we’re getting the posthumous releases now.

Track 5: Katy Perry – Never Really Over

New Hits Friday review.

This is another one that I’m starting to find irritating after hearing it so often!

Track 6: Ariana Grande – Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored

New Hits Friday review.

This was released back in February and was a fairly frequent earworm for me in the early spring, but I’ve not heard it in months so I’m a bit surprised the Now! compilers have held it over for this compilation. It’s another one that annoys me now.

Track 7: Meduza and Goodboys – Piece Of Your Heart

New Hits Friday review, plus video review.

It’s a very catchy chorus, so I can understand why it was such a big hit, but again I just find it really irritating now after months of radio play!

Track 8: Stormzy – Vossi Bop

New Hits Friday review.

I wasn’t sure at first, but I’ve really grown to like this atmospheric track!

Track 9: Shawn Mendes – If I Can’t Have You

New Hits Friday review.

I still quite like this tune! (I’m also endlessly confused by the lyric ‘I’m in Toronto and I got this view/But I might as well be in a hotel room’ – if he’s visiting Toronto, and he’s not in a hotel room, then where is he? Staying with a friend who has a really good view? Why is this not explained in the song?)

Track 10: Mark Ronson and Camila Cabello – Find U Again

New Hits Friday review, plus video review.

Still very fond of this pop track!

Track 11: Mabel – Mad Love

New Hits Friday review.

This is another song that has really grown on me.

Track 12: Sigala and Becky Hill – Wish You Well

New Hits Friday review, plus video review.

Again, I’m starting to get a bit weary of this one due to radio overplay.

Track 13: Pink and Cash Cash – Can We Pretend

Not a hit – it only got to number 88. The album got to number one, though.

It’s a good pop tune, if a little cheesy for my liking.

Track 14: Jess Glynne and Jax Jones – One Touch

New Hits Friday review, plus video review.

This one is really, really grating after a few listens! Not a fan at all.

Track 15: Zara Larsson – Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me

New Hits Friday review.

I quite like the upbeat backing track, but on the whole I find this one a bit forgettable.

Track 16: CamelPhat and Jake Bugg – Be Someone

Not a hit – it only got to number 59.

I’m a bit surprised to hear indie singer-songwriter Jake Bugg on one of CamelPhat’s dance tracks, but his voice actually works quite well here.

Track 17: Jax Jones, Martin Solveig and Madison Beer – All Day And Night

Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Jax Jones on track 14.

New Hits Friday review, plus video review.

The hook is a bit annoying, but I still find this one very danceable.

Track 18: Martin Garrix, Macklemore and Patrick Stump – Summer Days

New Hits Friday review.

Another track that has really grown on me – great beat and great funk bassline.

Track 19: Little Mix – Bounce Back

New Hits Friday review.

It’s okay pop, but I find it a bit uninspired, and the Back To Life (However Do You Want Me) interpolation is slightly insipid.

Track 20: Jonas Blue and Theresa Rex – What I Like About You

New Hits Friday review.

This one is too cheesy for me and very forgettable.

Track 21: The Chainsmokers and 5 Seconds Of Summer – Who Do You Love?

New Hits Friday review.

I’m not keen on the tune, and that chorus is super annoying.

Track 22: Miley Cyrus – Mother’s Daughter

New Hits Friday review, plus video review.

I said when I first heard this that I thought it would become a frequent earworm, and it certainly has. It’s also become one of my favourite tracks in the chart at the moment.

Track 23: Jonas Brothers – Cool

New Hits Friday review.

It’s not really my thing, but at least it’s got a tune.

Track 24: 5 Seconds Of Summer – Easier

Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had 5 Seconds Of Summer on track 21.

New Hits Friday review.

I’ve not changed my opinion on this one – it’s still squeaky and annoying. It’s also a terrible earworm, which makes it even more irritating.

Track 25: Steel Banglez, AJ Tracey and Mostack – Fashion Week

New Hits Friday review.

I still find this one a bit repetitive.

Track 26: Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello – Señorita

Double repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Shawn Mendes on track 9 and Camila Cabello on track 10.

New Hits Friday review.

I’ve not been to dance class for a few weeks but I fully expect to hear this slow Latin-tinged track as cooldown music when I go back.

Track 27: Lewis Capaldi – Hold Me While You Wait

New Hits Friday review, plus video review.

Pretty tune as ever from Lewis Capaldi. Nice chillout music.

Track 28: Ariana Grande and Victoria Monét – Monopoly

Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Ariana Grande on track 6.

New Hits Friday review.

I still find this one pretty dull.

Track 29: Avicii – Heaven

Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Avicii on track 4.

New Hits Friday review, plus video review.

This one’s a nice feelgood summery tune.

Track 30: David Guetta and Raye – Stay (Don’t Go Away)

Not a hit – it only got to number 41.

Nice atmospheric dance track with a slightly retro feel.

Track 31: Bastille – Joy

Not a hit – it only got to number 46. The album got to number four, though.

I find this tune a bit depressing, which I don’t think is the intention!

Track 32: Elton John and Taron Egerton – (I’m Gonna) Love Me Again

Not actually released as a single – this is from the Rocketman soundtrack album, which got to number five.

I’ve not seen the film, but this is a fairly straightforward semi-cover (I would call it pointless if it weren’t meant to be a close replica!).

Track 33: Kylie Minogue – New York City

Not actually released as a single – this is a bonus track from her recent compilation album Step Back In Time: The Definitive Collection, which got to number one.

The track has a great disco feel, and I love the spoken word intro.

Track 34: Ellie Goulding – Sixteen

New Hits Friday review.

I still find this one saccharine and irritating.

Track 35: OneRepublic – Rescue Me

Not a hit – it only got to number 52.

I really like the guitar on this one.

Track 36: Dominic Fike – 3 Nights

New Hits Friday review.

I do still like this, but I’m finding it to be a bit overplayed at the moment.

Track 37: Lighthouse Family – My Salvation

Not actually released as a single – this is from their recent album Blue Sky In My Head, which got to number three.

Great atmosphere on this track – I’m tempted to check out the album now!

Track 38: Emeli Sandé – Sparrow

Not a hit, and not released properly as a single, though it did get to number 53 on the official download charts.

It’s a pretty tune with nice tinkly instrumentals, but it’s a little slow for me.

Track 39: Sam Fender – Hypersonic Missiles

Not a hit – it only got to number 65.

I find the song a bit dull, but it’s good to see indie-ish stuff on here alongside the pop and rap tracks.

Track 40: Liam Gallagher – Shockwave

New Hits Friday review.

I’m still gutted that, other than this track and a brief appearance by Catfish & The Bottlemen, there has been absolutely no rock music in the charts in 2019. I’m really hoping this trend reverses itself at some point during the 2020s!

Track 41: James Arthur – Falling Like The Stars

New Hits Friday review, plus video review.

I can’t stand this one. It’s way too saccharine for me, and the lyrics contain James Arthur’s favourite ‘romantic trope’ about holding girls’ hair back while they vomit due to overconsumption of alcohol. I have very little patience for that kind of message.

Track 42: Westlife – Better Man

New Hits Friday review.

This one’s still too cheesy for me.

Track 43: Taron Egerton – Rocketman

Repeated artist alert! We’ve already had Taron Egerton on track 32.

Again, this one is from the Rocketman soundtrack and hasn’t been released as an actual single.

It’s another straightforward cover – Taron Egerton’s voice is sort of similar but not identical to Elton’s, which gives it a slight uncanny valley feel.

Track 44: Himesh Patel – Yesterday

Here’s another soundtrack song – this one is from the soundtrack to Yesterday, which got to number 40 in the album chart.

Like the Elton covers, this is arranged pretty identically to the Beatles original, which, as I understand it from reading about the film’s plot, is to be expected.

Track 45: Grandmaster Flash and Grandmaster Melle Mel – White Lines (Don’t Do It)

We’ve already had this track on Now! #3…because the Now! compilers are doing exactly the same thing as they did on the last compilation, and so the last few tracks are all bonus tracks that originally appeared on the third release back in 1984! Now! #3 is also being re-released today, on CD for the first time. I really need to start picking up these re-releases again – I got Now! #1 on CD last summer but haven’t bought Now! #2 yet.

Because the Now! company was posting Duran Duran pictures in order to tease the re-release on social media, I was hopeful that they’d include The Reflex as a bonus track, but sadly there was no love for it this time round – I’ll just have to enjoy the original White Lines (famously a DD cover a decade later) instead!

See my review on Now! #3 – track 10.

Track 46: Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark – Locomotion

Love OMD and I’m gutted I missed out on tickets for their upcoming tour!

See my review on Now! #3 – track 4.

Track 47: The Weather Girls – It’s Raining Men

Still a party classic!

See my review on Now! #3 – track 26.

Track 48: Nik Kershaw – I Won’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me

Not my favourite Nik Kershaw track, but still a good tune.

See my review on Now! #3 – track 2.

We’ll return to the world of Now! in the autumn for Now! #104 (and presumably a re-release of Now! #4!).

Moving figures

A fairly busy Thursday today. Geth and I were out at Slimming World in the morning – we both had small gains but that’s to be expected after a weekend away – and after a trip to the polling station to vote in the PCC elections, I spent the afternoon getting the house ready for our boardgaming gathering tonight.

Back to writing tomorrow!

OOTD 18th July 2019
OOTD: a slightly different weigh-in outfit! Sunglasses Ray-Ban (2019), t-shirt Campus Crew for Toronto Blue Jays (2018), leggings Primark (2018), trainers Reebok (2017).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Madonna – Papa Don’t Preach
Duran Duran – To The Shore
The Beatles – She Loves You
Duran Duran – Secret Oktober
Madison Avenue – Don’t Call Me Baby

A perfect Wednesday!

Not that I’m giving up my ukulele class any time soon – I’m already looking forward to the next term that starts in September – but it was really nice today to have a whole entire day to myself on the sofa!

Yesterday’s uncomfortable distracted mood was all gone – I felt so much more focused today – and so I was able to get nice big chunks done on four of my ongoing writing projects. I’m going to be a bit busier tomorrow, but I’m hoping for a similarly productive writing day on Friday.

More videogaming and music this evening.

OOTD 17th July 2019
OOTD: like this outfit too 🙂 Blouse Lucky Winner (vintage 1980s, bought at vintage fair 2018), jeans Levi (2018), trainers Reebok (2017).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Duran Duran – Big Thing
Ta Mara & The Seen – Affection
A Flock Of Seagulls – I Ran
Tyler Lyle – Lost And Found [The Midnight Remix]