Life is short, people. We know that.
But how is that influencing what you’re doing with it?
Are you playing it safe, sitting nice and still for fear of upsetting the apple cart, real or imagined? Or as these five artists urge, are you going all out on your own terms to live what Oprah likes to call “your best life”?
Yes life is short but if you’re living on your own terms, and pursuing your dreams, it’s going one hell of a worthwhile journey.
Which you can start right now by listening to these fine motivating songs.
“A Lovesong” by Ladyhawke
One of the great mainstays of pop music is the love song, which can be sweet and tremulous or bitter, awestruck or disillusioned depending on where the artist sits on Cupid’s arrow-struck scale.
Pip Brown aka Ladyhawke, whose new album Wild Things lands 3 June, has landed firmly in the love in the real world end of the scale in “A Love Song”.
The song, which delivers her usual trademark electropop sleekness and immersively emotive vocals, talks frankly about real love being the stuff that happens when someone sees you at your destructive worst and steps in to hold you up and get you on the path to recovery.
Sure it talks about the Hallmark greeting card stuff and some of the darker, negative emotions, but by and large it talks about love as it really is and affirms that this is what a love song should be all about.
And so all of us.
“What You Waiting For (feat. Sugarwhiskey)” by Gazzo
A DJ/producer who has made quite a name for himself of late, Gazzo, or Mike Gazzo as his parents know him, is one artist who is living his dream.
Producing eminently-danceable music that will have you on your feet in an instant, Gazzo, who is a talented instrumentalist too, also believes in getting you thinking too.
Dancing and thinking at the same time? Of course you can!
The artist, whose catchy songs Your Music Radar places “on par with the likes of the current offerings from The Chainsmokers, Disco Fries, [and] Tiesto”, is asking everyone, in concert with pop duo Sugarwhiskey why are they aren’t Carpe Diem-ing the hell out of life right here, right now.
“What You Waiting For” is all about finding out what your love and putting your heart and soul into it without delay.
Because YOLO … right?
“Two Feet off the Ground” by Sara Hartman
Following her impressive debut single “Monster Lead me Home”, the New York born-and-raised Sara Hartman, who now calls Berlin her music-making home, has released the supremely catchy “Two Feet Off the Ground”.
It confirms we have a real talent in our midst, the song a perfect whole – verses and chorus that balance each other, a beat with all the momentum and accompanying melody you could ask for and enchantingly bright, upbeat vocals that match the buoyant mood of the lyrics.
This is a song, Hartman says, that is all “a don’t think, just follow your instincts kind of tune”, the kind of push along that we all need.
In this masterful piece of pop, there’s no such thing as stultifying inertia, only a full speed ahead dash to wherever your heart, soul and dreams take you.
It’s the kind of journey we all be taking every damn day of our lives.
“Coda” by Kill J
Copenhagen-based artist Kill J is one of those people who refuses to be categorised.
“I´m a pop artist – but I don’t quite fit into that box… then I realize that I don’t have to be fully something. I´m quasi. Half graceful goddess, half reptile.” (Pigeons and Planes)
Interesting choices admittedly but by god it makes a soul glad that there are singers in this world who won’t bow to convention and give us songs as addictively soulful as “Coda”.
Layered over an ineffably lovely but attitude-laden synth-drenched melody, Kill J talks about “about taking power back. You always know what you should have said after it’s over and too late – ‘Coda’ is my way of getting the last word.” (Pigeons and Planes)
It fits in perfectly with her approach to life – be your own person, say what needs to be said and don’t be afraid of where that takes you.
“What You Talkin’ About” by Peter Bjorn and John
The masters of bouncy, thoughtful, melody-laden pop, the three Swedish artists collectively known as Peter Bjorn and John, who made a world-spanning memorable debut back in 2006 with “Young Folks”, are back with the first single from their next album Breakin’ Point due out 10 June.
And it’s every bit as catchy and beguilingly wonderful as their first indie pop/rock musical cab off the rank.
“What You Talking About” is proof though that the band, which is made up of Peter Morén (vocals, guitar and harmonica), Björn Yttling (bass guitar, keyboards and vocals) and John Eriksson (drums, percussion and vocals), aren’t prepared to rest on their laurels with a bevy of talented collaborators joining them in the studio, according to Pitchfork.
“The band’s first album since 2011’s Gimme Some will feature collaborations with several high-profile producers, including Paul Epworth (U2, Paul McCartney), Greg Kurstin (Adele), and Emile Haynie (FKA Twigs, Lana Del Rey).”
And it’s clearly paying off with their trademark sound very much intact but polished and buffed to lend the air of a band that isn’t done creating insanely listenable music just yet.
NOW THIS IS MUSIC EXTRA EXTRA!
So you may have noticed that a small, barely-watched show called Game of Thrones returned for its sixth season this week.
In honour of its ratings-stomping return, Billboard mused on which pop stars would be best cast as various Games of Thrones characters (artwork by Paul Tuller).
My favourite? Madoona as Cersei Lannister.
To find out who else they nominated, go to Billboard.