Blog Music News and Interviews

“Nana” (2001) – An Anime that Refined Rock Music

“Nana” is an anime that was released in 2001 which centered around two girls, both named Nana. They meet when they end up sitting next to each other on the train to Tokyo. Nana K. is on the way to Tokyo for art school and the other Nana O. Is on the way to Tokyo to pursue her career as a musician. 

Coincidentally, the two end up signing a lease to be roommates without knowing ahead of time. Their personalities are complete opposites and that dynamic is what makes the show so unique.

Nana O. Is the lead singer of a rock band called Black Stones, or BLAST, an up-and-coming punk band.  Nana O.’s boyfriend, Ren, is the guitarist of a famous pop-rock band called TrapNest. A band of which Nana K. is a huge fan.

Essentially to keep things short, Nana K. and Nana O. both get caught up in the music industry as the two get more entangled with the behind-the-scenes of BLAST and TrapNest. 

Centering around Rock Music?

Music is a huge aspect of this show and I want to dive a little deeper into it.

I was shocked when I first watched this show that both bands that are featured in this show are huge rock bands and they dress the part too with their abundant piercings, unique hairstyles, and immaculate fashion sense. 

Rock music is not heavily seen in anime and I was curious why the author of the manga decided to make a story about it.

Turns out there is a Rock and Metal fanbase in Japan. Of course, as we know Rock and Metal to be, it really focuses on the authenticity of the music. The instruments. Being able to break out of the typical conformity of a daily modest lifestyle. 

I wasn’t really into Rock music at all when I started this show, but as I continued hearing their voices and sound as bands grew on me.


Over the course of the show, we see Nana K. go from being Nana O.’s roommate and groupie to becoming an important part of BLAST’s life. She impacts each band member in a different way. What I love about the show is that we get to see BLAST grow as a band from newbies to selling-out shows.

The musical component of this show is amazing too. It really exposes what it is like to be a musician and how the lives of people that have relationships with these musicals are impacted. How the media influences public opinion toward these bands.

The Black Stones or BLAST has four members: Nana Osaki (vocals), Nobuo Terashima (guitar), Shinichi Okazaki (bass), and Yasushi Takagi (drums)

TrapNest also has four members:  Reira Serizawa (vocals), Ren Honjo (guitar), Takumi Ichinose (bass), and Naoki Fujieda (drums).

Although the anime is a lot more than what I covered if you’re in it for the music check out this video with the full soundtrack.

If the premise seems interesting and you want to watch the anime, check it out on any anime platform or read the manga too.

Music News and Interviews

Songs That Have a Hold on Me – “Remember When” by Wallows

I’m back with another installation of this series. Like I said in the first post in this series about Clairo – “Remember When” is Wallows’ third most listened-to song, and it’s popularity is well deserved. the reason it has taken over my mind.

I’ve written a lot about Wallows because they are my favorite band, so of course, I’m here to write about another one of their songs that has a strong grip on me.

It’s not just that this song is written by Wallows, the instrumentals in “Remember When” evoke a dormant nostalgia that feels like one specific moment in the past. It’s almost like reliving your favorite period of life through a song. 

“Pleaser,” which I wrote a post about, used to be my favorite song by them for years, but the second I heard “Remember When” live my entire perspective changed. 

From the start, the electric guitar and drum intro sucks you in entirely.  The rhythm is dynamic and upbeat–simple but so inventive.

It was released in 2019, however, there is a distinct 2016 or 2017 sentimentality to it. The instrumentals have probably the most simple composition when it comes to mind. Drums, electric guitar, and bass yet there’s something magical and melancholic about it. 

My favorite verse in the song is “I can still see you at the place out there when I close my eyes |  Do you remember when we felt like the only two alive? | Don’t let me be one of the people that seek a lost romance |  Would you go and do it all over again, given a chance?” 

The emotions behind these lyrics and the line ‘do you remember when we felt like the only two alive?’ are so powerful. It brings out this sadness and longing for such a happy time in your life. 

Along with the composition, the title itself, “Remember When” is nostalgic too. So many great stories start with the phrase ‘remember when’. 

Unfortunately, the only downside of this song is that it’s only 2 and a half minutes long; it’s short and sweet but easy to keep on repeat.

If you ever get the chance, take my suggestion and listen to this sound on full blast with the windows down at 2 am or midnight. It will for sure make you feel something.

Check out the music video for “Remember When”:

Blog Music Education

What Happens to Accents When Singing?

Some of the information in this article is sourced from Today I Found Out.

The day I found out that a handful of my favorite artists were actually British and not American I was genuinely shocked.

I was young at the time so I had such a hard time wrapping my mind around the idea that someone with the strongest British accent could sound fully American the second they started singing.

Adele, The Beatles, Coldplay?

At this point, we’ve all listened to enough songs in our lives to notice this phenomenon at least once or twice. Have you ever wondered why?

Science of Linguistics

Let’s get to the root of it first. British-Pop music was actually inspired by what we consider American music styles such as rock and roll,  blues, and hip hop. 

As a result in order to mimic or replicate that style of music, British artists and other foreign artists will sing in that “American’”style. 

In terms of linguistics, singing doesn’t have an accent and similarly, an American accent in itself is fairly neutral.

When singing, the melody causes the articulation of certain words or elongation of vowels and consonants to change depending on the style or type of song. Accents cannot be reproduced when singing. 

Singing is much faster-paced than speaking and words can be manipulated in euphonious ways.

Considering this, it’s wise to see if this phenomenon can occur in other genres of music.

Opera has its own accent. Opera singers, regardless of the language or accent they sing in, have a similar style in their singing. This can be seen across all genres of music whether it is Pop, Jazz, or Rap.

Talk Singing

One of my favorite moments where this concept is seen is when Dua Lipa is “talk singing.”

In “Levitating” by Dua Lipa, her British accent shines through at that verse and it’s my favorite part simply because of the way she enunciates words.

“My love is like a rocket, watch it blast off |  And I’m feeling so electric, dance my a– off |  And even if I wanted to, I can’t stop | Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah” 

The entirety of the song is in an American accent and this is an example of one of the few songs you can hear the “Britishness” of a British artist’s voice.

Maybe you’ve never noticed that some of our favorite British musicians lose their accents when singing. Hopefully, you learned something new today.

Miscellaneous Music News and Interviews

Songs That Have a Hold on Me – “Amoeba” by Clairo

I have a few select songs constantly on replay and I thought why not make a series covering them?

I’m starting a series about songs that have a death grip on my mind and we’re starting off with “Amoeba” by none other than Clairo.

Yes, it is one of her most listened-to songs and that’s probably why it has such a hold on me.

Initially, when Clairo’s sophomore album “Sling” was released, I was drawn to the song title as a Biologist. However, it was the meaning behind the song and the catchy guitar melody that got me hooked.

Aspects of the song were described as what it feels like to be drunk, with this bounciness of background instrumentals. 

What I particularly love about this song is the lyricism and how many of the lyrics could be taken in multiple ways. It’s a song that Clairo took a creative risk with compared to her first album with less direct lyrics and it paid off. 

Clairo describes the track as being about what it feels like to navigate a toxic relationship or an uncomfortable social outing.

Yet the song is also about how she got so caught up with her career when she was first put into the spotlight and how she often forgot to keep in touch with her family and friends because of how drained and chaotic her life got.

The title amoeba actually related to the single-celled microorganism as well as meaning to change or alter in Greek. As a result, the track about Clairo shifting her lifestyle after realizing it was not the healthiest was given a fitting title. 

The piano chords along with the bubbly guitar instrumentals and soft vocals give the whole track an airy feeling. The drums kick in during the chorus and give the song an overall groovy funky beat.

The lyrics that hit the most are the verse “Aren’t you glad that you reside in a hell and in disguise? |  Nobody yet everything, a pool to shed your memory |  Could you say you’ve even tried? You haven’t called your family twice | I can hope tonight goes differently, but I show up to the party just to leave” 

Especially when we get into a new routine or start a new opportunity for the first time like a new school year or a new job it’s not hard to immerse ourselves in it. 

It happened to me last Fall when I finally got to experience college in person again. I was so caught up with school and events that I would often forget to call my parents.

I feel the song’s most underrated verse is towards the end. “Pulling back, I tried to find the point of wasting precious time | I sip and toast to normalcy, a fool’s way into jealousy |  I mock and imitate goodbyes when I know that I can’t deny | That I’ll be here forever-while, I show up to the party just to leave.”

Though all the lyrics in this song are super relatable if you’ve experienced anything similar, this verse hits the hardest. When you’re trying to blend in at a social gathering mentally count the minutes you’ve been there. Pretending you’re having fun when in reality you want to leave. You’re jealous of the people leaving early but you want to put on a facade that you’re staying longer to enjoy your time there. 

What I learned from this track is to prioritize your mental health and check in with those around you even if you are having the time of your life. It’s easy to be distracted but it’s still important to prioritize your needs at the same time.

Band/Artist Profile

Weston Estate – Band Profile

Weston Estate has marked themselves as “ya aunties favorite boyband.” 

Named after a neighborhood in Cary, NC the band is made up of five members. Marco Gomez, Tanmay Joshi, and Manas Panchavati are the vocalists while Srikar Nanduri is their guitarist and Abhi Manhass is in charge of production: ne of which is part of the Wolfpack– Srikar.

Locally, we have a lot of indie-rock and indie-pop bands but we don’t have too many R&B-centered indie bands, which is what I find so refreshing about them. A lot of their discography is upbeat yet has this mellow vibe to it. Their songs span a whole variety of genres but still maintain their signature sound.

I find Weston Estate’s music style very reminiscent of Hojean and Dhruv.

Their first single, “Cotton Candy” and it has garnered over 10 million listens in the past three years. The intro with the acoustic guitar and the subtle introduction of the 808 makes the melody melt in your ear, like how cotton candy melts in your mouth.

I had this song on repeat for three months straight. It’s an amazing song and it’s their most listened to song for a reason. It’s so ingrained in my mind that whenever I see a light pink and blue sunset I instantly think of it.

One of my favorite songs by them is “Close The Door”. More specifically the harmonizing of vocals. It’s subtle but adds a flair to the song that stands out to me compared to other tracks.

They released their first EP earlier this year in February titled “Maggie Valley”.  It was a six-track EP with original songs such as “Sixty” and “Daisies” along with known singles like “Pears” and “Stoked”. 

Out of all the tracks on “Maggie Valley”, “Sixty” has to be my favorite. It has a heavy jazz influence with trumpets along with the acoustic guitar, piano, and bass. A combination I’ve never heard done before. It incorporates that same harmonizing from a couple of their other songs that I love.

Usually, when I am a fan of a band there’s one aspect that typically stands out to me. Whether it’s the drums, guitar, or vocals. However, with Weston Estate each member is talented in their own ways and that’s what makes each of their pieces sound cohesive.

“So Good” is their newest single and is quite different from what we’ve seen from them in the past. It sounds similar to bossa nova beats with more focus on percussion.

Like the title of the song it really is so good. It stays true to their lo-fi vibe yet the electric guitar riffs add a touch of je ne sais quoi. Whether it’s the instrumentals, lyricism, vocals, or production, there is nowhere they lack.

I love when artists try out new styles of music or allow themselves to have more creative freedom. With Weston Estate you never know what to expect from their new releases – it’s a pleasant surprise each time. 

You can find them on Instagram and check out their discography on Spotify.

Check out their entire discography here!

Miscellaneous Music News and Interviews Playlists

“Gilmore Girls” and Indie Music

For those of you who don’t know, “Gilmore Girls” was a show on The CW that aired from 2000 to 2007. 

The show was about a quirky mom, Lorelai, and her daughter, Rory. It focused on their mom-daughter relationship as well as their relationship with Lorelai’s parents and the people in their small town. 

Granted that their characters were seen as witty, sarcastic, and super knowledgable in terms of pop culture, music, and movies, the references to underground artists often came off as snobbish at the time. I would never understand the music references they made and felt like I was somehow behind.

A lot of moments on the show felt like Rory and Lorelai constantly wanted to seem “not like the other girls”, however, after watching it regularly I grew accustomed to their rapid banter and uniqueness. 

Eventually, their quirkiness turned into their charm.

There are a handful of bands I discovered specifically through that show. Rory and her best friend Lane, a female drummer, both were huge music geeks and after hearing their music references, curiosity got the best of me.

I wanted to see if the bands they referred to were truly worth the snobbery. 

Here is a brief list of the bands and artists that were mentioned in the show: The Bangles, Paul Anka, Sonic Youth, The Shins, Arcade Fire, The Go-Gos, New Order/Joy Division and The Libertines. 

The “Gilmore Girls” show writers were big music connoisseurs as well and wanted the music to be on the forefront to give the show its own vibes and sound.

Since the show’s primary audience was mothers and daughters, the music references in the show made pre-teen and teen girls get into music that Lorelai and Rory found to be cool.

A handful of the musicians they reference throughout the show actually made cameos as well.

The band Lane was a drummer for, Hep Alien, performed a lot of cover songs on the show too. They performed “London Calling” by The Clash, “Fell in Love With a Girl” by White Stripes, and “I’m the Man” by Joe Jackson along with many others.

The show is an acquired taste so I would only recommend watching it if you’re open to an eccentric family-centered show.

It’s a show that was revolutionary for its time making underground pop culture references seem like the ‘it’ thing and music was a huge part of Rory and Lorelai’s characters. 

If it’s not for the characters, there are a lot of great tracks found throughout the show.

Here’s a playlist if you’d rather skip straight to the music!

Music News and Interviews

Conan Gray “People Watching” Song Review

Conan Gray’s sophomore album “Superache” was recently released and there is a single on there that I haven’t gotten out of my head since 2021 when it was initially released.

“People Watching” is one of his most relatable songs to me personally. Although, most of Conan’s songs hit super close to home for me.

At first, I was skeptical of Conan being such a famous artist who writes so much about love and yet somehow has notably never been in a relationship in his whole life. But watching interview after interview, I realized we both might be similar regardless of his status as a celebrity; we both have high standards and are super picky about almost everything. 

“People Watching” is an indie-pop track about how Conan is a people watcher and he observes all these couples and people wishing he could feel and experience the things they are. 

The swelling of the piano instrumentals and drums builds as the passion in his vocals does and gives such a distinct depth. It stays upbeat while maintaining this light energy to it.

As I discussed in the blog about “Yours”, Conan has strong vocals and isn’t afraid to showcase them in his bridges. The bass kicks in as the piano and drumming get more intense and instead of sounding chaotic the whole piece comes together to get this angst and longing across. 

For the lyrics themselves, Conan never hesitates to write about thoughts we all have.  The lyrics have a way of storytelling, not just to portray emotions but play a scene in our minds as we listen.

The song starts off with the lyrics ‘That wasn’t funny but she laughed so hard, she almost cried |  They’re counting months they’ve been together, almost 49 | He’s making fun of how she acted ’round the holidays | She wears a ring but they tell people that they’re not engaged.” 

It’s a simple people-watching scenario including the small details that those who don’t people-watch might not notice. It’s subtle but it highlights from the get-go that Conan is already micro-analyzing their relationship. 

The chorus hits the hardest and is the part of the song where he is the most vulnerable singing “I wanna feel all that love and emotion |  Be that attached to the person I’m holding |  Someday, I’ll be fallin’ without caution |  But for now, I’m only people watching” 

Personally, this hits the hardest because it’s so easy to watch people in relationships and think they are happy and living their dreams but we’ll never really know what their relationship is like. 

My favorite line in the whole song is “Someday, I’ll be falling’ without caution.” Overthinking often leads to problems and when you’re in a secure relationship, it’s something you don’t need to worry about or be afraid of.  Falling without caution. Being able to fall in love without worrying about yourself too much.

Anyway, before things get too sappy, the concept of People Watching is so interesting to me too.  Being able to observe people’s lives and imagine scenarios about them in mind for fun. It’s an easy distraction from the mundane every day.

Check out the music video:

Music video for “People Watching” by Conan Gray.

If you want to listen to the full “Superache” album check it out on Spotify.

Music News and Interviews

Breaking Through the “Nepotism Baby” Title

In the music industry, there are quite a few artists that come to mind when I hear “nepotism baby.”

To preface, in this case, I do not mean this term with a negative connotation. There are a few indie artists that just happened to be nepotism babies like Clairo or Finneas because they had connections to the industry before pursuing their careers. However, even with this privilege, these artists have worked art to earn a name for themselves as musicians. 

In this post, I want to talk about Maya Hawke, one of my favorite “nepotism babies.”

Though her parents are the Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke, she wasn’t big in the acting scene until Season 3 of “Stranger Things.” She didn’t want to be an actress like her parents in the first place, but eventually, after growing up around movie sets and theaters she found a good fit.

Her parents were in movie classics such as “Kill Bill,” “Pulp Fiction,” “Dead Poet’s Society” and “Training Day.” 

What many people don’t know about Maya Hawke is her music career. 

Like most people during quarantine, Maya Hawke began exploring music production. The first two singles she released in 2019 were called “To Love a Boy” and “Stay Open”. 

At first, I didn’t have many expectations for her music because a majority of young actors these days do music on the side. But her voice and style are so unique and unexpected.

“To Love a Boy” is a unique take on a love song. It’s about wanting to be in love, yearning for that feeling when you don’t yet have it. The authenticity of the lyrics and her ability to display her insecurities for an audience like that is impactful. 

“Stay Open” is much different. The violin with a guitar makes for a folk melody. It’s a song about keeping your heart open for someone regardless of their flaws. It’s short and sweet. Like the countryside during the fall.

The acoustic guitar with her soft vocals and instrumentals make these songs feel like sitting on a boat drifting in the river on a rainy day. They are dreamy and have a ’90s jazz vibe to them. Something about the harmonies and drums brings the songs to life. A childhood nostalgia to them, or a song fit for a Pixar movie. Short yet eliciting deep emotions.

All of her music is like this. Maybe that’s why I find it so comforting. 

She released her first studio album in 2020 titled “Blush” and it’s chock full of healing tracks. Many songs sound like lullabies and apologize to friends and family. The feelings of sentiment are fitting for the time they were written.

The vulnerability she highlights in her music and the intellectual lyrics at times give her an edge against many newer musicians. 

Maya Hawke’s latest single is called “Thérèse” and is an unpredictable track. Going from a light acoustic guitar too hard electric guitar yet it carries the messages all the way through. The slow introduction of drums takes us back to the initial melody. It’s more upbeat compared to her and sounds dreamy at times. The song is about a painting called Thérèse and how Maya sees herself in it. 

Seen in the lyrics “She reminds me of memories | Sleeping off the growing pains” and “Thérèse does not belong to you |

The horses, cars, and cowboys do”.  Maya highlights that neither Thérèse nor her belong to the public even though they have both been in the spotlight for most of their existence. She sees herself in Thérèse, always facing criticism from strangers, as the child of famous parents. 

It’s my favorite one.

While she doesn’t have a lengthy discography quite yet, I do think she has a distinctive voice she could bring to the industry. As an up-and-coming actress as well as an up-and-coming musician, I can’t wait to see and hear her future projects.

If this sounds interesting to you, check out Maya Hawke’s discography.

Music News and Interviews

Emei “Late to the Party” Song Revi

Lately, I have been starting to compare myself to my peers once again. It was easier during the pandemic since we were all stuck in our houses suffering together. However, this summer almost everyone I know has an internship at some well-known company or has a decent idea of what they want to do with their careers. 

I somehow have always sucked at finding internships or jobs. Of course, it’s not good to compare yourself to others cause we are all on different journeys in our lives. Sometimes it’s just inevitable.

In the song “Late to the Party”, artist Emei feels just that. Imposter syndrome. 

What if I’m doing something wrong. Why is everyone more successful than me. These are thoughts I constantly have that Emei captures so perfectly in alternative pop music. 

The way I encountered this song was through a video of Emei performing this song in the basement of a college dorm building with a band. It’s something about watching music being performed in its raw form that hits so hard. 

My passion for being a scientist is totally different from Emei’s wanting to be a highly regarded musician but the feelings are no different.

The song starts off with the lyrics “Twenty-one without a grammy or degree |  Too bad that’s sad, maybe at twenty-three |  Don’t wanna care how people look at me |  But I still feel late to the party.” 

The sentiments of this song can be applied to most college students and honestly anyone regardless of their age.  No matter what we want to pursue in life, it always feels like even if you don’t care what people think of you, you somehow can’t stop judging yourself. I definitely have moments where I feel late to the party.

A thought I have always had was, that if only I taught myself the guitar at a young age I would have easily been living a lavish life at the age of 20 being able to perform all over the world. This song unfortunately has opened my eyes to the reality that any passion or career you want to pursue takes hard work and sometimes sheer luck.

A verse that stands out to me for that reason is “Sitting on the couch with my friends right now |  Overheard a conversation about how |  Someone from high school just got engaged | While I’m out here making minimum wage | But really I just wanna be on the stage |  Why do I care about people my age?”

Hearing this song feels like Emei took thoughts from my mind. I love this song because it helps me appreciate that everyone our age has experiences like these.

People are always going to be in different stages of their lives, whether they are married or still in school or touring the country.

It’s a song I feel can resonate with a lot of people.

The track itself is alternative pop. The darker pop melody accompanied by Emei’s dynamic and unique vocals makes the song sultry and catchy. With a touch of angst, the whole song comes together so well.

The ending of the song sticks with me even after a couple of listens. The lines “What’s the rush | What’s the rush for?” Repeat over and over. The repetition of the song accompanied by bass keeps things refreshing and leaves you wanting to listen one more time.

If you’re looking for a relatable song and are feeling late to the party just like I am, this song will help you stop feeling alone in your worries.

Late to the party or not, keeping that same passion and determination to achieve your dreams is the way to go.

Check out the music video for “Late to the Party” on YouTube.

Music News and Interviews

Sarah Kingsley “The King” Song Review

When I first “The King,” it was like something I had never heard before. 

Sarah Kingsley’s talent as a producer is so powerful. The way she makes an indie bedroom-pop song sound so majestic with her vocals.

The consistent piano and drumming instrumental melodies and harmonies in the background of the song add a component to this song that is reminiscent of an ABBA song.

If you’re a fan of Maggie Rogers or Mitski, then Sarah Kingsley’s style will be a familiar one.

Sarah Kingsley is a strong advocate of women producers being able to share their work and be praised for their talent as much as their male counterparts are. This is where the concept of being “The King” comes from. 

As a student who was studying music theory at Columbia University, Sarah really gave her all with this song. Being able to recreate such cinematic musical swells while still incorporating a touch of classical music to it. 

The song itself is about Sarah’s coming of age and how she feels about adulthood. Her journey of self-discovery as she gets a chance to explore more about herself as a musician.

This is seen throughout the song with lyrics such as “So tell me |  Before we get older let’s do everything |  You’re scared of when it’s over | You’re still young and you’re still free.“ This verse is her talking to her younger self essentially telling herself that before she gets old she wants to do everything that she dreams of. 

During the song, she is talking to her younger self and it’s almost sentimental to see the way the recalls her memories “I built a castlе far away in the sand |  We were higher than we knew with nothing to lose |  Until it washed away in our hands |  And you said you could never love again | Well it must’ve been fate then | ’Cause I know exactly how it ends” 

Having that childhood innocence before realizing how difficult achieving your dreams can be, especially if you are a soft-spoken introvert that might not be confident in your skills. It’s the way she describes this through her lyrics that I find to be so impactful. 

In the song she says “I want to be the King of your heart” and a quick listen might make the audience think she means in a romantic sense, but she actually means to say that she wants to be the King of her own heart and reach the top of the hill through hard work.

Though the lyrics are somewhat serious, this song has such European summer vacation energy. Something you’d listen to while biking in Greece or walking in an Italian village under the sun.

Check out the music video for “The King.”