Video: GROOVIN’ THE MOO

Hey guys! You might remember that I’ve done festival reviews on here before – particularly on Groovin’ the Moo 2014. This year I attended GTM again, yay! I loved it, as usual, and talked about it all in this video. I even made a little video montage of the footage I captured at Groovin’ and talked about meeting my all time favourite band! Enjoy:

Thank you for watching!

Sarah May xxx
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My Top 5 Albums of 2014

My Top Five Albums of 2014

5. Sam Smith – In The Lonely Hour

I’m going to be honest – I really only had four stand-out top albums of the year, but Sam Smith’s album was one I thoroughly enjoyed. His voice is just amazing with a huge vocal range that can go from deep, soulful moments straight to a high pitched chorus (as is seen in Disclosure’s Latch). His mega-hit Stay With Me is so emotionally moving, and the rest of the album follows the same vibe. Sam Smith has been pinned as the male Adele, and despite some songs sounding like Smith was pressured too much by his label, In The Lonely Hour is a beautiful album that deserves a listen.

4. One Direction – Four

One Direction really reinvented themselves with this brilliant album. I’ve never been a huge fan of their boy-band sound, but the songs on Four are much more than that. They’ve shown their growth as a group and, in my opinion, have successfully transitioned from clichè boy band to an established pop group. It’s okay to not be a thirteen year old girl and like One Direction, because it’s no coincidence their singles and albums sell as high as they do – they have real talent, and Four showcases all of that. From the slowness of Night Changes to the more rock-like sound of Where Do Broken Hearts Go, Four covers a variety of styles all while showcasing the gorgeous voices of all five members of the group. Four is One Direction’s fourth album and their success is just as great as their first, so it’s fair to say that this “boy band fad” is sticking around for a while.

3. Pentatonix – PTX vol. III

Acapella group Pentatonix have had a fantastic year, achieving their first platinum album with their Christmas release That’s Christmas To Me, and scoring a Grammy nomination for their arrangement of their Daft Punk medley. However, my top pick of theirs for 2014 wasn’t either of these – instead it was their September EP. PTX vol III contains three covers – Problem by Ariana Grande and Iggy Azalea, Rather Be by Clean Bandit, and Papaoutai by French artist Stromae. Pentatonix also featured a mashup of La La La by Naughty Boy and Latch by Disclosure, both featuring Sam Smith, called La La Latch. All of these covers were absolutely amazing, playing to the strengths of the four man, one woman acapella group and a standout favourite was definitely their cover of Problem, however their Papaoutai cover is to be commended due to their near perfect pronunciations of the French lyrics of the original song. Their three original songs, On My Way Home, See Through and Standing By were equally amazing and diverse, branching a variety of genres. On My Way Home had a world music feel with a booming chorus, whereas See Through had more of an EDM feel to it. Standing By was penned by the group itself and is an emotional, solemn song that is bound to draw tears from anyone familiar with living away from their family. 2015 is Pentatonix’s year, so hop on the bandwagon now!

2. Ball Park Music – Puddinghead

Ball Park Music never fail to deliver an eclectic, upbeat mixture of quirky lyrics and catchy hooks, and their third album, Puddinghead, is no different. Puddinghead is an album that can make anyone happy, with a playful indie pop sound that incorporates the wit and blatant truth that Ball Park Music are known for. Puddinghead’s first single, Trippin’ The Light Fantastic, was a perfect way to transition Ball Park fans into their slightly newer sound, which was only backed up by rock-like tracks She Only Loves Me When I’m There and Everything is Shit Except My Friendship With You. The album remains optimistic with cheery tracks Polly Screw My Head Back On and Next Life Already. I have loved this album dearly since its release in April and I will continue to love it for a long time – I cannot recommend this album any higher to fans of indie pop or those who are just wanting a breath of fresh air in their iTunes library!

1. Taylor Swift – 1989

There’s a reason why Taylor Swift’s first pop album was the highest selling album of the year – it’s spot on and filled with potential singles. Lead single Shake It Off was a shock to anyone familiar with Taylor’s country style, as it launched straight into upbeat, catchy and somewhat cheesy pop. Her follow up single, Blank Space, is easily my favourite pop song of the year with such an infectious, cool tune and lyrics that poke fun of the media that shame her for “dating too many men”. I’m not joking when I say I love each and every one of the songs on this album, including the slower, ballad-like Wildest Dreams and This Love. These are songs you can belt out in your car, especially Welcome To New York, All You Had To Do Was Stay and Bad Blood. Taylor Swift’s fifth album is by far my favourite yet, and it has solidified her place in the pop music scene, successfully completing her transition away from being known as a country artist.


I hope everyone had a fantastic New Years, and welcome to 2015! What were your favourite albums of 2014?
Sarah May xxx
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Top 10 Australian Artists

Top 10 Australian Artists

Australia has a thriving music industry, and recent years have uncovered huge chart toppers such as Sia and Iggy Azalea. However, there are some Aussie music gems that have remained hidden in our little country, despite their immense talent. Our homegrown Australian artists are invaluably supported by national radio station Triple J, who provide precious air-time to both established and underground national and international artists, spanning a wide variety of genres. Thanks to Triple J, many fantastic Australian artists have had an opportunity to let their music be heard.

It is through the airwaves of Triple J that I have had the opportunity to discover these amazing, all-Australian artists. You may not have heard of them, but you definitely should have by now:

1. Ball Park Music

Genre: Indie Rock/Pop
Ball Park Music are a young and energetic band from Brisbane, who have produced hit after hit throughout their three-album career. Their live shows are praised by everyone who attends, including myself! Their music is quirky, infectious and super catchy – you’d be crazy not to check them out!

Other favourites: She Only Loves Me When I’m There, iFly, Sad Rude Future Dude, Surrender, Fence Sitter

2. San Cisco

Genre: Indie Pop
San Cisco have been quiet in the music scene for the last couple of years, until this year when they released their new single RUN. With only one album under their belt and another on the way, San Cisco are still pretty established in the Australian music industry, with their single Awkward placing number 7 in the 2011 Triple J Hottest 100, following up with further Hottest 100 entries every year following.

Other favourites: RUN, Fred Astaire, Wild Things, Get Lucky (Daft Punk Cover)

3. Hilltop Hoods

Genre: Hip Hop
Hilltop Hoods are easily Australia’s most popular hip hop group, with four albums peaking at number one on the ARIA charts, including two top-ten singles and one top five single. Hilltop Hoods have successfully broken through from purely Triple J airplay to being played on mainstream radio stations with the ongoing success of recent single Cosby Sweater.

Other favourites: I Love It (ft. Sia), Nosebleed Section, I Won’t Let You Down, Chase That Feeling

4. Chet Faker

Genre: Electronica
Chet Faker is taking over the Australian music industry in 2014, with his debut album Built on Glass peaking at number 1 on Australian charts and its three subsequent singles peaking in the top ten of the Australian indie charts. He cleaned up at the 2014 ARIAS, winning five of the nine awards he was nominated for, including Best Independent Release and Best Male Artist. Chet Faker is one to watch!

Other favourites: 1998, Gold, Drop The Game (with Flume), No Diggity

5. Sheppard

Genre: Indie Pop
Sheppard are a relatively new group consisting of siblings Amy, George and Emma Sheppard, and their three other band mates. Sheppard managed to break into mainstream radio play early in their career, with their single Let Me Down Easy. Their debut album, Bombs Away, peaked at number two, spawning 4x platinum single Geronimo. They recently won Best Group at the 2014 ARIA awards, on top of a truckload of nominations.

Other favourites: Let Me Down Easy, Smile, Hold My Tongue, Something’s Missing

6. The Jungle Giants

Genre: Indie Pop/Rock
The Jungle Giants are from Brisbane who released their debut album in 2013. They have supported big acts like Two Door Cinema Club and appeared at festivals including Splendour in the Grass, Big Day Out, and Groovin’ The Moo. Their music is super infectious and is well worth a listen!

Other favourites: Skin to BoneCome and Be Alone With Me, Mr Polite, Domesticated Man

7. Art Vs Science

Genre: Electronic/Dance
Art vs Science are known as one of Australia’s best live acts, who have a slightly crazy and very energetic stage presence. Their 2011 debut album was widely praised and won an ARIA award for Best Independent Release, and their newest EP has released some great music too. Their eclectic style of music is easily recognizable as an Art vs Science track nearly instantly!

Other favourites: Create/Destroy, Magic Fountain, Creature of the Night, A.I.M Fire!

8. Megan Washington

Genre: Indie Pop/Alternative
Megan Washington (also known as Washington) is one of the most incredible female artists Australia has to offer. Over her three-album career, her music is honest and transparent – and her live performances solidify that. Megan Washington began her music career performing jazz music, but her transition to a more Indie Pop/Alternative sound is complete.

Other favourites: Sunday Best, Rich Kids, Limitless, Begin Again

9. Vance Joy

Genre: Indie Folk
Vance Joy is perhaps one of the most popular indie artists in Australia right now. Ever since the release of single Riptide, which was voted the best song of the year in the Triple J Hottest 100 poll, Vance Joy has been adored by girls nationwide and has been greeted with great success with his debut album Dream Your Life Away. Vance is only new to the music scene, but is sure to stick around for a while.

Other favourites: Mess Is Mine, First Time

10. Flume

Genre: Electronic
Flume has had a huge influence on the Australian music scene, with his 2012 debut album peaking at number one and landing him four wins and another four nominations at the 2013 ARIA awards, including Best Male Artist and Best Breakthrough Artist. He also had four songs in the Triple J Hottest 100 in a single year, and is part of the side project What So Not.

Other favourites: Hyperparadise (Hermitude Remix), Tennis Court (Lorde Remix), On Top, Sleepless


I hope you enjoyed some of the great talent that Australia has to offer! Sometimes the best music isn’t what’s playing on mainstream media all the time, so be adventurous and discover some new music!

Until next time,
Sarah May xxx
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September Favourites ♡

September Favourites

It’s October already!? Where has the year gone? Yes, it’s nearly two weeks in already, but I went home for a week and couldn’t take any photos for this post when I was there! September has been a busy busy month for me and the uni year is nearly over (yay!), so without further ado, here are my September favourites!


Succulents

Windowsill Succulents

I admit, I bought these little guys in August, but I’d already published my August favourites. I featured them in my College Room Homewares post, so you’re all probably familiar with the two little succulents and my little cactus that I keep on my windowsill. They didn’t cost much, either – from memory, they were about $6 each from Bunnings Warehouse. They came in the red pots I keep them in since it fits in with my room’s colour scheme – they’re so cute!

FinnFinn the Siamese Fighting Fish

Meet the first animal that completely belongs to me! Little Finn is such a cute addition to my room, and it’s amazing how smart he is just from spending a few weeks with me. I’m working on buying some more things for his bowl as it’s a little empty at the moment so stay tuned! My College Room Homewares post also featured Finn and sparked a debate about keeping fish in bowls – so I’d like to take this chance to advise anyone considering buying a fish that bowls are NOT the best home for a fish (if my college allowed anything other than a fish bowl I would’ve kept him in something more appropriate). If you must get a bowl, Siamese Fighting Fish are the most capable of living a healthy life (as they breathe from the water surface). Keeping a fish in a bowl means I need to clean his water very frequently, which is a lot of effort. Siamese Fighting Fish need to be kept in a warm environment, too, so they need a heater! The only reason why I don’t is because I live in a very humid, tropical area and his natural water temperature is warm, even in winter. Assess your options before buying a fish bowl, please! In saying that, though, in my current conditions I wholeheartedly believe that a bowl is not harming my little boy – but this is not the same for everyone!

IMG_8042Baby Goats

Yes, I mentioned goats last month, but I’ve spent so much of my month with the little cuties that I’m still so in love with them! They’ve grown up so much and are starting to climb more things and eat hay (and my hair). Moneypenny and Squeak, who we have to bottle feed, are so adorable and know exactly who feeds them and when! They’re much smaller than the rest, but here’s hoping they’ll catch up once they move on to solid feed rather than milk replacement.

Ball Park Music MerchBall Park Music Merch

I posted earlier this month that I went to a Ball Park Music concert, and naturally I bought merch. Free at the door were these super cool retro 3D glasses, with “ballparkmusic” printed on the side. I’ll never ever wear these again, but they’re still such an original merch idea and hey, it was free! I also bought a Puddinghead shirt in light grey marle (you can buy it here for $30) which actually fits really well. I love when merch comes in such thin material that you can stuff it in your handbag for the duration of the gig!

NutellaStrawberries + Nutella

…oops, this is a pretty naughty favourite! It’s such a delicious snack, and Nutella is the best thing that has ever been created, ever. The strawberries are only there to make me feel a little bit better about the sugar I am ingesting because hey, strawberries are a fruit, so that makes it healthy… right?

Home ScreeniPhone 6

I got my hands on a 64GB silver iPhone 6! Yay! I previously had an iPhone 4S, which is slowly becoming outdated, but I was waiting for my phone contract to run out so I could recontract to an iPhone 6 and it’s my new baby, I love it so much! Even though it’s literally two rows of apps longer than my old phone, I somehow really like it. However, I haven’t had to fit it into my pocket yet so its size may become an issue. But it’s so fast, so thin and so pretty!

Avocado

Not gonna lie, I’ve loved avocado for ages, but I haven’t eaten it in a long, long time because I’ve been living on campus. However, one day I came down for lunch and there was avocado in the salad bar. Best. Day. Ever. Since then I’ve been craving more, and since I’ve been home for my midsem break I haven’t stopped putting it on my sandwiches and wraps.

Zach GarryZach Garry (YouTuber)

Zach is an Australian YouTuber (yay Aussies) and I’ve been subscribed to him for a few months now, but lately I realized that I haven’t watched his older videos – so I did. This guy is so entertaining to watch – he’s funny, yet delivers everything in a blunt, super-deep voice that gives his videos something that I just can’t find the word for. You just need to watch his videos to understand, so subscribe to him! If my recommendation isn’t enough, Tyler Oakley recommended him too so… (Subscribe to Zach here)


So there you have it, my favourites for another month! So crazy to think that there’s only three months left of 2014 and only 1.5 months until I’ve finished uni for the year and have three months off!! 

Hope you enjoyed this month’s favourites, an October one will definitely be on the way soon!

Until next time,
Sarah May xxx
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Live Review: Ball Park Music @ The Venue, Townsville

Ball Park Music are an Indie Pop band from Brisbane, Australia, who have achieved great things in the Australian music industry since their debut four years ago. The band, consisting of five members – Sam Cromack (lead vocals & guitar), Jen Boyce (vocals & bass), Dean Hanson (guitar & backing vocals), Daniel Hanson (drums & backing vocals) and Paul Furness (keys & trombone) – have three hit albums under their belts, with multiple songs making the Triple J Hottest 100 list of the respective year they were released.

Ball Park Music

In April 2014, Ball Park Music released their third album, Puddinghead. The Puddinghead tour saw them playing major cities, before launching the Trippin’ The Light Fantastic Tour which sees them return to these cities with the welcome addition of some regional towns – including my current residence of Townsville, Queensland. The Trippin’ tour brings Ball Park Music to their very first headline show in Townsville, which met to great success as they played to a close-to-sold-out crowd of over 18 fans at The Venue on September 19, 2014.Tarryn & I

I first saw Ball Park Music at the River Sessions Festival (Mackay) in 2013, and have been in love with them ever since. I just couldn’t pass up seeing them again at their own headline show after the amazing performance they put on last time! The Trippin’ tour was billed to be Ball Park’s biggest tour yet, featuring a light show equally as amazing as previous tours and visual effects so realistic, it’s almost as if the band is actually there! These light-hearted marketing gimmicks were followed up with free 3D glasses being handed out at the door.

The show opened with Pluto Jonze and Millions, who would’ve been much more enjoyable if I had known their songs. After three and a half hours of waiting after the doors had opened, Ball Park Music finally hit the stage, opening with Shithaus and quickly following that up with a long list of hits, mostly from their debut album Happiness and Surrounding Suburbs. Prior to the show, I had seen the setlist of the only previous show of the tour, and was surprised when they added in a couple of extra songs to Townsville’s show as opposed to their Hobart show. I was standing in the third row, directly in front of Sam and Jen, and I loved it!

I found that the band lacked the excitable energy they had back in 2013, with the exception of when Sad Rude Future Dude was played, which had Sam dancing at the front of the stage. Their newer songs required both guitars and Jen’s bass, which meant that Sam was not able to move around as freely due to needing to play the guitar. Most members also seemed a bit drunk, and Sam was drinking directly from a wine bottle the entire show! The intervals between songs were enjoyable, which saw them making fun of their marketing the tour as a “3D experience” – “because all f*cking concerts are in 3D”, as Sam eloquently put it.

This was my first 18+ show, and it was an interesting experience. I certainly wasn’t as squished into the front of the crowd as I do at festivals, as everyone liked their own space, but midway through the show two tall, burly guys who were obviously drunk became very pushy towards myself and the girls around me, pushing me into other people as they stumbled around the crowd despite attempts to push them away made by everyone around them. Eventually they were forced out of the mosh, allowing us all to feel a little bit safer.

Their setlist was impressive, packing nearly all of their hits into two and a half hours, including some of their newer songs. Admittedly, I don’t enjoy Ball Park’s slower songs as much as their more upbeat ones, and this setlist offered a few of those. They remixed their massive hit iFly into a slow, ballad-like version – which was an impressive remix, but slightly disappointing as I adore the original version’s energy.

Setlist (to the best of my memory):
Shithaus
Polly Screw My Head Back On
Literally Baby
It’s Nice To Be Alive
Sad Rude Future Dude
Teenager Pie
Coming Down
Everything is Sh*t Except My Friendship With You
iFly (Remix)
All I Want Is You
Girls From High School
Cocaine Lion
She Only Loves Me When I’m There
Surrender
Trippin’ The Light Fantastic
Fence Sitter (Encore)

As we entered the venue, we were handed a VIP Pass to meet the band afterwards (score!) but, as this was offered freely to everyone who walked in, we expected the “afterparty” that was advertised to be packed. Thankfully, it wasn’t so – as a lot of the younger crowd who had made their way up gave up on waiting for the band after the 10-15 minute mark. After a bit of waiting, however, Ball Park Music entered the room, and at this point there were probably only 30 or so people. Naturally, groups of people snapped them up for conversations as soon as they entered, leaving those of us who just wanted a quick photo in fear of interrupting. I managed to catch Jen as she moved from one conversation to another, and caught Sam just as he walked in the door later on! As much as I would’ve loved to meet the other boys, it was late by this point and I had a long drive ahead of me back home, so we left just satisfied that our favourite band were just standing in a small room in such a casual environment with us.

Ball Park Music are absolutely incredible live, and continue to be such an underrated band. They certainly deserve more recognition for what they do, and they have the potential to have a massive fanbase both nationally and internationally. I’m certainly glad they were willing to play in a smaller city, despite the show not selling out as their others have, and at the same time I’m glad that the crowd was small enough to feel like an intimate show. I can only hope that they return to Townsville or Mackay for a festival or another headline show sometime in the future, as I will definitely be willing to see them again!

I took a few quick videos of the concert, check it out below:

I highly encourage all of you to see a Ball Park Music show in your lifetime!

Sarah May xxx
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